3,009. Not 39. Not even 309. On more than 3,000 occasions Cardinals shortstop Ozzie Smith had walked up to the left-handed side of the plate to bat. And not once did he ever connect on a ball that soared over the outfield wall. Of course Ozzie would never be mistaken for a power hitter on any given day with only 28 homers in his 19-year major league career. However, sometimes the planets align just right, and sometimes they align at the exact time when you need it most.
As we continue the journey through the 2013 baseball postseason, we are treated to a great matchup in the NLCS between the Cardinals and Dodgers. It is a storied rivalry that goes back as far as anyone can remember, however there are few moments that can top October 14, 1985, Game 5 of the NLCS.
With the score tied at two runs apiece in the bottom of the ninth inning, Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda called upon closer Tom Niedenfuer to pitch. With one out, Ozzie steps into the left-handed side of the batters box. And in the blink of an eye Smith pulled an inside fastball that was just enough to clear the right-field wall, ending Game 5 in a 3–2 Cardinals victory.
The home run not only prompted broadcaster Jack Buck's "Go crazy folks" play-by-play call, but was also later voted the greatest moment in Busch Stadium history by Cardinals fans.
This walk-off homer gave the Cardinals the upper-hand going into Game 6, where they clinched the National League title.