In 1979, the Pirates were leading the Orioles by one run in the bottom of the eighth inning. It was the year of Family in Pittsburgh, when Willie Stargell set the bar and tone for Dave Parker and the rest of Chuck Tanner’s team. The Orioles also had a terrific year, led by switch-hitting sluggers Ken Singleton and Eddie Murray.
The O’s threatened by placing runners on second and third with two out in the bottom of the eighth. Singleton was up, but Tanner chose to walk him to have Kent Tekulve pitch to Murray. It was an understandable but still dubious move, registering a slight decrease in the Pirates’ win expectancy and adding significantly to the criticality of the situation.
Like McCovey, Murray came close to a big hit, hitting a long fly to Parker on the warning track in right field for the final out of the inning. The Pirates scored two more runs in the top of the ninth to seal their world championship, and the moment was ultimately forgotten by all but the most rabid, disappointed, Baltimore fans.
That’s it. Have a walk-off week!