4. Bobby Tolan, 1972 Cincinnati Reds. The heroics of Mincher (and also Mangual) were set up by those of Tolan one inning earlier. Entering the eighth, Reds starter Don Gullet and his Oakland counterpart, Ken Holtzman, had been locked in a no-quarter pitcher’s duel. Holtzman held the upper hand thanks only to Gene Tenace’s fifth inning home run, which had given him a 1-0 edge.
Dave Concepcion opened the eighth with a base hit, but Holtzman retired Julian Javier and Pete Rose, Concepcion advancing to second and then third base in the process. A’s manager Dick Wiliams summoned Vida Blue to replace Holtzman, but Blue pitched too carefully to the dangerous Joe Morgan and walked him. That brought up Tolan.
The speedy Reds center fielder came through, slamming a Blue pitch past first baseman Mike Epstein into the right field corner for a double that scored both Concepcion and Morgan. It appeared momentarily that Tolan had delivered the game-winning hit, at least until Mincher and Marquez got their chances in the ninth. Tolan Win probability Added: 55 percent.
3. Charlie Keller, 1941 New York Yankees. The top three spots on this Game Four list all relate to iconic moments in World Series history, beginning with Keller’s famous hit in 1941.
Hoping to even the Series, the Brooklyn Dodgers held a 4-3 lead that afternoon at Ebbetts Field as the game entered the top of the ninth. On the mound for Brooklyn was Hugh Casey, possibly the most famous reliever of his time.
Casey made quick work of the first two Yankees, then faced Tommy Henrich, who swung and missed at a diving third strike. But the ball skidded away from catcher Mickey Owen and raced to the backstop while a reprieved Henrich took off for first base.
Never give a Yankee a second chance. Owens’ error had done so, and Joe DiMaggioj followed with a base hit, sending Henrich to second. Keller, next up, exacted the ultimate price with a double into the right-center field gap, scoring both Henrich and DiMaggio with the tying and go-ahead runs.
The Yanks won the game 7-4 and one day later wrapped up a five-game Series victory. Keller Win probability Added: 69 percent.