32 Days Until Opening Day

The genius of the crowd - Getty Images

Counting Down to Opening Day, We Are Counting Down The 100 Walk Off Homers in Angels History. #32 came against the Orioles as they eased into the prime of their Earl Weaver years...

Opening Day, April 1, 2013 is 32 days away. There have been one hundred walk off home runs in Angels history. This is the story of #32, a blast against what was becoming a formidable Orioles team...

August 18, 1978 - The Orioles of Earl Weaver had won three straight pennants 1969-71, with the World Series championship in 1970. From 1968 - 1980, Baltimore would finish in fourth place one time: the 1978 season, and even then his team would win 90 games. Imagine a 90-win fourth place team today, there would be senate hearing inquiring why they missed the playoffs.

Jim Fregosi's Angels had a slightly better record than the Orioles when they met on this Friday night in August, 1978 (66-57 to 64-55) in front of 19,488 fans. Scott McGregor would go on to be integral to the Orioles pennant winners the following season but his lousy W-L record revealed an inadequate offense. Not many pitchers with a 3.36 ERA have a 12-11 record in August with Murderer's Row backing them up. He faced off against Chris Knapp and each pitcher was the only one their respective team would need.

Knapp went a full nine innings, one of ten complete games he would pitch as an Angel in his three miserably underachieving years with the team. On this night, though, he managed to allow only two earned runs despite allowing seven hits and five walks. Striking out eight Orioles helped immeasurably. Both runs came on back to back solo homers in the fourth inning by Eddie Murray and Doug DeCinces.

The Angels were down 2-0 in the bottom of the seventh when Joe Rudi and Carney Lansford singled in runs. Weaver stuck with McGregor. He allowed a meaningless single in the eighth and got the first two batters in the bottom of the ninth. Up to the plate for the Angels came Don Baylor.

Don Baylor was drafted by the Orioles and played full seasons for two of Earl Weaver's division winners in 1972 and 73. He was traded to Oakland for Reggie Jackson a week before the 1976 season started. After one year in the Bay Area he was a big free agent signing for Gene Autry.

He would go on to win the AL MVP in 1979 with the club but on this night, int eh division chase of 1978he blasted a Scott McGregor pitch into the night, over the wall and rounded the bases. Don Baylor had hit a tie-breaking solo walk off home run with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning.

Final Score: Angels 3, Orioles 2.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Halos Heaven

You must be a member of Halos Heaven to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Halos Heaven. You should read them.

Join Halos Heaven

You must be a member of Halos Heaven to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Halos Heaven. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9351_tracker