Opening Day, April 1, 2013 is 52 days away. There have been one hundred walk off home runs in Angels history. This is the story of #52...
June 6, 1987 - Angels great Jim Fregosi had taken over managing the White Sox in 1986 and had already had the equivalent of a triumphant return to the stadium where he had once played and managed that season. It was beginning to get ordinary to see him visit but it felt deeply strange to the Angels faithful.
The White Sox had lost the first two games of a four game series against the Angels and had to face Mike Witt, the ace of the Angels staff. For the White Sox, Rich Dotson was on the mound. You would have to call this one a casual pitching duel - each starter struck out eight batters. Each allowed one earned run, but Dotson did all that allowing five hits and two walks while Witt scattered seven hits and walked one.
It was 1-1 after nine innings. Greg Walker had hit a home run off of Witt in the fourth inning and Mark Ryal had homered off of Dotson in the seventh inning to tie it.
Gene Mauch brought out Witt to pitch the top of the tenth and it proved to be a good move, as the ace had a 1-2-3 inning. Fregosi pulled Dotson for reliever Bob James. In three seasons with the White Sox, James would amass 53 Saves and 17 Wins.
The first Angels batter of the bottom of the tenth inning was Ruppert Jones. He hit the third solo home run of the game, it was the third run of the game. It was an extra inning tie breaking walk off home run. Final Score: Angels 2, White Sox 1.