What is a Walk-off in Baseball?

(Last Updated On: February 22, 2023)


  • A walk-off is an event in which the host team scores a run to win the game in the final ninth inning or extra innings.
  • The game is over which means that the team from home gets awarded the win as the opponent won’t have another chance to score.
  • A walk-off occurs when a batter from the home team strikes an unplayed ball in extra innings or ninth and gives the team a go-ahead.
  • It’s called a walk-off since once the winning run has crossed home plate and the losing team leaves the field, the game is over.

The walk-off explanation

What is a Walk-off in Baseball? A walk-off in baseball occurs whenever the host team scores the decisive run in the nine or extra innings to win the game. The batter who brings home the winning score with either a strike or walk must only reach the first base because the game is finished when the baserunner has reached the home plate.

The term first came into use in 1988, when Dennis Eckersley, a pitcher, described the walk that was defeated by the pitcher following a game-winning home run as the “walk-off piece.” The walk-off refers to a single team being removed from the field following a loss to the other team in the last innings.

The most famous walk-offs

Walk-offs can be a fun method of winning baseball games, but walking off home runs is far more thrilling. Seven postseason series of the major leagues, including two World Series games–have been won using an off-field home hit.

Read More: What Does PO Mean in Baseball?

1960 World Series

The New York Yankees dominated the Pittsburgh Pirates but lost the series despite scoring greater scores (55-27) as well as hits (91-60) that those of the National League champions. Bill Mazeroski, a career .260 hit hitter, started the ninth of the ninth against relief pitcher Ralph Terry in Game 7 when the score was tied at 9-9.

The second baseman threw a 1-0 ball across the wall in left-center to take home the Pirates title.

1993 World Series

The Toronto Blue Jays led the series against the Philadelphia Phillies, three games to 2, but they were only two outs from a winner-take-all game in Game 7. Joe Carter stepped into the box to bat amid a relief against Mitch Williams with the Blue Jays down by one run with two runners at the plate.

The outfielder hit three runs on a homer that helped Toronto take their second straight World Series championship game.

1951 Playoff Series

The New York Giants and Brooklyn Dodgers played two games of a best-of-3 series to decide which team will be the first to reach the World Series. The Dodgers were leading 4-1 at the start of the ninth inning however, a pair of hits and an RBI double reduced the gap to 4-2.

Bobby Thomson squared off against relief pitcher Branca with two runners at the plate and hit a three-run homer to win the Giants the National League pennant.

1975 World Series

The Boston Red Sox and Cincinnati Reds met for an epic 12-inning game that lasted for four hours at the end of Game 6. The Reds were able to put two runners on base at the 12th inning’s top but Red Sox pitcher Rick Wise hit out Cesar Geronimo to close the game.

Boston Catcher Carlton Fisk led off the 12th for the home team. He struck a massive one-pitch into the right field’s left corner, which hit the foul pole to score an unassisted home run that would make Game 7 necessary.

1988 World Series

The Los Angeles Dodgers and Oakland A’s began this year’s “California Classic” with a thrilling Game 1. Oakland was leading 4-3 in the bottom of the ninth inning and was able to get an All-Star reliever Dennis Eckersley on the mound.

The relief pitcher removed his first batter before giving a base-on-ball at Mike Davis. The pinch-hitter Kirk Gibson, who had an injured right knee and a pulled left hamstring hit a slider into the wall in right field to hand the Dodgers the victory they needed in the comeback.

1991 World Series

The Minnesota Twins trailed the Atlanta Braves three games to two in Game 6, and the score was tied at 3 during Game 6. Twins centerfielder Kirby Puckett stepped into the batter’s box in the 11th inning’s final inning in the 11th inning against Charlie Leibrandt, who had been in Game 1. Braves.

Puckett went through both of the pitches that he threw – a strike as well as two balls before striking the fourth pitch into the left-center field, forcing Game 7. The next night after, the Twins hit the game’s only run in the 10th inning’s bottom to beat the World Series, 1-0.

2003 ALCS

Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees The Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees concluded a thrilling ALCS with an unforgettable Game 7. Game 7 saw the Bronx Bombers rally for three scores in the eighth inning to tie the score and put the game into extra innings.

Boston pitcher Tim Wakefield recorded three outs in the 10th before returning to his mound to face off against leadoff batter Aaron Boone. The third baseman smacked Wakefield’s first pitch into the right field fence, which sent his team the Yankees towards winning the World Series.


What’s the meaning of the term “walk-off” for baseball?

A walk-off is where the team that is home scores a run to gain the lead in the middle of the ninth innings. The game is over which means that the team from home is awarded winning as the opponent is not given another chance to score.

What happens when an exit walk-off occurs?

A walk-off occurs when a batter from the home team strikes an unplayed ball during the 9th or additional inning that gives the team the lead. For instance, if the score is tied in the 10th inning, and the third baseman is on the field the hitter laces an unintentional single to the right field, thereby ending the game.

What is the reason it’s known as a “walk-off?”

The term “walk-off” is used because the game is over when the winning player is at home plate, and the losing team steps out of the game.

What does a walk-off-home run means?

A walk-off homerun is when the batter hits a home run in the ninth innings, or during an extra inning to allow his team to take the lead and close the game.

A thrilling method to win a baseball match

The walk-off is a thrilling sport in baseball. It occurs if the team from home hits the winning run in the ninth inning. Because the team playing in opposition doesn’t have another chance to strike it is game over after the home team gains the lead in the final inning of the ninth or the extra innings. Walk-offs can occur on any hit, out walk, a walk, hit-by-pitch balk, passed ball wild pitch, or even an error.