2011 alcs

Nelson Cruz Goes Where Robin Ventura Could Not

ARLINGTON, TX - OCTOBER 10: Nelson Cruz #17 of the Texas Rangers runs the bases after hitting a walk off grand slam home run in the bottom of the 11th inning to win Game Two of the American League Championship Series 7-3 against the Detroit Tigers at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington on October 10, 2011 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Nelson Cruz, last night.

And by “where Robin Ventura could not,” we mean: all the way around the bases, after ending a playoff game by hitting the ball over the fence with the bases loaded. Last night, Nelson Cruz launched a walk-off grand slam into the left-field stands to give the Rangers a 7-3 victory in Game Two of the ALCS, and a 2-0 lead over Detroit in the series. Officially, it’s the first walk-off grand slam in postseason history.

Of course, Mets fans surely remember that Robin Ventura once ended a playoff game by hitting a ball over the fence with the bases loaded. But he was mobbed by his teammates before reaching second base, resulting in his famous “grand-slam single” and a mere 4-3 Mets victory in Game Five of the 1999 NLCS. Just for the hell of it, here’s video of Ventura’s walk-off:

The Rangers may have let their teammate round the bases last night, but that’s not to say they didn’t sufficiently celebrate his homer. There’s a lot going on in this (non-embeddable) clip, from Cruz rolling his helmet into the scrum to a teammate throwing a cup of liquid on him before he reaches the plate. Eventually, though, Cruz would indeed step on home plate, officially registering his grand slam.

Nelson Cruz Goes Where Robin Ventura Could Not