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Wednesday, May 20, 2009
It’s a joyful moment burdened by a terrible name. It’s a cascade of emotions for the winning players and their fans, yet it’s described in the most negative way. Johnny Damon, after a home run giving the Yankees their third straight come-from-behind win over the Twins, gets a pie in the face and here’s how it’s portrayed.
A “walk-off home run.”
Is there any more of a buzz kill? Should a face full of whipped cream and gleeful celebration be defined in terms of the losers?
When did this happen anyway? No surprise, it goes back to a pitcher. Back in 1988, San Francisco Chronicle columnist Lowell Cohn quoted Oakland reliever Dennis Eckersley describing a game-ending hit, when the pitcher slumps his shoulders and the team walks off the field. He called it a “walk-off piece.”
The term is now ubiquitous—a “walk-off hit”, a “walk-off walk”. What’s next, a walk-off balk?
No…a “walk-off Dick” would be nice.
Thanks to, irony of ironically enough, Walkoff Walk.
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