Is there anything cooler than an inside-the-park home-run? The answer to that age-old question is the same as the answer to that other age-old question, "Is there anything cooler than an unassisted triple play?" answered recently by our very own Eric Bruntlett: Yes, when one actually ends the game. The walk-off inside-the-park home run is not a feat that sports fans often have the privilege to witness, but fans at the Vet were treated to one on August 27th, 2000, courtesy of Mr. Bobby Abreu.
Hosting the first-place Giants, the Phils were locked in a 1-1 pitchers' duel, courtesy of San Francisco's Mark Gardner and our mid-season acquisition Bruce Chen. Abreu was the first batter to hit in the bottom of the tenth inning, and he lined a pitch from G-Men reliever Aaron Fultz to deep center field, out of the reach of the leaping Calvin Murphy. The ball bounced away from Murphy as Abreu circled the bases. Final Score: Phillies 2, Giants 1.
"Bobby scored that run right out of the box," related manager Terry Francona after the game. "As soon as he hit it, he went full-blast." Remarkably, the homer was the second Abreu had slugged during the game, the Phils' first run being scored on his more conventional, out-of-the-park variety of blast. His more notable walk-off, however, was the first of its kind since Derek Jeter sent the Kansas City Royals packing with an inside-the-parker during his 1996 rookie season. "If you can't get excited about that game, you're comatose," said Tito.