SI Vault
 
HUMM-DINGER OF A PLAYOFF
Steve Wulf
October 19, 1987
The Giants homered and fielded their way to a 3-2 lead over the Cardinals in the NLCS
Decrease font Decrease font
Enlarge font Enlarge font
October 19, 1987

Humm-dinger Of A Playoff

The Giants homered and fielded their way to a 3-2 lead over the Cardinals in the NLCS

View CoverRead All Articles View This Issue
1 2 3 4

Thirty-six years ago Bobby Thomson hit the Shot Heard 'Round the World for the Giants. In the fourth inning Saturday night, second baseman Robby Thompson hit a shot heard, if not 'round the world, at least 'round the Bay. It easily cleared the fence in left and cut the Cardinals' lead to 2-1.

Then, with two outs in the fifth, Mitchell doubled and Leonard came to the plate. Cox threw him an inside fastball on the first pitch, and Leonard lofted it into the air in left. He actually slammed his bat in disgust because, as he said later, "I didn't get all of it." But the wind took it and deposited it just over the fence. Leonard was so surprised he forgot to select a special home run trot, and the Giants led 3-2.

Later Leonard would credit his three-year-old son, Marcus (Day Care Facility Face) Leonard, with an assist. "I went to the clubhouse just before my at bat, and I saw Marcus running around with some other kids, having a good time. That relaxed me, reminded me to have fun out there. He saw me and said, 'Daddy, are you playing baseball?' I said, 'Yeah, I'm playin' baseball.' "

And how. Leonard set an LCS record with his homers in four consecutive games. And his $50,000 bonus was looking awfully good. His next time up, the 57,997 fans gave him a standing O. Or in his case, a standing 00. In the meantime, Krukow was being true to his word. The Cardinals got only five hits after the second inning, and the Giants won 4-2.

Afterward Craig told the assembled media, "Some of you have been asking what Humm Baby means. This game is what it means." Later, alone in his office, he said, "You know, if I were a fan and didn't have a ticket to tomorrow's game, I'd pay $1,000 for one."

In artistic terms, Game 5 might not have been worth a grand, but if you had a rooting interest in the Giants, the price—not to mention Joe Price—was right. As one fan's sign read: ALMOST HOME BABY.

1 2 3 4