Earlier this week my trusty Orioles calendar included the following trivia question: “In an Aug. 24, 1988, game against the Mariners, he became the last Orioles player to hit a pinch-hit walk-off home run. Who is he?”
Answer: Larry Sheets
Here’s some more information about Sheets’ pinch-hit heroics during the worst season in Orioles history.
Sheets, pinch hitting for third baseman Rene Gonzalez, entered the game with one on and two out in the bottom of the ninth inning. The Orioles trailed the Mariners 3-2.
Outfielder Fred Lynn started the inning with a line-drive single to right and was replaced by rookie Brady Anderson. Anderson was acquired less than a month earlier in a trade that also brought Curt Schilling to Baltimore and sent Mike Boddicker to Boston.
After a Jim Dwyer fly out, Anderson stole second and advanced to third on a Jim Traber ground out. It was Anderson’s third of six stolen bases in the month of August. Sheets then took a 2-2 offering from Mike Schooler deep for his eighth home run of the season.
Mark Williamson picked up the win for the Orioles with two perfect innings in relief of starter Jeff Ballard.
The Orioles won the nightcap of the doubleheader, also by a score of 4-3, on a 12th-inning sac fly by Joe Orsulak that plated Ken Gerhart. Sheets led off the inning with a walk.
The Mariners were the only team the 107-loss Birds beat in a 1988 season series. The O’s went 14-15 in August, which was the team’s best month of the season.
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