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Birthday Bash

While my dad and I were belatedly celebrating his 60th birthday on Saturday, Reds outfielder Chris Denorfia was legitimately enjoying the 26th anniversary of his birth in Cincinnati.

As luck would have it, Denorfia, recalled when the Reds traded Austin Kearns away, came to the plate in an all-or-nothing scenario, his team trailing the Rockies by a run with the bases loaded and two outs in the last of the 9th. Rockies closer Brian Fuentes had just inadvertently beaned each of the previous two hitters and was now in the position of having to throw a strike.

The count ran to 2-2 and Denorfia got what was described as a lousy swing at the next pitch and hit a slow chopper to short. Rockies shortstop Clint Barmes charged the ball, then just plain missed it. It eluded Barmes for a walk-off two-run single, making Denorfia a very happy birthday boy.

Intrigued, I sent an e-mail to Retrosheet guru David Smith, who with a little programming magic was able to generate a list of every player to get a walk-off RBI on his birthday over the last 50 baseball seasons. I'll reprint the list in its entirety here.

Walkoff RBI on birthday, 1957 through 7-16-2006

Batter Team Date Opp RBI
Chris Denorfia, CIN 07-15-2006 (vs COL) 2
Barry Bonds, SFN 07-24-2003 (vs ARI) 1 (home run)
Alex Rodriguez, TEX 07-27-2002 (vs OAK) 4 (home run)
Sean Burroughs, SDN 09-12-2002 (vs SFN) 1
Paul Molitor, MIN 08-22-1998 (vs BOS) 1
Jim Eisenreich, PHI 04-18-1994 (vs LAN) 1
Jacob Brumfield, CIN 05-27-1993 (vs ATL) 1
Cal Ripken, BAL 08-24-1990 (vs CLE) 1
Willie Wilson, KC 07-09-1989 (vs CHA) 1
B. J. Surhoff, MIL 08-04-1987 (vs BAL) 1
Jerry Mumphrey, NYY 09-09-1982 (vs MIL) 1 (home run)
Juan Beniquez, CAL 05-13-1982 (vs CLE) 1
Steve Kemp, DET 08-07-1979 (vs TEX) 2 (home run)
Jim Beauchamp, NYM 08-21-1972 (vs HOU) 2 (home run)
Joe Morgan, HOU 09-19-1971 (vs CIN) 1 (home run)
Jose Martinez, PIT 07-26-1969 (vs SDN) 1
Ken Henderson, SFN 06-15-1969 (vs MON) 3 (home run)
Jim King, WSH 08-27-1965 (vs BAL) 1
Norm Sherry, NYM 07-16-1963 (vs HOU) 1
Maury Wills, LAN 10-02-1960 (vs CHN) 1
Del Ennis, SLN 06-08-1958 (vs PHI) 1
Carroll Hardy, CLE 05-18-1958 (vs CHA) 3 (home run)
Felix Mantilla, MLN 07-29-1957 (vs NYG) 1

As you can see, there are two Mets on this list- Norm Sherry and Jim Beauchamp. I wrote about Sherry's victory toast, albeit in a different context earlier in this blog.

I plan to get around to documenting Beauchamp's feat either later today (have an errand to run this morning), later this week, or sometime around his birthday. In the meantime, I'm a little nervous about facing the Reds based on the walk-off magic they've exhibited recently. This season, they've already won in this manner, and on an ultimate grand slam by Adam Dunn.

(definition: walk-off HR with team trailing by 3 and 2 outs in final inning, example of which can be found here)

And we don't need to be reminded of the walk-off experienced by the Flushing 9 on their last trip to the Buckeye state.

True Metdays know...The Mets have never had a walk-off win on my birthday, my mom's birthday, or my sister's birthday (none occur during the regular season), but did have one on my dad's 18th birthday. On July 12, 1964, they beat the Reds, 1-0 (Joe Christopher 2B) for the first 1-0 walk-off win in team history.


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