Listen folks, not all Home Runs are created equal. Some are just better than others. Obviously a wide variety of factors weigh into this – game situation, who’s hitting, who’s pitching, where the dong is smashed – some dongers just look better in certain ball parks – how far it’s hit, what it hits, the list is endless. Thankfully the Hi-Top Brain Trust is here to do all the heavy lifting for you.
Hi-Top Top 10 Best Home Runs of the 1980s
10. Darryl Strawberry Hits the Roof
I miss the Montreal Expos. Olympic Stadium was a piece of shit but Darryl swinging the bat is pure unadulterated beauty. And the thing about dongers in Dome Stadiums is that the indoor setting really skews the perspective. The trajectory of the ball just gets swallowed up. Unless someone does something extraordinary all homers in domes look relatively the same. But when you hit the GOTDAMN ROOF well now you’ve gone and done something.
9. Cecil Fielder Over the Tiger Stadium Roof
Okay so fine this is technically 1990 but to the Lil’ Dogg the year 1990 will always belong to the 80’s. It makes sense if you think about it. Anywho, this was a mind scrambler of a ding dong by Big Cecil. It was inconceivable that a human could hit a baseball completely out of a Major League stadium. That was video game stuff. Still can’t believe he actually did it.
8. Kevin Mitchell 1989 NLCS
In 1989 Kevin Mitchell could do no wrong. He had the golden touch. So of course he’d step up in the first game of the NLCS and hit a dinger. But not just any dinger. Terms like “laser beam” and “frozen rope” are thrown around way too casually cuz this ball by Mitchell is the essence of those terms. That thing was SMOKED out of Wrigley. Can we get an exit velocity check cuz whatever the highest ever recorded is can’t be higher than this missile by Mitchel. There’s also something about home runs at Wrigley. Sure plenty of people have put balls out into the streets beyond the ivy but it always looks cool as hell.
7. Eric Davis 1987 30-30 Club
Three things : 1) The Lil’ Dogg fully admits to an extreme Eric Davis Bias and I will shoehorn him into any and all best whatever lists concerning baseball. That being said…2) it’s an undeniable fact that every single Eric Davis home run is COOL AS HELL. 3) This blast in particular was both a walk-off and a capstone on his 30-30 campaign so this ain’t no slouch of a dinger. But again hot damn was Eric Davis a Bad Ass at the plate.
6. Kirk Gibson 1988 World Series
I know I know. Number 6???? Lots of controversy over this one. But here’s the thing. People forget that this at bat goes on for like 6 hours. Gibson fouled off 20 pitches. Eck throws over to first a half dozen times at least. There’s a STOLEN BASE in the middle of it. I think there’s an intermission when everyone went for a piss. It’s freakin’ endless.
5. Roy Hobbs NY Knights
Yes it’s a movie. Yes said movie takes place in 1939 but this is my blog and if you didn’t spend the 80s getting goosebumps watching The Natural over and over then I don’t wanna know ya. Personally I prefer the “knock the cover off the ball” scene to the ending but that was technically only a triple.
4. Ozzie Smith 1985 NLCS
The Wizard didn’t get many of these so it’s our duty to celebrate the few he got and well frankly this dong would make the list even if it wasn’t off the bat of this pup’s #1 childhood hero. Ozzie may have been known for his glove but in the 85 NLCS he absolutely destroyed the ball at the plate hitting .435 with this Game 5 walk-off blast.
3. Jose Canseco 1989 ALCS
Say what you will about who Jose Canseco has become but in 1989 the dude was an absolute MONSTER. He sends this ball in the Sky Dome into the FIFTH DECK! Unheard of!
2. George Brett “Pine Tar Incident”
The look on Brett’s face when the Ump signals “Out” is just endlessly entertaining. You look up the word “incredulous” in the dictionary and it’s a picture of George Brett storming on to the field.
1. Bo Jackson 1989 All-Star Game
Bo Jackson in 1989 was beyond just an “athlete”. He was no longer a curiosity. He was not just “good” at both baseball and football. No, he was the single most exciting player in the 2 biggest Pro Sport leagues (at the time) in the world. And he was about to become a cultural phenomenon. Fun Fact: the very first “Bo Knows” Nike ad ran immediately after this All-Star Game Home Run. That right there is insane cosmic timing. It’s hard to explain the amount of sheer anticipation there was for this All-Star Game. In today’s world you can see every highlight of any player you want. And not just stars. Or even pros. You can watch a YouTube compilation of the 75th best High School Short Stop in Mississippi right this very second. But in 1989 you had SportsCenter highlights. And if you missed the episode cuz you had to go to your Grandmas for dinner well tough shit. You missed it. So knowing that Bo was playing in the All-Star Game on Network TV created a fever pitch of excitement for any kid who was even vaguely into sports. This was a rare chance to see the full Bo experience in real time. Would he run up a wall or snap something in half? How about step up and crush the ball in his first at bat. This is an absolute bomb. Plus you get the bonus of Vin Scully and Ronald Reagan shooting the shit. The whole thing is nuts.
That’s it. That’s the list. Facts is facts and the fact is in a decade full of great home runs Bo in his first at bat in the All-Star game bests them all.