The last play Vin Scully ever called at Dodger Stadium was a doozy. On September 25, 2016, the Dodgers had a magic number to clinch the division of one, and they took on the Rockies in Los Angeles. The Giants, in second place in the NL West, were playing the Padres down in San Diego in a game that started 30 minutes after the Dodgers/Rockies game.
LA and Colorado were tied, 2-2, going to the ninth inning, but with two outs and a 1-2 count, Kenley Jansen allowed a go-ahead home run to David Dahl to put the Rockies on top. In the bottom of the ninth, the Dodgers were down to their last out after Adam Ottavino struck out Andrew Toles and Justin Turner, but Corey Seager ripped a laser down the right-field line that cleared the wall in right to re-tie the game.
That set up the heroics. After Joe Blanton pitched a bumpy but scoreless top of the 10th inning, Los Angeles came to bat. Meanwhile, in San Diego, the Padres had taken a 4-3 lead over the Giants on a Manuel Margot triple and a Wil Myers single, and they were heading to the ninth inning. The looming question was whether the Dodgers would clinch the division while still playing extra innings.
Charlie Culberson didn’t care much for that idea. The 27-year-old journeyman, in his first season with the Dodgers, came to bat with two outs and nobody on after Chris Taylor lined out and Kiké Hernandez Struck out against left-hander Boone Logan. On an 0-1 pitch, this happened:
“0-and-1 to Charlie. Swung on, and a high fly ball to deep left field, the Dodger bench empties, and would you believe a home run? And the Dodgers will clinch the division and will celebrate on schedule.”
That moment made Culberson a forever fan favorite in Los Angeles. LA trade him to the Braves after the 2017 season, and he spent three seasons in Atlanta and then two years with the Rangers. Now he’s heading to the American League East, according to the Associated Press.
The Tampa Bay Rays signed veteran infielder/outfielder Charlie Culberson to a minor-league contract with an invitation to big-league spring training.
The team announced the move Thursday.
We wish nothing but good luck to Charlie in Tampa Bay, and we thank him for an excuse to watch this video a few more times.
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