This day in Los Angeles Dodgers history saw Charlie Culberson hit a walk-off home run to clinch the 2016 National League West title during Vin Scully’s final game at Dodger Stadium on Sept. 25, 2016.
The Dodgers went into the series finale against the Colorado Rockies in control of their own destiny in the NL West.They additionally were in position to clinch a fourth consecutive division title if the San Diego Padres defeated the San Francisco Giants.
Colorado took a 2-0 lead in the third inning before L.A. managed to tie the game in the seventh on Corey Seager’s RBI triple. Still deadlocked at 2-2, Kenley Jansen entered in the ninth inning, only to surrender a go-ahead home run to David Dahl.
Seager delivered a game-tying home run in the bottom of the ninth. That essentially put the Dodgers in a race against the Padres, who were nearing a victory that would eliminate the Giants from potentially winning the NL West.
That’s when Culberson’s heroics created for one of the most memorable moments in Dodger Stadium history. Making it all the more improbable was the home run was Culberson’s first — and only — of the 2016 season, and his first since 2014.
Culberson was mobbed by teammates after rounding the bases as the NL West celebration, complete with t-shirts and caps, began. As the players gathered in front of home plate, they turned to tip their caps and salute Scully in the broadcast booth.
Scully thanked the Dodgers and the Dodger Stadium crowd, and had an audio recording of himself singing “Wind Beneath My Wings” play before walking out of his home booth for a final time. Scully’s call of Culberson’s walk-off home run won an Esurance Award later that winter.
Scully’s broadcasting career came to an end at then-AT&T Park in San Francisco, where he was honored by the Giants organization.
Meanwhile, The Dodgers became the first team in NL West history to win four straight division titles, which was also was a franchise record. Dave Roberts additionally joined Tommy Lasorda (1977) as the only rookie managers to lead the Dodgers to a division title.
Roberts went on to become the only manager in MLB history to guide his team to a division title in each of his first four seasons at the helm.
Koufax strikeout record on this day in Dodgers history
On Sept. 26, 1965, Sandy Koufax broke Bob Feller’s MLB record of 348 strikeouts in a season, when he recorded 12 in a shutout against the St. Louis Cardinals.
Koufax followed that with 13 more in his next start and finished the 1965 season with 382 strikeouts.
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