Why Do You Think They Call It A “Walk”-Off?

When Seth Smith joined the Baltimore Orioles this season, I learned that fans from his last team – the Seattle Mariners – called him “Dad.”

This was because, I was told by one Mariner’s fan, Smith’s “exactly the kind of guy you want looking after the kids …”

And, because he was once seen after a game doing this …

(Don’t roll your eyes at the fact that Seth Smith does the exact same stuff that you probably do all the time and no one tweets about you. That’s just the way it’s gonna be.)

Anyway, Smith’s an Oriole now, and he did two dad-like things last night I wanted to make sure you knew about.

First, the Orioles, for some insanely stupid and reckless reason, gave up the lead in their game against the Tampa Bay Rays last night, forcing extra innings.

The O’s almost lost in extra innings, too, except, thankfully, Tampa’s bullpen was either getting bored with the game and wanted to go home, or they’re just generally lousy.

I’m pretty sure no one calls Tampa’s bullpen pitchers “Dad” in the affectionate way the entire world calls Seth Smith “Dad.” (Unless, of course, it’s their actual children.)

In the bottom of the 11th, with the score tied at four, Tampa’s bullpen loaded the bases. And, Seth Smith came to bat. And, this happened.

The ultimate “walk” off.

It seems a very even-keeled, dad-like thing to do. Why swing at the ball when you don’t need to? My dad wasn’t a big baseball fan, but I’m sure he would agree.

Don’t leave yet …

Before that walking walk-off, Smith did something else weird and wonderful last night … he singled in the bottom of the 2nd, and, thanks to two errors by Tampa fielders (no one calls them “Dad” on Twitter, either), he also scored.  This is, of course, a Little League Home Run,” something any good dad would know all about. And, it was awesome.


The Baltimore Orioles beat the Tampa Bay Rays last night, 5-4 in 11.

Seth Smith gets credit for three of those Oriole runs.

That Dad. He’s all right by me.



13 thoughts on “Why Do You Think They Call It A “Walk”-Off?

  1. Three cheers for Dad!

    Meanwhile, in San Francisco, former Mariner, former Mariner (again), former Oriole, and former Giant, now once-again Giant, Mike Morse, made his first major league appearance in over a year. (Boy did that sentence get away from me!)

    He came in as a pinch hitter and promptly launched a solo home run, tieing the game. The Giants eventually won it in extra innings.

    Nothing quite as spectacular as Dad’s Little League homer, but it’s nice to see the old farts doing well.

    • I really like Michael Morse and I was excited when Baltimore scooped him up at the trade deadline a few years ago, but was sad when they discovered he was broken … so he didn’t do much for the O’s. I wonder if he’s still using a-ha’s “Take On Me” as his walk-up song? When he was with the Nats the entire stadium would sing along … it may be the only time that Washingtonians agreed on anything.

  2. I had never heard that story till this spring and I thought – what?! He was a favorite of mine in Rockie Purple – and I am glad his career continues – enjoy him and may he bring more eventful evenings to the Orioles! Walk off walks are great!

    • Walk-off walks are rare … because it must be a tie game when the walk occurs and the pitcher has (or pitchers have) loaded the bases. According to Baseball Reference it happens, on average, about 7 or 8 times a season. I have seen pitchers balk in the winning run, which is even more fun (as long as your team is the one scoring the winning run) and which I guess you would call a “Balk Off”. :)

  3. It certainly wasn’t a runoff… though Smith scored the game-winning “run.” I noticed Mr. Morse smiling as he rounded the bases in the ESPN footage. I think it was equal parts first at-bat of the season and that he hit it against the Dodgers. Mr. Barnes throwing at Manny deserves the suspension, though I wonder if the Red Sox aren’t headed for the same rivalry bitterness they already share with the Yankees.

    • Thanks, Mike! You know, when ‘The Babe’ first came out I was such a little snob … I didn’t like it because I thought it didn’t really “get” Babe Ruth and this and that were wrong … blah, blah, blah.

      I saw it again just recently and I was wrong. It was a sweet movie and I bet Babe Ruth would have loved John Goodman!

  4. Fantastic! I wish I’d caught the game. I love your earlier comment about a “balk off” – I’ve never seen one myself, that I recall, but I’ll be watching for one now.

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