It is always special to witness an historic baseball event in person. I was at Yankee Stadium in 1985 when White Sox pitcher Tom Seaver won his 300th game. One of my friends saw Philadelphia’s Mike Schmidt hit his 500th career home run in Pittsburgh.
For the 28,361 fans in attendance at Baltimore’s Memorial Stadium on May 28, 1987 for the Orioles-Angels game, they witnessed something that had only been accomplished four times previously in major league history.
Baltimore opened up a 5-1 lead after four innings. In the bottom of the fifth, Orioles
fans did not realize that Mike Young’s pinch hitting appearance for DH Jim Dwyer would be essential to a Baltimore win. His production was not immediate as he struck out in his first at bat.
Leading 5-4 in the top of the ninth, California first baseman Wally Joyner led off with a home run to tie the game. Then in the top of the 10th, Gary Pettis’s RBI single gave the Angels at 6-5 lead. Thanks to Joyner and Pettis’s heroics, it allowed Young to be an extra inning hero twice.
Young led off the bottom of the 10th with a game-tying home run off DeWayne Buice to keep Baltimore alive. After a scoreless 11th inning, Pettis struck again with an RBI ground out to once more give California a one-run advantage.
But it was Young who upstaged Pettis’s two extra inning RBI’s. With Buice on the mound for his third inning of work in the bottom of the 12th, he allowed a lead off walk to Lee Lacy. Then Young sent everyone in Memorial Stadium home happy with a walk-off, two-run homer to give Baltimore an 8-7 triumph.
Young became just the fifth player in major league history to hit two home runs in extra innings. He was the last player to accomplish the feat until Philadelphia’s John Mayberry Jr. in 2013.
Rest of the 80s: The 1987 campaign turned out to be Young’s last best season. He finished the season batting .240 with 16 home runs and 39 RBI. The Orioles former first round draft pick played two more seasons with Philadelphia, Milwaukee and Cleveland. He only played in 115 games in 1988 to 1989, batting .206 with three home runs.