5/8/2014 11:50:00 AM Letter: I will never forget the walk-off grand slam home run
For the past few days I have talked with friends and coworkers about the walk off Grand Slam I witnessed at the Mingus vs. Coconino baseball game. Few events in all of sports can generate the pure joy and excitement from watching your team win that way. My thanks go out to the Mingus baseball team, and Tyler "T-Donk" Bond specifically, for creating that sports moment that I will never forget.
As Verde Independent sportswriter, Travis Guy put it, "A screenwriter could not have set the scene up any more perfect." I encourage all sports fans to read his article on the game as it captured all of the excitement.
I was inspired to write because of something "T-Donk" said in response, no doubt, to the time honored question of "..what did it feel like." "I just had to just get a hit to win the game," Bond said. "I wasn't thinking home run at all, it just came off the bat and it was all tears from there." That right there, sports fans, is the essence of a team player. He wasn't greedy, or seeking individual glory. He was only thinking of what he could do to help his team win. With that simple, and humble wish, his smooth swing, and solid connection to the ball, sent it sailing over centerfield fence. My hat is off to Coach Young and all his assistants who have worked hard to cultivate great winning and respectful attitudes of their players for the game.
The rarity of a game winning walk off grand slam is summarized in the Baseball Almanac. There are even sub categories, such as "Super Walk Off Grand Slam." Suffice it to say that it is an incredibly rare sporting event. From 1950 through 2014, in 64 years, there have only been 170. "T-Donk", now walks in the company of greats such as Babe Ruth, Buddy Bell, Alan Trammel, and Ryan Roberts.
As all the Mingus fans reveled in that grand slam moment the overwhelming joy was simply electric. The only thing that may be greater than the actual walk off grand slam itself is watching the thrill of the Mingus team waiting at home plate for "T-Donk" rounding the bases to come home. I am thankful I was there to watch it and will never forget.