It's been a little over a decade since Atlanta Braves fans were treated to one of the most electrifying moments in franchise history. Fitting that one of the most incredible moments came from hall-of-fame third baseman Chipper Jones in his final season. Hard to believe he's been retired for 11 years now.
A game that was started by Tommy Hanson and Roy Halladay and likely expected to be a tight game due to the caliber of each pitcher. However, that is not how things went as it was an offensive explosion from both the Braves and Phillies. Capped off by one of the greatest moments in the history of the Atlanta franchise.
It didn't start that way, however, as the Braves were down 6-0 in the bottom of the fifth inning. As we all know, this team was resilient and managed to tie the game at 6 runs a piece. Most notably a grand slam from Brian McCann is what tied the game. As if the game didn't already have one of the best moments in recent Braves history. That grand slam was just a taste of what was to come.
Heading into the seventh inning, Atlanta had a 8-6 lead after Jason Heyward notched a two-run single in the bottom of the sixth as a pinch hitter. It seemed as if the game was starting to go Atlanta's way.
Unfortunately, that was not to be the case as Carlos Ruiz launched a three-run home run to put Philadelphia up 9-8. Ruiz would later break the hearts of Braves fans as he hit a bases-clearing double once we reached the 8th inning to seemingly put the game out of reach with a score of 12-8.
Lucky for Atlanta Braves fans, this 2012 team fought hard until the last out. The bottom of the eighth started with a single from Dan Uggla (yes, you read that right) and was followed by Chipper hitting into a fielder's choice that could have been a double play but an error by Jimmy Rollins allowed Atlanta to have runners on first and second.
Uggla would score on a single from Tyler Pastornicky and the bases would then be loaded after a walk from Jason Heyward. Michael Bourn would then draw a walk to drive in yet another run and put the Braves within two runs of the Phillies.
The legendary Martin Prado would then tie the game up with a two-run single to center field as Atlanta tied the game. The go-ahead run would score and give the Braves a 13-12 lead after Freddie Freeman hit a sacrifice fly to left field.
This moved the game to the ninth inning and it was up to Craig Kimbrel to close things out and cap off an incredible comeback. Unfortunately, that was not on the baseball bingo card for the night as a lead-off walk from Kimbrel eventually led to the Phillies tying the game at 13.
Atlanta had the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth inning but were unable to get that winning run across. This led us into extra innings and closer to a fantastic finish. The 10th and 11th were quickly handled by Johnny Venters and Chad Durbin.
The bottom of the 11th began similarly to the bottom of the 8th with Dan Uggla reaching on a single. This set the stage for Chipper Jones to do what he does best. He'd just missed a homer earlier in the at-bat but the ball had unfortunately gone just foul.
The count was 3-2 and there was a sense that something special was just waiting to happen. Chipper took 8 pitches in the at-bat and pitch number 8 was absolutely crushed to center field and provided the Braves with a 15-13 walk-off win.
There wasn't a single person sitting at Turner Field when that ball left his bat and it was an incredible atmosphere. Chip Caray on the broadcast provided one of his most iconic calls that still gives fans that same sense of excitement so many years later.
It couldn't have been scripted any better and it just continued to show the legacy and legend that Chipper Jones would leave behind. There are a few moments from that season that stand out as favorites but this one just feels good every time it comes up. Although, the walk-off homer that Chipper would inevitably hit off Jonathan Papelbon later that season is arguably just as good.
The 2012 Atlanta Braves were a fun team to watch regardless of how that season would tragically and controversially ended for them. There's so much left to say about how terribly it ended but at least there are plenty of magical moments to remember to slightly off-set the bitter taste of the ending.