Tuesday, March 03, 2009

The Greatest Moment in Dublin Hurricanes history; number three: Andy Martin's game winning knock in the 12 inning 2-1 win over the Spartans - 2008

The Dublin Hurricanes are one of Ireland's wildest, funkiest, oldest, sexiest, hottest, craziest, fun-lovingest and most successful baseball clubs. They have won every award going in Irish baseball, they are the only Irish club side to have traveled several times to European Club competitions and their players have scooped many of the individual awards available to players in the Irish baseball league. In short, it has been a good twelve year run. The team’s core has largely remained the same, which makes the accomplishments and memories all the sweeter to those involved.


Cutting straight to the chase, over the next few days we will be revealing the Top Ten Dublin Hurricanes Baseball Club moments of all time (all time being 1997 – 2008). Hopefully you will join us for the ride, and while we look back at the memories, you the reader will get a good sense of what it means to play baseball for an Irish baseball club.

The list was voted for by several veteran players of the Hurricanes Club.

Straight to the list. Number Three.

The Greatest Moment in Dublin Hurricanes history; number three: Andy Martin's game winning knock in the 12 inning 2-1 win over the Spartans - 2008 playoffs

The first round of the 2008 Irish league playoffs saw one of the most dramatic games in Irish baseball history. The old rivals the Hurricanes and Spartans met looking for a place in the final. The loser would have to play the following week against the winner of the 3rd and 4th place playoff.

The game was a complete classic. Pitching and team defence ruled the day, as both the Spartans and the ‘Canes battled away. Both teams got one run early and that would be it in regulation, so extra innings were required to separate the two old foes. Incredibly the game went twelve innings, and it took a Hurricanes veteran to take matters into his own hands to end the affair.

Andy Martin stepped to the plate with Eric ‘Vegas’ Valkys on second base and two out, in the top of the twelfth inning.

You know what they say, commeth the hour, commeth the man. Vegas Valkys had got on base through a walk and as Andy stepped in and battled against the hard throwing Spartans pitcher, Vegas Valkys stole second. With the count at 1-2 Andy laced a pitch right back up the middle. Vegas spun around third and charged home ahead of the throw, with Martin advancing to second, a smile as wide as the river Liffey on his face.

The deflated Spartans went down 1-2-3 in the bottom of the twelfth and the Hurricanes won the longest playoff game in Irish baseball history, 2-1.

Of course, who to turn to for the best description of the big moment than the man himself, Mr Andy Martin;

''It was all Vegas the Legend. He set it all up with his Dave Roberts impersonation. I had done absolutely nothing against Andrei all year including during the game to that point. I have to give a lot of credit to Foy who was giving me words of encouragement all game to try and help me snap out of it. DiVito's blood, on the other hand, was beginning to boil because of my lack of production. You can even hear him shout words of "encouragement" if you listen to the video, but the tone is more like a threat. Fouled off a couple 2 strike pitches and crafty Vegas had made his way to third by this stage so I knew I just had to put it in play. Low fastball on the outer half of the plate and just knocked it back through the box. Looked over at the bench and Foy had his "I told you so" look. Great team win.''


Video footage from the Hurricanes exciting 2-1 win over the Spartans two which saw them win their way into the Irish baseball finals.



Andy Martin blasts the eventual game winning single up the middle


Thanks to Kevin Richards for the video footage.

The Greatest Moment in Dublin Hurricanes history

3. Andy Martin's game winning knock
4. Gordon Ireland's 2002 Triple Crown season
5. 'I ja-kneew dey were going to do dat!'
6. TK gets strangled
7. Vegas Valkys goes yard - Croydon 2005
8. Andy Martin's sensational, silver slugger 2004 season
9. The legend of Spencer Grace
10. Gordon Ireland's final at bat as a Hurricane


Baseball Ireland links

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Irish National baseball team

Irish National baseball team
Team Ireland at the European Championships, Croatia, 2000.

A nice little mention for this blog on Fox Sports

A nice little mention for this blog on Fox Sports

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