9. Walk-off Home Run Versus Bob Gibson (April 22, 1973)
Schmidt had a cup of coffee with the Phillies in 1972, appearing in 13 games. He hit just .206 with a home run and 15 strikeouts in 34 at-bats. In an early-season game in his rookie season of 1973, Schmidt faced baseball legend, Bob Gibson. Although towards the tail end of a Hall of Fame Career, Gibson still had plenty left in the tank and the upper hand on the rookie.
Gibson gave up a run in the first but shut the Phillies out through the next seven. In a pitcher’s battle, Dick Ruthven allowed only a single run through 7.2 innings. With the score tied in the ninth, Gibson retired Greg Luzinski and Bill Robinson on a ground out and fly out. Schmidt came to the plate having already struck out twice in two at-bats. This time Schmidt got the better of Gibson, driving an offering out of the park for a walk-off home run.
The homer was just Schmidt’s second of his career. He struggled throughout the rookie season but showed glimpses of his power potential. Schmidt finished the season with a .196 average with 18 home runs, none of which were more important than the game-winner off Gibson.
8. Final Home Run (May 2, 1989)
Schmidt entered the 1989 season coming off a season in which he hit just 12 home runs in 108 game, largely due to a shoulder injury. He was just a season removed from a 35 home run campaign, so a rebound was expected from Schmidt in 1989, even as he approached 40 years old.
Schmidt was off to a solid start at the plate in 1989, hitting five home runs during April. On May 2, he faced Jim DeShaies of the Astros in the bottom of the first inning. With two outs and a man on, Schmidt drove an 0-1 pitch on the line down the left field line for a home run.
At the time, the home run appeared to be just like any other for Schmidt. However, his hitting slipped and his defense became nearly painful to watch as the month progressed. Seemingly out of nowhere, Schmidt retired in San Diego on May 30, 1989. The home run off Deshaies was his 548th and last of Schmidt’s Hall of Fame career.