The resurgence of the Cleveland Indians might have had its breakthrough moment on July 16, 1995, when the Indians staked their claim as the rally kings of the decade.
The Indians and Athletics battled through 11 innings at Jacobs Field until Oakland scratched out a run in the top of the 12th for a 4-3 lead. On came Dennis Eckersley, Oakland's now-hall-of-fame closer.
Cleveland managed a baserunner before getting two outs. Manny Ramirez stepped to the plate as the Tribe's last hope and proceeded to foul off a number of pitches against Eckersley.
He was looking for a pitch he could drive. Eck eventually served one up.
Manny made it count.
The ball went about as high as it did far, eventually landing deep in the left-field bleachers, the thunderbolt that delivered the Indians to a 5-4 win.
As he walked off the mound, Eckersley mouthed the word "wow," making no attempt to hide his amazement at how far the ball traveled.
If the Indians and Ramirez hadn't arrived prior to then, they certainly had when that ball reached the fans.
Albert Belle had his own encore two days later against the Angels' Lee Smith, depositing a walk-off grand slam into the center field picnic plaza at Jacobs Field for a 7-5 win. Smith later said the ball landed "in the barbecue."
(Personal side note: I went to the game on July 17 that year, an 8-3 loss to the Angels started by then-rookie Chad Ogea. So, one step away from history on both sides, I went to the dud game sandwiched between two of the most memorable finishes of a memorable season. Such is life.)