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20 Moments from 2017

The 20th season of Memphis Redbirds baseball was one for the record books! Here is a look back on 20 spectacular moments from the 2017 season! (in chronological order)

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1. The Cardinals Visit Memphis for "Battle of the Birds" (3/30) »

Photo Galleries: The Game | St. Jude Visit

The 2017 season began with a visit from the St. Louis Cardinals for a "Battle of the Birds" exhibition game at AutoZone Park March 30. The Cardinals scored five runs in the first inning, two more in the second and another in the third to open an 8-0 lead after two-and-a-half frames. Jhonny Peralta and Yadier Molina hit back-to-back home runs in the first, Aledmys Diaz added one in the second, and Jedd Gyorko blasted one out in the third to account for most of the offense on the night. As part of their trip to Memphis, the club visited St. Jude Children's Hospital earlier in the day to meet patients and families and spread some cheer.

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2. Stubby Wins His First Game as Manager (4/6) »

Stubby Clapp earned his first win as Redbirds manager in thrilling fashion, as Patrick Wisdom took an 0-2 pitch deep to left field to give the Redbirds a 5-4 win in 13 innings in the season opener at New Orleans April 6. Ryan Sherriff took the mound in the bottom of the 13th and allowed a single and a wild pitch, but he got two flyouts and a lineout to seal the Memphis win.

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3. Pham's Walk-Off Single Beats Oklahoma City (4/17) »

Tommy Pham hit a walk-off single in the bottom of the 11th inning to defeat Oklahoma City on April 17, which was one of 25 last at-bat wins for the Redbirds on the season. Pham entered the game as part of a double switch in the top of the ninth, and he knocked in Wilfredo Tovar in the 11th to give the Redbirds a 4-3 win over the Dodgers.

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4. Wisdom/Bader/DeJong Go Back-to-Back-to-Back (4/30) »

Patrick Wisdom, Harrison Bader, and Paul DeJong hit back-to-back-to-back home runs in the seventh inning against Round Rock April 30, marking the first time the Redbirds hit three-straight bombs in a game since Troy Glaus, Allen Craig, Mark Hamilton, and Daniel Descalso did it at Round Rock on Aug. 24, 2009. DeJong hit a pair of home runs in the game, which was an 11-7 Redbirds win.

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5. Redbirds Extend Winning Streak to 11-Straight (5/8) »

The Redbirds scored 13 runs over their final three at-bats May 8 at Iowa, including eight in the ninth inning highlighted by a Patrick Wisdom grand slam, to extend their franchise-record winning streak to 11 games. The Redbirds trailed the Cubs 8-2 after six innings, before scoring three in the seventh, two in the eighth, and eight in the ninth to spur a 15-9 victory. Wisdom hit two home runs in the game, and Todd Cunningham, Harrison Bader, and Carson Kelly all had three hits apiece.

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6. Grichuk Hits Walk-Off Single in First Game with Memphis (6/9) »

In his first game of the season with the Redbirds, Randal Grichuk provided the 10th-inning heroics with a walk-off single to deep center field June 9 against Nashville. Grichuk ended up playing 14 games with the Redbirds and hit six home runs, and he ended his time on an eight-game hitting streak. Two days later, Breyvic Valera had a walk-off single of his own against the Sounds.

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7. Record Crowd Celebrates Independence Day (7/3) »

An AutoZone Park record crowd of 11,076 was treated to a 4-1 Redbirds win over New Orleans during the Independence Day Celebration. The crowd was the largest at AutoZone Park since the stadium renovations prior to the 2015 season. This game, and two other crowds larger than 10,000, helped the club see its average home attendance rise by nearly eight percent in 2017, marking the second-straight season of attendance growth at the downtown ballpark.

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8. Birthday Boy Kelly Beats Round Rock with Walk-Off Single (7/14) »

Down 1-0 in the bottom of the eighth, the Redbirds got a lead-off home run by Alex Mejia in the home-half of the eighth and then a walk-off single by birthday boy Carson Kelly in the bottom of the ninth to take a 2-1 win over Round Rock July 14. The win was Memphis' 12th in its last 14 games and 12th of the season when trailing in the seventh inning or later.

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9. Martini Hits Walk-Off Home Run against Round Rock (7/16) »

Nick Martini hit a walk-off home run leading off the bottom of the ninth inning to give the Redbirds a 2-1 win over Round Rock July 16. It was Memphis' second walk-off win over the Express in three games, after Carson Kelly's walk-off single two nights prior. The Redbirds trailed 1-0 heading into the eighth inning for the second time in three games as well, before coming back to win in walk-off fashion.

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10. Redbirds Finish 22-6 Month of July (7/31) »

With a win at Reno July 31 the Redbirds finished the month of July with a 22-6 record, which is a new franchise record for best month of baseball. Memphis' previous best month came in Aug. 1998, when the club went 21-9. The best July before this one was a 20-9 mark in 2014. At the end of July, the Redbirds had a 71-37 record.

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11. The Redbirds Clinch the Division (8/13) »

With a 12-7 win at Nashville Aug. 13, the Redbirds clinched the American Southern Division title with 21 games left to play in the regular season. The playoff trip is Memphis' fifth in franchise history, alongside 2000, 2009, 2010, and 2014. To help secure the championship, Alex Mejia was 4-for-6 with three RBI and two runs scored, and Rangel Ravelo and Patrick Wisdom each had three hits. All of Wisdom's hits were doubles, and he drove in two runs. Ravelo homered, as did Tyler O'Neill. Memphis had eight extra-base hits in the game.

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12. Memphis Sets a Franchise Record for Wins (8/21) »

The Redbirds won their 84th game of the season Aug. 21, which set a franchise record for most victories in a year. The 84 wins eclipsed the 2000 club's 83 victories for the high-water mark. Patrick Wisdom drove in four of Memphis' five runs in the win, and Jack Flaherty allowed one run on six hits in 7.0 innings of work.

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13. Wisdom Named All-Pacific Coast League (8/28) »

Patrick Wisdom became the first Redbird since 2013 to earn All-Pacific Coast League honors when he earned the recognition Aug. 28. League managers and media representatives voted him the league's best third baseman in 2017, and he finished the season with 31 home runs, which ranked fourth in the PCL and is tied for fifth-most in a single season in Redbirds history.

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14. Clapp Becomes the Redbirds' First Manager of the Year (8/29) »

First-year Redbirds manager Stubby Clapp became the first Redbirds skipper to be named the Pacific Coast League Manager of the Year when he was selected for the honor by his fellow managers and media representatives Aug. 29. Overall, Clapp piloted the Redbirds to 97 wins in 2017 and their first PCL title since 2009, and the club set a franchise record for team ERA, matched a franchise mark for fielding percentage, and put together its third-best batting average. All the while, Memphis used 62 different players including 14 making their Triple-A debuts.

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15. Wisdom Slugs 30th Home Run of Season (8/30) »

With his 30th home run of the season Aug. 30, Patrick Wisdom became the first Redbird since Josh Phelps in 2008 to reach the 30 home run plateau in a single season. His fifth-inning bomb against Iowa made him the seventh Redbird in 20 seasons to swat 30 homers, and he ended the year with 31, which is tied for fifth-most in a season.

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16. Regular Season Win No. 90 (9/3) »

The Redbirds became the first team in the Pacific Coast League to win 90 games in the regular season since Tucson in 2006 with a 15-7 win over Colorado Springs Sept. 3. Tyler O'Neill, Nick Martini, and Wilfredo Tovar all homered in the game, and O'Neill finished with five RBI, becoming the first Redbird to drive in five since Patrick Wisdom on May 8 at Iowa. Martini drove in four, matching a season high also reached July 21 against Las Vegas, and Tovar ended with three RBI.

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17. Poncedeleon Returns to the Redbirds (9/6) »

Prior to Game 1 of the Pacific Coast League Playoffs Sept. 6, Daniel Poncedeleon returned to his teammates and threw out a ceremonial first pitch to begin postseason action. Poncedeleon was struck in the head by a line drive while pitching at Iowa May 9.

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18. The Redbirds Win the Conference on Martini's Catch (9/10) »

Sealed with Nick Martini's sprawling catch at the wall, the Redbirds won the Pacific Coast League American Conference with a 13-10 win at Colorado Springs Sept. 10. The Redbirds hit three first-inning home runs to set the tone. Tyler O'Neill went deep for the third time in the series, followed by Adolis Garcia for the second time, and then Patrick Wisdom's first blast of the set. Memphis scored two runs in the eighth inning and led 13-6 into the bottom of the ninth, which proved important as the Sky Sox scored four times before the game arrived at its final score of 13-10 and Memphis was off to the PCL Finals.

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19. Herget Fans 15, Garcia Walks Off in PCL Finals Game 2 (9/14) »

Game 2 of the Pacific Coast League Championship Series Sept. 14 was one for the ages, as Kevin Herget struck out 15 El Paso Chihuahuas in the start, one shy of the franchise record, and Adolis Garcia won the game with a two-run walk-off home run in the bottom of the 11th inning. With the victory, Memphis' 50th at AutoZone Park during the 2017 season, the Redbirds took a 2-0 lead over El Paso in the best-of-five title series and improved to 13-0 in extra-inning games.

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20. The Redbirds Are Pacific Coast League Champions (9/17) »

The Redbirds were crowned champions of the Pacific Coast League after a 3-1 win over El Paso in the decisive Game 5 of the series. Playoff Most Valuable Player Patrick Wisdom hit a two-run home run to open the scoring and then made a key diving catch in the eighth inning, and the Redbirds captured their third league title (2000, 2009).

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