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‘Pronk’ you very much! Indians’ Hafner hits game-ending slam

Even a hardened cynic from a rival, one who had to live through the Cleveland Indians dominance of the AL Central from the middle '90s to the early 2000s, should have felt goosebumps watching Travis Hafner(notes) on Thursday night.

Hafner electrified the crowd at Progressive Field by hitting a game-ending grand slam in the bottom of the ninth inning that sent the Tribe to a stunning 5-4 victory against the Toronto Blue Jays.

Left-hander Luis Perez(notes) wants back the only pitch he threw to Hafner:

Watch the slugger slug

Just like Albert Belle, Jim Thome(notes) and Manny Ramirez(notes) back in the day. If the triple is baseball's most exciting play artistically, a game-winning grand slam is its equal in substance.

And, although some consider the athlete's postgame interview redundant and unnecessary, if not vacant and without any value, I'd still like to hear how Hafner feels about his good deed:

"It's awesome, there's nothing like it," Hafner said of the feeling he had. "It's the most fun you can have on a baseball field.

"That's as hard as I can hit it," Hafner said of his 12th career slam.

The Blue Jays, who had squandered a 4-0 lead heading to the ninth, couldn't believe what had happened. Manager John Farrell called it "a gut-wrenching loss." Reliever Frank Francisco(notes), who lighted the fire by putting way too many people on base, used less tact.

From the Twitter account of reporter John Perrotto:

#BlueJays' Frank Francisco makes real class move. Asks reporters if they want to talk to him. They say yes and he tells them to f*** off.

At least he didn't throw his chair at them.

And some people think postgame quotes are trash? That was gold right there!

But this moment was for the Indians, who continue to maintain an unexpected lead in the division into the second week of July. And it was another positive contribution for Hafner, who seemed to be drifting out of the league in recent seasons because of recurring health woes.

In 173 plate appearances this season, the man called Bill Selby dubbed "Pronk" (half prospect, half donkey) is batting .347/.428/.567 with eight homers.

And here's a fun coincidence: Hafner's game-ending slam was the Tribe's second this season (see also: Carlos Santana(notes)). The previous time they hit two winning slams in a season: 2002, when Thome and Selby did it.

Pronk power's on!

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