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100 Years of the World Series

October 18, 2003|Houston Mitchell


A selection of some of the most memorable moments in World Series history, in chronological order:

* 1926, Game 7, St. Louis vs. New York Yankees, Grover Cleveland Alexander strikes out Tony Lazzeri

The Cardinals led, 3-2, in the seventh, but the Yankees loaded the bases with two out. Player-manager Rogers Hornsby summoned Alexander -- who won Games 2 and 6 -- from the bullpen, and Alexander struck out Lazzeri to end the threat. Alexander held the Yankees scoreless in the eighth and ninth, and the Series ended when Babe Ruth was caught trying to steal second base with two out and Lou Gehrig at the plate. Some say Alexander had a hangover from celebrating his Game 6 win, but Alexander denied it. To read Alexander's own account of that game, go to:

* 1929, Game 4, Philadelphia A's vs. Chicago Cubs, A's rally from 8-0 deficit

It is still the biggest comeback in Series history. After 7 1/2 innings, the Cubs were cruising with an 8-0 lead. One out, two lost balls in the sun and 13 batters later, the Cubs trailed, 10-8. The A's won the game, and won the Series in five games.

* 1946, Game 7, St. Louis vs. Boston, Enos Slaughter races home from first

For The Record
Los Angeles Times Tuesday October 21, 2003 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 2 National Desk 1 inches; 36 words Type of Material: Correction
World Series -- The Boston Red Sox's opponent in the 1975 World Series was incorrectly identified as the New York Yankees in a Sports article Saturday about memorable Series moments. The Sox played the Cincinnati Reds.

With the score tied, 3-3, with two out in the bottom of the eighth, Slaughter scored from first on a double by Harry Walker. Slaughter was running on the pitch and never hesitated, even running through a stop sign put up by the third base coach.

* 1947, Game 4, Brooklyn vs. New York Yankees, Cookie Lavagetto's double ends Bill Bevens' no-hitter in ninth

After eight innings, Yankee starter Bevens was working on a no-hitter, though the Yankees led only 2-1 because the Dodgers scored in the fifth on two walks and a fielder's choice. In the bottom of the ninth, Bevens retired Bruce Edwards on a long fly, walked Carl Furillo and got Spider Jorgensen to foul out. After pinch-runner Al Gionfriddo stole second, Pete Reiser was intentionally walked and replaced by pinch-runner Eddie Miksis. Then Lavagetto, pinch-hitting for Eddie Stanky, got Brooklyn's first hit, a double off the right-field wall that drove in two, ending Bevens' no-hit bid and the game. Bevens and Lavagetto never played in the majors again after this Series ended.

* 1956, Game 5, New York Yankees vs. Brooklyn, Don Larsen's perfect game

Larsen is probably the last Yankee pitcher you would have predicted to pitch a perfect game, but he did, and is still the only one to throw a no-hitter in a World Series game.

* 1960, Game 7, Pittsburgh vs. New York Yankees, Bill Mazeroski's home run

One of only two homers to end a Series and the only one to come in Game 7, Pittsburgh second baseman Mazeroski's blast over the left-field wall gave the Pirates a 10-9 victory over the Yankees and their first Series title in 35 years. Almost every kid who wants to play baseball dreams of hitting the Game 7, Series-winning homer in the bottom of the ninth. Mazeroski is the only person to do it.

* 1975, Game 6, Boston vs. New York Yankees, Carlton Fisk's home run

Who can forget Fisk waving, almost pleading, the ball fair. The homer, which hit the foul pole, gave Boston a 12-inning victory. Some -- including Pete Rose -- consider this the greatest game ever played. And there is an outstanding scene about Fisk's homer in the movie "Good Will Hunting."

* 1977, Game 6, New York Yankees vs. Dodgers, Reggie Jackson's three-homer game

Three swings, three homers and "Mr. October" was born. Each homer went a little farther than the previous, and forever etched the names Burt Hooton, Elias Sosa and Charlie Hough into Dodger lore.

* 1978, Game 2, Dodgers vs. New York Yankees, Bob Welch strikes out Reggie Jackson

With the Dodgers leading, 4-3, with two on and two out in the ninth, Jackson came to the plate to face the Dodger rookie. It was a classic case of an out-to-prove-himself kid against a proven veteran. Welch really only had one pitch at the time, a fastball. And Jackson was a fastball hitter. With the Dodger Stadium crowd roaring after every pitch, the count went to 3-and-2. Jackson, who had fouled off three two-strike pitches to get to the full count, then swung mightily -- and struck out.

* 1986, Game 6, Boston vs. New York Mets, Bill Buckner's error

This moment tarnished a fine career by Buckner, who was unfairly blamed for the loss. Boston led, 5-3, to start the bottom of the 10th. With two out, the Mets scored a run on three consecutive singles and tied the score on a wild pitch by Bob Stanley. Then Mookie Wilson hit a grounder to first that went between Buckner's legs while Ray Knight scored the winning run. But even if Buckner fielded the ball cleanly, Wilson would have been safe at first. And even if Buckner had got the out, the Mets could have won in a later inning.

* 1988, Game 1, Dodgers vs. Oakland, Kirk Gibson's home run

Jack Buck said it best: "I don't believe what I just saw." In a moment that was voted the greatest in L.A. sports history, Gibson limped up to the plate and hit a pinch-hit homer off A's closer Dennis Eckersley to win the Series opener and set the tone for the Dodgers' five-game upset of Oakland.

* 1993, Game 6, Toronto vs. Philadelphia, Joe Carter's homer

Trailing, 6-5, with one out and two on in the bottom of the ninth, Carter blasted a 2-and-2 pitch over the left-field fence, and the Blue Jays were World Series champions for the second year in a row.


-- Houston Mitchell

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