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100 Years Of The World Series

October 24, 2003|Houston Mitchell

THE BEST

* 1912, Boston Red Sox 4, New York Giants 3 (one tie)

Game 8, necessary because Game 2 ended in a darkness-induced tie, makes this one special. After nine innings the score was tied, 1-1. The Giants went ahead, 2-1, in the top of the 10th. Boston's leadoff man, pinch-hitter Clyde Engle, lifted a fly ball to center fielder Fred Snodgrass, who dropped the ball, allowing Engle to reach second base. That opened the door to two Red Sox runs. Snodgrass was the anointed goat, and his error would forever be known as "the $30,000 muff," because that was the difference between a winning and losing World Series share for each team.

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* 1926, St. Louis Cardinals 4, New York Yankees 3

In Game 4, Babe Ruth became the first to hit three home runs in a World Series game. In Game 7, Grover Cleveland Alexander struck out Tony Lazzeri with the bases loaded in the seventh and shut down the Yankees the rest of the way in a 3-2 Cardinal victory. The Series ended when, with Lou Gehrig at the plate representing the winning run, Ruth was caught trying to steal second base.

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* 1952, New York Yankees 4, Brooklyn Dodgers 3

From Joe Black, a Dodger rookie who started only two games during the season, winning Game 1, to an 11-inning classic in Game 5, to Billy Martin's Series-saving catch of Jackie Robinson's pop fly, the Series had almost everything.

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* 1955, Brooklyn Dodgers 4, New York Yankees 3

The Dodgers had lost seven World Series, five to the Yankees, but finally broke through, three years before moving to Los Angeles. Sandy Amoros' game-saving catch in Game 7 was the highlight, and Johnny Podres won two games for the Bums.

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* 1960, Pittsburgh Pirates 4, New York Yankees 3

The Yankees outhit the Pirates, 91-60; outscored them, 55-27; outhomered them, 10-4; outpitched them with a composite earned-run average of 3.54 to 7.11, and still lost when Bill Mazeroski hit one of the most famous homers in history leading off the bottom of the ninth inning of Game 7.

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* 1968, Detroit Tigers 4, St. Louis Cardinals 3

It was the year of the pitcher, and the two Cy Young Award winners pitched for World Series teams. The Cardinal ace was Bob Gibson, who went 22-9 with a 1.12 ERA in the regular season. The Tiger staff was led by Denny McLain, who at 31-6 was the first 30-game winner since Dizzy Dean won 30 in 1934. But the star of the Series was paunchy left-hander Mickey Lolich, who won three games. Gibson lost Game 7, but he did set a record with 17 strikeouts in Game 1.

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* 1975, Cincinnati Reds 4, Boston Red Sox 3

Many consider this the best World Series. It had great pitching from Luis Tiant, controversy in the Ed Armbrister-Carlton Fisk play (catcher's interference or not?), unlikely stars such as Bernie Carbo (who tied Game 6 with a pinch-hit, three-run homer in the eighth inning) and star performances such as Carlton Fisk's winning homer in Game 6. And it had one of the best Game 7s ever played, a 4-3 Cincinnati victory.

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* 1986 New York Mets 4, Boston Red Sox 3

Two words: Bill Buckner.

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* 1991 Minnesota Twins 4, Atlanta Braves 3

Games 6 and 7 are what made this Series great. With the score tied, 3-3, in Game 6, Minnesota's Kirby Puckett led off the bottom of the 11th inning with a homer off Charlie Leibrandt, extending the Series. The next game is widely considered to be one of the best Game 7s ever. After nine innings, neither team had scored. In the bottom of the 10th, Dan Gladden led off with a double and went to third on a sacrifice bunt. After two intentional walks, pinch-hitter Gene Larkin drove a ball over a drawn-in outfield, and the Twins were champions. Jack Morris pitched all 10 innings to earn the victory.

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* 2002 Anaheim Angels 4, San Francisco Giants 3

It was the Series of the Rally Monkey and K-Rod. Of mammoth homers from Barry Bonds and Dusty Baker's son almost getting run over at home plate. In one of the greatest comebacks in Series history, the Angels rallied from a 5-0 deficit in the seventh inning of Game 6 to extend the Series to seven games. If only Gene Autry had been alive to see it.

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FIVE THAT JUST MISSED THE CUT

* 1958, New York Yankees 4, Milwaukee Braves 3.

* 1962, New York Yankees 4, San Francisco 3.

* 1971 Pittsburgh 4, Baltimore 3.

* 1993 Toronto 4, Philadelphia 2.

* 2001 Arizona 4, New York

Yankees 3.

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-- Houston Mitchell

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