MLB Playoffs: The 25 Most Memorable Moments in World Series History
One Shining Moment
It’s almost World Series time. It’s been a wild and crazy ride to this point, but we will watch the Detroit Tigers take on the St. Louis Cardinals in a 2006 rematch of the Fall Classic, or the San Francisco Giants in the 2012 World Series. This is the time of the year where heroes are made and legends are born. In fact, just last year, David Freese went from a seemingly unknown third baseman to one of the greatest postseason performers of all-time.
Another great thing about the Fall Classic is the epic games between two teams fighting for a championship. Last year, the Texas Rangers and St. Louis Cardinals played in one of the greatest games in baseball history - - possibly even sports history. The win probability chart of this game looked like someone who had a heart attack. That’s how good this game was.
Last year’s Game 6 was just one of the many memorable World Series moments we have seen in our lives; however, here are 25 other moments that will live on for centuries.
Whether it’s a game, a play, a performance, or an actual series, we have witnessed some amazing things in October. There’s no particular order for this list, seeing as we view these moments from our own bias.
With that being said, here are 25 of the greatest moments in World Series history. I am human, so I’m sure I missed a few.
Tug McGraw Jumps For Joy (1980)
The city of Philadelphia was starved for a World Series championship in 1980, considering they haven’t won in fifty years, and that team was the Philadelphia A’s. Tug McGraw took the mound in Game 6, hoping to lock down the Philadelphia Phillies first championship. And he did just that, striking out Willie Wilson as he jumped for joy.
Rally Monkey! (2002)
2002 Los Angeles Angels: The Year of the Rally Monkey. The San Francisco Giants were leading 5-0 heading into the bottom of the 7th inning, seemingly a matter of minutes away from their first championship in decades; however, the Rally Monkey had different ideas. Thanks to the efforts from Scott Spiezio and Troy Glaus, the Angels scored three runs in the 7th and 8th innings, winning the game 6-5. They won the pivotal Game 7 4-1, earning their first championship in franchise history.
For Liberty And Justice For All (1995)
David Justice was one of the better sluggers the Atlanta Braves had at the time, but was struggling mightily in the postseason. For that reason, Justice was hearing it from the rowdy Fulton-Count crowd. With the game in a scoreless tie in the bottom of the 6th inning, Justice corked a Jim Poole offering into the stands, giving the Braves the only run they needed en route to their only championship out of all those teams that made the playoffs. It should also be noted that Tom Glavine threw a 1-hitter for 8 innings.
A Shoe-In (1969)
Cleon Jones was a pretty good player for the New York Mets in the 1960s, but his biggest claim to fame was his shiny shoes. In the Mets’ clincher, Jones was hit by a Dave McNally pitch, but the home plate umpire ruled the ball hit the dirt. That prompted manager Gil Hodges to argue with home plate umpire Lou DiMuro, in which Hodges showed that shoe polish was on the ball. With this evidence, DiMuro awarded Jones first base, and was later brought home on a two-run homer by series MVP Donn Clendenon.
Pods Walks It Off (2005)
It was hard for me not to have one Chicago White Sox related thing on this list, so what is better than Scott Podsednik hitting a walk-off homer? What makes this home run so remarkable is the fact Podsednik had zero home runs in the regular season, yet he made an example out of Brad Lidge.
Weekend at Bernie's (1975)
Similar to Dock Ellis throwing a no-hitter on LSD, Bernie Carbo hit one of the most memorable home runs in World Series history stoned out of his mind. This is from the man himself: "I probably smoked two joints, drank about three or four beers, got to the ballpark, took some [amphetamines], took a pain pill, drank a cup of coffee, chewed some tobacco, had a cigarette, and got up to the plate and hit,''
Edgar Renteria Breaks Cleveland's Heart (1997)
I remember a lot of this World Series because I actually went to Game 5 in Cleveland. I remember staying up late in my room watching Edgar Renteria walk it off, feeling a little sad for the Cleveland Indians at the time. But then I realized I just witnesses history. There’s nothing better than a walk-off World Championship.
The Entire 2001 World Series
I could probably write a 2,000 word paper on the 2001 World Series, so just watch the video instead.
The King (1995)
Jim Leyritz was Raul Ibanez before Raul Ibanez. Leyritz was never a great player, let alone a good one, yet he always came up clutch for the Yankees in the playoffs. In Game 5 of the 1996 World Series, Leyritz went deep off of Mark Wohlers, giving the Yankees the lead in a game they were trailing by six runs at one point. The Yankees went on to win the next two games, winning the World Series in six games.
Bloody Domination (2004)
Even if his bloody sock was a hoax, Curt Schilling’s efforts in the 2004 postseason were miraculous. After beating the Yankees in Game 6 in the ALCS, Schilling took the mound in Game 2, still struggling with the torn tendon in his ankle. Although Schilling was in extreme pain, he battled his way through, defeating the Cardinals 6-2.
Babe Ruth Calls It Maybe (1932)
Babe Ruth’s career in baseball is so amazing I almost forget it’s real sometimes. This alleged called shot against the Cubs in the 1932 World Series only adds to his legend. Do we know for sure if he did it? No. But does it really matter?
Sandy Amoros Saves The World Series (1955)
I can’t even imagine how crazy the atmosphere had to be during Brooklyn Dodgers-New York Yankees World Series, which makes Sandy Amoros’ amazing grab all the more amazing. With the Yankees threatening, Amoros made a terrific catch down the line, robbing Yogi Berra of a potential game-tying double. Not only was the catch great, but Amoros and company turned into a double play, all but clinching the Game 7 for the Dodgers.
Brooks Robinson Has Range (1970)
Just watch in awe.
Kirby Forces Game 7 (1991)
Just like Puckett’s teammate single-handedly won a game during this World Series (more on that later), he basically won Game 6 all by himself. Not only did he make one of the most spectacular catches in World Series history this game, but he hit a walk-off homer to force a Game 7.
The Legend of the Basket Catch (1954)
It’s the standard for all amazing catches. When Willie Mays broke back on a Vic Wertz drive to centerfield, he did the unthinkable by catching it on a dead run. What makes the catch even better is Mays immediately turned around, threw it to first, doubling up the runner. Prior to 2010, this was the last time the franchise won the World Series.
You Blew It! (1985)
As I pointed out in my worst officiating decisions in sports list, this is the Godfather of blown calls. It’s not often a blown call changes an entire series, but Don Denkinger’s safe call did just that. Denkinger called Jorge Orta safe in Game 6 to extend the game an eventual Royals’ winner, yet Orta was out by a country mile. Unfortunately, I can't find any video of the call, so the radio call will have to do.
I can’t even imagine how shocking this had to be live. The “Earthquake Series” is something that will live on for centuries due to its random, terrifying nature. Fortunately, no one died in the stadium during the earthquake; although, forty-two people were killed in the area.
Fisk Waives It Fair (1976)
The 1975 World Series is right up there as one of the best Series of all-time. The Cincinnati Reds were in the midst of the “Big Red Machine” and the Boston Red Sox were still trying to move past the “curse of the Bambino”. As you saw earlier, the game was tied in the late innings thanks to Bernie Carbo’s blast, setting the stage for Carlton Fisk’s epic walk-off home run that he helped waive fair.
Once, Twice, Three Times A Jackson (1977)
Reggie Jackson said hitting was better than sex in 1978. I guess when you crush three homers off of three pitches in the World Series that could compete with sex.
Jack Morris (1991)
Remember how I mentioned Puckett’s teammate earlier? Well, here we are. Jack Morris’ 10-inning shutout is one of the greatest performances in baseball history. Heck, it might be one of the greatest performances in sports history. Like I’ve said previously, people want Morris in the Hall of Fame on this game alone.
"I Don't Believe What I Just Saw" (1988)
This is where this list gets really tricky. I honestly feel you can interchange these five in any order and it would still make sense. With that said, Kirk Gibson’s pinch-hit home run off of Dennis Eckersley is proof of perseverance. Gibson could hardly walk up to the dish, yet he uncorks a bomb off of one of the greatest relievers ever. Simply amazing.
Bill Buckner Has Issues (1986)
How many times have you randomly said “and it gets through Buckner” in your life? Maybe I’m the only one, but whenever I see a person named Bucker, I think of that call. It’s easily the most recognizable gaffe in sports, yet it’s also the most misunderstood. Yes, Buckner booted the ball, but what a lot of people don’t know is the Red Sox blew a huge lead before that happened; they also blew Game 7 as well. Bill Buckner was an unwarranted scapegoat.
O, Canada! (1993)
It’s good to see Joe Carter improved on his career totals against Mitch Williams. This is the moment you fantasize about as a kid, winning the World Series from a home run. Joe Carter lived the dream all baseball fans have had. Only one other man knows what that feels like…
Mazeroski Wins It (1960)
Here’s that other man references in the last slide. The New York Yankees outscored the Pittsburgh Pirates 55-27 in the 1960 World Series; however, the Pirates won the seven-game series in dramatic fashion. Bill Mazeroski deposited a Ralph Terry pitch over the left field wall, turning the city of Pittsburgh into pandemonium.
It’s a perfect game! In the World Series! How could anything else be number one?