MLB: Top 10 World Series Batting Performances of All Time
The Importance of World Series Displays
Unlike most other major sports, the game of baseball is almost as popular for its history as anything that is actually going on presently. After all, every kid in baseball knows who Hank Aaron and Babe Ruth are, despite the fact that neither has played in at least 37 years. In fact, it would not be a stretch to say that historical figures within the game are more popular and well known than even the biggest figures in the game today, including Derek Jeter, Miguel Cabrera or Mike Trout.
Of course, there can be downfalls to relying on history so much -- the Steroid Era did not look good for MLB -- but ultimately the game's history helps to grow the allure of the game to children around the world. This allure has been played out on little league diamonds around the globe as kids play baseball until dusk with every pitch feeling like it is coming in the biggest moments of the World Series.
The basis for these moments being played out comes from real batting displays throughout the history of baseball which have almost brought time to a standstill, leaving a permanent image in the heads of fans. No other sport can claim to even approach the nostalgia that baseball brings to people around the world, and this value of history is what begins to make baseball the best sport in the world.
With this in mind -- and the 2013 World Series due to start on Wednesday -- I have compiled a list of the top 10 performances in the world series in the history of MLB.
10. Albert Pujols 2011
Albert Pujols absolutely tore apart the Texas Rangers' pitchers during the 2011 World Series as he helped lead the St. Louis Cardinals to a series victory during his last games with the team. Pujols put up a statistical line of .240/.424/.640 with one double, three home runs, six RBIs and eight runs scored. This display included a three-HR performance in Game 3 which put Pujols into the same category of postseason players as Reggie Jackson, although his overall series contributions keep him from reaching higher on this list.
9. Kirby Puckett 1991
Despite only putting up a statistical line of .250/.367/.583 with two home runs and four RBIs in the 1991 World Series, Kirby Puckett makes this list because of clutch performance. Prior to Game 6 of the series, Puckett told his Minnesota Twins teammates to get on his back as he led the team to victory before hitting a walk-off home run that same night. This type of performance put Puckett down in baseball lore, along with his 1991 World Series batting performance.
8. Pablo Sandoval 2012
San Francisco Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval absolutely tore the cover off the baseball through a four-game sweep of the Detroit Tigers during the 2012 World Series. Sandoval compiled a statistical line of .500/.529/1.125 with eight hits, one double, three home runs, four RBIs and three runs scored on his way to winning the series MVP. Sandoval was an absolute beast in the 2012 World Series, and is only held back from ranking higher on this list because the Giants swept the series.
7. Billy Hatcher 1990
In what turned out to be a highlight of his career Cincinnati Reds outfielder Billy Hatcher had a World Series to remember in 1990. Hatcher put up a statistical line of .750/.800/1.250 with nine hits and six runs scored over a four-game sweep of the Oakland Athletics as he entered the record books.
6. Wilie Stargell 1979
During the 1979 World Series, Willie Stargell put on an absolute show, compiling a statistical line of .400/.375/.833 with 12 hits, three home runs, seven RBIs and seven runs scored. This display helped lead the Pittsburgh Pirates to a seven-game victory over the Baltimore Orioles and gained Stargell entry onto this list.
5. Johnny Bench 1976
Johnny Bench made up for a down year in the regular season with an all-world performance in the 1976 World Series for the Cincinnati Reds. Over a four-game sweep of the New York Yankees, the Hall of Fame catcher put up a statistical line of .533/.533/1.133 with eight hits, two home runs, six RBIs and four runs scored. This output would earn Bench the MVP Award for the series and further cement his reputation as one of the best players in MLB.
4. Babe Ruth 1928
New York Yankees slugger Babe Ruth took the world by storm during the 1928 World Series in what turned out to be the best season of his illustrious career. Ruth put up a statistical line of .625/.647/1.375 with 10 hits, three home runs, four RBIs and nine runs scored as the Yankees completed a four-game sweep of the St. Louis Cardinals. And of course, it wouldn't be a complete historical baseball list without the Sultan of Swat.
3. Paul Molitor 1993
After not winning a World Series prior to the 1993 season at the age of 36, it was no surprise when Paul Molitor caught fire during the series. In what turned out to be a great six-game series victory for the Toronto Blue Jays and Molitor, the star hitter compiled a statistical line of .500/.571/1.000 with 12 hits, two doubles, two triples, two home runs, eight RBIs and 10 runs scored.
2. Reggie Jackson 1977
In a performance that earned him the moniker of Mr. October, Reggie Jackson put up a nearly unmatchable display as the New York Yankees beat the Los Angeles Dodgers during the 1977 World Series. Over the six-game series, Jackson compiled a statistical line of .462/.529/1.000 with nine hits, five home runs, eight RBIs and 10 runs scored. This series would forever change baseball history and establish Jackson as arguably the best postseason hitter ever.
1.Hideki Matsui 2009
Despite being limited to a role as the New York Yankees' designated hitter because of knee issues, Hideki Matsui put together an offensive performance that will live on forever during the 2009 World Series. Over six games, Matsui compiled a statistical line of .615/.643/1.385 with three home runs and eight RBIs as he went on to win the series MVP Award. The performance marked Matsui's last days with the Yankees, and was arguably the best performance in World Series history.
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