Friday, October 30, 2009

Chamionship Walk-Offs

The pinnacle of baseball is winning the World Series. To win it suddenly and dramatically, in front of the home town fans is really something special.

But not so much for the other team. Relatively recently, both the Phillies and Yankees have both been on the losing end of a World Series clinching walk-off. They're feeling pretty good right now, so let's remind them of their epic failures, and the other rare walk-off wins.

2001- Arizona vs. New York - Game 7

The Yankees were trying to heal New York and save America from the terrorists by winning their fourth championship in a row. Except Mariano Rivera, who isn't American. The Yankees were leading 2-1 in the bottom of the ninth, until Rivera gives up three hits, hits a batter and airmails one into centerfield. Luis Gonzalez wins it for Randy Johnson and the Diamondbacks. The Yankees haven't won the World Series since.

1997 - Florida vs. Cleveland - Game 7

The Indians were three outs away from their first title since 1948 when they brought in closer Jose Mesa. He promptly gave up a single to Moises Alou, who later came around on Craig Counsell sac fly, tying the game and sending it to extra innings. In the 11th, Edgar Renteria hit a two-out single up the middle to score Counsell, and the Marlins won. Later, Cleveland shortstop Omar Vizquel called Mesa a choker, and when he looked into his eyes in the ninth inning, Vizquel saw, "nothing." Mesa would go on to drill Vizquel every time he faced him for the rest of his career.

1993 - Philadelphia vs. Toronto - Game 6

The Blue Jays had the Phillies on the ropes, leading the series 3-2 and the game 5-1, in the 6th inning. The Phillies came back with five runs in the seventh, and sent their closer, Mitch Williams to the hill to preserve the one run lead and force a game 7. Joe Carter then smacked a one-out, three-run homer to win it. This event was widely recognized as the point where players, and in turn, all of main-stream America, ceased to sport the mullet.

1991 - Minnesota vs. Atlanta - Game 7

The bat that broke put Dan Gladden on second base with no outs in the bottom of the 10th. Knoblauch sacrifice, intentional walks to Puckett and Hrbek. Cue pinch hitter Gene Larkin. We all know this one. Good job, Jack Morris. Best World Series ever.

1960 - Pittsburgh vs New York - Game 7

After a long back and fourth battle, light-hitting shortstop Bill Mazeroski ends it with a solo shot in the bottom of the 9th. Since it was against the Yankees and not for them, baseball widely forgets it.

1953 - New York vs. Brooklyn - Game 6

The Dodgers escaped elimination by tying the game in the top on the 9th at 3-3. After a lead-off walk in the bottom of the inning, Mickey Mantle hits an infield single (this was 1953) and Billy Martin ends it with a base hit. Sorry Dodgers, but there's always the year after next.

1935 - Detroit vs. Chicago - Game 6

The Cubs lost! What a shock! After Mickey Cochrane scored the winning run, the Tigers probably politely shook hands and went their separate ways.

1929 - Philedelphia A's vs. Chicago - Game 5

The Cubs lose again. This walk-off wasn't particularly exciting, since the Cubs would have lost eventually anyway. Connie Mack wins.

1924 - Minnesota Twins (then called the Washington Senators) vs. New York Giants - Game 7

Tied in the 12th inning with the bases loaded, a sharp ground ball takes a bad hop and Washington D.C. wins it's only title. When the franchise moved to Bloomington in 1961, the good people of Minnesota politely declined the old trophy.


Ethan Spanocrovitch said...

I was at that Senators game, as just a young lad in short pants. Goose Goslin was an immensely popular player then. The sportos, the motorheads, geeks, sluts, bloods, wasteoids, dweebies, dickheads — they all adored him. They considered him a righteous dude.

Anonymous said...

You could probably construct an entire lineup of guys nick-named Moose and Goose. Goose Goslin, Goose Gossage, Moose Skowron, Moose Haas, etc.

Would that be worth doing? Probably not. That's why it would be the perfect post for AH!


Sarah Bellum said...

You guys are so brainy.

bizmarkie507 said...

what's this about Gosalyn Mallard?