2012 World Series: Ranking the 10 Greatest Comebacks in Fall Classic History
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With the 2012 World Series complete, it's time to take a look back at teams that did come back from huge deficits.
The Detroit Tigers were down 3-0 entering Game 4 and played a competitive game against the San Francisco Giants. However, the Giants weren't going to be denied of their second World Series in three years.
While coming back from a 3-0 deficit in any playoff series in nearly impossible, it's been done before.
But it wasn't to be, leaving many to wonder if the Tigers had come back and won the series, would it have ranked as the best comeback of all time?
We'll never get to find out. But here are 10 of the greatest comebacks in World Series history.
10. 1925 World Series
The 1925 World Series ranks in the top 10 simply because of who the Pittsburgh Pirates did it against.
The Washington Senators were the defending world champions and were again playing for the title in 1925.
After jumping out a 3-1 series lead, it looked as if the Senators would repeat as champions.
However, the Pirates wouldn't have any of it.
In Game 5, the Pirates scored four runs in the last three innings to earn the come-from-behind victory. In Game 6 all the runs were scored by the fifth inning, leaving the pitchers to hold down the fort.
In Game 7, Walter Johnson took the hill for the Senators and had already won two games in the series, holding the Pirates to one run total.
But, Game 7 wouldn't be the same as the Pirates scored nine runs off Johnson. The final blow came in the bottom of the eighth when the Pirates scored three runs off Johnson to take the lead, 9-7.
Red Oldham held on for the save in the top of the ninth, giving the Pirates the series win.
9. 2001 World Series: Game 7
Arizona fans will always remember Game 7 of the 2001 series.
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Every player dreams of coming up in the bottom of the ninth of a World Series Game 7 with a chance to win the game.
Arizona Diamondbacks outfielder Luis Gonzalez got to live that dream against the Yankees in the 2001 World Series.
With one out and the bases loaded, Gonzalez delivered with a game-winning single to center.
The Diamondbacks entered the inning down by one run and were able to tie the score on Tony Womack's double to right field.
While it was just a one-run comeback, one must remember the Yankees were carrying a payroll of $110 million, while the Diamondbacks were carrying an $81 million payroll.
8. 1979 World Series
The 1979 World Series was another tight contest series, but the Baltimore Orioles took a 3-1 lead into Game 5 over the Pirates.
Pittsburgh scored its seven runs in the sixth, seventh and eighth innings to take Game 5, 7-1. Bill Madlock went 4-for-4 in the game and Tim Foli had three RBI to lead the Pirates to the win.
Game 6 saw Pittsburgh starter John Candelaria hold the Orioles in check.
The Pirates again scored in the late innings, scoring two in the seventh on an RBI single by Dave Parker and an RBI sac fly by Willie Stargell. Pittsburgh added two runs in the eighth to take a 4-0 lead, holding down the Orioles the rest of the way for the win.
In Game 7, it was all about Stargell, who went 4-for-5 with a single, two doubles and a two-run home run to give the Pirates a 4-1 win. The four runs came again in the sixth inning or later.
For the series, Pittsburgh scored 21 of 32 runs in the final four innings.
7. 2002 World Series: Game 6
The Angels were down 5-0 in Game 6.
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Down 3-2 in the 2002 World Series and 5-0 in Game 6, the Anaheim Angels completed an improbable comeback against the Giants.
In the bottom of the seventh, Scott Spiezio hit a three-run home to give the Angels life.
The eighth inning saw the Angels take the lead by scoring three more runs, this time multiple guys got in on the action. Darin Erstad led off the inning with a home run, followed by singles by Tim Salmon and Garret Anderson.
Troy Glaus came up next and slugged a double off closer Robb Nen, giving the Angels a 6-5 lead.
Troy Percival closed the door in the ninth on the Giants, forcing a Game 7, which the Angels would win, 4-1.
6. 1985 World Series
There were no real blowouts in the first four games that caused the Kansas City Royals to get down 3-1 in the 1985 World Series. But the St. Louis Cardinals did things just a little bit better to jump out to that lead.
Game 5 saw the Royals repeat Game 3's 6-1 win, scoring three runs in the second inning to move the series back to Kansas City.
In Game 6, the Royals were down 1-0 heading into the bottom of the ninth. In that inning, the Royals would use a little luck to get the win.
Jorge Orta hit a grounder to first and was called safe on a race to the bag with pitcher Todd Worrell. Steve Balboni then singled, with a bunt forcing Orta out at third on the next play.
A passed ball moved runners to second and third. Whitey Herzog chose to walk pinch-hitter Hal McRae to set up the double play, but in the end it wouldn't happen.
Dane Iorg hit a bloop single to right field, allowing Onix Concepcion to score. Andy Van Slyke's throw from the outfield was on target to get Jim Sundberg, but Sundberg avoided the tag to score the winning run.
Game 7 was no contest as Bret Saberhagen tossed a five-hitter in the Royals 11-0 win.
5. 1975 World Series: Game 6
Even though the Boston Red Sox win in Game 6 of the 1975 World Series didn't propel them to the title, it still provided a lasting image.
But, let's set up the scene first.
The Red Sox trailed the Cincinnati Reds 6-3 heading to the bottom of the eighth.
Bernie Carbo, a former first-round draft pick of the Reds, came up for the Red Sox and knocked a three-run homer with two outs to tie the game at 6-6.
Neither team did anything the next three innings, moving the game into the 12th.
The Reds got runners on first and second with one out in the 12th, but the runners were left stranded.
Then, in the bottom half of the inning, Carlton Fisk hit a ball down the left-field line. The iconic image shows Fisk trying to wave it fair, which is where it ultimately landed, giving the Red Sox the win.
However, that magic wouldn't carry over to Game 7, as the Reds got a ninth-inning run to take the win and the series.
4. 1958 World Series
The 1958 World Series was another series in which a team came back from a 3-1 series deficit.
This time, it was the New York Yankees coming back against the Milwaukee Braves.
The Braves were coming off a 1957 title and were again doing well, outscoring the Yankees 20-12 through the first four games.
Then the Yankees put six runs on the board in the sixth inning of Game 5, easily winning and moving the series back to Milwaukee.
Game 6 went to extra innings with the Yankees scoring two runs in the top of the 10th. The runs came via a solo home run by Gil McDougald and an RBI single by Moose Skowron.
The Braves scored a run in the bottom of the 10th, put cutting push another run across to tie the score.
In Game 7, the Yankees scored four runs off Lew Burdette in the top of the eighth to help earn the 6-2 win.
3. 1929 World Series: Game 4
The 1929 World Series featured two powerful teams in the Chicago Cubs and Philadelphia Athletics.
Down 2-1 in the series, the Cubs jumped out quickly on the A's, taking an 8-0 lead after the top of the seventh.
However, in the bottom half of the inning, the A's put up 10 runs for one of the largest single-innings in World Series history.
Al Simmons homered to start the inning with Jimmie Foxx and Bing Miller following with singles. Jimmy Dykes and Joe Boley each followed with RBI singles to bring the score to 8-3.
After a pop out for the first out of the inning, Max Bishop singled to score Dykes. Then, the big hit came.
Mule Haas hit a liner into the center-field gap, motoring all the way around for a three-run inside-the-park home run, bringing the score to 8-7.
But, the A's weren't done as RBI hits by Fox and Dykes gave them their final three runs of the inning.
Chicago couldn't answer the rest of the game and fell down 3-1 in the series. Philadelphia closed out the series in the next game, winning 3-2.
2. 1968 World Series
The 1968 World Series between the Tigers and Cardinals is the greatest series comeback in World Series history.
St. Louis had a 3-1 series lead on the Tigers, having dominated Games 3 and 4 by a margin of 17-4.
But the Tigers wouldn't go away.
Starting in Game 5, the Tigers scored three runs in the bottom of the seventh to earn the comeback victory. The big knock came from Al Kaline with a two-run single to give the Tigers a 4-3 lead. An insurance run was added to put the Tigers up by two runs, which they held on to the rest of the game.
Game 6 was a complete offensive outburst by the Tigers as they ran away from the Cardinals, 13-1. The outburst came in the third inning when the Tigers scored 10 runs off three pitchers.
Game 7 was dominated by pitching through the first six innings as Bob Gibson and Mickey Lolich went head-to-head. However, the Tigers struck first for three runs in the seventh inning.
Jim Northrup had a two-run triple and Bill Freehan doubled in Northrup to give the Tigers a 3-0 lead.
The Tigers added a run in the ninth, as did the Cardinals. But it was too late the Tigers took home the win and the World Series title.
1. 2011 World Series: Game 6
David Freese hit a walk-off home run in the 10th inning.
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Game 6 of the 2011 World Series was by far the best comeback in World Series history.
Down 7-4 in the bottom of the eighth, the Cardinals fought their way back starting with an Allen Craig solo home run.
Then, with two outs in the ninth inning, David Freese came up and knocked a two-run triple to tie the game at 7-7.
A Josh Hamilton two-run home run in the top of the 10th again put the Cardinals down. St. Louis still wouldn't go away, however.
An RBI ground out by Ryan Theriot brought the Cardinals within one in the bottom of the 10th. Then, with two outs, Albert Pujols was walked and Lance Berkman stepped to the plate.
Berkman proceeded to hit a line-drive single to center, scoring Jon Jay and again tying the game.
The comeback was completed in the 10th inning when Freese hit a solo home run on a 3-2 pitch to give the Cardinals the improbable victory.
The Cardinals finished it up the next night in Game 7 with a 6-2 win.