Picking the All-Time Postseason Hero for Every MLB Team

Joel Reuter@JoelReuterBRFeatured ColumnistOctober 17, 2017

Picking the All-Time Postseason Hero for Every MLB Team

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    The beautiful thing about the MLB postseason is that anyone can be a hero.

    Just look back at the New York Yankees' storied history.

    Alongside names like Babe Ruth, Derek Jeter, Reggie Jackson, Yogi Berra and Whitey Ford, we've seen the likes of Bucky Dent, Don Larsen, Jim Leyritz, Luis Sojo, Bobby Richardson and Brian Doyle play the part of playoff hero.

    With that in mind, we set out to name the biggest postseason hero in the history of each MLB franchise.

Arizona Diamondbacks: Randy Johnson

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    It's fair to say the Arizona Diamondbacks wouldn't have won the 2001 World Series without both Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling to shoulder the load atop the starting rotation.

    We had to pick just one here, so the Big Unit gets the nod.

    After throwing a three-hit shutout in Game 2, Johnson took the ball in Game 6 as the D-backs faced elimination and picked up the win with seven strong innings.

    He wasn't finished there, though.

    On zero days' rest after throwing 104 pitches, he recorded four outs in the decisive Game 7, keeping the score at 2-1 to set up the walk-off win in the bottom of the ninth inning.

Atlanta Braves: Lew Burdette

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    Warren Spahn was the headliner of the Milwaukee Braves staff during the 1957 regular season, going 21-11 with a 2.69 ERA to win the only Cy Young Award of his Hall of Fame career.

    But it was Lew Burdette who stole the show that October.

    Facing the defending champion New York Yankees in the Fall Classic, Burdette earned three complete-game victories in a seven-game series.

    • Game 2: W, 9.0 IP, 7 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 5 K
    • Game 5: W, 9.0 IP, 7 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 5 K
    • Game 7: W, 9.0 IP, 7 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 3 K

    The Braves wouldn't win another World Series title until 1995.

    However, the club's 1992 NLCS victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates did provide some unlikely heroes in Francisco Cabrera and Sid Bream, and they're worthy of a mention here as well.

Baltimore Orioles: Brooks Robinson

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    The first thing most people think about when it comes to Baltimore Orioles great Brooks Robinson is his stellar defensive work at third base.

    That's understandable given the fact that he won 16 Gold Glove Awards over the course of his 23-year career. The 1970 World Series was more of the same as he turned in one highlight-reel play after another.

    However, he also led the way offensively in that series, going 9-for-21 with two doubles, two home runs and six RBI to claim MVP honors.

    Robinson was a .267 career hitter with a .723 OPS, but he consistently performed well in October.

    The O's made the World Series three straight years from 1969 to 1971, and Robinson hit .354 with an .864 OPS that included six doubles, three home runs and 18 RBI in 107 plate appearances during that span.

Boston Red Sox: David Ortiz

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    Despite enduring the Curse of the Bambino, there was no shortage of potential candidates for the Boston Red Sox.

    Carlton Fisk provided the most indelible moment in Red Sox postseason history when he waved that home run fair in Game 6 of the 1975 World Series, but Boston would go on to lose the series.

    Dave Henderson hit a momentum-shifting, go-ahead home run in Game 5 of the 1986 ALCS, but that season will forever be linked to Bill Bucker's error in the World Series.

    Considering how ingrained terms like "The Bloody Sock" and "The Steal" are in Red Sox lore, Curt Schiling and Dave Roberts have a place in the conversation as well.

    But the October heroics of David Ortiz are on another level.

    His walk-off home run in Game 4 of the 2004 ALCS kicked off one of the greatest comebacks in sports history as the Red Sox rallied from down 3-0 to topple the rival Yankees and advance to the World Series.

    The next day he did it again, driving home the game-winning run in the 14th inning of Game 5.

    Those two hits will live on forever, but he had plenty more October highlights on his way to batting .289/.404/.543 with 17 home runs and 61 RBI in 369 career postseason plate appearances.

    He also won World Series MVP in 2013, hitting a ridiculous .688 with two home runs and six RBI.

Chicago Cubs: Ben Zobrist

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    When you go 108 years without a World Series title, postseason heroes are few and far between.

    Orval Overall deserves a mention for his role in leading the team to back-to-back titles in 1907 and 1908 as he went 3-0 with a 0.99 ERA in four starts and one relief appearances, recording three complete games and a hold along the way.

    But we'll go with Ben Zobrist as the choice for the Cubs on the strength of his World Series MVP performance last season.

    His .357 average and zero home runs might not seem MVP-worthy on the surface, but he turned in one professional at-bat after another in the series.

    None was bigger than his RBI double in the top of the 10th inning of Game 7, which gave the Cubs the lead for good on their way to the title.

Chicago White Sox: Scott Podsednik

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    The 2005 World Series provided two of the more unlikely postseason heroes in recent memory in the form of Geoff Blum and Scott Podsednik.

    The Chicago White Sox reached the Fall Classic that year on the strength of a strong starting rotation, and it was outfielder Jermaine Dye who won World Series MVP honors with a .438 average.

    Yet a walk-off home run from Podsednik in Game 2 and an extra-innings game-winner from Blum as a defensive replacement in Game 3 live on as the enduring memories from that series.

    It's tough to decide which one was more unlikely.

    Podsednik went without a home run in 568 plate appearances during the regular season before going deep in Game 1 of the ALDS and then turning around Astros closer Brad Lidge in the World Series.

    For Blum, his home run came in the top of the 14th inning in what would be his only plate appearance of the World Series.

    A strong case can be made for both guys, but we'll go with Podsednick and the walk-off for top honors.

Cincinnati Reds: Jose Rijo

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    The Big Red Machine of the 1970s gave us some of the best teams in MLB history, but there was never a clear standout as far as one postseason hero.

    With that in mind, right-hander Jose Rijo earns the nod for the Cincinnati Reds.

    The Reds entered the 1990 World Series as heavy underdogs against an Oakland Athletics team that had won three straight AL pennants and gone 103-59 during the regular season.

    However, Rijo set the tone with seven shutout innings in Game 1 to give the Reds an early series lead.

    When he took the ball again in Game 4, it was with a chance to finish off a sweep, and he would do just that.

    Rijo allowed just two hits and one earned run in 8.1 innings before turning it over to closer Randy Myers for the final two outs.

    His peak may have been a short one, but at his best, Rijo was as good as any pitcher from that era.

Cleveland Indians: Stan Coveleski

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    There's a good chance we're talking about Rajai Davis here if the Cubs don't pull out a win in Game 7 of last year's World Series.

    Instead, Hall of Famer Stan Coveleski is a worthy alternative.

    A 215-game winner despite playing just 11 full seasons, Coveleski was the driving force behind the team's World Series title in 1920—the first in franchise history.

    After going 24-14 with a 2.49 ERA and leading the AL in WHIP (1.11) and strikeouts (133) during the regular season, he joined an exclusive club by throwing three complete games in a seven-game series with the then-Brooklyn Robins.

    • Game 1: W, 9.0 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 3 K
    • Game 4: W, 9.0 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 4 K
    • Game 7: W, 9.0 IP, 5 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K

    Makes last year's performance from Corey Kluber in the playoffs seem downright human.

Colorado Rockies: Manny Corpas

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    When a franchise has just nine postseason victories to its credit and none in the World Series, finding a postseason hero can be tricky.

    Clearly, it has to be someone from the 2007 squad that swept its way through the NLDS and NLCS to make the franchise's only appearance in the World Series.

    Kaz Matsui had a huge NLDS that year (14 PA, .417 BA, 4 XBH, 6 RBI), and Matt Holliday won NLCS MVP honors (17 PA, .333 BA, 2 HR, 4 RBI), but we'll go with closer Manny Corpas.

    Corpas replaced Brian Fuentes in the ninth-inning role midway through the 2007 season and wound up tallying 19 saves in 22 chances with a 2.08 ERA in 78 appearances.

    He went on to save all three games of the NLDS and two more in the NLCS, allowing five hits and one earned run in 8.2 innings along the way.

Detroit Tigers: Mickey Lolich

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    Kirk Gibson (1984) and Magglio Ordonez (2006) hit the two most iconic home runs in Detroit history, and Goose Goslin had a walk-off, series-winning RBI single in 1935.

    Still, there's little question who the choice should be for the Tigers.

    Denny McLain made headlines by winning 31 games during the regular season in 1968, but it was left-hander Mickey Lolich who was on the mound opposite St. Louis Cardinals ace Bob Gibson in Game 7 that year.

    Both pitchers went the distance, and Lolich came out on top, allowing five hits and one earned run in a 4-1 victory to clinch MVP honors.

    That was the third complete game for both pitchers in the series, and Lolich earned a victory each time out, although his only head-to-head matchup with Gibson was Game 7.

    • Game 2: W, 9.0 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 9 K
    • Game 5: W, 9.0 IP, 9 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 8 K
    • Game 7: W, 9.0 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 4 K

    Lolich may not be in the Hall of Fame, but he'll always have that series.

Houston Astros: Carlos Beltran

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    Chris Burke received serious consideration for his walk-off home run in Game 4 of the 2005 NLDS—a memorable marathon game that lasted a record 18 innings.

    So did Dallas Keuchel for his masterful performance in the 2015 Wild Card Game to send the New York Yankees home and the Astros to their first Division Series since 2005. 

    However, there was no ignoring what Carlos Beltran did in 2004.

    • NLDS: 24 PA, .455 BA, 2 2B, 4 HR, 9 RBI, 9 R, 2 SB
    • NLCS: 32 PA, .417 BA, 1 2B, 4 HR, 5 RBI, 12 R, 4 SB

    That's as impactful as it gets for a hired gun, as Beltran joined the Astros at the trade deadline that summer and then departed for a big free-agent deal with the Mets.

    Still, he left his mark on the franchise and was welcomed back with open arms as a free agent this past offseason.

Kansas City Royals: Bret Saberhagen

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    George Brett is the face of the Kansas City Royals, and his three-run home run off Goose Gossage in Game 3 of the 1980 ALCS is right up there with the Pine Tar Incident as the most memorable moments in franchise history.

    However, postseason hero honors go to Bret Saberhagen for his work in the 1985 World Series, as David Crawford Jones of MLB.com explained:

    "Few in MLB history have enjoyed a week as inspired as the one Saberhagen experienced in October 1985. The right-handed hurler threw a complete-game six-hitter to bring the Royals back from a 2-0 Series hole in Game 3, but he didn't stop there. Saberhagen would secure the franchise its first world title with a Game 7 shutout at Royals Stadium, and he did so just one day after his wife delivered their first child.

    "Asked after the Series how he could ever top such a string of achievements, Saberhagen deadpanned, 'Well, you go out and do the same things I did last year, but have twins instead of just one.'"

    Guys like Lorenzo Cain, Mike Moustakas and Eric Hosmer made a name for themselves on a national level during the team's back-to-back Fall Classic appearances in 2014 and 2015, but none shined bright enough to unseat Saberhagen.

Los Angeles Angels: Francisco Rodriguez

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    Francisco Rodriguez joined the Anaheim Angels as a September call-up in 2002, appearing in five games and striking out 13 over 5.2 scoreless innings.

    That was enough to win him a spot on the postseason roster, and the 20-year-old would quickly become the biggest X-factor in the team's run to a World Series title.

    • ALDS: 3 G, 2 W, 5.2 IP, 2 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 8 K
    • ALCS: 4 G, 2 W, 4.1 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 7 K
    • WS: 4 G, 1 W, 8.2 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 13 K

    With All-Star Troy Percival entrenched as the team's closer, K-Rod was free to be used whenever the situation presented itself, giving manager Mike Scioscia a unique weapon that we see more and more in today's game with guys like Andrew Miller.

    Scott Spiezio's series-shifting home run in Game 6 of the World Series and rookie John Lackey's win in Game 7 are also worthy of mention, but the Angels don't make it that far without Rodriguez.

Los Angeles Dodgers: Sandy Koufax

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    Along with his countless regular-season accolades, Sandy Koufax has a pair of World Series MVP awards on his mantle.

    • 1963: 2 GS, 2-0, 18.0 IP, 12 H, 3 ER, 3 BB, 23 K
    • 1965: 3 GS, 2-1, 24.0 IP, 13 H, 1 ER, 5 BB, 29 K

    After he lasted just six innings in Game 1 of the 1965 series, he bounced back with a pair of complete-game shutouts, including a three-hit, 10-strikeout performance in Game 7.

    It was tempting to go with Kirk Gibson and his iconic, hobbled trot around the bases after he took Dennis Eckersley deep in Game 1 of the 1988 World Series.

    However, Koufax played a much bigger role in the team's winning not one, but two titles.

Miami Marlins: Josh Beckett

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    Considering they've only been around since 1993, the Marlins have some compelling cases for their top postseason hero.

    Edgar Renteria's walk-off RBI single in Game 7 of the 1997 World Series is the most iconic moment in franchise history, and Livan Hernandez helped them get there by winning NLCS and World Series MVP that season.

    However, we'll go with Josh Beckett for his performance in Game 6 of the 2003 World Series.

    Beckett was well-known as a big-game pitcher during his time with the Boston Red Sox, but it was that postseason when he earned his reputation.

    Just 23 years old at the time, he went into Yankee Stadium with the Marlins up 3-2 in the series and tossed a five-hit shutout against a Yankees team that had won 101 games during the regular season.

Milwaukee Brewers: Cecil Cooper

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    The Milwaukee Brewers have reached the postseason just four times in the 49-year history of the franchise, and their only trip to the World Series came in 1982.

    They might not have gotten there without Cecil Cooper.

    The first baseman put together a terrific regular season, hitting .313/.342/.528 with 38 doubles, 32 home runs and 121 RBI to finish fifth in NL MVP voting.

    However, he was batting just .105 in his first 19 at-bats of the postseason when he stepped to the plate with the bases loaded, two outs and the Brewers trailing 3-2 in the bottom of the seventh in the decisive Game 5 of the ALCS.

    He delivered when it mattered most, lining a two-run single off reliever Luis Sanchez to give the Brewers a 4-3 lead. That would stand up as the final score and clinch the franchise's only trip to the Fall Classic.

Minnesota Twins: Jack Morris

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    The Minnesota Twins gave 36-year-old Jack Morris a one-year, $3.7 million contract to serve as the ace of a young staff that also included Kevin Tapani (27) and Scott Erickson (23).

    He held up his end of the bargain, going 18-12 with a 3.43 ERA in 246.2 innings of work to finish fourth in AL Cy Young voting. The Twins won a division title thanks to a 21-win improvement over the previous season.

    Morris kept rolling in October, going 3-0 with a 3.08 ERA in his first four starts before earning the nod in the decisive Game 7 of the World Series.

    Pitching opposite a 24-year-old John Smoltz, Morris traded zeroes through seven innings before the Braves went to the bullpen.

    When the top of the 10th rolled around, things were still scoreless, and Morris was still on the mound for the Twins.

    Morris blanked the Braves for one more inning, and a Gene Larkin RBI single in the bottom of the 10th gave the Twins the title.

    Kirby Puckett's walk-off home run in the 11th inning of Game 6 is worth a mention as well.

New York Mets: Jerry Koosman

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    Tom Seaver was the ace of the 1969 Miracle Mets, going 25-7 with a 2.21 ERA and 208 strikeouts to win his first of three NL Cy Young Awards.

    However, left-hander Jerry Koosman was no slouch, as he finished 17-9 with a 2.28 ERA and 180 strikeouts while earning his second straight trip to the All-Star Game.

    And it was Koosman who shined brightest in the World Series that year.

    After Seaver took the loss in Game 1, Koosman allowed just two hits and one earned run over 8.2 innings in Game 2, quieting a dangerous Orioles lineup and evening the series.

    The Mets won the next two, setting Koosman up to start the potential clincher, and he delivered with a complete-game victory.

    Shoutout to backup catcher Todd Pratt for his walk-off home run in Game 4 of the 1999 NLDS to send the Mets to the Divison Series.

New York Yankees: Derek Jeter

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    So far, we've mostly highlighted players who had one defining moment or one standout series to etch their name in franchise lore.

    For Derek Jeter, it was his entire body of work.

    He essentially played an entire extra season with 158 career postseason games to his credit, and his numbers stack up to any of his full-season stat lines.

    • 734 PA, .308/.374/.465, 200 H, 32 2B, 20 HR, 61 RBI, 111 R, 18 SB

    He won five titles and 2000 World Series MVP, and his backhanded relay flip in the 2001 ALDS and walk-off home run in Game 4 of the 2001 World Series go down as two of the more memorable moments in his storied career.

    There was no shortage of choices for the Yankees, from "Mr. October" Reggie Jackson to Chris Chambliss walking off in the 1976 ALCS on down to Bucky "Bleeping" Dent" and Aaron "Bleeping" Boone.

    It's hard to argue against Jeter, though.

Oakland Athletics: Dave Stewart

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    Dave Stewart started 14 playoff games for the Oakland Athletics over four different postseasons from 1988 to 1992.

    The A's went 10-4 in those games, and he was nothing short of brilliant:

    • 14 GS, 8-3, 2.22 ERA, 1.01 WHIP, .201 BAA, 105.1 IP

    He earned World Series MVP in 1989 and ALCS MVP in 1990, winning both his starts and posting an ERA under 2.00 in each of those series.

    Stewart is another player who had a relatively short peak, but over a four-year span from 1987 to 1990, he was as good as any pitcher in the game, going 84-45 with a 3.20 ERA while averaging 265 innings per season and finishing in the top four in Cy Young voting each year.

    Those Oakland staffs also featured the likes of Bob Welch, Mike Moore and Storm Davis, but there was no question Stewart was the ace.

Philadelphia Phillies: Cole Hamels

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    Cole Hamels was just 24 years old when he led the Philadelphia Phillies to a World Series title in 2008.

    After throwing eight shutout innings in his lone NLDS start, he won NLCS and World Series MVP honors while going a combined 4-0 with a 1.80 ERA, 0.91 WHIP and a .190 opponent's batting average in five starts.

    That's enough for him to be the clear choice for the Phillies.

    Mike Schmidt also deserves a mention; he went 8-for-21 with two home runs and seven RBI to win World Series MVP in 1980 when the Phillies bested the Royals.

Pittsburgh Pirates: Bill Mazeroski

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    There were some tough choices to make when putting this list together.

    This was not one of them.

    Bill Mazeroski is widely regarded as the best defensive second baseman in MLB history, but it was his bat that made him a legend.

    After hitting just 11 home runs during the regular season, Mazeroski took Ralph Terry deep leading off the bottom of the ninth in a tied Game 7 of the 1960 World Series.

    It was the first World Series-winning home run in MLB history and a fitting end to a wild game that saw the Pirates score five runs in the eighth to take a 9-7 lead, only to surrender that lead in the top of the ninth.

    Willie Stargell deserves a mention as well for winning NLCS and World Series MVP as the leader of the 1979 team that bested the Orioles in seven games.

San Diego Padres: Steve Garvey

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    As the San Diego Padres faced elimination in Game 4 of the 1984 NLCS, first baseman Steve Garvey hit the biggest home run in franchise history.

    After Padres closer Goose Gossage blew a save in the top of the eighth, the Cubs turned to their own stopper Lee Smith to try to keep the game tied.

    He worked a scoreless bottom of the eighth, and things stayed knotted at 5-5 heading into the bottom of the ninth.

    Alan Wiggins struck out to start the inning, but Tony Gwynn singled and Garvey deposited a 1-0 pitch into the right-center stands for the walk-off winner.

    The next night, the Padres clinched their first trip to the World Series with a 6-3 victory.

San Francisco Giants: Madison Bumgarner

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    Madison Bumgarner's performance in Game 7 of the 2014 World Series alone would be enough for him to earn the nod for the Giants.

    Two days after he threw 117 pitches in a four-hit shutout, manager Bruce Bochy turned to Bumgarner as the Giants clung to a 3-2 lead heading into the bottom of the fifth.

    After allowing a leadoff single to start the fifth, he settled in and dominated the rest of the way, allowing just one more hit while striking out four to record the rare 15-out save.

    He finished that World Series with a 0.43 ERA in 21 innings of work. All told, he went 4-1 with a 1.03 ERA in six starts and one relief appearances in a postseason that began with a shutout of the Pirates in the Wild Card Game.

    Bumgarner threw another shutout in the 2016 Wild Card Game, this time against the Mets.

    Still just 28 years old, he's already authored one of the most impressive postseason resumes of any pitcher in MLB history.

Seattle Mariners: Edgar Martinez

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    The Double.

    It's an iconic moment in Seattle sports history, and it may very well have saved baseball in the city.

    After falling behind 2-0 in the 1995 ALDS to the Yankees, the Mariners won the next two games to force a decisive Game 5.

    A two-run bottom of the eighth from the M's made it a 4-4 game, and manager Lou Piniella turned to ace Randy Johnson on one day rest to try to keep things tied.

    That plan worked for two innings, but Randy Velarde delivered an RBI single in the top of the 11th to give the Yankees a 5-4 lead.

    However, the Mariners weren't finished battling, as Joey Cora and Ken Griffey Jr. led off the bottom of the inning with consecutive singles to bring up Edgar Martinez.

    He promptly doubled down the left field line, and Griffey raced around the bases to score the winning run from first, completing the improbable comeback and giving the Mariners their first postseason series victory.

    Martinez finished that series 12-for-21 with three doubles, two home runs and 10 RBI.

St. Louis Cardinals: Bob Gibson

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    Bob Gibson vs. David Freese was without a doubt the toughest decision.

    Freese delivered a two-run, game-tying triple with the Cardinals down to their final strike in Game 6 of the 2011 World Series and then turned around and hit the game-winning home run in the 11th inning.

    That's some high-level hero play, and it earned him World Series MVP honors after he also took home NLCS MVP that same season.

    However, Bob Gibson is one of the greatest postseason pitchers the game has ever seen.

    He appeared in three World Series, made three starts in each series and pitched nine innings in each start.

    All told, he went 7-2 with a 1.89 ERA, 0.89 WHIP and 92 strikeouts in 81 innings, winning MVP in the 1964 and 1967 along the way.

    He also turned in the most dominant start in World Series history in Game 1 of the 1968 Series, striking out 17 hitters in a five-hit shutout.

    The fact that we've made it this far without mentioning Enos Slaughter and his "Mad Dash" to score the winning run in Game 7 of the 1946 Series should tell you how good of a case those other two guys have.

Tampa Bay Rays: Matt Garza

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    The Tampa Bay Rays have just two postseason series wins to their credit, and they both came in 2008 when they reached the World Series.

    Evan Longoria and B.J. Upton both hit four home runs in the team's seven-game ALCS victory over the Red Sox that year, but we'll go with ALCS MVP Matt Garza.

    Garza picked up the win in Game 3 of the series, going six innings and allowing six hits and one run to get the better of Jon Lester.

    Those two squared off again in the winner-take-all seventh game, and it was Garza who reigned supreme once again.

    He allowed two hits and one run over seven innings before turning things over to a foursome of relievers to close things out—including a memorable save by David Price.

Texas Rangers: Nelson Cruz

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    The Texas Rangers came up short in the 2010 and 2011 World Series, and a misplay by Nelson Cruz in right field in Game 6 in 2011 might have cost the team a title.

    However, they would not have made it that far without his huge ALCS performance:

    • 25 PA, .364 BA, 2 2B, 6 HR, 13 RBI, 7 R

    In fact, in those two postseasons combined, he posted a 1.019 OPS with nine doubles, 14 home runs and 27 RBI in 33 games.

    For a Rangers team that has only advanced beyond the Division Series those two times, that's enough for him to wear the crown of biggest postseason hero.

Toronto Blue Jays: Joe Carter

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    This one was another no-brainer.

    When a World Series ends with your teammates carrying you off the field on their shoulders, there's a good chance you've reached hero status.

    The Blue Jays led the 1993 Series 3-2 and were up 5-1 heading into the top of the seventh inning of Game 6.

    However, the Phillies struck for five runs in the seventh behind a three-run homer from Lenny Dykstra, and they were still clinging to that 6-5 lead to begin the bottom of the ninth.

    On came closer Mitch Williams.

    After a leadoff walk to Rickey Henderson and a one-out single from Paul Molitor, Carter stepped to the plate and hit a high fly ball to left field that just cleared the wall for a walk-off, series-ending home run.

Washington Nationals: Steve Rogers

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    The Washington Nationals have failed to advance beyond the Division Series in all four of their trips to the postseason since moving from Montreal.

    And the Expos only made the playoffs once, reaching the NLCS in 1981.

    We have to go back that far to find our postseason hero, Steve Rogers.

    The ace of the staff and one of the more underrated pitchers of his era, Rogers outdueled Phillies star Steve Carlton twice in the NLDS, including a shutout in the decisive Game 5.

    • Game 1: W, 8.2 IP, 10 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 3 K
    • Game 5: W, 9.0 IP, 6 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 2 K

    He also pitched a complete game in his lone NLCS start, allowing seven hits and one run to pick up the win.

         

    All stats courtesy of Baseball Reference, unless otherwise noted.