MLB Wildcard Night 2011: The Best Season-Ending Night in Sports History

Adam FranchellaContributor IISeptember 29, 2011

BALTIMORE, MD - SEPTEMBER 13: Evan Longoria #3 of the Tampa Bay Rays connects for a two RBI home run in the sixth inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on September 13, 2011 in Baltimore, Maryland. The Orioles defeated the Rays 4-2.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Rob Carr/Getty Images

I don't even know where to begin writing this article. While I watch the highlights of what just happened in Major League Baseball tonight I am dumbfounded.

As I try to piece together all of the epic moments of collapse and of triumph that we saw within the last hour and a half, I am truly stunned. This is what I live for; this should be what all sports fans live for.

At the beginning of the night, the Rays and the Red Sox were tied for the Wild Card lead after a nine-game, one-month skid by the Sox in September; if one wins, they're in. If both win, it's a one-game playoff to determine the eventual postseason invitee.

To add to the drama, the Braves needed to win to get in to the playoffs and prevent an epic 8.5 game wild card lead collapse in a matter of weeks. To begin with the stage is set for a great night.

As I turn to the Yankees Rays game I see a 7-0 lead on the legs of a Mark Teixiera grand slam; people are literally leaving the stadium.

A loss is surely in order, possibly ending the hopes of a playoff appearance and one of the most epic comebacks in major league history. Ten minutes later it is 7-6!! Rays get six in the bottom of the eighth!!

Meanwhile, in Baltimore the Sox are up 3-2 in the eighth. As soon as the dial turns, Scutaro gets thrown out at home trying to extend the lead for the Red Sox.

Back to the Yankees Rays game and the Rays are down to their last out in the bottom of the 9th. Enter Dan Johnson. Dan Johnson smacks a deep line drive to right field. Its outta here!!!! Dan Johnson comes in as a pinch hitter and ties it in the bottom of the 9th!

Soon there after the Red Sox are pitching in the bottom of the 9th and the Rays are hitting in the bottom of the 12th. Papelbon strikes the first two out swinging, and the announcers say that "there's no way Papelbon is letting them score" because you can see it in his eyes. Next thing you know, Davis doubles to deep right. All of the sudden the stage has been set. Reimold steps to the plate and gets to his last strike. Then, a ground rule double to deep center field; the Orioles tie it up in the 9th!! Andino then steps to the plate. Hard line drive to left! Crawford comes in on it! He slides! It's off his glove! The throw is too late! The run scores, O's win!!!

And before you can process what you just saw, ESPN turns to the Rays and Yankees game. Evan Longoria is up in the bottom of the 12th with one out. He fouls off the first pitch. Hard line drive down the left field line! Its OUTTA HERE!!! The Rays win in the 12th and clinch a playoff spot!!!!

What a night, what a sequence. We all will never forget what just happened in Major League Baseball, and people will be talking about this collapse and comeback for years to come.

Not even to mention that the Braves lose in the 13th to seal the first epic collapse of the night.