Noise Alert: 8 Loudest World Series in Baseball History

Gil Imber@RefereeOrganistAnalyst IIOctober 25, 2011

Noise Alert: 8 Loudest World Series in Baseball History

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    During his postgame press conference following the Rangers' 4-2 win in Game 5 of the 2011 World Series, Cardinals manager Tony La Russa was asked about his late inning bullpen woes.

    Without hesitation, La Russa blamed the bullpen blunder on the loud Texas crowd: "It was real noisy... [The bullpen] heard 'Rzepczynski,' and didn't hear 'Motte.' I called back and said, 'Motte'; they heard 'Lynn.'"

    As a result of the chaos taking place between La Russa and his bullpen, pitcher Mac Rzepcynski was brought into the game and proceeded to give up two consecutive hits, including the game-winning two RBI double off the bat of Rangers catcher Mike Napoli.

    The Texas-sized crowd noise and its impact on Game 5 of the World Series conjures up memories of other notable games which featured raucous crowds which produced their own ear-piercing pandemonium.

New York Mets, 1986 World Series, of Shea and Buckner

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    The 1986 World Series pitted Davey Johnson's New York Mets against John McNamara's Boston Red Sox. By then, New York's Shea Stadium had garnered a reputation for its loud crowd noise, but as the series shifted back to Queens for the Series' concluding chapter, the insanity was just beginning.

    Down three games to two, the Mets needed to win Game 6 to stay alive. In the eighth inning, the Mets scored once to tie the game at three, ultimately propelling the contest into extra innings.

    After a two-run top of the 10th, Boston appeared to have the game well in hand. After recording two outs in the bottom of the frame, the stadium grew eerily quiet.

    Then, the Mets began their historic comeback.

    It started with a Gary Carter single into shallow left field. As the crowd gradually came back and started to cheer, pinch hitter Kevin Mitchell followed with a single of his own.

    Sensing something special, the crowd grew even louder, accompanying a Ray Knight RBI single with thunderous applause.

    Stepping up to the plate was left fielder Mookie Wilson, who worked his at-bat to nine pitches, one of which was a wild pitch that allowed the tying run to score and the winning run to advance to third base.

    The crowd was now completely invested in Game 6, complete with the upper deck stands shaking up and down as a result of all the commotion.

    As the Mets walked off on Bill Buckner's famous error, the crowd went wild. Vin Scully's call of the play featured an unusually yelling Scully narrating the play, backed by a chorus of sheer fan-demonium.

    The Mets won the 1986 World Series in seven games, forever cementing Shea Stadium as one of the loudest in the game.

Los Angeles Dodgers, 1988 World Series, Look Who's Coming Up to Bat

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    In 1988, the Los Angeles Dodgers were not predicted to make the World Series. As manager Tommy Lasorda famously told his team, "Nobody thought we could beat the team who won 104 games, but we believed it."

    Lasorda was referring to the 1988 Oakland Athletics, who had won the American League by a full 13 games. That turned out to be an unlucky number for Oakland as Dodger Stadium absolutely exploded late in Game 1.

    With the A's leading the Dodgers 3-2 in the bottom of the ninth, Dodgers pinch hitter Mike Davis worked a walk from lights-out closer Dennis Eckersley.

    When Lasorda next sent the injured Kirk Gibson to pinch hit against Eckersley, the sold-out Stadium grew as loud as it has ever been. With a capacity of 56,000, Dodger Stadium is currently the largest stadium in Major League Baseball.

    What happened next sent Dodger Stadium into a frenzy, a collective cheer so loud, even cars traveling in the parking lot stopped to see what all the fuss was about.

    Gibson lofted a 3-2 slider into deep right field for a two-run walk-off homer. Lasorda went crazy. The Stadium went crazy.

    Meanwhile, Gibson could barely muster up enough strength to hobble around the bases. No matter, the exuberant crowd continued to cheer long after the game was over and long after the Dodgers had retreated to their locker room. No one wanted to leave.

    The Oakland A's never recovered, losing both games played at Dodger Stadium, and the World Series itself, four games to one.

Atlanta Braves, 1995 World Series, Tomahawk Chop

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    In the early 1990s, the Braves took a page from nearby Florida State University, officially adopting the tomahawk chop at their baseball games.

    The Braves began manufacturing foam and plastic tomahawks, encouraging the entire stadium to join in the tomahawk chop and accompanying war cry during key rally points in Braves games.

    Unfortunately for Atlanta, the tomahawk chop couldn't trump the perennial World Series loss machine until 1995, when the Braves took on the Cleveland Indians in the Fall Classic.

    Uh oh. In 1991, the Minnesota Twins had protested the Atlanta club for having a "racist" team name in the Braves. One could only imagine what the Twins would have done with a Braves-Indians series.

    The controversy was so intense, President Bill Clinton had to step in during his weekly radio address on the eve of Game 1, which took place in Atlanta.

    Tonight, I just hope Americans will be able to take their minds off that [controversy] and their own work for a moment. I hope they'll be able to wonder, instead, at the arc of a home run, a catch at the wall, the snap of the ball in the back of a mitt.

    The Braves and Indians played a hard-fought series, with five of the six games played decided by just one run.

    In the end, the definitive tomahawk chop helped propel the Braves to victory, as a deafening Fulton County Stadium erupted in unison during every Series victory in Atlanta to deliver the Braves their daily dose of pump-up music.

    The Braves never lost a World Series game at home in 1995.

Anaheim Angels, 2002 World Series, Rally Monkey and Thundersticks

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    Back when Disney still owned a baseball team and the Angels hadn't yet changed their city to Los Angeles, the Anaheim Angels played the San Francisco Giants for a chance at the first World Series title in franchise history.

    2002 was the last season before MLB began awarding home field advantage to the league winning the annual All-Star Game, and the Anaheim Angels held home-field advantage as the San Francisco Giants took a 3-2 lead in the World Series.

    Shifting back to Anaheim for Games 6 and 7, Anaheim would have to win two consecutive home games to win it all while the Giants had two chances to pull off their first championship on the west coast.

    Leading 5-0 in the bottom of the seventh inning, the Giants were only eight outs away from a World Series title. Starting pitcher Russ Ortiz walked off the field, having thrown seven shutout innings, or so he thought.

    As reliever Felix Rodriguez threw his warmup tosses during the pitching change, a new Angels mascot appeared on the JumboTron, resulting in a roaring delirium that would rattle even the most composed Cy Young winner.

    Enter the Rally Monkey and thundersticks.

    As a monkey clad in a small Angels jersey jumped frantically on the JumboTron, holding up a sign that read, "Rally Time," the halo-wearing Angels faithful banged their thundersticks together, turning Edison International Field into the fortissimo capital of the world.

    First up after the Monkey's appearance was Scott Spiezio, who proceeded to drill a three-run homer to right field.

    The Angels would pile on three more runs in the eighth, coming back to beat the Giants, 6-5.

    A depleted Giants team never recovered, losing Game 7 by the sum of 4-1.

Boston Red Sox, 2004 World Series, Breaking Bambino

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    Boston's Fenway Park is the oldest active stadium in Major League Baseball, preparing to celebrate its 100th anniversary next year. It is also one of baseball's loudest.

    Fenway is an old-school stadium. It is a smaller park with one of the lowest capacities in baseball, yet it is a crown jewel, built right into the Kenmore Square area of Boston.

    The Red Sox are also one of the most followed teams in Major League Baseball, creating a large fan base who all desperately would like to attend a Red Sox game.

    The conundrum has resulted in one of the more obscure streaks in the game today. Fenway's sellout streak hit 700 games in September, proving the sheer excitement which exists in Red Sox Nation.

    In 2004, the Sox had a chance to do something amazing. Since 1918, the Red Sox had not won a World Series, a drought referred to as the "Curse of the Bambino," named for Babe Ruth who was sold to the rival Yankees in 1919.

    As the Red Sox won Games 1 and 2 in St. Louis, Boston fans were ready for Games 3 and 4. As if letting out 86 years of frustration all at once, Red Sox Nation let out a cheer so loud after the Red Sox clinched the championship by winning Game 4, that TV announcer Joe Buck had to wait until the cheering died down before he could continue with his post-game broadcast.

Tampa Bay Rays, 2008 World Series, More Cowbell

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    Since their creation in 1998, Tampa Bay had never won a league championship.

    That all changed in 2008 as the franchise attempted to reinvent itself.

    First out was the Devil Rays nickname. It was cheesy and too much of a mouthful. Tampa Bay would now be called the Rays.

    Saturday Night Live fan and Rays principal owner Stuart Sternberg came up with the cowbell promotion during the 2008 season, debuting "cowbell night" and regularly stocking Columbia blue Rays cowbells in the stores at Tropicana Field, the team's home.

    As fate would have it, the Rays beat the White Sox and Red Sox to win the American League pennant for the first time in franchise history, advancing to the World Series for the first time.

    Unfortunately for the Rays, their luck would run out in the World Series, as they lost to the Philadelphia Phillies, four games to one.

    Still, the cowbells continue to sell in St. Pete, and the Rays continue to deafen and distract visiting teams with those bells, assisted by a domed stadium with awful acoustics and the occasional home run horn.

New York Yankees, Any World Series, the Natural Way

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    There really isn't a right or wrong year to choose for the Yankees winning a World Series; their fans are loud at all times. Why do you think they call it a "Bronx cheer?"

    The Yankees have one of the largest stadiums in baseball and play in MLB's largest market.

    Yankee fans have been there, alongside their team through each and everyone of New York's record 27 World Championships.

    However, the Old Yankee Stadium might have been much louder than the new one. Other than seating more fans (the most in baseball from 1977-2008), the old stadium's architecture featured more attributes to keep sound in the ballpark, thanks in part to its being built right in the middle of a 1920s New York residential neighborhood.

    The House that Ruth Built did it the old fashioned way. There were no thundersticks, no cowbells, no gimmicks.

    Bleacher Creatures serenaded players with the daily roll call chant and the fans enthusiasm was only exacerbated by former owner George Steinbrenner's philosophy of seriously investing money into the team.

    Thanks to Steinbrenner, the Yankees have won seven World Series and 11 pennants since 1973. This success has kept their fans in the stadium, in the game, and in the business of making noise.

Texas Rangers, 2011 World Series, Bullpen Bewilderment

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    After falling short in the 2010 World Series, Texas returned to the Fall Classic in 2011, determined to get it right.

    After a disappointing Game 3 in Arlington, Rangers fans regrouped for a Rangers victory in Game 4 and a tight game late in Game 5.

    As slugger Mike Napoli stood on deck with two runners on base in the Texas eighth inning, Cardinals manager Tony La Russa was in a bind.

    Southpaw Marc Rzepczynski was on the mound to face lefty David Murphy. Like all managers, La Russa knew that Rzepczynski should not face Napoli: a lefty-righty matchup usually does not benefit the defensive team.

    As Murphy loaded the bases on a hard come-backer to the pitcher, La Russa flinched. He desperately wanted to yank Rzepczynski for hurler Jason Motte, a righty.

    Unfortunately for La Russa, Motte wasn't warming up in the Cardinals bullpen.

    Motte never got up to so much as stretch because the bullpen coaches couldn't hear La Russa on the telephone. La Russa later praised the Rangers' 10th man for their role in ensuring Napoli would face the southpaw, hitting a double to score the two winning Ranger runs.

    I give the fans credit. Maybe we need to come up with some ear mikes or something.