50 Greatest Moments in World Series History

Doug Mead@@Sports_A_HolicCorrespondent IOctober 23, 2012

50 Greatest Moments in World Series History

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    MLB fans across the world have been waiting the 108th edition of the World Series, and it is finally upon us, featuring the San Francisco Giants and the Detroit Tigers.

    Since 1903, the Fall Classic has provided baseball with a thrilling final series to determine the best in Major League Baseball.

    History has often shown us that it's not always the best team that wins, but the hottest. The 1914 Boston Braves can certainly shine as an example of that fact.

    The World Series has also provided a bevy of memories for fans to store away and cherish. Both good and bad, these memories have always provided much debate as to which is the greatest of all.

    While we await the beginning of the 2012 World Series on Wednesday night, we will take a look at 50 of the greatest plays in World Series history.

Honorable Mention: 1989 World Series: Loma Prieta Earthquake

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    We would be remiss if we didn't look back at the events that unfolded on Oct. 17, 1989.

    Just minutes before the start of Game 3 of the 1989 World Series between the Oakland Athletics and San Francisco Giants, an earthquake registering 6.9 on the Richter scale struck the Bay Area.

    Game 3 suddenly became an afterthought and was suspended for 10 days.

Honorable Mention: Babe Ruth Ends 1926 World Series with Attempted Steal

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    Babe Ruth was known for a lot of things on the baseball diamond, but speed was not one of them.

    In Game 7 of the 1926 World Series with his New York Yankees trailing 3-2, Ruth came up to the plate to face Grover Cleveland Alexander with two outs.

    Ruth drew a walk, putting the tying run at first base. With Bob Meusel at the plate, Ruth tried to surprise the St. Louis Cardinals by attempting to steal second base.

    It didn't quite work out.

    Ruth was easily tagged out at second, making the 1926 World Series the only one in history to end with a runner caught stealing.

     

     

50. 1909 World Series: Babe Adams

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    In 1909, the Pittsburgh Pirates won the National League pennant and set out to face the Detroit Tigers in the World Series.

    Pirates manager Fred Clarke, acting purely on a hunch, elected to start rookie pitcher Babe Adams in Game 1. Clarke's hunch proved to be correct as Adams won Game 1 4-1.

    Adams came back in Game 5 as well as the Pirates again were victorious 10-4.

    Working his hot pitcher, Clarke again went to Adams for the seventh and deciding game. Adams, working on just two days' rest, threw a six-hit shutout to give the Pirates their first World Series championship.

49. 2002 World Series: Anaheim Angels Complete Comeback for First-Ever Title

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    In 2002, the Anaheim Angels relied on a rally monkey to win their first World Series title.

    Well, their players had a say in the outcome as well.

    The Angels entered Game 6 down three games to two against the San Francisco Giants. With one out in the bottom of the seventh inning, the Giants were eight outs away from their first world championship in 48 years.

    The Angels then channeled the energy of their rally monkey.

    Giants starter Russ Ortiz tired in the seventh after six brilliant innings, giving up consecutive singles to Troy Glaus and Brad Fullmer.

    Giants manager Dusty Baker went to his bullpen, and by the time the dust settled the Angels had scored three runs in both the seventh and eighth innings to rally for a come-from-behind 6-5 victory.

    In Game 7, the arm of John Lackey and the bases-clearing triple by Garret Anderson in the bottom of the third inning propelled the Angels to a 4-1 victory and the franchise's first and only World Series title.

     

48. 1962 World Series: Willie McCovey's Screaming Line Drive Ends Giants Quest

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    The New York Yankees and San Francisco Giants were locked in a fierce battle in the 1962 World Series.

    Tied at three games apiece, Game 7 at Candlestick Park turned into a pitchers' duel between Yankees starter Ralph Terry and Giants starter Jack Sanford.

    Terry was masterful, giving up just two hits in his first eight innings. The Yankees had pushed only one run across the plate off Sanford, so the Yankees held a 1-0 lead entering the bottom of the ninth.

    Terry was back on the hill, but gave up a bunt single to pinch-hitter Matty Alou to start the inning. Terry struck out the next two batters before facing the ever-dangerous Willie Mays.

    Mays screamed a double down the right field line. Only a fine defensive play by right fielder Roger Maris prevented Alou from scoring on the play.

    With runners on second and third with two out, first baseman Willie McCovey stepped up to the plate.

    In what he later called one of the hardest he had ever hit, McCovey ripped a screaming line drive. Unfortunately, McCovey hit it directly to second baseman Bobby Richardson, who snared it for the final out, giving the Yankees their 20th overall World Series championship.

47. 2001 World Series: Scott Brosius Blast in Ninth Gives Yankees Life

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    The 2001 World Series between the New York Yankees and Arizona Diamondbacks had already become a home show. The Diamondbacks won the first two at Bank One Ballpark followed by two Yankee victories at Yankee Stadium.

    Would Game 5 follow the same pattern?

    Scott Brosius made sure it would.

    Diamondbacks starter Miguel Batista had worked a gem, allowing just five hits in 7.2 innings. After Greg Swindell registered the final out of the eighth inning, the Diamondbacks held a 2-0 lead entering the bottom of the ninth.

    Manager Bob Brenly turned to closer Byung-Hyun Kim, who had been victimized by a walk-off home run off the bat of Derek Jeter just one night earlier.

    Kim once again found trouble in Game 5, giving up a leadoff double to Jorge Posada. Kim settled down and retired the next two batters.

    With two outs and a runner on second, third baseman Scott Brosius took a Kim offering and deposited it into the left field seats, tying the game at 2-2.

    It was Kim's second blown save in as many nights, and the Yankees would later win Game 5 on a walk-off single by Alfonso Soriano.

     


     

46. 2001 World Series: Derek Jeter Earns New Moniker

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    Prior to Scott Brosius' memorable two-run blast in Game 5 of the 2001 World Series between the Arizona Diamondbacks and New York Yankees, shortstop Derek Jeter provided a memorable blast of his own.

    His home run in the bottom of the 10th inning of Game 4 didn't just win the game for the Yankees, it forever earned Jeter the nickname Mr. November.

45. 1929 World Series: Athletics' Stirring Comeback in Game 4

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    The Chicago Cubs have had to endure a 104-year drought, failing to win a World Series title since 1908.

    The 1929 World Series provided a perfect example as to why many fans believe the Cubs are cursed.

    Enjoying an 8-0 lead heading into the bottom of the seventh inning at Shibe Park in Philadelphia, Game 4 certainly seemed to be in hand, giving the Cubs the chance to tie the series at two games apiece.

    That's when the "Mack Attack" struck.

    Connie Mack's A's rallied for a 10-run seventh inning, aided by a crucial error committed by Cubs center fielder Hack Wilson, giving the A's an improbable 10-8 victory.

    The A's finished the Cubs off two days later, extending the Cubs' misery.

44. 1957 World Series: Lew Burdette's Three Wins Deliver Title to Milwaukee

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    In 1957, the Milwaukee Braves took on the defending champion New York Yankees. For the Braves, it was only their third appearance in the Fall Classic.

    Starting pitcher Lew Burdette made sure it was one of their most memorable.

    With the series tied at three games apiece, the Braves turned to Burdette in Game 7. Burdett had already delivered two victories and was pitching on just two days' rest.

    Burdette tossed a masterpiece, firing a seven-hit shutout to defeat the Bronx Bombers and give the Braves their second World Series championship in franchise history.

43. 1935 World Series: Goose Goslin Delivers in Walk-off Fashion

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    The Detroit Tigers started play in the 1935 World Series looking for their first-ever title. Four previous trips had ended in defeat.

    The Tigers held a 3-2 lead in games over the Chicago Cubs with the series headed back to Navin Field in Detroit.

    The Tigers and Cubs battled it out in Game 6, with the Tigers coming to the plate in the bottom of the ninth knotted in a 3-3 tie.

    Catcher Mickey Cochrane delivered a one-out single and later moved to second on a ground-out.

    With a runner on second and two outs, Goose Goslin came to the plate against Cubs pitcher Larry French.

    Goslin delivered a single to right field that scored Cochrane, finally giving the Tigers their first World Series title in their fifth attempt.

42. 1975 World Series: Dwight Evans Makes Miraculous Catch to Extend Game 6

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    When the Cincinnati Reds defeated the Boston Red Sox in Game 5 of the 1975 World Series, the Red Sox had the unenviable task of attempting to win the final two games at home in Fenway Park.

    The two teams returned to Boston, and waited. And waited and waited.

    Three days of rain postponed Game 6 with the series resuming five days after Game 5.

    When it finally began, it quickly turned into the one of the most epic postseason games in MLB history.

    While the game is most known for what happened in the bottom of the 12th inning, the prior inning produced a classic play of its own.

    With Ken Griffey Sr. on first, Joe Morgan hit a long fly to deep right field. Dwight Evans raced back to make an acrobatic catch and wheeled to fire the ball back to first base, doubling off Griffey and ending the Reds' threat.

41. 1947 World Series: Cookie Lavagetto Breaks Up No-Hitter and Wins Game 4

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    In Game 4 of the World Series between the New York Yankees and Brooklyn Dodgers, Yankees pitcher Bill Bevens was on the precipice of history.

    Bevens was working a no-hitter with two outs in the ninth, but he was in trouble, having walked his ninth and tenth batters of the game in the frame.

    With two outs, two runners on base and nursing a 2-1 lead, Bevens attempted to create history and notch a win. Only pinch-hitter Cookie Lavagetto stood in his way.

    Lavagetto wasn't about to let history happen on this afternoon. He laced a Bevens' pitch into right field to plate both runners and give the Dodgers a 3-2 victory.

    It was the first time in World Series history that a no-hit bid had been broken up with two hits in the ninth, and by a game-winner to boot.

     

40. 1905 World Series: Christy Mathewson Delivers Pure Dominance

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    In 1905, New York Giants starting pitcher Christy Mathewson put on a performance during the World Series against the Philadelphia Athletics that is still considered one of the most dominant of all time.

    In Game 1, Mathewson blanked the A's with a four-hit shutout. Mathewson took the mound in Game 3 as well. On just two days' rest, Mathewson again delivered a four-hit shutout.

    Remarkably, Mathewson returned to the mound again for Game 5, this time with just one days' rest.

    No rest, no matter. Mathewson dazzled once again, this time throwing a five-hit shutout to deliver the first World Series title ever for the Giants.

    Mathewson delivered three shutouts in five days. If one wants to know the definition of dominance, I can't think of a finer example than that.

     


     

39. 1968 Detroit Tigers: Mickey Lolich Saves the Best for Last

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    The 1968 Detroit Tigers reached the World Series on the strength of a 31-win season from starter Denny McLain. No pitcher has reached that mark since.

    However, it was fellow rotation mate Mickey Lolich who delivered most when it counted.

    Lolich, 17-9 with a 3.19 ERA during the regular season, gave the Tigers a complete-game victory in Game 2, tying the series at one game apiece.

    Lolich then left the best for last.

    With the Tigers trailing the series three games to one, Lolich came through in Game 5 once again. Lolich's second complete-game performance helped the Tigers stave off elimination as they defeated the St. Louis Cardinals 5-3.

    After McLain forced a seventh and deciding game with a complete-game win in Game 6, Tigers manager Mayo Smith once again gave the ball to Lolich, this time on just two days' rest.

    Facing the mighty Bob Gibson, Lolich outshined the future Hall of Fame pitcher, throwing a complete-game five-hitter to complete the Tigers comeback and their first World Series victory since 1945.

38. 1963 World Series: Sandy Koufax Establishes New Record of Dominance

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    On Oct. 2, 1963, the Los Angeles Dodgers faced the New York Yankees in Game 1 of the World Series. The Dodgers sent ace Sandy Koufax to the mound at Yankee Stadium.

    Koufax showed dominant stuff from the start. While he gave up two runs on six hits, he struck out 15 Yankees that afternoon, establishing a new World Series mark for strikeouts in one game.

37. 1968 World Series: Bob Gibson Bests Sandy Koufax

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    Five years prior to the 1968 World Series, Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Sandy Koufax established a new record by striking out 15 Yankees in Game 1 of the 1963 Fall Classic.

    St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Bob Gibson then set out on a mission of his own.

    Pitching in Game 1 against the Detroit Tigers, Gibson was on top of his game. By the time he was done, Gibson had thrown a five-hit shutout, striking out 17 Tigers in the process to eclipse Koufax's old mark.

36. 1941 World Series: Mickey Owen Passed Ball Keeps Dodgers Winless in Series

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    During the 1941 season, Brooklyn Dodgers catcher Mickey Owen was one of the best defensive catchers in the league. In fact, Owen set a new MLB record by handling 508 consecutive fielding chances without an error.

    That all changed in the World Series.

    With two outs in the top of the ninth inning in Game 4 of the 1941 World Series, the Dodgers were poised to beat the New York Yankees.

    Holding on to a 4-3 lead, the Yankees were down to their last out.

    However, with Tommy Henrich at the plate, Hugh Casey threw a nasty curveball that fooled Henrich, who swung and missed for strike three, ending the game.

    But wait! Dodgers catcher Mickey Owen let the ball get past him, and Henrich raced to first base, reaching safely.

    The play unglued the Dodgers, who then allowed four runs in the inning and lost 7-4.

35. 1949 World Series: Tommy Henrich Comes Up Clutch

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    Right fielder Tommy Henrich put together a nice 11-year career with the New York Yankees, but it was during the postseason that he really shined.

    Henrich helped deliver for the Yankees in the 1941 World Series, singling and scoring the go-ahead run in Game 1 and hitting .323 in the 1947 Fall Classic.

    In 1949, Henrich again delivered.

    With the Yankees' Allie Reynolds and the Brooklyn Dodgers' Don Newcombe embroiled in a classic pitchers' duel, the game entered the bottom of the ninth inning in a scoreless tie.

    With Newcombe still on the mound, Henrich came to the plate. He took a Newcombe offering and deposited it into the seats for a solo home run, giving the Yankees a 1-0 walk-off victory.

    It was the first walk-off home run ever hit in World Series play.

34. 1920 World Series: A Rare Feat and First in Postseason History

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    The 1920 World Series matched the Cleveland Indians up against the Brooklyn Robins.

    Game 5 of the series saw two World Series' firsts—Indians outfielder Elmer Smith hit the first grand slam in a World Series, and Tribe pitcher Jim Bigby registered the first home run ever hit by a pitcher, a three-run blast in the third inning.

    It was after that things got really interesting, however.

    The Robins had put runners on first and second with no one out. Robins hitter Clarence Mitchell hit a screaming line drive, but right at Indians second baseman Bill Wambsganss. Wambsganss stepped on second base to retire Pete Kilduff, then tagged out Otto Miller who was running from first base to complete the first and only unassisted triple play in World Series history.

33. 2004 World Series: An 86-Year Curse Is Finally Exorcised

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    "Red Sox fans longed to hear it. The Boston Red Sox are world champions!"

    Those were the words of Joe Buck of Fox Sports when the Red Sox finally exorcised the demons of an 86-year curse to win the World Series.

    Grandfathers and grandmothers could finally go to their graves in peace, knowing they had finally seen what they once thought unattainable.

32. 1912 World Series: The Infamous Snodgrass Muff

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    With the 1912 World Series knotted at three games apiece, the Boston Red Sox and New York Giants fiercely battled in Game 7.

    With the Giants leading 2-1, the Sox came to the plate in the bottom of the tenth inning. Pinch-hitter Clyde Engle lifted what appeared to be a routine fly ball to center field.

    Fred Snodgrass camped under the ball, but inexplicably dropped it for an error. The Sox then capitalized, plating both the tying and winning runs to win the second World Series title in franchise history.

31. 1924 World Series: Legendary Pitcher Walter Johnson Finally Gets His Ring

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    In 1924, Washington Senators pitcher Walter Johnson once again put together a terrific season, posting a 23-7 record with a 2.72 ERA.

    This time, however, the 36-year-old Johnson was finally headed to the World Series.

    It took 18 years, but Johnson finally got there. Johnson, however, was treated rudely in his Fall Classic debut, losing both Games 1 and 5.

    With the series knotted at three games apiece, Johnson was given another chance.

    With the Senators and New York Giants tied at 3-3 in Game 7, Johnson came on relief in the ninth inning. This time, Johnson delivered, allowing no runs on just three hits in four innings. His Senators would finally score in the bottom of the 12th inning on an Earl McNeely double, giving Johnson and the Senators their first and only World Series title.

30. 1957 World Series: Eddie Mathews Delivers in Game 4 for Braves

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    The Milwaukee Braves faced a two-games-to-one deficit heading into Game 4 of the 1957 World Series against the New York Yankees.

    The game was knotted at 4-4 heading into extra innings. The Yankees scraped across a run in the top of the 10th, and in the bottom of the 10th the Braves came to the plate needing a rally to avoid a 3-1 series deficit.

    Yankees reliever Tommy Byrne hit the first batter with a pitch, and Yankees manager Casey Stengel called on Bob Grim to replace Byrne on the mound.

    After a sacrifice bunt moved the runner to second, Johnny Logan drove a double to left field, scoring pinch-runner Felix Mantilla with the tying run.

    Third baseman Eddie Mathews stepped to the plate and crushed a Grim pitch deep into the right field seats for a two-run home run, giving the Braves a hard-earned 7-5 victory and tying the series at two games apiece.

29. 1932 World Series: Did Babe Ruth Call It or Didn't He?

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    The truth behind Babe Ruth's "called shot" in the fifth inning of Game 3 of the 1932 World Series between the New York Yankees and Chicago Cubs will likely never be discovered. But it will surely be debated as long as baseball is still being played.

    The Cubs' bench had been riding Ruth hard throughout the first three games, so many historians believe that Ruth may have been gesturing back at the dugout in response to their taunts.

    Wherever the truth lies, his home run is still one of the most memorable moments in postseason history.

28. 1985 World Series: Don Denkinger Blown Call

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    It may be a bit unfair to say that first base umpire Don Denkinger's blown call in Game 6 of the 1985 World Series was the turning point of the series, but it did in fact changes the tides of fortune for the Kansas City Royals.

    Royals hitter Jorge Orta hit a routine grounder to St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Jack Clark, who then flipped the ball to reliever Todd Worrell who did his job in covering the bag.

    Worrell clearly tagged the bag ahead of the charging Orta, but Denkinger saw it differently, calling Orta safe.

    The Royals would go on to score both the tying and winning runs, and the Cardinals were unable to stem the tide, losing the series in seven games.

    Cardinals fans still throw up a little in their mouths at the mere mention of Denkinger's name.

27. 1980 World Series: Phillies Phinally Phind Way to Win

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    Sorry about the headline, I got a little crazy there.

    Nonetheless, in 1980 the Philadelphia Phillies finally exorcised some demons of their own.

    Throughout their history, the Phillies had never been able to call themselves champions.

    But after reliever Tug McGraw struck out Kansas City Royals hitter Willie Wilson with the bases loaded in the top of the ninth inning in Game 6, the Phillies could finally add the word 'champion' to their resume.

26. 2005 World Series: Scott Who?

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    In 2005, the Chicago White Sox reached the World Series for the first time in 46 years, and they acted like they had been there recently with an easy Game 1 victory over the Houston Astros.

    Game 2 proved to be much more of a challenge.

    With the score knotted at 6-6, the White Sox came to the plate in the bottom of the ninth inning at U.S. Cellular Field.

    With Astros closer Brad Lidge on the mound with one out, left fielder Scott Podsednik came to the plate. Podsednik had not homered in the entire 2005 season covering 507 at-bats.

    That changed with one swing. Game over, White Sox up two games to none.

25. 2009 World Series: Hideki Matsui Powers Yankees to 27th World Championship

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    In 2009, the New York Yankees were back in the World Series for the first time since 2003, facing the defending champion Philadelphia Phillies.

    The Yankees took a three games to two lead and were looking to close things out at Yankee Stadium in Game 6.

    Designated hitter Hideki Matsui closed it out almost on his own.

    Matsui opened the scoring in the bottom of the second with a mammoth two-run shot off Phillies starter Pedro Martinez. Matsui would inflict further damage in third, producing a two-run single off Martinez to give the Yankees a 4-1 lead.

    Matsui struck out again in the fifth, doubling to right field off reliever J.A. Happ to drive in two more runs, effectively putting the game away for the Yankees.

    Matsui tied a World Series record for most RBI in a single World Series game (Bobby Richardson, 1960).

    It turned out to be the final game of Matsui's Yankee career—he signed with the Los Angeles Angels during the offseason.

24. 1955 World Series: Sandy Amoros Preserves First-Ever Win for Dodgers

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    In 1955, the Brooklyn Dodgers were within striking distance of finally achieving an elusive goal—their first-ever World Series championship.

    However, the New York Yankees were in their way, and in the sixth inning of Game 7, the Yankees mounted a threat. Down 2-0, the Yankees had runners on first second with one out.

    Yogi Berra lifted a long fly ball to left field. Sandy Amoros, playing Berra to pull, raced over to the line to make a nifty one-handed catch and then fired the ball back to the infield to double up Gil McGougald at first base to end the threat.

    The Yankees wouldn't threaten again, and Amoros' catch preserved the first and only World Series championship in Brooklyn.

23. 1965 World Series: Sandy Koufax Delivers Once Again

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    The Minnesota Twins made their first appearance in the Fall Classic after moving to Minnesota. In fact, it was the first appearance by the franchise in the World Series since 1933.

    The Twins jumped out to an early two-games-to-none lead, but the Dodgers fought back to tie the series at two games apiece at Dodger Stadium.

    Sandy Koufax started Game 5 for the Dodgers. After losing Game 2, Koufax was on target on this afternoon, tossing a four-hit shutout with 10 strikeouts.

    The Twins tied the series at three games apiece back in Minnesota to force a seventh and deciding game. Dodgers managers Walter Allston elected to go with Koufax again on just two days' rest.

    Koufax was again brilliant, this time tossing a three-hit shutout to lead the Dodgers to a 2-0 victory and their third World Series championship in seven years.

22. 1946 World Series: Enos Slaughter's Mad Dash for Home Sinks Red Sox

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    The Boston Red Sox were attempting to win their first World Series championship in 28 seasons in 1946. The St. Louis Cardinals fought them hard, however, and the series went to a seventh and deciding game on Oct. 15, 1946.

    With the score tied 3-3, Enos Slaughter singled to center field to start the bottom of the eighth for the Cardinals.

    The Red Sox recorded the next two outs before Harry Walker stepped to the plate.

    Slaughter took off for second on the pitch as Walker lined a ball into left-center field. By the time center fielder Leon Culberson relayed the ball back to shortstop Johnny Pesky, Slaughter was already rounding third. Pesky's throw was late to home, giving the Cardinals a 4-3 lead, which they held in the ninth inning to win the World Series.

    Pesky has long been accused of a delay in his relay home, but Slaughter likely would have scored nonetheless.

21. 2003 World Series: Alex Gonzalez Ties Series in Walk-off Fashion

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    There isn't much that's more thrilling in baseball than an extra-inning World Series game.

    Walk-off home runs to end those games are even more so.

    The Florida Marlins were trailing the New York Yankees two games to one in the 2003 World Series.

    The Yankees tied the game at 3-3 in the top of the ninth inning courtesy of a two-run triple by pinch-hitter Ruben Sierra.

    The game dragged on into the 12th inning. With Yankees reliever Jeff Weaver working his second inning in relief, shortstop Alex Gonzalez strode to the plate to start the bottom of the 12th.

    On a 3-2 pitch, Gonzalez ended the four hour, three minute game with a towering blast, giving the Marlins a 4-3 victory and tying the series at two games apiece.

20. 1995 World Series: Tom Glavine Delivers a Championship to Atlanta

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    In 1995, the Atlanta Braves were making their third World Series appearance in five seasons, having lost in 1991 and 1992 to the Minnesota Twins and Toronto Blue Jays.

    This time, they were facing the powerful Cleveland Indians.

    They took a three games to two lead heading into Game 6 at Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium. Manager Bobby Cox handed the ball to Tom Glavine, who had picked up the win in Game 2.

    Glavine was outstanding on this night, allowing just a bloop single by catcher Tony Pena in the top of the sixth inning.

    Closer Mark Wohlers closed it out, giving the Braves a combined one-hitter and delivering the first-ever World Series championship to Atlanta.

19. 1969 World Series: Gil Hodges Uses Shoe Polish to Deliver Title

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    In 1969, the New York Mets took the baseball world by storm, charging past the Chicago Cubs to secure their first-ever NL East Division title and sweeping the Atlanta Braves in the NLCS to secure the National League pennant.

    But they were about to face the mighty Baltimore Orioles, who stormed through the American League with a 109-53 record.

    Surprisingly, the Mets jumped out to a three-games-to-one series lead and were looking to close things out in Game 5 at Shea Stadium.

    The Orioles took an early 3-0 lead. The Mets came to bat in the bottom of the sixth inning. O's pitcher Dave McNally threw a pitch at the feet of Mets hitter Cleon Jones. The ball took a funny hop and careened into the Mets dugout.

    Manager Gil Hodges then came out of the dugout with the ball to show home plate umpire Lou DiMuro that there was shoe polish on the ball, apparently proving that Jones had been hit by the pitch.

    DiMuro agreed, awarding Jones first base.

    The Mets rallied with five runs after that pitch in the next three innings, giving them a 5-3 victory and their first-ever World Series championship.

18. 1970 World Series: Brooks Robinson's Amazing Defensive Work

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    Throughout his fabulous career, third baseman Brooks Robinson earned the nickname "The Human Vacuum Cleaner" for his incredible glove work at the hot corner.

    That was never more evident than during the 1970 World Series.

    With the Baltimore Orioles matching up against the Cincinnati Reds, Robinson committed highway robbery in stealing away what should have been sure hits—if in fact someone else was playing third base.

17. 1997 World Series: Edgar Renteria Brings Joy to South Florida

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    In 1997, the Florida Marlins were on a mission to become the fastest expansion team at the time ever to win a World Series title.

    However, in Game 7 of the World Series against the Cleveland Indians, the Marlins found themselves knotted in a 2-2 tie heading into the bottom of the 11th inning.

    With reliever Charles Nagy on the mound, the Marlins mounted a rally, putting runners on every base with just one out.

    After Devon White grounded into a fielders' choice, forcing the running Bobby Bonilla out at home for the second out of the inning, it was left up to shortstop Edgar Renteria.

    Renteria hit a soft line drive just over the head of Nagy into center fielder, scoring Craig Counsell with the winning run and bringing a World Series championship to Miami for the first time in history.

16. 2001 World Series: Luis Gonzalez Delivers Joy for Another Expansion Team

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    New York Yankees closer Mariano Rivera will always be remembered as the most dominant reliever in postseason history.

    But on Nov. 4, 2001, Rivera became human for just one night.

    Facing the Arizona Diamondbacks in Game 7 of the 2001 World Series, the Yankees led 2-1 heading into the bottom of the ninth inning at Bank One Ballpark. The outcome appeared to be locked down with the mighty Rivera on the hill.

    Luis Gonzalez made sure that Rivera and the Yankees went home without a trophy in hand, blooping a single to score Jay Bell that gave the Diamondbacks their first title.

15. 1984 World Series: Kirk Gibson Delivers His First Fall Classic Bomb

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    The Detroit Tigers were leading the San Diego Padres three games to one heading into Game 5 of the 1984 World Series.

    Nursing a 5-4 lead in the bottom of the eighth inning, the Tigers put two runners on base against reliever Rich Gossage.

    After a ground-out moved the runners to second and third, Gossage elected to pitch to center fielder Kirk Gibson rather than issuing him an intentional walk. Gossage could have set up a force at any base, but in the past he had owned Gibson.

    His decision proved to the wrong one. Gibson drilled a three-run home run into the right field seats, giving the Tigers an insurmountable 8-4 lead on their way to winning the World Series in five games.

14. 1975 World Series: Bernie Carbo Delivers Pinch-Hit Magic

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    In the bottom of the eighth inning of Game 6 of the 1975 World Series, the Boston Red Sox were trailing the Cincinnati Reds 6-3.

    However, rookie center fielder Fred Lynn singled to lead off the inning and third baseman Rico Petrocelli followed with a walk.

    Reds manager Sparky Anderson replaced reliever Pedro Borbon with Rawly Eastwick. Eastwick promptly retired Dwight Evans and Rick Burleson, and Red Sox manager Darrell Johnson called on Bernie Carbo to pinch-hit for relief pitcher Roger Moret.

    Carbo had already delivered in this World Series, contributing with a pinch-hit home run in Game 3.

    He didn't disappoint this time around, either, with a three-run homer to center field.

13. 2011 World Series: Albert Pujols Joins Exclusive List

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    In the 2011 World Series, the St. Louis Cardinals and Texas Rangers had split the first two games at Busch Stadium.

    Returning to Rangers Ballpark for Game 3, the Rangers were looking to use their home-field advantage to their advantage.

    Cardinals first baseman Albert Pujols used it to his instead.

    Pujols smashed three home runs on his way to a 5-for-6 night with six RBI as the Cardinals crushed the Rangers 16-7.

    For Pujols, it was a record-tying night in three ways—his three home runs tied Babe Ruth and Reggie Jackson for the most in a single World Series game, his four hits in four consecutive innings tied a record, and his six RBI matched the record held by Bobby Richardson and Hideki Matsui.

12. 1996 World Series: Jim Leyritz Delivers Comeback Magic in Game 3

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    The New York Yankees were staring at a possible three-games-to-one deficit in the 1996 World Series against the Atlanta Braves.

    Trailing 6-0 heading into the sixth inning of Game 4, the Yankees mounted a rally, scoring three runs to cut the Braves lead in half.

    In the top of the eighth inning, Braves manager Bobby Cox inserted closer Mark Wohlers. Wohlers promptly gave up singles to Charlie Hayes and Darryl Strawberry.

    With two runners on and one out, catcher Jim Leyritz came to the plate to face Wohlers.

    Leyritz fouled off a couple of pitches before taking a Wohlers offering and driving it over the left-field fence for a three-run home run, completing the Yankees comeback and tying the game at 6-6.

    The Yankees would score two more runs in the top of the 10th inning to win 8-6 and tie the series at two games apiece.

11. 1991 World Series: Jack Morris Delivers 10-Inning Masterpiece

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    The 1991 World Series between the Minnesota Twins and Atlanta Braves was jam-packed with a bevy of highlights, undoubtedly one of the greatest World Series ever played.

    The seven-game series had it all—five one-run games, four extra-innings, multiple walk-off hits, and one the grittiest performances by a starting pitcher in postseason history.

    Jack Morris' 10-inning complete game shutout was a thing of beauty—no runs, seven hits and eight strikeouts. His performance allowed the Twins to finally win in the bottom of the 10th inning on a Gene Larkin single, giving the Twins their second World Series victory in five seasons.

10. 2011 World Series: David Freese Delivers Game 6 Magic

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    Game 6 of the 2011 World Series between the St. Louis Cardinals and Texas Rangers was a wild and wooly affair. David Freese's two-out, two-run triple in the ninth inning tied the game 7-7.

    The 10th inning featured even more intense action, as Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton struck for a two-run home run off Cardinals closer Jason Motte to give the Rangers a 9-7 lead.

    However, in the bottom of the 10th the Cardinals again struck back with Ryan Theriot producing a run-scoring groundout and Daniel Descalso tying the game once again with a run-scoring single.

    The Rangers were held scoreless in the top of the 11th, and their manager Ron Washington inserted reliever Mark Lowe for the bottom of the frame.

    Freese stepped in against Lowe. After working the count full, Freese crushed a solo shot over the center field fence to give the Cardinals a walk-off 10-9 win and send the series to a seventh and deciding game.

9. 1988 World Series: A Hobbling Kirk Gibson Delivers Pinch-Hit Magic

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    The 1988 World Series pitted the underdog Los Angeles Dodgers against the heavily favored Oakland Athletics.

    Game 1, however, was a tight affair. The A's held a slim 4-3 lead heading into the bottom of the ninth, and closer Dennis Eckersley was on the hill.

    Eckersley quickly got the first two outs, then allowed a walk to Mike Davis.

    Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda called upon a hobbling Kirk Gibson to pinch hit for pitcher Alejandro Pena. Gibson's knees were pretty well shot, and prior to the game he could barely even walk.

    But for one shining moment, Gibson's injury woes were a thing of the past, and his one and only at-bat of the World Series propelled the Dodgers to an improbable five-game series win.

8. 1991 World Series: And We'll See You Tomorrow Night!

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    Those were the words of immortal play-by-play man Jack Buck in describing the magic that occurred in Game 6 of the 1991 World Series between the Minnesota Twins and Atlanta Braves.

    Center fielder Kirby Puckett strode to the plate in the bottom of the 11th inning with the game locked in a 3-3 tie. The Twins were facing elimination down three games to two, and some magic was needed to give the Twins just one more chance.

    Puckett provided that magic.

7. 1977 World Series: Reggie Jackson Becomes Mr. October

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    When Game 6 of the 1977 World Series between the Los Angeles Dodgers and New York Yankees began, the Yankees were trying to do something not done in 15 years—win a world championship.

    Leading three games to two, the Yankees were looking to close things out.

    Right fielder Reggie Jackson took care of that with three swings.

    Jackson's three home runs and five RBI led the Yankees to an 8-4 win and the series title, and Jackson earned the nickname Mr. October for his efforts.

6. 1993 World Series: Joe Carter Delivers Second Walk-Off to Win a Series

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    "Touch 'em all Joe, you'll never hit a bigger home run in your life!"

    Those were the words uttered by Toronto Blue Jays broadcaster Tom Cheeks after Joe Carter's three-run home run catapulted the Blue Jays to an 8-6 victory in Game 6 of the 1993 World Series.

    The hit gave the Jays their second straight World Series championship.

5. 1954 World Series: Willie Mays' Catch in Game 1

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    The New York Giants entered the 1954 World Series against the Cleveland Indians as heavy underdogs. The Indians won an astounding 111 games on their way to the American League pennant.

    However, Giants center fielder Willie Mays took the wind out of the sails of the Indians offense with one incredible catch.

    His over-the-shoulder catch in a full stride off the bat of Vic Wertz has become well-known as one of the most celebrated catches in postseason history.

    The Giants would sweep the Indians in four games.

4. 1986 World Series: An Error That Became Known in Infamy

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    The Boston Red Sox were just one out away from winning the 1986 World Series. They seemed destined to exorcise the demons of a 68-year-old curse.

    Apparently, the demons had other ideas.

    Boston Red Sox first baseman Bill Buckner committed the most egregious error in Red Sox history, allowing Ray Knight to score the winning run for the Mets in a crazy and improbable comeback win.

3. 1975 World Series: Carlton Fisk Waves a Home Run Fair?

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    Well, no, that's not quite what happened. No man possesses those kind of powers.

    But Boston Red Sox catcher Carlton Fisk was certainly hoping his shot in the bottom of the 12th inning of Game 6 of the 1975 World Series was in fact a fair ball.

    It was, bouncing off the foul pole to give the Red Sox a thrilling 6-5 victory in a game that MLB Network called the greatest postseason game ever played.

2. 1956 World Series: Perfection for Larsen in Game 5

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    There is nothing quite like watching a perfect game in Major League Baseball. In fact, it's only happened 23 times.

    And only once in World Series play.

    In Game 5 of the 1956 World Series between the New York Yankees and Brooklyn Dodgers, Yankees starting pitcher Don Larsen was attempting to bounce back from a horrible effort in Game 2. Larsen gave up four runs on just one hit and four walks in 1.2 innings, so redemption was on is mind at the start of Game 5.

    Redemption wasn't the only thing Larsen delivered on that day.

1. 1960 World Series: Bill Mazeroski Delivers Only Game 7 Walk-Off Home Run Ever

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    Game 7 of the 1960 World Series between the New York Yankees and Pittsburgh Pirates could not have possibly delivered more in the way of back-and-forth craziness.

    The Yankees scored two runs in the top of the ninth inning to tie the game at 9-9.

    In the bottom of the ninth, Pirates second baseman Bill Mazeroski came to the plate to face reliever Ralph Terry.

    Mazeroski took Terry's second pitch and launched it into the left field seats at Forbes Field, launching the local fans into a frenzy as the Pirates won the game 10-9 and the city's first World Series triumph in 35 years.

    It was the first and only walk-off home run ever hit in a seventh and deciding game of any World Series in MLB history.

    Doug Mead is a featured columnist with Bleacher Report. His work has been featured on the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, SF Gate, CBS Sports, the Los Angeles Times and the Houston Chronicle.

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