For only the second time in Major League Baseball history the World Series continues into November. An interesting piece of trivia is that the New York Yankees have been involved in both of the November series.
The first time this occurred was in 2001 and was a result of baseball being postponed a week after the bombings of the World Trade Center. This delayed the end of the regular season by six days and in turn pushed the playoffs and ultimately the World Series by a week.
The 2001 World Series is of course near and dear to the hearts of Arizona Diamondbacks fans. It was that year when Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling lead the Diamondbacks to the Promised Land that ultimately ended on a bloop single by left-fielder Luis Gonzalez off Mariano Rivera.
The New York Yankees have not won a World Series since that fateful year. While that can hardly be described as a curse, it is quite coincidental that the Yankees would once again be involved in a series when the calendar flips to November.
During Game Four, Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter would hit a home run in the bottom of the tenth inning to give New York the victory and tie the series at two games apiece. Yankees broadcasters would anoint Jeter with the title of Mr. November as a result.
I always thought that term a little premature and ultimately over the next three games the Diamondbacks would concur. Truthfully the title of Mr. November probably belongs to left-handed pitcher Randy Johnson who took the Diamondbacks on his back for Games Six and Seven winning each of them.
So when the 2009 World Series began Game Four, the announcers once again began talking about Derek Jeter as Mr. November. While he is having by all accounts a good series, Jeter was not the hero of tonight’s game or this series so far.
Tonight belonged to Johnny Damon who battled in the ninth inning before finally getting a single to left field. He followed that up with a double steal and scored the eventual game winning run on a double by Alex Rodriguez.
And while the Yankees are now just one win away from winning their 27th World Championship they should remember that they were just one win away in 2001 when the series went back to Arizona.
At that point the true Mr. November picked up his team and dismantled the favored Yankees in consecutive games to give Arizona the championship. The question over the next three games will be whether the Yankees are capable of winning in November or will they once again be the bridesmaid?