MLB Playoffs: 50 Greatest Moments in Baseball Postseason History
The final day of the 2011 regular season provided us with one of the greatest days of baseball in recent memory, and set the tone for the postseason.
While it will be hard to top the heroics of the Rays and the improbable comeback of the Cardinals, there is no doubt that playoff baseball has provided us with some of the greatest moments in the history of the sport.
So as we move to October baseball, now is a perfect time to look back at the postseasons of the past and reminisce about some of the greatest moments the sport has ever provided.
What follows is a look at the 50 greatest moments in MLB playoff history, and while they may not be the greatest performances in postseason history, they are the moments that have defined postseason baseball and stuck with fans through the years.
No. 50: Willie McCovey Lineout to End 1962 World Series, Game 7
While a lineout does not seem like a very exciting play, when you set the full scene for the lineout that Willie McCovey hit to end the 1962 World Series, you can see why this makes the list.
With starter Ralph Terry pitching a gem entering the ninth inning, the Yankees took a 1-0 lead into the bottom of the ninth inning of the decisive Game 7 of the series.
With just two hits allowed entering the inning, Terry immediately got into trouble as he surrendered a leadoff single. He rebounded, though, and struck out the next two batters of the inning before giving up a double to Willie Mays, putting runners on second and third with two outs and Willie McCovey coming to the plate.
McCovey found a pitch he liked and hit what he later called the hardest ball he had ever struck. The ball originally appeared to be headed into right field, but the top spin of the ball and good positioning by Yankees' second baseman Bobby Richardson resulted in an out and the end of the series.
No. 49: Kirk Gibson Three-Run HR in 1984 World Series, Game 5
In the World Series for the first time since 1968, the Tigers held a 3-1 series lead against the Padres and were looking to put things away in Game 5.
After jumping out to an early 3-0 lead, the Tigers found themselves clinging to a 5-4 lead heading into the bottom of the eighth inning in their last chance to get closer Willie Hernandez some insurance runs.
With two men on and one out, Kirk Gibson came to the plate for the Tigers to face Hall of Fame closer Goose Gossage. Gibson already had a two-run home run in the game and with first base open, conventional wisdom said to walk Gibson intentionally in that situation.
However, Gossage convinced his manager to let him pitch to Gibson, and he responded by launching a three-run home run to deep right field to ice the game and clinch the title for the Tigers.
No. 48: Chris Burke Walk-off HR in 2005 NLDS, Game 4
In the longest playoff game in history, the Astros and Braves played a whopping 18 innings, spanning nearly six hours, as a total of 14 pitchers were used.
The Astros came in up 2-1 in the series with a chance to close things out. However, the Braves led 6-1 going into the bottom of the eighth, but that was when the wheels fell off. The Astros scored four in the bottom of the eighth on a Lance Berkman grand slam, then forced extras when Brad Ausmus homered with two outs in the bottom of the ninth.
That was followed by seven scoreless innings of bonus baseball, before Chris Burke, who entered the game in the 11th as a pinch-runner but still managed three at-bats, finally ended it with a solo home run in the 18th to send the Astros to the NLCS.
No. 47: Tommy Henrich Walk-off HR in 1949 World Series, Game 1
The opening game of the 1949 World Series was the definition of a pitcher's duel, as the Dodgers' Don Newcombe and Yankees' Allie Reynolds each threw eight scoreless frames.
Reynolds, who gave up just two hits in the game, retired the Dodgers in order in the top of the ninth, as he was absolutely dominant the entire game.
For Newcombe, he had given up just four hits, while striking out 11 through eight innings, and he faced second hitter Tommy Henrich to start the top of the ninth. And just like that, the shutout and the game were over, as Henrich hit the first pitch he saw for a game-winning homer.
No. 46: Dave Henderson Three-Run HR in 1986 ALCS, Game 5
With the Angels leading the 1986 ALCS 3-1, the Red Sox needed a win to stay alive in Game 5, yet they found themselves down 5-2 heading into the ninth inning on the road.
The Red Sox led off the top of the ninth with a single by Bill Buckner, and two batters later, Don Baylor pulled the team within 5-4 with a two-run home run.
After getting the second out of the inning, reliever Gary Lucas came on and promptly hit catcher Rich Gedman with a pitch, bringing up injury replacement Dave Henderson with two outs and the season hanging in the balance for Boston.
The Angels turned to reliever Donnie Moore to face Henderson, and after working a 2-2 count, he connected for two-run home run to give Boston a 6-5 lead heading into the bottom of the ninth.
The Angels would tie things back up in the bottom of the inning to force extras, but the Red Sox eventually won it on a sacrifice fly in the top of the 11th by none other than Dave Henderson, and from there they went on to win the next two games and capture the NL pennant, although they eventually lost the World Series to the New York Mets.
No. 45: George Brett Three-Run HR in 1980 ALCS, Game 3
After taking the first two games from the New York Yankees in the 1980 ALCS, the Royals were looking to punch their ticket to the World Series in Game 3 but fell behind 2-1 heading into the seventh inning.
After getting the first two outs of the seventh inning, Yankees starter Tommy John surrendered a double to Willie Wilson and was lifted for closer Goose Gossage.
Gossage then gave up a single to U.L. Washington to bring George Brett to the plate with runners on first and third and two out.
Brett jumped on the first pitch he saw from Gossage, crushing a pitch into the third deck for a three-run home run to give the Royals a 4-2 lead and that is how things would end, as the Royals captured the AL pennant, although they eventually fell to the Philadelphia Phillies in the World Series.
No. 44: Roger Clemens Broken Bat at Mike Piazza in 2000 World Series, Game 2
The 2000 season brought about the much-hyped Subway Series between the Yankees and the Mets, as all eyes were on the city of New York for the World Series.
After taking Game 1 in extra innings, the Yankees sent Roger Clemens to the mound in Game 2 and he brought every bit of his intensity to the start.
There was no love lost between Clemens and Mets star catcher Mike Piazza, as Clemens had drilled Piazza in the head during a regular-season game and sent him to the DL with a concussion.
With the two facing off early in the game, Clemens came inside on Piazza and sawed off his bat, sending the barrel out towards the mound at Clemens who picked it up and threw it in the direction of Piazza who was running down the first base line.
Clemens would later claim that he did not see Piazza and was simply throwing the bat shard off the field and was caught up in the moment with adrenaline, but that was more than enough to spark some controversy and for people to question whether the piece of bat was in fact intended for Piazza.
No. 43: Scott Spezio Three-Run HR in 2002 World Series, Game 6
The Angels' postseason magic seemed to have run out in Game 6 of the 2002 World Series as they trailed 5-0 and had just nine outs to work with.
After dealing through six innings, Giants starter Russ Ortiz surrendered back-to-back singles with one out in the seventh inning and the Giants manager called on right-hander Felix Rodriguez to face Scott Spezio.
After working the count full, fouling off four pitches in the process, Spezio got the pitch he was looking for and, with one swing of the bat, he gave the Angels new life, and all the momentum in the world.
Rodriguez would get out of the inning without further damage, but the Angels struck for three more runs in the eighth inning and went on to win the game and the series.
No. 42: Jim Leyritz Three-Run HR in 1996 World Series, Game 4
In the World Series for the first time since 1981, the Yankees dropped the first two games of the 1996 Series at home before taking Game 3 in Atlanta. However, they looked to be on their way to a 3-1 deficit when the Braves took a 6-0 lead into the sixth inning.
A three-run top of the sixth moved the Yankees within three runs, but when the Braves turned to closer Mark Wohlers to start the eighth inning, it was clear they intended to slam the door.
The Yankees had other ideas, though, as Charlie Hayes and Darryl Strawberry opened the inning with back-to-back singles and following a Mariano Duncan groundout, backup catcher Jim Leyritz stepped up to the plate.
Leyritz entered the game in the fifth inning when starting catcher Joe Girardi was pinch-hit for, and he made the most of the position he found himself in as he launched a three-run, game-tying home run.
The Yankees went on to win the game extra innings, and the next two games as well to take the series. The momentum of the Leyritz home run is pointed to as the true start of the Yankees' late 1990s and early 2000s dynasty.
No. 41: Dave Roberts Steals Second in 2004 ALCS, Game 4
Trailing the Yankees 3-0 in the series, and with Mariano Rivera taking the mound looking to protect a 4-3 lead and close out the series, there didn't seem to be much hope for the Red Sox.
However, Rivera walked leadoff hitter Kevin Millar, and speedster Dave Roberts came on to pinch-run. His decision to steal second not only put him in scoring position, but also gave the Red Sox some momentum and hope as the next batter, Bill Mueller, then drove him in with an RBI single.
The Red Sox would win the game in extras and then the next three to pull off the best comeback in baseball history, and it all started with Roberts' steal of second.
No. 40: Josh Beckett Shutout in 2003 World Series, Game 6
The 2003 postseason was a roller coaster for the Florida Marlins, as they made the playoffs as the NL Wild Card but jumped all over the San Francisco Giants in the NLDS winning the series 3-1.
That seemed to be the end of the line, though, as they fell behind 3-1 in the NLCS to the Chicago Cubs and had to beat the Cubs' three best starters if they wanted a chance to play in the World Series.
The Cubs were more than happy to oblige though, as they dropped Game 5 before one of the most epic collapses of all-time in Game 6 and a 9-6 loss in Game 7.
That pitted the small-market Marlins against the free-spending Yankees in the quintessential David vs. Goliath match-up.
After splitting the first four games, the Marlins took Game 5 and send their ace Josh Beckett to the mound in Game 6 looking to end the series.
Beckett was phenomenal, shutting out the vaunted Yankees lineup and giving up just five hits over nine innings to earn MVP honors and take home the title.
No. 39: Bernie Carbo Three-Run Home Run in 1975 World Series, Game 6
Game 6 of the 1975 World Series is considered by some to be the single greatest baseball game ever played, and it was certainly not short on memorable moments.
While the iconic image of Carlton Fisk waving his game-winning home run fair gets the recognition, it would not have been possible had it not been for an unlikely home run earlier in the game.
Trailing 6-3 heading into the bottom of the eighth inning, the Red Sox put two men on to open the inning before Rawly Eastwick came on in relief and got out the first two batters he faced.
With the pitcher's spot due up, the Red Sox called on their top bat off the bench in Bernie Carbo, and he responded with a huge three-run home run to tie things up and set the stage for Fisk's home run in the 12th inning.
No. 38: Billy Martin Walk-off Single in 1953 World Series, Game 6
Best known as the manager of the New York Yankees, Martin also enjoyed a solid 11-year playing career with his best season coming in 1953. That year, he hit .257 BA, 15 HR, 75 RBI and garnered some MVP votes.
He was even better in the World Series, as he went 12-for-24 with two home runs and eight RBI, but no RBI was bigger than his Game 6 single that gave the Yankees the series in dramatic fashion.
Leading the series 3-2, the Yankees took a 3-1 lead into the ninth inning an looked on their way to clinching things. The Dodgers had other ideas, though, as Duke Snider drew a one-out walk and Carl Furillo launched a two-run home run to tie things up.
Hank Bauer led off the bottom of the inning for the Yankees with a walk, and Mickey Mantle put runners on first and second with a one-out single. That brought up Martin, who lined a single to center field to score Bauer and give the Yankees the win.
No. 37: Eddie Mathews Walk-off HR in 1957 World Series, Game 4
The Braves trailed the Yankees 2-1 following a 12-3 shellacking in Game 3, and they had their ace Warren Spahn on the hill with a chance to even the series.
Spahn pitched well through eight, giving up just one run as the Braves led 4-1 heading into the top of the ninth. However, he ran into trouble in the ninth, giving up three runs as the Yankees tied things up to force extra innings.
The Braves then opted to leave Spahn in for a 10th inning, and he gave up another run as the Braves found themselves down 5-4 heading into the bottom of the 10th.
The first batter of the inning was hit by a pitch then sacrificed over. That was followed by an RBI double from Johnny Logan, as the Braves tied things up.
The damage was not done, however, as the next batter was Hall of Famer Eddie Mathews, and he launched a home run to deep right field to give the Braves the win and bail out Spahn.
No. 36: Magglio Ordonez Walk-off HR in 2006 ALCS, Game 4
The Tigers were dominant through the first three games of the ALCS against the Athletics, as they outscored them 16-5, and that set up a chance for a sweep and a trip to the World Series.
The teams were all tied up 3-3 heading into the bottom of the seventh, and when a pair of A's relievers loaded the bases with just one out, manager Ken Macha turned to his closer Huston Street to get out of the jam, and he did with a double-play groundout.
Flash forward to the bottom of the ninth, and the score was still 3-3 as Street entered his third inning of work in the bottom of the ninth.
After getting two quick outs, he gave up back-to-back singles, bringing up cleanup hitter Magglio Ordonez. He took advantage of a tired Street, and launched a three-run bomb to send the Tigers to the World Series.
No. 35: Randy Johnson Wins Three Games in 2001 World Series
The Diamondbacks were big underdogs heading into the 2001 World Series against the Yankees, but they did have the pitching duo of Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling working in their favor.
After Schilling won Game 1, Johnson pitched a gem in Game 2 as he surrendered just three hits while striking out 11 in a complete-game shutout to put the Diamondbacks up 2-0 in the series.
However, the team dropped the next three games before Johnson took the hill again in Game 6. He was stellar again, going seven innings and giving up just two runs on six hits to get the win and force a decisive Game 7.
Schilling took the ball in Game 7, and while he pitched 7.1 innings and gave up just two runs, the Diamondbacks trailed 2-1 when they called on Johnson again on no days rest to finish things out.
After closing out the eighth inning, Johnson pitched a perfect top of the ninth to keep the score where it was and set up a fantastic rally that ended in Luis Gonzalez hitting a bloop single to give the team the title.
Johnson was awarded MVP honors for going 3-0 in the series, and the fact that he pitched on no rest is a testament to just what he meant to the team.
No. 34: Goose Goslin Walk-off Single in 1935 World Series, Game 6
The Tigers jumped out to a 3-1 series lead in the 1935 World Series, but the Cubs scored a 3-1 win in Game 5 to force a sixth game.
Things were all knotted up at 3-3 entering the ninth inning, and Tigers starter Tommy Bridges had pitched around trouble all game with 11 hits allowed to that point. It was much of the same in the ninth inning as Bridges gave up a lead-off triple to Stan Hack but managed to get out of the inning unscathed.
Cubs starter Larry French was in the same boat, with 10 hits allowed through eight innings, and he too found himself in trouble in the ninth inning. After striking out the first batter, he surrendered a single to catcher Mickey Cochrane, who was moved over to second base on a Charlie Gehringer groundout.
That brought up future Hall of Famer Goose Goslin, who was 0-for-4 on the game. He stepped up when it counted, though, as he singled to right field to score Cochrane and give the Tigers a walk-off series win.
No. 33: Bing Miller Walk-off Double in 1929 World Series, Game 5
Entering Game 5 of the World Series, the A's led the Cubs 3-1 in the series and were looking to close the door on the series and take home the title.
Cubs starter Pat Malone had other ideas, however, as he took a two-hit shutout into the bottom of the ninth inning with his team leading 2-0 and seemingly headed to a Game 6.
After striking out the first batter of the ninth inning, Malone gave up a single and then a two-run home run to Mule Haas to tie things up. The next batter up was catcher Mickey Cochrane and he grounded out for the second out of the inning, but Malone would be unable to get the game into extra innings.
Up next was Al Simmons who reached on a double, and he was followed by the always dangerous Jimmie Foxx who as intentionally walked. That brought up right fielder Bing Miller who had one of the two hits off of Malone entering the inning, and he put the game and the series away with a walk-off RBI double.
No. 32: Dusty Rhodes Walk-off HR in 1954 World Series, Game 1
This game is best remembered for the "The Catch," when Willie Mays made an insane over-the-shoulder catch on a dead sprint to preserve a 2-2 tie in the bottom of the eighth. However, that catch also set up one of the biggest walk-off home runs of all time.
The Indians struck for two runs in the first inning, but the Giants came back and tied things up in the bottom of the third. The teams would go scoreless through the ninth inning.
After the Indians failed to score in the top of the 10th, they sent their ace Bob Lemon back to the mound for a 10th inning of work. After striking out the leadoff hitter, Lemon walked Willie Mays, who then stole second base. That led to an intentional walk of Hank Thompson to set up the double play.
With Monte Irvin scheduled to hit next, the Giants elected to pinch-hit, as Irvin was 0-for-3 in the game and they sent utility man Dusty Rhodes to the plate. He responded, hitting the first pitch he saw for a game-winning home run to deep right field.
No. 31: Alex Gonzalez Walk-off HR in 2003 World Series, Game 4
After coming back to beat the Cubs in the NLCS, the Marlins once again found themselves down in the series against the Yankees, 2-1.
After striking for three runs in the first inning, the Marlins held a 3-1 lead going into the ninth inning. That brought closer Ugueth Urbina, and he gave up a two-out, two-run triple to Ruben Sierra to tie things up and send it into extras.
After a scoreless 10th and 11th, the Marlins finally broke through in the bottom of the 12th, when shortstop Alex Gonzalez, who was hitting just .077 to that point in the series, led off the inning with a game-winning long ball.
No. 30: Earl McNeely Walk-off Single in 1924 World Series, Game 7
A 24-year-old rookie in 1924, Earl McNeely played in just 43 regular-season games but did enough to find himself as the starting center fielder and lead-off hitter in the postseason as he hit .330 with 31 runs scored in 179 at-bats.
McNeely entered Game 7 hitting just .238 and the game was a battle from the start and ended up going to extra innings. Hall of Famer Walter Johnson took over in the top of the 11th for the Senators and kept things tied up entering the bottom of the 11th.
After the first batter of the inning grounded out, second batter Muddy Ruel doubled after getting new life on a missed foul popup by the catcher. Johnson then came up and reached on an error by the shortstop putting runners on first and second with one out for McNeely.
McNeely then hit a ground ball to Giants third baseman Freddie Lindstrom which took a bad hop and got past him into left field for a single, as Ruel scored for the walk-off win and the Senators captured their only World Series title.
No. 29: Scott Podsednik Walk-off HR in 2005 World Series, Game 2
The White Sox held a 6-4 lead heading into the top of the ninth inning, as they looked to go up 2-0 against the Astros. They called on closer Bobby Jenks, and he did not have his best stuff to close out the game.
He had runners on second and third with two outs, and the White Sox still up 6-4, when the Astros called on pinch-hitter Jose Vizcaino for one last chance. He hit the first pitch he saw for a two-run single, tying things up and chasing Jenks. Neal Cotts managed to get the Sox out of the inning without further damage.
The Astros then called on their own closer, Brad Lidge, to keep the game tied. After getting the first batter of the inning out, Scott Podsednik came to the plate for the Sox.
In 507 regular season at-bats, Podsednik had gone without a home run, but he drove Lidge's 2-1 offering over the right-center field wall for the most improbable of walk-off wins.
No. 28: Babe Ruth 14-Inning Win in 1916 World Series, Game 2
Game 2 of the 1916 World Series is perhaps one of the greatest examples of what was expected of starting pitchers in the days before five-man rotations and bullpens.
The Dodgers struck for a first-inning run against Red Sox starter Babe Ruth to take an early lead, but the Red Sox tied things up with a run in the bottom of the third inning.
Flash forward to the 14th inning, and both starters were still in the game, as the Red Sox finally earned the win with an RBI single in the bottom of the 14th.
While both starters should be commended, Ruth's stat line was ridiculous, as he "settled in" after the first inning to pitch 13 shutout innings and allow just five hits and three walks.
Oh, and he was just 21 years old at the time, and that is why Babe Ruth was and still is the greatest player to ever play the game of baseball.
No. 27: Christy Mathewson Throws Three Shutouts in 1905 World Series
One of the greatest pitchers ever to play the game, Christy Mathewson holds the record with four career shutouts in the World Series, and if that was not impressive enough, three of those four came in the 1905 World Series.
The Giants took the 1905 series from the Athletics in five games, and Mathewson pitched three of those five giving up a total of 13 hits over 27 innings while striking out 18 and walking just one.
There have been many dominant postseason performances over the years, but no pitcher has ever single-handedly won a World Series for his team the way Mathewson did for the Giants in 1905.
No. 26: Derek Jeter Backhanded Flip in 2001 ALDS, Game 3
The Athletics jumped out to a 2-0 series lead in the 2001 ALDS against the Yankees, but they trailed 1-0 heading into the bottom of the seventh inning against Yankees starter Mike Mussina.
With two outs in the seventh, A's DH Jeremy Giambi singled to bring Terrence Long to the plate. With a 2-2 count, Long ripped a double down the right field line and into the corner and Giambi was off to the races.
When right fielder Shane Spencer's throw came in wide up the first base line it looked as though Giambi would be safe standing up, but Derek Jeter came out of nowhere to cut off the throw and make a perfect backhand flip to home plate, cutting down Giambi, who would likely have been safe at home had he just slid.
No. 25: Enos Slaughter Scores Winning Run in 1946 World Series, Game 7
Following a 4-1 victory in a must-win Game 6, the Cardinals took the field against the Red Sox for Game 7 of the 1946 World Series and jumped out to an early 3-1 lead after five innings.
However, the Red Sox knotted things up in the top of the eighth when Dom DiMaggio connected on a two-run double.
Enos Slaughter led off the bottom of the eighth for the Cardinals with a single, but he was still standing on first base when Harry Walker stepped up to the plate later in the inning with two outs, hoping to keep the inning alive.
He did just that when he lined a double into the left-center gap, and just as center fielder Leon Culberson got the ball in to cutoff man Johnny Pesky, Slaughter was running through the third base coach's stop sign and heading for home.
For one reason or another, Pesky momentarily froze, perhaps out of surprise that Slaughter was running, but in the end, his relay throw to the plate was too late and Slaughter scored what held up to be the winning run of the game and the series.
No. 24: Cabrera Walk-off Single in 1992 NLCS, Game 7
After squandering a 3-1 series lead, the Braves were forced into a Game 7 with the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 1992 NLCS.
Ace Doug Drabek took the mound for the Pirates, and he was lights out though eight innings, giving up just five hits and no runs and Pittsburgh took a 2-0 lead into the bottom of the ninth inning.
Terry Pendleton led off the ninth with a double, then David Justice reached on an error and the bases were loaded with no one out when Drabek walked Sid Bream on four pitches.
That was enough for Drabek to get the hook, and Stan Belinda came on for the Pirates to try to snuff the rally. Ron Gant greeted him with a sacrifice fly to deep left field, as the Braves pulled it to 2-1 with runners on first and second and one out.
Damon Berryhill drew a walk to re-load the bases, but pinch-hitter Brian Hunter popped out to bring the Braves down to their final out. Francisco Cabrera came to the plate, pinch-hitting for the pitcher's spot with the Braves season hanging in the balance.
With just 10 regular-season at bats in 12 games with the team, Cabrera was an unlikely hero, but he came through with a single through the left side of the infield and Bream slid in just ahead of the tag at home plate to send the Braves to the World Series.
No. 23: Jackie Robinson Steals Home in 1955 World Series, Game 1
The Dodgers' impressive stable of Hall of Famers were all reaching the end of their careers, and while they had enjoyed success, the group had yet to win a title as they took on the Yankees in the 1955 World Series.
After falling behind 6-3 in the first game of the series, the Dodgers put together a rally of sorts and it was capped off with 36-year-old Jackie Robinson stealing home, sliding in just under the tag of Yankees catcher Yogi Berra.
That pulled the score to 6-5, and the Dodgers would go on to lose Game 1 and Game 2, but they rallied to win the series as Robinson won the only title of his career.
No. 22: Curt Schilling Bloody Sock Start in 2004 ALCS, Game 6
There was clearly something wrong with Curt Schilling in Game 1 of the 2004 ALCS against the Yankees when he went just three innings and allowed six runs.
He next took the mound in Game 6 of the series, with the Red Sox coming off back-to-back extra inning wins, but still trailing in the series 3-2 and facing elimination.
Schilling had suffered a tendon injury to his right ankle earlier in the playoffs and it was getting worse. In a desperation move, he underwent a procedure prior to the game to suture the tendon in his ankle to the skin surrounding it to prevent it from painfully moving around.
He went on to pitch great, throwing seven innings and allowing one run on four hits, and his start was made all the more dramatic by the growing blood stain on his right sock as one of the sutures had come loose in what is now known as the "Bloody Sock Game."
Truly an impressive display of a player doing whatever it takes to be there for his team and get a win.
No. 21: Bob Gibson 17-Strikeout Game in 1968 World Series, Game 1
After putting together what some consider the greatest pitching season of all-time with a line of 22-9, 1.12 ERA, 268 Ks while taking home NL Cy Young and NL MVP honors, Bob Gibson didn't miss a beat when he took the mound for the Cardinals in Game 1 of the World Series.
In pitching a complete-game shutout, Gibson struck out a playoff-record 17 Tigers, fanning each starter at least once. He gave up just five hits and walked only one in what could be considered the most dominant start in postseason history.
Gibson would throw another gem in Game 4, as he gave up just one run on five hits, but he was outdueled by Mickey Lolich in the decisive Game 7 as the Tigers took home the title.
No. 20: Reggie Jackson Three-HR Game in 1977 World Series, Game 6
The Yankees entered Game 6 of the 1977 World Series leading the series 3-2 and looking to put the pesky Dodgers away.
Cleanup hitter Reggie Jackson had homered in the previous two games for the Yankees, but he was about to do something no one had ever done in the playoffs and something that would earn him the nickname "Mr. October."
After walking in his first plate appearance, Jackson would homer in each of his next three at-bats as the Yankees won the game 8-4 and captured the title.
Jackson took home MVP honors and finished the series with five home runs and eight RBI to post one of the greatest World Series lines in history and truly earn his nickname.
No. 19: Sandy Koufax Shutouts in 1965 World Series, Game 5 & 7
After suffering the loss in Game 2 of the 1965 World Series, Sandy Koufax took the mound again for the Dodgers in Game 5 with the series knotted up at 2-2.
Facing a good Twins lineup that featured future Hall of Famer Harmon Killebrew and a pair of great hitters in Tony Oliva and Bob Allison, Koufax was absolutely dominant as he surrendered just four hits and struck out 10.
That wasn't the end of Koufax's amazing postseason though, as he took the ball again three days later and threw another shutout in the decisive Game 7, this time allowing just three hits while again striking out 10.
No. 18: Derek Jeter Walk-off HR in 2001 World Series, Game 4
With the Diamondbacks holding a 3-1 lead heading into the eighth inning, Diamondbacks manager Bob Brenly turned to his closer Byung-Hyun Kim for a two-inning save. He responded by striking out the side in the eighth, but ran into trouble in the ninth, and a two-run home run by Tino Martinez sent things into extra innings.
After the Diamondbacks failed to score in the top of the tenth, Brenly decided to stick with his closer for a third inning. He got the first two batters of the inning out, bringing up Jeter just as the clock at Yankee Stadium passed midnight, marking the first time baseball had been played in November.
After drawing a full count, Jeter smacked one over the wall in right field for an opposite-field game winner. That earned him the nickname "Mr. November."
Kim would blow another save the next game, but the Diamondbacks got the last laugh, winning the series in seven games when Yankees closer Mariano Rivera blew a save of his own.
No. 17: Edgar Martinez Walk-off Double in 1995 ALDS, Game 5
After coming back in September to catch the collapsing Angels, then securing a playoff spot with a one-game playoff victory, the Mariners' road to the 1995 postseason was an exciting one to say the least, but that was nothing compared to the series they would play with the Yankees.
After falling behind in the best-of-five series 2-0, the Mariners looked to be on their way to the offseason, but they battled back to take the next two games and force a decisive Game 5.
The Mariners trailed 4-2 heading into the bottom of the eighth inning, but a solo home run by Ken Griffey Jr, and a bases-loaded walk by Doug Strange later in the inning tied things up heading into the ninth.
Seattle turned things over to ace Randy Johnson and he threw three scoreless innings before giving up an RBI single to Randy Velarde that put the pressure on the Mariners to score or go home.
With starting pitcher Jack McDowell on the mound for his third inning of relief, the Mariners opened the inning with back-to-back singles from Joey Cora and Griffey.
That brought up Edgar Martinez, and he drove a double to left field bringing in Cora and a racing Griffey who scored the winning run just ahead of the tag.
No. 16: Chris Chambliss Walk-off HR in 1976 ALCS, Game 5
With the Yankees leading their ALCS series with the Royals 3-1, they found themselves one game from being in the World Series, and they held a 6-3 lead heading into the top of the eighth inning of Game Five.
A leadoff single by the Royals' Al Cowens chased Yankees starter Ed Figueroa, and after another single by Jim Wohlford, the Royals tied things up when George Brett launched a two-run homer off of reliever Grant Jackson.
The score remained 6-6 until the bottom of the ninth inning. Royals reliever Mark Littell was on the mound again to start the inning after entering the game with one out in the seventh.
The first batter he faced in the ninth was Chris Chambliss, and he hit the first pitch he saw over the right-center field wall to clinch the AL pennant for the Yankees.
No. 15: David Ortiz Walk-off HR in 2004 ALCS, Game 4
Coming off of a 19-8 drubbing in Game 3, the Red Sox found themselves facing a sweep at the hands of their rivals, as they trailed 4-3 against the Yankees going into the bottom of the ninth.
Kevin Millar led off the inning with a single, and pinch-runner Dave Roberts stole second base to set up a game-tying single from Bill Mueller, as Mariano Rivera blew a rare postseason save opportunity. He did, however, get out of the inning with the score still tied.
After a scoreless 11th, the Yankees failed to score in the top of the 12th, and the Red Sox had another opportunity to come away with the win. Paul Quantrill came in to pitch for the Yankees, and after a Manny Ramirez single, David Ortiz gave the Red Sox the win with a two-run shot.
That began perhaps the most improbable comeback in sports history, and the Red Sox won the next three games to become the first team to ever come back from down 3-0.
No. 14: Jack Morris 10-Inning Shutout Win in 1991 World Series, Game 7
Signed in the offseason to a one-year, $3.7 million contract to be the ace of the Twins staff, Morris found himself very much in the role of ace as he took the hill for Game 7 of the 1991 World Series, a game set up by Kirby Puckett's dramatic walk-off home run in Game 6.
Morris won Game 1 of the series and took a no-decision in Game 4 despite giving up just one run in six innings of work. Pitching on three days rest, Morris would not give the bullpen a chance to give the game away in the decisive Game 7.
Morris and a then 24-year-old John Smoltz matched each other zero for zero with seven shutout innings before the Braves turned to the bullpen. Things remained scoreless through nine innings, and Morris took the mound for the top of the tenth with a pitch count of 118 and no intention of leaving the game.
He needed just eight pitches to get through the tenth inning 1-2-3, and in the bottom of the 10th, the Twins finally pushed across a run on a Gene Larkin RBI single as Morris turned in one of the most dominant performances on the biggest stage possible.
No. 13: Babe Ruth Called Shot in 1932 World Series, Game 3
The Yankees have hit some of the most memorable home runs in baseball history, but there is none more talked about nor more revered than Babe Ruth's infamous called shot against the Cubs in the 1932 World Series.
What is fact and what is fiction about the events that transpired that day may never be known, but that only makes the legend that much more intriguing.
As it goes, the Cubs players and fans had been heckling Ruth all game, and he had been giving it right back rather than just ignoring them. Batting in the fifth inning against Cubs ace Charlie Root, Ruth took a first-pitch strike. He is then said to have pointed to either Root, or the right-center bleachers.
After taking three straight pitches, and pointing after each one, he then crushed a 2-2 offering to the same area in the right-center field bleachers where he was supposedly pointing.
Whether it is all true, we may never know, but it is one of the stories that makes baseball great, and goes down as one of the most legendary moments in sports history.
No. 12: Ozzie Smith Walk-off HR in 1985 NLCS, Game 5
Prior to the 1985 season, the League Championship Series were changed from a best-of-five format to a best-of-seven format, so when the Cardinals and Dodgers entered Game Five tied at 2-2, it was not a chance to win the series, but certainly to take control of it.
The Cardinals jumped to an early 2-0 lead, but the Dodgers tied things up with a two-run fourth inning, and the score remained tied heading into the bottom of the ninth.
The Dodgers turned to reliever Tom Niedenfuer to keep things tied, after eight strong innings from ace Fernando Valenzuela. After inducing a popup from the first hitter of the inning, Willie McGee, that brought Ozzie Smith to the plate hitting left-handed.
In 3,009 at bats in his career batting left-handed, Smith had never homered, but when it mattered most, he came through with a game-ending jack to right field.
"Go crazy, folks, go crazy!" - Cardinals announcer Jack Buck
No. 11: Aaron Boone Walk-off HR in 2003 ALCS, Game 7
With Pedro Martinez pitching great for the Red Sox, the Yankees trailed 5-2 heading into the bottom of the eighth inning. Martinez took the mound in the eighth despite a high pitch count after assuring manager Grady Little that he still had something left.
After getting the first out of the inning, Martinez gave up a double to Derek Jeter, followed by an RBI single to Bernie Williams. That drew Little to the mound, but to the surprise of everyone, he left Martinez in.
Pedro then promptly gave up a double to Hideki Matsui and was finally chased after a two-run double Jorge Posada, with the score now 5-5.
It would remain 5-5 until the bottom of the 11th, as the Red Sox sent Tim Wakefield out for his second inning of relief.
Leading off for the Yankees was Aaron Boone, who had entered the game as pinch-runner in the eighth inning. He hit the first pitch he saw from Wakefield over the left-field wall to send the Yankees to the World Series.
No. 10: Roy Halladay No-Hitter in 2010 NLDS, Game 1
Roy Halladay enjoyed a phenomenal 2010 regular season, as he led the National League with 21 wins and took home the NL Cy Young Award in his first season with the Phillies. Throw in the perfect game he pitched on May 29, and it is safe to say that Halladay was the best pitcher in baseball in 2010.
That great regular season was followed by the first postseason appearance of his career, as he took the ball in Game 1 of the NLDS against the Reds, and he started off the postseason with a bang.
Halladay needed just 104 pitches as he no-hit the Reds, striking out eight and walking just one for the lone blemish on his stat line. It was just the second no-hitter in postseason history and an impressively dominant performance to say the least.
No. 9: Edgar Renteria Walk-off Single in 1997 World Series, Game 7
One of the bigger underdog stories in World Series history, the Marlins took on a loaded Indians team in 1997 and the teams alternated wins through the first six games to take things to a deciding Game 7.
The Indians held a 2-1 lead entering the bottom of the ninth inning and closer Jose Mesa took the mound in an attempt to slam the door and give the Indians a title. However, he was unable to lock things down and after a pair of singles, Craig Counsell delivered with a sacrifice fly to tie the game.
After a scoreless 10th, Jay Powell came on and pitched a scoreless top of the 11th to bring the Marlins up with a chance to win it against Indians ace Charles Nagy.
Bobby Bonilla led off the inning with a single, and following a Greg Zaun popout, Craig Counsell reached on an error. That was followed by an intentional walk to Jim Eisenreich to load the bases, but Nagy managed to get the second out of the inning when Devon White grounded out to second and Bonilla was forced out at home.
That brought up 20-year-old shortstop Edgar Renteria, and he singled up the middle to score Counsell and give the Marlins a title in just their fifth season as a team.
No. 8: Luis Gonzalez Walk-off Single in 2001 World Series, Game 7
In one of the most exciting World Series of all time, the Diamondbacks entered Game 7 coming off of a 15-2 victory in Game 6 that was preceded by a pair of blown saves by closer Byung-Hyun Kim that resulted in extra-inning losses.
However, things looked to be all over as the Diamondbacks entered the bottom of the ninth inning trailing 2-1 set to face the greatest closer of all-time in Mariano Rivera.
Mark Grace led off the ninth with a single, and an error by Mariano Rivera put runners on first and second with no one out. A failed sacrifice bunt by Jay Bell made it first and second with one out when leadoff hitter Tony Womack smacked a double down the right field line to score one and tie things up.
Clearly rattled, Rivera hit the next batter to bring Luis Gonzalez to the plate. Bases loaded, bottom of the ninth, tie game, World Series Game 7, the ultimate scenario and Gonzalez delivered.
While most kids don't envision hitting a bloop single to win the World Series when imagining that scenario, it was more than enough to score Jay Bell and give the Diamondbacks the title.
No. 7: Kirby Puckett Walk-off HR in 1991 World Series, Game 6
Down 3-2 to the Braves in the World Series, it was do-or-die for the Twins in Game 6, and they jumped out to an early 2-0 lead in the first inning. The Braves tied things up at 2-2 in the top of the fifth, but the Twins once again took the lead with a run in the bottom of the inning.
A Mark Lemke single to open the seventh inning chased Twins starter Scott Erickson, and after reliever Mark Guthrie loaded the bases, Ron Gant tied things up with an RBI ground out.
The score would remain 3-3 until the bottom of the 11th, when Puckett led off the bottom of the inning with a home run to left-center off of a 2-1 pitch from reliever Charlie Leibrandt.
No. 6: Willie Mays Catch in 1954 World Series, Game 1
Game 1 of the 1954 World Series ended with a walk-off, pinch-hit, three-run home run and that still only ranks as the second-best moment of that game thanks to Willie Mays.
With the game tied at 2-2 heading into the eighth inning the Indians put runners on first and second to lead things off bringing first baseman Vic Wertz to the plate.
Wertz hit a two-run triple in the first inning to give the Indians their first two runs and he put a drive into a ball to deep center field that looked like it would add to his RBI total.
Instead, Giants center fielder Willie Mays ran the ball down on a dead sprint, catching it over his shoulder for one of the greatest defensive plays in baseball history and a moment that has gone down simply as "The Catch."
No. 5: Don Larsen Perfect Game in 1956 World Series, Game 5
In just his second season with the Yankees and his fourth season in the league, Don Larsen found himself as the second starter in the New York rotation behind Whitey Ford in the 1956 World Series.
Starting Game 2, Larsen lasted just 1.2 innings and gave up four unearned runs while walking four before getting pulled, and he would next take the mound in Game 5 with the series tied 2-2.
Larsen went 11-5 with a 3.26 ERA during the regular season in 38 appearances (20 starts), and he took the mound with his best stuff on Oct. 8, 1956.
He tore through the Dodgers impressive lineup that featured five future Hall of Famers, throwing a perfect game while striking out seven to take the pivotal Game 5, as the Yankees would go on to win the series in seven games.
No. 4: Kirk Gibson Walk-off HR in 1988 World Series, Game 1
After the Dodgers struck for two runs in the first inning, Athletics starter Dave Stewart settled down and gave up just one more run through eight innings. The Athletics, meanwhile, scored four runs of their own in the top of the second inning, as the score sat at 4-3 entering the bottom of the ninth inning.
The A's turned to their All-World closer Dennis Eckersley, who had an AL-best 45 saves and finished second in AL Cy Young voting, to slam the door in the ninth inning. After getting two quick outs, Eck walked pinch-hitter Mike Davis, and the Dodgers turned to Kirk Gibson to pinch-hit for the pitcher's spot.
With two bad knees, Gibson hobbled up to the plate as the Dodgers last chance. After fouling off a number of pitches, he managed to work a full count. According to Gibson, Dodgers scout Mel Didier had told him that Eckersley throws a backdoor slider nearly exclusively when he has a 3-2 count.
Gibson got the pitch he was looking for and hit it into the right-field bleachers, setting the tone for the rest of the series, which the Dodgers would win in five games.
The footage of Gibson hobbling around the bases and pumping his fist is baseball legend, and Jack Buck's line, "I don't believe what I just saw!", is as much a part of history as the home run itself.
No. 3: Carlton Fisk Walk-off HR in 1975 World Series, Game 6
On the brink of elimination down 3-2 to the Reds in the World Series, the Red Sox scored three runs in the bottom of the eighth inning to tie the game at 6-6, and that remained the score until the bottom of the 12th inning.
After throwing two perfect innings of relief, the Reds' Pat Darcy took the mound for his third inning of work in the 12th, and first up for the Red Sox was cleanup hitter Carlton Fisk.
After taking the first pitch he saw for a ball, Fisk lined a ball deep down the left-field line that had the distance but looked as though it may drift foul.
With Fisk waving his arms in an attempt to coax it fair, in what has become an iconic baseball moment, the ball kicked off the left-field foul pole for a home run.
The Red Sox would go on to lose Game 7, but the home run has gone down as one of the best in baseball history.
No. 2: Joe Carter Walk-off HR in 1993 World Series, Game 6
With the Blue Jays up 3-2 in the series, the Blue Jays held a 5-1 lead heading into the top of the seventh inning with starter Dave Stewart pitching well.
However, Stewart led off the inning with a walk and a single, and a three-run Lenny Dykstra home run promptly chased him from the game. The Phillies would go on to score two more runs before the Jays got out of the seventh, and they held that 6-5 lead heading into the bottom of the ninth.
The Phillies turned to closer Mitch Williams in the ninth. Williams had 43 saves during the regular season, but he was not known as "Wild Thing" for nothing, and he walked the first batter of the inning in Rickey Henderson.
After getting a flyout, Williams then surrendered a single to Paul Molitor. That brought up Joe Carter, and he hit a 2-2 pitch to deep left field, just clearing the wall to give the Jays the win and the series.
"Touch 'em all, Joe, you'll never hit a bigger home run in your life!" - Blue Jays announcer Tom Cheek
No. 1: Bill Mazeroski Walk-off HR in 1960 World Series, Game 7
Mazeroski is widely regarded as the best defensive second baseman ever to play the game, yet the crowning achievement of his career is without a doubt his game-ending and World Series-ending home run in 1960.
After hitting 11 home runs during the regular season, one of just six times he broke double digits during his 17-year career, Mazeroski led of the bottom of the ninth inning in what had been a back-and-forth game.
After scoring five runs in the eighth to take a 9-7 lead, the Pirates surrendered two runs in the top of the ninth to tie things up. Mazeroski led off the bottom of the ninth, hitting in the eighth spot in the lineup, and he crushed Ralph Terry's 1-0 offering over the left-field wall for the first World Series-winning home run in baseball history.