With the end of the regular season on the horizon many baseball fans are entering playoff mode and beyond that World Series mode. The most coveted prize in Baseball has led to some of the most incredible games in the history of the sport and recent history has proven just how special it is.
Last season saw the Houston Astros come out victorious in a 4-2 series win over the Philadelphia Phillies. It was a season of redemption for the Astros, who had lost the World Series the previous year to the Atlanta Braves in six games. They could retain that title this year with World Series odds having them among the favorites.
We have seen so many memorable moments over the years that it would be impossible to name them all in one article, but here are some of the biggest and best.
An Injured Kirk Gibson Takes The Dodgers Home
Beginning with what is likely the greatest upset in baseball history, the 1988 Oakland Athletics were white hot heading into the World Series. They boasted the AL MVP of the 1988 season Jose Canseco, the Rookie of the Year Walt Weiss, and the best closer and starting pitcher in the form of Dennis Eckersley and Dave Stewart respectively.
The Dodgers on the other hand had an injured Kirk Gibson and a fatigued Orel Hershiser who missed game one. Everything seemed to be pointing towards a convincing Oakland win to cap off their 104-win season.
However, the Dodgers shocked everyone by taking game one with the injured Kirk Gibson hobbling out of the clubhouse to put away a two-run homerun in the bottom of the ninth. The loss had a huge effect on the Athletics who never got going after that, giving up three games in a row to lead the Dodgers to the most unlikeliest of sweeps.
The Cubs Break Their Duck
Depending on who you ask, the Chicago Cubs are recognized as the oldest team in the MLB. However, despite spending more time in baseball than most all teams in the league, they consistently struggled to reach the World Series let alone win it. In fact, even when they did they had a torrid time.
Between 1929 and 1938 they entered the World Series four times but did not win a single game. They then failed to reach the playoffs for nearly 40 years between 1945 and 1984 and it took them another 70 years post 40s to finally reach the big one again.
Once they were there, there was somewhat of a ‘enjoy it while you can’ feel to it among fans with few feeling they could get their hands on the trophy they had been without for over 108 years. But they did it in dramatic fashion, fending off the Cleveland Indians 4-3 to end the longest world championship drought in North American professional sports history.
Babe Ruth Calls The Shots
This moment has been debated over 90 years now, but the man himself swore by its validity. In the 1932 World Series between the Chicago Cubs and New York Yankees, The Bambino stepped up to bat in game three at the top of the fifth inning.
He swung two strikes before taking his two fingers and pointing up to the stands at centre field at Wrigley Field. With his third swing came a home run right where he had pointed to, mystically calling and landing his shot. The moment has gone down in MLB legend and although many question its validity, The Babe stood by the fact that he called it for the rest of his life.
Mazeroski’s Walk Off Home Run
You knew it was coming. This may just be the most iconic moment in the history of the World Series and has stood the test of time as such. In 1960, the Pittsburgh Pirates faced the New York Yankees. The two traded wins in some thrilling contests, taking them all the way to game seven for the decider.
The pirates scored five in the bottom of the eighth to go ahead 9-7 before the Yankees tied the game with two in the top of the ninth. With no one on base, up stepped second baseman Bill Mazeroski, with few expecting him to make himself a hero.
And then it happened. He swung at Ralph Terry’s second pitch and slammed the ball right out of Forbes Field to score the first and to date only walk off home run in World Series final-game history. The Pirates won their first title in 35 years in the most incredible fashion.