Sunday, October 24, 2010

And Then There Were Two

Two thoroughly entertaining League Championship Series wrapped up last night when the San Francisco Giants beat Philadelphia 3-2 thanks to an 8th inning opposite field HR from Juan Uribe and a 5 out save from Brian Wilson.

So, the World Series is set. Rangers, who came into existence as a franchis in 1961 as the Washington Senators after the original Senators moved to Minnesota to become the Twins. And until 2010, this franchise had not won a playoff SERIES let alone gone to the World Series.

On the other side you have the San Francisco Giants, one of the oldest teams in MLB history. Originally founded in 1883, the Giants have won 5 World Series titles...all in New York. The last coming in 1954 when they swept the Cleveland Indians in a World Series most known for "The Catch" by Willie Mays in CF. But, since moving to San Francisco in 1958, the Giants have not won a World Series despite appearances in '62, '89, '02.

So the stage is set for a historic World Series no matter the outcome. Either the first World Series championship in a franchise history or the first since a team moved 3000 miles away. Perhaps a more complete preview will be forthcoming prior to Game 1 on Wednesday, but for now, to get everyone ready for the 2010 World Series, here are my Top 10 World Series Moments (these will be primarily based on World Series in my lifetime so keep that in mind):

10) 1989 World Series: Battle of the Bay. World Series Interrupted by Earthquake. A's vs Giants

The first World Series that I can vividly remember because of the earthquake. The series itself was not terribly interesting, but will always be remembered for how Game 3 began. Go to the 4:30 mark to see the ABC broadcast cut off by the earthquake.

9) 1991 World Series: Kirby Puckett Walk Off in Game 6 (Bonus: Jack Morris performance in Game 7) Twins vs Braves

"AND WE'LL SEE YOU TOMORROW NIGHT!" Nothing beat the Metrodome during a playoff game. This HR lead to Jack Morris turning in arguably the greatest pitching performance in World Series history in Game 7 where he threw a 10 inning complete game shut out. Go to the 1:30 mark for Puckett's HR.

8) 1997 World Series: Edgar Renteria's walk-off single in the 11th inning of Game 7. Marlins vs Indians

This video kind of sucks but the Renteria hit is at the 1:17 mark. Points are taken off this moment for two reasons: The Marlins fire sale that followed and the continued hatred that God has for all things Cleveland sports.

7) 1986 World Series: The Buckner Play. Mets vs Red Sox

Remember when the Red Sox were lovable? Those were the days. I couldn't feel more bad for Buckner as his entire career (life?) has been defined by this one moment. The video above is the NES RBI Baseball recreation of that moment because, well, if you are reading this then I assume you are a baseball fan and if that's the case then you have seen this a thousand times.

6) 1988 World Series "A Roll of the Dice" Dodgers vs A's

Look, I get it. We all hate the Dodgers and I'm at the front of that line. But you are lying to yourself if you don't consider Kirk Gibson's Walk-Off HR off Eck in Game 1 as a great moment. For some reason this wouldn't embed but the link is above. HR at the 6:52 mark.

5) 2004 World Series: Reverse the Curse

This is not the most memorable of World Series on its own but the story behind how the Red Sox got there and the history of futility make this memorable. It also marks the last time the Red Sox and "Red Sox Nation" were tolerable.

4) 2002 World Series: Rally Monkeys and Thunder Sticks. Angels vs Giants

This is probably most known for the Giants collapse in Game 6. Leading 5-0 in the 7th inning of Game 6, the Giants Dusty Baker pulled Russ Ortiz in the 7th after giving up 2 singles (and gave him the game ball as he left). The Angels flashed the Rally Monkey, Spiezio hit a 3 run HR and the rally was on.

3) 1960 World Series: The Greatest Game Ever Played. Pirates vs Yankees

Only twice in baseball history has the World Series ended on a homerun. This is the first time in what is widely considered the greatest game every played. Bill Mazeroski walk-off HR to win the 1960 World Series.

2) 1993 World Series: Touch Em' All Joe. Blue Jays vs Phillies

The only other time a World Series ended on a HR was Joe Carter's walk off HR to beat the Phillies Mitch Williams and secure back-to-back World Series championships for the Blue Jays.

1) 2001 Series: Bloop Singles and Mr. November

Arguably this is the greatest World Series that has been played in my lifetime. Things got crazy in Game 4, where the DBacks were up 3-1 in the 9th in Yankee stadium and were only 3 outs away from taking a 3-1 lead in the series. DBacks closer Byung Young Kim gave up a 2 run HR to Tino Martinez. Bob Brenley inexplicably stayed with Kim in the 10th in which he gave up the walk-off to Jeter just after midnight, making this the first game to be played in November.

In Game 5, it was Scott Brosius who hit a 2 run HR with 2 outs in the 9th off Byung Young Kim that once again sent the game into extra innings where the Yankees ultimately prevailed.

But it was Game 7 that this series is perhaps best known for and the decision to bring the infield in. Luis Gonzalez bloop single behind Jeter (where, had Jeter been playing normal depth would have simply been an easy pop out) drove in the winning run and sent the DBacks to their first (and only) World Series championship.

So there you have it, my Top 10 World Series moments. Here's hoping 2010 can crack this list. Enjoy the Series!

No comments: