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What’s your favorite World Series memory?

Oct 28, 2010, 9:31 AM EST

DAVID JUSTICE

After that abomination of a game last night I needed something to cleanse the palate.  Here’s something, from Baseball Prospectus:

Every baseball fan has a special World Series memory, whether it’s Willie Mays’ catch, Bill Mazeroski’s home run, Brooks Robinson’s defense, Kirk Gibson’s limp around the bases, or Derek Jeter becoming the first-ever Mr. November. With the World Series opening tonight at AT&T Park in San Francisco with the Giants facing the Texas Rangers, many of our writers, editors, and interns share their favorite memories of the Fall Classic.

Lots of good ones in there, none of which involve Vlad Guerrero making me huddle behind the couch in a ball, crying. I highly recommend you click through and give it a read.

And let’s turn the comment thread here into your favorite World Series moment too.  I’ll start with the obvious one: David Justice’s home run in Game 6 of the 1995 World Series. There was still a lot of baseball to be played in that one, but it was at that moment that I thought: man, they’re going to win this game.

Go!

  1. BC - Oct 28, 2010 at 9:39 AM

    “So the winning run is at second base, with two outs, three and two to Mookie Wilson……A little roller up along first… behind the bag! It gets through Buckner! Here comes Knight, and the Mets win it!”

    • TomTom - Oct 28, 2010 at 9:52 AM

      Man, the Buckner play stands out for me, so too does Joe Carter and the Morris v. Smoltz game 7. Awesome stuff. But my favorite WS moment, the one that came to my mind immediately, was Kirk Gibson. The homerun. I still get goosebumps watching it with Vin calling the play.

      • BC - Oct 28, 2010 at 10:01 AM

        Jack Buck’s call on the Gibson home run was even better. Maybe the best call I’ve heard live.

      • Kevin S. - Oct 28, 2010 at 10:10 AM

        Posnanski couldn’t separate them. I think putting them side-by-side makes sense – different takes on the same play, but I don’t know if one was “better” than the other.

      • dodger88 - Oct 28, 2010 at 10:54 AM

        Gibson’ HR with Scully’s call for me. Still gives me chills.

  2. christopherodell - Oct 28, 2010 at 9:47 AM

    It was nearly a botched play, but I was nine and I’ll never forget it: Game 6 of the 1980 World Series. Top of the ninth, bases loaded, one out. Phillies up 4-1. Frank White pops a foul ball near the dugout on the first base line. Bob Boone — the Phillies’ catcher — fades back and follows the ball in the air, puts out his glove to make the catch . . . and the ball pops out of his mitt. But Pete Rose is standing right there, slides his glove underneath Boone’s, and makes the catch. Minutes later, Tug McGraw fans Willie Wilson (and I still remember the umpire behind home plate: Frank Pulli) and the Phillies win their first World Championship.

    • Jonny 5 - Oct 28, 2010 at 11:09 AM

      Damn, I was 5 years old. I wish I could remember it like that.

    • dharmabum2009 - Oct 28, 2010 at 11:12 AM

      My favorite memory of that Series was George Brett coming to the plate hours after hemorrhoid surgery and blasting a homer. Otherwise it was a bummer.

      The fact that Tug fanned Willie isn’t that remarkable. Willie established a new record that year for most strikeouts in a 6-game series.

      But congrats to the Phillies and their fans. You whupped us.

      • BC - Oct 28, 2010 at 11:34 AM

        Brett also had the greatest quote in World Series history: “All my troubles are behind me”.

    • Utley's Hair - Oct 28, 2010 at 12:12 PM

      Tugger jumping up and down is my first World Series memory (I was 6 at the time), but I hadn’t really “discovered” baseball yet–sadly, that happened soon after 1983.

      • Jonny 5 - Oct 28, 2010 at 12:21 PM

        That’s all I can remember too. But that could be because that is a Philly great moment, and has been replayed so many times. But I was a Philly fan from that day forward. 93 was a crusher for me. It was as if the phillies couldn’t do enough to win that series. Since when is 14 runs not enough??? ohh when the opponent scores 15, right…Carter…. echhh. To say it leaves a bad taste still.

  3. Kevin S. - Oct 28, 2010 at 9:48 AM

    Sorry Craig, but for me it’s gotta be Leyritz’s home run. I first became aware of baseball when I was six, in the summer of ’93. I was too young to realize how badly the Yankees sucked. I was supposed to go to my first game when I was seven, in the summer of ’94 – the strike fixed that. I finally did go to my first game when I was eight, in the summer of ’95; later that year, I’d first learn what it felt like to suffer the pain of playoff defeat. But it was Leyritz’s home run in ’96, shortly after my tenth birthday, that made me realize the defending champion Braves, who had just brutalized the Yankees for two games at home, were actually not invincible, and that the series could be won. I think today I’d probably appreciate Pettitte outdueling Smoltz in Game Five more, but for a little kid looking for something to believe in, Leyritz’s home run is what did it.

    Conversely, most painful moment was and still is Mo blowing Game 7 in Arizona. With the Red Sox, there was time to get used to the fact that the Yankees were going to lose the Series. Back in ’01, the Yankees were three-time defending champs. Rivera hadn’t given up a postseason run in forever and two days. There was the whole “team of destiny” feeling as New York rallied around the Yankees following 9/11, and the way they’d won games 4 and 5 in New York. The pit that opened up in my stomach as the D’Backs blooped and bled Rivera for those two runs has never been matched by any other sports pain I’ve felt.

    • TomTom - Oct 28, 2010 at 9:57 AM

      Man I loved that moment too, although more for watching the Yankees lose to some nothing-team from Arizona. I was watching that game with a bunch of Yankee fans at a party, had to leave early and made a phone call to back to my buddies to gloat. They said two words and hung up the phone. I’ll let you guess what two words. Man that was a fun day.

      • BC - Oct 28, 2010 at 10:03 AM

        A nothing-team from Arizona? They had two of the best pitchers in the last 20 years on their staff!

      • Kevin S. - Oct 28, 2010 at 10:13 AM

        I think it was more the names on the front than the names on the back that led to that statement (and I’m sure many New Yorkers shared the sentiment). Arizona had been around for four years at that point. No history to really speak of.

      • TomTom - Oct 28, 2010 at 10:33 AM

        Indeed, Kevin S. That’s exactly right.

    • kinggeorge96 - Oct 28, 2010 at 10:33 AM

      I totally agree on both accounts… the good and the bad.

      I suffered through plenty of the bad Yankee teams of the 80’s, so that 96 WS was my first chance at redemption for my Yankee faith over the years. I was to young to remember the Bronx Zoo years. All I had looked forward to previously was seeing Donnie Baseball pay.

      I actually have 2 favorite moments from that year. First being the homerun by Leyritz.. that was the first moment where it clicked that the Yankees could actually win. Mark Wholers probably still wakes up in a cold sweat from that hanging slider.. Secondly was the triple by Girardi in the clinching game. Maddux was a beast, but that play was HUGE!

    • bigharold - Oct 28, 2010 at 12:50 PM

      My first reaction was Reggie’s three HRs against the Dodgers but that Leyritz HR stands out. Reggie’s HRs were great and practically the stuff of legend. But the Yankees had the Dodgers on the ropes then. You knew the outcome. On the other hand, it really looked bad for the Yankees midway through game three of the 96 WS.

      I was working in NYC, near Penn Station and got off at 10:PM and was standing on the concourse of Penn watching the game on a bar TV. I had to either get on the LIRR train home or wait an hour for the next one. When I got on the train I was thinking ” .. they’ll be in a 3-0 hole before I get home.” About half way home, the conductor announced Leyritz tied it up with his HR, the train went nuts!. It was great! As we were pulling into the last stop they announced the Yankees had won. An absolutely great feeling! I must have stayed up until 4AM watching everything I could about the game.

      For a lot of fans, younger ones, It’s hard to understand today just how important that WS win was to Yankee fans, like myself, that had been rooting for the Yankees since Mickey Mantle. Today it seems as if a trip to the playoffs is a Yankee birthright. Leyritz’ HR was a significant turning point.

  4. skipperxc - Oct 28, 2010 at 9:53 AM

    Seeing as my Brewers haven’t been in the World Series in my lifetime, I’ve been forced to root for compelling baseball instead. As such my favorite memory was Game 7 2001 — clinching game, brilliantly pitched on both sides, bottom of the ninth, runner on third in a tie game, the greatest closer ever on the hill, the home team’s best hitter at the plate…what more could you ask?

  5. okobojicat - Oct 28, 2010 at 9:53 AM

    Bartman.

    Oh wait, that’s the reason I don’t have any World Series memories.
    #StillBitter

    And yes, I know that Alex Gonezalez’s glove (or lack there-of) had much more impact on the outcome of that series. I can still hold a small grudge. That said, how the people of Chicago treated Bartman was inappropriate. Let your anger fester inside you. Its much much better.

  6. The Common Man/www.platoonadvantage.com - Oct 28, 2010 at 10:03 AM

    Can I count the entire ’91 World Series? Puckett’s Game 6 homer. The 3-2-3 double play in Game 7. Jack Morris pitching the 10th. Gene Larkin’s single. Lonnie Smith blowing up Brian Harper at the plate. All the extra inning games. And Ron Gant clumsily falling off of first base in Game 2.

    My favorite non-Twins memory is the first distinct World Series memory I have, of Gibson’s homer in ’88. That cemented me as a baseball fan.

  7. fuggles7 - Oct 28, 2010 at 10:16 AM

    “Touch ‘em all Joe… you’ll never hit a bigger one!” Jays over Phillies!!!

    • cshearing - Oct 28, 2010 at 10:17 AM

      Most definitely this one. A walk-off homer for a Series? Does not get much better.

      • Utley's Hair - Oct 28, 2010 at 11:32 AM

        I’d say it couldn’t get much worse.

  8. churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Oct 28, 2010 at 10:26 AM

    First WS moment I distinctly remember is Carter’s walkoff. His jumping in the air while rounding the bases, and the crowd going nuts.

    Biggest WTF moment, Clemens vs Piazza. I remember trying to defend him at the time to my brother who was a Mets fan, but as Joe Pos wrote recently, there’s no logical reason for what Clemens did.

    [copout]Favorite moment was Matsui’s G6 of last year. A standup guy who actually apologized to Yankee fans when he broke his wrist, it was good to see him leave as a WS winner and have a great G6 to boot.

  9. Lukehart80 - Oct 28, 2010 at 10:27 AM

    I have always been an Indians’ fan, but my favorite player as a child was Kirby Puckett. At the end of Game 6 in ’91 I ran around our home hooting, hollering, and generally blowing the cover that I’d been asleep for an hour.

  10. dharmabum2009 - Oct 28, 2010 at 10:58 AM

    For me, it has to be Jim Sundberg’s amazing slide into home to score the winning run in the bottom of the ninth in Game Six of the 1985 World Series! Such joy erupted in Kansas City!!

    Then, of course, Game 7 was full of great memories, starting with Darryl Motley’s long blast to left that was just barely foul followed, on the next pitch, by a long blast left that was fair and gone baby! That got the party started and it didn’t let up for nine innings. The Cardinals self-destructed, Whitey and Andujar were ejected, Andujar broke his hand hitting a fan (the metal kind) and Saberhagen shut em out! When Motley put the squeeze on the fly ball to right to end the game, and Brettt jumped into Saberhagen’s arms, the city of Kansas City erupted in a joyous frenzy!

    Maybe, but not likely, I’ll live long enough to see the Royals do it again.

  11. Jonny 5 - Oct 28, 2010 at 11:06 AM

    Game 4 of the 2008 WS. Moose hits a bomb!!!! Big Joe Blanton pitched a fine game, and hits a bomb. Sweeet…. I can’t think of any favorite moments of 93 that weren’t quickly crushed before the end of the game.

    • Utley's Hair - Oct 28, 2010 at 11:40 AM

      I’d go with Game 5–all 3 1/2 weeks of it. But especially Hinske going all whiffy on Lights Out, and of course, Harry’s call–can’t get much more emotional than that, but you didn’t know it until almost 6 months later.

      But my best WS-related memories have to be the mass of humanity in the streets of Downtown celebrating the win. Also, the convention in the outfield last year after they won the NLCS, showering the HTK memorial with beer and champagne.

      Dammit, Craig, now there’s something in my eye!!!!!!

      • Jonny 5 - Oct 28, 2010 at 12:37 PM

        I stopped listening to the broadcasters in the game. I put the TV on mute and put on 1210 WIP. Buck was making it unbearable for me during the LA Philly series for the NLCS. He toatally called LA to win it, and couldn’t stand it when he had to compliment a Philly player. It was disgusting.

      • Utley's Hair - Oct 28, 2010 at 12:58 PM

        I did the same thing from the mid-8th on, it was all Harry (and unfortunately Wheels). That was so sweet. I kept my kid up for it, too.

  12. WhenMattStairsIsKing - Oct 28, 2010 at 11:09 AM

    Mordecai Brown’s 2 wins over the Tigers 102 years ago…

    • Utley's Hair - Oct 28, 2010 at 11:34 AM

      Wow…you’re old.

      • WhenMattStairsIsKing - Oct 28, 2010 at 11:41 AM

        It’s all I’ve got, man!

  13. jasonc2300 - Oct 28, 2010 at 11:14 AM

    Game 2 2005 World Series. Konerko’s grand slam was awesome, but Scott Freaking Podsednik with a walk-off? Sheer pandemonium. And then the last 2 innings of Game 4, 2005, with Juan Uribe throwing himself all over the field to clinch it for the White Sox. Best shortstop play I’ve ever seen in such a critical situation.

    Which reminds me…it’s just awesome to see Uribe making great defensive plays and hitting home runs on a big stage again.

  14. Chris Fiorentino's Rash - Oct 28, 2010 at 11:18 AM

    …in 2010 when the Phillie’s…. wait…. memory or dream?

    • Utley's Hair - Oct 28, 2010 at 11:51 AM

      Unfortunately, it’s a dream–possibly even a nightmare. Sigh.

  15. keg64 - Oct 28, 2010 at 11:32 AM

    Can an entire series count? No? I was a teenager in 1975 and an absolute fanatic of the Big Red Machine. After three days!!!! of rain, finally game 6. To this day still the best game I have ever seen. Even as a Reds fan, Bernie Carbo’s pinch-hit three run bomb to tie it in the bottom of the 8th stands out to me more than Fisk’s game winner, or Morgan’s 9th inning single in game 7 that finally (almost) won it. People tend to forget, or never knew, that in 1965 the Reds took Bench in the 2nd round of the draft…..First round pick? Yep, Bernie Carbo. In Cincinnati, perhaps due to his altered forms of consciousness, Carbo had a bad habit of running into walls. I dont know if he was THE first, but he was ONE of the first to wear a batting helmet in the outfield. Man, memories………….

  16. hnirobert3 - Oct 28, 2010 at 11:48 AM

    Josh Beckett shutting down the Yanks during the 2003 World Series.

  17. willmose - Oct 28, 2010 at 12:16 PM

    The Babe getting caught trying to steal 2B to end the ’26 series.

  18. itsabergthing - Oct 28, 2010 at 12:26 PM

    Maz in 1960. How can you beat a walk-off Game 7 homer… It’s still celebrated to this day every October 13th at 3:36 PM… Hands down greatest Series moment and it came against the hated Yankees… Let’s Go Bucs!!! Let’s turn this thing around before another 18 years drag by.

    • BC - Oct 28, 2010 at 12:34 PM

      Let’s turn this thing around before another 18 years drag by.
      Umm….. not so much.

      • itsabergthing - Oct 28, 2010 at 1:01 PM

        Law of averages says they’ve got to finish over .500 again sometime in my lifetime. Right???

      • Utley's Hair - Oct 28, 2010 at 5:54 PM

        That would depend on your age, whether you smoke, how much/often and what you drink, whether you’re married, your family medical history…tell you what…fill out a request for life insurance, and if you’re accepted, the chances of you seeing a 5 or better after the decimal point in the Bucs standings increase dramatically.

  19. BC - Oct 28, 2010 at 12:29 PM

    Cy Young leading Boston to the 1903 championship.

  20. scatterbrian - Oct 28, 2010 at 1:45 PM

    My brother and I scalped tickets for Game 3 of the ’88 World Series, which is the only World Series game I’ve been to, and turned out to be the only game the A’s would win in that series. McGwire hit a laser that banged off the left field Budweiser sign before most people could even stand up. Walk-off homer, but back then they still called it a “game-winning RBI”. (Joe Buck still does.)

  21. Ryan Lansing - Oct 28, 2010 at 2:47 PM

    Game 6 in ’91. I was 11 years old, in a small town in MN. That afternoon my parents had told me they were getting a divorce. My first thought was “This can’t wait until after the series?” We went to my uncle’s house where I watched the game by myself on a tiny TV while the grownups talked about grownup stuff in the kitchen. Kirby making that catch at the wall and hitting the walk-off proved to a scared and angry little boy that the world isn’t complete shit. That night the whole state was celebrating ecstatically while we drove home in silence.

    Watched Game 7 with my dad, which was really nice. A few days later moved to a different town with my mom and sister, left behind my friends and started at a new school.

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