The grass is green, the gloves are oiled, the tobacco’s packed: Opening Night and Day are almost here. Grab a scorecard and relive these ten truly classic Fall Classics before 2015’s edition tries to crack into that select company.
10. New York Yankees vs. Milwaukee Braves, 1958Down three games to one, the New York Yankees become only the second team in history to come back and win a best-of-seven Series. Two games went to ten innings and the Yanks win gave manager Casey Stengel his seventh, and final, ring. Take a gander at Hall of Fame roll call: Stengel, Yogi Berra, Whitey Ford, Mickey Mantle, Enos Slaughter, Hank Aaron, Eddie Mathews, Red Schoendienst and Warren Spahn. Of course.
9. Cincinnati Reds vs. Boston Red Sox, 1975 Nothing may encapsulate the hard-luck BoSox more than Carlton Fisk’s iconic walk-off homer in Game Six of this classic. Waving the ball fair in the twelfth inning, the jubilant moment set up a Game Seven at Fenway. The Reds won.
8. St. Louis Cardinals vs. Texas Rangers, 2011 Forgotten this one already? Game Six went to 11 innings and the Rangers were just one strike away from a championship in both the 9th and 10th. When David Freese hit a walk-off homer to win it, you knew the Cards were gonna take the next game and, with it, the Series.
7. New York Yankees vs. Brooklyn Dodgers, 1956 This Series was classic before even considering its signature moment. The Dodgers won the first two at Ebbets Field before the Yanks took three straight at the House That Ruth Built. Game Six went to ten innings and ultimately to Brooklyn. The Yankees clobbered the Dodgers in the seventh game with a Jackie Robinson strikeout resulting in the last out and the final at-bat of his career. And, oh yeah: Don Larson pitched the only postseason perfect game in history in the fifth game.
6. Brooklyn Dodgers vs. New York Yankees, 1955 Take note drunkards of New York: That “55” that adorns your Brooklyn Pennant Ale is there for a reason. 1955 was the only year that “Dem Bums” would bring a championship to Brooklyn before relocating to the City of Angels. The Dodgers played the Yankees (of course) and it went all the way to seven games, Brooklyn winning the final battle at Yankee Stadium.
5. Washington Senators vs. New York Giants, 1924 Hall of Fame manager John McGraw made his final appearance in this battle which went seven games. The first and seventh game both went 12 innings. In the final game, Senators ace Walter Johnson pitched four scoreless relief innings that helped give the franchise its only World Series title (until its current iteration, the Minnesota Twins, won it all in '87 and '91).
4. Boston Red Sox vs. New York Giants, 1912 The first World Series was played in 1903 and it only took nine years to produce a legend. The contest of 1912 boasts one gem that will go down in the annals of history: It lasted eight games. You read that right. Giants great Christy Mathewson started Game Two which lasted eleven innings before it was called. As a tie. Because of darkness. Game Eight went ten innings and Giant Fred Snodgrass dropped a catchable ball, leading to a Red Sox victory.
3. New York Mets vs. Boston Red Sox, 1986 Bill Buckner may have finally redeemed himself in the eighth season of “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” but Boston fans won’t soon forget his ultimate gaffe in Game Six. (The fact that they’ve won three since should help.)
2. Pittsburgh Pirates vs. New York Yankees, 1960 Many consider Game Seven of this Series to be the best game ever played. There were four lead changes, 19 runs and 24 hits. And the underdog Pirates beat the big city Yanks with the only Game Seven, game-ending home run in history: off of Bill Mazeroski’s bat. And the match-up featured seven players that had won or would win the MVP: Dick Groat, Roberto Clemente, Yogi Berra, Bobby Shantz, Mickey Mantle, Roger Maris and Elston Howard.
1. Minnesota Twins vs. Atlanta Braves, 1991 The stats on this match-up are insane: five games were decided by one run, four games were won with walk-offs and three went to extra innings. That includes Game Seven, in which the Twins’ Jack Morris went all Beast Mode to pitch ten shutout innings (while rocking the freshest moustache ‘n’ mullet combo known to man).
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