Rare World Series moments


Photo By Arturo Pardavila III

Gavin Mancha, Staff Writer

One, two, three strikes you’re out at the old ball game, and when you’re up in the stands during the seventh inning stretch eating one of the best hot dogs in the park, there’s simply nothing like it. The Baseball World Series has often been described as the pinnacle of America’s favorite pastime when a string of seven games is played to determine a champion. It all started in 1903 with the agreement between the Pilgrims and Pirates to set up a number of games to determine who was the best. This gave rise to the National and American League, and from there the rest is history; countless teams and players have made their mark on the game of baseball. Here are just some of the monumental moments that made fans gasp, cheer and boo, all of which caused this distinctly American sport to rise in popularity.

The Pilgrims vs. Pirates, 1903: At one time, the commissioning of baseball was all over the place. Both teams were fighting for players and claiming they were better than the other. So, what better way to settle the score than to create a definitive championship game.  That’s when the agreement was made between the teams’ managers and the World Series was born. In the opening game, Pirates ace Deacon Phillippe defeated Cy Young with the score of 7-3 in favor of the Pirates. The battle would continue between the two teams until the Pilgrims turned it around in game five. Both Pilgrim pitchers, Dinneen and Young, helped their team go on a three-game winning stretch. Eight grueling games later there was a winner, with Cy Young on the mound, finally defeating Phillippe. From that moment on there have been moments that changed the outcome of the World Series. The World Series became the tradition fans love.

Fred Snodgrass’ Muff- 1912 : In game eight between the Red Sox vs. Giants, Red Sox’s Clyde Engle hit a soft fly to center field. Snodgrass was camped under the ball to make the routine play. Then the unthinkable happened. The crowd gasped as they watched the ball pop right out of the glove of one of the league’s best outfielder. This allowed Engle to advance to second and later scored to tie the game.  The Red Sox would later end up taking the World Series. Sadly, the previously accomplished Snodgrass died at the age of 86, mostly remembered as the ball player that muffed the 1912 fly.

Babe Ruth’s attempted steal- 1926:  Most may know Babe Ruth for hitting home runs, especially his famous called shot, but fewer know that he is infamous for being one of the worst base stealers of all time. In the 1926 World Series, Yankees vs. Cardinals, Babe Ruth tried a risky steal of second base convinced he would catch the Cardinals by surprise. His arrogance caught up with him when the Cardinals catcher, Bob O’Farrell, got up and threw a strike to second base tossing The Babe out ending the 1926 World Series.

Blown Call Against Cardinals- 1985: After an exhausting battle the Cardinals were so close to putting the Royals away in game six their fans were already celebrating. Three outs away from the championship, Royals Jorge Orta hit a soft grounder to first. Todd Worrell fielded it and clearly beat Orta to the bag. Much to the crowd’s dismay, the umpire Donald Deakinger called Orta safe, a blown call but he refused to reverse it. This fired up the Royals who then rallied to beat the Cardinals in game six and in game seven. Deakinger received hate mail and even death threats from fans for years to come.

Mr. November Homerun 2001: After the horrific attack on New York’s World Trade Center, the MLB announced that they would postpone Major League games for a few days. This would push back the World Series dates with the first games played in November. During game four, shortly after midnight, on November first. Six foot two shortstop, Derek Jeter, steps up to the plate in the bottom of the tenth. The first pitch he sees he sends back a towering fly ball to right field. Back goes the right fielder, all the way to the warning track, he looks up as if he could catch it, but the ball kept carrying. Then just like that, the ball lands in the first row of the right-field stands. New York fans still devastated from the brutal attack on the Twin Towers rose to their feet in elation.

Since it emerged in 1903 there have been many moments that have defined the World Series Championship as unpredictable and exciting, from Jackie Robinson stealing home and breaking the color barrier to Willie Mays making “the Catch.” This year the Chicago Cubs have broken the 103 year curse and made history by winning the World Series. Despite its deep, traditional roots, this American sport survives because it still has the power to illustrate unique athletic accomplishments, cultural transitions and moments of chance that resound with sports fans everywhere.