8 Unforgettable World Series TV Moments

Above: Reggie Jackson watches the flight of his third home run – on three pitches – against the Dodgers in Game 6 of the 1977 World Series (Photo: AP)
Above: Reggie Jackson watches the flight of his third home run – on three pitches – against the Dodgers in Game 6 of the 1977 World Series (Photo: AP)

Baseball’s extensive history has seen dozens, even hundreds of remarkable achievements and you-had-to-be-there moments. But the advent and proliferation of televisions into every home meant those moments could be shared by millions with their own eyes—and not have to rely on announcers to relay information and set the scene.

In honour of the Boston Red Sox championship this week, here are eight World Series moments had to see to believe.

Reggie Jackson becomes Mr. October

Only the legendary Babe Ruth had ever hit three home runs in a single World Series game before Jackson accomplished the feat in 1977—on three straight pitches, no less. The final shot to dead centre was an absolute monster blast, too, cementing his place in baseball lore as “Mr. October.”

Red Sox break 86-year championship drought

The 2004 World Series itself was anticlimactic after the epic ALCS between the Red Sox and the Yankees—the Sox became the first team ever to come back from a 3-0 deficit to force a game seven, then dispatched the hated Yankees to reach the World Series. The final itself was nearly an afterthought as the Cardinals were no match for the Red Sox and lost in a sweep, but until the 86-year curse was lifted on the final out, few baseball fans believed Boston would ever see its team win another title.

Buckner’s Infamous Error

Deeply entrenched in the lore of the Red Sox Curse is Bill Buckner’s fumble at first base in the 1986 World Series. The Red Sox took a two-run lead in the tenth inning of game six and looked ready to seal the deal, but a routine grounder to the first baseman Buckner hit an uneven patch of grass and rolled under his glove, allowing the New York Mets to score the winning run. It didn’t matter that the Mets still needed to win another game to take the series—the ground ball meant the curse was alive and the Red Sox didn’t stand a chance.

Carlton Fisk’s waving keeps home run fair

So maybe that’s not exactly what went down during the 1975 World Series, but watching what unfolded, it’s hard not to think the Red Sox catcher kept his high fly ball from going foul through sheer force of will. The hit looked good off the bat, but as it started to drift toward the left field foul line, Fisk began jumping up and down, waving at the ball to stay fair. It did, and the Sox won game six, but this was still the era of The Curse, so of course the Cincinnati Reds won game seven and the title.

Roger Clemens throws broken bat at Mike Piazza

In perhaps the most bizarre chapter of a colourful rivalry between Clemens and Piazza, the Yankees pitcher found something even more dangerous than his fastball to hurl at Mets catch Mike Piazza in the 2000 World Series. Clemens had hit Piazza in the head with a pitch earlier in the season—which Piazza claimed was intentional—but in game two, when Piazza’s bat splintered on a pitch and landed right in front of him, Clemens escalated the feud by picking up the broken bat and launching it directly at the hitter. Even veteran announcers Joe Buck and Tim McCarver were stunned at what they had seen.

Kirk Gibson hits home run, can barely walk around the bases

Kirk Gibson sustained such painful injuries to both his legs in the previous series that no one expected to see him play at all in the 1988 World Series—he would log exactly one at-bat, but it was the only one he needed to become a legend. Wobbling up to the plate against the most dominant relief pitcher in the game, Dennis Eckersley, Gibson clearly had trouble even swinging the bat, but the bat seemed to do all the work for him on the 3-2 pitch, sending it over the wall to win game one. Gibson could hardly limp around the bases, but his teammates, motivated by his courage, beat the vaunted Oakland A’s in five games.

The Earthquake

Some things are bigger than baseball, and what happened on October 17, 1989 transcended the sports world. Just a half hour before first pitch at Candlestick Park in San Francisco, an earthquake measuring 7.1 on the Richter scale rocked the California coast, devastating the San Francisco bay area and putting the World Series on pause for 10 days. And we all got to see the moment the quake hit on live TV.

Touch ‘em all, Joe

Whether you were a Blue Jays fan or not, the 1993 World Series brought an entire city together behind their team. The Jays had won the ’92 championship, but they had to celebrate in Atlanta—this time they were at home, tens of thousands of fans crammed into the SkyDome to cheer them on. When Joe Carter arched a 2-2 pitch over the wall in left field it meant more than a win, it was a legendary, unforgettable moment. Decades from now we’ll be asking each other: “Where were you when Carter hit that home run?”

Avatar

Drew Berner

Drew Berner is a freelance writer born and raised in Toronto and specializing in entertainment, sports and politics. He occasionally collects vinyl records, enjoys hate-watching the Blue Jays, appreciates good beer and great scotch, and goes to sleep each night with 120 lbs. of Great Dane draped over him (it’s a lot more comfortable than it sounds). Follow him on Twitter @DrewBerner for photos of huge dogs, observational humour and assorted sports rage.

No Comments Yet

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>