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Wednesday, October 31, 2001
Readers' List: Greatest World Series moments

From the Page 2 mailbag

On Monday, Page 2 offered its list of the greatest World Series moments of all-time. We asked for your take, and you filled our mailbag with plenty of choices.

OUR TOP 10
Here's how Page 2 editors ranked the greatest moments in World Series history:

1. Bill Mazeroski's Series-winning, walk-off homer (Game 7 in 1960)
2. The final pitch of Don Larsen's perfect game (Game 5 in 1956)
3. Kirk Gibson's walk-off homer (Game 1 in 1988)
4. Willie Mays' over-the-shoulder catch off Vic Wertz (Game 1 in 1954)
5. Carlton Fisk's extra-inning, game-winning, foul-pole-skimming homer (Game 6 in 1975)
6. Babe Ruth's "Called Shot" against the Cubs (Game 3 in 1932)
7. Reggie Jackson's third homer (Game 6 in 1977)
8. Bill Buckner's error (Game 6 in 1986)
9. Joe Carter's Series-winning, walk-off homer (Game 6 in 1993)
10. Billy Martin's Series-saving catch of Jackie Robinson's wind-blown infield fly (Game 7 in 1952)

Honorable mentions: Edgar Renteria's extra-inning Series-winning hit (Game 7 in 1997) for Florida; Dodger pitcher Bob Welch's epic strikeout of Yankees' Reggie Jackson (Game 2 in 1978); Kirby Puckett's Series-saving catch (Game 6 in 1991) for the Twins vs. the Braves; Tommy Agee's catch for the Miracle Mets (1969) against the Orioles; Brooklyn outfielder Sandy Amoros' Series-saving catch off Yankees' Yogi Berra (Game 7 in 1955); Brooklyn's Al Gionfriddo robs Yankees' Joe DiMaggio of three-run homer (Game 6 in 1947); Cookie Lavagetto's game-winning double off Bill Bevens, which broke up the Yankees pitcher's no-hitter with two outs in the ninth (Game 4 in 1947); Bobby Richardson's Series-saving catch of Willie McCovey's line drive with men on second and third and two outs in the last of the ninth (Game 7 in 1962) for the Yankees.

After going through more than 900 e-mails, we've listed Page 2 readers' top 10 choices below. Be sure to vote in the poll at left to crown the all-time greatest moment in World Series history.


1. Kirk Gibson's home run, Game 1 in 1988 (154 letters)
In terms of a moment, it has to be Kirk Gibson's home run, simply because it couldn't happen.

The Dodgers couldn't beat the A's.

No one could hit Eckersley.

Gibson couldn't swing.

Heck, Gibson could barely walk.

He had one at-bat in the whole series and it arguably won the title for the Dodgers. The ninth inning of Game 1 was the classic moment when the impossible became possible and baseball took on a storybook feel that none of us who saw it will ever forget. Sam Partridge New York

I still remember this one like it was yesterday. Kirk Gibson was hobbled worse than James Caan's character in "Misery." It was all or nothing with a World Series game on the line. And the Dodgers send in a pinch hitter who can barely make it to the batter's box without assistance.

Then, in an at-bat that lasted about two years, Gibson kept fouling them off until he found his pitch. After every foul, he fell down on the bad legs, and had to go through the agonizing process of standing back up. And the best part was that all along, you knew he was going to homer, because there was no way for him to run to first.
Kevin
Dallas, Texas

Kirk Gibson's walk-off homer. Nothing else comes close to the drama of the fall classic -- an injured hero bails out his team.
Bob DuFrane
Fairfax, Va.
Kirby Puckett
Kirby Puckett made sure the Twins could play another night in 1991.


2. Kirby Puckett's home run, Game 6 in 1991 (101 letters)
Kirby Puckett's game-winning home run in Game 6 of the 1991 Series, who could forget that face and that fist in the air and the thousands of homer hankies waving? Jack Buck crying, "We'll see you tomorrow night!" as the ball cleared the fence ... it gives me goose bumps still.
Dennis Anderson
Sioux Falls, S.D.

How do you not even put Kirby Puckett's Game 6 walk-off home run in 1991 on the list? I see Maz's, Fisk's, Gibson's, and Joe Carter's in the list. Kirby put the whole franchise on his back in that game and saved them from elimination in that one at-bat.

It was the climax of the greatest World Series ever and the final touches on the greatest individual game I have seen an athlete have. Jordan has only had individual performances close to that caliber with the season on the line. While the other homers and moments on the list were great this homer had so much more around it with the Series that year being so close and the Twins facing elimination and going on to win.
Joel
Sioux City, Iowa

Being a Cubs fan, I'm forced to rely on the great World Series moments of other teams. And one of my favorites is Kirby Puckett's 1991 Game 6 shot off Charlie Leibrandt to send one of the best World Series of all-time to a seventh game. One of my favorite calls, too: "We'll see you tomorrow night!"
Robert Flaxman
Evanston, Ill.


3. Jimmy Leyritz's home run, Game 4 in 1996 (86 letters)
Any true Yankees fan can point to one World Series play that has sparked this modern-day dynasty. "Back, at the track, at the wall, we are tied!" Jim Leyritz's three-run home run to tie the game 6-6 after trailing 6-0, and down two games to none in the Series.

As we all know the Yanks went on to win in six, giving them their first of four in five years. The image of Leyritz rounding the bases at a stunned Fulton County Stadium is one that will be etched in my mind (and all other Yankee fans' minds) forever.
Marc Santo
Newark, Delaware

Jim Leyritz's game-tying home run against Mark Wohlers in Game 4 of the '96 series. Has there ever been a turning point in a Series more evident than this home run? Down two games to none and facing a 6-0 deficit, the Yankees rally to tie the game and eventually win the series to mark the beginning of one of baseball's greatest dynasties.

Few people remember that this moment would have never happened without Rafael Belliard. With men on first and second and no outs, Mariano Duncan hit a tailor-made double play ball to Belliard. Belliard bobbled the ball and was only able to get the forceout at second, allowing Leyritz to become another Yankees postseason legend.
Eric Sterner
Somerville, Mass.


4. Bill Buckner's error, Game 6 in 1986 (70 letters)
Bill Buckner
Bill Buckner will forever be known for his Game 6 error in 1986.
While game-winning hits can certainly get the blood racing, the swing of emotion that took place after watching a weak grounder in Game 6 of the 1986 Series turn into the game-winning "hit" is not matched in any other scenario. Add in the fact that it was the Red Sox (curse) and it becomes that much more memorable.
Pete Frick
State College, Pa.

Bill Buckner.1986, Game 6. Simply said, it backs up everything that is great about baseball and the famous Yogi Berra line: "It ain't over, 'til it's over."
Mike Scudiero
Palm Coast, Fla.


Bill Mazeroski
The image of Bill Mazeroski circling the bases after homering to win Game 7 of the 1960 World Series is one of baseball's most indelible memories.
5. Bill Mazeroski's home run, Game 7 in 1960 (54 letters)
I wasn't alive in 1960, but I still remember hearing about Bill Mazeroski's home run. It gives me chills every time. What kid hasn't dreamed of coming to the plate in the Game 7 clutch situation and smacking a homer? Moreover, who hasn't dreamed about doing it to the damn Yankees? Forget the technicalities of baseball, it's magic like this that makes the game worth watching ... and playing.
Pat Lopez
Boise, Idaho


6. Carlton Fisk's homer, Game 6 in 1975 (44 letters)
Edgar Renteria
Edgar Renteria's two-out, bases loaded single in the 11th inning of Game 7 won the 1997 World Series for the Florida Marlins.
There is only one choice for No. 1 moment in the World Series, Fisk's Home Run. Not only can every baseball fan replay it in their head, but every single Little Leaguer in New England has jumped on a pitch and wished it fair and gone, waving their arms madly at the ball, while dancing down the first-base line. As a bonus, it's the only World Series highlight for Red Sox fans that doesn't make them want to rip out their eyeballs.
Chris Roberts
Wrentham, Mass.


7. Joe Carter's homer, Game 6 in 1993 (38 letters)
Whenever I see Joe Carter's home run, and the way he jumped around the bases, it still gives me goosebumps. I was 9 years old then, and he was living my dream.
Patrick
Lexington Va.


8. Edgar Renteria's RBI, Game 7 in 1997 (22 letters)
Edgar Renteria's World Series-winning hit in Game 7, 1997.

I was for Cleveland, and I still think it was the best game I ever saw. The Marlins' comeback, all the jams Cleveland escaped in extra innings, it was incredible. As Bob Costas said that night, "It's Game 7, extra innings. Enough said."
Conor Wall
Gloucester Township., N.J.


9. Kirk Gibson's homer, Game 5 in 1984 (19 letters)
In the eighth, Goose Gossage is on the hill as Gibby steps into the box. Gossage has owned Gibson throughout his career -- Gibson had struck out on three pitches against Gossage in his first Major League at-bat, and he had never really fared better since. Therefore, Goose did not want to give Gibby the intentional pass, and Padres skipper Dick Williams wasn't going to argue.

Tigers manager Sparky Anderson goaded Gibson, yelling from the dugout, "[Gossage] doesn't respect you! He thinks you can't hit him! He don't want to to walk you!"

Gibby looked into the upper deck in right field, turned to Anderson, held up all 10 fingers on his hands and said, "Ten bucks, I'm taking him out!"

And he did. He drove a rocket into that right-field upper deck. The Tigers won the Series; the city, predictably, burned.
Billy Robinson
Chicago


10. Jack Morris' 10-inning shutout, Game 7 in 1991 (15 letters)
"Black Jack" Morris screams at Manager Tom Kelly to keep him in in the top of the 10th. Jack Morris pitched 10 innings of shutout ball, and the Twins won on a Gene Larkin single to bring in Dan Gladden, closing up the greatest World Series of all-time with a pitching performance that was just dominating.
Ryan Walicke
Saint Paul, Minn.


Honorable mention:
Ruth's called shot, Don Denkinger's blown call, Bernie Carbo's homer (Game 6 in 1975), Brooks Robinson's fielding in the 1970 Series, David Justice's Game 6 homer in 1996, Sandy Amoros' catch to win the 1955 Series