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Braden: Top 5 Most Exciting Championships in Baseball
Ann: In this lesson, you’ll learn about the top 5 most exciting championships in baseball.
Braden: Now, this lesson is a bit different than our past lessons. In this lesson, we're going to take a more "story line" approach.
Ann: We'll tell you the year, the teams, and the score and then tell you why it was such an awesome game.
Braden: But before we do that, here's a little background information.
Ann: So in baseball, the championship is called the World Series. It's called a series because it's actually several games, not just one.
Braden: These series are called "best out of seven" which means that whoever wins 4 out of 7 games first, wins. For example, if one team wins the first 4 games, the series is over.
Ann: However, if one team wins 3 games and the other team wins 3 games then everything comes down to the last game and who wins "game 7."
Braden: Just so you know, all of these top 5 games are "game 7." In other words, it's the last chance for either of the teams to win the series.
Ann: So our number five most exciting championship in baseball is the Red Sox versus the Giants in 1912.
Braden: The ninth inning finished with the Giants and Red Sox tied 1-1. For the first time ever, Game Seven entered extra innings. The Giants took a 2-1 lead in the top of the 10th before turning it over to the Red Sox.
Ann: The first Red Sox batter hit the ball high but the center fielder somehow missed it and the batter reached 1st base.
Braden: Now they were nervous again. The pitcher walked the next batter which put the winning run on.
Ann: According to baseball specialists, the pitcher should have been relieved. However, the manager didn't want to disrespect his star pitcher. The next Red Sox batter stepped up to the plate.
Braden: After a fouled attempt at a home run, he, and the player already on base, scored.
Ann: After 10 innings and hours of playing, the Red Sox turned a 2-1 loss into a 2-3 win.
Braden: Ok, so our number four most exciting championship in baseball is the 1962 World Series with the Yankees versus the Giants.
Ann: This may be baseball's most underrated game. The pitcher pitched the game of his life for the Yankees.
Braden: Though his team didn't score until the fifth inning, he didn't allow a single hit, much less a point, until the sixth inning.
Ann: In the bottom of the ninth at Candlestick Park, with the Yanks up 1-0, the first batter got on second base.
Braden: The second batter launched a shot into the right field corner that could've scored, except a Yankee right fielder made an outstanding play to cut it off before it reached the fence.
Ann: There were runners on second and third, and there were two outs. The giants were down to their last chance. Here, the Yankees manager had a dilemma.
Braden: That’s right, what do you do? Do you walk the next batter? If so, get ready to face a player who in the past two years had hit 81 home runs.
Ann: If you walk him, the problem just continue. The batter now up had also hit over 200 RBIs in just the last season. That means both hitters had a huge chance of scoring.
Braden: So just to recap, it is the bottom of the ninth of Game Seven, with the tying run on third and the series-losing run on second with only one out left to finish the game. It doesn’t get any more last-minute than this.
Ann: For a fraction of an instant, every hair in the baseball world stood on end. A 90%+ chance existed that the ball would score, and make the Yankees lose the game and the series.
Braden: A minute possibility existed that the blow would go right toward an out-fielder, who would catch it, but probably not able to get an out before the Giants could score.
Ann: The blow went straight to the second baseman, who nabbed it. The ball had so much velocity that it nearly knocked the infielder to the ground. The Yankees had won.
Braden: Our number three most exciting championship is the 1991 World Series between the Twins and the Braves.
Ann: This game is the only World Series game seven to be tied 0-0 after nine innings. And don't think the players were just standing around.
Braden: In every inning there were chances to score and players on base in scoring position. For example, in the eight inning, both teams loaded the bases with only one out. Both teams pulled off a double play to keep the suspenseful double shutout going.
Ann: It became the first extra-inning Game Seven in decades. The Braves continued scoreless through their half of the inning.
Braden: In the second half of the inning, the Twins got a runner on third with only one out. This had happened countless times in the game and the Twins had always managed a double play.
Ann: This time the gamble didn't work and one batter hit the ball just far enough for the runner on third to get home and win the series for the Twins.
Braden: Our number two most exciting championship is the 1924 World Series between the senators and the Giants.
Ann: This is an often forgotten game mostly because it was so long ago. There was no TV back then and you'd have to be close to 100 years old to be able to remember this game.
Braden: But this game had so many thrilling moments it is considered by many as the best baseball game ever. To set the stage, it's the Game Seven of the Washington's Senators' first World Series.
Ann: The key for the Senators was their first baseman. He was one of their best hitters, one of their best in-fielders and best relief pitchers.
Braden: Now, because he was so talented, he became essential to their coaches' strategy. The first baseman, however, had one weakness, which was left-handed pitchers.
Ann: The Giants' coach knew this and orchestrated to have a left handed relief pitcher ready anytime their star first baseman was up to bat.
Braden: That’s right. After the first few minutes of the game the Senators' coach realized the Giants' strategy and was able to outwit the Giants' coach and score one run.
Ann: In the sixth inning, thanks to back-to-back errors by the Senators, the Giants scored three runs.
Braden: And in the eighth inning, the Senators threatened, loading the bases with two outs. The inning looked to be over when the batter hit an easy grounder to the third baseman.
Ann: Incredibly, the ball hit a pebble and took a bizarre hop over the third baseman's head and the Senators scored two points. The game was now tied.
Braden: Now, this is the longest Game Seven ever and reached 12 complete innings.
Ann: Wow! In the bottom of the 12th inning, with one out, the Senator's batter hit an easy pop fly behind the plate.
Braden: However, the Giants' catcher got his foot tangled on his mask going for the ball, allowing it to fall. The batter was able to reach second base.
Ann: After the next batter reached first base on an error, the Giants needed a double play to quell the threat.
Braden: It looked like they might have gotten just that, as the next batter hit another easy grounder at the third baseman.
Ann: But, for the second time, the unexpected happened and the ball hit a pebble, and shot up out of anyone's reach.
Braden: Before anyone could get it, the Senators had won their only title.
Ann: A play like that happens once in a while. But twice in one game? Something so bizarre would not be believed if it had not actually happened.
Braden: And our number one most exciting championship game was the 1960 World Series between the Pirates and the Yankees.
Ann: Heading into Game Seven, the Yankees had won three games by a combined score of 38-3. Somehow, heading into the final round Bambi vs. Godzilla was a draw.
Braden: The Pirates jumped out to an early 4-0 lead, only to see the Yankees blast their way back, scoring seven unanswered runs heading into the bottom of the eighth.
Ann: That's when the game became great. After a leadoff single, a batter hit what appeared to be a double-play grounder.
Braden: However, a bad hop sent it smacking into shortstop's throat. Taking advantage of good fortune, the Pirates pulled off a five-run rally, leading 9-7 with just one inning left.
Ann: However, the Yankees rallied back and tied the game in the last inning. But instead of extra innings, what came next was probably the most famous hit in World Series history.
Braden: Bill Mazeroski stepped up to the plate and hit the only Game Seven walk-off homer ever. Winning the game for the Pirates. So basically he just walked up to the plate, pitcher threw the ball, he hit the ball, hit a home run, walk off.
Braden: Ok, so that just about does it for today.
Ann: Thanks for listening!
Braden: Have a great day!