Oct 27, 2016: Let's Play 7

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - The 2016 World Series resumes at Wrigley Field in Chicago tomorrow night.

I don't know about you, but I'm hoping for a 7-game series, which has been rare lately.

Since 1989 only 6 World Series have gone 7 games. During that span there have more sweeps (8), than Series go the distance.

Year  - Games won
2015 - Kansas City 4, New York (NL) 1 (5 games)
2014 - San Francisco 4, Kansas City 3 (7 games)
2013 - Boston 4, Cardinals 2 (6 games)
2012 - San Francisco 4, Detroit 0 (SWEEP)
2011 - St. Louis 4, Texas 3 (7 games)
2010 - San Francisco 4, Texas Rangers 1 (5 games)
2009 - New York (AL) 4, Philadelphia 2 (6 games)

2008 - Philadelphia 4, Tampa Bay 1 (5 games)
2007 - Boston 4, Colorado 0 (SWEEP)
2006 - St. Louis 4, Detroit 1 (5 games)
2005 - Chi. White Sox 4, Houston 0 (SWEEP)
2004 - Boston 4, St. Louis 0 (SWEEP)
2003 - Florida 4, NY Yankees 2 (6 games)
2002 - Anaheim 4, San Francisco 3 (7 GAMES)
2001 - Arizona 4, NY Yankees 3 (7 GAMES)

2000 - NY Yankees 4, NY Mets 1 (5 games)
1999 - NY Yankees 4, Atlanta 0 (SWEEP)
1998 - NY Yankees 4, San Diego 0 (SWEEP)
1997 - Florida 4, Cleveland 3 (7 GAMES)
1996 - NY Yankees 4, Atlanta 2 (6 games)
1995 - Atlanta 4, Cleveland 2 (6 games)
1994 - (not held due to strike)
1993 - Toronto 4, Philadelphia 2 (6 games)
1992 - Toronto 4, Atlanta 2 (6 games)

1991 - Minnesota 4, Atlanta 3 (7 GAMES)
1990 - Cincinnati 4, Oakland 0 (SWEEP)
1989 - Oakland 4, San Francisco 0 (

2008 World Series
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Oct 26, 1991: Kirby Puckett Puts Twins On His Back

MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA - Minnesota Twins center fielder Kirby Puckett was not having a good World Series. The Twins were facing elimination, down 3 games to 2 to the Atlanta Braves. It all changed on this date in 1991.

Puckett hit a triple in the first to drive in a run and later scored. In the third he robbed the Braves' Ron Gant of extra bases by jumping and seeming to hang in mid-air to snag a 400 foot drive off the Plexiglas in left-center field. The future Hall of Famer broke a tie in the fifth with a sacrifice fly to deep center. After the Braves tied it up in the 8th, Puckett singled and stole second, but didn't score.

The game went into extra innings before 51,155 frenzied fans in the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome. Puckett led off the 11th and hit a 2-1 pitch from Charlie Leibrandt over the left field fence prompting television play-by-play man Jack Buck to say, simply, "And we'll see you tomorrow night!"

The Twins won that game too, and won a World Series that will go down in history as one of the most thrilling.

Contributing sources:
1991 World Series Game 6

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Oct 22, 1845: 1st box score

Something borrowed

TODAY in BASEBALL - OCTOBER 22, 1845 - NEW YORK, NEW YORK - According to baseball historian John Thorn in his book, Baseball in the Garden of Eden: The Secret History of the Early Game, the first baseball box score appeared in the New York Herald newspaper on this date in 1845. The box score recorded a game from the previous day between The New York Ball Club and a team from Brooklyn (unfortunately, the actual box score could not be located so we're not certain of the team's name).

The box score appeared to be patterned after cricket, a more commonly played game in Manhattan, New York at the time.

The baseball graphic included a box with two columns listing players for each team in the order of how they batted. It recorded little more than their names, number of outs made and runs scored. It didn't have pitching statistics, except for what the pitchers did at the plate.

Here's an example of another box score from the late 19th Century.

Early box score

Today the typical box score has, at least, names, positions, at bats, runs, hits and runs batted in. Many box scores also record who had extra base hits, committed errors, hit sacrifice flies, stole bases and stats on all pitchers. Plenty to lose yourself in for a half hour or so. Below is a how-to on a modern baseball box score courtesy of the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

box score read

Is baseball great or what?

Contributing sources:
Baseball in the Garden of Eden: The Secret History of the Early Game, by John Thorn, 2011  
The New York Times, " Cooperstown? Hoboken? Try New York City," by Fox Butterfield, October 4, 1990  
More on the box score

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Oct 21, 1975: Fisk's World Series drama

Drama at Fenway

TODAY in BASEBALL history - OCTOBER 21, 1975 - BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS - Many regard the game played on this date in 1975 as the best World Series game ever. Certainly game 6 of the ‘75 Series between the Cincinnati Reds and the Boston Red Sox ranks up there as one of the most exciting. The 12 inning classic is most remembered for Carlton Fisk's walk-off home run - more like "wish-off" home run - to force a game seven, but there was much more.

The ball Fisk hit was down the left field line. Fisk had to wish the ball, coax the ball, symbolically push the ball right, otherwise it's a long strike. The ball stayed right. Game over.

But the opportunity wouldn't have presented itself to Fisk without teammate Bernie Carbo hitting a pinch hit, 3-run homer with 2 out in the bottom of the 8th to tie the game at 6.

Later in 11th, Dwight Evans made a game-saving catch in right of a long drive off the bat of Joe Morgan, then doubled Ken Griffey, Sr. (as in Ken Griffey, Jr.'s Dad) off 1st.

As exciting as that game was, it did not turn out to be a Cinderella story for Boston. Cincinnati won game 7 the next day 4-3.

Game 6 1975 World Series box score & play-by-play
More on 1975 World Series

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Oct 20, 2004: Red Sox rise from the dead

Back from the brink

TODAY in BASEBALL - OCTOBER 20, 2004 - THE BRONX, NEW YORK | By defeating the New York Yankees 10-3 on this date in 2004, the Boston Red Sox became the first MLB team to win a best of seven playoff series after losing the first three games. Every game after the third was an elimination game for the Red Sox, and games four and five were not for the faint of heart.

It was the bottom of the ninth in game 4. The Red Sox were three outs from going home, down 4-3. Kevin Millar walked to lead off. Brian Roberts ran for Millar and proceeded to steal second. Roberts scored the tying run on a base hit by 3rd baseman Bill Mueller. The Red Sox were unable to bring the winning run around, so extra innings it went.

No one scored in the 10th or 11th. The Yankees went down in the 12th without scoring, but the Red Sox wasted little time putting the game away. Manny Ramirez singled to left and David Ortiz followed with a walk-off home run.

The Red Sox trailed late in game 5 too. They tied the Yankees in the bottom of the eighth. Again, it went into extra innings, and again, David Ortiz drove in the winning run with a walk-off single in the 14th.

The Red Sox had to win the next two in Yankee Stadium, which they did, 4-2 and 10-3. The next stop - the World Series. The Red Sox swept the St. Louis Cardinals in four games to win their first World Series since 1918.

Game 4 box score/play-by-play
Game 5 box score/play-by-play
MLB postseason

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