Tonight the Cleveland Indians and Chicago Cubs will play a game 7 to decide who is the best team in Baseball. Right now I want to look back at the greatest game 7’s since 1960. Why am I starting with 1960? Because I have seen every game on this list, and how can I really pick a game I haven’t seen?
10) 1987 Minnesota 4 St.Louis 2
This was a World Series were the home team won every game during the series. Game 7 was highlighted by a masterful pitching performance by Twins starter Frank Viola. The Twins trailed early 2-0 and did not take the lead until the 6th inning on Greg Gagne’s 2 out hit, putting the Twins up 3-2. Jeff Reardon came in and closed the game out, giving the Twins their first ever title.
9) 1982 St.Louis 6 Milwaukee 3
A back and forth World Series, which in game 7 saw the Brewers jump out to a 3-1 lead. The Cardinals came back and scored 3 runs in the sixth and two in the eighth. Bruce Sutter closed the game. The thing people forget about this World Series is Rollie Fingers was injured and couldn’t pitch if the Brewers have Fingers do they win the series?
8) 1986 Mets 8 Red Sox 5
People seem to forget that the Red Sox led this game at one point 3-0 before the Mets tied it with three runs in the sixth. John McNamara brought in Calvin Schiraldi in the seventh and Ray Knight greeted him with a home run. The Mets scored twice more, the Red Sox made it 6-5 in the eighth, but the Mets tacked on two more runs and then Jesse Orosco celebrated. People blamed a curse, but I blame McNamara who did a terrible job managing the Red Sox in games 6 and 7 of the series.
7) 1972 A’s 3 Reds 2
Maybe the most underrated World Series in history, six games were decided by one run. Game 7 was no different. The A’s broke a 1-1 tie in the sixth when then-unknown backup Gene Tenace hit a go-ahead double, he hit 4 home runs in the series.
6) 1962 Yankees 1 Giants 0
Ralph Terry, who had served up Mazeroski’s historic home run in 1960, took the shutout into the bottom of the ninth for the Yankees. Matty Alou led off with a bunt single but Terry struck out Felipe Alou and Chuck Hiller. Willie Mays then doubled down the right-field line, Roger Maris making a great play which held Matty at third. That brought up the fearsome slugger Willie McCovey. The Yankees elected to pitch to McCovey instead of Orlando Cepeda. On the second pitch, he drilled a line drive … right to second baseman Bobby Richardson, one of the most heart-stopping endings in game 7 history.
5) 1997 Marlins 3 Indians 2 (11innings)
This was a World Series where it seemed every game lasted 4 hours or more. The Indians had their first World Series title since 1948 in their grasp, leading 2-1 entering the bottom of the ninth. But Jose Mesa couldn’t hold the lead, and then Tony Fernandez let a ground ball go through his legs in the 11th and Edgar Renteria drove in the winning run with two outs. The winning pitcher? Jay Powell. No, really it was Jay Powell.
4) 1975 Reds 4 Red Sox 3
This was a great game that was forgotten because of what happened in game 6. People forget the Reds entered the 6th inning trailing 3-0. Tony Perez hit a two-run homer in the sixth off of a Bill Lee ephus pitch, the Reds tied it on Pete Rose’s two-out single in the seventh and scored the winner on Joe Morgan’s two-out bloop single in the ninth off an obscure rookie reliever named Jim Burton. The Reds would go on to sweep the Yankees in 1976, two become the first National league team to win back to back world series in decades.
3) 2001 Diamondbacks 3 Yankees 2
The Diamondbacks dominated the first two games of the series. The Yankees recovered with 3 straight wins in New York, including two dramatic games that ended in walk-off home runs. Game 7 featured four likely future Hall of Fame pitchers: Curt Schilling and Roger Clemens started, Randy Johnson and Mariano Rivera factored in the decision. The Diamondbacks rallied with two runs in the bottom of the ninth off the invincible Rivera, winning on Luis Gonzalez’s walk-off single.
2) 1960 Pirates 10 Yankees 9
The Yankees thoroughly dominated in the three games they won, but the scrappy Pirates won the close ones. As everybody knows the Pirates pulled the dramatic upset when Bill Mazeroski hit a walk-off home run to clinch the series for the Pirates.
1) 1991 Twins 1 Braves 0
This series was special from the start, three games went extra innings, four were walk-off wins and five were decided in a team’s final at-bat. Morris 10 inning shutout is maybe the greatest game anyone has ever pitched considering the circumstances.