The 2013 World Series will be known for its wild and unpredictable finishes above anything else. But if history is any indication, we haven't seen anything yet.
In their World Series past, both the St. Louis Cardinals and Boston Red Sox have engaged in classic Game 6 battles that resulted in some of the most iconic and controversial moments in the game's history. From Carlton Fisk's walk-off home run in 1975 — which will be acknowledged as Fisk and Luis Tiant, the starting battery from that historic game, return for Wednesday's first pitch — to Don Denkinger's blown call in 1985, both franchises have experienced the highest of highs and lowest of lows en route to decisive Game 7's.
With Game 6 of this year’s season just hours away, MLB Productions put together a compilation video looking back at the signature moments of those amazing games. It's a fun trip down memory lane, but we've also provided a little deeper look at each game, their forgotten moments, and the ultimate result.
The St. Louis Cardinals defeated the Boston Red Sox in seven games to win their 8th World Series championship — which ironically is the same number Boston chase on Wednesday — but not before the Red Sox forced the decisive game in Game 6 thanks to Carl Yastrzemsk, Reggie Smith and Rico Petrocelli’s fourth inning homers.
Dick Stockton's call: "Will it stay fair? Home run!" and the image of Carlton Fisk willing the ball fair as he hops down the line are ingrained in our minds. Even those of us who didn't experience that incredible moment as it happened relive it like we were there. What's forgotten about that game, though, is Bernie Carbo's game-tying three-run in the eight inning that ultimately force extra innings, and Dwight Evans leaping catch in the 11th that robbed Pete Rose of a probable home run.
It was arguably one of the greatest games ever played, but unfortunately for Boston their resilience didn't carry over into Game 7. The Big Red Machine rallied from an early three-run deficit to win 4-3.
One of the most controversial games in World Series history. First base umpire Don Denkinger’s missed call on Jorge Orta's in-between chopper opened the door to the Kansas City Royals ninth inning rally against Cardinals closer Todd Worrell. The Royals would go on to win the game 2-1 on pinch-hitter Dane Iorg's two-run single, and then went on to demolish St. Louis 11-0 in Game 7. Some Cardinals fans still aren’t over this game.
The Bill Buckner game. It's an iconic moment that will be replayed for as long as the game exists, but it's easy to overlook the fact Boston scored twice in top of the tenth inning to grab the lead. Working in his third inning of relief, Calvin Schiraldi allowed the New York Mets to get those runs right back, and then it was Buckner's error that sealed their fate. The Red Sox would fall again in Game 7 despite jumping out to a 3-0 lead.
The Texas Rangers were one out away from their first World Series championship when David Freese's rocket sailed over the head of Nelson Cruz for a game-tying two-run triple. Things only got wilder from there, as the Cardinals again rallied to tie the game in 10th after Josh Hamilton's two-run homer in the top of the inning. In the 11th, Freese, the hometown boy, put an end to the madness with a walk-off homer to center. The Cardinals went on to win their 11th championship with a 6-2 victory in Game 7.
Will we be able to add another game to this list on Wednesday? We'll know that answer shortly. But it's probably a safe bet to expect the unexpected.
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