top 5 world series we remember
As the 2021 World Series wraps up, the Wally Pipp Podcast shares thoughts from the most memorable Fall Classics that they remember watching.
The three of us were born 1999 or earlier, so we are going to stick to World Series' from 2010 onward. The criteria was pretty straightforward- "What were the most memorable World Series?"- how great were the moments that stuck with us? Going to 7 games certainly helped, but was not a be-all, end-all factor. Drama, heroics and entertainment value were all at the forefront. Without further ado, here we go:
5. 2019 World Series- Nationals defeat Astros in 7 games
Series MVP: Stephen Strasburg
Jake: This game 7 was nuts, but the whole run from the Nationals was really memorable- as a Tigers fan, it was great to see Scherzer finally get a ring, Juan Soto really proved himself as a superstar, and Howie Kendrick had the big home run to take the lead, but he was clutch all October. His grand slam in the NLDS against Clayton Kershaw was amazing to get them there as well.
Ryan: Ditto. Scherzer and Strasburg proved themselves as aces throughout the playoffs (I still think that they took him out early in Game 7, though), and I'll definitely remember the clutch hitting from Kendrick and Soto to get them over the top.
4. 2013 World Series: Red Sox defeat Cardinals in 6 games
Series MVP: David Ortiz
Logan: Our only entry without a Game 7, but it still had all kinds of great theatre; with respect to his early 2000s runs, this was the October that got David Ortiz into the Hall of Fame- he posted an OPS of nearly 2.000 (!!) in the Series, and became a sort of video game demigod down the stretch; he was walked 9 times in 25 plate appearances.
Ryan: The Red Sox bullpen was stellar in the postseason, too: this was the year that Koji Uehara was at his sinker-balling best, and Junichi Tazawa all threw some really good innings too.
Logan: Game 4 was memorable because of the Wong pickoff, but the Game 3 ending was an all-timer- I don't ever remember another game ending because of an obstruction call, much less of that magnitude, and the glove work by Pedroia to set up the play is lost to history, but one of the great defensive plays that should only add to his legacy.
3. 2014 World Series: Giants defeat Royals in 7 games
Series MVP: Madison Bumgarner
Jake: For some reason, I found the Royals teams from those few years a lot of fun to root for, but Madison Bumgarner was absolutely unbelievable in that series. I thought that Game 7 was the best performance from a pitcher that I've ever seen. He pitched on 2 days rest and brought them all the way home for the last 5 innings.
Ryan: This series put a proper end on the mid-2010s Giants mini-dynasty in hindsight, but after wins in 2010, '12 and here in '14, they established themselves as one of the best teams of the last 10 years.
Logan: Bumgarner in Game 7 was the stuff of which legends are made of- he pretty much got them across the finish line single-handedly.
Another forgotten to history moment to me- the Alex Gordon single to left center that got through Gregor Franco, turning it into a triple that got all the way to the wall: for a split-second or two, all hell broke loose, and for a beat, there was the idea that Gordon could've turned the corner and tried to head home for the tying run. He was ultimately held up, and Salvador Perez ultimately popped out to end it, but I bet there are Royals fans somewhere that would have liked to see Gordon make the turn in their heart of hearts.
2. 2011 World Series: Cardinals defeat Rangers in 7 games
Series MVP: David Freese
Ryan: I guess this series went 7, but I think we all remember it for Game 6 and David Freese. The triple off the wall and then the walk-off home run are beyond legendary for me, and by far the greatest single-game performance I've been witnessed in the World Series.
Logan: Such a heartbreaker for the Rangers, too- they were one strike away twice in the 9th in that game, and even got a 2-run lead in the 10th.
Jake: This might be number one for me; Game 6 was one of the best games in any sport that I've ever seen- I think that it says a lot that we don't even remember much about Game 7 (the Cardinals won, 6-2, obviously), just those two magical at-bats from Freese. "World Series Hero" stuff that makes him a legend in St. Louis forever.
1. 2016 World Series: Cubs defeat Indians in 7 games
Series MVP: Ben Zobrist
Ryan: I'm sure you could've guessed that this would be number one, and Game 7 is one of the greatest sporting events in recent years: the comeback from 3-1 down to go with one of the most historic, and best baseball games that I've ever seen. Everything that you could've asked for, it provided.
Jake: Yeah, this had everything: the game started with a home run from Dexter Fowler, all kinds of runs, the incredible Rajai Davis homer, and then Zobrist being the hero at the end. The clip of Anthony Rizzo with his hands on his head after Zobrist gets the winning run in is one of my favorites.
Logan: No question, the best game that I've ever watched. The tension was almost immeasurable from start to finish- between the two teams, there was 174 years of World Series drought, and the shots of the fans in the stands- some of them looked like they could've keeled over- were so memorable. A game 7 that will forever be remembered as one of the greatest in any sport, and a final moment that rivals any of the last few decades.