10th anniversary: consecutive walk-off World Series wins

Ten years ago today, one of the greatest and most memorable games in baseball history was played. In fact, 10 years ago and one day another of baseball’s greatest games occurred.

And if you really want to get lost in the details, one game ended on Nov. 1, 2001, and the other one began on that date.

It was the 2001 World Series, and in Games Four and Five, the Yankees won back-to-back games in startlingly similar manner. In both cases they entered the bottom of the ninth down by two runs, rallied to tie it, and then won in extra innings..

In Game Four, which was actually played on Oct. 31, the Yankees trailed 3-1 entering the final inning, but rallied against Arizona closer Byung-Hyun Kim, tying the score on a two-run Tino Martinez home run. An inning later, shortly after midnight, Derek Jeter won it with a walk-off home run—also off Kim. Since the blast came shortly after November technically began, there was some commentary about nicknaming Jeter Mr. November.

That set up Game Five. Arizona took a 2-0 lead, and held it until the ninth inning. Again Kim came in, and with two outs and a runner on second, he served up a pitch that Scott Brosius belted for a game-tying home run. That marked three clutch homers hit in about 24 hours of each other in one series—all off the same relief pitcher.

This time, Arizona immediately pulled Kim, and the game soldiered on through extra innings. Finally, in the bottom of the 12th, Chuck Knoblauch scored the winning run for New York on an RBI single by a young Alfonso Soriano.

If things had gone a little differently, Arizona would’ve won the World Series in five games. Instead, the Fall Classic went back to Phoenix, where the Diamondbacks won the last two games to finish the World Series. While Game Seven proved to be a classic, with Arizona scoring two runs in the bottom of the ninth to tie and win the game, people were already buzzing about this World Series after the heroics in Games Four, and Five—and those games ended and began respectively 10 years ago today.

Aside from that, other baseball events celebrate their anniversary or “day-versary” (which is an event occurring X-thousand days ago) today. Here they are, with the better ones put in bold for those who wish to skim.

Day-versaries

2,000 days since Ken Griffey Jr. belts his most valuable home run, according to WPA. With his Reds down 4-2 with one out in the bottom of the 11th inning, Griffey smashes a three-run, walk-off shot for the 5-4 win. The homer’s WPA: 0.786.

2,000 days since Bill Mueller plays his final game.

3,000 days since Tom Glavine wins his 250th game.

4,000 days since the Giants trade Bill Mueller to the Cubs for Tim Worrell.

6,000 days since Florida Marlins pitcher Chris Hammond hits a grand slam in a 9-7 win over Houston. He becomes the first pitcher to hit a home run in nine years.

6,000 days since Derek Jeter makes his big league debut.

7,000 days since Mike Piazza makes his big league debut.

8,000 days since a nice challenge trade of relief pitchers. The Reds trade John Franco to the Mets for Randy Myers.

8,000 days since the Indians trade Joe Carter to the Padres for Sandy Alomar, Carlos Baerga, and Chris James. The Indians win this one.

8,000 days since Houston signs free agent pitcher Bill Gullickson.

8,000 days since the Padres sign free agent Fred Lynn.

10,000 days since the Cardinals trade Keith Hernandez to the Mets for Neil Allen and Rick Ownbey.

10,000 days since the White Sox and Mariners swap second basemen, with Tony Bernazard going to Seattle and Julio Cruz landing in Chicago.

10,000 days since San Francisco’s Darrell Evans swats three home runs in one game.

25,000 days since the birth of pitcher Tommy John.

Anniversaries

1819 Doc Adams, one of the founding fathers of baseball, is born.

1859 Bid McPhee, Hall of Fame second baseman, is born.

1894 Charlie Sweeney, former pitcher, is convicted of manslaughter charges in San Francisco.

1907 Larry French, pitcher, is born.

1914 Connie Mack begins his first great fire sale. Today, the first to go is pitcher Jack Coombs to the Dodgers. By Opening Day 1915, Mack will have sold away so many starters from his 1910-14 dynasty, that the A’s will finish in last place for each season remaining in the decade.

1916 Harry Frazee buys the Boston Red Sox. He’ll turn one of the best franchises of the early AL into a doormat.

1927 Vic Power, superb fielding first basemen, is born.

1934 The Phillies trade Dick Bartell to the Giants for four players and cash.

1942 Branch Rickey is named the president for the Brooklyn Dodgers, replacing Larry MacPhail, who is serving in the military. Rickey will get over $40,000/year plus bonuses.

1944 Branch Rickey, Walter O’Malley and Andrew J. Schmitz purchase 25 percent of the Dodgers from executors of the estate of Steve McKeever.

1946 In the Rule 5 draft, the A’s get Ferris Fain from San Francisco of the Pacific Coast League. The Braves land Danny Murtaugh from the St. Louis Cardinals farm system. The Indians draft Gus Zernial from the Southern Association’s Atlanta club.

1946 Surgeons amputate the right foot of Indians owner Bill Veeck.

1949 Gillette buys the rights to the World Series for $1.37 million.

1950 Luke Appling, “Old Aches and Pains,” officially retires as White Sox shortstop at age 43.

1960 Fernando Valenzuela is born.

1962 Houston signs amateur free agent Joe Morgan.

1973 The A’s release Mike Andrews, who was the center of World Series controversy. He made two key errors in one game, costing Oakland the game. Team owner Charlie O. Finley responded by forcing Andrews to sign a fraudulent medical report claiming he was unable to play. The scheme backfired on Finley, and commissioner Bowie Kuhn reinstates Andrews, but now that the Series is over, Finley cuts Andrews from the team.

1974 Bullet Joe Bush, 200 game winner, dies.

1979 Coco Crisp is born.

1979 Edward Bennett Williams purchases the Orioles for $12.3 million.

1979 The Yankees trade 1976 ALCS hero Chris Chambliss along with Damaso Garcia and Paul Mirabella to the Blue Jays for Rick Cerone, Tom Underwood and Ted Wilborn. The Yankees intend for Cerone to replace the late Thurman Munson as catcher. Garcia becomes an All-Star with the Blue Jays.

1979 The Yankees and Mariners have a six-player trade that sends Jim Beattie, Juan Beniquez and Jerry Narron to Seattle and Ruppert Jones to the Yankees.

1982 The Boston Red Sox release Tony Perez.

1982 Baseball owners vote not to renew the contract of commissioner Bowie Kuhn.

1989 The Senior Professional Baseball Association begins play in Florida. It’ll complete one season and flounder during its sophomore campaign.

1993 Reds owner Marge Schott returns to running day-to-day operations for Cincinnati after completing her nine-month suspension.

1997 The Negro Leagues Baseball Museum opens its new home in Kansas City.

1999 The Cubs hire Don Baylor as their manager. He’ll do an abysmal job.

1999 The Indians hire Charlie Manuel as their manager. This is his first chance running a big league club.

2000 Two teams hire new managers. The Dodgers name Jim Tracy. It’ll be Tracy’s first time as major league field general. The Phillies hire former shortstop (and ex-Padres manager) Larry Bowa.

2001 The Astros hire Jimy Williams as their new manager. It’s his third stint, having previously worked in Toronto and Boston as manager.

2004 Arizona hires new manager Wally Backman. They sign him to a two-year contract but he lasts less than two weeks; he’ll soon be arrested on DUI, harassment and spousal abuse charges.

2007 The Dodgers hire Joe Torre as their manager. It’s Torre’s fifth and final hiring as big league skipper.

2008 The Phillies announce that Ruben Amaro Jr. will replace Pat Gillick as their GM next year.

2009 The Yankees take Game Four of the World Series from the Phillies, 7-4, thanks to three runs in the top of the ninth inning.

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