Tuesday, January 23, 2018

World Series: Getting ready for Cubs-Indians Game 6 by reliving Game 6 magic

Game 6s.

There is something about the World Series and Game 6s.

There's a Game 6 tonight in Cleveland. Cubs and Indians. The My Curse Is Bigger Than Your Curse showdown, with the Indians up 3-2, one win away. Still.

Don't count out the Cubs.

Don't count out anything.

It's a Game 6.

Follow along.

Game 6, 1975. Boston catcher Carlton Fisk waved a home run ball fair at Fenway Park to end a remarkable game _ Carbo, Evans, all of it _ and the Red Sox beat the Reds to force Game 7. Long after Boston fell in the Series, one of the greatest games in baseball history lived on. Still does.

Game 6, 1977. Reggie. Reggie. Reggie. I was there for that one, sitting (really, standing) in the right field bleachers at Yankee Stadium as Mr. October arrived: three swings, three home runs off three different pitchers as the Yankees won the World Series. By the way, I scalped tickets to that game. Cost: $15.

Game 6, 1985. The Royals forced Game 7 against the Cardinals in the bottom of the ninth at Royals Stadium. There was umpire's Don Denkinger's blown call at first base. There was Jack Clark missing Steve Balboni's foul pop. And there was Dane Iorg, who blooped a bases-loaded single to bring home two runs — Jim Sundberg sliding in head first with the winner. Kansas City smoked St. Louis in Game 7.

Game 6, 1986. The Red Sox were three outs from winning the Series. And then it all fell apart. A Mookie Wilson roller to first base, it gets by Buckner and the Mets win it, Ray Knight, hands on his helmet as he approached the plate. Shea Stadium sways. The Mets go on and win Game 7. The Curse goes on for the Red Sox.

Game 6, 1991. Kirby Puckett willed the Twins to a Game 7 at the Metrodome, putting on a show in Game 6 against the Braves. Puckett made a sensational grab, climbing the fence in left center. Puckett won it in the 11th with a home run. Game 7 was pretty remarkable, too, as I recall. Jack Morris went the distance, 10 innings, in a 1-0 win.

Game 6, 1993. Phillies closer Mitch Williams throws to Joe Carter. Joe Carter swings. And then he stomps and dances his way around the bases. The Blue Jays are again world champions. I remember this one because it was my wedding night. My best man, my brother, was a huge baseball fan. At the reception, I told him not to worry, nothing would happen in the game. I called him from my hotel room to tell him what a hit! What a hit! My wife told me to put the phone down — now.

Game 6, 2002. The Giants were within eight outs of their first world championship in 48 years. They led 5-0 over the Angels in the seventh inning at Anaheim. Then: rally monkeys. Scott Spiezio hit a three-run homer to start the comeback. Then, another home run. And a misplay by Barry Bonds. And a two-run double by Troy Glaus. Angels win Game 6. Angels win Game 7.

Game 6, 2011. The Texas Rangers were an out away — one strike away — from winning it all in St. Louis. But David Freese changed all of that. He hit a two-run triple in the bottom on of the ninth to tie it 7-7. The Rangers went back ahead on Josh Hamilton's two-run homer in the 10th. Texas was again one out away — one strike away — from taking the Series. The Cardinals tied it again. An inning later, Freese won it with a walk-off home run. The Cardinals won Game 7.

One thing about all of the above is that it was always the home team that made the Game 6 magic. The Cubs are trying to break new ground. I wouldn't rule it out. I wouldn't rule anything out.

It's Game 6. Embrace. Enjoy.

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