Couldn’t Kirby Puckett’s and David Freese’s feats be separated?
Instead Joe Buck plagiarized his father and called Freese’s incredible walk-off home run in the exact same fashion Jack Buck called Puckett’s 20 years ago.
“And, we’ll see you tomorrow night!”
Joe Buck ruined a terrific moment in time, one of the best World Series games in history. (Side note: some thought Buck was offering a nice tribute to his way more talented father, but when he and Tim McCarver talked about it a few innings earlier, it takes away from the moment.)
But the silver lining is that at least it got us thinking: two superb endings of tremendous World Series games with the same call … So where does Game 6 of the 2011 World Series rank, not just all-time, but in the grand scheme of World Series Game 6’s?
See, some of the best World Series games have been Game 6’s. Some of baseball’s most iconic moments have come in a Game 6.
After some research and some thought, here’s our Top 5:
#5: 1993 – Joe Carter Ends the Series
If it wasn’t for a five-run seventh inning, Mitch Williams might not have been a goat.
Though, if it wasn’t for Rickey Henderson being on first base, the Wild Thing might not have reverted to the slide step, making his screaming fastball less effective.
Either way, with a one-run lead in the ninth inning, Williams walked Henderson, allowed a single to Paul Molitor, and Carter then hit a 2-2 pitch into the bleachers to end the series in dramatic fashion.
Carter’s three-run homer gave the Blue Jays the game and he became one of just two players to end a World Series on a home run (following Bill Mazeroski in Game 7 of the 1960 series).
#4: 1975 – Carlton Fisk Waves It Fair
Carlton Fisk’s iconic waving of his 12th-inning home run has been seared into baseball fans’ minds and some have even labeled Fisk’s walk-off in the 1975 World Series as one of baseball’s greatest games.
Trailing 6-3 in the eighth inning, Boston’s Bernie Carbo hit a pinch-hit three-run home run to tie the game and give the Red Sox a chance. Then the Sox looked ready to beat the Cincinnati Reds in the ninth inning when they loaded the bases with nobody out.
However, Fred Lynn’s fly ball to left turned into a double play when George Foster threw out Denny Doyle, attempting to tag, at the plate.
The Reds, looking to close out the World Series with a win, threatened in both the 11th and 12th innings, but couldn’t push across a run, setting the stage for Fisk’s shot into the night.
Still, Boston lost Game 7 despite Fisk’s blast, continuing the misery in New England.
#3: 2011 – David Freese Caps Cards Rally
Twice the Texas Rangers had the Cardinals down to their final strike of the 2011 season, but both times St. Louis rallied with clutch hits.
David Freese lined a double over the head of Nelson Cruz in the ninth and Lance Berkman singled in the 10th as St. Louis became the first team ever to overcome two two-run deficits in the ninth inning or later in a World Series elimination game.
When Freese homered in the 11th to end it, it set the stage for an exciting and, possibly, epic Game 7.
The only part that made the moment less thrilling was when Joe Buck shamelessly plagiarized his far-more-talented father and said “We’ll see you tomorrow night!” as Freese’s ball traveled over the center field fence.
Jack Buck, of course, said that about Kirby Puckett’s homer in Game 6 of the 1991 World Series. Speaking of …
#2: 1991 – Kirby Does It All
The 1991 World Series is easily the best World Series ever played, with three games being won in the final at-bat and four coming down to the final pitch.
Kirby Puckett’s heroics in Game 6 allowed the Twins to stay alive and eventually win Game 7.
Puckett drove in an early run with a triple in the first inning and then, in the third inning, made an incredible leaping catch in center field to preserve a 2-1 lead.
Puckett led off the 11th inning againstAtlanta Braves pitcher Charlie Liebrandt, and as he came into the dugout between the top of the 11th and the bottom half, he said he might bunt for a hit. To which designated hitter Chili Davis said “Bunt, my ass. Hit it out and let’s go home.”
Puckett did. And Jack Buck exclaimed “We’ll see you tomorrow night!” Game 7 didn’t disappoint with the Twins winning 1-0 in 10 innings behind Jack Morris.
#1: 1986 – “It Gets Through Buckner!”
The Red Sox, trying to end The Curse of the Bambino, led the Mets 3-2 in the series and scored two quick runs in the first two innings of Game 6 in New York.
The Mets tied it with two in the fifth, but an error by Ray Knight in the seventh gave Boston a 3-2 lead and just nine outs to go for their first title since the Babe was sold to the Yankees.
But Gary Carter hit a sac fly in the eighth inning to tie the game and eventually force it into extra innings.
In the top of the 10th inning, Dave Henderson homered to give the Sox a lead, and Marty Barrett singled in Wade Boggs to make it 5–3.
When Wally Backman and Keith Hernandez were retired to start the bottom of the 10th, the Red Sox were one out away from the series victory. The scoreboard in right-center field actually had flashed, briefly, “Congratulations, Boston Red Sox, 1986 World Champions.”
That’s when the blame game in Boston began.
Was it Calvin Schiraldi’s fault? Or was it Bob Stanley’s? Turns out, everyone turned on poor Billy Buckner, who was left in the game because Red Sox manager John McNamara wanted the veteran to be on the field for the Red Sox victory.
Carter and pinch-hitter Kevin Mitchell had back-to-back singles (even after the Mets were down to their final strike) and Knight then lined an 0-2 pitch from Schiraldi into center field to score Carter and make it 5-4.
Stanley came in to relieve Schiraldi and threw a wild pitch to score Mitchell.
Four pitches later Mookie Wilson hit a nubber up the first base line, going through Buckner’s legs and producing the infamous and iconic Buckner error, allowing Knight to score and giving the Mets an improbable victory.
New York would rally again in Game 7 to win the title.
So that’s our list … what’s yours look like?