It’s almost October, when baseball postseason heroes are made and championship dreams are achieved or crushed. As we get ready to watch the World Series starting October 26, we decided to review all of the bat flips, clutch hits and improbable rallies to compile some of the most iconic moments from the Major League Baseball playoffs and World Series over the last decade (we’ll never forget you, Travis Ishikawa). Our research reminded us that the drama and excitement of October baseball is hard to top, and we’re eager to see who writes their name into the baseball history books this fall. Check out six of the best postseason moments here, and let us know if we missed your favorite by emailing us at [email protected].
David Freese’s Incredible Game Six Win
Where: St. Louis
When: 2011 World Series
What: Down 7-5 in the bottom of the ninth inning with two outs and runners on first and second, David Freese hit a bomb off the right field wall, which tied the game at seven. Later in the bottom of the 11th, Freeze hit a solo home run to win the game and send the series to a seventh game. The next day, the Cardinals beat the Rangers to win the World Series.
Cubs Win the Title
When: 2016 World Series
After giving up a three-run lead in the 8th inning, the Chicago Cubs and Cleveland Indians headed to extra innings in the final game of the 2016 MLB season. At the top of the 10th, the Cubs manufactured two runs. With two outs in the bottom of the 10th, Kris Bryant fielded a hard ground ball and threw out the runner to win the World Series. After a 108-year drought, the Cubs finally were champions again.
Madison Bumgarner Pitches a Gem
Where: Kansas City
When: 2014 World Series
After pitching a nine-inning shutout in game five, Madison Bumgarner came in after the fourth inning of game seven on two days of rest and delivered the Giants the win. Bumgarner gave the Giants their third World Series win in five years, cementing San Francisco as one of the great dynasties in baseball history.
Travis Ishikawa Gives the Giants the Pennant
Where: San Francisco
When: 2014 National League Championship Series
In the bottom of the ninth with the game tied at three, the Giants started a rally against the Cardinals. Pablo Sandoval led off with a base hit; Brandon Belt followed shortly after with a walk; and then Travis Ishikawa launched a ball over the right field wall to send the Giants to the World Series.
José Bautista and the Bat Flip
When: 2015 American League Divisional Series
In the series deciding game five between Toronto and Texas, José Bautista stepped up to the plate in the seventh inning with two outs and runners on first and third. He proceeded to hit an emphatic three-run series clinching blast for the Blue Jays capped off by an iconic bat flip.
David Ortiz’s Series-Altering Grand Slam
Down 5-1 in the bottom of the eighth and 1-0 in the best of five series, the Red Sox had their slugger David Ortiz at bat. With two outs and the bases loaded, “Big Papi” hammered a ball to right field, which caused the Detroit Tigers right fielder to fly over the wall. Boston won the game, and the series.
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Ian Larned is an intern at Marin Magazine. Born and raised in San Francisco, he attended Marin Academy in San Rafael and is currently a rising Junior at Colorado College majoring in Economics, Business and Society with a minor in Journalism. He enjoys playing sports or doing anything outdoors.