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1991 World Series
1991 World Series.gif
Team (Wins) Manager Season
Minnesota Twins (4) Tom Kelly 95–67, .586, GA: 8
Atlanta Braves (3) Bobby Cox 94–68, .580, GA: 1
Dates: October 19–October 27
MVP: Jack Morris (Minnesota)
Television: CBS
TV announcers: Jack Buck and Tim McCarver
Radio: CBS
Radio announcers: Vin Scully and Johnny Bench
Umpires: Don Denkinger (AL), Harry Wendelstedt (NL), Drew Coble (AL), Terry Tata (NL), Rick Reed (AL), Ed Montague (NL)
Future Hall of Famers: Twins: Kirby Puckett.
Braves: none
ALCS: Minnesota Twins over Toronto Blue Jays (4–1)
NLCS: Atlanta Braves over Pittsburgh Pirates (4–3)
 < 1990 World Series 1992 > 

The 1991 World Series was played between the Minnesota Twins (95–67) of the American League and the Atlanta Braves (94–68) of the National League between October 19 and October 27, 1991. The Series was, in some respects, similar to the 1987 World Series also played by the Minnesota Twins (against the St. Louis Cardinals), most notably in that the home team won all seven games. The 1991 World Series was ranked by ESPN to be the best ever played[1], with five of its games being decided by a single run, four games decided in the final at-bat and three games going into extra innings. With 69 innings in total, the 1991 World Series holds the current record for longest seven-game World Series ever (some of the early years had nine-game Series, extending longer).

Seven players appeared in both the 1987 and 1991 Series for the Twins: Kirby Puckett, Kent Hrbek, Greg Gagne, Dan Gladden, Gene Larkin, Randy Bush and Al Newman. Terry Pendleton of the Braves also played in the 1987 Series, then as a member of the St. Louis Cardinals.

For the first time in history, both league champions had finished the previous season in last place. Before 1991, no league champion had ever finished the previous season in last place. The Twins also won the AL West Division in 1991 with every team in the division having a .500 or better record.

Contents

Summary

The 1991 World Series was notable for several grueling contests, with five of its games being decided by one run and three games in extra innings (including the third game, a twelve-inning marathon which saw Twins manager Tom Kelly run out of hitters).

AL Minnesota Twins (4) vs. NL Atlanta Braves (3)

Game Date Score Location Time Attendance
1 October 19 Atlanta Braves – 2, Minnesota Twins – 5 Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome 3:00 55,108[2]
2 October 20 Atlanta Braves – 2, Minnesota Twins – 3 Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome 2:37 55,145[3] 
3 October 22 Minnesota Twins – 4, Atlanta Braves – 5 (12 innings) Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium 4:04 50,878[4] 
4 October 23 Minnesota Twins – 2, Atlanta Braves – 3 Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium 2:57 50,878[5] 
5 October 24 Minnesota Twins – 5, Atlanta Braves – 14 Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium 2:59 50,878[6] 
6 October 26 Atlanta Braves – 3, Minnesota Twins – 4 (11 innings) Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome 3:46 55,155[7] 
7 October 27 Atlanta Braves – 0, Minnesota Twins – 1 (10 innings) Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome 3:23 55,118[8]

Matchups

Game 1

Saturday, October 19, 1991 at Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in Minneapolis, Minnesota

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Atlanta 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 2 6 1
Minnesota 0 0 1 0 3 1 0 0 X 5 9 1

WP: Jack Morris (1–0)  LP: Charlie Leibrandt (0–1)  SV: Rick Aguilera (1)  
HRs:  MIN – Greg Gagne (1), Kent Hrbek (1)

The ceremonial first pitch of the World Series prior to Game 1 was thrown by retired AL umpire Steve Palermo. Palermo had been forced into early retirement when he was seriously injured by gunshot while coming to the aid of a robbery victim in Dallas on July 7, 1991. After the pitch, the Series umpires jogged to the mound to exchange well wishes.

The Twins struck early with two home runs (a three-run blast from Greg Gagne and a solo shot from Kent Hrbek) to take a 4–0 lead en route to a 5–2 win. Only some fine defense from the Braves saved a rout.

Charlie Leibrandt's poor performance for the Braves in Game 1 would be his only start, as the team decided to shuffle its rotation for the next games. It was not, however, Leibrandt's last appearance in the Series.

Game 2

Sunday, October 20, 1991 at Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in Minneapolis, Minnesota

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Atlanta 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 2 8 1
Minnesota 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 X 3 4 1

WP: Kevin Tapani (1–0)  LP: Tom Glavine (0–1)  SV: Rick Aguilera (2)  
HRs:  MIN – Chili Davis (1), Scott Leius (1)

The pitching match-up featured 1991 National League Cy Young Award winner Tom Glavine against the Twins' sixteen-game winner and number two starter, Kevin Tapani.

In the bottom of the first, Dan Gladden lifted a seemingly routine pop-up toward second base. Atlanta fielders Mark Lemke and David Justice miscommunicated and collided with one another as the ball fell from Lemke's glove and Gladden reached second on a two-base error. After a walk to Chuck Knoblauch, Glavine induced a bat-breaking double play, 5–3, for two outs. But a two-run blast from Chili Davis gave the Twins an early 2–0 lead.

The Braves got a run back in the top of the second when Justice singled, was doubled to third by Sid Bream, and then scored on a sacrifice fly by Greg Olson. Controversy occurred the next inning when Lonnie Smith reached first on an error by Scott Leius. With two outs, Ron Gant ripped a single to left. Smith, playing for a record fourth team in World Series play, tried to beat the throw to third from Gladden. An overthrow to third gave Smith the base, but Tapani, backing up third, threw to Kent Hrbek at first. Gant, who had rounded first and was heading to second, scrambled back to the bag and, depending on one's rooting interests, was pulled off the bag either by Hrbek's strong tag or his own momentum. Umpire Drew Coble determined the latter, ending the inning. CBS television announcers Jack Buck and Tim McCarver were adamant in their insistence that Hrbek had pulled Gant off the bag, as was at least one Minnesota reporter. But the call stood and Hrbek and his family were harassed by Braves fans—some good-natured and some not—for the rest of the Series. Coble later said when interviewed for the 1991 World Series video that his judgment was that Gant was falling over as he headed back to the base and his own momentum caused him to get tangled with Hrbek and that was what caused him to be out.

The Braves tied the game in the fifth when Olson doubled, advanced to third on a groundout by Lemke, and came home on a sacrifice fly by Rafael Belliard. The game stayed tied until the bottom of the eighth when the unheralded Leius drilled a Glavine pitch into the left-field seats for what proved to be the game-winning home run. Rick Aguilera got the save and the Series headed to Atlanta with the Twins leading two games to none.

Game 3

Tuesday, October 22, 1991 at Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 R H E
Minnesota 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 2 0 0 0 0 4 10 1
Atlanta 0 1 0 1 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 5 8 2

WP: Jim Clancy (1–0)  LP: Rick Aguilera (0–1)  
HRs:  MIN – Kirby Puckett (1), Chili Davis (2)  ATL – David Justice (1), Lonnie Smith (1)

The Braves outlasted the Twins in a thrilling twelve-inning battle, the first World Series game ever played in the Deep South. This game matched Minnesota's twenty-game winner Scott Erickson against Atlanta's late-season hero and NLCS MVP, Steve Avery. In the NLCS, Avery had not allowed a run to the Pirates in sixteen-and-a-third innings.

Twins manager Tom Kelly said going into the three games in Atlanta that managing without the designated-hitter rule was "right up there with rocket science."

Reminiscent of Game 2, Gladden hit another ball toward Justice. This time, Justice and Gant miscommunicated, and Gladden wound up at third with nobody out in the top of the first. Gladden then scored on Knoblauch's sacrifice fly to Justice, and the Twins scored to end Avery's shutout streak.

The Braves, meanwhile, got the run back in the second when Olson scored on Belliard's single. Justice led off the fourth with his first World Series home run, and the Braves led for the first time in the Series, 2–1. In the fifth, they scored again when Smith homered. The Braves loaded the bases but only scored one more run due to the clutch relief pitching of Terry Leach. With the score 4–1, the Braves looked to close it out. As it turned out, the game was just beginning.

Except for the run that resulted from the first-inning misplay between Gant and Justice, Avery had been quite effective. But after Kirby Puckett homered in the seventh to make it 4–2 and two other fly outs made it to the warning track, Atlanta manager Bobby Cox reluctantly sent Avery out for the eighth inning. After a Terry Pendleton error put Brian Harper on first, Avery went to the showers in favor of the Braves' regular-season closer, Alejandro Peña. Peña had been 13 for 13 in save opportunities since joining the Braves in a late-season trade with the Mets, but he had not pitched since the prior Wednesday. The first batter that he faced, Chili Davis, tied the game with a monstrous home run to left, leaving Avery with nothing to show for a great pitching effort.

At this point, the game got bizarre. Substitutions and double switches were used by both teams into the twelfth, when Minnesota manager Tom Kelly used up his entire bench and had to send reliever Aguilera to pinch-hit for the active pitcher, Mark Guthrie, who had never had an at bat in his major league career, with the bases loaded and two out (Aguilera flied to center and the ball was caught by center fielder Ron Gant). Kelly said in an interview that if the game had gone on longer, since he had used up all his relief pitchers, he would have put left fielder Dan Gladden on the mound. In the bottom of the twelfth, Justice singled to right and after Brian Hunter popped out, Justice stole second. With two outs, Lemke entered the pantheon of World Series heroes by hitting a single to left that enabled Justice to just beat the throw from Gladden. His score gave the Braves a 5–4 win and cut the Twins lead in the Series to two games to one. Jim Clancy was the winning pitcher for Atlanta while Aguilera took the loss for Minnesota.

The game lasted a then record four hours, four minutes, until broken in 2005 in Game 3 of the 2005 World Series with a time of five hours, forty-one minutes. It was the first of four games in this Series to end with the winning team scoring the deciding run in the ninth inning or later. It was also the first World Series game to be played in the state of Georgia.

Game 4

Wednesday, October 23, 1991 at Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Minnesota 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 2 7 0
Atlanta 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 1 3 8 0

WP: Mike Stanton (1–0)  LP: Mark Guthrie (0–1)  
HRs:  MIN – Mike Pagliarulo (1)  ATL – Terry Pendleton (1), Lonnie Smith (2)

Because Game 3 had ended after midnight, Mark Lemke was credited as winning two World Series games in one day. As they had done in Game 3, the Braves won in their final at-bat. Game 4 matched up Jack Morris against Atlanta starter John Smoltz, a former Detroit prospect and Michigan native who had idolized him while a youngster.

As was the custom in the first three games, the Twins scored first. In the second inning, Harper scored on Mike Pagliarulo's double. The Braves tied it in the third when Pendleton hit his first ever post-season home run. The Braves appeared ready to take a lead in the fifth when Smith singled and stole second. A double by Pendleton sent Smith towards the plate, after Smith committed a huge error by going back to tag up (the ball appeared that it might have been caught by Puckett, but took off and went over his head). The throw to catcher Harper was online and Harper caught the ball, tagging Smith and holding onto it as Smith plowed over Harper at full speed. The collision sent both sprawling, but Harper held onto the ball and got up to ensure Pendleton, who had gone to third, did not score. The Braves now had a runner at third with one out. A few moments later, Morris unleashed a wild pitch and Pendleton sped toward home. But Harper retrieved it and tagged the sliding Pendleton for the second out of the inning. Justice popped out and Morris was out of the jam.

In the top of the seventh, Pagliarulo homered to give the Twins the lead, 2–1. But the Braves got the run back in the bottom of the inning when Smith homered off Twins reliever Carl Willis to tie the game. The game entered the bottom of the ninth still tied, 2–2. With one out and Mark Guthrie pitching, Lemke drilled a triple off the left-center field wall. Jeff Blauser was walked intentionally to set up a possible double play to force extra innings. After a series of moves by both managers, former Brave Steve Bedrosian took the mound to face veteran minor leaguer Jerry Willard. Willard delivered a sacrifice fly to Shane Mack in right field. Mack caught it and fired toward the plate. The ball beat Lemke to the plate, but he got around Harper with a hook slide, scoring the winning run that beat the Twins, 3–2. Harper leapt up and vociferously protested, but umpire Terry Tata stood by the call, and replays showed it to be correct (Harper never tagged Lemke with his glove). The win tied the Series at two games apiece and ensured it would return to Minnesota.

Game 5

Thursday, October 24, 1991 at Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Minnesota 0 0 0 0 0 3 0 1 1 5 7 1
Atlanta 0 0 0 4 1 0 6 3 X 14 17 1

WP: Tom Glavine (1–1)  LP: Kevin Tapani (1–1)  
HRs:  ATL – David Justice (2), Lonnie Smith (3), Brian Hunter (1)

In Game 5, it was Glavine vs. Tapani in a Game 2 rematch. And despite the final score, this contest was still up in the air until the seventh inning. For three innings, the pitchers matched zeroes, but in the fourth, Gant singled to left and Justice homered off the top of the left-field wall for a 2–0 Braves lead. Bream followed up with a walk, and Olson then hit what appeared to be a double play grounder to second. But the ball hit Bream's leg, resulting in Bream being called out for runner interference but Olson being safe at first. Lemke, the hero of Games 3 and 4, drilled a triple that scored Olson, and Lemke himself then scored on light-hitting Rafael Belliard's double. At this point, the Braves led 4–0, their biggest lead in any game in the Series.

In the fifth, Pendleton and Gant singled, with Pendleton moving to third. Then Justice hit into a fielder's choice that scored Pendleton and gave the Braves a 5–0 lead. With Glavine working on a two-hitter, the game seemed in hand for the Braves. But Glavine was not sharp in the sixth inning and wound up getting pulled from the game. Knoblauch reached on a one-out walk and then went to third on Puckett's single. A walk to Davis loaded the bases, and Glavine suddenly couldn't find the strike zone. He walked in two runs by giving bases loaded walks to Harper and Leius. Kent Mercker came on to get out of the jam and he got the final two outs with only one additional run scoring. The game entered the seventh with the Braves leading, 5–3.

Tom Kelly sent David West out to begin the bottom of the seventh. West had failed to retire a batter in Game 3 and thus had an ERA of infinity. Smith hit his third home run in three nights, all solo shots, to give the Braves a 6–3 lead. And then the floodgates opened. Pendleton and Gant walked, Justice singled to score Pendleton, and West was again taken out without retiring a batter (he would retire his first World Series hitter in the 1993 World Series with the Philadelphia Phillies). Hunter singled to score Gant and put two on with nobody out and an 8–3 Braves lead. After Olson popped out, Lemke hit his third triple in his last four at bats, driving home Justice and Hunter, and scoring when Belliard singled to center. The Braves ended the seventh with an 11–3 lead and the announcers began talking about the chances of the two teams in Game 6.

However, there were still two innings to be played. Davis, playing this game in right field in place of Mack, who was 0-for-15, singled. He moved to second on a ground out and scored on Al Newman's triple. In the bottom of the eighth, Pendleton doubled and Gant tripled, scoring Pendleton. Justice grounded out to the pitcher, scoring Gant, and Hunter then ended the Braves' offensive barrage with a home run.

Both managers emptied their benches to give playing time to non-starters. Thus, Randy St. Claire was on the mound pitching to Francisco Cabrera as the ninth inning began. St. Claire gave up a run when Gladden tripled (the fifth triple of the game between the two teams) and scored on a fielder's choice, but the game ended in a 14–5 Braves rout, the only lopsided game in the Series. The Braves now had their first lead in Series games, three to two, and only needed one win to clinch their first World Series since 1957. In fact, the marquee wall at Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium read "Three at home and one at the Dome." The Washington/Minnesota franchise had now lost twelve straight World Series road games dating back to 1924, a streak that remains active as the Twins have not advanced to a World Series since 1991.

Game 6

Saturday, October 26, 1991 at Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in Minneapolis, Minnesota

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 R H E
Atlanta 0 0 0 0 2 0 1 0 0 0 0 3 9 1
Minnesota 2 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 4 9 0

WP: Rick Aguilera (1–1)  LP: Charlie Leibrandt (0–2)  
HRs:  ATL – Terry Pendleton (2)  MIN – Kirby Puckett (2)

Both teams had each other in their palms. The Braves needed another win to capture their first World Series in 34 years. The Twins needed to win Game 6 to stay alive. The Braves put their late-season ace Steve Avery on the mound. They would be facing the Twins' Scott Erickson, who was starting on three days' rest and had been batted around by Atlanta in Game 3.

The Twins, on the other hand, were coming back to the Metrodome where they had a post-season record of 9–1 including two wins over the Braves the previous weekend. And unlike the Pirates, they would face Avery on three days' rest.

In the top of the first, the Braves got two baserunners on, but they would eventually be stranded. In the bottom of the first, Knoblauch singled and Puckett tripled, scoring Knoblauch and setting the tone for the rest of the evening. Avery retired Chili Davis and now faced Shane Mack, who was 0 for 15 in the Series (and 0 for his last 17 overall in the post-season). But Mack now got his first hit, a broken bat line drive, the sawed-off portion of the bat nearly hitting Puckett as he scored, and giving Avery his first two-run deficit since August 25. Leius singled, putting runners at first and third, but Avery got Hrbek out to keep the score 2–0.

The Braves hit Erickson hard, but failed to score against him. No better example can be cited than Gant's seeming extra-base hit in the top of the third with Pendleton on first. Kirby Puckett leaped and made a sensational catch against the thirteen-foot Plexiglas fence, sending Pendleton back to first instead of around the bases for Atlanta's first run. Erickson got out of it by getting a ground out from Justice.

In the fourth, the Twins appeared ready to increase their lead, putting runners at second and third with one out. But Avery buckled down and retired the side to keep the game close. Another critical play occurred in the fifth when Belliard kept the Twins from completing a double play with a fierce slide. His hustle enabled Lonnie Smith to reach first. This became important when Pendleton golfed Erickson's next pitch into the seats to make the game 2–2. With two outs, Justice lifted what appeared to be a go-ahead home run for the Braves to right, but the last instant, the ball hooked foul by about two feet. Erickson retired Justice and the Twins came to bat with the score tied.

Gladden responded with a walk and a steal of second. He moved to third on Knoblauch's liner to right and scored on Puckett's center field sacrifice fly and the Twins led 3–2. The Twins kept their one-run lead into the seventh. Lemke singled to center and went to second on a wild pitch by reliever Guthrie. After a strikeout, Smith walked and Pendleton then reached on an infield single. The Braves now had the bases loaded and one out as CBS commentator Jack Buck said the World Series was on the line right there. Gant hit what seemed to be a sure double play ground ball off the Twins' Carl Willis, which retired Pendleton, but he beat the relay to first and Lemke scored with the tying run. Willis, however, got out of the jam by striking out Justice to end the inning with score at 3–3.

The game remained tied at three until the eleventh. Bobby Cox, perhaps sensing a long game ahead, sent Charlie Leibrandt to the mound. Leibrandt threw four pitches to Puckett. The first three gave him a two-ball-one-strike count. Puckett, with a long reputation and history as a "hack" batter who swung at anything hittable, took the first three pitches, patiently working the count until Leibrandt threw him a weak hanging changeup on the fourth and last pitch. He launched the pitch into the left-center-field seats for a game-winning home run that tied the Series with three games apiece. That home run led to Jack Buck's now famous call of "And we'll see you tomorrow night!" It would be the first Game 7 since the 1987 World Series, which was also played at the Metrodome by the Twins. With his walk-off home run, Puckett completed the game only one hit—a double—from hitting for the cycle.

Rick Aguilera took the decision for the Twins, while Leibrandt earned his second loss of the series.

Game 7

Sunday, October 27, 1991 at Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in Minneapolis, Minnesota

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 R H E
Atlanta 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 7 0
Minnesota 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 10 0

WP: Jack Morris (2–0)  LP: Alejandro Peña (0–1)  

Game 7 was a pitching duel between Minnesota's Jack Morris and Atlanta's John Smoltz. Smoltz was a farmhand in Morris' previous organization, the Detroit Tigers. The Tigers traded Smoltz to the Braves in 1987 for pitcher Doyle Alexander in anticipation of a playoff showdown against the Minnesota Twins.

Scoring threats were posted and quashed with ruthless efficiency, including a heart-stopping eighth inning wherein both teams were retired with the bases loaded by double play. In the top half, Sid Bream hit into a rare 3–2–3 double play, where Harper and Hrbek turned thanks in large part to Bream's lack of speed. Hrbek then had the tables turned on him in the bottom of the inning as he lined out to Lemke in the bottom half for an unassisted double play, set up after Mike Stanton, who came in with one out in the inning to relieve Smoltz and who had walked Kirby Puckett in front of Hrbek to load the bases and set up the double play.

Another critical defensive play came in the top of the eighth, with Lonnie Smith on first and nobody out. Braves manager Bobby Cox called for a hit and run with Terry Pendleton at the plate. Pendleton responded by lacing a double into the left-center field gap, but Smith only advanced to third on the play. Logically, Smith could have (and considering he was running, perhaps should have) scored from first on the double, especially since he was running as the pitch was thrown. But after Pendleton made contact, Twins infielders Gagne (shortstop) and Knoblauch (second base) feigned starting a double play by pretending to force out Smith at second. Smith hesitated, then ran to third while as Pendleton headed for second.

The trickery caused enough confusion for Smith to advance only to third where he logically would have scored and put Atlanta in the lead heading into the bottom of the inning. Smith, for his part, insisted that he wasn't fooled, he was waiting to see if the ball would be caught. However, according to Twins pitcher Jack Morris, the play should have never happened as replays show third base umpire Terry Tata made a bad call on the previous pitch to Pendleton, calling it a foul tip when he actually swung and missed on what should have been strike three (although the replay was inconclusive, as the ball did appear to graze Pendleton's bat before bouncing into the dirt).[9] Nevertheless, the attempt at a rally was quashed after Ron Gant popped out and David Justice was walked intentionally to set up the aforementioned double play grounder that Hrbek and Harper turned (where Smith, who would have scored had he not been caught by the decoy play, was the first of the two outs).

After Morris shut down the Braves in the top of the ninth, he duplicated the feat in the top of the tenth—a rare extra-inning outing for a pitcher, especially in a game that was as important as Game 7 of this World Series. A Twin Cities sports writer wrote that on that night, "[Morris] could have outlasted Methuselah." Morris successfully rebuffed several attempts by manager Tom Kelly to remove him during the game, remaining on the mound from the first pitch to the last. However, the Twins failed to score again despite threatening in the ninth. Davis and Harper both reached with hits, the latter's a bunt single that Stanton misplayed and suffered an injury trying to field. Peña came out of the bullpen again for the Braves, recording a double play off the bat of Mack and striking out Paul Sorrento to end the inning.

In the bottom of the tenth, Dan Gladden hustled out a broken bat bloop double to left-center off Peña, and went to third on a sacrifice bunt from Knoblauch. The red-hot Puckett, who had been intentionally walked in the eighth to set up a double play, received another free pass. While a double play was now a possibility with a slow-footed Hrbek now batting, Cox elected to load the bases with another intentional walk and pitch to a light-hitting speedster in Jarvis Brown, who had entered the game in the ninth as a pinch runner for Chili Davis. Kelly, down to an injured Gene Larkin and Junior Ortiz on his bench, called for a pinch hitter and sent up Larkin to bat. Larkin lofted Peña's first-pitch fastball to left-center, over the Braves' drawn-in outfielders, to score a jubilant Gladden. TV broadcaster Jack Buck called out that the Twins had won the World Series the moment the ball was struck. The Twins became world champions for the second time in five seasons.

For the first time since 1962, a seventh game of the World Series ended with a 1–0 verdict.[10] This Series was also the first since 1924 to end with an extra-inning seventh-game, when the home team Washington Senators (of the Twins franchise) won it in their last at-bat. The same thing would also happen in the 1997 World Series when the Florida Marlins would beat the Cleveland Indians in the eleventh inning of Game 7.

The 1991 World Series was the second in five seasons in which the home team won all seven games in the Series. The other time this happened was in 1987, which coincidentally was also won by the Twins. Game 7 of this series was the last World Series game played at the Metrodome before the Twins moved out at the end of the 2009 season, and would be the last postseason game of any kind played at the venue until 2002.

Hero in a losing cause

Braves second baseman Mark Lemke, who hit .234 during the regular season, became perhaps the most surprising hero of the 1991 World Series. Lemke hit .417 in the World Series, drove in the game winning run in Game 3 (a two-out single to score David Justice, who had singled and stolen second), tripled with one out in the ninth inning in Game 4 before scoring the winning run on Jerry Willard's fly ball to right, and drove in three more runs with two more triples in Game 5. This lent itself to a humorous moment between the CBS announcers when Jack Buck slyly asked Tim McCarver if he knew the last NL player to hit triples in consecutive World Series games. McCarver insisted that he did not, leading to Buck's reply of "It was you!" McCarver continued to maintain that he was unaware of his own achievement. Lemke tied Billy Johnson's 1947 record for triples in a World Series. The bat that Lemke hit for his third triple was sent to the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York for display.

Aftermath

Following the game, CBS Sports analyst Tim McCarver consoled Atlanta fans by stating that this was an excellent team and that he expected they would "be around" for some time to come. The Braves would, in fact, go on to win an unprecedented fourteen consecutive division titles. They returned to the World Series the following year, but lost in six games to the Toronto Blue Jays. The Braves made three additional trips to the World Series before the decade ended, winning in 1995 against the Cleveland Indians but falling in 1996 and 1999 to the New York Yankees.

The Twins would contend for the 1992 American League Western Division title for much of the season but finished six games behind the Oakland Athletics, who won the division for the fourth time in five seasons. The Twins' 90-72 record would be their last winning campaign until 2001, which was Tom Kelly's last season as the team's manager. Over the next several seasons, the players that made up the core of the 1987 and 1991 Twins would slowly begin to leave. Dan Gladden, the Twins' left fielder, departed in the offseason for Detroit. Jack Morris, the pitching hero of the series, signed with Toronto and returned to the World Series the next year. Greg Gagne and Chili Davis departed following the 1992 season, with Brian Harper leaving at the end of the 1993 season. Kent Hrbek's production began falling due to injuries that kept him off the field for much of the next two seasons, and he retired in 1994. The Twins then lost Rick Aguilera, Scott Erickson, and Kevin Tapani to free agency following the 1995 season, as well as Kirby Puckett, who retired following an injury where he had been hit it the face with a pitch and eventually developed glaucoma. Chuck Knoblauch was the last of the 1991 team to remain in Minnesota, eventually forcing a trade to the Yankees following the 1997 season, where he won three additional World Series titles.

This was the last World Series that Fay Vincent presided over as commissioner, as he was forced to resign near the end of the 1992 season by the owners. In Game 1, a Kent Hrbek foul pop up hit Vincent's daughter Anne in the head.

The Twins and the Braves met each other in Interleague play sixteen years later, in 2007. The first game of the series televised in Minnesota (via Fox Sports) had footage from this World Series woven into the game. The Twins swept the Braves in the series dated June 12–14, 2007.

Composite box

1991 World Series (4–3): Minnesota Twins (A.L.) over Atlanta Braves (N.L.)

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 R H E
Minnesota Twins 5 1 1 0 4 4 2 4 1 1 1 0 24 56 4
Atlanta Braves 0 2 1 5 6 1 8 4 1 0 0 1 29 63 6
Total attendance: 373,160   Average attendance: 53,309
Winning player’s share: $119,580   Losing player’s share: $73,323[11]

Broadcasting

This year, CBS used three field reporters, which were Jim Kaat (both teams as well as covering the trophy presentation), Lesley Visser (Twins' dugout) and Andrea Joyce (Braves' dugout). This was also the last World Series to be broadcast by Jack Buck (who would be replaced by Sean McDonough on the CBS telecasts in the role of lead play-by-play man). Buck did not live (as Buck passed away in 2002) to see the St. Louis Cardinals, for whom he served as the radio voice for many years, make their 2004 and 2006 trips to the World Series. Jack Buck's son Joe however, did broadcast the 2004 and 2006 World Series for Fox. As was the case with the elder Buck during the 1991 World Series, Joe Buck worked the 2004 and 2006 World Series with Tim McCarver.

Series quotes

That's going to be a winner for Atlanta! The runner tags at third, here's the throw from Mack, here's Lemke ...he is out..safe, safe, safe! They called him safe! Atlanta wins and they're going to say that Harper did not tag him!
CBS television announcer Jack Buck calling Jerry Willard's game winning sacrifice fly in Game 4.
Into deep left center, for Mitchell...and we'll see you...tomorrow night!
—Jack Buck, calling Kirby Puckett's game winning home run in Game 6.
Same two teams tomorrow night...
Braves announcer Skip Caray, with an understated call of Kirby Puckett's same Game 6 winner.
Puckett swings and hits a blast! Deep left center! Way back! Way back! It's gone! The Twins go to the seventh game! Touch 'em all, Kirby Puckett! Touch 'em all, Kirby Puckett! And the Twins have won this game 4–3 on a dramatic home run by Kirby Puckett!
WCCO-AM announcer John Gordon, announcing the same event.
The Twins are going to win the World Series! The Twins have won it! It's a base hit, it's a one-nothing, ten-inning victory!
—Jack Buck, calling Gene Larkin's World Series-clinching base hit in Game 7.
Peña, right foot on the rubber. You can taste the pressure here in the 'Dome as Alejandro straightens up. And the pitch to Larkin. Swung on, a high fly ball into left center, the run will score, the ball will bounce for a single, and the Minnesota Twins are the champions of the world!
Vin Scully, calling Larkin's hit on CBS Radio.
Baseball is the greatest game there is.
—Twins third baseman Mike Pagliarulo, following Game 7.
It was I think probably the greatest World Series ever!
Commissioner Fay Vincent, during the World Series Trophy presentation ceremony.
I just didn't want to quit and somehow we figured out a way to win this thing.
—World Series MVP Jack Morris, following his masterful performance in Game 7.

Notes

  1. ^ ESPN: WORLD SERIES 100th ANNIVERSARY
  2. ^ "1991 World Series Game 1 - Atlanta Braves vs. Minnesota Twins". Retrosheet. http://www.retrosheet.org/boxesetc/1991/B10190MIN1991.htm. Retrieved 2009-09-13. 
  3. ^ "1991 World Series Game 2 - Atlanta Braves vs. Minnesota Twins". Retrosheet. http://www.retrosheet.org/boxesetc/1991/B10200MIN1991.htm. Retrieved 2009-09-13. 
  4. ^ "1991 World Series Game 3 - Minnesota Twins vs. Atlanta Braves". Retrosheet. http://www.retrosheet.org/boxesetc/1991/B10220ATL1991.htm. Retrieved 2009-09-13. 
  5. ^ "1991 World Series Game 4 - Minnesota Twins vs. Atlanta Braves". Retrosheet. http://www.retrosheet.org/boxesetc/1991/B10230ATL1991.htm. Retrieved 2009-09-13. 
  6. ^ "1991 World Series Game 5 - Minnesota Twins vs. Atlanta Braves". Retrosheet. http://www.retrosheet.org/boxesetc/1991/B10240ATL1991.htm. Retrieved 2009-09-13. 
  7. ^ "1991 World Series Game 6 - Atlanta Braves vs. Minnesota Twins". Retrosheet. http://www.retrosheet.org/boxesetc/1991/B10260MIN1991.htm. Retrieved 2009-09-13. 
  8. ^ "1991 World Series Game 7 - Atlanta Braves vs. Minnesota Twins". Retrosheet. http://www.retrosheet.org/boxesetc/1991/B10270MIN1991.htm. Retrieved 2009-09-13. 
  9. ^ "Metrodome Moments No. 25". Major League Baseball and the Minnesota Twins. http://mlb.mlb.com/media/video.jsp?topic_id=4449250&c_id=min. Retrieved 2009-11-01. 
  10. ^ Nemec, David; Flatow, Scott. Great Baseball Feats, Facts and Figures (2008 ed.). New York, NY: Penguin Group. p. 367. ISBN 978-0-451-22363-0. 
  11. ^ "World Series Gate Receipts and Player Shares". Baseball Almanac. http://www.baseball-almanac.com/ws/wsshares.shtml. Retrieved 2009-06-14. 

References

External links








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