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A game seven is the final game of a best of seven series. This game can occur in the postseasons for Major League Baseball (League Championship Series and World Series), the National Basketball Association (all rounds of the NBA Playoffs), and the National Hockey League (all rounds of the Stanley Cup playoffs).

The game is traditionally played at the site of team holding the home site advantage across the series.

Because of the final nature of this game, where the losing team is done for the postseason, Game Sevens add an element of drama to their sports. Since this is the final game of the series, the winning team advances in the playoffs or wins the championship and that team is considered to be sent to "Seventh Heaven." This game is played at the site of the team with home-field advantage. For a player or a coach, Game 7 of the championship series has been considered the biggest game of their lives and it has been considered the biggest game of that kind ever played in the city represented by the home team. Throughout the regular season, they play for one thing and dream of it: win the championship in a Game 7 in front of their home fans.

Aside from North American sports leagues, game sevens are also a fixture in many other sports around the world, mostly in baseball, basketball, ice hockey leagues. Most codes of football do not employ a best-of-seven series (or any best-of-x series in general), hence game sevens are not played in those leagues.

The game seven is comparable to a final or to a single game in a single-elimination tournament or to a one-game playoff.

Most game sevens send one major message: Although a team that has had success in the regular season, winning a championship isn't easy. Most game seven championship series have produced many memorable moments in their respective leagues.

Contents

Examples

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Major League Baseball

In the MLB postseason, Game 7 can occur in the League Championship Series and the World Series (the divisional series are best of five). In the World Series, there have only been 35 Game Sevens (39 if you include the four that occurred when the World Series was best of nine).[1]

World Series that were decided on a game seven:

Year Winning team Losing team Score Site Notes
1909[2] Pittsburgh Pirates Detroit Tigers 8–0 Bennett Park, Detroit, Michigan
1924[3] Washington Senators New York Giants 4–3 F/12 Griffith Stadium, Washington, D.C.
1925[4] Pittsburgh Pirates Washington Senators 9–7 Forbes Field, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
1926[5] St. Louis Cardinals New York Yankees 3–2 Yankee Stadium, New York City, New York
1934[6] St. Louis Cardinals Detroit Tigers 11–0 Navin Field, Detroit, Michigan
1940[7] Cincinnati Reds Detroit Tigers 2–1 Crosley Field, Cincinnati, Ohio
1945[8] Detroit Tigers Chicago Cubs 9–3 Wrigley Field, Chicago, Illinois
1946[9] St. Louis Cardinals Boston Red Sox 4–3 Sportsman's Park III, St. Louis, Missouri
1947[10] New York Yankees Brooklyn Dodgers 5–2 Yankee Stadium, New York City, New York
1955[11] Brooklyn Dodgers New York Yankees 2–0 Yankee Stadium, New York City, New York Dodgers' only championship in Brooklyn. Also, the home team won all games of the series, except for Game 7.
1956[12] New York Yankees Brooklyn Dodgers 9–0 Ebbets Field, New York City, New York Jackie Robinson's final Major League game. Also, the home team won all games of the series, except for Game 7.
1957[13] Milwaukee Braves New York Yankees 5–0 Yankee Stadium, New York City, New York
1958[14] New York Yankees Milwaukee Braves 6–2 County Stadium, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
1960[15] Pittsburgh Pirates New York Yankees 10–9 Forbes Field, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania Bill Mazeroski hit the walk-off home run to win the Pirates the championship.
1962[16] New York Yankees San Francisco Giants 1–0 Candestick Park, San Francisco, California
1964[17] St. Louis Cardinals New York Yankees 7–5 Busch Stadium I, St. Louis, Missouri The Yankees last World Series appearance until 1976.
1965[18] Los Angeles Dodgers Minnesota Twins 2–0 Metropolitan Stadium, Minneapolis, Minnesota
1971[19] Pittsburgh Pirates Baltimore Orioles 2–1 Memorial Stadium, Baltimore, Maryland
1972[20] Oakland Athletics Cincinnati Reds 3–2 Riverfront Stadium, Cincinnati, Ohio
1973[21] Oakland Athletics New York Mets 5–2 Oakland- Alameda County Coliseum, Oakland, California
1975[22] Cincinnati Reds Boston Red Sox 4–3 Fenway Park, Boston, Massachusetts
1979[23] Pittsburgh Pirates Baltimore Orioles 4–1 Memorial Stadium, Baltimore, Maryland
1982[24] St. Louis Cardinals Milwaukee Brewers 6–3 Busch Stadium II, St. Louis, Missouri
1985[25] Kansas City Royals St. Louis Cardinals 6–3 Royals Stadium, Kansas City, Missouri World Series held in the state of Missouri.
1986[26] New York Mets Boston Red Sox 8–5 Shea Stadium, New York City, New York
1987[27] Minnesota Twins St. Louis Cardinals 4–2 Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome, Minneapolis, Minnesota All the games in the series were won by the home team.
1991[28] Minnesota Twins Atlanta Braves 1–0 F/10 Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome, Minneapolis, Minnesota All the games in the series were won by the home team.
1997[29] Florida Marlins Cleveland Indians 3–2 F/11 Pro Player Stadium, Miami, Florida Florida becomes the first wild card team to win the World Series.
2001[30] Arizona Diamondbacks New York Yankees 3–2 Ball One Ballpark, Phoenix, Arizona Arizona becomes the fastest expansion team to win the World Series. Also, all the games in the series were won by the home team.
2002[31] Anaheim Angels San Francisco Giants 4–1 Edison International Field, Anaheim, California Both World Series teams were wild card entrants into the playoffs.

National Hockey League

In the NHL playoffs, Game 7 can occur in all of the playoffs series. In the Stanley Cup Finals, the NHL gained complete control of the cup in 1926, and the league instituted the best-of-seven series starting in the 1938-39 season.

The game sevens where the cup was awarded are:

Year Winning team Losing team Score Site Notes
1942 Toronto Maple Leafs Detroit Red Wings 3–1 Maple Leaf Gardens, Toronto, Ontario Toronto came back down 0-3 in the series to win the cup.
1945 Toronto Maple Leafs Detroit Red Wings 2–1 Olympia Stadium, Detroit, Michigan Detroit was down 0-3 in the series and rallied to force game 7 before losing.
1950 Detroit Red Wings New York Rangers 4–3 (2OT) Olympia Stadium, Detroit, Michigan
1954 Detroit Red Wings Montreal Canadiens 2–1 (OT) Olympia Stadium, Detroit, Michigan
1955 Detroit Red Wings Montreal Canadiens 3–1 Olympia Stadium, Detroit, Michigan All the games in the final series were won by the home team. It was also the Red Wings last Stanley Cup until 1997.
1964 Toronto Maple Leafs Detroit Red Wings 4–0 Maple Leaf Gardens, Toronto, Ontario
1965 Montreal Canadiens Chicago Blackhawks 4–0 Montreal Forum, Montreal, Quebec All the games in the final were won by the home team.
1971 Montreal Canadiens Chicago Black Hawks 3–2 Chicago Stadium, Chicago, Illinois The home team won all games of the series, except for Game 7.
1987 Edmonton Oilers Philadelphia Flyers 3–1 Northlands Coliseum, Edmonton, Alberta
1994 New York Rangers Vancouver Canucks 3–2 Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York Rangers first Stanley Cup Championship since 1940. Also, it happened as their city's NBA team was in their finals, which also went the full seven games.
2001 Colorado Avalanche New Jersey Devils 3–1 Pepsi Center, Denver, Colorado This was the matchup that many Coloradans called hockey full circle. The Colorado Rockies played in Denver from 1976 to 1982 before moving to East Rutherford, New Jersey. The City of Denver went 13 years without NHL hockey until 1995 when the Quebec Nordiques relocated from Quebec City to Denver to become the Avalanche.
2003 New Jersey Devils Mighty Ducks of Anaheim 3–0 Continental Airlines Arena, East Rutherford, New Jersey All the games in the final were won by the home team. Also, it happened as the winning city's NBA team was in their finals.
2004 Tampa Bay Lightning Calgary Flames 2–1 St. Pete Times Forum, Tampa, Florida
2006 Carolina Hurricanes Edmonton Oilers 3–1 RBC Center, Raleigh, North Carolina
2009 Pittsburgh Penguins Detroit Red Wings 2–1 Joe Louis Arena, Detroit, Michigan The home team won all games of the series, except for Game 7.

National Basketball Association

All playoff rounds in the NBA are now in a best-of-seven series format so all rounds can have game sevens. The NBA Finals has been consistently played in a best-of-seven series format since its inception.

The game sevens where the champions were awarded are:

Year Winning team Losing team Score Site Notes
1951 Rochester Royals New York Knicks 79–75 Edgerton Park Arena, Rochester, New York New York forced a game 7 after trailing 0-3 in the series.
1952 Minneapolis Lakers New York Knicks 82–65 Minneapolis Auditorium, Minneapolis, Minnesota
1954 Minneapolis Lakers Syracuse Nationals 87–70 Minneapolis Auditorium, Minneapolis, Minnesota
1955 Syracuse Nationals Fort Wayne Pistons 92–91 Onandoga War Memorial, Syracuse, New York
1957 Boston Celtics St. Louis Hawks 125–123 (OT) Boston Garden, Boston, Massachusetts
1960 Boston Celtics St. Louis Hawks 122–103 Boston Garden, Boston, Massachusetts
1966 Boston Celtics Los Angeles Lakers 95–93 Boston Garden, Boston, Massachusetts
1969 Boston Celtics Los Angeles Lakers 108–106 The Forum, Los Angeles, California
1970 New York Knicks Los Angeles Lakers 113–99 Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York Notable for Willis Reed's return from injury.
1974 Boston Celtics Milwaukee Bucks 102–87 MECCA Arena, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
1978 Washington Bullets Seattle SuperSonics 105–99 Kingdome, Seattle, Washington
1984 Boston Celtics Los Angeles Lakers 111–102 Boston Garden, Boston, Massachusetts
1988 Los Angeles Lakers Detroit Pistons 108–105 The Forum, Los Angeles, California
1994 Houston Rockets New York Knicks 90–84 The Summit, Houston, Texas It was the only year that both the NBA and NHL finals not only went the full seven games, but also involved teams from one city, as evidenced by the Rangers' series. The Rockets win denied New York from having both NBA and NHL titles, as the Rangers had just won Game 7 of their finals.
2005 San Antonio Spurs Detroit Pistons 81–74 SBC Center, San Antonio, Texas

Comebacks

Only in three instances has a team came back from down 0–3 to win the series in the MLB and NHL:

In the NBA, teams leading 3–0 have never been beaten in a series, although a series has been extended to seven games on three occasions:

References

  1. ^ The 10 greatest Game Sevens in World Series history - The Hardball Times
  2. ^ "1909 World Series". MLB.com. http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/history/postseason/mlb_ws_recaps.jsp?feature=1909. Retrieved 2009-01-30.  
  3. ^ "1924 World Series". MLB.com. http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/history/postseason/mlb_ws_recaps.jsp?feature=1924. Retrieved 2009-01-30.  
  4. ^ "1925 World Series". MLB.com. http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/history/postseason/mlb_ws_recaps.jsp?feature=1925. Retrieved 2009-01-30.  
  5. ^ "1926 World Series". MLB.com. http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/history/postseason/mlb_ws_recaps.jsp?feature=1926. Retrieved 2009-01-30.  
  6. ^ "1934 World Series". MLB.com. http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/history/postseason/mlb_ws_recaps.jsp?feature=1934. Retrieved 2009-01-30.  
  7. ^ "1940 World Series". MLB.com. http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/history/postseason/mlb_ws_recaps.jsp?feature=1940. Retrieved 2009-01-30.  
  8. ^ "1945 World Series". MLB.com. http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/history/postseason/mlb_ws_recaps.jsp?feature=1945. Retrieved 2009-01-30.  
  9. ^ "1946 World Series". MLB.com. http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/history/postseason/mlb_ws_recaps.jsp?feature=1946. Retrieved 2009-01-30.  
  10. ^ "1947 World Series". MLB.com. http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/history/postseason/mlb_ws_recaps.jsp?feature=1947. Retrieved 2009-01-30.  
  11. ^ "1955 World Series". MLB.com. http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/history/postseason/mlb_ws_recaps.jsp?feature=1955. Retrieved 2009-01-30.  
  12. ^ "1956 World Series". MLB.com. http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/history/postseason/mlb_ws_recaps.jsp?feature=1956. Retrieved 2009-01-30.  
  13. ^ "1957 World Series". MLB.com. http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/history/postseason/mlb_ws_recaps.jsp?feature=1957. Retrieved 2009-01-30.  
  14. ^ "1958 World Series". MLB.com. http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/history/postseason/mlb_ws_recaps.jsp?feature=1958. Retrieved 2009-01-30.  
  15. ^ "1960 World Series". MLB.com. http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/history/postseason/mlb_ws_recaps.jsp?feature=1960. Retrieved 2009-01-30.  
  16. ^ "1962 World Series". MLB.com. http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/history/postseason/mlb_ws_recaps.jsp?feature=1962. Retrieved 2009-01-30.  
  17. ^ "1964 World Series". MLB.com. http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/history/postseason/mlb_ws_recaps.jsp?feature=1964. Retrieved 2009-01-30.  
  18. ^ "1965 World Series". MLB.com. http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/history/postseason/mlb_ws_recaps.jsp?feature=1965. Retrieved 2009-01-30.  
  19. ^ "1971 World Series". MLB.com. http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/history/postseason/mlb_ws_recaps.jsp?feature=1971. Retrieved 2009-01-30.  
  20. ^ "1972 World Series". MLB.com. http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/history/postseason/mlb_ws_recaps.jsp?feature=1972. Retrieved 2009-01-30.  
  21. ^ "1973 World Series". MLB.com. http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/history/postseason/mlb_ws_recaps.jsp?feature=1973. Retrieved 2009-01-30.  
  22. ^ "1975 World Series". MLB.com. http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/history/postseason/mlb_ws_recaps.jsp?feature=1975. Retrieved 2009-01-30.  
  23. ^ "1979 World Series". MLB.com. http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/history/postseason/mlb_ws_recaps.jsp?feature=1979. Retrieved 2009-01-30.  
  24. ^ "1982 World Series". MLB.com. http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/history/postseason/mlb_ws_recaps.jsp?feature=1982. Retrieved 2009-01-30.  
  25. ^ "1985 World Series". MLB.com. http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/history/postseason/mlb_ws_recaps.jsp?feature=1985. Retrieved 2009-01-30.  
  26. ^ "1986 World Series". MLB.com. http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/history/postseason/mlb_ws_recaps.jsp?feature=1986. Retrieved 2009-01-30.  
  27. ^ "1987 World Series". MLB.com. http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/history/postseason/mlb_ws_recaps.jsp?feature=1987. Retrieved 2009-01-30.  
  28. ^ "1991 World Series". MLB.com. http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/history/postseason/mlb_ws_recaps.jsp?feature=1991. Retrieved 2009-01-30.  
  29. ^ "1997 World Series". MLB.com. http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/history/postseason/mlb_ws_recaps.jsp?feature=1997. Retrieved 2009-01-30.  
  30. ^ "2001 World Series". MLB.com. http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/history/postseason/mlb_ws_recaps.jsp?feature=2001. Retrieved 2009-01-30.  
  31. ^ "2002 World Series". MLB.com. http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/history/postseason/mlb_ws_recaps.jsp?feature=2002. Retrieved 2009-01-30.  

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