With the Texas Rangers and San Francisco Giants about to do battle for the World Series title, it’s time to look back at the last several World Series. There has been some great fall classics played in the last several years, from complete blowouts and sweeps to exhilarating seven-game series and even a World Series walk-off. Here are the top ten world series of the last ten years.
10.) 2006 World Series: St. Louis Cardinals (NL) vs. Detroit Tigers (AL) (STL 4-1)
From a NLCS and ALCS filled with drama, Yadier Molina hitting the game winner in the top of the ninth against the Mets, Magglio Ordonez sending the Tigers to the series with a Walk-Off Home Run at home against Oakland, the St. Louis Cardinals, one of the worst teams record-wise to make the world series, took on the Detroit Tigers in a series that will only be remembered for Kenny Rogers’ pine-tar greased cap and the “mysterious residue” seen on his fingers. Great for St. Louis fans, bad for everyone else.
9.) 2000 World Series: New York Yankees (AL) vs. New York Mets (NL) (NYY 4-2)
A Subway Series that opened the decade turned from a farce in game two to a slaughter in the end of the series, the Yankees completed their three-year dynasty against their cross-town National League rivals. The highlight of the series was the confrontation in Game Two between Roger Clemens and Mike Piazza, in which Clemens took a piece of Piazza’s broken bat and threw it at the all-star catcher, instigating a scrap that confused as many people as it entertained.
8.) 2009 World Series: New York Yankees (AL) vs. Philadelphia Phillies (NL) (NYY 4-2)
The return to prominence for the Yankees was the first Fall Classic that saw instant replay get used, assisting the Bronx Bombers after an Alex Rodriguez called double was named a home run after video evidence showed it went off the camera in right field. The Yankees pre-season acquisitions of C.C. Sabbathia, A.J. Burnett, Mark Texiera and Nick Swisher along with the final curtain call performance of Hideki Matsui in the series-clinching game six made this a Pinstripe-dominated World Series.
7.) 2007 World Series: Boston Red Sox (AL) vs. Colorado Rockies (NL) (BOS 4-0)
With the 2004 magic behind them and a first-time World Series team in front of them, the Boston Red Sox cleaned up the mess they started to make in their seven-game ALCS affair with the Cleveland Indians, in which they had to come back from a 3-1 deficit, not a harrowing task after their 3-0 comeback against the Yankees in 2004. The upstart Rockies, winners of 22 straight, were no match for Josh Beckett and the stacked Red Sox pitching staff, who easily dispatched the NL West Champs in four games.
6.) 2008 World Series: Philadelphia Phillies vs. Tampa Bay Rays (PHI 4-1)
The Phillies winning their first World Series since 1980 was great for the city of Philadelphia, a baseball starved city for a long time. What was more impressive was how this Fall Classic began the shift that has been seen with teams with low payroll watching their minor-league prospects slowly but surely turn to superstars, which is what happened to the Tampa Bay Rays. It will not be a shock if the Rays are winning a Series before the end of this decade.
5.) 2005 World Series: Chicago White Sox (AL) vs. Houston Astros (NL) (CHI 4-0)
This series was a lot better than the eventual sweep that came out of it. A walk-off home run in game two sent Chicago into a frenzy, and the marathon game in Houston during game three will forever go down in history as two of the most exciting games in World Series history. Chicago winning their first World Series since 1917 was pretty cool too.
4.) 2003 World Series: Florida Marlins (NL) vs. New York Yankees (AL) (FLA 4-2)
I’m naming this World Series as one of the biggest upsets of all time. The Yankees had it all this year, beating the Red Sox due to Aaron F**king Boone’s bomb of a home run against Tim Wakefield in Game Seven (I still don’t believe that ball has come down yet). The Marlins needed divine intervention from Steve Bartman to win their NLCS matchup with the Cubs, but then the pitching staff locked in and took the Yankees’ big bats out of the game. Josh Beckett’s performance in Game Six will forever be seen as one of the best pitching performances in World Series history.
3.) 2004 World Series: Boston Red Sox (AL) vs. St. Louis Cardinals (NL) (BOS 4-0)
History, legacy, final complete success. The Boston Red Sox won their first World Series in an impossible dream that somehow found its way to reality. This was a great series due to the fact that every second brought sox fans closer to immortality and elation. As a Red Sox fan, it’s hard to forget one second of this series.
2.) 2002 World Series: Los Angeles Angels (AL) vs. San Francisco Giants (NL) (LAA 4-3)
Los Angeles needed multiple comebacks in order to win this series, and the Rally Monkey will now be forever remembered in LA for it’s appearance in Game Six, and the subsequent comeback that came out of it. Any World Series that goes to a Game 7 gets top billing, and 2002’s Fall Classic was no exception to that rule.
1.) 2001 World Series: Arizona Dimanondbacks (NL) vs. New York Yankees (AL) (ARI 4-3)
This series had absolutely everything. The drama surrounding the series being played in New York after the September 11th attacks, the walk-off home runs in Yankee Stadium, Curt Schilling and Randy Johnson shutting down a great Yankee team, and Luiz Gonzalez hitting the walk-off, series winning ball up the middle off of the best closer arguably ever in Mariano Rivera, sending Chase Field into an absolute frenzy. You give me a better series, you’re lying.
This decade has been pretty sick for Baseball. Hopefully it will finish up the way it started, and hopefully that finish includes Mr. Nolan Ryan with the trophy. only time will tell.