New York baseball fans have seen many crucial post-game games over the decades, all of which are winners, and sometimes their teams lose them.
This is the case when you have a lot of chances, especially the Yankees whose list of game 7 defeats in the World Series alone includes some famous doozies like 1926, 1960 and 2001.
The Mets also had some disappointments, like the 1973 World Series and the 2006 NLCS. And don’t forget the heartbreakers of the New York Giants of 1912 and 1924!
But why dwell in the negative at a time like this when the Yankees and Rays decide on their ALDS on Friday night in Game 5?
Just for fun, here are our top 10 winning take-all postseason games in New York baseball history, but only the ones that were won by a New York team. Feel free to disagree.
1st Game 7, 2003 ALCS, Yankees 6, Red Sox 5, Yankee Stadium
The Yankees took advantage of a tiresome Pedro Martinez to score three times in the eighth inning and get the result 5. ALCS MVP Mariano Rivera started in ninth, throwing three innings. The Yankees won it at the end of the 11th in a solo home race by Aaron Boone. I wonder what ever became of him. Hmm
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2nd Game 5, 1976 ALCS, Yankees 7, Royals 6, Yankee Stadium
Historical Context: The Yankees haven’t been in a World Series since 1964, a kind of drought their fans were unfamiliar with. This added to the tension at Yankee Stadium as the Royals put an end to three runs at 6 a.m. in the eighth inning. But on the ninth, Chris Chambliss hit a Martk Littell pitch over the wall in the center right. Chaos.
3rd Game 7, 1955 World Series, Dodgers 2, Yankees 0, Yankee Stadium
The generation for which this was a defining moment is no longer as young as it used to be, but the memory remains vivid. The Dodgers won their only World Series while representing Brooklyn with two RBIs from Gil Hodges and a 2-0 shutout from MVP Johnny Podres. Five days earlier, Podres had won Game 3 – on his 23rd birthday.
4. Game 7, 1986 World Series, Mets 8, Red Sox 5, Shea Stadium
The events of Game 6 footed Game 7 for many, but it was also a thriller. The Mets followed 3-0 after 5½ innings before scoring three in the sixth and three in the seventh. Boston got two in eighth, but Darryl Strawberry finished at the end of the inning. Sid Fernandez was brilliant at relieving starter Ron Darling.
5. Game 7, 1962 World Series, Yankees 1, Giants 0, Candlestick Park
Who would have thought this would be the Yankees’ last world title until 1977? And they won it dramatically. Ralph Terry closed the Giants and the Yankees got their only score when Tony Kubek set out for a double game of runs scoring. It ended with Giants in second and third and Willie McCovey on Bobby Richardson in second base.
6. Game 7, 1958 World Series, Yankees 6, Braves 2, County Stadium
With the Yankees 3-1 deficit in the series, Cy Young Award winner Bob Turley won Game 5, saved Game 6 for relief, then won Game 7 as relief and was named the series MVP. The score was equal to two, going up to eighth when the Yankees scored four after two were knocked out to Lew Burdette, who was groped by Moose Skowron’s triple homer.
7. Game 5, 1977 ALDS, Yankees 5, Royals 3, Royals Stadium
This was one of the wilder decision makers in Yankees history when Billy Martin put Reggie Jackson on the bench for struggling with the Royals’ Paul Splitorff – Jackson later drove as a prize hitter – a brawl between George Brett and Graig Nettles on the third Base and a ninth threesome against three Royals pitchers, which eliminated a 3-2 deficit.
8th Game 5, 2015 NLDS, Mets 3, Dodgers 2, Dodger Stadium
Jacob deGrom had beaten Clayton Kershaw in Game 1, but he showed his skills in Game 5 against Zack Greinke. The Dodgers scored two goals in the first game and often had deGrom in trouble, but he held out until Daniel Murphy hit a home run to give the Mets a head start in the sixth. Noah Syndergaard and Jeurys Familia both pitched the last three innings without hits.
9. Game 7, 1952 World Series, Yankees 4, Dodgers 2, Ebbets Field
Joe Black – game 1 winner and game 4 loser for the Dodgers – started and gave up three runs, including a home run against Mickey Mantle in the sixth, to break a 2-2 draw. Mantle’s RBI single in seventh made it 4-2. Billy Martin’s runaway catch from Jackie Robinson’s infield popup on the seventh ended a base-laden threat from the Dodgers.
10- Game 5, 2017 ALDS, Yankees 5, Indians 2, Progressive Field
After falling 2-0 down in the series, including a controversial 13-inning loss in Game 2, the Yankees made their comeback, taking two early home runs from Didi Gregorius and building a 3-2 lead to 5-2 in the ninth out. Keyed from a two-out single by Brett Gardner after a 12-pitch-at-bat. Aroldis Chapman threw the last two innings.
Neil Best first worked on Newsday in 1982, returned to Alaska in 1985 and has been here ever since. He specializes in high schools, college basketball, the NFL, and most recently sports media and business.