Sunday, June 6, 2010

Blogger Challenge

As I mentioned earlier, Brian over at 30-Year Old Cardboard issued a challenge to other bloggers. He wondered what we all considered to be the 10 best baseball games we’ve ever seen. If you’d like to see what other people listed as their top 10, there should be links to everyone over at 30 YOC. Check them out, if you’d like. Of course, since you’re here, you might as well read what I have to say first.

The rules of the challenge said that you didn’t have to see the games in person. Although, I was in the stands for most of my list. The rules didn’t state it, but I assumed that I had to watch them in “real” time. No fair counting ESPN Classic replays. From there, it’s always tricky to make lists like this. I decided to just make the list. I figured if it was the first game that came to mind, it must be the best game I’ve ever seen. So, I think I switched one game from the first list I pounded out. But, otherwise, they just as I thought of them. So, in no particular order (other than being ranked from tenth best to best of course) here are the ten best games I’ve ever seen…

10. October 10, 1999. Cleveland Indians vs. Boston Red Sox. This was game four of the 1999 ALDS. The Sox had fallen into a early 0-2 hole in the series. The Sox won game three at home, but still trailed in the series 1-2. This wasn’t good enough for Mike Hargrove. He knew one thing. Pedro Martinez was looming over a potential deciding game five. Sure, Pedro had to leave game one with an injury, and his availability for game five was in question. But, he was out there. Hargrove wanted no part in a game five with Pedro on the mound. To avoid it? He called on Bartolo Colon to start the game on short rest. He didn’t save him to potentially duel with Pedro on regular rest. He wanted to end the series right there in game four. It didn’t work. Colon got lit up. So did every other pitcher called on that night. The Red Sox stormed all over the Indians 23-7 to take the series back to Cleveland. It was an amazing show. It was a poor decision. It was a fantastic game.

9. October 28, 2007. Boston Red Sox vs. Colorado Rockies. This was, naturally, game four of the 2007 World Series. A World Series clincher at number 9? Yeah. I was a little surprised too. I guess I didn’t have it higher because it wasn’t much of a game. Sure it ended up being one run. But, at no point did I think the Sox would lose. And, even if they did, Beckett was scheduled the next game. No way he was losing that. So, this game was a joy to watch, but I never got the feeling that it was a “great” game.

8. April 27, 2002. Tampa Bay Devil Rays vs. Boston Red Sox. A Rays game in April? How could that be great? Of course, that was the day Derek Lowe decided to announce himself as a starting pitcher. He threw a no-hitter that day as the Red Sox crushed the Devil Rays. I was in the park that day, and had chills for about three innings. The ninth inning was all standing and cheering and shaking. If that’s not great, I don’t know what is.

7. October 20, 2007. Cleveland Indians vs. Boston Red Sox. The was game six of the 2007 ALCS. I’ve already talked about the game here, so I won’t bore you with the details. You know the drill though. Sox down in the series. J.D. Drew earns his contract. Sox win.

6. October 23, 2004. St. Louis Cardinals vs. Boston Red Sox. This was game one of the 2004 World Series. The Sox were finally back in the Fall Classic. Would this finally be the year? The game itself was an absolute nail-bitter. The Sox couldn’t hold a lead. Finally, Mark Bellhorn clanked one off the Pesky Pole for a lead the Sox would finally hold. They were on their way.

5. October 17, 2004. New York Yankees vs. Boston Red Sox. The Key to it all. Without this win, the seven that followed it don't happen. The Sox don't win the World Series in 2004. Who knows what happens after that? Plus, this was a great game. A blown save. A walk-off home run. It had it all.

4. October 27, 2004. Boston Red Sox vs. St Louis Cardinals. Yup. The end of the curse. This game's here more for historical reasons that actually being a great game. The Sox jumped out to an early lead, and never looked back. It probably wouldn't do much for a non-Red Sox fan. But, it was the game that changed everything.

3. October 11, 1999. Boston Red Sox vs. Cleveland Indians. Game five of the 1999 ALDS. I loved this game. Two teams socking away at each other. Neither pitcher being able to stop the bleeding. The Sox ace hurting. But, he finally gets the call, and the home crowd goes silent. Silent! A hobbled Pedro Martinez shut down the best offensive team in 50 years, and the home crowd saw it coming. Amazing. Add a pick-your-poison showdown starring Nomar and Troy O'Leary, and you've got a top notch contest.

2. July 13, 1999. National League vs. American League. Yup. It's an exhibition game. But, what a game! What a pre-game! The ceremony celebrating the top 100 players of all-time would rank this game pretty high on its own. The Ted Williams entrance would put it near the top. When Pedro came out and embarrassed the National League, you get the number two game on my list. All-Stars everywhere, and Pedro making it look like they should be in Little League. I still get chills.

1. September 10, 1999. Boston Red Sox vs. New York Yankees. There it is. The top spot. Pedro's "Yankee Game." It's always the first game that comes to mind when I think of the best games I've ever seen. To make that good of a team (The Yankees won the previous World Series, would win it again in 1999, and 2000) look that pathetic was a sight to see. Pedro toyed with them for nine innings. It was the most amazing combination of throwing and pitching I've ever seen. There can be no other.
I'm sure you'll agree.


  1. So now, I'm curious, what are your favorite 10 games that you've been to?

    My top 2 in-person games are on your list - 1999 ALCS G4 and the Lowe no-hitter.

  2. Well, let's see. The easy ones are that from my list, I attended...

    July 13, 1999 - All-Star Game
    Oct 17, 2004 - Game 4 ALCS
    Oct 23, 2004 - Game 1 WS
    Oct 20, 2007 - Game 6 ALCS
    Apr 27, 2002 - Lowe no-no
    Oct 10, 1999 - Game 4 ALDS

    So, that must be my top 6 of games I've been to. The next four? That could take some thought.


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