- 1996 World Series
Infobox World Series Expanded
year = 1996
New York Yankees(4)
champion_games = 92-70, .568, GA: 4
runnerup_games = 96-66, .593, GA: 8
October 20– October 26
John Wetteland(New York)
television = FOX
Joe Buck, Tim McCarverand Bob Brenly
radio_network = CBS Radio
Vin Scullyand Jeff Torborg
Jim Evans(AL), Terry Tata(NL), Tim Welke(AL), Gerry Davis (NL), Larry Young (AL), Steve Rippley(NL)
HOFers = Yankees:
New York Yankeesover Baltimore Orioles(4-1)
Atlanta Bravesover St. Louis Cardinals(4-3)
The 1996 World Series matched the defending champion
Atlanta Bravesagainst the New York Yankees, with the Yankees winning in six games to capture their first championship since 1978, and their 23rd overall. Game 5 was the final game to be played at Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium. In that game Andy Pettitteshut out John Smoltzas the Yankees won, 1-0. The final out at the stadium was made when Yankees outfielder Paul O'Neill robbed Luis Poloniaof a potential game-tying extra base hit.
The Yankees became the third team to win a World Series after dropping Games 1 and 2 at home, following the 1985 Kansas City Royals and the 1986 New York Mets. They also became the first team since the 1981
Los Angeles Dodgersto win four straight games after dropping the first two.
The 1996 World Series marked the beginning of the
New York Yankees' dynasty of the late 1990s and early 2000s. Despite the rich playoff history of the Yankees, the defending champion Atlanta Bravesentered the Series as heavy favorites.
The Braves used the dominant pitching of
Greg Madduxand Tom Glavine, as well as timely hitting, to defeat the Indians the year before, and looked to reuse that recipe against the upstart Yankees. In by|1996, John Smoltzreturned to form, winning 24 games and a Cy Young Award, providing another serious pitching threat for Atlanta. New York brought a lineup mixed with veterans, like Paul O'Neill, and young stars, like rookie Derek Jeter. The Yankees bullpen was also vastly superior to the Atlanta bullpen, which would prove to be the deciding factor in the Series.
After victory in by|1996, New York would go on to win the Series three of the next four years. The Braves, while winning their division every season from by|1991 through by|2005, have not won a World Series game since Game 2 of this series.
Over the course of the 1996 World Series, the Braves hit .315 during the first six innings and .176 afterward. Atlanta had more hits, runs, homers, and a lower team ERA during the course of the series, but still lost. (Much like the Yankees 1960 performance against Pittsburgh).
New York Yankees(4) vs NL Atlanta Braves(2)
October 20, 1996at Yankee Stadiumin New York, New YorkLinescore
John Smoltz(1-0)|LP= Andy Pettitte(0-1)|SV=
Fred McGriff(1), Andruw Jones2 (2)|HomeHR=|
Game 1 and Game 2 were originally scheduled for Saturday
October 19and Sunday October 20respectively. Rain on October 19, however, washed out Game 1. The scheduled was moved up one day, with Game 1 and Game 2 rescheduled for October 20and October 21. The Monday travel day was eliminated. This was the last rain out in a World Series game until Game 4 of the 2006 World Series.
The Braves, who had won the last three games of the NLCS by a combined score of 32-1, continued their roll early in the Fall Classic. Nineteen-year old rookie center fielder
Andruw Jonesbecame the youngest player to homer in a World Series game in the second inning. He went deep to left again off Brian Boehringerin the third inning to provide the fireworks in a six-run inning for the Braves. A Fred McGriffhome run off the foul pole in the fifth left Atlanta ahead 9-0. Jones had his third hit and scored in Atlanta's three-run sixth. Braves starter John Smoltzwould pitch six easy innings before turning it over to the bullpen in Atlanta's 12-1 rout.
October 21, 1996at Yankee Stadiumin New York, New YorkLinescore
Greg Maddux(1-0)|LP= Jimmy Key(0-1)|SV=|
After showcasing their big bats in Game 1, the Braves used the dominant pitching of
Greg Madduxto win Game 2. Fred McGriff, who went 2 for 3 with a sacrifice fly, had single RBIs in the first, third, and fifth innings, while Marquis Grissomadded a run-scoring single in the sixth. This was more than enough for Maddux, who pitched a gem, scattering six hits in eight innings. Mark Wohlerspitched the ninth to combine with Maddux on the 4–0 shutout. With the series going to Atlanta, the Braves appeared on the brink of a championship repeat.
After Game 2,
Joe Torreand his first base coach José Cardenalmet with the furious Yankees owner George Steinbrenner, at that post-game meeting. Torre guaranteed three victories in Atlanta and then bringing the series back to Yankee Stadiumto clinch at home. Obviously, poor Steinbrenner thought Torre was nuts saying "If you guys can't beat the Braves at home you surely can't beat them down in Atlanta." The Yankees ended it up winning next four games to win the series and stunning "The Boss" and especially the Braves.
October 22, 1996at Atlanta-Fulton County Stadiumin Atlanta, GeorgiaLinescore
David Cone(1-0)|LP= Tom Glavine(0-1)|SV= John Wetteland(1)
The Yankees needed a solid performance from
David Coneand got one, with him pitching six innings and only giving up one run. With New York clinging to a 2-1 lead in the eighth, Bernie Williams, who had two RBIs in the game, launched a two-run homer off Braves reliever Greg McMichael, which put the game out of reach. After the Braves got a run off Yankees rookie Mariano Rivera, closer John Wettelandhad two strikeouts in a perfect ninth.
October 23, 1996at Atlanta-Fulton County Stadiumin Atlanta, GeorgiaLinescore
Graeme Lloyd(1-0)|LP= Steve Avery(0-1)|SV= John Wetteland(2)
Jim Leyritz(1)|HomeHR= Fred McGriff(2)|
Game 4 would prove to be the decisive game of the 1996 World Series.
Fred McGriffhad a home run and Marquis Grissomhit a two-run double to deep center as the Braves stormed out to a 6–0 lead by the fifth inning. New York starter Kenny Rogers lasted only two innings, while Braves starter Denny Neaglewas in control. However, he suddenly ran into trouble in the sixth inning, which began when an otherwise catchable pop-fly hit by Derek Jeterwas not caught when right field umpire Tim Welkegot in the way of Braves right fielder Jermaine Dye. Neagle then allowed three runs, with two of them coming off a Cecil Fieldersingle which was aided by an error on right fielder Dye. Neagle was knocked out of the game, leaving the 6–3 Atlanta lead in the hands of their bullpen. Mike Bieleckicame in with nobody out to strike out the side in three straight. The Braves could not score on the New York bullpen and in the eighth, manager Bobby Coxdecided to put closer Mark Wohlersin the game an inning early. Wohlers allowed two hits, then reserve catcher Jim Leyritzconnected for a stunning game-tying home run. In the tenth, Steve Averywalked in the go-ahead run, then Braves first baseman Ryan Kleskolost a routine pop-up in the lights, leading to another Yankee run. John Wettelandshut the Braves down in the bottom of the inning as the Yankees, who had come back from a 6–0 hole, won 8–6 and firmly shifted the momentum of the series.
The Leyritz home run is viewed as a watershed event in Yankees and Braves history. For the Yankees, it launched their late-90's dynasty and is seen as the passing of the torch of baseball's most dominant team from Atlanta to New York. For the Braves, it represents a curse that has led to years of playoff struggle. Wohlers, who gave up the blast, never quite recovered from the play. He inexplicably lost his accuracy throughout by|1997 and by|1998, never again showing the dominance he had before the Leyritz home run.
This was the second biggest comeback in World Series history. The 1929
Philadelphia Athleticsscored 10 runs in the seventh inning to defeat the Chicago Cubs10-8 in Game 4.
October 24, 1996at Atlanta-Fulton County Stadiumin Atlanta, GeorgiaLinescore
Andy Pettitte(1-1)|LP= John Smoltz(1-1)|SV= John Wetteland(3)|
With the series tied at two apiece,
John Smoltzand Andy Pettittefaced off in a pitcher's duel in the final game at Atlanta-Fulton County Stadiumand gave up a total of zero earned runs. After an error by center fielder Marquis Grissomallowed Charlie Hayesto reach opening the fourth inning, Cecil Fielderdoubled in the unearned run. Pettitte, who was torched in Game 1, was dominant for New York, pitching 8 1/3 shutout innings. He allowed a leadoff double to Chipper Jonesin the ninth, but John Wettelandcame on and closed out the Braves, preserving the 1-0 win. Smoltz was the hard-luck loser, pitching eight innings, giving up only four hits and one unearned run. The Yankees had swept the Braves in Atlanta, and now returned to the Bronx with a 3-2 series lead.
October 26, 1996at Yankee Stadiumin New York, New YorkLinescore
Jimmy Key(1-1)|LP= Greg Maddux(1-1)|SV= John Wetteland(4)|
Prior to Game 6, Yankees manager
Joe Torre's brother Frank underwent heart transplantsurgery.
The Yankees, seeking to clinch their first world championship since by|1978, tagged Atlanta ace
Greg Madduxfor three runs off four hits in the third inning. The Braves loaded the bases on Jimmy Keyin the fourth, but could only get one run. Key pitched into the sixth, only giving up the single run, before turning the game over to the Yankee bullpen. Maddux, meanwhile, kept the game close, pitching 7 2/3 innings with three runs allowed. In the ninth, John Wettelandgave up a run, making it 3-2, but got the save when Mark Lemkepopped out to third baseman Charlie Hayeswith the tying run on second. The Yankees were champions once again, with Wetteland notching saves in all four of New York's victories, earning him the Series MVP. Bobby Coxwas ejected in the 5th inning after an argument that began when Marquis Grissomwas called out by umpire Terry Tataafter attempting to take second on a passed ball. Replays clearly showed Grissom to have been safe, and the missed call possibly cost the Braves a run as Chipper Jonesdoubled one batter later. An in-game statistic, as well as the commentary for the video recap of the series, erroneously reported that Cox's ejection was the first since Whitey Herzog's ejection in Game 7 of the 1985 World Series, ignoring that Cox had been ejected once before in the World Series (in Game 3 of the 1992 World Seriesfor throwing a batting helmet onto the field).
It took Yankee manager Joe Torre 4,272 games to get to the World Series as a player or manager, the biggest drought for any player or manager in the history of Major League Baseball. He and the Yankees were bestowed the Commissioner's Trophy by American League President
Gene Budig, who presided over the trophy presentation instead of the Commissioner, who was not yet named as of 1996.
1996 World Series (4-2):
New York Yankees(A.L.) over Atlanta Braves(N.L.)Linescore
New York Yankees
Total Attendance: 324,685 Average Attendance: 54,114 | Winning Player’s Share: – $216,870 Losing Player’s Share – $143,678cite web|url=http://www.baseball-almanac.com/ws/wsshares.shtml|title=World Series Gate Receipts and Player Shares|accessdate=2008-05-07|publisher=Baseball Almanac]
This was the first World Series to be televised by the
Fox Broadcasting Company.
Joe Buckbecame the second youngest person (at the age of 27) to broadcast a World Series. Vin Scully, who this year called the World Series over CBS Radio Sports, is still the youngest at 25, when he called the 1953 World Series.
During Game 6 at Yankee Stadium, a fan behind home plate held up a sign that said ""
Tim McCarvermade mention of this sign, saying that the fan was a true Yankees fan because he knew Tommy John's career ERA. John's career ERA is actually 3.34, not 3.16.
References in popular culture
On an episode of "
Seinfeld", George Costanza, an employee of the Yankees, destroys the team's 1996 World Series trophy by dragging it behind his car. This is one of many stunts performed by George in an effort to make Yankees owner George Steinbrennerfire him so he can take a job offer from the New York Mets. However, the plan backfires, as Steinbrenner fires Mr. Wilhelm instead, making Wilhelm free to go to the Mets. Also in a Seinfeld episode that year, George is hitting home runs over the center field wall at Yankee Stadium and teaching Derek Jeter and Bernie Williams how to properly hit home runs. Jeter replies "We won the World Series" and George says, "Yeah (sarcastically) in 6 games!"
* In Game 1, on
October 20, 1996, Andruw Jonesbecame the youngest player, 19, in World Series history to hit a home run, surpassing Yankee great Mickey Mantleon Mantle's birthday.
* Also on
October 20, Andruw Jones became only the second player in World Series history (after Gene Tenacein 1972), and youngest ever, to hit a home run his first two times up in a Series.
* The Braves beating the Yankees in the first two games by a combined score of 16-1 was the biggest run differential in World Series history.
* First World Series to feature the series logo on the hats.
*cite web |author=Forman, Sean L. |title=1996 World Series |date= |work=Baseball-Reference.com - Major League Statistics and Information. |url=http://www.baseball-reference.com/postseason/1996_WS.shtml |accessdate=2007-12-09
* [http://baseball-almanac.com/ws/yr1996ws.shtml 1996 World Series by Baseball Almanac]
* [http://www.sportingnews.com/archives/worldseries/1996.html History of the World Series - 1996]
* [http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/baseball/mlb/features/1997/wsarchive/1996.html Stroke of Fate]
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