#11: (1999) Team Of The Century

Heading into the 1999 World Series, many wondered who would be crowned the “Team of the 90’s.” The Atlanta Braves were the greatest team in baseball in the early part of the decade, winning the NL East every season but 1990. The Braves also won the 1995 World Series to boost their impressive resume of the 1990’s. In the second half of the decade, however, the Yankees took the crown of the best team in the MLB. With two World Series titles in 1996 (against the Braves) and 1998, the Yanks were making a strong argument that they should be the 90’s best team. The Bombers also made the playoffs from 95-98 with 1998 being a dream season with 114 victories. For the final fall classic of the 90’s, it was certainly appropriate for these two teams to battle once again.

In Atlanta, it seemed that the Braves were going to cruise to a Game 1 victory with a Chipper Jones home run in the 4th inning. However, Yankee starter, Orlando Hernandez made sure that was the only run for the Braves and gave the offense a chance to win. In the 8th, the Yanks finally got to Maddux. With bases-loaded and nobody out, Atlanta brought in lefty-killer John Rocker to face Paul O’Neill. But the warrior battled and drove in two runs to open the flood gates. With a Game 1 victory, the Yankees set the stage to end this series quickly. With a hitting frenzy and a David Cone gem, the Yanks were heading home up 2-0. Game 3 is what made this series memorable. Despite his playoff dominance, Pettitte didn’t have it that night and the Braves took a quick 5-1 lead. The Yankees were able to cut it to 5-2 with a Tino Martinez home run, but Glavine was seemingly unhittable. It wasn’t till the 8th when Yankee magic appeared once again. With runners on first and second, Chuck Knoblauch hit an opposite field home run to tie the game. In the 10th inning, the game officially became a classic. Chad Curtis, the unspoken hero, hit a walk-off bomb to left-field to set the stage for a sweep. In Game 4, Roge Clemens officially became a Yankee. His 6 inning dominating performance allowed the Yankees to take a 3-0 lead into the 8th inning. When the Braves threatened in the top of the 8th, it was time for Mariano Rivera to end the series. While sitting in the Loge Level at Game 4, I have to admit that Yankee Stadium was the loudest I’ve ever heard when Mariano came in from the bullpen than the final out. With “Enter Sandman” blasting, everyone knew the series was over. Appropriately, the final out was a fly ball to Chad Curtis. The Yankees had become “…Team of the Decade…Team of the Century…the most successful franchise in sports.”

One Response to “#11: (1999) Team Of The Century”

  1. bellarmine Says:

    We’re starting off the new century just right too.

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