#9: (2000) The Subway Series

Perhaps the biggest World Series ever in New York. Yea I know there were subway series’ in the 1950’s almost every year between the Dodgers and Yankees. But those World Series’ did not get as much publicity as the one in 2000. Fifty years ago, people expected a New York World Series every year. The Dodgers and the Giants were the best teams in the National League. The Yankees were by far the best in the American League. In 2000, everyone expected the Yankees to march right into the Fall Classic. However, the Yankees struggled in the final month of the season. In September, the Yanks at one point lost 14 of 17 games and won the division having only 88 victories. The Mets were the Wild-Card team in the NL. After marching past the San Francisco Giants and the St. Louis Cardinals, the Mets found themselves in the World Series for the first time since 1986. The Yankees struggled through the postseason, but like always, they found ways to win. Oakland took the Bombers to five games, but in Game 5 the Yankees came through and cruised to an easy victory to advance. Against Seattle, clutch performances by Andy Pettitte, Roger Clemens, and David Justice sent to the Yanks into the Series for the third straight year.

Before the Subway Series, one New Yorker came up to Derek Jeter on the street and told him, “Take those three rings you have and throw them away ’cause if you don’t win this series, none of those matter.” Game One was a World Series classic. After a dramatic comeback led by one of the greatest at-bats by Paul O’Neill, the stage was set for Jose Vizcaino in the bottom 11th. Jose came through with a clutch base hit and allowed the Yanks to gain some momentum for the series. Game 2 was full of drama. Roger Clemens and Mike Piazza never saw eye-to-eye in their careers and it certainly showed in the first inning. After Piazza hit a broken-bat foul ball down the first base line, Clemens took a piece of the broken bat that was near him and threw it in the direction of Piazza. After the benches cleared and emotions settled, the game continued. After the incident, the Yanks’ bats exploded. Mets starter Mike Hampton was done by the 2nd inning and the Yankees cruised to a Game 2 victory. After a loss in Game 3, Derek Jeter set the stage for Game 4. Against starter Bobby Jones, Jeter launched the first pitch of the game over the left-center field wall. After that shot, the series was practically over. With a Game 4 win, the Yanks were one game from accomplishing a three-peat. In Game 5, Mets pitcher Al Leiter threw his heart out. But in the 9th inning, the Yanks finally got to him. With the game tied 2-2, Yankees second baseman Luis Sojo came up with runners on 1st and 2nd. Sojo hit Leiter’s 144th pitch up the middle scoring two runs. In the 9th, with Rivera on the mound, Piazza gave the Yankees another scare with two outs. Piazza hit a shot to center field that could have tied the game, but Bernie Williams had room to make the catch. The Yankees officially became a dynasty.

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