(#5): The Perfect Season

The greatest season in baseball history…period. The 1998 New York Yankees finished their miraculous season with an incredible 114 wins. (125 wins if you count the postseason) After coming off a disappointing 1997 season, the Yanks were determined to reach their ultimate goal and win a 24th championship. New acquistions, such as quality infielders Chuck Knoblauch and Scott Brosius, put the Yanks in a position to cruise through the American League. The season, however, began with a rough patch. The Yankees lost four of their first five games. Steinbrenner considered firing Torre, but the Yanks were able to get out of their funk. After winning a close game in Seattle, the Yankees would never look back.

During the season, there were some moments that would go down as the some of the greatest in Yankees history. Here are some of these fantastic moments:

– David Wells pitches a perfect game

– Darryl Strawberry’s two game-winning pinch-hit home runs (one being a grand slam)

– Bernie Williams’ walk off HR against Texas

– Shane Spencer’s ten home runs in September

With 114 victories, the Yankees won the AL East Division and finished with the best record in baseball. After cruising past the Texas Rangers in the Division Series, the Yanks were set to play the hated Cleveland Indians. In ’97, Cleveland knocked the Yankees out in the first round of the playoffs and the Bombers were looking for revenge. The first game of the series went to the Yankees after a 5-run first inning lead over Indians pitcher Jaret Wright. Game 2 went to the Indians after an extra inning blunder by Chuck Knoblauch. After the Indians took Game 3 at Jacobs Field, the Yanks had their backs against the wall. But in Game 4, Cuban refugee Orlando “El Duque” Hernandez came through and provided a crucial win to tie the series. David Wells and Chile Davis gave the Yanks another victory in Game 5 and sent the series back to New York with the Yanks up 3-2 in the series. In Game 6, the Yankees wouldn’t disappoint. With an easy victory, the Yanks found themselves back in the World Series.

Game 1 of the 1998 World Series will always go down as one of the greatest games in World Series history. With the Yanks down 5-2 in the 7th inning, the Bombers’ bats exploded. Knoblauch redeemed himself with a game-tying three-run home run. Four batters later, first baseman Tino Martinez knocked a grand-slam into the right field upper deck to put the Yankees up for good. After a Game 2 blowout, the Yanks headed to San Diego up 2-0 in the series. In Game 3, more Yankee magic came to life in the late innings. Down 3-0 in the 7th, Scott Brosius led the inning off with a solo shot. One inning later, Brosius officially became a Yankee legend. With two runners on with the Yanks down by one, the Padres put in their “unhittable” closer Trevor Hoffman. With Brosius up to the plate, the Yankees were looking for some more magic. With a 2-2 count, Brosius hit Hoffman’s fastball over the centerfield wall to put the Yanks up 5-3. The Yankees would win the game and take a 3-0 series lead. Looking for a sweep, the Yankees finally broke a scoreless tie with a run in the 6th in Game 4. After adding two more runs in the 8th, the stage was set for Mariano Rivera. It was definitely appropriate that the final out of the series was a groundball to World Series MVP, my man Scott Brosius. The Yankees found themselves back on top and were well on their way to becoming a dynasty.

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5 Responses to “(#5): The Perfect Season”

  1. VanillaICE Says:

    That season was rigged…

  2. bellarmine Says:

    Can’t believe it was 12 years ago. Where is Scott Brosius now?

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