Ring the Bell: An Alternate MLB History

Chapter 1: Game 6 1993 World Series
    SkyDome Toronto, Ontario, Canada

    Everyone thought it was gone. Everyone thought that Joe Carter would be the hero. Everyone thought the Toronto Blue Jays had just won the World Series.

    Here's Sean McDonough on the call for CBS.

    "Well hit down the left field line, way back and... CAUGHT! OH MY GOODNESS! What a catch by Milt Thompson in left field to save the game! Runners advance to second and third with two outs. Oh, what a catch in left by Thompson!

    Just like that, the Phillies were still alive.

    Phillies closer Mitch Williams would retire the next batter John Olerud on just one pitch, a pop up to first basemen John Kruk. Kruk made the easiest catch of his life to send it to game 7 two nights later.

    Final score:
    Philadelphia Phillies 6
    Toronto Blue Jays 5
    Chapter 2: Game 7 1993 World Series
  • 1993 World Series: Game 7
    Philadelphia Phillies @ Toronto Blue Jays
    SkyDome, Toronto.

    Game 7 would see the Phillies send game 3 loser Danny Jackson to the mound, while Toronto countered with game 4 starter Todd Stottlemyre. From the start, game 7 was a thriller. In the bottom of the first, Toronto struck the first blow when Joe Carter doubled, scoring Paul Molitor from second to make it 1-0 Toronto. Jackson would walk the next two batters to load the bases with two outs. Jim Fregosi came out to talk to him, and it seemed to calm him down. Jackson would retire the next 6 Blue Jays in a row. Stottlemyre also ran into trouble in the fourth, when Mariano Duncan hit a homer to right field to tie the game, followed by a triple for John Kruk, but was able to retire the next two batters by strikeout. Then in the top of the fifth, Kevin Stocker hit a double into center that gave Philadelphia a 3-1 lead and knocked Stottlemyre out of the game. Tony Castillo came out and proceeded to allow a home run to Mickey Morandini, making it 5-1 Phillies. Danny Jackson, meanwhile, was in the game of his life, retiring Blue Jay after Blue Jay. Trouble brewed however, in the seventh.

    Just like in game 6, a team in lead 5-1 going into the seventh and ran into trouble. Only this time it was the Phillies who were in the sticky situation. Roberto Alomar started the inning with a single. Then, Tony Fernandez hit a ground rule double that sent Alomar to third. Next, Ed Sprague would hit a ground ball that got passed John Kruk which scored Alomar to make it 5-2. It could have been worse, but Fernandez tripped on third base and got back to the bag. Pat Borders would then walk to load the bases. Rickey Henderson then hit a single to left-center that made it 5-4 Phillies. Jackson would be pulled in favor of game 5 starter Curt Schilling on just three days rest. Devon White then grounded into a double play, but Paul Molitor, to chants of "MVP" would be walked on four straight pitches to bring up Joe Carter. To the relief of Phillies fans, Carter would be intentionally walked and John Olerud would ground out to end the inning with the Phillies still in the lead.

    In the bottom of the ninth, with the Phillies still up 5-4, Mitch Williams would be sent to the mound to get the most important 3 outs of his life. Rickey Henderson would fly out to center, where Lenny Dykstra would make the catch for the first out. Devon White would then walk on four straight pitches, sending the tying run on. Paul Molitor would then be hit by a pitch to make it first and second with one out. After Joe Carter popped out to left, that sent up pinch hitter Luis Sojo would step up, if he gets a hit, the game would be tied. A home run, and the Blue Jays repeat as Champions. What happened next is baseball lore.

    "Sojo hits it to right in front of Eisenreich. White is on his way home. Here comes Eisenreich's throw to the plate and they GET HIM! He threw the ball perfectly to the plate, Daulton picked it up and tagged White just in time and the Philadelphia Phillies have won the World Series for the first time in 13 years!"

    - Sean McDonough, calling the game for CBS

    The SkyDome suddenly went quiet. Jim Eisenreich had made a prefect throw home to the catcher Darren Daulton, who applied an even better, World-Series clinching tag. Then Eisenreich famously took off his shirt to celebrate.

    After all of this, every baseball fan was asking themselves:
    "When will they strike?"
    Chapter 3: 1993-1994 MLB Offseason
  • 1993-1994 MLB OFFSEASON NEWS

    Trades/Free Agency

    - Philadelphia Phillies CF Lenny Dykstra is traded to the Kansas City Royals for CF Brian McRae and SP David Cone.

    - Rickey Henderson signs a 2 year contract with the California Angels.

    - Eddie Murray signs a one year contract with the Chicago White Sox.

    - Texas Rangers 1B Rafael Palmerio is traded to the Montréal Expos for 1B Greg Colbrunn.

    - Michael Jordan, the phenom basketball star who has won 3 straight NBA titles with the Chicago Bulls, retires in his prime and signs a contract with the Chicago White Sox.


    - On January 5, 1994, owners voted in former Texas governor canadite George W. Bush as the new Commissioner of Baseball.

    - On November 30th, the San Francisco Giants announce plans for a new ballpark in San Jose which should be complete by opening day of 1997.

    - Rangers Ballpark in Arlington is completed over the offseason.

    - New Commissioner Bush announces intentions for another MLB expansion in 1998.

    - Steve Carlton is elected into the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

    - The Oakland A's are flirting with relocation. Buffalo, Phoenix, Tampa Bay, Vancouver, Washington DC and Las Vegas appear to be frontrunners

    UP NEXT.........
    Chapter 4: The Strike
  • THE STRIKE OF 1994

    Even before the 1993 season ended with Darren Daulton tagging Devon White for the final out in Game 7, owners had been arguing about a new idea called the "salary cap". The United States was in an economic slump, and the operating cost was slashed from $1.87 billion to $1.2 billion. The bickering had kept on going through the offseason. And not to mention that the CBA was now expired. The players were tired of this. It was time to strike.

    "If the Major League owners do not inform us a decision of the salary cap issue by Opening Day this year, then the Major League Baseball Players Association will go on a labor strike until an agreement can be solved."
    -MLBPA press release in Sports Illustrated, March 16, 1994

    Those few days became crucial to the owners, the players, and the league. The league could not go on strike again. The league would not want to endure another strike like it did in 81. The players and owners had been at odds with one another. Then it happened. On March 20, 1994, the players union voted to go on strike.

    Stadiums remained quiet and empty throughout the spring months. MLB was losing money. This strike was hurting the brand. Fans were turning on other sports like NASCAR, the NHL, and the NBA.

    In the eyes of most owners, Donald Fehr was the guy who started this fiasco. It was not a surprise that some of the owners wanted to curse and scream at Fehr. But Fehr stood his ground.

    The owners and Major League Baseball were looking at the government to solve this mess. After months of talks, on June 6, 1994, the players voted to return to work if a judge had supported the Labor Relations Board's unfair practices complaint. MLB was back.

    This season was shortened to 100 games, and the All Star Game was moved to a month before the Playoffs.

    The MLB was back. It wanted to be better than ever.

    Up next... the 1994 MLB Season.
    Chapter 5: 1994 MLB Season

    Fans called June 13, 1994, the day that baseball was finally back, Liberation Day. To Chicago White Sox fans, it was the first time they saw His Airness in a baseball uniform. Yes, Michael Jordan was in the Majors.

    And he didn't do so good.

    The hype was led with backlash. Jordan hit .207, 6 HR's, 28 RBI's, and struck out 63 times. His Airness was looking more like His Crappyness.

    In the NL East, the Phillies, Expos and Braves waged a war for division supremacy, both figuratively and literally. After a Expos-Phillies game on a hot July night in Philly, the Expos decided to stop by a local bar on the way to their hotel. Unfortunately, the Phillies had the same idea. It didn't take long for the trash-talk to escalate and soon enough both teams found themselves brawling right there in the bar. Several Philadelphia fans joined in before police showed up and ordered the Montreal players to get out or spend the night in jail. Expo youngsters Larry Walker and Pedro Martinez refused to leave unless the Phillie players were bounced as well. As Walker and Martinez were taken away, word got back to commissioner George W Bush about the incident. Before he could even decide what to do about the next game in the three-game set between the two, Expos ownership was already on their way to Philadelphia to bail out their players. The following night, Martinez pitched a four-hitter and Walker hit a home run in a 4-1 Montreal win. Ultimately, the Expos took the division by just 2 games as the Phillies came in second, having to settle for the first ever NL Wild Card.

    The NL Central race was also very close, but the Houston Astros took it over the Cincinnati Reds by just 3 games with Jeff Bagwell having a sensational season, winning NL MVP with 42 home runs, hitting .386 and having a .752 slugging percentage.

    Not to be outdone, the NL west race was close to as the Dodgers, Giants and surprising Rockies had shots at the division. Colorado would fade late in the season, thanks to an injury to Andres Galarraga. In the Final series of the season, the Dodgers lead the Giants by a game going in. The Giants swept the Padres, while the Dodgers lost 2 out of 3 to the Rockies to give San Fran their first division title since 1989.

    In the AL, the evil empire is back as the Yankees spent the summer beating up on the AL East. Cal Ripken Jr continues to come close to breaking Lou Gehrig's Iron Man record for most consecutive games played but his O's are powerless against a soon-to-be dominant Yankee team. The Central would be won by the White Sox as expected but the Cleveland Indians broke out onto the scene, led by Albert Belle and Jim Thome, the ladder winning AL MVP with 37 home runs and 76 RBI's. Out in the AL West, the teams in there were so bad it seemed like nobody wanted to win it. But in the End, thanks to a late season collapse by the Rangers (who went 2-8 in their final 10) the California Angels won the division with a 50-50 record. Many baseball fans were calling for a flex rule to be imposed, which would send a team with a better record to the playoffs instead of a division winner (In this case, both the Orioles and Blue Jays had better records than the Angels).

    But over all, the 125th anniversary for professional baseball was a very interesting affair.



    New York Yankees (64-36)
    Baltimore Orioles (57-43)
    Toronto Blue Jays (51-49)
    Boston Red Sox (41-59)
    Detroit Tigers (35-65)

    Chicago White Sox (65-35)
    Cleveland Indians (61-39) (WC)
    Kansas City Royals (49-51)
    Milwaukee Brewers (42-58)
    Minnesota Twins (42-58)

    California Angels (50-50)
    Texas Rangers (48-52)
    Seattle Mariners (46-54)
    Oakland Athletics (38-62)

    National League Standings

    Montreal Expos (68-32)
    Philadelphia Phillies (66-34) (WC)
    Atlanta Braves (59-41)
    New York Mets (47-53)
    Florida Marlins (44-56)

    Houston Astros (57-43)
    Cincinnati Reds (54-46)
    St Louis Cardinals (47-53)
    Chicago Cubs (40-60)
    Pittsburgh Pirates (39-61)

    San Francisco Giants (60-40)
    Los Angeles Dodgers (58-42)
    Colorado Rockies (52-48)
    San Diego Padres (45-55)

    WC = Wild Card

    AL MVP - Jim Thome, Cleveland Indians
    AL Cy Young - Scott Sanderson, Chicago White Sox
    AL Manager of the Year - Mike Hargrove, Cleveland Indians

    NL MVP - Jeff Bagwell, Houston Astros
    NL Cy Young - Curt Schilling, Philadelphia Phillies
    NL Manager of the Year - Felipe Alou, Montreal Expos
    Chapter 6: 1994 Division Series
    Montreal Expos vs Houston Astros

    After a phenomenal season from Jeff Bagwell, what was he and his Astros teammates reward? They had to face the Expos, the MLB's best during the regular season in the NLDS, with most betters betting the series on Montreal. Game one at Olympic Stadium was a 10-8 Expos victory in 11, with a three-run home run by Cliff Floyd sealing the win. Game two was a 3-0 Astro victory, behind the great pitching of Doug Drabek, hurling a complete game. With the series moving to the Astrodome and the Houston faithful behind them, the Astros took a commanding win in game 3, winning 7-1. Game 4 began with a 5-0 Houston lead, but the game ended up with a 8-5 Expos win thanks to a clutch home run by Marquis Grissom. Game 5 ended the Astros hopes for an upset, losing 4-2.

    San Francisco Giants vs Philadelphia Phillies

    The Philadelphia Phillies were back in the playoffs after winning it all last year. There opponents, the San Francisco Giants, on the other hand, were in the playoffs for the first time since 1989 after getting in on the last day of the season.

    Game one was a chilly October evening at Candlestick Park and the crowd was quieted early. The game was a boring match-up, with the Phillies taking the lead early and winning 12-1. Game two was vastly different, with the Giants beginning the game with a 5-0 run only for the Phillies to score 5 in the 6th. Then Barry Bonds hit a 2 run homer. But the scoring was not done yet. In the top of the ninth, Kevin Stocker hit a 3-run home run to give the Phillies a lead they would never give up. Game 3 at Veterans Stadium ended the series with a 3-0 victory for Philly.


    Chicago White Sox vs California Angels

    A beautiful day graced over New Comiskey Park in Chicago. The 1994 White Sox were the class of the league, totaling 65 wins, with stars like Frank Thomas. Everyone thought that this would be an easy 3-game sweep for the Southsiders.

    Game 1 had Scott Sanderson on the mound for the White Sox and Brian Anderson for California. The game was a defensive showdown, with Anderson striking out 11 and the Angels coming up big in the late innings to win the game 3-1. Game 2 had on the mound Mark Lieter for the Angels and Alex Fernandez for the White Sox. Fernandez dominated the pitching mound, throwing a complete game and allowing 4 hits en route to a 5-0 win for the Sox, with an amazing performance by Frank Thomas, recording 2 home runs in the win.

    For games 3 and 4, the series was situated in Anaheim. Game 3 was a highly-contested match. Frank Thomas went on a tear, going 5-5 with a home run, a triple, and 2 doubles. The game went into extra innings, with J.T. Snow providing some Disneyland magic, winning the game for the Angels, 7-6 in 10 innings. Game 4 was another hot match, with both pitchers not lasting past the 4th inning. But in the end of this high scoring match, the Angels pulled off the improbable upset, winning the game 11-9 and winning the series.

    New York Yankees vs Cleveland Indians

    Well, that happened. The Cleveland Indians, for the first time since 1954, had made the post-season by virtue of being the first American League Wild Card in history. They had to face those damn Yankees. Starting the series in the Bronx for the best of 5 series, the Indians shocked the world when the pulled off the upset in game one, winning 6-3. But one game does not win you the series, and the Yanks came back and won game two, 5-4. As the series located itself to the brand-new Jacobs Field, the Indians put up a fight, but lost both games, 6-5 and 3-2, with New York winning the series 3-1.
    Chapter 7: 1994 LCS
    New York Yankees vs California Angels

    The day of game 1, the New York Daily News sports section read the headline "The Evil Empire is Back", predicting the Yankees would sweep the Angels and head to the World Series. Game 1 would see the Angels silence their critics with a 7-4 win with Rex Hudler hitting a go-ahead three shot in the eighth that went into third deck in right at Yankee Stadium. Game 2 would see the Yankees look like themselves with a 4-0 win with great pitching from Bob Ojeda, who allowed just 1 hit in a complete game shutout.

    The series then shifted to Anaheim, where the Angels jumped ahead in game 3, leading 5-0 in the eighth before Bob Melvin drew a leadoff walk. This was followed by a walk to Pat Kelly, then another walk and another walk to bring home a New York run. Everything went down the drain for California when Paul O'Neill hit a Grand Slam that barely cleared the right-field wall to tie it. The game would go into extra innings, where the Yankees exploded in the tenth for 4 runs to take the series lead. Games 4 and 5 were more of the same, with the Yankees doing what they wanted when they wanted, winning the final two games by scores of 11-4 and 13-3 to take the series and head to the Fall Classic for the first time since 1981.

    Montreal Expos vs Philadelphia Phillies

    The Expos were on a roll. They had slapped the Astros out and now they were after the Phillies, trying to clinch back-to-back appearances in the Fall Classic. The 1994 NLCS was just about to get underway. Will the Expos solidify themselves as a threat or will the Phillies find their way back to the Fall Classic?

    Home field advantage was certainty on the Expos side for game one, taking away a 8-4 win with big nights for Larry Walker (3-5, triple, home run) and Butch Henry (5 2/3rds innings, 8 K's, 2 R). The Phillies were again dumbfounded in game 2, losing by a big margin, this time 10-2, having another big game by Larry Walker and 7 scoreless innings by Ken Hill. This game is also notable for the unassisted triple play by Wil Cordero.

    The series then situated itself at Veterans Stadium. The Phillies had the groove right from the get-go in Game 3, with 3 K's by Terry Mulholland and a 2-run home run by Brian McRae. By the 6th the score was 6-1. But the Expos made their way for a comeback, including with a Moises Alou grand-slam, but in the end Philadelphia won 6-5. In game 4 the Phils held close with Montreal the whole time, but the Expos prevailed 3-0. Now the 'Spos were one win away from being in their first ever Fall Classic.

    Game 5 was a high scoring, classic affair. Coming into the bottom of the ninth, Montreal had the edge 9-7. Jim Eisenreich got on base with a double, then John Kruk scored Eisenriech home, making the game 9-8. Two quick outs followed. If Darren Daulton struck out, the Expos would win. The Expos did not win.

    "The 3-2 pitch, swing a drive to Deep Left Field that ball is OUTTA HERE! Darren Daulton delivers with a Walk-Off 2-run home run and Phillies are still alive!
    Harry Kalas calling the walk-off home run in game 5.

    This was to no avail, due to game 6 taking place in Montreal (and the Expos great home-field advantage during the '94 season), and although the Phillies put up the fight, they could not win, and Montreal was to the World Series for the first time, winning the game 6-4.
    Chapter 8: 1994 World Series

    Broadcasters: ABC

    The 1994 season had been one up-and-down ride for Major League Baseball. Many pundits thought that the strike would ruin the image of America's pastime. But those allegations were false. After exciting LCS's on both sides of the league, the Montréal Expos and the New York Yankees showed that baseball was back and better than ever. The Expos were ready to baseball's new monarch, while the Yankees were wanting to add another commissioners trophy to their case.

    The series had started at Olympic Stadium. This was the third straight year a Canadian team was in the World Series. Game one was a thriller, with the Expos capturing the win 5-4 in the 13th with a Rafael Palmeiro walk off double. Game 2 pitted the Yankees Bob Ojeda against Montreal's Ken Hill in a classic pitching duel, with Ojeda having a no-no going on until the 6th inning, while Hill only got three hits off of him. In the end, the game ended with a 1-0 10 inning victory for the Yankees, with the Yanks having the momentum with the series shifting to the Bronx and Yankee Stadium.

    Game 3 was a blow-out for the Yankees, becoming a 8-1 victory and a 2-1 series lead. The next night, the Expos had evened up the series at 2 with a 3-2 victory. Game 5 was a great game for Les Expos, with Larry Walker hitting for the cycle en route to an 9-6 win for the 'Spos

    This World Series would end in Montreal. It was a cloudy, miserable day in Montreal, but a game had to be played. Ken Hill showed off his magic, pitching 7 complete innings and allowing 4 hits and 1 ER's. In the end, the Expos took their first championship home, winning the game 5-1.

    " The 1-2 to Boggs. Swung on and miss and the Expos have won the World Series!"
    - Al Michaels calling the final out for ABC

    What else happened in the sports world in 1994?

    - Masters Tournament - American Larry Mize wins the Masters 3 strokes ahead of Spaniard Jose Maria Olazabal.

    - Horse Racing - Tabasco Cat becomes the first horse since Affirmed in 1978 to win the Triple Crown.

    - NHL Stanley Cup Finals: The Calgary Flames defeat the New York Rangers 4-2 to win the Stanley Cup.

    - NBA Finals: The Phoenix Suns defeat the Atlanta Hawks 4-1 to win the NBA Finals

    - Super Bowl XXVIII: The Houston Oilers defeat the Dallas Cowboys 28-23

    - NASCAR: Dale Earnhardt wins his 7th Winston Cup championship.
    Chapter 9: Oakland for sale
  • Oakland might lose their A's!
    Baseball's Oakland Athletics, once a proud franchise, are now at a crossroads. Following the passing of owner Walter Haas, combined with the San Francisco Giants building a new stadium in nearby San Jose, the A's are in trouble. "We are trying to handle this situation as carefully as possible, we will consider all options put forward by potential owners." said MLB commissioner George W. Bush. Bush also announced the team will be on sale during the offseason.

    Two potential owners have come forward. One is Orca Bay Sports and Entertainment, owner of the Vancouver Canucks of the NHL and a Vancouver expansion franchise in the NBA, who are looking to bring the majors to British Columbia. BC Place is currently home to the CFL's BC Lions while the PCL Vancouver Canadians play at the smaller Nat Bailey Stadium. They face a competing bid from Bay Area real estate developers Steve Schott and Ken Hofmann, who are looking to keep the team in Northern California.

    Only time will tell which new owner will grab the A's and find them a new home

    - The Oakland Tribune
    November 15, 1994
    Chapter 10: 1994-95 MLB offseason

    - The biggest news came on November 29, when the MLB announced that Orca Bay Sports and Entertainment had purchased the Oakland Athletics with the intention of moving the team to Vancouver, British Columbia beginning with the 1996 MLB season. The decision was not received well in Oakland, as some local businessman had a solid offer to keep the team there. The city threated to sue, but the lawsuit was dropped shortly after it reached the MLB and Commissioner Bush. The new Vancouver A's will play at BC Place, which has had a few exhibition series played there.

    - Early Bids for the 1998 MLB expansion: Tampa Bay, Calgary, Norfolk, Phoenix, Nashville, Orlando, Indianapolis, Washington, Buffalo, Oklahoma City, Charlotte, Sacramento, Louisville, Las Vegas and Ottawa.

    - Dennis Eckersley signs a two-year contract with the Seattle Mariners.

    - Michael Jordan is traded to the Colorado Rockies.

    - Orel Hershiser signs a three-year contract with the Milwaukee Brewers.

    - Greg Maddux is traded from the Atlanta Braves to the Baltimore Orioles.

    - Larry Walker signs a six-year deal with the Milwaukee Brewers.

    - Reggie Sanders signs a two-year deal with the Philadelphia Phillies.
    Chapter 10: 1995 MLB Season

    - Michael Jordan broke out in 1995, averaging .303, hitting 18 HR's and 77 RBI's, en route to his first MLB All-Star selection.

    - Cal Ripken, Jr breaks Lou Gehrig's "iron man" streak of consecutive games played.

    - There were three players vying of breaking Roger Maris' single season home run record: Barry Bonds (San Francisco Giants), Frank Thomas (Chicago White Sox), and Albert Belle (Cleveland Indians). In the end, none of them broke Maris' record, with Bonds closest with 58.

    - In the All Star Game played at the Ballpark in Arlington, the American League wins 4-3.

    - There were four no hitters in 1995:

    Randy Johnson (Seattle Mariners, April 26, against the Kansas City Royals)
    Orel Hershiser (Milwaukee Brewers, May 6, against the Detroit Tigers) (Perfect Game)
    Terry Mulholland (Philadelphia Phillies, July 4, against the Florida Marlins)
    Greg Maddux (Baltimore Orioles, August 18, against the California Angels)


    American League

    1. New York Yankees (94-68)
    2. Baltimore Orioles (91-71) (WC)
    3. Boston Red Sox (82-80)
    4. Toronto Blue Jays (75-87)
    5. Detroit Tigers (72-90)

    1. Cleveland Indians (105-57)
    2. Milwaukee Brewers (88-74)
    3. Chicago White Sox (87-75)
    4. Minnesota Twins (79-83)
    5. Kansas City Royals (74-88)

    1. Seattle Mariners (96-66)
    2. Texas Rangers (84-78)
    3. California Angels (80-82)
    4. Oakland Athletics (68-94)

    National League

    1. Philadelphia Phillies (99-63)
    2. Montreal Expos (95-67)
    3. Atlanta Braves (89-73)
    4. Florida Marlins (71-91)
    5. New York Mets (69-93)

    1. Houston Astros (93-69)
    2. Cincinnati Reds (87-75)
    3. St Louis Cardinals (76-86)
    4. Pittsburgh Pirates (72-90)
    5. Chicago Cubs (65-97)

    1. Colorado Rockies (96-66)
    2. Los Angeles Dodgers (95-67)
    3. San Francisco Giants (83-79)
    4. San Diego Padres (70-92)



    MVP: Ken Griffey Jr. (Seattle Mariners)
    Cy Young: Greg Maddux (Baltimore Orioles)
    Manager of the Year: Mike Hargrove (Cleveland Indians)

    MVP: Barry Bonds (San Francisco Giants)
    Cy Young: Curt Schilling (Philadelphia Phillies)
    Manager of the Year: Don Baylor (Colorado Rockies)
    Chapter 11: 1995 NL Wild Card Tie-Breaker

    The season for these two teams needed one more game. Both had achieved records of 95-67. But there would be only one who would have the chance to be able to play in the postseason. At the end of this game, one team would be at 96-67 and in the playoffs, and one would be at 95-68 and sitting on the couch for October. For Montreal, it was chance to redeem themselves from the 1981 NLCS, when Rick Monday hit a 9th-inning homer in the deciding game for the Dodgers.

    It was a sunny yet freezing day at Olympic Stadium in Montreal, with Pedro Martinez on the mound for the defending champion Expos and Kevin Tapani starting for the Dodgers. The first three innings went by quick, with both line-ups being retired in consecutive order. Then in the 4th, the Dodgers took a 2-0 lead thanks to a 2-run home run by Eddie Pye. The defensive half of the inning went extremely well for LA, with Tapani striking out all 3 hitters in just 12 pitches. The 5th went by without any score. The 6th began a rally for the Expos, beginning with a triple by Moises Alou and capitalized by a 3-run home run by Rafael Palmerio. At the end of the 6th, it was 4-2 in favor of the Expos.

    In the 7th, 9 runs were scored, 5 for the Dodgers, 4 for the Expos, with the score being 8-7 at the end of the inning. At the top of the 8th, Expo Jeff Shaw was brought in to relieve. He did not do his job, as he gave up 3 runs in that inning, with the Expos being unable to respond. It was now 10-8 going to the bottom of the 9th. If the Expos fail to capitalize here, the Dodgers get the wild card spot and Expos hopes for a repeat are over.

    The inning began with a lead-off double by Juan Bell. That was later followed up by a pop-up out, one out. Then Marquis Grissom hit a single, and Bell was led home, the score was now 10-9. Then Rafael Palmerio hit another single, with Grissom advancing to 2nd. Moises Alou was up next, as he hit another single, with Grissom barely beating the throw to the plate, the score now being tied 10-10, as Palmerio was now on 2nd. Darrin Fletcher then struck out. Then, Cliff Floyd sent the Expos to the playoffs.

    "The pitch to Floyd, swing and a shot to right-center, the Expos are going back to October!"
    Bob Costas, calling Cliff Floyd's Wild Card winning home run

    Final Score: LAD 10 @ MTL 13
    Chapter 13: 1995 LCS

    This on paper seemed like a no-brainer, the Phillies, the best team in the National League, would easily win the series in 4 or 5. But the baseball gods would not have it like that.

    The series would start off in Veterans Stadium, the boisterous home of the Phils. The hometown team started off well, leading 3-1 at the top of the 6th. Then the Rockies exploded with a 5-run inning, ending winning the game 7-5. Game two was a defensive game, with David Cone throwing a complete game shut out with 13 K's en route to a 1-0 victory for Philadelphia.

    Game 3 situated the next few games in the series in Denver. Game 3 was a blow-out for the Phillies, scoring 7 runs in the 4th and Mo Vaughn hitting 3 home runs en route to a 15-5 win for the Phillies. Game 4 was an extra innings affair, with the Phillies maintaining the lead throughout, with the game being 6-5 at the middle of the last inning of regulation. A solo home run by Harvey Pulliam tied the game, leading the game into extras. After a scoreless 10th, 11th, and 12th, Michael Jordan sent the crowds home with a 2 run walk off home run, winning the game 8-6. Game 5 was another exciting game, with Colorado clawing themselves back from a 7-0 deficit to win 10-8.

    Games 6 and 7 would be played in Philly. The Rockies showed fatigue in game 6, with the Phillies easily taking the win, 7-1. Game 7 was an exciting way to close out the series, with both clubs exchanging the win. In the end, thanks to a Mickey Morandini moonshot in the 8th, the Phillies took the game 8-5 and won the series, playing in their second world series in three years.


    The 1995 American League Championship Series pitted the Seattle Mariners, in the October baseball debut, against the Baltimore Orioles, with stars like Cal Ripken Jr and Greg Maddux. This was the Orioles first time since 1983 when they were in the ALCS, when they won the World Series. On the other hand, these Mariners just wanna have fun.

    The beginning of the 1995 post-season brought along with their rally song for the playoffs, "We're the Mariners and we just wanna have fun" (a parody of Cyndi Lauper's "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun). Due to the huge popularity of the song among the fans of the M's and their deep postseason run, the song managed to have lots of airtime on radio stations across the Pacific Northwest.

    Game one was a decisive game, but the Orioles could not score in the 9th to take the lead, leading to a 5-3 Mariners victory. The next game, Jay Buhner had an amazing night, hitting two home runs and 2 doubles, and Randy Johnson pitching a shutout en route to a 6-0 M's victory.

    As the series located itself to Camden Yards in Baltimore for the next 2 (or 3) games, the Mariners could not be stopped. They won game 3 by a score of 3-1, and closed out the series by sweeping Baltimore by a score of 5-2.
    Chapter 14: 1995 World Series

    This World Series was a battle between old vs new, as the Phillies were in the Fall Classic for the second time in three years, where as the Mariners made it in their first ever post-season. Ken Griffey Jr, the Mariners superstar, predicted a Mariner victory in six in a press conference the day before game 1. When Phillies manager Jim Fregosi got wind of this, he told his ballclub "Make him eat his words, boys. We'll be the ones winning this in six"

    Game 1 in Seattle would be a high-scoring affair, with both pitchers being knocked out early. In the ninth, with Philly leading 9-6, Edgar Martinez hit a 3-run shot of Mitch Williams to send it to Extras. Seattle would carry that momentum into the tenth, as Alex Rodriguez hit a walk off home run to win it 10-9. Game 2 would see the Phillies rebound with a 6-3 win. This game is most remembered for Mariano Duncan tripping on his own cleats trying to get to first.

    Game three at Veterans Stadium was history making. Despite an amazing performance by the Phillies on the offensive side (including Mo Vaughn with a 3-run home run and a grand slam) totaling to 13 runs, it was Terry Mulholland making the head lines, hurling a no-hitter for the second time in the history of the Fall Classic (after Don Larsen's perfect game).

    "Terry Mulholland on the verge of making history. The 0-2 pitch, Popped up to foul territory in right, Kruk says he has it, HE DOES! TERRY MULHOLLAND HAS THROWN A NO-HITTER! This crowd is going crazy here at Veterans Stadium as the Phillies mod around Mulholland! History here at the Vet tonight folks!
    The Final out of Terry Mulholland's no-hitter in game 3, as called by Harry Kalas on Phillies radio

    The Phillies would cruise from there, winning game 4 8-4, and winning game 5 3-0, and winning the World Series for the second time in three years.

    "The 3-1 pitch, swing and fly ball to right, Eisenreich under it and the Phils have won it again! The players run out of the dugout, the confetti is falling, and the fans are here on the field at Veterans Stadium!"
    Harry Kalas's call of the Final Out of the 1995 World Series

    For the Mariners, they had nothing to be ashamed of, as they had captured the heart of the Northwest with their surprise season and playoff run. For the Phillies, after years of being a non-factor in the NL, they were champions for the second time in three seasons.

    Other Events for 1995

    Reggie Miller and the Indiana Pacers win their first NBA Crown, triumphing over the Utah Jazz in the NBA Finals 4-2

    In Super Bowl XXIX, Dan Marino wins his first ever ring, as his Miami Dolphins beat Steve Youngs's 49ers in Super Bowl XXIX 31-25

    The city of Philadelphia would have another champion in 1995, as the Philadelphia Flyers brought the cup back to the city of brotherly love for the first time in 20 years, beating the Vancouver Canucks 4-1

    In March Madness, Arkansas repeats as National Champions over UCLA in the title game 79-77

    The IFAF announces their intention to field the first American Football World Cup in 2000.

    The Baltimore Stallions become the first American team to win the Grey Cup. After this, the CFL announces intentions for more American teams.

    Jeff Gordon wins his first Winston Cup Championship, as Ricky Rudd wins his first Daytona 500.

    In Politics and other areas.

    The Indianapolis Accords are signed to end the violence in Bosnia.

    Salt Lake City is announced to host the 2002 Winter Olympics.

    Former Secretary of defense Dick Cheney becomes the Front-Runner for the 1996 Republican Primaries

    "Gangsta's Paradise" by Coolio tops the music charts for most of 1995.
    Chapter 15: 1995-96 MLB Offseason News

    - The biggest news was the relocation of the Oakland A's to Vancouver, British Columbia, playing at BC Place.

    - Beginning in 1996, there will be a new MLB television contract for the postseason. NBC will broadcast the AL postseason in 1996, and ABC will host the NL postseason. Coverage for the leagues will be flipped between NBC and ABC every year. Also, in even years, ABC will broadcast the World Series, with NBC broadcasting the WS in odd years.

    - The MLB has decided the finalist for the 1998 expansion: Phoenix, Tampa Bay, Oklahoma City, Buffalo, and Charlotte. The winners will be announced after the 1996 World Series.

    - MLB is in talks with Adidas to be the official MLB outfitter as soon as 1999.

    - Commissioner Bush announces the creation of the World Baseball Challenge on January 2. The United States will host the first edition, scheduled for February 1998.

    - Construction of the new San Francisco Giants ballpark in San Jose is nearly complete, it will open on opening day of 1997. The Montreal Expos announce plans for a new ballpark that will open between 1999 and 2002.

    - Rumors begin circling around of the Twins moving to Mexico City or North Carolina.

    - Rickey Henderson signs with the Chicago Cubs, a 2-year deal.

    - Curt Schilling resigns with the Philadelphia Phillies on a 5-year deal.

    - Craig Biggio signs a 4-year contract with the Cleveland Indians.

    - Jose Canseco signs a 1-year contract with the New York Yankees.

    - Jim Abbott signs a 1-year contract with the San Diego Padres.

    - Ichrio Suzuki signs a 3-year contract with the Philadelphia Phillies (the major-league restrictions on Japanese players playing in the majors was overturned in the '94 offseason).

    - Roberto Alomar signs a 4-year contract with the Atlanta Braves.

    - Luis Gonzalez signs a 3-year contract with the Texas Rangers.

    - Molson Brewery (owner's of Hockey's Canadiens) in talks to buy the Montreal Expos.
    Chapter 16: 1996 MLB Regular Season

    - Ichrio produces an amazing rookie season, hitting .343 and producing 200 hits and 19 HR's, en route to the NL MVP and ROTY.

    - Derek Jeter produces a great rookie season, like Ichrio, winning the AL MVP.

    - Andres Galarraga is traded to the Cincinnati Reds at the trade deadline.

    - The Oklahoma City bid bows out of the 1998 expansion race, leaving Charlotte, Tampa Bay, Phoenix and Buffalo as the remaining bids.

    - Moises Alou is traded to the Boston Red Sox, then makes his debut on September 1st.

    - Jeff Kent is traded to the Texas Rangers.

    - Three no-hitters were pitched in 1996:

    Jack McDowell (Chicago White Sox, May 11, against the Minnesota Twins)
    Hiedi Nomo (Los Angeles Dodgers, June 20, against the Pittsburgh Pirates)
    Pedro Martinez (Montreal Expos, August 3, against the New York Mets)

    1. New York Yankees (97-65)
    2. Baltimore Orioles (87-75)
    3. Boston Red Sox (86-76)
    4. Toronto Blue Jays (74-88)
    5. Detroit Tigers (68-94)

    1. Cleveland Indians (100-62)
    2. Milwaukee Brewers (88-74)
    3. Chicago White Sox (80-82)
    4. Kansas City Royals (75-87)
    5. Minnesota Twins (57-105)

    1. Seattle Mariners (94-68)
    2. Texas Rangers (92-70) (WC)
    3. California Angels (78-84)
    4. Vancouver Athletics (63-99)


    1. Philadelphia Phillies (101-61)
    2. Atlanta Braves (96-66) (WC)
    3. Montreal Expos (91-71)
    4. Florida Marlins (81-81)
    5. New York Mets (75-87)

    1. Cincinnati Reds (84-78)
    2. Houston Astros (82-80)
    3. Chicago Cubs (74-88)
    4. St Louis Cardinals (70-92)
    5. Pittsburgh Pirates (69-93)

    1. Los Angeles Dodgers (91-71)
    2. San Diego Padres (88-74)
    3. Colorado Rockies (79-83)
    4. San Francisco Giants (77-85)
    Chapter 17: 1996 NLDS

    The Phillies had the best record in baseball, they had the most exciting rookie in baseball in Ichrio and they were the defending champions. This series wasn't even supposed to be close.

    Game 1, as expected would be a Phillies romp, with Curt Schilling pitching a complete game shutout with only 2 hits while Ichiro hit 2 home runs to give the Phils a 4-0 game 1 victory. Game 2 would be more of the same for the Phillies, as Reggie Sanders came a triple away from a cycle, David Cone threw 7 innings of 2 hit ball and Philly won easily 7-1.

    The Series then shifted to Cincinnati where the Reds would respond, winning game 3 4-3 thanks to a Andre Dawson walk off double. Game 4 would see the Phillies go up 9-3 in the seventh, but just when you thought the series was over, the Reds rallied for 8 runs in the bottom of the seventh to take the lead. In the ninth, Kevin Stocker hit a home run to tie the game, only for Andre Dawson to strike again by hitting another walk-off double to win it for Cincy 12-11 to even the series. At the Vet for game 5, the Phillies ran into trouble early, as the Reds scored 4 in the first. Mo Vaughn would hit a 3 run shot in the bottom of the first to pull within one, but that was as close the Phillies would come as the Reds pulled of the upset with a 6-3 victory.


    Unlike the last series, this NLDS matchup of LA and Atlanta was supposed to be close, with the Braves being slight favorites to take the series and head to the NLCS.

    Game 1 at Dodger Stadium would see Mike Piazza have a legendary performance, hitting 3 home runs in a 10-7 Dodger win to start the series. The Braves would bounce back however with a 3-1 win in game 3. In Atlanta, game 3 would be back and forth all game long. Then, in the 16th inning, DeLino Deshields would hit a double that scored two runs to give Los Angeles a 7-5 lead that they would never relinquish. Game 4 was the Hideo Nomo show, coming one out away from a perfect game before allowing 2 runs to score. But Atlanta could not bring home the tying run and the Dodgers advanced, winning the game 3-2 and the series 3-1 to close out Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium.
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    Chapter 18: 1996 ALDS

    Here they were, the Texas Rangers. After years of fustration, they finally had a winning team and were in the playoffs for the first time. Now they had to face the powerful Cleveland Indians, who were the favorites to take home their first World Title in 48 years.

    Game 1 at Jacobs Field was a laugher. Cleveland jumped on Texas early and never looked back, winning 11-2. The Indians would dominate once again in game 2, with Jim Thome and Albert Belle hitting a home run each in a 16-6 Indian victory. Back in Arlington, the Rangers won game 3 out of sheer desperation 4-2, but the powerful Cleveland machine could not be stopped, taking game 4 9-4 to win the series.


    The past 2 teams who had won the AL Pennant, the Yankees (1994) and the Mariners (1995) were facing each other to see who would play for the chance to meet the Indians in the ALCS.

    Game one pitted Dwight Gooden against Randy Johnson. Gooden had a field day, throwing a complete game and striking out 13, backed by an amazing performance by the Yankees offense, and game 1 was a 7-0 victory for the Yanks. Game 2 had Andy Pettitte on the mound, and he added another amazing performance by the Yankees rotation, throwing another complete game, walking no batters, and allowing just 4 hits in a 4-0 game 2 victory for New York.

    Game 3 showed why the Bronx Bombers were back and ready, with Bob Wickman striking out 14 and Derek Jeter blasting 2 homers en route to a series sweep and a 9-2 victory for the Yankees.
    Chapter 19: 1996 LCS

    The feel good story of the playoffs, the Cincinnati Reds who had surprised everyone by beating the defending champion Phillies vs the young, up-and-coming Dodgers with Mike Piazza leading the charge in a series that was supposed to be mildly close with Los Angeles being slim favorites

    Game 1 at Chavez Ravine would show how tough the Dodgers could be, as Mike Piazza had 6 RBI's and Hideo Nomo threw a complete game shutout to open the series with a 9-1 victory for the boys in blue. Game 2 would see the Reds respond with a 3-2 10 inning win with Andres Galarraga hitting a go-ahead triple to win it. As the series shifted to Cincinnati, the Dodgers had a 4-0 lead but could not hold it as the Reds erupted for 8 runs in the seventh en route an 8-5 victory to go up 2 games to 1. Game 4 would see Hideo Nomo back on the mound to throw 7 innings of one hit ball for LA. Greg Gagne hit a home run in the second which was enough for the Dodgers in a 1-0 win to tie the series. Game 5 would be another Dodgers win by the score of 6-3 to take a 3-2 series lead heading home.

    Game 6 at Dodger Stadium would be a disaster for the home team as Andre Dawson and Andres Galarraga put on a hitting show, combining to go 9 for 10 at the plate, leading to a 13-4 Cincy victory. Game 7 would be close, but LA seemed to be a step ahead all night as they lead 4-1 with two outs in the top of the ninth, the bases were loaded however and Andre Dawson, who had been clutch all postseason was at the plate. Need I say more?

    "The 2-2 again to Dawson, swing and long drive to right [Raul] Mondesi goes back to the wall AND IT'S GONE!! Dawson has struck again and now the Reds lead! Unbeliveable!"
    - Al Michaels calling Andre Dawson's ninth-inning grand slam

    Demoralized, the Dodgers went down 1-2-3 in the ninth and the Reds were going to the World Series. In a 2010 interview, then-Dodger manager Tommy Lasorda said that game was the only loss he cried actual tears over while Andre Dawson became the most-hated man in Southern California. In Cincy however, fans celebrated into the early hours of the next morning as their team was going to their first World Series in six years.


    The Indians and the Yankees, two teams that were considered to be the future of baseball going at in what should be a classic ALCS and as it turned out, it lived up to that hype.

    The Indians had the home-field advantage and shut out the Yankees 5-0 in game one thanks to amazing pitching by Brian Anderson, pitching a 2-hitter and striking out 11 batters. Game two was a Yankees triumph, by a score of 7-5, with amazing hitting by Bernie Williams leading the way for the Bronx Bombers to tie the series heading the the cathedral itself, Yankee Stadium

    Game 3 was a scoreless affair into the 11th, with both the Indians and the Yankees having great pitching. In the end, Cleveland won 1-0 thanks to an inside the park home run by Albert Belle. Game 4 was another low-scoring affair, but Derek Jeter's 4 hit performance led the Yankees to victory against the Tribe 4-1. Game 5 was Cleveland blowout, scoring 9 runs in the third and 5 in the 7th, culminating to a 16-3 victory.

    As the series shifted to Jacobs Field, after being humiliated and on the verge of elimination, the Yankees said that it was go time. With the help of Wade Boggs hitting for the cycle and Jimmy Key hurling 7 complete innings, the Yankees forced game 7 with a 8-3 win. Even with the crowd against them, the Yankees jumped out with a 4-0 lead in the 5th. That would not be the case for long. The next inning, Sandy Alomar Jr hit a grand slam to tie the game. And after a few scoreless innings, in the 9th, Omar Vizquel hit a triple, with Alomar scoring him to win the series and the pennant for the Tribe.
    Chapter 20: 1996 World Series

    Riverfront Stadium in Cincinnati would be the host of the first two games of an all Ohio world series between the powerful Cleveland Indians and the cinderella Cincinnati Reds. Across the state, people were making bets on the series ranging from the traditional (loser wears the other teams shirt to work the day after the series ends) to the bizzare (loser has to wear underpants on their head to work the day after the series ends)

    It was hellish conditions on the day the first game was supposed to be held, and the game was pushed back for one day due to precipitation. The next day, the sun was out, the temperature was 70 degrees, and it was baseball time. It was a rock solid match-up on the mound, with Cleveland starting Charles Nagy and the Reds starting Lee Smith. Nagy got the best of Smith, hurling 11 K's and the Indians offensive juggernaut scoring 7 runs in the 5th en route to a 9-5 win for Cleveland to steal home-field advantage. Game two showed a great pitching performance by Cincinnati's Denny Neagle, halting the Tribe to just 3 hits, whiffing 13 batters en route to a 3-0 win for the Reds heading across the state.

    The series relocated itself to Cleveland and Jacobs Field for the next three games of the series. Game 3 showed a Indians squad ready to play, with Jim Thome hitting 2 homers and Craig Biggio starting a triple play, with the Tribe winning 6-2. Game 4 was a very exciting game. With the Indians down to their last strike and the score being 7-5 and Omar Vizquel on 3rd, Sandy Alomar Jr hit a home run to send the game into extra innings. In the 11th, a bunt by Kenny Lofton allowed Thome to score and for Cleveland to win the game 8-7.

    Not one seat was left open at "The Jake" once again for game 5, and the fans were showcased to a thriller for the second night in a row. This back and forth game was tied at 5 at the bottom of the 9th with the Indians batting. Then Albert Belle put an end to the 1996 season.

    - Tom Hamilton (Indians radio announcer) calling Albert Belle's walk-off home run to win the 1996 World Series

    Fans would be stunned by this. Their city hasn't won a big league championship since the 1964 Browns and the Indians won the World Series for the first time since 1948. Fans would storm the field in celebration, local police officers were sent to help but even they were awed by this. Cleveland is back on top of the Baseball World. Albert Belle would win the MVP trophy for his heroic homer to win the series.

    Also during the series, the MLB also announced the Phoenix and Tampa Bay would be receiving expansion teams that will begin play in 1998.

    What Else happened in Sports for 1996?

    NBA: Sean Kemp, Gary Payton and the Seattle SuperSonics are NBA Champions defeating Shaquille O'Neals Orlando Magic in a seven game thriller in the NBA Finals

    NFL: The San Francisco 49ers defeat the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl XXX 41-28. The Cleveland Browns also announce plans to build a new stadium. While the stadium is being built, they will play at Ohio Stadium in Columbus.

    NHL: In possibly the biggest upset in Stanley Cup Finals history, the Florida Panthers (in just their third season of existence) defeat the Detroit Red Wings in the 1996 Stanley Cup Finals in game 7 with Ed Jovalanski scoring in overtime of the final game. After the season, the Winnipeg Jets, rumored to be sold to buyers from Phoenix, AZ, were instead sold to a group from Houston and will be moving there for the 1996-97 season and beyond.

    CFL: The Edmonton Eskimos defeat the defending Champion Baltimore Stallions to win the Grey Cup. The league also added more United States based teams after the success of the Baltimore Stallions.

    MLS: In the first ever MLS season, DC United wins it all over the Kansas City Wizards.
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