What makes a great championship game?
Some would say the two best teams slugging it out for number one. Those games are fun but often don’t live up to their billing.
I think the best championship games are the ones that aren’t supposed to be close. One team heavily favored and the other team seemingly there by accident. The experts arguing, not over who will win but how much they will win by.
In 1988 the Oakland A’s had two Cy Young candidates as starting pitchers, a dominating closing pitcher and the “Bash Brothers” (aka Mark McGuire and Jose Canseco) smacking the crap out of baseballs. The Dodgers had one great pitcher (Orel Hershiser) and an injured clean-up hitter who could barely walk. They didn’t have a single all-star on the team.
The Dodgers won it in five games.
My favorite memory from that series wasn’t Kirk Gibson’s pinch-hit walk-off home run in game one. It was Mickey Hatcher’s two homers. Hatcher wasn’t on anyone’s roster when the season began but the Dodger’s picked him up after one of their starters got injured. He was only playing because Gibson was too hurt to start.
Hatcher had hit only one home run all year. He hit two in the series. When he hit the first he sprinted around the bases at full speed. Joe Garagiola noted, “He ran in like they thought they were going to take it off the scoreboard!
Game 7 is for all the marbles and starts in ten minutes.