The year 2003 was a big year for me. I graduated from high school, moved out of the house, got a job that I’ve been at for 10 years now, and started college where I would meet my wife. But on this day 10 years ago something else big happened… the Marlins beat the New York Yankees 2-0 to claim their 2nd World Series. It really was a good year.
Before we get to that day, let’s have a little back story. In the 2003 off season Mr. Loria signed Ivan Rodriguez and at the press conference Pudge guaranteed that they were making the playoffs. Well, at the beginning it didn’t look that way. The Marlins started the season 16-22 and later on fired their manager Jeff Torborg and hired Jack McKeon. After that things began to pick up. The Marlins would claim the Wild Card spot for the second time in their franchise’s history, they would beat the Giants for the second time, come back from a 3-1 series deficit against the Cubs in the NLCS, and face the Yankees in the World Series. It was a fun season, but what about the World Series itself?
The Marlins took Game 1 from the Yankees winning 3-2 with Brad Penny on the mound. The Yankees did not take too kindly to this and took game 2 and 3 from the Marlins. The Marlins answered back in game 4 with a 12 inning walk-off home run from Alex Gonzalez to tie the series up 2-2. Game 5 went to the Fish 6-4 thanks to Ugueth Urbina shutting down the Yankees 9th inning comeback. This brings us to October 25, 2003, game 6!
10 years ago today Jack McKeon made a decision to start Josh Beckett on only 3 days of rest, and boy did he make a great decision. This game marked the 100th World Series Game ever played at Yankee Stadium and the Marlins wanted it. The first 4 innings were a duel between Andy Pettitte and Josh Beckett both not giving anything up. Then comes the top of the 5th when Luis Castillo singled to RF scoring Gonzo giving the Marlins a 1-0 lead. The way Beckett was pitching that one run was all we would need but just in case in the top of the 6thJuan Encarnacion sac flied Jeff Conine in to give us a 2-0 lead. Josh was hot, striking out 9, only walking 2, and giving up 5 hits; but the moment that defined this series came in the bottom of the 9th. With 2 outs, no one on, and Jorge Posada up to bat he took a 1-1 pitch and grounded it back to Josh who then tagged out Jorge giving the Marlins there 2nd World Series in 10 years; and we beat the Yankees none the less.
At the beginning of that season nothing was expected from the Marlins. Then, on that fateful night of October 25, 2003 in New York, the Marlins proved that anything can happen in baseball. It’s always fun looking back at this day and wondering what will be the next magical moment for the Marlins. Who knows, maybe it can be the 2014 season? Anything can happen. Till next time… Let’s Go Marlins!