Greatest Moments in Marlins History: #25 The Fall Classic
By Andy Salgado
Dec 11, 2013; Orlando, FL, USA; Detroit Tigers former manager Jim Leyland signs an autograph during the MLB Winter Meetings at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort. Mandatory Credit: David Manning-USA TODAY Sports
Welcome back to the Greatest Moments in Marlins History. We are finally in the top 25 moments in Marlins history. We have talked about a lot of firsts on this list. First hits, first strike outs, first wins, first Gold Gloves, and so forth, but this first may just have put Miami on the baseball map. Today for moment 25 we bring you October 18, 1997, the Marlins first ever World Series game.
The Fall Classic is where dreams and great moments come true. After only 5 seasons in the majors, the Marlins had reached their first World Series. To make their mark on history all the Marlins had to do was beat the Cleveland Indians. On the mound for Cleveland was the same pitcher the Marlins faced on their inaugural game back in 1993, Orel Hershiser. For the Marlins it was the rookie sensation Livan Hernandez. The Indians struck first in the 1st inning with David Justice singling in Bip Roberts to take a 1-0 lead. Orel seemed to have the Marlins number until the 3rd inning.
In the 3rd inning Edgar Renteria scored Craig Counsell with a grounder to 1st to tie the game at 1-1. The game stayed tied until Moises Alou came up to the bat in the 4th inning. With a person on 1st and 2nd, Alou sent an 0-2 pitch down the left field line. As everyone watched we all hoped it would stay fair. It did, hitting the fair poll, and it gave the Marlins a 4-1 lead and their first World Series home run! Charles Johnson would follow that with a jack of his own to put the score at 5-1. Manny Ramirez would homer the next inning off of Livan to cut the lead to 5-2, but Jeff Conine would single in Gary Sheffield the next inning and Bobby Bonilla would score on a wild pitch that same inning to take the lead to 7-2. Could the Marlins hold this lead?
Jim Thome would homer in the 6th inning to cut the lead to 7-3. Livan would record 2 outs that inning before being relieved by Dennis Cook. In his first World Series game Livan went 5.2 innings, allowed 8 hits, 3 R, 3 ER, 5 SO, and had an ERA of 2.21. Not bad for a rookie. If the scored held up Livan would get the win. In the 8th Brian Giles tried to rally the Indians with a double that scored Marquis Grissom, but it wouldn’t be enough as Robb Nenn faced 5 batters in the 9th and didn’t let any of them past 2nd base and got the first Marlins World Series game save! The Marlins win 7-4!
What a way to start off the top 25. Join me tomorrow as we take a look at a break that isn’t a record.