The 1997 World Series was widely regarded as one of the most exciting Series in recent memory. It featured the Cleveland Indians, who were heading to their second World Series in three years. Their opponents were the Florida Marlins, who had set a record by reaching the Series in only their fifth season of operation. The Marlins were huge underdogs as they capped a stunning season by beating the Indians in seven games, four games to three. The final of Game 7 was decided in extra innings on an Edgar Rentería single. This World Series was the first won by a wild card team.
Series MVP: Liván Hernández (Florida)
|W: Livan Hernandez (1-0) L: Orel Hershiser (0-1) S: Robb Nen (1)|
|HR: CLE – Manny Ramirez (1), Jim Thome (1) FLA – Moises Alou (1), Charles Johnson (1)|
October 19, 1997 at Joe Robbie Stadium (Florida Marlins)
|W: Chad Ogea (1-0) L: Kevin Brown (0-1)|
|HR: CLE – Sandy Alomar Jr. (1)|
Cleveland tied the series at 1-1 behind a strong effort by Chad Ogea, limiting the Marlins to one run in 6.2 innings. The Indians offense did their part as well, scoring six runs off of Marlins ace Kevin Brown.
|W: Dennis Cook (1-0) L: Eric Plunk (0-1) S: Robb Nen (1)|
|HR: FLA – Gary Sheffield (1), Darren Daulton (1), Jim Eisenreich (1) CLE – Jim Thome (2)|
The Marlins won one of the highest-scoring games in World Series history, scoring 14 runs (including a seven-run 9th) off of seven Indians pitchers. Gary Sheffield led the way for Florida with 5 RBI
October 22, 1997 at Jacobs Field (Cleveland Indians)
|W: Jaret Wright (1-0) L: Tony Saunders (0-1)|
|HR: FLA – Moises Alou (2) CLE – Manny Ramirez (2), Matt Williams (1)|
Manny Ramirez and Matt Williams each homered as Cleveland's offense stayed prolific against the Florida pitching staff, chasing starter Tony Saunders after only two innings. Cleveland starter Jaret Wright allowed three runs in six innings en route to the win.
October 23, 1997 at Jacobs Field (Cleveland Indians)
|W: Livan Hernandez (2-0) L: Orel Hershiser (0-2) S: Robb Nen (3)|
|HR: FLA – Moises Alou (3) CLE – Sandy Alomar Jr. (2)|
Livan Hernandez earned his second win of the series, with an eight-inning, 142-pitch performance that gave some much-needed rest to the Marlins' bullpen. Moises Alou hit his third home run of the series.
October 25, 1997 at Joe Robbie Stadium (Florida Marlins)
|W: Chad Ogea (2-0) L: Kevin Brown (0-2) S: Jose Mesa (1)|
Playing in Miami, Indians pitcher Chad Ogea flourished under the National League rules, driving in more runs (two) than he allowed (one) in five innings of work. The Cleveland bullpen followed him with four shutout innings to tie the series at 3-3 and set up a decisive Game 7.
October 26, 1997 at Joe Robbie Stadium (Florida Marlins)
|W: Jay Powell (1-0) L: Charles Nagy (0-1)|
|HR – FLA: Bobby Bonilla (1)|
The finale of the series was its best-pitched game, featuring strong performances by starters Al Leiter and Jaret Wright. Cleveland took an early 2-0 lead, but Florida tied it following Bobby Bonilla's solo home run in the 7th and Craig Counsell's sacrifice fly (scoring Moises Alou) in the 9th. Counsell went on to score the winning run in the 11th, coming home on an Edgar Renteria single.
- Game 7 was played on Indians manager Mike Hargrove's birthday.
- This was third time in the 1990s that the World Series-winning run was scored on the final at-bat (as was the case in 1991 and 1993).
- NBC commentators made light of Indians outfielder Bip Roberts' bout with the flu during the course of the series.
- Soon after Game 7 was complete, rumors on the internet started to spread that the 1989 (released four years before the Florida Marlins made their debut) film Back to the Future Part II accurately predicted their 1997 World Series victory. In reality, the movie stated that, in 2015, a Miami team would lose to the Chicago Cubs.
- Midway through one of the games in Miami, "surprise guest" Joe DiMaggio joined NBC's Bob Costas, Joe Morgan, and Bob Uecker in the television booth. DiMaggio joked that Morgan was a "Hall of Famer", Costas was a "Future Hall of Famer", but he didn't know what to think of when it came to Uecker. Ironically enough, the Baseball Hall of Fame would present Uecker with its Ford C. Frick Award several years later.
- NBC's West Coast president Don Ohlmeyer disturbed Major League Baseball when he publicly wished the World Series to end in a four game sweep so that it wouldn't derail NBC's fall entertainment schedule. (Game 5 fell on a Thursday, which had long been the highest rated night on NBC's schedule, if not on all of television.)
- Many Marlins players wrote the #32 on their caps in support of pitcher Alex Fernandez, who tore his rotator cuff during the first round of the playoffs.
- The Game 4 temperature in Cleveland, Ohio was fifteen degrees Fahrenheit (minus 9 degrees Celsius), setting a new record for the coldest game in World Series history.
- Game 7 of the 1997 World Series was the second longest game seven ever played in any World Series to date.
- Liván Hernández's mother, who resided in Cuba at the time, was permitted to attend Game 7 on a visa before having to leave early for security reasons.
- Even though Liván Hernández was named the Most Valuable Player of the 1997 World Series, Moisés Alou in retrospect, was the true star as he led the Marlins by hitting .321 with three home runs and nine RBIs.
- Game 7 forced the scheduled National Football League game between the Chicago Bears and the Miami Dolphins to be played the following night.
- The Marlins became the first team ever to win a World Series Game 7 after trailing entering the 9th inning.
- If the Indians had held on to win, the MVP likely would have been either Sandy Alomar, Jr. (.367 batting average, 2 home runs, 10 RBI) or Chad Ogea (2 wins, 1.54 ERA).
- Unless you count the 1995 World Series (which was broadcast under the short-lived revenue sharing joint-venture The Baseball Network), then the 1997 World Series marked the first time that NBC televised a World Series in 9 years (the last being in 1988).
Quote of the Series
- 1997 World Series by Baseball Almanac
- History of the World Series - 1997
- 1997 Florida Marlins
- 1997 Cleveland Indians
- Did the 1989 film Back to the Future II predict that the Florida Marlins would win the 1997 World Series?
|Major League Baseball World Series|