The 2014 World Series is underway, and with that, I thought it would be nice to look back at the Yankees' five most recent World Series championships and figure out which World Series was the most exciting to watch. Every one of them had different reasons to be one's favorite, and each of them have plays that stand out in Yankees fans' minds.
1996 your favorite? Wouldn't be surprising as that was the World Series that involved the Yankees, an underdog at the time, coming back from an 0-2 deficit, after losing the first two games at home, and going on to take the next four, three of which were in Atlanta. Some highlights included a huge game-tying home run from Jim Leyritz that saw the Yankees come back to tie the game after being down by six, a fantastic pitchers' duel between Andy Pettitte and John Smoltz, that ended with a great catch by Paul O'Neill, and a Game 6 triple by Joe Girardi that put the Yankees ahead for good. Let's not forget Charlie Hayes jumping up with joy after making the final catch, and Wade Boggs riding on a horse.
1998 of course was a magical year, but the World Series is probably most remembered for Tino Martinez's seventh inning grand slam, a grand slam that pretty much extinguished the Padres' chances, even though it was just Game 1. Scott Brosius was MVP, and he had a big time home run off Padres' closer, Trevor Hoffman. The Yankees went on to sweep the series and cemented themselves as one of the greatest teams ever. Martinez's grand slam is still talked about to this day, and many say it is the loudest they have ever heard the stadium... the old stadium that is.
1999 featured a rematch of the 1996 World Series, but this one wasn't as exciting as the 1996 one. The Braves didn't give the Yankees as much fits as before, and the Yankees went on to sweep the series, giving them the title of "team of the decade." The most memorable highlight is probably Chad Curtis' game winning home run in Game 3, his second home run of the game. Curtis also made the final out that wrapped up the series. Although Chad Curtis is a name that the Yankees would rather not have associated with them anymore for obvious reasons.
While 2000 was one of the lowest-rated World Series ever, it was huge in NYC as the Yankees and Mets met up. Game 1 didn't disappoint as it involved a classic at-bat by O'Neill against everyone's favorite, Armando Benitez, and a walk-off hit by Jose Vizcaino. Derek Jeter of course played a huge part in the series, winning MVP and becoming the first Yankee to ever win MVP of the All-Star Game and World Series in the same year. We can't forget Roger Clemens throwing a broken bat at Mike Piazza, and we also can't forget the very loud, final out off of Piazza's bat that looked like a game-tying home run, but found its way into Bernie Williams' glove as the Yankees took it in five games.
And then there is 2009, the last time the Yankees were in the World Series. This series wasn't a borefest at all, as it took the Yankees six games to win it all against the Phillies. Hideki Matsui was the MVP, and the Yankees beat Pedro Martinez twice in the series. Game 4 featured the Yankees giving up a lead, and regaining it on a ninth inning double by Alex Rodriguez, an inning that also saw Johnny Damon steal second and third base on one play. Matsui had six RBI in the series-clinching game too.
Of the five most recent championships, which is your favorite World Series?