1971 Pittsburgh Pirates
To qualify their Cinderella-hood, I should begin by stating that the 1971 Pittsburgh Pirates were plenty great. They won 97 regular season games and buzzed throughout the San Francisco Giants in a four-game NLCS.
However, the Baltimore Oriole group they faced in that year’s World Series was another beast, a 101-win titan that featured four 20-game winners.
After the O’s took the first two matches, most people penciled the defending champs in for a repeat.
Then the unlikely, a three-game conduct which saw them beat Mike Cuellar, Pat Dobson and Dave McNally to be able. After dropping Game 6, the Pirates responded with a Game 7 road win which could cement one of the great upsets in Series history.
1995 Seattle Mariners
Prior to 1995, the Seattle Mariners had finished over .500 only twice in their 18-year existence rather than qualified for the playoffs.
With each losing effort, the prospect of baseball at the Pacific Northwest grew darker and darker. That was, after all, the city that had lost its initial franchise, the Seattle Pilots, after only one season.
Midway through that strike-shortened ???95 time, it seemed like the same. On August 20, the Mariners were 53-53 and 12.5 games behind the first-place California Angels.
Subsequently the unlikely, a scorching run within the year’s final month and change combined with a epic Angels collapse. The clubs finished the regular season tied, and Seattle capped the comeback by winning a one-game playoff.
In the franchise’s first playoff series they dropped the opening two games to the Yankees before lifting another furious comeback to force a decisive Game 5. After there, Seattle place a cherry atop their improbable season by walking-off against New York in the bottom of the 11th inning.
The Mariners would lose in the ALCS to the Cleveland Indians, but too much good came in the ???95 season to end on such a sour note.
Randy Johnson became a celebrity, Edgar Martinez struck the greatest high of his impressive career, and the indelible picture of Ken Griffey Jr. giggling under an onslaught of teammates signified baseball salvation in Seattle.