World Series Timeline (1976-2000)

ESPN illustration

Intro | 1903-25 | 1926-50 | 1951-75 | 1976-2000 | 2001-15

Cincinnati (NL) 4, New York (AL) 0

MVP: Johnny Bench

Why the Reds won: They outclassed the Yankees in every phase, coming in with a better rotation, 'pen and lineup; the first use of the DH in the WS only made things worse for New York, since the Reds could start Dan Driessen (.714 SLG in the series).

Why the Yankees lost: They were up against one of the best teams of all time; the AL pennant determined who'd lose to the Reds.

Memorable moment: Bench's three-run homer in the ninth in Game 4 was his second bomb of the game, and sealed Cincinnati's series rout.

Key stat: 0. The number of reserves Sparky Anderson used in the series.

New York (AL) 4, Los Angeles (NL) 2

MVP: Reggie Jackson

Why the Yankees won: Reggie Jackson's five HRs set a WS record, plus Mike Torrez and Ron Guidry threw three CG wins.

Why the Dodgers lost: The Dodgers pounded nine HRs of their own (three by Reggie Smith), but losing Game 1 in the 12th put them behind before they ran into Torrez, Guidry and Mr. October.

Memorable moment: After hitting two HRs earlier in Game 6, Jackson hit his third of the game in the eighth, a 475-foot shot off Charlie Hough.

Key stat: 4-for-4 vs. 4. The number of home runs hit on consecutive swings of the bat by Jackson, doing it against four different pitchers.

New York (AL) 4, Los Angeles (NL) 2

MVP: Bucky Dent

Why the Yankees won: They rallied from down 2-0, averaging 12 hits and runs while getting CG wins from Ron Guidry and rookie Jim Beattie, while Graig Nettles flashed serious leather at third.

Why the Dodgers lost: Other than Tommy John, everyone on the staff got hit hard, and few hitters made any noise beyond Davey Lopes (three HRs).

Memorable moment: In the sixth inning of Game 4, Reggie Jackson may or may not have deliberately interfered with a ball as a baserunner. The throw to first hit him, averting a double play and allowing the Yankees to score a critical run.

Key stat: 10. The number of hits from Bucky Dent, who added seven RBIs.

Pittsburgh (NL) 4, Baltimore (AL) 3

MVP: Willie Stargell

Why the Pirates won: Time and again, the Pirates rallied late off a weak Orioles 'pen, scoring 13 runs in 17 frames after the sixth inning.

Why the Orioles lost: Not having the DH cost the O's the bat of Lee May, while Eddie Murray, Ken Singleton and Gary Roenicke hit one HR combined after combining for 85 on the season; Murray went 0-for-his-last-21.

Memorable moment: Dave Parker jacked a two-run HR in the sixth inning of Game 7 to give the Pirates a lead they wouldn't lose.

Key stat: 39. That was Willie Stargell's age as "Pop" became the oldest MVP in WS history after tying Reggie Jackson's WS record for total bases (set in '77).

Philadelphia (NL) 4, Kansas City (AL) 2

MVP: Mike Schmidt

Why the Phillies won: Steve Carlton won Game 2, despite allowing four runs and 16 baserunners in eight IP, but pitched better to win Game 6.

Why the Royals lost: Pitching in all six games, Dan Quisenberry blew saves and lost Games 2 and 5.

Memorable moment: Down 5-1 in Game 4, Phillies reliever Dickie Noles brushed back George Brett, who'd flirted with .400 during the season. Mike Schmidt refers to it as "the greatest brushback in WS history."

Key stat: 1.176, Schmidt's OPS in the series. The Phillies' third baseman ripped a pair of homers, scored the winning run in Game 5, and drove in the winning scores in Game 6.

Los Angeles (NL) 4, New York (AL) 2

Co-MVPs: Ron Cey, Pedro Guerrero and Steve Yeager

Why the Dodgers won: They came from behind to win all three games in L.A. by one run.

Why the Yankees lost: Tight games put relievers Ron Davis and George Frazier on the spot; Frazier tied a WS record with three losses.

Memorable moment: In Game 6 with no DH, Bob Lemon pinch-hit for Tommy John in the bottom of the fourth with the score tied 1-1. The Dodgers scored seven runs off the 'pen in the next two innings.

Key stat: 13-of-24. That's how many of the Yankees' series runs Davis and Frazier allowed, taking closer Goose Gossage out of the series after the first two games.

St. Louis (NL) 4, Milwaukee (AL) 3

MVP: Darrell Porter

Why the Cardinals won: Lineup depth, speed and defense, with Ozzie Smith and Willie McGee throwing some serious leather. Plus closer Bruce Sutter's durability.

Why the Brewers lost: The absence of injured relief ace Rollie Fingers left them without a closer.

Memorable moment: The impact of Fingers' absence was clear in the bottom of the eighth inning of Game 2, when Pete Ladd walked consecutive batters to force in the winning run.

Key stat: 1.35, the ERA of Cardinals ace starter Joaquin Andujar while winning Games 3 and 7.

Baltimore (AL) 4, Philadelphia (NL) 1

MVP: Rick Dempsey

Why the Orioles won: Mike Boddicker (Game 2) and Scott McGregor (Game 5) tossed complete-game gems as the O's held the Phillies to a .228 OBP.

Why the Phillies lost: Using three starters to the O's four put rookie Charles Hudson in Games 2 and 5, losing both while giving up four HRs in 8 1/3 IP.

Memorable moment: O's skipper Joe Altobelli sent up four straight pinch-hitters in the sixth inning of Game 4, scoring two to take the lead.

Key stat: 1-for-20. Mike Schmidt's line for the series, with no walks or extra-base hits.

Detroit (AL) 4, San Diego (NL) 1

MVP: Alan Trammell

Why the Tigers won: Star talent came up big, as SS Alan Trammell hammered a pair of two-run homers to win Game 4, while Jack Morris spun two CG two-run starts for wins.

Why the Padres lost: They were outclased, but also short in the lineup after CF Kevin McReynolds got hurt in the NLCS.

Memorable moment: Kirk Gibson's three-run HR off Goose Gossage in the bottom of the eighth in Game 5, sealing the win and the series.

Key stat: 0.75. The ERA of the Tigers' bullpen as MVP and Cy Young winner Willie Hernandez and company shut the Padres down.

Kansas City 4 (AL), St. Louis 3 (NL)

MVP: Bret Saberhagen

Why the Royals won: Bret Saberhagen came up big. The Series MVP won Game 3 when K.C. was down 2-0 then took care of a huge lead in Game 7.

Why the Cardinals lost: The Cardinals' offense struggled over five games.

Memorable moment: Umpire Don Denkinger's blown call at first first base in Game 6 to open the Royals' two-run eighth inning.

Key stat: .185. The Cardinals' batting average over the seven-game series.

New York (NL) 4, Boston (AL) 3

MVP: Ray Knight

Why the Mets won: Pitching. Even with Dwight Gooden's two bad games, the Mets still had a 3.29 ERA.

Why the Red Sox lost: Could not capitalize after winning the first two games on the road, losing next two in Boston.

Memorable moment: The ball rolling through Bill Buckner's legs to end Game 6.

Key stat: .391. Series MVP Ray Knight's batting average.

Minnesota (AL) 4, St. Louis (NL) 3

MVP: Frank Viola

Why the Twins won: The Twins won all four of their home games in a series in which no road team won.

Why the Cardinals lost: Starters John Tudor, Danny Cox and Joe Magrane all had ERAs higher than 5.73.

Memorable moment: Game 6 was played at 4 p.m. ET. There hasn't been a day World Series game since.

Key stat: 63. Number of years since the Twins' previous title in 1924, when they were the Washington Senators.

Los Angeles (NL) 4, Oakland (AL) 1

MVP: Orel Hershiser

Why the Dodgers won: The Dodgers' pitchers posted a 2.03 ERA, led by series MVP Orel Hershiser.

Why the A's lost: The combination of "Bash Brothers" Jose Canseco and Mark McGwire went 2-for-36.

Memorable moment: Kirk Gibson's pinch-hit, walk-off, two-run shot off A's closer Dennis Eckersley in Game 1 is perhaps the most famous home run in World Series history.

Key stat: 1. Gibson, who came into the series with an injured knee, batted that one and only time.

Oakland (AL) 4, San Francisco (NL) 0

MVP: Dave Stewart

Why the A's won: After a horrible 1988 Series, Jose Canseco and Mark McGwire hit a combined .323, and the team hit .301.

Why the Giants lost: Let us count the ways. Their staff finished with 8.21 ERA, they hit .209 as a team and were outscored 32-14.

Memorable moment: A major earthquake struck approximately 30 minutes before first pitch of Game 3.

Key stat: 10. The break between when Game 3 was supposed to be played (Oct. 17) and when it was played (Oct. 27) because of the earthquake.

Cincinnati (NL) 4, Oakland (AL) 0

MVP: Jose Rijo

Why the Reds won: Starting pitcher Jose Rijo dominated, winning twice (Games 1 and 4) and allowing one run in 15.1 innings.

Why the A's lost: For the second time in the three World Series, Jose Canseco and Mark McGwire struggled, combining to go 4-for-25.

Memorable moment: Billy Hatcher set a World Series record with seven consecutive hits.

Key stat: 0. The number of earned runs allowed by "The Nasty Boys" -- Rob Dibble, Norm Charlton and Randy Myers.

Minnesota (AL) 4, Atlanta (NL) 3

MVP: Jack Morris

Why the Twins won: Just like in the 1987 series, Minnesota took care of its business at home in a series when no road team won.

Why the Braves lost: The Braves couldn't figure out Jack Morris, who had a 1.17 ERA over three starts.

Memorable moment: Game 7 went 10 innings and ended in 1-0 Twins win. Morris pitched all 10 innings in a duel with the Braves' John Smoltz.

Key stat: 4. The number of one-run games in the Series.

Toronto (AL) 4, Atlanta (NL) 2

MVP: Pat Borders

Why the Blue Jays won: he Blue Jays held on in one-run games; all four of their wins were in one-run games.

Why the Braves lost: The Braves scored a total of just three runs from the seventh inning on in the Series.

Memorable moment: Ed Sprague hit a two-run homer in the ninth inning of Game 2 to give Toronto its 5-4 win.

Key stat: 20. The Braves scored 20 runs in the Series; the Jays 17. Yet Toronto won the title.

Toronto (AL) 4, Philadelphia (NL)

MVP: Paul Molitor

Why the Blue Jays won: The Blue Jays' offense erupted, hitting .311 in over the six games.

Why the Phillies lost: The Phillies couldn't hold a lead, coughing up five-run, eighth-inning lead in Game 4 over a one-run, ninth-inning lead in Game 6.

Memorable moment: Joe Carter's series-ending homer in the ninth against Mitch Williams.

Key stat: 2. The number of losses for Phillies closer Mitch Williams.

Atlanta (NL) 4, Cleveland (AL) 2

MVP: Tom Glavine

Why the Braves won: The Braves' pitchers, long their strength, posted a 2.67 ERA over six games.

Why the Indians lost: Like many teams, the Indians couldn't do anything against Braves pitching, hitting just .179.

Memorable moment: The Braves won their first World Series title.

Key stat: .360. The team-best series batting average of the Braves' Marquis Grissom.

New York (AL) 4, Atlanta (NL) 2

MVP: John Wetteland

Why the Yankees won: After scoring just one run in the first two games, the Yankees did just enough to assist the solid pitching they got the rest of the series.

Why the Braves lost: The Braves couldn't do anything with the back end of the Yanks' bullpen, notably John Wetteland and Mariano Rivera.

Memorable moment: The Yankees overcame a 6-0 deficit in Game 4, scoring eight unanswered runs for an 8-6 win.

Key stat: 4,272. That was the number of games Yankees skipper Joe Torre played or managed before competing in a World Series.

Florida (NL) 4, Cleveland (AL) 3

MVP: Livan Hernandez

Why the Marlins won: Livan Hernandez, the NLCS MVP, was just as good in the World Series, winning two games to become World Series MVP.

Why the Indians lost: The bullpen made a mess of Game 3, giving up seven runs in the ninth, and Jose Mesa gave up a run in Game 7 to allow the game to go into extras.

Memorable moment: Edgar Renteria's Series-winning RBI in the bottom of the 11th of Game 7.

Key stat: 1. One team won the World Series after being the wild card. And that was this Marlins team.

New York (AL) 4, San Diego (NL) 0

MVP: Scott Brosius

Why the Yankees won: The Yankees blitzed Padres pitchers, hitting .309 in four games. Ricky Ledee had six hits in 10 at-bats.

Why the Padres lost: The Padres fell behind in three of the four games and never could recover, thanks a pitching staff that had a 5.82 ERA.

Memorable moment: Tino Martinez's grand slam in a seven-run seventh inning of Game 1 broke a tie and changed the Series.

Key stat: 3. The number of saves for the great Mariano Rivera.

New York (AL) 4, Atlanta (NL) 0

MVP: Mariano Rivera

Why the Yankees won: The Yankees' pitching staff posted a 2.19 ERA over four games.

Why the Braves lost: Along with being unable to hit -- the Braves batted .200 -- they gave up a crushing walk-off homer to Chad Curtis in Game 3.

Memorable moment: Pete Rose's on-field interview during the All-Century team ceremony.

Key stat: 2. A year after picking up three saves, Mariano Rivera got two more and the Series MVP.

New York (AL) 4, New York (NL) 1

MVP: Derek Jeter

Why the Yankees won: The Mets could not get Derek Jeter out. Jeter hit .409 with two homers, two doubles and a triple.

Why the Mets lost: The Mets kept falling behind, allowing the Yankees to score first in four of five games.

Memorable moment: Roger Clemens throws a shattered bat at Mike Piazza along the first-base line.

Key stat: 12. The number of strikeouts by the Yankess' Orlando "El Duque" Hernandez in Game 3.