In 1985, it was Al Oliver who came up with a pinch hit, 2 run double to lead the Toronto Blue Jays to a 3-1 victory over the Kansas City Royals. That also put the Jays up 3 games to 1. What was significant about that game is it was the first series after MLB changed its league championship series format to a best of seven after it was a best of five from 1969-1984. Had the old format stuck around for another season, the Blue Jays would have moved on to their first World Series appearance in team history. Instead, the Royals came back to win the series in 7 games, and followed it up with their only WS title.
In 1948, the New York Yankees named former Brooklyn Dodgers and Boston Braves manager Casey Stengel as their new manager, replacing Bucky Harris. Harris had managed the Yankees to the 1947 World Series, but the team failed to win the 1948 Pennant. Stengel was an interesting hire for sure, as he came into his 3rd MLB manager job at 161 games under .500. In his only winning season, the 1938 Boston Braves still finished in 5th place, at 77-75. In the days of the new media, this would have been a highly controversial move, similar to the Yankees selecting of Joe Torre to manage the team for the 1996 season.
In 1907, the Chicago Cubs clinch their first World Series Championship with a 2-0 victory over the Detroit Tigers. Led by pitcher Three Finger Brown, the Cubs won the series in five games 4 games to 0, with one game ending in a tie. This was the first World Series appearance for either club, as the the Cubs would win a rematch next season. The Tigers would return to the World Series in 1909, losing to the Pittsburgh Pirates. Of course, 1908 would be the last time the Chicago Cubs would win a World Series title.
The next most notable baseball moment happened in 1980, where the Philadelphia Phillies clinched the National League Pennant with a 8-7 victory over the Houston Astros at the Astrodome. This series featured 4 extra inning games and was one of the better playing LCS in the history of the series. The game ends with Phillies manager Dallas Green joining the celebratory pile after the last out was recorded.
An extremely notable game on this particular date happened during my lifetime. 1988, the Los Angeles Dodgers, led by Orel Hershiser, beat the New York Mets to clinch the NL Pennant. The improbable series win came after the Mets dominated the regular season series. Hershiser, that season, was as dominant a pitcher as there was in the game. He tossed an easy shutout, setting up the 1988 World Series between them and the Oakland Athletics.
One game that stands out the most is game five of the 1986 ALCS between the Red Sox and Angels. That was the Dave Henderson/ Donnie Moore game which could have clinched the series for the Angels. California had a 3-1 series lead and a 5-2 lead going into the 9th inning. Starter Mike Witt surrendered a 2 run HR to Don Baylor to cut the lead to 5-4. After a left handed reliever came into the game to hit Rich Gedman, putting the tying run at first base, the Angels went to Moore to face Henderson. Henderson hit a two strike forkball over the left field fence to give the Red Sox the lead. However, the Angels would tie the game in the bottom of the inning. The Red Sox would add a run in the 10th off Moore for the 7-6 win. The Red Sox would win the next two games rather decisively to take the AL Pennant.
More baseball history occurred yesterday, as the Tigers beat the Red Sox 1-0 in one of the most interesting games I have ever seen. The Tigers were paced by Anibal Sanchez, who struck out 12 in 6 innings, while giving up no hits. Three relievers kept the Red Sox without a hit for the 7th and 8th. The Red Sox finally got a hit in the 9th as Joaquin Benoit surrendered a one out single to Daniel Nava. The hit kept the Tigers from securing the 3rd no hitter in postseason and the first one in the history of the LCS.