The following is an excerpt from an article written by Bill Ivie in 2014.
Those two words, when discussing the World Series, send shivers down the spines of baseball fans. Those words cause memories from many childhoods to flow like an old film. Those words remind fans of announcersthat provide a soundtrack to their lives.
There may not be a more magical game full of potential, a night more mystical or a single game that provides such awe-inspiring moments as this one.
Welcome to Game 6.
It brings back a flood of memories. After all, it is the night that gave baseball Mr. October. Game 6 of the 1977 World Series would be the final game between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the New York Yankees. Reggie Jackson would make it one to remember by hitting three home runs and driving in five.
Royals fans are no strangers to the mystical moments of Game 6. Their sole World Series Championship was won the last time they found themselves in this position against the St. Louis Cardinals.
That night, October 26, 1985, would yield a blown call by umpire Don Denkinger at first base. For some fans, it was the turning point in the series. For others, it was considered to impact the series but not to an extreme. The severity of that play often depends on which side of Missouri a fan resides on. Cardinals fans blame Denkinger. Royals fans point out that the call only put the tying run on base. Either way, the “Denkinger Play”—or what is often referred to simply as “The Call”—is remembered quite vividly.
It was Game 6 in 1975 that provides an iconic visual memory. Though the Boston Red Sox would not win the World Series that year, they would winGame 6. The extra-inning contest between the Red Sox and Cincinnati Reds would not be decided until the bottom of the 12th inning. It would be hard to find a true baseball fan that could not imitate Carlton Fisk and his mannerisms to try and wave the ball fair as he produced the walk-off home run on that epic night.
Through the voices that bring the games to fans, Game 6 has provided a connection between two World Series played 20 years apart. Facing elimination in 1991, Kirby Puckett gave the Minnesota Twins the opportunity to play one more game when he hit a walk-off home run in extra innings. David Freese would give the Cardinals the same opportunity in 2011. Jack Buck provided the call in 1991 while his son Joe handled the broadcast in 2011. Both iconic announcers proclaimed, “We will see you…tomorrow night”.
It was Tom Cheek, the radio announcer for the Toronto Blue Jays in 1993, that provided another track for that baseball soundtrack.
Game 6 would prove to be the end of that World Series as the Blue Jays entered the bottom of the ninth losing 6-5. With two runners on, Joe Carter stepped to the plate with a chance to live every young baseball fan’s dream. As the ball cleared the left field wall, Carter began to circle the bases, leaping more than running, to a mob of teammates at home plate. As he rounded third base, Cheek provided the words emblazoned in the memories of many fans, “Touch ’em all Joe, you’ll never hit a bigger home run in your life.”
Game 6 is a magical game. It can be climactic, bringing an end to a season-long love affair between fans and the game. It can provide an emotional prequel to the next night’s game. It gives a stage where players become legendary.
Bill Ivie is the founder of i70baseball.
Follow him on Twitter to discuss baseball year round.