The drama and excitement of big league baseball's fall classic is at your fingertips ANYTIME, with the "Famous Fall Classics" and "MORE Famous Fall Classics" card sets for HISTORY MAKER BASEBALL! With either set, you get both teams from eight memorable fall classic match ups--sixteen vintage teams from baseball's past autumn glory, yours to enjoy again and again! Here's a capsule summary of each season's match-up…
1947A New York vs. 1947N Brooklyn: With both clubs winning their respective pennants with relative ease, New York and Brooklyn met in a classic trans-Gotham series that went the full seven games. New York won the first two games, before getting out-slugged 9-8 in the third. Game four was almost a New York no-hitter, but Brooklyn not only broke that up with two outs in the ninth, they plated the winning run off a last-gasp double, knotting the series at two games apiece. Following that, the clubs traded wins and losses, and the series ended with New York's 5-2 win in game seven. The first segregated fall classic, featuring Brooklyn's legendary "42!"
1954A Cleveland vs. 1954N New York: Cleveland stormed through the '54 season like no team ever had, racking up a record 111 wins with timely hitting and a star-studded pitching staff bolstered by a couple of rookie whiz-kids. New York headed to the series led by the "Say Hey" kid's 41 home runs and 110 RBI, and an equally impressive pitching staff. Amazingly, the series lasted only four games: a New York sweep, thanks to the aforementioned "kid's" heroics, both at the plate and in the field, giving the senior circuit its first series win in over a decade.
1965A Minnesota vs. 1965N Los Angeles: Making its first appearance in the fall classic since being transplanted in the Twin Cities, Minnesota won the junior circuit pennant with an explosive set of bats that displayed plenty of power. Los Angeles was the opposite: it had a pop-gun offense, but a pitching staff which delivered consistently great performances. L.A. had baseball's two best pitchers, and plenty of support for them from the bullpen, when needed, which was rarely. With that kind of pitching, Los Angeles went in the series heavy favorites, but Minnesota stunned the baseball world by winning games one and two. L.A. settled down to win three of the next four, though, then got a game-seven pitching gem--a shut-out win that claimed baseball's championship for the boys in blue.
1968A Detroit vs. 1968N St. Louis: The "Year of the Pitcher" concluded with a series that featured a Detroit team led by baseball's first 30-game winner since the 1930s, and a St. Louis squad whose headline-making hurler set a new record-low 1.12 ERA in recording 28 complete games and 22 wins, 13 of them shutouts. The St.Louis ace set records in the series, too--striking out 17 Detroit batters in a game one win. St. Louis went on to take a 3-1 series lead, but Detroit roared back to win three straight and take the series in seven games.
1971A Baltimore vs. 1971N Pittsburgh: Baltimore made its third straight series appearance, with an established club that featured big bats, brilliant fielding, and a pitching staff with four 20-game winners. Their series opponent was a Pittsburgh club deep in pitchers and long on power and heart. With their HOF right fielder ripping hits at a better than .400 clip, Pittsburgh bounced back from an 0-2 deficit to win the series in seven games. But it wasn't easy: the O's took game six in extra innings to force the series to the limit, and the Bucs needed everything they had to eke out the 2-1 series-clinching win.
1972A Oakland vs. 1972N Cincinnati: Seemingly more famous for their facial hair than for their baseball skills, Oakland's moustachioed crew delivered the franchise's first pennant since 1931. Oakland had one of the league's top pitching staffs, plenty of oomph in the offense and zip on the base paths. Cincinnati had a roster dotted with future hall of famers, and featured a club similar to Oakland's, without the mustaches. The result was a classic series that went the full seven games, with six of them decided by a single run. Game seven was one of those one-run thrillers--a 3-2 championship-clinching victory for Oakland's green and gold. A great series featuring two 1970s dynasties.
1985A Kansas City vs. 1985N St. Louis: This series was an instant classic, not only because of the geographical proximity of the two teams. Many experts had projected St. Louis to be in the league basement at season's end, but the Birds responded by consistently delivering speed, defense and pitching to edge Pittsburgh for the division and then defeat Los Angeles for the pennant. Kansas City was similarly lightly-regarded, but scratched out the division title winning a season-ending series against California and then knocked off Toronto, the club with the league's best record, aided greatly by a sudden, stubborn Toronto batting slump. This confluence of events produced the "I-70 Series," which went seven games and was notable for multiple pitching gems. In the seventh game, though, the story was offense as Kansas City broke loose for eleven runs in the first five innings enroute to an 11-0 series-ending win.
1986A Boston vs. 1986N New York: This was the capstone series of a post-season marked by non-stop drama. Boston was left for dead in the league championship series, down three games to one to California, and trailing 5-2 entering the ninth inning of game five. Somehow, Boston came back to win the game, 6-5, and the next two games of the series. New York had survived a difficult series of its own, against Houston, winning the last two games in extra innings. That set the stage for what followed: one of the most memorable fall classics ever played. Each team won two games at the other team's ball park. Boston won game five, and led game six by two runs in the bottom of the 10th, needing only a single out to pop open the champagne. Alas, New York put together a string of hits, tied the game, and then won it on a slow roller that inexplicably passed through the legs of the Boston first baseman. Game seven featured another come-from-behind New York win, and the series ended with the New Yorkers enjoying the champagne shower instead of the Bostonians.
1946A Boston vs. 1946N St. Louis: An evenly-matched series saw the two teams trade wins the first six games, and game seven came down to a single, memorable play. In the eighth inning, with two out and St. Louis’ star right-fielder on first base, a looping hit sent him running. Boston’s SS took the throw from the outfield and assumed that the runner would hold at third—but he didn’t! Surprised, the throw home was both late and wide. The score held up as the deciding run in a 4-3 win, earning St. Louis its sixth championship. For Boston, this was its only appearance in the Fall Classic over a span of 50 years, 1918 to 1967.
1962A New York vs. 1962N San Francisco: Making its first appearance in the fall classic since moving to the “City by the Bay,” San Francisco was favored to win the title based on its better record and stats in both pitching and hitting. But the advantage was perhaps lost when bad weather plagued both cities, resulting in a series that stretched a record 13 days. In between weather delays, he teams traded wins, leading to a winner-take-all game seven at Candlestick Park. There, New York earned it’s 20th championship by eking out the game’s only run in the fifth inning, on a run-scoring double play.
1973A Oakland vs. 1973N New York: The Gotham club’s 82-79 regular season record was the worst-ever for any pennant winner in big league history. But it was deceptively poor: the team had struggled through injuries for most of the season, finally getting healthy—and on a roll—late in the year. Oakland was making a return trip to the fall classic after winning it in ’72 with mostly the same sometimes-dysfunctional cast. Meanwhile, the club’s ego-stoked owner ruffled feathers of fans, players and fellow owners with equal aplomb. Oakland took the series in seven games with the help of an unlikely batting hero: a starting pitcher, who hadn’t batted all season due to the DH rule, stroked unlikely doubles that helped win games one and seven. Appropriately, once the series was won, Oakland’s manager promptly quit.
1988A Oakland vs. 1988N Los Angeles: Oakland entered the series as heavy favorites, led by “The Bash Brothers,” a pair of power-hitting young stars. But L.A.’s accomplished pitching staff, led by the ’88 Cy Young winner, shut down Oakland’s powerful bats, and the club took the series in five games. This fall classic is best remembered for pinch-hitting heroics in game one. L.A.'s veteran OF— barely able to walk because of injuries he’d suffered in the league championship series—belted a dramatic, pinch-hit walk-off home run that won the game and set the tone for Los Angeles’ unexpected series success.
1991A Minnesota vs. 1991N Atlanta: Considered by many to have been one of the greatest fall classics ever played, Minnesota emerged with the championship, surviving a series that saw five of its seven games decided by a single run—four of them decided on the final at-bat, three going extra innings. Game seven saw the teams finish nine innings without either having scored. That set up heroics from an unlikely source, a utility man, unable to play the field because of an injured knee, one of just two players left on the bench for Minnesota. Sent to the plate with the bases loaded and one out, he lined a sharp single into center field that scored the winning run and gave Minnesota the title.
1997A Cleveland vs. 1997N Florida: The Sunshine Staters had set a big league franchise record by reaching the fall classic in just their fifth season. They faced a powerful Cleveland squad making its second championship appearance in three years. No matter—Florida completed its surprise ascent to the top of the baseball world by winning a dramatic seven game series that included a 14-11 slug-fest win in game three, and an eleven-inning 3-2 nail-biter in game seven that made them the first-ever wild card team to win the title.
2001A New York vs. 2001N Arizona: Another memorable seven-game series that ranks among the greats for its tightly-contested efforts and extra-inning finishes. A club in just its fourth season of existence, Arizona broke Florida’s ’97 record for the quickest fall classic appearance. After Arizona easily won games one and two, New York charged back to win three in a row, and poised itself for the title everyone expected it would nail down. But Arizona rallied, behind the pitching of “The Big Unit,” who was named series MVP. The fireballing lefty had pitched a shut-out in game two, started and won game six, then came on in relief in game seven and wound up winning that game as well after his club came from behind with two runs in the bottom of the ninth to defeat New York 3-2.
2005A Chicago vs. 2005N Houston: Most of the drama of this series occurred before the series was actually played. Houston, a club founded in 1962, was making its first-ever appearance in the fall classic, and was attempting to become the fourth consecutive wild card team to win the championship. Chicago had waited even longer to get to the series—it had last appeared in the fall classic in ’59, three years before the Houston club was even born—and had not won the title since 1917. Chicago grabbed first place on opening day 2005 and stayed there the entire season, sweeping past Boston and Los Angeles in the playoffs. Houston, meanwhile, had the opposite experience: it grappled and grasped all year, securing the wild card berth on the final day of the season, then struggling past heavily-favored Atlanta and St. Louis in the next rounds. Seemingly drained, the Lone Star club put up little resistance in the fall classic, with Chicago completing the sweep with 1-0 pitching gem in game four.
Everything you need to re-live each of these great series is HERE, in two great vintage baseball-lover's packages! In each collection, you get 27 cards for each of the sixteen teams--over 400 cards in all, PLUS, you also get individual cards for each of the series' actual umpires, as well as ball park cards and suggested batting orders. Hours of classic baseball fun and excitement, and either set is just $24! Order YOURS now!