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World Series Game 7 history

Taking a look back at the first 38 Game 7's in World Series history.
Ty Cobb (left) and Honus Wagner (right) participated in the first-ever Game 7 in World Series history. (Photo: Getty Images)

There is nothing in sports that can compare to Game 7 of a World Series. 

On Wednesday night, the Houston Astros and Los Angeles Dodgers will compete in the 39th Game 7 in World Series history, which dates back to 1903.

While there will be new names that will be etched into this historic game's record books on Wednesday, let's take a look back at the previous Game 7's at the World Series: 

Oct. 16, 1909: Pittsburgh Pirates 8, Detroit Tigers 0

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Babe Adams pitches a complete-game, six-hit shutout on just one day of rest to blank the Tigers in the first-ever Game 7 in World Series history. Hall of Famer Honus Wagner drives in a pair of runs as he outduels Detroit star Ty Cobb, who will appear in his last World Series that season despite being just 22 years old. The Tigers made three-straight World Series' from 1907-1909, but lost all three, twice to the Chicago Cubs before the Pirates in '09. 

 

Oct. 16, 1912: Boston Red Sox 3, New York Giants 2 (10 innings)

In a pitcher's duel that featured Boston's Smoky Joe Wood and New York's Christy Matthewson, Game 7 (technically 8 after Game 2 was tied and called due to darkness) of the 1912 World Series went into extra innings tied at one. After Fred Merkle's single in the top of the 10th put New York up 2-1, Tris Speaker singled in Clyde Engle, who reached base after Fred Snodgrass dropped his pop up, and moving Steve Yerkes to third. Yerkes would score the series-winning run on a sacrifice fly hit by Larry Gardner as the Red Sox managed to come back against one of the era's most dominant pitchers in Matthewson. 

 

Oct. 10, 1924: Washington Senators 4, New York Giants 3 (12 innings)

Trailing 3-1 going into the bottom-of-the-eighth inning, the Senators scratched out a pair of runs to force extras thanks to a Bucky Harris single. They would win the game when Earl McNeely's grounder made it through the left side of the infield, scoring Muddy Ruel from second. Hall of Famer Walter Johnson pitched the final four innings of the game, allowing just three hits in relief. It would be Washington's only championship before moving to Minnesota in 1961. The city has not seen a title since.

 

Oct. 15, 1925: Pittsburgh Pirates 9, Washington Senators 7 

While Walter Johnson got the win in Game 7 of the '24 World Series, he was unable to close the doors on the Pirates the following year. Washington took a 6-3 lead before Pittsburgh roared back for five runs in their last two at bats. 

 

Oct. 10, 1926: St. Louis Cardinals 3, New York Yankees 2

In one of the most heroic relief outings in the game's history, Grover Cleveland Alexander records the final seven outs in a rare relief appearance, including striking out Hall of Famer Tony Lazzeri to get out of a bases-loaded jam in the seventh inning to preserve St. Louis' lead. Babe Ruth becomes the first, and only, player to record the final out of a World Series attempting to steal a base. 

 

Oct. 10, 1931: St. Louis Cardinals 4, Philadelphia Athletics 2

Four runs in the first three innings were all that a combination of Burleigh Grimes and Bill Hallahan would need to secure their second World Series title in franchise history.

 

Oct. 9, 1934: St. Louis Cardinals 11, Detroit Tigers 0

Just a day removed from winning Game 6, Cardinals pitcher Dizzy Dean spun an absolute gem to secure St. Louis' third-straight Game 7 triumph in a World Series. He went the distance, allowing just six hits while first baseman Ripper Collins went 4-for-5 with a pair of RBI in the win. 

 

Oct. 8, 1940: Cincinnati Reds 2, Detroit Tigers 1

The Reds managed to come back on the Tigers, who were given a heroic effort from their starter Bobo Newsome. Just days after his father died of a heart attack, Newsome limited the Reds to just four hits in the first six innings as the Tigers took a 1-0 lead. But Cincinnati got to him in the seventh thanks to  a Jimmy Ripple RBI double and a run-scoring sacrifice fly by Billy Myers. 

 

Oct. 10, 1945: Detroit Tigers 9, Chicago Cubs 3

The Tigers scored five runs in the first inning and never looked back. But this series was best known for the establishment of the Cubs' famed "Curse of the Billy Goat". The '45 World Series was Chicago's final appearance in the Fall Classic until their triump in 2016, breaking a 108-year drought. 

 

Oct. 15, 1946: St. Louis Cardinals 4, Boston Red Sox 3

Known for Enos Slaughter's mad dash home, the Cardinals won the series in their final turn at bat when the St. Louis right fielder scored all the way from first on a single by Harry Walker. It was the Red Sox's first appearance in a World Series since their 1918 triumph over the Cubs. They wouldn't win another championship until 2004.

 

Oct. 6, 1947: New York Yankees 5, Brooklyn Dodgers 2

After taking a 2-0 lead in the top of the second, Brooklyn surrendered five unanswered runs to the Yankees. The win sparked a remarkable streak for the Yankees in which they won eight championships over the next 12 seasons. 

 

Oct. 7, 1952: New York Yankees 4, Brooklyn Dodgers 2

Holding that 4-2 lead in the seventh inning, the Dodgers looked as though they had a big rally in store by loading the bases with one out. But reliever Bob Kuzava set down Hall of Famers Duke Snider and Jackie Robinson to escape the jam.

 

Oct. 4, 1955: Brooklyn Dodgers 2, New York Yankees 0

After four failed attempts, the Dodgers finally got the best of the Yankees in the World Series to win the franchise's first and only title in Brooklyn. Twenty-two-year-old Johnny Podres managed to pitch a shutout despite allowing eight hits on the afternoon. 

 

Oct. 10, 1956: New York Yankees 9, Brooklyn Dodgers 0

Yogi Berra and Moose Skowron drove in four runs apiece, providing plenty of support for Yankees starter Johnny Kucks, who allowed just three hits over nine innings. 

 

Oct. 10, 1957: Milwaukee Braves 5, New York Yankees 0

Lew Burdette won his third game of the World Series, pitching a seven-hit shutout. His three wins have only been replicated 11 other times in World Series history.

 

Oct. 9, 1958: New York Yankees 6, Milwaukee Braves 2

Moose Skowron's three-run home run in the eighth inning broke open a 2-2 deadlock to carry the Yankees to the title. 

 

Oct. 13, 1960: Pittsburgh Pirates 10, New York Yankees 9

In one of the most famous moments in MLB history, Bill Mazeroski's solo home run in the bottom of the ninth broke a 9-9 tie to deliver the Pirates their first championship since 1925. 

 

Oct. 16, 1962: New York Yankees 1, San Francisco Giants 0

Ralph Terry shut the Giants down in a complete-game, four-hit shutout, allowing Tony Kubek's run-scoring double play in the fifth inning to prove as the game's winning run.

 

Oct. 15, 1964: St. Louis Cardinals 7, New York Yankees 5

On two-days rest, St. Louis' Bob Gibson allows just three runs over eight innings to stymie the Yankees long enough for the offense put up six in a two-inning span during the fourth and fifth innings. 

 

Oct. 14, 1965: Los Angeles Dodgers 2, Minnesota Twins 0

Sandy Koufax's legend grew during this Game 7, allowing just three hits in a complete-game shutout. He set down 13 of Minnesota's final 14 batters while striking out 10.

 

Oct. 12, 1967: St. Louis Cardinals 7, Boston Red Sox 2

The Cardinals would score two in the third, two in the fifth and three in the sixth off Jim Lonborg while Bob Gibson allowed just three hits. St. Louis second baseman Julian Javier led the offense with a three-run home run in the sixth.

 

Oct. 10, 1968: Detroit Tigers 4, St. Louis Cardinals 1

The Cardinals finally lost a Game 7 in what was their seventh time in such an elimination game. Bob Gibson was outdueled by Mickey Lolich, who won three games during the series.

 

Oct. 17, 1971: Pittsburgh Pirates 2, Baltimore Orioles 1

Steve Blass pitched the game of his life, limiting a powerful Orioles lineup to just one run, which came in the eighth shortly after Jose Pagan doubled in Willie Stargell to give the Pirates a much-needed insurance run.

 

Oct. 22, 1972: Oakland Athletics 3, Cincinnati Reds 2

A pair of doubles from Gene Tenace and Sal Bando in the sixth inning helped lift the A's to a 3-1 lead, which proved enough for Rollie Fingers to save the game. The win gave the A's their first title in Oakland and the city it's first-ever major professional sports championship. 

 

Oct. 21, 1973: Oakland Athletics 5, New York Mets 2

A pair of two-run home runs from Bert Campaneris and Reggie Jackson drove Mets starter Jon Matlack out of the game after 2.2 innings and fueled the A's to a second-straight title.

 

Oct. 22, 1975: Cincinnati Reds 4, Boston Red Sox 3

Boston's "Curse of the Bambino" continued to spin its tale as the Red Sox took a 3-0 third-inning lead in Game 7 after Carlton Fisk's dramatic walk-off Game 6 home run. But the Reds came back with four runs in the final four innings to clinch their first title since 1940. Joe Morgan's RBI single in the top of the ninth proved to be the winning run.

 

Oct. 17, 1979: Pittsburgh Pirates 4, Baltimore Orioles 1

Falling behind 1-0 in the third, Pittsburgh scored four unanswered with a pair of runs in the sixth off a Willie Stargell home run and another pair in the ninth. The Pirates have not won a World Series title since.

 

Oct. 20, 1982: St. Louis Cardinals 6, Milwaukee Brewers 3

Trailing 3-1, two straight singles in the bottom of the sixth by Keith Hernandez and George Hendrick plated three Cardinal runs to highlight a 15-hit barrage on the Brewers, who were appearing in their first and only World Series. They've only made the playoffs twice since then (2008, 2011).

 

Oct. 27, 1985: Kansas City Royals 11, St. Louis Cardinals 0

Enraged at questionable umpiring, the Cardinals simply broke down in Game 7 as Bret Saberhagen spun a five-hit shutout to lift the Royals to their first championship.

 

Oct. 27, 1986: New York Mets 8, Boston Red Sox 5

The Mets came back from the dead in Game 6 in a night remembered for Bill Buckner's gaffe on Mookie Wilson's ground ball. But the Mets had to come from behind in Game 7, scoring all eight of their runs in their final three turns at bat to overturn a 3-0 deficit. With the game tied at five, Darryl Strawberry's solo shot proved to be the game-winner. 

 

Oct. 25, 1987: Minnesota Twins 4, St. Louis Cardinals 2

Two early runs from the Cardinals didn't deter the Twins, who supported Frank Viola with four unanswered runs to win the franchise's first title since the 1924 Senators.

 

Oct. 27, 1991: Minnesota Twins 1, Atlanta Braves 0

You will never see a pitching performance like Twins hurler Jack Morris' Game 7. In a scoreless, deadlocked game, Morris went 10 innings, throwing 126 pitches to blank Atlanta. Gene Larkin won the series with an RBI single in the bottom of the 10th, scoring Dan Gladden. 

 

Oct. 26, 1997: Florida Marlins 3, Cleveland Indians 2 (11 innings)

Edgar Renteria's walk-off single lifted the five-year-old franchise to their first World Series title while adding another chapter of anguish to the Indians' championship wait. 

 

Nov. 4, 2001: Arizona Diamondbacks 3, New York Yankees 2

Entering the bottom of the ninth trailing 2-1, Tony Womack tied things up off Mariano Rivera with a double before Luis Gonzalez's bloop single shocked the Yankees.

 

Oct. 27, 2002: Anaheim Angels 4, San Francisco Giants 1

All five runs in this game were scored in the game's first three innings. Garret Anderson broke a 1-1 tie in the third with a three-run double that capped off the scoring.

 

Oct. 28, 2011: St. Louis Cardinals 6, Texas Rangers 2

Fueled off David Freese's heroics in Game 6, the Cardinals buried the Rangers behind an Allen Craig solo home run that broke a 2-2 tie in the third inning that proved to be the game-winner.

 

Oct. 29, 2014: San Francisco Giants 3, Kansas City Royals 2

Madison Bumgarner, on two-days rest, went five innings in relief to preserve a 3-2 lead taken when Mike Morse drove in Pablo Sandoval with a single in the fourth inning. 

 

Nov. 2, 2016: Chicago Cubs 8, Cleveland Indians 7 (10 innings)

The 108-year drought ended in frantic fashion that looked like it would end up in the Indians' favor. The Cubs blew a 6-3 lead in the bottom of the eighth when Rajai Davis hit one of the most dramatic home runs in World Series history. But Ben Zobrist saved the Cubs with a go-ahead double in the top of the 10th before Miguel Montero's single added another run, which proved to be a huge one after the Indians tacked on one in their comeback effort.

 
 
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