Could you possibly find a better baseball game in the history of the Twins organization than Game 7 of the 1991 World Series? No, you could not.
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When we were approached about this series I was put in a bit of a pickle. There has never been the quintessential "perfect game" in franchise history. Sure, it's happened to us. Twice. Catfish Hunter blanked the Twins
in 1968 (Harmon Killebrew was 0-for-3 with three strikeouts), and then an allegedly drunken David Wells
did it to the Twins 30 years and 9 days later (the entire lineup combined couldn't have hit more than .220 or .230). But no Twins pitcher has ever hurled the elusive perfect one.
But I feel like we can bend the rules a little bit. Baseball's "Perfect Game" doesn't have to define what we see as perfect. And as far as perfect games go, it's harder to get too much better than October 27, 1991.
Two wins with the comforts of Dome, a trio of hard losses under a canopy of Tomahawk Chops, a magical Game 6 and "We'll see you tomorrow night." Jack Morris, legend of the 80s, and John Smoltz
, barely at the start of his career, would face off in one of the most tense, undeniably epic contests in the history of the World Series. Both sides trading zeroes, exchanging double plays, erasing leadoff base runners, and then Morris inducing a 3-2-3 double play to end a second-and-third-one-out threat in the top of the eighth.
Can you imagine the backlash if, after intentionally walking David Justice to load the bases, Sid Bream cracked a double down the line instead of bouncing the forkball to Kent Hrbek? What did Twins fans do in that moment as it was, seeing Kelly walk away from Morris, leaving the 6' 3" right hander with the big mustache on the hill in front of 55,118 tense and jet aircraft loud fans? How many fathers and daughters and uncles and friends sat on their couch or at the bar, head in their hands?
But we already know what happened. Morris got his double play.
The Twins would waste their own chance in the bottom of the ninth, but now that seems like a footnote. Morris took the mound again in the tenth, retiring the Braves
on nine pitches.
Dan Gladden doubles. Chuck Knoblauch puts down a successful sacrifice bunt. Kirby Puckett and Kent Hrbek both intentionally walked.
Gene Larkin pinch hitting for Jarvis Brown. The ball bouncing high off the turf behind Ron Gant and Brian Hunter. Gladden jumping on home plate.
It's impossible to put all of it into words, but if you saw it...you remember. If you haven't seen this game yet - it doesn't matter if you're a Twins fan or not - you need to see it. This is my perfect Twins game, and I'm sure I'm not alone. Check out the video at MLB.com here
(it's unavailable for sharing so you'll actually have to head over).