Wednesday marks 30 years since one of the best World Series finishes of all time, and the Minnesota Twins were crowned champions.
On October 27, 1991 Jack Morris pitched a complete game shutout, winning Game 7, 1-0. John Smoltz was on the mound for the Braves. The Twins defeated Atlanta 4-3 to win the team’s third World Series, second in Minnesota.
Jack Morris was named World Series MVP.
Kirby Puckett’s extra-inning walk-off home run in Game 6 was another key moment in this series, one of the most memorable in Twins history.
Both the Twins and Braves went from worst to first in their divisions within a year to make it to the ‘91 World Series. The twins were in the AL West at the time, they moved to the AL Central in 1994.
1991 was the last time the Twins have been in the World Series. The closest they have gotten is the ALCS in 2002 when they lost to the Angels.
Let’s take a look back at the games from the 1991 World Series.
October 19, 1991
Game 1: Braves 2, Twins 5
Ace Jack Morris got the start for the Twins. Leadoff hitter Dan Gladden walked and then stole second in the bottom of the third inning. Gladden would score the first run of the ‘91 World Series on a Chuck Knoblauch single, and there was no looking back. Greg Gagne and Kent Hrbek hit home runs.
October 20, 1991
Game 2: Braves 2, Twins 3
1991 NL Cy Young winner Tom Glavine (L) battled the Twins in this one. Kevin Tapani (W) pitched for the Twins. Chili Davis and Scott Leius hit homers for the Twins. Leius’ home run in the 8th was the game-winner. The likely most memorable play of this game was in the third inning when Hrbek was able to help Ron Gant off first base, tagging him out.
October 22, 1991
Game 3: Twins 4, Braves 5 (12 innings)
The Twins head to Atlanta for the first World Series game to ever be played in Georgia. Scott Erickson vs. Steve Avery. Dan Gladden again scored the first run of the game. Twins up 1-0 in the top of the first. The Braves would go on to score four unanswered runs. The Twins tie it up in the 8th, and this one goes into extras. Rick Aguilera would give up the winning run in the 12th, a Mark Lemke RBI single. David Justice would beat the Gladden throw WATCH HERE.
October 23, 1991
Game 4: Twins 2, Braves 3
A Jack Morris vs. John Smoltz showdown. Smoltz, a Michigan native, idolized Morris, a Minnesota native, when Jack was with the Tigers. Morris would be removed after 6 innings in this one and Mark Guthrie tabbed the loss. Mike Stanton gets the win for the Braves, but it didn’t go without controversy. In the bottom of 9, Jerry Willard hit a short fly ball to Shane Mack in right field. Mark Lemke tagged, and Mack’s throw beat him to the plate. Harper didn’t get the tag down though, but he thought he did. WATCH HERE.
October 24, 1991
Game 5: Twins 5, Braves 14
A Tom Glavine and Kevin Tapani rematch. The Braves blew this game wide open, undefeated at home during this series. David Justice, Lonnie Smith and Brian Hunter all hit homers for the Braves. Glavine got the win. Tapani got the loss.
October 26, 1991
Game 6: Braves 4, Twins 5 (11 innings)
Back to Minnesota they go for one of the most memorable games in Minnesota Twins history. Steve Avery started on three-days rest for the Braves. Scott Erickson pitched for the Twins. Let’s pick this up in the 11th inning. Bobby Cox calls Game 1 starter Charlie Leibrandt into the game to face Kirby Puckett. Puckett was patient at the plate, but he managed to crank the fourth pitch of the AB over the plexiglass into the left-center-field seats. Twins fans will never forget that fist pump. “Touch ‘em all Kirby Puckett.”
October 27, 1991
Game 7: Braves 0, Twins 1 (10)
Scoreless into the 10th inning. It was a pitchers’ dual through and through. Morris vs. Smoltz again. Smoltz was taken out in the bottom of 8. Morris threw a complete game shutout. The Twins won Game 7 in the 10th inning on a Gene Larkin single, Dan Gladden scored the winning run. Boy, I cannot wait to say “Twins are going to win the World Series!” someday again.