1985 American League Championship Series

The 1985 American League Championship Series was played between the Kansas City Royals and the Toronto Blue Jays from October 8 to 16. Major League Baseball decided to extend the Championship Series in both leagues from its best-of-five (1969–1984) to the current best-of-seven format starting with this year, and it proved pivotal in the outcome of the ALCS. The Blue Jays seemingly put a stranglehold on the Series, earning a three games to one lead over the Royals after four games. However, Kansas City staged an improbable comeback, winning the next three games to win the American League Championship Series four games to three. The Royals would proceed to defeat their cross-state rivals, the St. Louis Cardinals, in the World Series four games to three.

The oddsmakers favored Toronto, 8–5. During the opening pregame show, NBC Sports baseball analyst Tony Kubek was among the few who predicted a Kansas City victory, citing the Blue Jays' struggles against left-handed pitching, and the Royals' plethora of left-handed starters. This prediction was especially curious considering Kubek worked on Blue Jays television broadcasts during the regular season.

1985 American League Championship Series
Teams
Team (Wins) Manager Season
Kansas City Royals (4) Dick Howser 91–71, .562, GA: 1
Toronto Blue Jays (3) Bobby Cox 99–62, .615, GA: 2
DatesOctober 8–16
MVPGeorge Brett (Kansas City)
UmpiresDave Phillips, Dale Ford, Jim Evans, Ted Hendry, Vic Voltaggio, Derryl Cousins
Broadcast
TelevisionNBC
TV announcersBob Costas and Tony Kubek
RadioCBS
Radio announcersErnie Harwell and Curt Gowdy

Background

The Royals had long been a contending team in the American League, with great regular season success but frustration in the playoffs. They won three consecutive American League West division titles from 1976 to 1978, only to be defeated in the ALCS all three years by the New York Yankees. The Royals did manage to defeat the Yankees and win the ALCS in 1980; however, they lost the World Series to the Philadelphia Phillies four games to two. In 1984, K.C. again won the West Division, but were swept in the ALCS by the eventual World champion Detroit Tigers, who won 20 more games during the regular season than the Royals. 1985 saw the Royals post a record of 91–71 (.562) winning another West Division pennant, ahead of the California Angels by a game.

By contrast, the Blue Jays franchise was established in 1977, and the late 1970s and early 1980s for them were marked by the challenges faced by an expansion team. Beginning in 1982, however, they played increasingly solid seasons, achieving their first winning season in 1983 and finishing second in the American League East in 1984 behind Detroit. 1985 proved to be a breakout year for Toronto, as they rode strong offense and pitching to the second-best record in Major League Baseball, at 99–62 (.615), winning the AL East by two games over the Yankees.

Summary

Toronto Blue Jays vs. Kansas City Royals

Kansas City won the series, 4–3.

Game Date Score Location Time Attendance 
1 October 8 Kansas City Royals – 1, Toronto Blue Jays – 6 Exhibition Stadium 2:24 39,115[1] 
2 October 9 Kansas City Royals – 5, Toronto Blue Jays – 6 (10 innings) Exhibition Stadium 3:39 34,029[2] 
3 October 11 Toronto Blue Jays – 5, Kansas City Royals – 6 Royals Stadium 2:51 40,224[3] 
4 October 12 Toronto Blue Jays – 3, Kansas City Royals – 1 Royals Stadium 3:02 41,112[4] 
5 October 13 Toronto Blue Jays – 0, Kansas City Royals – 2 Royals Stadium 2:21 40,046[5] 
6 October 15 Kansas City Royals – 5, Toronto Blue Jays – 3 Exhibition Stadium 3:12 37,557[6] 
7 October 16 Kansas City Royals – 6, Toronto Blue Jays – 2 Exhibition Stadium 2:49 32,084[7]

Game summaries

Game 1

Tuesday, October 8, 1985, at Exhibition Stadium in Toronto

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Kansas City 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 5 1
Toronto 0 2 3 1 0 0 0 0 X 6 11 0
WP: Dave Stieb (1–0)   LP: Charlie Leibrandt (0–1)

The Toronto Blue Jays entered the series as the favorite to win the series. The first game featured Toronto pitcher Dave Stieb and Kansas City pitcher Charlie Leibrandt at Exhibition Stadium in Toronto. Neither team was able to score runs in the first inning; however, in the second inning the Blue Jays offense became productive. Jesse Barfield singled and advanced to second base when Willie Upshaw was hit by a pitch. Garth Iorg forced Barfield out at third, but with Iorg on first and Upshaw on second, Ernie Whitt singled to score Upshaw with the first run of the series. Tony Fernández singled to shortstop allowing Iorg to score, and a single by Damaso Garcia loaded the bases with one out. Leibrandt induced a pop fly out by Lloyd Moseby and a ground ball out by George Bell.

After nearly breaking the game open in the second inning, the Blue Jays increased their lead in the third inning and Leibrandt was removed form the game. A double by Cliff Johnson was followed by a base on balls to Barfield. The game was forced into a rain delay. Whether the rain ended Leibrandt's effectiveness or the Jays simply figured him out, Upshaw's single loaded the bases with no outs and led to relief pitcher Steve Farr entering the game. Rance Mulliniks singled to score Johnson and keep the bases loaded. A walk to Whitt scored Barfield to increase the score to 4–0. A sacrifice fly from Fernandez made it 5–0. Farr finally settled down and proceeded to get next two batters out; however, the Royals were down 5–0 en route to a 6–1 loss. The final Jays' run was scored when George Bell singled and scored on a throwing error by Steve Balboni on a fielder's choice to the next batter, Cliff Johnson.

Willie Wilson scored the Royals' only run in the ninth inning when he singled, moved to third on a George Brett single, and scored on a fielders choice ground out by Pat Sheridan. The Blue Jays scored six runs and left nine runners on base. Leibrandt was credited with the loss while Stieb pitched eight innings for the win and Tom Henke pitched the ninth inning.

The victory gave the Jays a one-game to none lead in the ALCS.

Game 2

Wednesday, October 9, 1985, at Exhibition Stadium in Toronto, Ontario

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 R H E
Kansas City 0 0 2 1 0 0 0 0 1 1 5 10 3
Toronto 0 0 0 1 0 2 0 1 0 2 6 10 0
WP: Tom Henke (1–0)   LP: Dan Quisenberry (0–1)
Home runs:
KC: Willie Wilson (1), Pat Sheridan (1)
TOR: None

Game 2 produced excitement and controversy with the Blue Jays winning, 6–5, in ten innings. This game featured Royals' pitcher Bud Black against Toronto left-hander Jimmy Key. The Royals scored in the third inning when Buddy Biancalana singled and scored on an unexpected home run by the light-hitting Willie Wilson to make the score 2–0. They increased their lead in the fourth inning when Darryl Motley walked and scored on a double by Jim Sundberg. The Jays, trailing the game 3–0, got on the scoreboard in the bottom of the fourth inning when George Bell reached base on an error by George Brett and scored a run on Cliff Johnson's double to decrease the gap 3–1.

As in Game 1, rain interrupted the game with the Blue Jays at bat. In the sixth inning, with two outs and the Royals leading the game 3–1, Black hit Bell with a pitch, then Cliff Johnson singled to left field to put runners at first and second. Black threw a wild pitch, allowing the runners to advance. Blue Jays manager Bobby Cox pulled Johnson and sent in pinch-runner Lou Thornton. This change was successful when Barfield singled up the middle to score both runners and tie the game at three runs apiece. Black retired Upshaw to end the inning.

In the bottom of the eighth inning, Royals manager Dick Howser went to closer Dan Quisenberry. With one out, Lloyd Moseby singled, stole second base, and advanced to third on a throwing error by catcher Jim Sundberg. When Moseby then scored on George Bell's sacrifice fly, the Blue Jays were only three outs from a 2–0 series lead. Kansas City, however, would not go quietly. Leading off the ninth inning, reserve outfielder Pat Sheridan pinch-hit for Motley and drilled a game-tying home run off Tom Henke. Neither team scored over the rest of the ninth, and the game went into extra innings.

In the top of the tenth, Willie Wilson hit a low line drive on which center fielder Lloyd Moseby seemed to make a shoe-string catch. Replays showed that he may have made the play, but both Kubek and Costas agreed that it was very difficult to decide, even after watching it numerous times in slow motion. The play was ruled no catch, and Wilson was credited with a single. Wilson stole second with two outs and scored on a single by Frank White. The Blue Jays then came to bat with a controversial one-run Kansas City lead.

The Blue Jays responded in their half of the tenth inning with an infield single by Tony Fernández. Fernandez moved to second on Damaso Garcia's ground out and scored on Moseby's single, with Fernández running through third base coach Jimy Williams' stop sign. Quisenberry then tried to pick off Moseby, but Steve Balboni misplayed the throw to first base and Moseby advanced to second on the error. Al Oliver's two out single brought Moseby home with the winning run and the Blue Jays headed to Kansas City with a two games to none series lead. Each closer was involved in the decision as Henke was credited the win and Quisenberry assigned the loss.

Game 3

Friday, October 11, 1985, at Royals Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Toronto 0 0 0 0 5 0 0 0 0 5 13 1
Kansas City 1 0 0 1 1 2 0 1 X 6 10 1
WP: Steve Farr (1–0)   LP: Jim Clancy (0–1)
Home runs:
TOR: Jesse Barfield (1), Rance Mulliniks (1)
KC: George Brett 2 (2), Jim Sundberg (1)

In past years, a 2–0 hole would mean a must-win game, but the Royals entered Game 3 not having to win to keep playing but only to keep the series close. Game 3 saw the Royals send the 1985 Cy Young Award winner Bret Saberhagen to the mound against Doyle Alexander for the Blue Jays. And George Brett's one-man show put the Royals back into the series. Entering the game, Dick Howser had an all-time postseason managerial record of 0–11.

With two outs in the first, Brett unloaded a home run to give the Royals a 1–0 lead. The Blue Jays threatened in the third when Garcia doubled and reached third on Lonnie Smith's throwing error. Moseby grounded to Brett at third, who stunned everybody by gunning the ball home and getting Garcia to preserve the 1–0 Kansas City lead. In the fourth, Brett opened with a double, went to third on McRae's fly out to right, and scored on White's sacrifice fly to give the Royals a 2–0 lead.

But the Blue Jays fought back. In the fifth, Whitt singled and Barfield homered to tie the game at two. Garcia then doubled and scored when Moseby singled off of Saberhagen's leg. Rance Mulliniks then drilled a two-run homer and the Blue Jays were suddenly ahead 5–2 and were 15 defensive outs from taking a 3–0 series lead. Bud Black succeeded Saberhagen and promptly loaded the bases on singles by Johnson and Bell and a walk to Whitt. With Barfield, who had already homered, at the plate, Howser sent for Steve Farr, who got the Royals out of the jam with a ground out.

The Royals fought back, getting a Jim Sundberg home run in the fifth to make it 5–3. In the sixth, Wilson singled and Brett hit his second homer of the night, tying the game at five. Dennis Lamp replaced Alexander and retired the Royals without any further damage. In the eighth, Brett singled, went to second on McRae's bunt, went to third on White's infield grounder, and scored on Balboni's bloop single—Balboni's first hit of the series—to give the Royals a 6–5 lead. Howser stuck with Farr who got through the ninth in order, with the last out coming on a foul pop by Lloyd Moseby, caught by Brett. With that, the Royals won, 6–5. Brett had arguably his best playoff performance ever, going 4 for 4 with a single, a double, two homers, three RBIs, four runs scored, and throwing out Garcia at the plate. The win narrowed the Blue Jays lead in the series to 2–1 entering Game 4 in Kansas City. It was Howser's first post-season win in 12 tries.

Game 4

Saturday, October 12, 1985, at Royals Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Toronto 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 3 7 0
Kansas City 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 2 0
WP: Tom Henke (2–0)   LP: Charlie Leibrandt (0–2)

In Game 4, Toronto prevailed 3–1, making it the second game of the series in which the Blue Jays won after trailing going into their final at bat. This gave Toronto a 3–1 lead in the best-of-seven series, and put them one win away from becoming the first team outside the United States to represent their league in the World Series.

The fourth game was a rematch of the pitchers who had started Game 1, with Stieb taking on Leibrandt. Entering the bottom of the sixth, the Blue Jays had only two hits and the Royals only one. But a walk to Lonnie Smith and a single to Willie Wilson put runners at first and third with nobody out and the hot-hitting George Brett at the plate. Showing great respect for Brett's dominance in the series, Toronto manager Bobby Cox opted to intentionally walk him, loading the bases with nobody out. Initially, the play seemed to backfire, as Stieb walked Hal McRae to give the Royals a 1–0 lead. But Stieb got out of the inning by inducing a Sheridan pop out and a double play grounder from Frank White.

Entering the ninth, it appeared the bases-loaded walk to McRae was going to be the difference in the game. Leibrandt opened the ninth having surrendered only four hits. But a walk to Damaso Garcia and a double by Moseby tied the game. Quisenberry entered the game and gave up a single to George Bell and a double to Al Oliver that scored Moseby and Bell, giving the Jays a 3–1 lead. The Royals did get two on and two out in the ninth, but Henke got out of the jam and emerged as the winning pitcher for the second time in three games.

Game 5

Sunday, October 13, 1985, at Royals Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Toronto 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 8 0
Kansas City 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 X 2 8 0
WP: Danny Jackson (1–0)   LP: Jimmy Key (0–1)

A well-rested Danny Jackson pitched for Kansas City trying to stave off elimination in the ALCS. The Blue Jays sent in their own well-rested starter, Jimmy Key, to pitch with the goal of playing in the World Series for the first time in franchise history.

In the bottom of the first inning, Lonnie Smith doubled, stole third, and scored on a ground out by George Brett. In the second inning, Frank White reached first on a bunt, advanced to third on a Balboni single, and scored on a sacrifice fly by Darryl Motley.

Given an early 2–0 lead, Danny Jackson pitched well enough to earn the victory. The Blue Jays scattered eight hits but couldn't score a run. In the fourth inning, the Jays led off with back to back singles but were unable to score. In the fifth inning, the Blue Jays had runners on second and third with no outs and were again unable to do anything. In the sixth inning, they loaded the bases with two outs and again failed to score. Through the final three innings, no Toronto hitter was able to reach base. Jackson pitched a complete game shutout to cut the Blue Jays lead to three games to two, sending the series back to Toronto.

Game 6

Tuesday, October 15, 1985, at Exhibition Stadium in Toronto, Ontario

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Kansas City 1 0 1 0 1 2 0 0 0 5 8 1
Toronto 1 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 3 8 2
WP: Mark Gubicza (1–0)   LP: Doyle Alexander (0–1)   Sv: Dan Quisenberry (1)
Home runs:
KC: George Brett (3)
TOR: None

A win for the Royals in the first ever LCS Game 6 would force the first ever Game 7 while a win for the Blue Jays would earn the franchise its first appearance in the World Series. Game 6 was the first series appearance for pitcher Mark Gubicza, who started for the Royals against Blue Jays pitcher Doyle Alexander, the Game 3 starter for Toronto.

In the top of the first inning, walks to Wilson and Brett allowed the Royals' Willie Wilson to score a run when Hal McRae singled. The Blue Jays tied the score in the bottom of the first inning when Garcia doubled, Moseby singled, and Garcia scored when Mulliniks grounded into a double play. In the top of the third inning, George Brett reached on a fielder's choice and scored on a double by Hal McRae. The Blue Jays responded when Fernandez doubled to left field and moved up to third base on a wild pitch by Gubicza. Fernandez then scored on Moseby's ground out to tie the score at 2–2.

In the fifth inning, Brett hit his third home run of the series—all of them against Blue Jays' pitcher Doyle Alexander—and the Royals led the game 3–2. In the sixth inning, Sundberg reached on a base on balls and advanced to second base on a sacrifice bunt. Sundberg subsequently scored on a double by Buddy Biancalana. Biancalana advanced to third on a throwing error and scored on Lonnie Smith's double. The Blue Jays scored one run when Moseby singled, advanced to second base with a base on balls to Upshaw. Moseby scored on Cliff Johnson's single to make the score 5–3, but the Royals held on and tied the series at three wins apiece.

Game 7

Wednesday, October 16, 1985, at Exhibition Stadium in Toronto, Ontario

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Kansas City 0 1 0 1 0 4 0 0 0 6 8 0
Toronto 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 2 8 1
WP: Charlie Leibrandt (1–2)   LP: Dave Stieb (1–1)
Home runs:
KC: Pat Sheridan (2)
TOR: None

Earlier in the day, Jack Clark put the St. Louis Cardinals into the World Series with a three-run home run off the Dodgers' reliever Tom Niedenfuer. The American League opponent would be the winner of this ALCS Game 7, promising an intriguing match-up for the World Championship: either an I-70 Series between Missouri's two major league teams, or the first appearance of a franchise from outside the United States. The Blue Jays sent Dave Stieb to the mound for the third time in the series, as he had won both his previous starts. The Royals countered with Bret Saberhagen, who was pitching for the first time since his injury in Game 3.

Up to this point, the Royals had scored the first run in every game except Game 1. This trend continued when Pat Sheridan reached on a bunt, advanced to second base on a fielder's choice by Balboni, and scored on a single by Jim Sundberg. In the bottom of the third inning, the Blue Jays hit Saberhagen with a batted ball for the second time in the series, with Mulliniks winding up at second base. After Saberhagen retired the side, Leibrandt came on to pitch for the Royals.

In the fourth inning, Sheridan homered, giving the Royals a 2–0 lead. In the bottom of the fifth, the Blue Jays reduced the lead to one when Garcia singled and scored on Upshaw's double. With the score 2–1, the Royals came to bat in the sixth inning against a tiring Stieb. Wilson hit a fly ball out, Brett walked and McRae was hit by a pitch. Sheridan subsequently hit into a fielder's choice that forced Brett out at third base, putting runners at first and second with two outs. Stieb then walked Balboni to face the presumably lesser hitting threat, Jim Sundberg. Sundberg drilled a high drive toward right field that hit the top of the fence and bounced high in the air, landing in play next to Jesse Barfield. All three runners, running on contact with two outs, scored easily and Sundberg stood at third base with an unlikely three-run triple, giving the Royals a 5–1 lead. Blue Jays relief pitcher Jim Acker entered for Stieb and gave up a base hit single to Frank White that allowed Sundberg to score increasing the lead to 6–1.

Leibrandt was still on the mound to start the ninth inning. With one out, he gave up a single to Barfield and a double to Fernandez. Quisenberry made his third appearance of the series, and a chance to send the Royals to the World Series. He allowed one of the inherited runners to score on a ground out and closed out the game, giving the Royals a 6–2 win in Game 7. They became the first team to overcome a 3–1 deficit in the LCS. Kansas City Royals' George Brett was 8 for 23 with two doubles, three home runs, five RBIs, seven walks, and a .348 batting average. Brett was named the series MVP, having played a role in 11 of Kansas City's 26 runs, scoring six and driving in five.

This would be the last postseason game played at Exhibition Stadium; the next postseason appearance for the Blue Jays would come in 1989, their first season in the then-new SkyDome.

Composite box

1985 ALCS (4–3): Kansas City Royals over Toronto Blue Jays

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 R H E
Kansas City Royals 3 2 3 3 2 9 0 1 2 1 26 51 6
Toronto Blue Jays 1 2 4 2 6 3 0 1 4 2 25 65 4
Total attendance: 264,167   Average attendance: 37,738

Aftermath

The seventh game of the series marked Blue Jays' manager Bobby Cox's last with the team, as he left the organization to become the general manager of the Atlanta Braves.

Amazingly, the Royals went on to win the 1985 World Series against the St. Louis Cardinals by again coming back from a 3–1 series deficit to take the title in seven games.

Ironically, both Danny Jackson and Charlie Leibrandt, heroes of Game 5 and 7 respectively, would become goats for their teams in future postseasons against the Blue Jays. In Game 6 of the 1992 World Series, Leibrandt (playing for the Atlanta Braves) gave up the game-winning double to Dave Winfield in the eleventh inning, becoming the losing pitcher in the series-clincher for the Blue Jays. Jackson would start once again against the Blue Jays in Game 3 of the 1993 World Series for the Philadelphia Phillies, getting shelled for three runs in the first inning and eventually taking the loss.

The two teams met again in the 2015 ALCS, with the Royals holding home-field advantage that time. In a reverse of the 1985 series, as of Game 5, the Royals held a 3-2 lead, winning games 1, 2, and 4. The similarities ended there, as the Royals won the decisive sixth game.

This series was the first and only postseason series for Exhibition Stadium as the Blue Jays would open Skydome in 1989 which marked their next Division Championship appearance. However the team would not break through for a World Series berth until 1992 when the team faced off against former manager Bobby Cox and the Braves in the World Series.

References

  1. ^ "1985 ALCS Game 1 – Kansas City Royals vs. Toronto Blue Jays". Retrosheet. Retrieved September 13, 2009.
  2. ^ "1985 ALCS Game 2 – Kansas City Royals vs. Toronto Blue Jays". Retrosheet. Retrieved September 13, 2009.
  3. ^ "1985 ALCS Game 3 – Toronto Blue Jays vs. Kansas City Royals". Retrosheet. Retrieved September 13, 2009.
  4. ^ "1985 ALCS Game 4 – Toronto Blue Jays vs. Kansas City Royals". Retrosheet. Retrieved September 13, 2009.
  5. ^ "1985 ALCS Game 5 – Toronto Blue Jays vs. Kansas City Royals". Retrosheet. Retrieved September 13, 2009.
  6. ^ "1985 ALCS Game 6 – Kansas City Royals vs. Toronto Blue Jays". Retrosheet. Retrieved September 13, 2009.
  7. ^ "1985 ALCS Game 7 – Kansas City Royals vs. Toronto Blue Jays". Retrosheet. Retrieved September 13, 2009.

External links

1982 Atlanta Braves season

The 1982 Atlanta Braves season was the 17th in Atlanta and the 112th overall. They went 89–73 and won the NL West division for the first time since 1969, but were swept in 3 games by the St. Louis Cardinals in the NLCS.

1985 Toronto Blue Jays season

The 1985 Toronto Blue Jays season was the franchise's ninth season of Major League Baseball. It resulted in the Blue Jays finishing first in the American League East with a record of 99 wins and 62 losses. The win total of 99 is a franchise record, and the division title was the franchise's first.

Despite having the second-best record in Major League Baseball, the Blue Jays collapsed in the American League Championship Series against the Kansas City Royals, blowing a 3–1 series lead and losing in seven games.

1993 World Series

The 1993 World Series was the 90th edition of Major League Baseball's championship series and the conclusion of the 1993 Major League Baseball season. A best-of-seven playoff series, it pitted the defending champions and American League (AL) champion Toronto Blue Jays against the National League (NL) champion Philadelphia Phillies. With Toronto ahead three games to two in the Series, but trailing Game 6 by a score of 6-5 with one out in the bottom of the ninth inning, with runners on first and second base and a count of two balls and two strikes, Joe Carter hit a game-winning three-run home run to win Game 6 by a score of 8-6 and the series four-games-to-two for Toronto, its second consecutive championship (the first team to repeat as champions since the 1977–78 Yankees). This was only the second Series concluded by such a home run (the first was in the 1960 World Series on a Bill Mazeroski home run for the Pittsburgh Pirates), and the first such occasion where a come-from-behind walk-off home run won a World Series.

Larry Andersen was the only member of the 1993 Phillies to also play for them in the 1983 World Series, although Darren Daulton was a late season call-up in 1983, but only served as the bullpen catcher in the World Series. Fittingly, in Daulton's first ever MLB game, he was a catcher for Larry Andersen.

1996 National League Championship Series

The 1996 National League Championship Series (NLCS) matched the East Division champion Atlanta Braves and the Central Division champion St. Louis Cardinals. It was the second NLCS meeting of the two teams and first since 1982. The Braves won in seven games, becoming the eighth team in baseball history to win a best-of-seven postseason series after being down 3–1, and first to overcome such a deficit in the NLCS. They outscored the Cardinals, 32–1, over the final three games. Also, Bobby Cox became the only manager to be on both the winning and losing end of such a comeback in postseason history, having previously blown the 1985 American League Championship Series with the Toronto Blue Jays against the Kansas City Royals.

The Braves would go on to lose to the New York Yankees in the World Series in six games.

Al Oliver

Albert Oliver Jr. (born October 14, 1946) is a former Major League Baseball player. Over the course of his 18-year career, he played for the Pittsburgh Pirates (1968–77), Texas Rangers (1978–81), Montreal Expos (1982–83), San Francisco Giants (1984), Philadelphia Phillies (1984), Los Angeles Dodgers (1985) and Toronto Blue Jays (1985). Nicknamed "Scoop", Oliver batted and threw left-handed.

Oliver was a center fielder who also played left and right as well as first base. He was signed by the Pirates as an amateur free agent in 1964. From 1970 to 1976 he played on five Pirates division champions, including the team that defeated the Orioles in the 1971 World Series.

Bill Caudill

William Holland Caudill (born July 13, 1956) is an American former professional baseball pitcher. Caudill was one of the top closers in Major League Baseball (MLB) from 1982 to 1985.

Dane Iorg

Dane Charles Iorg ( ORJ; born May 11, 1950) is a retired Major League Baseball first baseman and outfielder. He played for ten seasons (1977–1986) for four teams, including eight seasons for the St. Louis Cardinals. Iorg earned the game-winning hit in game six of the 1985 World Series. His brother Garth also played in the major leagues.

Dick Enberg

Richard Alan Enberg (January 9, 1935 – December 21, 2017) was an American sportscaster. Over the course of an approximately 60-year career, he provided play-by-play of various sports for several radio and television networks, including NBC (1975–1999), CBS (2000–2014), and ESPN (2004–2011), as well for individual teams, such as UCLA Bruins basketball, Los Angeles Rams football, and California Angels and San Diego Padres baseball.

Enberg was well known for his signature on-air catchphrases "Touch 'em all" (for home runs) and "Oh, my!" (for particularly exciting and outstanding athletic plays). He also announced or hosted the Tournament of Roses Parade for many years, sometimes with the help of family members. Enberg retired from broadcasting in 2016 after seven seasons as the Padres primary play-by-play broadcaster.

Ex-Cubs Factor

The Ex-Cubs Factor (or Ex-Cub Factor) is a seemingly spurious correlation that was seen as essentially a corollary to the Curse of the Billy Goat. Widely published in the 1990s, the hypothesis asserted that since the appearance by the Chicago Cubs in the 1945 World Series, any baseball team headed into the World Series with three or more former Cubs on its roster has "a critical mass of Cubness" and a strong likelihood of failure.

Exhibition Stadium

Canadian National Exhibition Stadium (commonly known as Exhibition Stadium and CNE Stadium) was a multi-purpose stadium that formerly stood on the Exhibition Place grounds, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Originally built for Canadian National Exhibition events, the stadium served as the home of the Toronto Argonauts of the Canadian Football League, from 1959–1988, the Toronto Blue Jays of Major League Baseball from 1977–1989, and the Toronto Blizzard of the North American Soccer League from 1979–1983. The stadium hosted the Grey Cup game 12 times over a 24-year period.

In 1999, the stadium was demolished and the site was used for parking until 2006. BMO Field was built on the site in 2007 roughly where the northern end of the covered grandstand once stood.

The grandstand (known as CNE Grandstand) was used extensively throughout the summer months for hosting concerts.

Game seven

A game seven is the final game of a best of seven series. This game can occur in the postseasons for Major League Baseball (MLB) (League Championship Series and World Series), the National Basketball Association (NBA) (all rounds of the NBA playoffs), and the National Hockey League (NHL) (all rounds of the Stanley Cup playoffs).

The game is generally played at the site of the team holding the home advantage across the series.

The nature of a best-of-seven series requires that the series be tied at three games apiece going into game seven, such that either team can take the series (advancing further in the playoffs or winning the championship) by winning the game. Because of this decisive nature, game sevens add an element of drama to their sports.

Aside from North American sports leagues, game sevens are also a fixture in many other sports around the world, mostly in baseball, basketball, and ice hockey leagues. Most codes of football do not employ a best-of-seven series (or any best-of-x series in general), hence game sevens are not played in those leagues.

Some playoff rounds (such as MLB's current Division Series) are played in a best of five format, such that game five has similar qualities to those described above, though the suspense and drama have less time to build in a shorter series. Furthermore, the World Series of 1903, 1919, 1920, and 1921 were played in a best of nine format, though none of the four went to a decisive game nine.

The game seven is comparable to a final or to a single game in a single-elimination tournament or to a one-game playoff. A championship series' game seven is equivalent to the Super Bowl game in the National Football League in that the game's winner is the league's champion for the season.

Garth Iorg

Garth Ray Iorg ( ORJ; born October 12, 1954) is an American former professional baseball player who played his entire career (1978, 1980–1987) for the Toronto Blue Jays of Major League Baseball (MLB). He has also worked as the first base coach for the Milwaukee Brewers.

Jorge Orta

Jorge Orta Núñez (born November 26, 1950) is a Mexican former professional baseball second baseman and outfielder. He played fifteen seasons in Major League Baseball (MLB) from 1972 to 1987 for the Chicago White Sox, Cleveland Indians, Los Angeles Dodgers, Toronto Blue Jays, and Kansas City Royals. He is best remembered for being at the center of one of the most controversial plays in World Series history.

Pat Sheridan

Patrick Arthur Sheridan (born December 4, 1957) is a former professional baseball player who played in the Major Leagues primarily as an outfielder from 1981, 1983 to 1989, and 1991.

Sheridan grew up in Wayne, Michigan and attended Wayne Memorial High School, where he still holds many of the sports records. He played college baseball at Eastern Michigan University where he played for Coach Ron Oestrike. Sheridan was selected to the All Mid-American Conference team as a center fielder in 1979. He was drafted by the Kansas City Royals in the 1979 baseball draft.

Sheridan, a left-handed hitter who often was used in a "platoon" situation with right-handed-hitting Darryl Motley, was a member of the Kansas City Royals' 1985 World Series champion team that defeated the St. Louis Cardinals in seven games.

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