1992 National League Championship Series

The 1992 National League Championship Series was played between the Atlanta Braves (98–64) and the Pittsburgh Pirates (96–66) from October 6 to 14. A rematch of the 1991 NLCS, Atlanta won the 1992 NLCS in seven games to advance to their second straight World Series. The series ended in dramatic fashion; in the bottom of the ninth inning of Game 7, with Atlanta down 2–1 and the bases loaded, the Braves' Francisco Cabrera cracked a two-run single that scored David Justice and Sid Bream. Bream famously slid to score the Series-winning run, beating the throw by Pirates left fielder Barry Bonds.

The Braves would go on to lose to the Toronto Blue Jays in the World Series in six games.

1992 National League Championship Series
Teams
Team (Wins) Manager Season
Atlanta Braves (4) Bobby Cox 98–64, .605, GA: 8
Pittsburgh Pirates (3) Jim Leyland 96–66, .593, GA: 9
DatesOctober 6–14
MVPJohn Smoltz (Atlanta)
UmpiresJohn McSherry, Randy Marsh, Steve Rippley, Gary Darling, Gerry Davis, Ed Montague
Broadcast
TelevisionCBS
TV announcersSean McDonough and Tim McCarver
RadioCBS
Radio announcersJohn Rooney and Jerry Coleman

The teams

The Braves were attempting to return to the World Series one year after their dramatic seven-game loss to the Minnesota Twins. Atlanta featured largely the same lineup that had won the 1991 pennant,[1][2] but they still fell into a tie for last place, seven games behind the Giants, by the end of May.[3] However, Atlanta went 19–6 in June and 16–9 in July and pulled away from the rest of the NL West by winning 15 of their first 18 games in August.

The Pirates were in the NLCS for the third year in a row after losing to the eventual World Series champion Cincinnati Reds in 1990 and the Braves in 1991. It was also the third of four straight NLCS appearances by either the Pirates or their in-state rivals, the Philadelphia Phillies.[4]

The Pirates lost slugging right fielder Bobby Bonilla to free agency after the 1991 season, replacing him with speedster Alex Cole. Ace pitcher John Smiley was traded to the Minnesota Twins. Despite the departure of Smiley and Bonilla, Pittsburgh charged out to a seven-game lead by late June, suffered through an July 11–15 that allowed the Montreal Expos to tie them for the lead by the end of the month, then won eleven straight in early August before pulling away from the Expos in September to earn its third straight NL East title, becoming the first team to win three straight NL East titles since the Phillies from 1976 to 1978.[4][5] Future home run champion Barry Bonds won his second MVP Award and led the Pirates with 34 home runs and 103 RBI.

Pressure beyond the moment made it imperative for the Pirates to break through and win the pennant in 1992. Financial demands had already resulted in losing Smiley and Bonilla, and the departure of pending free agents Bonds (left fielder) and Doug Drabek (starting pitcher) loomed. 1992 appeared to be the last chance for Pittsburgh to win with its current core of players.[6]

Atlanta Braves vs. Pittsburgh Pirates

Atlanta won the series, 4–3.

Game Date Score Location Time Attendance 
1 October 6 Pittsburgh Pirates – 1, Atlanta Braves – 5 Atlanta–Fulton County Stadium 3:20 51,971[7] 
2 October 7 Pittsburgh Pirates – 5, Atlanta Braves – 13 Atlanta–Fulton County Stadium 3:20 51,975[8] 
3 October 9 Atlanta Braves – 2, Pittsburgh Pirates – 3 Three Rivers Stadium 2:37 56,610[9] 
4 October 10 Atlanta Braves – 6, Pittsburgh Pirates – 4 Three Rivers Stadium 3:10 57,164[10] 
5 October 11 Atlanta Braves – 1, Pittsburgh Pirates – 7 Three Rivers Stadium 2:52 52,929[11] 
6 October 13 Pittsburgh Pirates – 13, Atlanta Braves – 4 Atlanta–Fulton County Stadium 2:50 51,975[12] 
7 October 14 Pittsburgh Pirates – 2, Atlanta Braves – 3 Atlanta–Fulton County Stadium 3:22 51,975[13]

Game summaries

Game 1

Tuesday, October 6, 1992 (8:42PM EDT) at Atlanta–Fulton County Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Pittsburgh 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 5 1
Atlanta 0 1 0 2 1 0 1 0 X 5 8 0
WP: John Smoltz (1–0)   LP: Doug Drabek (0–1)
Home runs:
PIT: José Lind (1)
ATL: Jeff Blauser (1)

The first game of the NLCS pitted Atlanta's John Smoltz against Pittsburgh ace Doug Drabek. Smoltz was the winning pitcher in Game 7 of the previous NLCS, where the Braves shut out the Pirates 4-0. Drabek had won once and lost once in the 1991 NLCS.

The Braves scored all five of their runs in the first seven innings. In the second, Mark Lemke's single scored Sid Bream to put Atlanta on the board. They added two more in the fourth inning as Bream doubled to score David Justice and then scored on an error when Orlando Merced threw the ball away while attempting to field a bunt. Jeff Blauser's home run in the fifth made it 4-0, and Terry Pendleton drove in Otis Nixon in the seventh to complete the Braves' scoring.

The Pirates' José Lind was responsible for his team's only run as he homered in the eighth inning off of Smoltz. Lind's run, however, was the first the Pirates had scored against the Braves in 30 innings, going back to Lind's RBI single in Game 5 of the 1991 NLCS.

Smoltz went eight innings for the win, while Drabek suffered the loss and was pulled in the fifth inning.

Game 2

Wednesday, October 7, 1992 (3:08PM EDT) at Atlanta–Fulton County Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Pittsburgh 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 1 0 5 7 0
Atlanta 0 4 0 0 4 0 5 0 X 13 14 0
WP: Steve Avery (1–0)   LP: Danny Jackson (0–1)
Home runs:
PIT: None
ATL: Ron Gant (1)

Atlanta's Steve Avery, who defeated Pittsburgh twice in the 1991 NLCS without surrendering a run, started Game 2 in Atlanta while Danny Jackson, who was a late season acquisition from the Chicago Cubs, started for Pittsburgh.

The Braves scored early and often in Game 2. Jackson gave up a single to Brian Hunter, then walked Ron Gant. Damon Berryhill followed with a single to drive in Hunter, and Mark Lemke added one of his own to score Gant. Avery then flied out to center field to score Berryhill from third, and after Otis Nixon popped out Jeff Blauser followed with a triple, scoring Berryhill and chasing Jackson from the game. In the fifth, Gant faced Bob Walk with the bases loaded and two out. On the third pitch of the at-bat Gant hit a deep fly ball to left field that cleared the fence for a grand slam home run, his first career grand slam.

With Avery still pitching a shutout into the seventh, the Pirates struck. With Barry Bonds on base and one out, Lloyd McClendon doubled to score him. Don Slaught followed with a walk and Jose Lind hit a triple after that, scoring both runners ahead of him and making it an 8-3 game. With Cecil Espy batting, Avery then threw a wild pitch enabling Lind to score and cut the lead in half. After Espy singled, Marvin Freeman came in to relieve the tiring Avery and retired Orlando Merced to get the second out. Jay Bell followed with a single, but Mike Stanton forced Andy Van Slyke to ground out to end the inning.

The Braves put the game out of reach in the bottom of the seventh. With Gant on base and two outs, Stanton doubled him home. Denny Neagle then intentionally walked Nixon and unintentionally walked Blauser, then gave up a double to Terry Pendleton to score Stanton and Nixon. David Justice then singled, scoring Blauser and Pendleton and ending Neagle's afternoon. The Braves did not score again, and after Slaught scored on a passed ball in the eighth nothing further was done and the Braves took a 2-0 lead in the series with a 13-5 victory.

Avery kept his winning streak in postseason play intact, having yet to lose in five postseason starts. Jackson took the loss after giving up the first four Atlanta runs.

Game 3

Friday, October 9, 1992 (8:39PM EDT) at Three Rivers Stadium in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Atlanta 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 2 5 0
Pittsburgh 0 0 0 0 1 1 1 0 X 3 8 1
WP: Tim Wakefield (1–0)   LP: Tom Glavine (0–1)
Home runs:
ATL: Sid Bream (1), Ron Gant (2)
PIT: Don Slaught (1)

As play moved to Three Rivers Stadium in Pittsburgh, Atlanta turned to 20-game winner Tom Glavine to try to give them a 3-0 series lead. Pittsburgh countered with rookie Tim Wakefield, a knuckleballer who had made thirteen starts during the season.[14]

The first run of the game came in the top of the fourth as Sid Bream homered to give the Braves an early 1-0 lead. In the bottom of the next inning, Don Slaught hit a home run of his own to tie the score. The Pirates added a run in the sixth to take the lead as Andy Van Slyke scored on a Jeff King double. Ron Gant hit a home run in the top of the seventh to tie the game, but the Pirates scored what proved to be the winning run in the bottom of the seventh as Van Slyke doubled to score Gary Redus.

Wakefield pitched a complete game and earned a victory. Glavine took the loss after pitching seven innings.

Game 4

Saturday, October 10, 1992 (8:39PM EDT) at Three Rivers Stadium in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Atlanta 0 2 0 0 2 2 0 0 0 6 11 1
Pittsburgh 0 2 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 4 6 1
WP: John Smoltz (2–0)   LP: Doug Drabek (0–2)   Sv: Jeff Reardon (1)

Game 4 saw a rematch of the Game 1 starters, as Doug Drabek faced John Smoltz for the second time.

As they had in Game 1, Atlanta scored early against Drabek. With two runners on and two out in the second, Smoltz drove in the first run by singling to center and scoring Ron Gant. Otis Nixon followed by singling himself, scoring Mark Lemke. Pittsburgh responded in their half by scoring twice, as a single by Alex Cole with one out scored Mike LaValliere. On the same play, Jose Lind scored as Jeff Blauser made a throwing error at shortstop. Orlando Merced drove in a run in the third by doubling home Jeff King.

In the top of the fifth, the Braves scored again as David Justice singled with two runners on, scoring Nixon. Randy Tomlin came in to face pinch-hitter Brian Hunter, and he promptly grounded to third. King, however, decided to throw home to try to get Blauser at the plate and made an error allowing a second run to score. Atlanta scored twice more the next inning as Nixon drove in Smoltz with a two out double and scored himself when Blauser singled off of Danny Cox. Andy Van Slyke drove in Cole with a double in the seventh but the Pirates got no closer and Jeff Reardon shut them down in the ninth inning to earn his first save of the postseason.

Smoltz, in addition to scoring a run and driving in a run, stole a base and got his second win of the series. Drabek took his second loss, having failed to get out of the fifth inning for a second time in as many starts. The Braves now had a 3-1 series lead and needed only one more win to advance to their second consecutive World Series.

Game 5

Sunday, October 11, 1992 (8:44PM EDT) at Three Rivers Stadium in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Atlanta 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 3 0
Pittsburgh 4 0 1 0 0 1 1 0 X 7 13 0
WP: Bob Walk (1–0)   LP: Steve Avery (1–1)

Looking to clinch the series, the Braves trotted out Steve Avery for the second time in the series. The Pirates decided not to go back to Danny Jackson after his performance in Game 2 and instead called on Bob Walk, who also saw action in Game 2 and gave up the grand slam to Ron Gant that broke the game open, to make his first start of the series

This time, the Pirates solved Avery after failing to do so in any of his three previous starts against them in the LCS. Gary Redus led off the home first with a double, scoring on a single by Jay Bell. Avery then induced a groundout off the bat of Andy Van Slyke, which turned out to be the only out he recorded. Barry Bonds, Jeff King, and Lloyd McClendon all doubled following the first out, and three more runs scored before Avery was pulled. McClendon scored Bonds on a sacrifice fly in the third, Redus doubled in Don Slaught in the sixth, and Slaught drove in King in the seventh with a single to make it 7-0. The Braves' only run came in the eighth, as Lonnie Smith led off the inning with a triple and scored on a groundout. Smith's triple was one of only three hits Walk allowed in a complete game, the second for the Pirates in the series.

As it took the Pirates until 2013 to reach the playoffs again, Game 5 of the NLCS was the last postseason game ever played in Three Rivers Stadium.

Game 6

Tuesday, October 13, 1992 (8:44PM EDT) at Atlanta–Fulton County Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Pittsburgh 0 8 0 0 4 1 0 0 0 13 13 1
Atlanta 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 2 4 9 1
WP: Tim Wakefield (2–0)   LP: Tom Glavine (0–2)
Home runs:
PIT: Barry Bonds (1), Jay Bell (1), Lloyd McClendon (1)
ATL: David Justice 2 (2)

Game 6 saw the series return to Atlanta, with Tom Glavine taking on Tim Wakefield in a Game 3 rematch.

Once again, as in Game 5, the Pirates scored early and often. After retiring the Pirates in order in the first, Glavine collapsed in the second. Barry Bonds led off with a home run, and after singles by Jeff King and Lloyd McClendon, Don Slaught drove them both in with a double. An error by Jeff Blauser allowed Slaught to score, and after Wakefield reached on a sacrifice bunt attempt Gary Redus hit his fourth double of the series to drive in Jose Lind. Jay Bell then homered to score Redus and Wakefield. Glavine was pulled after this, having faced eight batters in the second without an out.

With the Pirates' lead at 8-1 in the fifth, Lind doubled to score Slaught and McClendon, scored himself on a single by Redus, who scored on a single by Andy Van Slyke. McClendon's home run in the sixth ended the Pittsburgh scoring. David Justice hit two home runs in the late innings but they were meaningless as the Pirates tied the series.

Wakefield again went the distance for his second win. Glavine's eight run, one-inning outing garnered him his second loss.

Game 7

Wednesday, October 14, 1992 (8:30PM EDT) at Atlanta–Fulton County Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Pittsburgh 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 2 7 1
Atlanta 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 3 7 0
WP: Jeff Reardon (1–0)   LP: Doug Drabek (0–3)

The deciding game of the NLCS featured the third matchup of the series between John Smoltz and Doug Drabek. Smoltz was an MVP candidate for the series, having started and won both of his games. Drabek had struggled in his two starts, failing to make it past the fifth inning in either matchup. However, the Pirates were carrying momentum from their previous two wins, having knocked out Steve Avery in the first inning and Tom Glavine in the second on their way to outscoring the Braves 20-5, and looked to become the first team to win the NLCS after trailing 3-1. The game that followed was regarded as one of the greatest ever, as years later MLB Network ranked it the fourth best game of all-time.[15]

The Pirates scored first as Alex Cole led off with a walk, advanced to third on a double by Andy Van Slyke, and scored on a sacrifice fly by Orlando Merced. The Pirates would add a run in the sixth as Jay Bell scored on a single by Van Slyke, and the lead held up as Drabek pitched his best game of the series in holding the Braves scoreless. The closest the Braves got to breaking through was in the sixth inning, when Drabek allowed three consecutive singles to Mark Lemke, Jeff Treadway, and Otis Nixon to load the bases. Jeff Blauser, however, lined into an unassisted double play and Terry Pendleton lined out to Barry Bonds in left to end the threat.

An incident involving the umpires early in the game set a different tone that would come into play later on. In the second inning, home plate umpire John McSherry became ill and complained of nausea and dizziness.[16] After being checked out by the stadium medical staff, McSherry was removed from the game as a precaution and first base umpire Randy Marsh was summoned over from his position to take over behind the plate.[17] The move gave both Smoltz and Drabek a different target to hit for strikes as Marsh had a consistent strike zone that was much tighter than McSherry. This was also the first public sign of what would later prove to be fatal cardiac issues for the veteran umpire; in 1996, on Opening Day in Cincinnati, McSherry went into cardiac arrest and died on the field at Riverfront Stadium while behind the plate.

Entering the bottom of the ninth, Drabek had only allowed five hits in eight shutout innings and the Pirates were three outs away from advancing to their first World Series since 1979. If the lead held, Braves manager Bobby Cox would have become the first manager in the era of seven-game LCS play to have blown two 3-1 series leads and lost; Cox previously had seen this happen in 1985, when his Toronto Blue Jays lost to the eventual world champion Kansas City Royals after being one victory away from going to the World Series.

Pirates manager Jim Leyland sent Drabek out for the ninth to complete the shutout, with the middle of the Braves' order due up. The first batter, Terry Pendleton, doubled. David Justice followed by hitting a sharp grounder to José Lind, who was eventually awarded a Gold Glove at second base for the season.[18] Lind, however, misplayed the ball and runners were at the corners with nobody out. Drabek then walked Sid Bream on four pitches, some of which were close but were called balls due to Marsh's tight strike zone, which moved the tying run into scoring position and loaded the bases.

With the winning run now on base and Ron Gant scheduled next, Leyland made a pitching change and brought in his closer, Stan Belinda, to make his second appearance of the series and attempt to preserve the victory for Drabek, who was responsible for all three baserunners. Gant hit a deep fly ball that was caught by Bonds, enabling Pendleton to score and put the Braves on the board. Damon Berryhill was the next batter and worked a 3-1 count out of Belinda, then walked on the fifth pitch of the at bat, which Marsh called a ball that appeared to be a strike.[6][16][19]

With the bases once again loaded, the Braves sent up Brian Hunter to pinch hit for second baseman Rafael Belliard. Belinda was able to get Hunter to pop out, which brought the Braves down to their final out and put the Pirates one step closer to erasing the 3-1 deficit and advancing to their first World Series since their 1979 championship. Francisco Cabrera, a seldom-used utility player who had spent most of 1992 in the minor leagues, was sent to the plate to pinch hit for pitcher Jeff Reardon.[16][16][20][21][22]

On the third pitch, with Belinda behind 2-0, Cabrera ripped a foul line drive to left field. After the play, Van Slyke and Bonds got into a brief argument as Van Slyke signaled to the left fielder to move in so he could cut off a potential single and keep the runners from scoring; Bonds gave Van Slyke the finger and refused to move.[16][23][24] Sure enough, Cabrera again lined a pitch to left that dropped in front of Bonds for a hit.[25] Justice scored from third easily, which tied the game.[16][21][24] Bonds came up with the ball, but was out of position and had to throw across his body.[24][25] Third base coach Jimy Williams spotted this as Bream, who was one of the slowest baserunners in the league, got to him at third. Williams decided to wave Bream in, thinking the off balance throw might not reach catcher Mike LaValliere in time for him to tag the slow-footed first baseman. Bonds' throw was indeed offline, which caused LaValliere to move to his right to field the ball just before Bream got to the plate. The extra motion allowed Bream to slide in ahead of LaValliere's tag, and the Braves won 3-2.[16]

The victory was picked up by Jeff Reardon, who pitched the ninth inning. The loss was charged to Drabek, who took his third defeat of the series. Smoltz, with his two victories, was named the series MVP.

Andy Van Slyke sat motionless in centerfield for several minutes after the game ended, while the Braves celebrated at home plate.[26]

In the celebration at home plate after Sid Bream's pennant-winning slide, Braves pitcher Kent Mercker was hurt and unable to pitch in the World Series.

Game 7 of the 1992 NLCS marked the first time in MLB history that a team which was one out away from losing in a winner-take-all game of a playoff series instead won on the last pitch.[26] To date, Francisco Cabrera is the only player in MLB history to win a postseason series with a hit during an at bat in which he could have lost the series with an out. All other series walk-off hits occurred either with the score tied (as with Bill Mazeroski's 1960 World Series winning home run) or in non-decisive games.

The March 1993 issue of Baseball Digest pronounced it the greatest baseball comeback ever,[27] as did John Smoltz immediately after the game.[16] A 2006 study by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette pronounced Cabrera's game-winning single the eighth-"clutchest" hit in MLB history.[28] ESPN called the Pirates' defeat the eighth most painful in baseball history.[29] Don Ohlmeyer, the former head of NBC Sports and President of NBC West Coast, supposedly called the event "one of the most exciting baseball moments he had ever seen," albeit regretting the time of day it took place.[30]

Game 7 was the last postseason game for the Pirates until 2013, when the team faced and defeated the Cincinnati Reds in the National League Wild Card Game. The Pirates also went twenty years without a winning season after 1992. Game 7 was the last Pirates game for Bonds and Drabek who left via free agency, signing with the Giants and Astros, respectively.

Until 2008, the Braves were the last team in Major League Baseball to win a seventh game after blowing a 3–1 series lead. That year, the Tampa Bay Rays won Game 7 of the ALCS after blowing a 3–1 lead to the Boston Red Sox.

Composite box

1992 NLCS (4–3): Atlanta Braves over Pittsburgh Pirates

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Atlanta Braves 0 7 0 4 7 2 8 1 5 34 57 2
Pittsburgh Pirates 5 10 2 0 5 4 7 2 0 35 59 5
Total attendance: 374,599   Average attendance: 53,514

Aftermath

Atlanta Braves

The Braves lost the 1992 World Series to the Toronto Blue Jays in six games. 1992 was the second of five National League pennants for the Braves from 1991 to 1999. After making their second consecutive NLCS in 1992, the Braves made seven of the next nine that followed. In 1993, the Braves again came back from a second half deficit to win their division, but were upset by the Philadelphia Phillies in the LCS. Atlanta won their first and only World Series under Bobby Cox in 1995. They lost the 1996 and 1999 World Series to the New York Yankees. In 1997, the Braves fell to Leyland's Marlins in the NLCS and in 1998, they were defeated by the San Diego Padres. Their most recent NLCS appearance came in 2001, when they were defeated by the eventual world champion Arizona Diamondbacks.

Francisco Cabrera went 0–1 in the 1992 Series. He played only one more season in the big leagues, accruing 91 plate appearances for the 1993 Braves. He later managed the St. Louis Cardinals' Dominican League affiliate.[31] Cox eventually retired as Braves manager following the 2010 season, and was elected to the Hall of Fame in 2014. He was joined by his ace from this series, Tom Glavine, who was elected as a player that same year and won 305 games in his career.

Pittsburgh Pirates

"The Slide" also proved to be the end of the Pirates' mini-dynasty of losing three straight NLCS. The Pirates never recovered from their loss to the Braves. The 1993 Pirates went 75–87. The Pirates would not have another winning season until 2013; their streak of 20 consecutive losing seasons through 2012 remains an all-time record for major North American professional sports.[32]

Barry Bonds and Doug Drabek played their last games for the team, as both departed in free agency that offseason. Bonds went to the San Francisco Giants, where he played for the remainder of his career and eventually set baseball's all-time single season and career home run record with 762. Bonds became eligible for the Hall of Fame in 2013, but has yet to be elected due in part to concerns about his use of performance-enhancing drugs. Drabek signed with the Houston Astros and stayed there for four seasons, but did not maintain the consistency that he had in Pittsburgh and eventually retired in 1998. Manager Jim Leyland stayed with the Pirates through the 1996 season, with his team losing 80 or more games three of those four years. He moved on to the Florida Marlins, where his team beat Cox's Braves in the NLCS and went on to win the World Series in 1997. Leyland moved on to manage the Detroit Tigers to two World Series losses in 2006 and 2012 (including 3 straight ALCS appearances from 2011–13) before retiring following the 2013 season.

To date, this is the Pirates' most recent NLCS appearance.

References

  1. ^ "1991 Atlanta Braves Batting, Pitching, & Fielding Statistics". baseball-reference.com. Sports Reference LLC.
  2. ^ "1992 Atlanta Braves Batting, Pitching, & Fielding Statistics". baseball-reference.com. Sports Reference LLC.
  3. ^ Standings for May 27, 1992
  4. ^ a b Collier, Gene (September 27, 1993). "Pirates, Phillies Have Owned the Outgoing NL East Division". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. p. D1.
  5. ^ "Pirates perform rare three-peat feat 4–2". USA Today. September 28, 1992. p. 5C.
  6. ^ a b Finoli, David; Rainer, Bill (2003). The Pittsburgh Pirates Encyclopedia. Sports Publishing LLC. pp. 534–535. ISBN 978-1-58261-416-8.
  7. ^ "1992 NLCS Game 1 – Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Atlanta Braves". Retrosheet. Retrieved September 13, 2009.
  8. ^ "1992 NLCS Game 2 – Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Atlanta Braves". Retrosheet. Retrieved September 13, 2009.
  9. ^ "1992 NLCS Game 3 – Atlanta Braves vs. Pittsburgh Pirates". Retrosheet. Retrieved September 13, 2009.
  10. ^ "1992 NLCS Game 4 – Atlanta Braves vs. Pittsburgh Pirates". Retrosheet. Retrieved September 13, 2009.
  11. ^ "1992 NLCS Game 5 – Atlanta Braves vs. Pittsburgh Pirates". Retrosheet. Retrieved September 13, 2009.
  12. ^ "1992 NLCS Game 6 – Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Atlanta Braves". Retrosheet. Retrieved September 13, 2009.
  13. ^ "1992 NLCS Game 7 – Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Atlanta Braves". Retrosheet. Retrieved September 13, 2009.
  14. ^ Wakefield 1992 game log
  15. ^ http://mlb.mlb.com/network/games_airdates/
  16. ^ a b c d e f g h Rushin, Steve (October 26, 1992). "Unbelievable". Sports Illustrated.
  17. ^ Three and a half years later, seven pitches into Cincinnati's 1996 Opening Day matchup against Montreal, McSherry collapsed and died of a heart attack on the field. See McCallum, Jack; O'Brien, Richard (April 8, 1996). "Scorecard". Sports Illustrated.
  18. ^ Jose Lind player page
  19. ^ Leitch, Will. "Pittsburgh Pirates:Oct. 14, 1992". Deadspin.com.
  20. ^ Francisco Cabrera player page
  21. ^ a b "Q&A with Francisco Cabrera". Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. May 25, 2003. Archived from the original on October 19, 2009. Retrieved July 22, 2012.
  22. ^ "Game 7 1992 NLCS- The Sid Slides Game-The Day Winning Baseball Died In Pittsburgh 20 Years Ago Today"
  23. ^ https://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/blog/big_league_stew/post/Answer-Man-Andy-Van-Slyke-talks-slugging-Bonds-?urn=mlb,80289
  24. ^ a b c Wilkinson, Jack (2007). Game of My Life: Atlanta Braves. Sports Publishing LLC. p. 86. ISBN 978-1-59670-099-4.
  25. ^ a b "Van Slyke's agony realized through revelation", Terrence Moore, MLB.com
  26. ^ a b Kurkjian, Tim (October 26, 1992). "The Cruelest Game". Sports Illustrated.
  27. ^ Henneman, Jim (March 1993). "Braves' Playoff Comeback in '92 Ranks with Classics". Baseball Digest.
  28. ^ Walker, Sam (October 2, 2006). "Baseball's greatest hits". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
  29. ^ Merron, Jeff. "Most painful losses in baseball history". ESPN.com.
  30. ^ "The Tragedy of Big Sporting Events Starting at 9PM ET".
  31. ^ Colson, Bill (July 31, 2000). "Tracking Them Down". Sports Illustrated.
  32. ^ Kovacevic, Dejan (September 8, 2009). "Pirates unmoved by record 17th losing season". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

External links

1992 Atlanta Braves season

The 1992 Atlanta Braves season was the 27th in Atlanta and the 122nd overall. It involved the Braves finishing first in the National League West with a record of 98 wins and 64 losses, clinching their second straight division title.

In the National League Championship Series, the Braves defeated the Pittsburgh Pirates in seven games. In the World Series, Atlanta faced the Toronto Blue Jays, who were making their first appearance in the World Series. However, the Blue Jays won in six games, becoming the first non-U.S.-based team to win a World Series.

1992 Pittsburgh Pirates season

The 1992 Pittsburgh Pirates season was their 111th season; the 106th in the National League. This was their 23rd season at Three Rivers Stadium. For the third consecutive season, the Pirates won the National League East Division Title with a record of 96–66. They were defeated four games to three by the Atlanta Braves in the 1992 National League Championship Series. The Pirates would not have another winning season until 2013.

2013 Pittsburgh Pirates season

The 2013 Pittsburgh Pirates season was the franchise's 127th season as a member of the National League, 132nd season overall, and 13th season at PNC Park. The regular season began at home with a loss against the Chicago Cubs on April 1 and ended with a win at Great American Ball Park against the Cincinnati Reds on September 29. In their first winning season since 1992, the Pirates finished in second place in the National League Central Division with 94 wins and 68 losses.

The Pirates earned their 82nd win of the season on September 9, ensuring the team's first winning season since 1992 and ending the longest stretch of losing seasons—20—in North American professional sports history. Although the St. Louis Cardinals won the NL Central Division, the Pirates clinched a playoff berth for the first time since 1992 in one of two NL Wild Card spots on September 23. In the Wild Card Game, the Pirates secured their first postseason win since Game 6 of the 1992 National League Championship Series by defeating the Cincinnati Reds. In doing so, the team advanced to the 2013 National League Division Series, where they were defeated in five games by the eventual National League champion Cardinals, eliminating them from the 2013 postseason.

Five members of the 2013 Pirates were selected to represent the National League in the All-Star Game. In addition, team manager Clint Hurdle won the 2013 NL Manager of the Year Award in his third year with the Pirates, center fielder Andrew McCutchen was named NL Most Valuable Player, pitcher Francisco Liriano was named NL Comeback Player of the Year, and third baseman Pedro Álvarez tied for first place in home runs hit in the National League at 36.

Deion Sanders

Deion Luwynn Sanders Sr. (; born August 9, 1967), nicknamed "Prime Time" and "Neon Deion", is a retired American Football Player and sports analyst who played in the National Football League (NFL) for 14 seasons. During his football career, he was a member of the Atlanta Falcons, San Francisco 49ers, Dallas Cowboys, Washington Redskins, and the Baltimore Ravens. He also had a part-time career as a baseball outfielder for nine seasons in Major League Baseball (MLB), where he played professionally for the New York Yankees, the Atlanta Braves, the Cincinnati Reds, and the San Francisco Giants. Sanders won two Super Bowl titles and made one World Series appearance in 1992, making him the only individual to appear in both a Super Bowl and a World Series.

Sanders attended Florida State University, where he was recognized as a two-time All-American in football, and also played baseball and ran track. He was drafted by the Falcons in the first round of the 1989 NFL Draft and played football primarily at cornerback, but also as a kick returner, punt returner, and occasionally wide receiver. During his career, he was named to nine Pro Bowls and made consecutive Super Bowl appearances in XXIX with the 49ers and XXX with the Cowboys, winning both. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2011.

Following the conclusion of his athletic career, Sanders currently works as an analyst for CBS Sports and the NFL Network. He is also the offensive coordinator at Trinity Christian-Cedar Hill high school, which his sons attend. Sanders founded the Prime Prep Academy charter school in 2012 where he coached until the school closed in 2015 due to financial insolvency. Additionally, he stars in the show Deion Family Playbook which debuted in 2014.

Francisco Cabrera (baseball)

Francisco Cabrera Hernandez (born October 10, 1966) is a former Major League Baseball catcher/first baseman who played five seasons with the Toronto Blue Jays and the Atlanta Braves, from 1989 to 1993. He also played in Japan with the Orix Blue Wave in 1994.

Cabrera started his career with the Blue Jays, playing three games with them before being traded to the Braves for Jim Acker in the middle of the 1989 season. Cabrera was a reserve for most of his career and had his best season in 1990 in which he played sixty-three games and had 137 at-bats, getting 38 hits, with seven home runs.

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.

Gary Redus

Gary Eugene Redus (born November 1, 1956) is an American former professional baseball outfielder, who played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Cincinnati Reds, Philadelphia Phillies, Chicago White Sox, Pittsburgh Pirates, and Texas Rangers.

Gary Varsho

Gary Andrew Varsho (born June 20, 1961) is a former Major League Baseball player, also having served as a manager (for the Philadelphia Phillies) and as a coach (for the Pittsburgh Pirates). He is an alumnus of the University of Wisconsin–Oshkosh.

John McSherry

John Patrick McSherry (September 11, 1944 – April 1, 1996) was an American umpire in Major League Baseball who worked in the National League from 1971 until his death. McSherry wore uniform number 9 when he entered the National League, then wore number 10 from 1979 through the rest of his career. A respected arbiter, he was one of several umpires who were noticeably overweight. McSherry was officially listed at 6 feet 2 inches (1.88 m) and 328 pounds (149 kg), but some sources placed his true weight close to 400 pounds (180 kg). His weight may have been a major factor in causing his sudden death due to cardiac arrest, which occurred behind home plate during the opening game of the 1996 Major League Baseball season in Cincinnati on April 1, 1996.

John Smoltz

John Andrew Smoltz (born May 15, 1967), nicknamed "Smoltzie" and "Marmaduke," is an American former baseball pitcher who played 22 seasons in Major League Baseball from 1988 to 2009, all but the last year with the Atlanta Braves. An eight-time All-Star, Smoltz was part of a celebrated trio of starting pitchers, along with Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine, who propelled Atlanta to perennial pennant contention in the 1990s, highlighted by a championship in the 1995 World Series. He won the National League (NL) Cy Young Award in 1996 after posting a record of 24–8, equaling the most victories by an NL pitcher since 1972. Though predominantly known as a starter, Smoltz was converted to a reliever in 2001 after his recovery from Tommy John surgery, and spent four years as the team's closer before returning to a starting role. In 2002, he set the NL record with 55 saves and became only the second pitcher in history (joining Dennis Eckersley) to record both a 20-win season and a 50-save season. He is the only pitcher in major league history to record both 200 wins and 150 saves.

Smoltz was one of the most prominent pitchers in playoff history, posting a record of 15–4 with a 2.67 earned run average (ERA) in 41 career postseason games, and was named the Most Valuable Player of the 1992 NL Championship Series; Andy Pettitte later broke his record for career postseason wins. Smoltz led the NL in wins, winning percentage, strikeouts and innings pitched twice each, and his NL total of 3,084 strikeouts ranked fifth in league history when he retired. He also holds the Braves franchise record for career strikeouts (3,011), and the record for the most career games pitched for the Braves (708) since the club's move to Atlanta in 1966; from 2004 to 2014, he held the franchise record for career saves. Smoltz left the Braves after 2008 and split his final season with the Boston Red Sox and St. Louis Cardinals. Since retiring as a player, he has served as a color commentator and analyst on television. He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2015, his first year of eligibility.

Major League Baseball on CBS

Major League Baseball on CBS is the branding used for broadcasts of Major League Baseball (MLB) games produced by CBS Sports, the sports division of the CBS television network in the United States.

Pittsburgh sports lore

In Pittsburgh sports lore history, many extraordinary events have contributed to the city's sports franchises winning — and almost winning — titles. Other events in the city's sports history have been iconic for other reasons.

Sean McDonough

Sean McDonough (born May 13, 1962) is an American sportscaster, currently employed by ESPN.

Sid Bream

Sidney Eugene Bream (born August 3, 1960) is an American former professional baseball first baseman. He played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Los Angeles Dodgers, Pittsburgh Pirates, Atlanta Braves, and Houston Astros between 1983 and 1994. He is specifically remembered by his game-winning run scored in the 1992 National League Championship Series that sent the Braves to the World Series.

Stan Belinda

Stanley Peter Belinda (born August 6, 1966) is a former Major League Baseball player. A right-handed relief pitcher who also batted right-handed, Belinda is 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m) tall and weighs 187 pounds. He pitched from a three-quarters arm slot (sometimes categorized as a "sidearm" delivery) and threw both a regular low-90s fastball and a split-fingered fastball.

Tim McCarver

James Timothy McCarver (born October 16, 1941) is an American sportscaster and former professional baseball catcher.

McCarver played for the St. Louis Cardinals, Philadelphia Phillies, Montreal Expos, and Boston Red Sox between 1959 and 1980. He appeared in the MLB All-Star Game in 1966 and 1967, and was the starting catcher for the World Series champion St. Louis Cardinals in 1964 and 1967.

After his playing career ended, McCarver began a career as a broadcaster, most notably for Fox Sports. McCarver called a then-record 23 World Series and 20 All-Star Games. He was the recipient of the 2012 Ford C. Frick Award for broadcasting.

Zoltan (hand gesture)

Zoltan is a hand gesture in which a person has their hands stacked on top of each other, only touching at the tips of the thumbs, in order to form a letter "Z". Originally used in the 2000 stoner film Dude, Where's My Car? (with the thumbs overlapping), the Zoltan hand gesture also became popular in 2012 with members of the Pittsburgh Pirates, as well as residents of Pittsburgh rallying around the team.

American League teams
National League teams

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