The 1997 World Series was the championship series of Major League Baseball's (MLB) 1997 season. The 93rd edition of the World Series, it was a best-of-seven playoff between the American League (AL) champion Cleveland Indians and the National League (NL) champion Florida Marlins. The Marlins, who were underdogs, defeated the Indians, four games to three, to win their first World Series championship. Game 7 was decided in extra innings on a walk-off single hit by Édgar Rentería. The series began on October 18 and ended on October 26 (after midnight October 27). Marlins pitcher Liván Hernández was named the World Series Most Valuable Player.
The Indians advanced to the World Series by defeating the New York Yankees in the AL Division Series, three games to two, and then the Baltimore Orioles in the AL Championship Series, four games to two; it was Cleveland's second World Series appearance in three years. The Marlins advanced to the World Series by defeating the San Francisco Giants in the NL Division Series, three games to none, and then the Atlanta Braves in the NL Championship Series, four games to two; the Marlins set an MLB record by reaching a World Series in just their fifth season of existence. This was the fourth time in World Series history a Game 7 went into extra innings, and was the most recent occasion until the 2016 World Series, in which the Indians also lost in extra innings. The Marlins' championship made them the first wild card team to ever win the World Series.
This was the only World Series that Paul Beeston would preside over as CEO of MLB. The previous four World Series had been presided over jointly by the league presidents (first Dr. Bobby Brown and then Gene Budig for the AL, Leonard Coleman for the NL).
|1997 World Series|
|MVP||Liván Hernández (Florida)|
|Umpires||Ed Montague (NL, crew chief), Dale Ford (AL), Joe West (NL), Greg Kosc (AL), Randy Marsh (NL), Ken Kaiser (AL)|
|Hall of Famers||Marlins: none |
Indians: Jim Thome
|ALCS||Cleveland Indians defeated Baltimore Orioles, 4–2|
|NLCS||Florida Marlins defeated Atlanta Braves, 4–2|
|Television||NBC (United States)|
MLB International (International)
|TV announcers||Bob Costas, Joe Morgan, and Bob Uecker (NBC)|
Gary Thorne and Ken Singleton (MLB International)
|Radio announcers||Vin Scully and Jeff Torborg|
|World Series Program|
|1||October 18||Cleveland Indians – 4, Florida Marlins – 7||Pro Player Stadium||3:19||67,245|
|2||October 19||Cleveland Indians – 6, Florida Marlins – 1||Pro Player Stadium||2:48||67,025|
|3||October 21||Florida Marlins – 14, Cleveland Indians – 11||Jacobs Field||4:12||44,880|
|4||October 22||Florida Marlins – 3, Cleveland Indians – 10||Jacobs Field||3:15||44,887|
|5||October 23||Florida Marlins – 8, Cleveland Indians – 7||Jacobs Field||3:39||44,888|
|6||October 25||Cleveland Indians – 4, Florida Marlins – 1||Pro Player Stadium||3:15||67,498|
|7||October 26||Cleveland Indians – 2, Florida Marlins – 3 (11 innings)||Pro Player Stadium||4:10||67,204|
|WP: Liván Hernández (1–0) LP: Orel Hershiser (0–1) Sv: Robb Nen (1)|
CLE: Manny Ramírez (1), Jim Thome (1)
FLA: Moisés Alou (1), Charles Johnson (1)
The first World Series game in the state of Florida, Game 1 featured a youngster and a veteran facing each other on the mound. Fresh off his NLCS MVP performance, Liván Hernández took the hill for the Marlins and quickly gave up a run in the first thanks to a double by leadoff man Bip Roberts and an RBI single by David Justice. Indian starter Orel Hershiser got by the first two innings unscathed. However, after the Marlins tied the game in the third on Edgar Renteria's RBI groundout with two on, they scored four runs in the fourth. Moisés Alou's three-run home run off the left field foul pole put the Marlins up 4–1 and Charles Johnson followed with a home run to make it 5–1. After Manny Ramírez's home run in the fifth cut the lead to 5–2, Hershiser allowed a one-out walk and single in the bottom of the inning before Jeff Conine's RBI single made it 6–2 Marlins. Jeff Juden relieved Hershiser and after a force-out at second, threw a ball four wild pitch that let Bobby Bonilla score from third. Jim Thome's home run cut the lead to 7–3 in the sixth, then the Indians got another run in the eighth off of Jay Powell when Marquis Grissom walked with two outs and scored on Brian Giles's double, but Florida closer Robb Nen came in the ninth and got out of a jam by striking out Sandy Alomar Jr. and Thome with two men aboard.
|WP: Chad Ogea (1–0) LP: Kevin Brown (0–1)|
CLE: Sandy Alomar, Jr. (1)
Game 2 matched up Florida ace Kevin Brown against Chad Ogea, who had lost two games in the ALCS. Both teams scored in the first, thanks to RBI singles by David Justice for the Indians after Omar Vizquel doubled with one out and Jeff Conine for the Marlins with two on. Ogea barely escaped further damage when Moisés Alou got under a hanging curveball, but merely flied out to the warning track, missing his second three-run homer in as many nights by inches. After that, Ogea settled in and did not allow any more runs in 6 2/3 innings. Brown pitched well until the fifth when the Indians took the lead by stringing together three singles by Matt Williams, Sandy Alomar Jr., and Marquis Grissom. Later in the inning, with runners on the second and third, Bip Roberts drove in a pair of runs with a single up the middle giving the Tribe a 4–1 lead. The three-run lead ballooned to five when Alomar hit a laser into the left field stands for a two-run home run in the sixth. The Indians' 6–1 win tied the series heading to Cleveland.
|WP: Dennis Cook (1–0) LP: Eric Plunk (0–1)|
FLA: Gary Sheffield (1), Darren Daulton (1), Jim Eisenreich (1)
CLE: Jim Thome (2)
Game 3 was a wild affair that ended with the Marlins grabbing a 2–1 series lead. Charles Nagy of the Indians faced Al Leiter of the Marlins. Both pitchers fared poorly, with Leiter giving up four earned runs in 4 2/3 innings and Nagy gave up five in six innings. In the top of the first, Gary Sheffield started the scoring with a home run to left. In the bottom half, the Indians retaliated with two runs thanks to two broken bat RBI singles by Matt Williams and Sandy Alomar Jr.. A bases loaded walk to Sheffield tied the game in the third, before Florida took a 3–2 lead in the fourth on Darren Daulton's home run. However, the Indians got a gift in the bottom of the fourth, when they drew four free passes, then a throwing error by third baseman Bobby Bonilla on Manny Ramírez's single allowed two more runs to score. The Tribe went up 7–3 on Jim Thome's two-run home run to right in the fifth inning. His home run was nullified in the sixth by Jim Eisenreich's two-run home run that cut the lead to 7–5. In the seventh, Craig Counsell hit a leadoff single off of Brian Anderson and moved to second on a groundout, then Édgar Rentería's single and Gary Sheffield's double off of Mike Jackson (who was charged with a blown save) each drove in a run, making the score 7–7. In the ninth, Bonilla drew a leadoff walk off of reliever Eric Plunk and scored on Daulton's single aided by an error that let Daulton go to third. After a strikeout to Alou (his third of the night) and intentional walk to pinch-hitter Cliff Floyd, an error by first baseman Thome on Plunk's pickoff attempt allowed Daulton to score. After Charles Johnson singled, Alvin Morman relieved Plunk and an error by second baseman Tony Fernández on Counsell's ground ball allowed Floyd to score. After Morman retired Devon White, a walk to Rentería loaded the bases before José Mesa relieved Morman and allowed two-run singles to Sheffield and Bonilla aided by a wild pitch that gave the Marlins at 14–7 lead. In the bottom of the inning, the Indians loaded the bases on a walk and two singles with one out off of Robb Nen before Tony Fernández's sacrifice fly and Marquis Grissom's single scored a run each, then Bip Roberts' two-run double cut the lead to 14–11, but Omar Vizquel grounded out to end the game. Dennis Cook got the win in relief by tossing a scoreless eighth and Plunk got the loss. This was the highest scoring game for twenty years till the fifth game of the 2017 World Series between the Houston Astros and the Los Angeles Dodgers. Marlins batter Gary Sheffield had five RBIs in the game to lead all batters.
|WP: Jaret Wright (1–0) LP: Tony Saunders (0–1) Sv: Brian Anderson (1)|
FLA: Moisés Alou (2)
CLE: Manny Ramírez (2), Matt Williams (1)
This back-and-forth World Series continued that way in Game 4. Both teams were greeted by snow during batting practice and freezing temperatures throughout this contest. The official gametime temperature of 38 °F (3.3 °C) remains as of 2018 the coldest recorded in World Series history, while as the game progressed media outlets reported wind chill readings as low as 18 °F (−7.8 °C). Two rookies opposed each other on the mound this night; Jaret Wright for the Indians and Tony Saunders for the Marlins. In the bottom of the first, Omar Vizquel singled with one out before Manny Ramírez's two-run home run put the Indians up 2–0. Matt Williams then singled with two outs and scored on Sandy Alomar's double. In the third, Ramírez drew a leadoff walk, moved to second on an error and scored on David Justice's single. After another walk, Alomar's single scored Justice. After a third walk loaded the bases, Antonio Alfonseca relived Saunders and allowed an RBI single to Tony Fernández. The Marlins got on the board in the fourth on Jim Eisenreich's RBI single with two on, then Moisés Alou's two-run home run after a walk in the sixth cut the Indians' lead to 6–3, but that was as close as the Marlins got. In the bottom of the inning, Alomar's bases-loaded groundout off of Ed Vosberg made it 7–3 Indians. Next inning, Fernández hit a leadoff single, moved to second on a ground out and scored on Brian Giles's single. In the eighth, Williams' two-run home run after a walk capped the game's scoring at 10–3 as the Indians tied the series at two games apiece. Wright allowed three runs in six sharp innings and Brian Anderson wrapped up Wright's win with a three-inning save.
|WP: Liván Hernández (2–0) LP: Orel Hershiser (0–2) Sv: Robb Nen (2)|
FLA: Moisés Alou (3)
CLE: Sandy Alomar, Jr. (2)
Game 5 was a rematch of Game 1's starting pitchers Liván Hernández and Orel Hershiser. The Marlins struck first when Darren Daulton hit a ground-rule double and scored on Charles Johnson's single. After a walk to Craig Counsell, Devon White's RBI double made it 2–0 Marlins. The Indians cut it to 2–1 in the bottom of the inning when Jim Thome tripled and scored on Sandy Alomar's single. Next inning, Alomar launched a towering three-run home run after two walks to Thome and Matt Williams to put the Indians up 4–2. In the sixth, Moisés Alou hit his second three-run home run off Hershiser in as many games and his third home run of the Series to put the Marlins up 5–4. Eric Plunk then walked Craig Counsell with the bases loaded to force in Jeff Conine, with the run charged to Hershiser. The Marlins added to their lead in the seventh when Alou hit a leadoff single off of Jeff Juden, stole second, moved to third on a groundout, and scored on Johnson's single. Next inning, Alou's single scored pinch-runner Alex Arias (running for Bonilla) with two on off of José Mesa extended the lead to 8–4. Livan pitched terrifically in the middle innings, not allowing any runs until the ninth. An error and single put two on with no outs for the Indians. Robb Nen in relief allowed a two-run single to David Justice (both of the runs charged to Hernández), then a two-out RBI single to Thome before Alomar flew out to right to end the game and give the Marlins a 3–2 series lead heading back to Florida.
|WP: Chad Ogea (2–0) LP: Kevin Brown (0–2) Sv: José Mesa (1)|
Game 6's attendance of 67,498 was the highest single-game attendance for the World Series since Game 5 of the 1959 World Series, when 92,706 people filled the football-oriented Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. The Series returned to the warmer climate of Miami for Game 6. Kevin Brown opposed Chad Ogea again and again Brown inexplicably struggled while Ogea flourished. Chad himself drove in the first two runs with a bases-loaded single in the second, and Manny Ramírez hit a sacrifice fly in the third (after Omar Vizquel hit a leadoff double and stole third) and the fifth (after a leadoff double and subsequent single). Darren Daulton's sacrifice fly with two on in the fifth that scored Moisés Alou from third gave the Marlins their only run of the game. With the Tribe leading 4–1 in the sixth, Ogea ran into serious trouble. The Marlins put runners on second and third with two out as reliever Mike Jackson replaced Ogea. Marlins catcher Charles Johnson stepped to the plate and proceeded to hit a sharp grounder that was headed for left field and looked like a base hit. Indians shortstop Omar Vizquel, who won the Gold Glove that year, dove for the ball, grabbed it, sprung to his feet, and hurled a perfect strike to first base just before Johnson arrived. The play ended the threat and broke the Marlins' spirits. In the ninth, closer José Mesa wrapped up the win despite allowing a triple to Devon White to tie the Series at 3–3.
|WP: Jay Powell (1–0) LP: Charles Nagy (0–1)|
FLA: Bobby Bonilla (1)
For the first time in six years, a seventh game would decide the World Series.
Indians manager Mike Hargrove, celebrating his forty-eighth birthday this night, made a significant strategic play prior to the start of the game. The Indians' rotation for the series consisted of Orel Hershiser, the starter and loser of Games 1 and 5; Chad Ogea, the winning pitcher in Games 2 and 6; staff ace Charles Nagy, who received a no-decision in the wild Game 3; and rookie Jaret Wright, who had won Game 4. Based on Wright's performance, Hargrove skipped over Nagy and gave the start to the rookie on three days' rest. Marlins manager Jim Leyland, opting to keep his rotation as it was, sent veteran starter Al Leiter out for Game 7.
The Marlins managed one hit in the 1st inning, a double off the bat of Édgar Rentería. That was the only hit Wright gave up through six innings, and the Indians staked him to a 2–0 lead in the third. With nobody out, Jim Thome walked and Marquis Grissom singled him to second. Pitcher Jaret Wright sacrificed both men into scoring position. After Leiter retired Omar Vizquel for the second out, Tony Fernández singled to drive both runners in for the only runs of the game to that point.
Leiter was removed after six innings. Leading off the bottom of the seventh for the Marlins, Bobby Bonilla hit Wright's first pitch over the right-center field wall for a home run to cut the lead to 2–1. After striking out Charles Johnson and walking Craig Counsell, Wright was removed from the game in favor of Paul Assenmacher who was scheduled to pitch to Cliff Floyd. Marlins manager Jim Leyland elected to send Kurt Abbott to the plate after the pitching change; and Assenmacher retired him on a fly ball, then got Devon White swinging to end the inning.
In the top of the ninth inning, Cleveland again threatened. After Antonio Alfonseca walked Matt Williams to lead off the inning and Sandy Alomar Jr. reached on a fielder's choice to take Williams off the bases, Félix Heredia gave up a single to Thome which advanced Alomar to third. He was then pulled in favor of closer Robb Nen, inducing a groundball from Grissom to Rentería at shortstop, who elected to throw Alomar out at home, thanks in part to a great pick and tag by Johnson. He then got Brian Giles to fly out to end the inning.
The Indians sent closer José Mesa to the mound to try to win the series in the bottom of the ninth inning. Moisés Alou led off with a single, and Bonilla struck out swinging on a 3–2 pitch that would have been ball four. Nevertheless, just four strikes away from losing the World Series, Johnson lined a 1–2 fastball into right field, moving Alou to third. With runners on 1st and 3rd and one out, Craig Counsell fought off a low, inside fastball from Mesa, lining it into deep right field. Manny Ramírez caught the ball on the warning track to make it two outs, but Alou easily scored from third to tie the game. Although Mesa retired Jim Eisenreich to send the game to extra innings and held the Marlins without a run in the tenth, his blown save would open him to criticism for years to come.
After Nen struck out the side in the top of the 10th, Mesa was lifted after giving up back-to-back one-out singles for Game 3 starter Nagy, who got Alou to fly out to end the threat. After walking Williams, leading off the top of the 11th inning, Jay Powell retired Cleveland in order thanks to an alert fielder's choice on a sacrifice bunt by Alomar, which Powell fielded and threw out the lead runner at 2nd, followed by a Jim Thome inning-ending double play. Nagy took to the mound to face Florida in the bottom half of the 11th. Bonilla led off with a single to center. Gregg Zaun nearly caused a double play by popping his bunt attempt directly to Nagy. However, Bonilla was able to get back to first safely. Counsell followed with a ground ball that should have produced an inning-ending double play. Instead, the ball was misplayed by Fernández, slipping under his glove and into right field, and Bonilla advanced to third on the error. After Nagy loaded the bases with an intentional walk to Eisenreich, he got White to ground into a fielder's choice to Fernández, who elected to not go for the double play but instead quickly threw Bonilla out at the plate for the second out.
The next batter was Rentería; with the bases loaded and 2 outs in the bottom of the 11th inning of Game 7 of the World Series, he timed an 0–1 slider from Nagy and lined it up the middle out of reach of both Nagy (who was so close his glove even touched the ball), and between middle infielders Fernández and Gold Glove shortstop Vizquel. An exuberant Counsell scored from third, and jumped on home plate with his fists in the air in celebration—with the series-winning run. Rentería, in jubilation, removed his helmet with tears in his eyes before touching first base, having hit a World Series winning walk-off single.
After Game 7, the trophy presentation, usually taking place in the winning team's locker room regardless of venue, took place on the field for the first time ever before the crowd of 67,204. It was presided over by then-Chairman of the Executive Committee Bud Selig, who first did the honors in 1995 and would officially become Commissioner of Baseball in 1998. This is now a standard procedure whenever the champions are the home team of the deciding game (the only exception being 1999 when the New York Yankees chose to celebrate in their locker room).
|Total attendance: 403,627 Average attendance: 57,661|
Winning player's share: $188,468 Losing player's share: $113,226
Liván Hernández was named the Most Valuable Player of the 1997 World Series. Chad Ogea became the first pitcher since Mickey Lolich in 1968 to have at least two hits and two RBIs in a World Series. The Marlins won despite not having Alex Fernandez, their number-two starter, who did not pitch due to a rotator cuff injury.
Soon after Game 7 was complete, rumors on the internet started to spread that the 1989 (four years before the Florida Marlins made their debut) film Back to the Future Part II accurately predicted their 1997 World Series victory. In reality, the movie stated that, in 2015, a Miami team with an alligator mascot would lose to the Chicago Cubs in the World Series. Ironically, the actual Cubs' 2015 season also ended on October 21, and in a four-game sweep, but this time, they lost to the New York Mets in that year's NLCS.
On October 31, 1997, most of the fan favorites of the 1997 Marlins were traded, including Moisés Alou, who was traded to the Houston Astros, and Al Leiter to the New York Mets, in a fire sale so infamous that it has come to synonymize the term in the baseball world. The Marlins also lost Jeff Conine to the Royals and Darren Daulton when he retired. World Series MVP hurler Liván Hernández, however, stayed with the team for two more years. The Marlins had a record of 54–108 in 1998, the worst performance ever by a defending World Series champion. As a result, these Marlins are mockingly referred to as the first "Rent-A-Team" to win the World Series. Midway through the 1998 season, the Marlins would trade Jim Eisenreich, Bobby Bonilla, Gary Sheffield, and Charles Johnson to the Dodgers for Todd Zeile and Mike Piazza. Piazza would be traded shortly after to the Mets in return for prospects, one of which was Preston Wilson.
Jim Leyland, responding to reports that he would retire if the Marlins won the World Series, told NBC during the celebration, "My wife doesn't like me that much. I can't retire." However, he quit in the wake of their pitiful performance in 1998. He managed the Colorado Rockies in 1999, then scouted for several years before joining the Detroit Tigers as manager in 2006 and taking them to the World Series and losing in five games.
Marlins owner H. Wayne Huizenga, who dodged questions about selling the team during the on-field celebration, ultimately sold the team to John W. Henry after the 1998 season. Henry in turn sold it to former Montreal Expos owner Jeffrey Loria in 2001 as part of a deal to purchase the Boston Red Sox.
Loria would return the team to a World Series victory in 2003. That season started with only one of the 1997 World Series players left on the roster: pitcher Rick Helling. Helling was traded mid-season to the Texas Rangers. However, the team traded with the Baltimore Orioles for Jeff Conine. Conine would be the only 1997 Marlin to participate in the 2003 World Series victory.
The failure of José Mesa to save Game 7 ultimately ignited a heated feud with teammate Omar Vizquel. In Vizquel's autobiography, the veteran shortstop called Mesa a "choker." The two men ended their longtime friendship. Mesa later vowed to "...hit him every time" he faced him, and also stated that he wanted to kill Vizquel. Though Mesa did not actually bean Vizquel every time he subsequently faced him, he did hit him with pitches at least twice.
Game 7 also caused a scheduled Chicago Bears–Miami Dolphins game to be postponed to Monday night. It was seen on ABC in the Chicago and Miami markets, and was intended to air on Fox. The rest of the nation received the scheduled Green Bay Packers–New England Patriots game, the only time a rematch of a previous season's Super Bowl aired on ABC. It was also the first time in ten years a football game in this case the Denver Broncos at the Minnesota Vikings was moved to Monday Night because of the World Series.
Also, largely as a result of over 67,000 attending every World Series game played in Pro Player Stadium in Miami, the 1997 World Series became just the second to draw a total attendance of over 400,000 for the entire series. The only other World Series to draw more than 400,000 in attendance was the 1959 World Series, which had three of its six games played at the Los Angeles Coliseum, which drew over 92,000 for each game played at the Coliseum in that World Series. The total attendance of 403,627 is the second-largest in World Series history, only to the attendance of 420,784 in 1959.
Miami and Cleveland have celebrated championships in the 19 years since: in addition to the Marlins' second World Series championship in 2003, the Miami Heat won NBA championships in 2006, 2012 and 2013, while the Cleveland Cavaliers won the 2016 NBA Finals just eight days after the NHL's Columbus Blue Jackets' affiliate, the Lake Erie Monsters (now the Cleveland Monsters), won the AHL's Calder Cup ending a 52-year championship drought for their city. With the exception of 2006, Akron, Ohio native LeBron James played on each of the aforementioned NBA championship teams. As previously mentioned, the Indians also made it to the World Series in 2016, but in losing to the Chicago Cubs in seven games, they replaced the Cubs (who until then had not won the Series since 1908) as the team with the longest championship drought, having last won in 1948.
This marked the first time since 1988 that NBC televised a World Series in its entirety. In 1995, NBC televised Games 2, 3, and 6, while rival ABC televised Games 1, 4, and 5, having split that series since ABC was promised the strike-cancelled 1994 World Series. Both networks had announced prior to the 1995 season, that they were bailing out what was initially a six-year-long revenue sharing joint venture with Major League Baseball called "The Baseball Network". Starting with the 1996 World Series, Fox and NBC would alternate World Series broadcast rights for the next five seasons, with NBC broadcasting in odd-numbered years and Fox in even-numbered years. This arrangement ended in 2001, when Fox got exclusive broadcast rights to the World Series, and still does today.
NBC's West Coast president Don Ohlmeyer disturbed Major League Baseball when he publicly wished the World Series to end in a four-game sweep so that it wouldn't derail NBC's fall entertainment schedule. (Game 5 fell on a Thursday, which had long been the highest rated night on NBC's schedule, if not on all of television.)
Midway through Game 2, "surprise guest" Joe DiMaggio joined NBC's Bob Costas, Joe Morgan and Bob Uecker in the television booth. DiMaggio joked that Morgan was a "Hall of Famer" and Costas a "future Hall of Famer", but he didn't know what to think of when it came to Uecker. Ironically enough, the Baseball Hall of Fame would present Uecker with its Ford C. Frick Award several years later.
Also working for NBC's coverage were Jim Gray, who served as field reporter, and Ray Knight, Ron MacLean and Ahmad Rashad who alternated as dugout reporters. Meanwhile, Hannah Storm and Keith Olbermann served as pre-game hosts. Storm along with Jim Gray and Amhad Rashad covered the celebration on the field following Game 7. Also following Game 7, MacLean interviewed Mike Hargrove, and along with Keith Olbermann interviewed Indians players from their locker room. MacLean only worked Games 3,4,5 and 7 on loan from CBC Sports in Canada as he was under Hockey Night in Canada contract.
This was the last World Series broadcast on CBS Radio, which had covered the World Series consecutively since 1976. ESPN Radio would take over the national radio contract for Major League Baseball the following year. Vin Scully and Jeff Torborg were CBS Radio's announcers for the Series (the latter had once managed the Indians and would later manage the Marlins). This was Scully's eleventh and final World Series call for CBS Radio, and seventh consecutive since he rejoined the network following NBC's 1989 loss of baseball. It was also Scully's 25th and final World Series broadcast overall, including fourteen others he called for NBC and the Los Angeles Dodgers. Torborg would continue to call games for Fox television until the end of the 2000 season, working alongside John Rooney and Chip Caray, when he elected to return to managing and was hired by the Montreal Expos.
Game 7 was the final Major League Baseball game called by longtime Indians radio announcer Herb Score, as he retired at season's end. Score's broadcast partner, Tom Hamilton, would take over as lead announcer and he remains in that position as of the 2017 season. It also marked the final game carried by Indians flagship station WKNR (1220); the broadcast rights would be moved to WTAM for the 1998 season.
The 1997 American League Championship Series (ALCS) pitted the Cleveland Indians, who won coming back against the defending World Series champion New York Yankees in the AL Division Series, and the Baltimore Orioles, who went wire-to-wire and beat the Seattle Mariners in the Division Series. The Indians stunned the Orioles, winning on bizarre plays or remarkable comebacks, and won the Series four games to two, but went on to lose to the Florida Marlins in the well-fought, seesaw, seven-game battle of the 1997 World Series. The Orioles had home field advantage, which was predetermined and assigned to either the East Division champions or their opponents in the Division Series.1997 American League Division Series
The 1997 American League Division Series (ALDS), the opening round of the 1997 American League playoffs, began on Tuesday, September 30, and ended on Monday, October 6, with the champions of the three AL divisions—along with a "wild card" team—participating in two best-of-five series. The teams were:
(1) Baltimore Orioles (Eastern Division champion, 98–64) vs. (3) Seattle Mariners (Western Division champion, 90–72): Orioles win series, 3–1.
(2) Cleveland Indians (Central Division champion, 86–75) vs. (4) New York Yankees (Wild Card, 96–66): Indians win series, 3–2.The Baltimore Orioles and Cleveland Indians went on to meet in the AL Championship Series (ALCS). The Indians became the American League champion, and lost to the National League champion Florida Marlins in the 1997 World Series.1997 NFL season
The 1997 NFL season was the 78th regular season of the National Football League. The Oilers relocated from Houston, Texas to Nashville, Tennessee. The newly renamed Tennessee Oilers played their home games during this season at the Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium in Memphis, Tennessee while construction of a new stadium in Nashville started. Houston would rejoin the NFL with the expansion Texans in 2002.
This was the last season to date that TNT broadcast NFL games, as well as the last for NBC until 2006. When the TV contracts were renewed near the end of the season, Fox retained the National Football Conference package, CBS took over the American Football Conference package and ESPN won the right to televise all of the Sunday night games.
Due to Game 7 of the 1997 World Series, the Chicago Bears–Miami Dolphins game at Pro Player Stadium was delayed one day to Monday, October 27.
The Denver Broncos and Tampa Bay Buccaneers both changed their uniforms, and the new uniforms for both teams were introduced during this season.
The season ended with Super Bowl XXXII when the Denver Broncos defeated the Green Bay Packers 31–24 at Qualcomm Stadium. This broke the National Football Conference's streak of thirteen consecutive Super Bowl victories, the last American Football Conference win having been the Los Angeles Raiders defeating the Washington Redskins in Super Bowl XVIII.1997 National League Championship Series
The 1997 National League Championship Series (NLCS) pitted the Florida Marlins against the Atlanta Braves. The Marlins won the series, 4–2, and went on to defeat the Cleveland Indians in the 1997 World Series.1997 National League Division Series
The 1997 National League Division Series (NLDS), the opening round of the 1997 National League playoffs, began on Tuesday, September 30, and ended on Friday, October 3, with the champions of the three NL divisions—along with a "wild card" team—participating in two best-of-five series. They were:
(1) San Francisco Giants (Western Division champions, 90–72) vs. (4) Florida Marlins (Wild Card, 92–70): Marlins win series, 3–0.
(2) Houston Astros (Central Division champions, 84–78) vs. (3) Atlanta Braves (Eastern Division champions, 101–61): Braves win series, 3–0.The Atlanta Braves and Florida Marlins went on to meet in the NL Championship Series (NLCS). The Marlins became the National League champions, and defeated the American League champion Cleveland Indians in the 1997 World Series.1997 World Series of Poker
The 1997 World Series of Poker (WSOP) was a series of poker tournaments held at Binion's Horseshoe. Most notably, it was the only WSOP where the Main Event final table took place outdoors, at the Fremont Street Experience, just outside Binions.1998 World Series
The 1998 World Series was the championship series of Major League Baseball's (MLB) 1998 season. The 94th edition of the World Series, it was a best-of-seven playoff between the American League (AL) champion New York Yankees and the National League (NL) champion San Diego Padres. The Yankees swept the Series in four games to win their second World Series championship in three years and their 24th overall. Yankees third baseman Scott Brosius was named the World Series Most Valuable Player.
The Yankees advanced to the World Series by defeating the Texas Rangers in the AL Division Series, three games to none, and then the Cleveland Indians in the AL Championship Series, four games to two. The Padres advanced to the series by defeating the Houston Astros in the NL Division Series, three games to one, and then the Atlanta Braves in the NL Championship Series, four games to two. It was the Yankees' second appearance in the World Series in three years, and San Diego's second World Series appearance overall, their first since losing in 1984.
This was officially the first World Series that Bud Selig presided over as Commissioner of Baseball, although he had presided over the Commissioner's Trophy presentation at the end of the 1995 and 1997 World Series as the interim Commissioner. For the first time, the same city—San Diego—hosted both the final World Series game and the Super Bowl the same year; not only were they held in the same city, they were both also held in the same stadium, Qualcomm Stadium.2006 American League Championship Series
The 2006 American League Championship Series (ALCS), the second round of the 2006 American League playoffs, began on October 10 and ended on October 14. The wild card Detroit Tigers swept the Western Division champion Oakland Athletics 4 games to none to advance to the 2006 World Series, and became the fourth AL team to win 10 pennants, joining the New York Yankees (39), the Athletics (15), and the Boston Red Sox (11). Magglio Ordóñez's game-winning walk-off home run in the bottom of the 9th inning of Game 4 sealed the pennant for the Tigers. This ALCS marked the 5th different AL pennant winner in as many years (following 2005 with the White Sox, 2004 with the Red Sox, 2003 with the Yankees, and 2002 with the Angels).
The Athletics defeated the Minnesota Twins 3 games to none in the AL Division Series, and the Tigers defeated the Yankees 3 games to 1. The Tigers faced the National League champions St. Louis Cardinals in the World Series, but lost in five games. The Athletics had home-field advantage (despite the Tigers having a better regular season record) as the wild card team defers home field advantage in the LCS regardless of regular season record.
The Athletics were seeking their first AL pennant since 1990, while the Tigers captured the league title for the first time since their win in the 1984 World Series. The series was a rematch of the 1972 American League Championship Series (then a best-of-five series), in which Oakland defeated Detroit in 5 games. Detroit manager Jim Leyland, who led the Florida Marlins to the 1997 World Series title, became the seventh manager in history to win pennants in both leagues. It was the second consecutive ALCS without the Yankees and Red Sox.Bobby Bonilla
Roberto Martin Antonio Bonilla (, born February 23, 1963) is a former player in Major League Baseball of Puerto Rican descent who played in the major leagues from 1986 to 2001.
Through his 16 years in professional baseball, Bonilla accumulated a .279 batting average, with a .358 on-base percentage and a .472 slugging. He was on the Florida Marlins team that won the 1997 World Series. Bonilla led the league in extra base hits (78) during the 1990 MLB season and doubles (44) during the 1991 MLB season. He also participated in six MLB All-Star Games and won three Silver Slugger Awards.
From 1992 to 1994, Bonilla was the highest-paid player in the major leagues, earning more than $6 million per year. Since 2011, he has been paid approximately $1.19 million by the New York Mets each year and is the poster boy for the mutually beneficial practice among major league teams for deferring contractual payments until well after the player has retired. The payments come every July 1, which some media members refer to as "Bobby Bonilla Day". This was part of a deal made when the Mets released Bonilla before the 2000 season while still owing him $5.9 million for the final year of his contract. The deal expires in 2035, at which point Bonilla will have been paid $29.8 million for a season in which he did not even play for the Mets.Chad Ogea
Chad Wayne Ogea (; born November 9, 1970) is a former Major League Baseball pitcher. He made his MLB debut in 1994 and played his final game in 1999.Darren Daulton
Darren Arthur Daulton (January 3, 1962 – August 6, 2017), nicknamed "Dutch", was an American professional baseball catcher who played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Philadelphia Phillies (1983, 1985–1997) and Florida Marlins (1997). While with the Phillies, Daulton was a three-time MLB All-Star and won the 1992 Silver Slugger Award. He won the 1997 World Series with the Marlins.Dave Ulliott
David A. Ulliott (1 April 1954 – 6 April 2015), known by the nickname Devilfish, was an English professional gambler and poker player. Formerly, Ulliott was a minor figure in the Hull underworld, but went on to become a World Series of Poker bracelet-winner, and a mainstay of televised poker. At the poker table, he was known for wearing orange-tinted prescription sunglasses, a sharp suit (or leather jacket) and gold knuckleduster rings reading "Devil" and "Fish", which he made himself. In 2017 he was elected to the Poker Hall of Fame.Jay Powell
James Willard "Jay" Powell (born January 9, 1972) is a former American baseball pitcher who last played for the Atlanta Braves.
He was drafted by the San Diego Padres in 1990, but did not sign. Following his junior year at Mississippi State, he was drafted by the Baltimore Orioles in the first round (19th pick overall) in 1993 and signed. He played for the Florida Marlins, Houston Astros, Colorado Rockies, and Texas Rangers before signing with the Atlanta Braves in January of 2005. His last game was on July 29, 2005, when he fractured his humerus.
Powell was the winning pitcher of Game 7 of the 1997 World Series for the Florida Marlins.Jeff Conine
Jeffrey Guy Conine (; born June 27, 1966) is a former Major League Baseball player who played 17 seasons with six teams primarily as an outfielder. An inaugural member of the Florida Marlins who was with the franchise for both of its World Series titles, he earned the title Mr. Marlin for his significant history with the club, and his ties to South Florida.Conine was born in Tacoma, Washington, played baseball at UCLA, and was drafted in the 58th round of the 1987 Major League Baseball draft by the Kansas City Royals. After two cup of coffee stints with the Royals, Conine was selected by the Marlins in the 1992 Major League Baseball expansion draft. Becoming the team's first star, he played five seasons with the Marlins, earning the most valuable player award at the 1995 Major League Baseball All-Star Game and earning a World Series title in 1997.
A victim of a fire sale after the 1997 season, Conine was traded to the Royals where he played in 93 games. He was traded to the Baltimore Orioles prior to the 1999 season, where he had several productive seasons. Traded back to the Marlins in 2003 for a couple of prospects, he helped the team win a second World Series title. He remained with the team until 2005, returning to the Orioles as a free agent. He became a journeyman outfielder near the end of his career, signing a one-day contract to retire as a member of the Marlins in 2008.John Cernuto
John Anthony Cernuto (born January 10, 1944 in Jersey City, New Jersey) also known as Miami, is an American professional poker player based in Las Vegas, Nevada, specialising in Omaha hi-lo events. Cernuto has won over $5,500,000 in live tournament winnings, his largest score was for $259,150 from his $2,000 No Limit Hold'em bracelet victory in the 1997 World Series of Poker.José Mesa
José Ramón Nova Mesa (Spanish: [xoˈse ˈmesa]; born May 22, 1966) is a Dominican professional baseball pitcher who played in Major League Baseball from 1987 through 2007. He played for the Baltimore Orioles, Cleveland Indians, San Francisco Giants, Seattle Mariners, Philadelphia Phillies, Pittsburgh Pirates, Colorado Rockies, and Detroit Tigers. He retired with 321 career saves.
Mesa was a two-time MLB All-Star and won the American League (AL) Rolaids Relief Man Award in 1995, when he led the AL in saves. His nickname was "Joe Table", the literal translation of his name in the English language.Kevin Song
Kevin Song is a Korean-American professional poker player who started playing poker since 1980 and began playing in poker tournaments since 1994 where he has cashed in many of them throughout his poker career, among them are 39 cashes at the World Series of Poker including winning the 1997 World Series of Poker $2,000 buy-in Limit Hold'em event.Maria Stern
Maria Stern is an American professional poker player who won the 1997 World Series of Poker $1,500 Seven-Card Stud event. That same year, her husband Max won two of his three bracelets.Miami Marlins
The Miami Marlins are an American professional baseball team based in Miami, Florida. They compete in Major League Baseball (MLB) as a member club of the National League (NL) East division. Their home park is Marlins Park. Though one of only two MLB franchises to have never won a division title (the other is the Colorado Rockies), the Marlins have won two World Series championships as a wild card team.
The team began play as an expansion team in the 1993 season as the Florida Marlins and played home games from their inaugural season to the 2012 season at what was originally called Joe Robbie Stadium, which they shared with the Miami Dolphins of the National Football League (NFL). Since the 2012 season, they have played at Marlins Park in downtown Miami, on the site of the former Orange Bowl. The new park, unlike their previous home (which was criticized in its baseball configuration for poor sight lines in some locations), was designed foremost as a baseball park. Per an agreement with the city and Miami-Dade County (which owns the park), the Marlins officially changed their name to the "Miami Marlins" on November 11, 2011. They also adopted a new logo, color scheme, and uniforms.The Marlins have the distinction of winning a World Series championship in both seasons they qualified for the postseason, doing so in 1997 and 2003—both times as the National League wild card team, making them the only franchise in the major four North American professional sports leagues (MLB, NBA, NFL, NHL) to have never lost a playoff round. They defeated the American League (AL) champion Cleveland Indians in the 1997 World Series, with shortstop Édgar Rentería driving in second baseman Craig Counsell for the series-clinching run in the 11th inning of the seventh and deciding game. In the 2003 season, manager Jeff Torborg was fired after 38 games. The Marlins were in last place in the NL East with a 16–22 record at the time. Torborg's successor, 72-year-old Jack McKeon, led them to the NL wild card berth in the postseason; they defeated the New York Yankees four games to two in the 2003 World Series.
|American League teams|
|National League teams|
Florida Marlins 1997 World Series champions
|World Series Championships (2)|
|National League Pennants (2)|
|Wild card berths|
|Minor League affiliates|
|Culture and lore|
|Postseason appearances (14)|
|Division championships (10)|
|American League pennants (6)|
|World Series championships (2)|
|Hall of Fame inductees|
1997 MLB season by team
|AL Division Series|
|NL Division Series|
|AL Championship Series|
|NL Championship Series|
|AL Division Series|
|NL Division Series|