The 25 most decisive plays in World Series history

Oct 24, 2020; Arlington, Texas, USA; The Tampa Bay Rays center fielder Kevin Kiermaier (39) and right fielder Brett Phillips (14) celebrate Phillips hitting the game winning two run walk off single against the Los Angeles Dodgers during the ninth inning in game four of the 2020 World Series at Globe Life Field. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 24, 2020; Arlington, Texas, USA; The Tampa Bay Rays center fielder Kevin Kiermaier (39) and right fielder Brett Phillips (14) celebrate Phillips hitting the game winning two run walk off single against the Los Angeles Dodgers during the ninth inning in game four of the 2020 World Series at Globe Life Field. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports /
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Sluggers of the 1960 New York Yankees: Roger Maris, Yogi Berra, Mickey Mantle, Bill Skowron.. (Olen Collection/Diamond Images/Getty Images)
Sluggers of the 1960 New York Yankees: Roger Maris, Yogi Berra, Mickey Mantle, Bill Skowron.. (Olen Collection/Diamond Images/Getty Images) /

8. Game 7, October 13, 1960. New York Yankees at Pittsburgh Pirates

Yogi Berra vs. Roy Face. Change in Probability: 34.32 percent.

To most fans, the seventh game of the 1960 World Series is all about Bill Mazeroski’s concluding home run. That moment is big enough to deserve its own entry on this list. But it was hardly the only turning point.

Three innings earlier, Yankee outfielder Yogi Berra provided a moment that, if not for subsequent events, might easily have made Berra the Series hero.

That moment occurred during  what has become the much-overlooked sixth inning of that seventh game at Forbes Field. The home-town Pirates carried a 4-1 lead into that inning, a circumstance that equated to an 87 percent probability of a Series-clinching victory. It would not be that simple.

Pirate ace Vern Law, already a two-game Series winner, had pitched well to that point, holding the Yankees to just three hits. One was a Bill Skowron home run. But when Law opened the sixth by surrendering a base hit to Bobby Richardson and walking Tony Kubek, Pirates manager Danny Murtaugh got nervous.

With 12 outs remaining to be gotten, Murtaugh elected to pull Law in favor of his closer, Elroy Face. With 24 saves in 114 innings as well as a 2.90 ERA, the move made some sense. Face had made eight regular season appearances of three innings or more, and he had not pitched in three days, so he was well-rested.

But form does not always hold. After retiring Roger Maris on an infield pop, Face surrendered a run-producing ground ball single to mickey Mantle that found its way between shortstop and second.

That made the score 4-2, and brought up Berra with one out and runners at first and third.

The percentages still strongly favored the Pirates by a margin of 70 percent. But Berra was not a percentages guy. He took a strike, then pulled a drive down the right field line that wrapped around the foul pole for a three-run home run.

Suddenly the Yankees, who had trailed 4-1 moments earlier, led 5-4. The 70 percent prospect of Pittsburgh victory morphed into a 64 percent likelihood of a Yankee win.

It was the first of several lead changes that afternoon. The others would be even more memorable.