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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Fans line up to buy tickets to the 1925 World Series. (Photo by Mark Rucker/Transcendental Graphics, Getty Images)
Fans line up to buy tickets to the 1925 World Series. (Photo by Mark Rucker/Transcendental Graphics, Getty Images) /

18. Game 7, October 15, 1925. Washington Senators at Pittsburgh Pirates

Carson Bigbee vs. Walter Johnson. Change in Championship Probability: 29.49 percent

Cuyler’s heroics had been preceded by – chronologically at least – an even more dramatic turn at the plate. As noted above, Johnson’s Senators entered the bottom of the eighth with a 7-6 lead and a 66 percent likelihood of winning. Those odds only grew when Johnson retired hard-hitting shortstop Glenn Wright on a foul pop to third baseman Ossie Bluege, and Stuffy McInnis flied lazily to Sam Rice in center.

Johnson was now just four outs from wrapping up back-to-back championships for the Senators. He was also facing the bottom of Pittsburgh’s order, specifically catcher Earl Smith.

But Smith had been hot against the Senators, with six hits in 19 at bats. Only one of those hits, though, had come against Johnson.

Apparently Smith was due. He lined a double into right field. With pitcher Ray Kremer due next, Pirates manager Bill McKechnie went to his bench and found Carson Bigbee, a part-time outfielder who had batted just .238 in 66 games.

On the surface, Bigbee vs. Johnson sounds like no contest. But baseball is a funny game; Bigbee looked at two balls, then lofted a fly to deep left that fell between Rice and Goose Goslin for a double. Pinch runner Emil Yde brought home the tying run and Bigbee carried the go-ahead run into scoring position for Cuyler.