4. Frank Crosetti, 1938 New York Yankees. On paper, the 1938 World Series between the Yankees and Chicago Cubs looks like no contest. The Yanks won in four straight, and they outscored the National League champions 22-9 in the process.
But Cubs fans can be forgiven for wondering whether the outcome might have been different had not Crosetti worked some batting magic in Game Two.
Behind Dizzy Dean, the Cubs clung to a 3-2 lead entering the eighth inning that afternoon at Wrigley Field. But Dean, struggling with a sore arm much of the season, was, living on offspeed stuff as Crosetti came up with two out and Myril Hoag aboard. Looking for something slow, Crosetti waited back and launched Dean’s pitch into Wrigley’s left field bleachers for a game-turning two-run home run.
Joe DiMaggio’s two-run home run in the ninth was the knockout blow to the formerly great pitcher as the Yanks won 6-3 and went back to New York to complete the sweep. Crosetti Win Probability Added: 51 percent.
3. Paul Konerko, 2005 Chicago White Sox. Seeking their first World Series championship in nearly nine decades, the White Sox beat Houston 5-3 in Game One at U.S. Cellular Field but faced a 4-2 deficit entering the seventh inning of Game Two. That’s when Chicago’s slugging first baseman stepped up.
Astros reliever Dan Wheeler retired two but issued a double, a walk and a bases-loading hit by pitch before departing in favor of Chad Qualls. Konerko was the first batter Qualls faced and the White Sox slugger – coming off a second straight 40-home run season – launched a grand slam into the left field seats.
The home run turned that 4-2 Houston lead into a 6-4 Chicago advantage, and although Houston fought back the White Sox eventually won 7-6 on the previously discussed Scott Podsednik home run. Konerko Win Probability Added: 58 percent.