7. Geoff Blum, 2005 Chicago White Sox. A journeyman infielder, Blum spent most of his career in Houston, and only part of that 2005 season on Chicago’s South Side. So the irony that the biggest moment of his career should occur against those Astros (and in Houston to boot) is inescapable.
As Game 3 of the 2005 Series began at Minute Maid Park with the White Sox up two games to none, Blum wasn’t even in the lineup. In fact his entire World Series experience consisted of a single at bat. He used it to make White Sox history.
Entering a 5-5 tie game as a defensive replacement in the bottom of the 13th inning, Blum’s chance presented itself with two out in the top of the 14th. Facing Ezequiel Astacio, Houston’s seventh pitcher of the evening, Blum took two balls and then unleashed magic. His line drive barely cleared the right field wall, but when it did it gave Chicago a 6-5 lead. The Sox went on to win 7-5 and complete their Series sweep one night later. Blum Win Probability Added: 41 percent.
t-4. Bill Johnson, 1943 New York Yankees. Johnson was a 24-year-old rookie awaiting a call from his draft board to serve in World War II when the Yankees met the National league champion St. Louis Cardinals in a rematch of the 1942 World Series. To that point, his biggest contribution had been reaching base on a sixth inning error that allowed the Yanks to score their only run.
When Johnson got his next chance in the bottom of the eighth at Yankee Stadium, the stakes were considerably higher. With Cardinal starter Al Brazle still nursing that 2-1 lead, Johnston stared out at a bases loaded situation and just one batter retired. The contest was in the rookie’s hands.
Johnson made the most of it, taking a strike and then lashing Brazle’s second pitch to the far reaches of the left-center field area. All three baserunners scored as Johnson pulled up at third base with a triple that was the key to their eventual 6-2 victory.
New York won the Series in five games. Johnson Win Probability Added: 42 percent.