t-8. Jimmie Foxx, 1930 Philadelphia Athletics. The fifth game of the 1930 World Series between the defending champion Athletics and St. Louis Cardinals at Sportsman’s Park was a pitching masterpiece. Through seven innings, Philadelphia’s George Earnshaw and St. Louis’ Burleigh Grimes matched shutouts. Lefty Grove took over for Earnshaw in the eighth and picked right up where he had left off.
Entering the top of the ninth, the Cardinals and A’s had combined for only seven base hits, with only one runner advancing as far as third base. Grimes opened the ninth by walking Mickey Cochrane, but retired Al Simmons on a popup and then faced his biggest challenge, first baseman Foxx.
The A’s first baseman was a consummate hitter in an era replete with them. That season he hit .335 with 37 home runs and 156 runs batted in on his way to a Hall of Fame career. So when Grimes missed in the strike zone with his first pitch, Foxx was ready; he sent it on a high arc into the left field seats for a two-run home run.
Grove shut down the Cardinals in the bottom of the ninth to complete the 2-0 shutout. Two days later, back at their Shibe Park home, the A’s finalized their World Series repeat. Foxx Win Probability Added: 39 percent.
t-8. Del Unser, 1980 Philadelphia Phillies. The 1980 World Series was tied and the American League champion Kansas City Royals looked to make it a sweep at Kauffman Stadium as the fifth game advanced into its late stages. Behind starter Larry Gura and closer Dan Quisenberry, Kansas City led just three outs from victory.
But Quisenberry, who had absorbed both a blown save and a loss in Philadelphia’s Game Two win, was about to suffer a repeat of that nightmare. Mike Schmidt opened with a base hit, and Unser – pinch hitting for Lonnie Smith – sent a game-tying double screaming into the right field corner.
As if that wasn’t bad enough, two outs later Manny Trillo singled Unser home with the winning run. When the Series returned to Philadelphia for game Six, the Phillies wrapped it up. Unser Win Probability Added: 39 percent.