Top 10 Baseball Games of All Time
Major League Baseball has existed for over 100 years, so naturally, there have been a wide array of legendary games to take place. The MLB Playoffs have yielded particularly memorable showdowns, with teams’ chances at winning it all on the line. Read on to learn about the top ten baseball games of all time.
What Are the Best Baseball Games of All Time?
- 2016 World Series Game 7
- 1956 World Series Game 5
- 1975 World Series Game 6
- 1991 World Series Game 7
- 1960 World Series Game 7
- 1997 World Series Game 7
- 2014 American League Wild Card Game
- 1986 World Series Game 6
- 1988 World Series Game 1
- 2011 World Series Game 6
1. 2016 World Series Game 7
- Game: 2016 World Series Game 7
- Date: November 2, 2016
- Teams: Chicago Cubs, Cleveland Indians
- Final Score: CHC 8 - CLE 7
The 2016 World Series Game 7 is known to be one of the greatest games in baseball history. Before 2016, the Cubs hadn’t won a World Series title since 1908. The last time the Indians won the World Series was in 1948. After the Cubs took a 5-1 lead in the top of the fifth, Cubs manager Joe Maddon made a questionable decision to replace their star pitcher Kyle Hendricks with Jon Lester. Lester struggled on the mound, giving up two runs to the Indians in the bottom of the fifth.
With the score being 6-3 going into the ninth inning, Cleveland Indians’ outfielder Rajai Davis hit a two-run home run to eventually tie the game going into the ninth and final inning. After a first-ever Game 7 rain delay, the Cubs scored two runs in the top of the 10th and held off the Indians to close out the World Series for the first time in over 100 years.
2. 1956 World Series Game 5
- Game: 1956 World Series, Game 5
- Date: October 8, 1956
- Teams: New York Yankees, Los Angeles Dodgers
- Final Score: NYY 2 - LAD 0
Although the 1956 World Series between the Yankees and Dodgers ended up being a seven-game series, the fifth game went down in history as one of the most exceptional pitching performances ever seen. New York Yankees pitcher Don Larsen threw the only no-hitter and perfect game in World Series history. Don Larsen, with the help of the Yankees’ unstoppable defense, put out 27 straight batters, with seven of those outs being strikeouts. In the fourth inning, Mickey Mantle hit a low line-drive home run into right field to score one of the only two runs scored by the Yankees that game. To close out the ninth inning, Don Larsen struck out the final batter, pinch hitter Dale Mitchell, ending the game with a total of only 97 pitches. To this day, no pitcher has ever come close to his record-breaking performance from that World Series game in 1956.
3. 1975 World Series Game 6
- Game: 1975 World Series, Game 6
- Date: October 21, 1975
- Teams: Boston Red Sox, Cincinnati Reds
- Final Score: BOS 7 - CIN 6
Game 6 of the 1975 World Series between the Red Sox and the Reds is still talked about to this day by baseball fans. In the first five games of the series, three of the games were decided by a one-run difference. With the Red Sox down 3-2 in the series, the sixth game ended up being one of the most dramatic games in Red Sox history. In the first inning, Red Sox center fielder Fred Lynn hit a three-run home run to jump ahead of the Reds. However, the Reds responded with six more runs, going up 6-3 into the bottom of the eighth. In the bottom of the eighth, pinch hitter Bernie Carbo hit a three-run home run to tie the game at six and send the game into extra innings.
After four long, intense innings, Red Sox player Carlton Fisk smashed a ball over the left field wall in one of the most memorable walk-offs in baseball history. The Red Sox catcher waved his hands in the air as if willing the ball to go fair, sending the Red Sox into a Game 7 with the Cincinnati Reds.
4. 1991 World Series Game 7
- Game: 1991 World Series championship game
- Date: October 27, 1991
- Teams: Minnesota Twins, Atlanta Braves
- Final Score: MIN 1 - ATL 0
This final game of the 1991 World Series between the Atlanta Braves and Minnesota Twins went down as one of the greatest pitching duels in the history of postseason baseball. Pitcher John Smoltz of the Braves faced off against Jack Morris of the Twins, both shutting down each other’s offense and not allowing a single run during the nine innings of regulation baseball. In the bottom of the 10th, pinch-hitter Gene Larken stood up to the plate with the bases loaded, hitting a walk-off single to left field and winning the Twins their second World Series in four years.
Although Larkin ended up with the game-winning hit, pitcher Jack Morris won the World Series MVP honors. Morris finished the game with 122 pitches, striking out eight batters and only walking two. It broke the record for the longest pitching performance in World Series history.
5. 1960 World Series Game 7
- Game: 1960 World Series Game 7
- Date: October 13, 1960
- Teams: Pittsburgh Pirates, New York Yankees
- Final Score: PIT 10 - NYY 9
The Pittsburgh Pirates’ victory over the New York Yankees in 1960 is still remembered today as the craziest Game 7 in World Series history. After the first six games, the Yankees had shown absolute dominance throughout the series, accumulating a total of 55 runs compared to the Pirates’ 17 runs. In the first two innings of Game 7, the Pirates were able to quickly jump to a 4-0 lead. Throughout the game, the Yankees, being one of the most powerful teams in the league, slowly responded with more runs and eventually brought the score to 7-4 at the top of the eighth.
In the bottom of the eighth, Pirates players Roberto Clemente and Hal Smith helped plate five runs and brought the Pirates back into a 9-7 lead. The Yankees then tied the game in the top of the ninth after Mickey Mantle knocked in and scored a run. Pirates second baseman Bill Mazeroski led off the ninth with a walk-off solo home run, winning the World Series and becoming the first player in MLB history to end a Game 7 with a home run.
6. 1997 World Series Game 7
- Game: 1997 World Series championship game
- Date: October 26, 1997
- Teams: Florida Marlins, Cleveland Indians
- Final Score: FLA 3 - CLE 2
In 1997, the Florida Marlins took down the powerful Cleveland Indians in a wild 11-inning game, earning their spot as one of the greatest baseball games of all time. After the first six innings, the Marlins fell to a 2-0 lead by the Indians as they struggled to hit against Indians star pitcher Jaret Wright. In the bottom of the seventh, Marlins third baseman Bobby Bonilla hit a solo home run to make it 2-1. In the bottom of the ninth, the Marlins rallied hit after hit to eventually tie the game and send it into extra innings.
At the bottom of the 11th inning, Édgar Rentería of the Marlins hit a single up the middle with the bases loaded and two outs to win the first World Series ever for the Marlins franchise. Although the Marlins organization was only a few years old at the time, they certainly shocked the baseball world with their strong performance throughout the series.
7. 2014 American League Wild Card Game
- Game: 2014 American League Wild Card game
- Date: September 30, 2014
- Teams: Kansas City Royals, Oakland Athletics
- Final Score: KCR 9 - OAK 8
In 2014, the Kansas City Royals took down the Oakland Athletics in what was known as, at the time, the longest “winner take all” baseball game in history. After 12 intense back-and-forth innings, the Royals won and advanced to face the Los Angeles Angels and would ultimately go on to win the World Series title. After the Royals went down by four runs going into the bottom of the 8th, they were able to rally back to finally tie the game in the bottom of the ninth. Three innings later, in the bottom of the 12th, the Royals catcher Salvador Perez hit a line drive along the third base line to score the winning run.
The ability of the Royals to come back from such an improbable deficit was due to the team’s ability to hit the ball and steal bases, ending the game with a total of seven stolen bases. The four-run rally in the bottom of the 8th crowned this ALWC game as one of the greatest in baseball history.
8. 1986 World Series Game 6
- Game: 1986 World Series, Game 6
- Date: October 25, 1986
- Teams: New York Mets, Boston Red Sox
- Final Score: NYM 6 - BOS 5
In one of the greatest 10th-inning rallies in the history of baseball, the New York Mets won against the Boston Red Sox in Game 6, forcing a Game 7, which they also won. After the Mets tied up the game at three in the bottom of the ninth, the Red Sox were able to score two more runs in the top of the 10th to make their lead even stronger with a score of 5-3. The first two batters for the Mets were put away, leaving Mets’ Gary Carter up to the plate with two outs. Carter, with two strikes in the pitch count, lined a pitch into left field for a hit.
From then on out, the Mets rallied back to tie the game after Kevin Mitchell stole home to tie the game. The following batter went through a ten-pitch count, eventually hitting a ground ball directly through the first baseman, Bill Buckner’s legs, in one of the biggest errors in baseball history. The Met’s rally in both the ninth and 10th inning places this game as one of the greatest baseball games ever.
9. 1988 World Series Game 1
- Game: 1988 World Series, Game 1
- Date: October 15, 1988
- Teams: Los Angeles Dodgers, Oakland Athletics
- Final Score: LAD 5 - OAK 4
Game 1 of the 1988 World Series between the Los Angeles Dodgers and Oakland Athletics can be considered one of the greatest games of all time due to Kirk Gibson’s impressive efforts to save the game in the bottom of the ninth. In the previous series with the Mets, Gibson had injured both legs and was unable to play the entire game. When the Dodgers were down 4-3 in the bottom of the ninth with two runners on base and two outs, manager Tommy Lasorda put him in to pinch hit for his first at-bat of the entire series.
After hitting a foul ball and limping to first base, everyone in the crowd understood how much pain Gibson was in. With the count closing in at 3-2, Gibson hit a walk-off home run into right field, hobbling around the bases to win the game. To this day, Gibson’s power and strength in a moment of great physical pain represent one of the most impressive efforts seen in baseball.
10. 2011 World Series Game 6
- Game: 2011 World Series, Game 6
- Date: October 27, 2011
- Teams: St. Louis Cardinals, Texas Rangers
- Final Score: STL 10 - TEX 9
In possibly one of the greatest back-and-forth games in World Series history, the St. Louis Cardinals were able to continuously tie the game in the most desperate situations to eventually hit a walk-off home run to win the game. With the Rangers up 7-4 in the ninth, infielder David Freese hit a two-run triple to tie the game. After Texas then built another lead going up 9-7 in the top of the 10th, the Cardinals rallied to tie the game off of base hits in the bottom of the 10th.
With no outs yet in the bottom of the 11th, David Freese stepped up to the plate again and hit a solo walk-off straight over center field. The Cardinals’ victory provided them the momentum to come back in Game 7 and win them the World Series. The game went down in history as one of the most impressive battles for the World Series title in league history.
2003 American League Championship Series Game 7
- Game: 2003 ALCS, Game 7
- Date: October 6, 2003
- Teams: New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox
- Final Score: NYY 6 - BOS 5
The Yankees and Red Sox have a storied rivalry, with countless memorable games that baseball fanatics know by heart. However, Game 7 of the 2003 ALCS holds a special place in Yankees fans’ hearts. The Red Sox and the Yankees were competing for a spot in the World Series, with the Yankees having won four World Series between 1996 and 2000 and the Red Sox having not won a World Series since 1918.
The game was a nail-biter, with both sides tied going into the 11th inning at Yankee Stadium. Tim Wakefield, typically a knuckleball-throwing starting pitcher, was tasked with keeping the Yankees quiet in the bottom of the inning. However, Wakefield made a mistake to Aaron Boone that would reside in baseball history for the rest of time. He hung a knuckleball over the middle of the plate, which Boone drove over the left field wall to send the Yankees to the World Series. Yankee Stadium erupted, and Aaron Boone became a permanent fixture in the legendary Yankees-Red Sox rivalry.
2004 World Series Game 4
- Game: 2004 World Series, Game 4
- Date: October 27, 2004
- Teams: Boston Red Sox, St. Louis Cardinals
- Score: BOS 3 - STL 0
One year after Boston’s devastating 2003 ALCS loss, the team got another chance at World Series glory, winning the American League Pennant and advancing to their first championship since their heartbreaking 1986 defeat by the New York Mets. For the Red Sox, the 2004 World Series was the latest chance in their quest to break the infamous “Curse of the Bambino,” a championship drought that had affected them since 1918 and which began after they had traded Babe Ruth to the Yankees in 1920. As of 2004, the drought had lasted 86 years, and many fans of the team had been waiting their entire lives to see them win again.
In the first two games of the 2004 Championship, the Red Sox had gotten off to a commanding lead, defeating St. Louis 11-9, 6-2, and 4-1. At the start of Game 4, excitement was high, especially since the game was occurring on the 18th anniversary of Boston’s 1986 World Series loss. In his first at-bat of the game, Johnny Damon hit a one-run homer to kick off the first inning with a bang, and afterwards, David Ortiz and Trent Nixon scored doubles that brought in a further two runs, both in the third inning.
The game remained scoreless for the remaining six innings, but in the ninth inning, tensions were nonetheless high. After scoring a single off Keith Foulke, Cardinals’ batter Albert Pujols managed to reach second base, but fellow batters Scott Rolen and Jim Edmonds were gotten out soon afterwards, leaving the Red Sox on the verge of a triumphant victory. On the next pitch, a ground ball from Édgar Rentería was scooped up by Foulke, who underhanded it to first base for the game-clinching out, finally breaking Boston’s 86-year drought to the roar of the jubilant crowds.
1993 World Series Game 6
- Game: 1993 World Series, Game 6
- Date: October 23, 1993
- Teams: Toronto Blue Jays, Philadelphia Phillies
- Score: TOR 8 - PHI 6
Game 6 of the 1993 World Series was a whirlwind, with suspense, heroics, and uncanny characters galore. The Toronto Blue Jays were matched up against the Philadelphia Phillies in a tight series for world champ status, with the Jays up three games to two. For most of the game, it seemed like they’d wrap the series up in Game 6, too, with a commanding 5-1 lead at the conclusion of the fifth inning. However, in an unprecedented turn of events, the Phillies bats awoke in the seventh inning to the tune of five runs, making the score 6-5 by the time the top of the seventh inning was over.
The Blue Jays’ bats had stalled, with no offense to speak of, up until the bottom of the ninth inning in Toronto. Just when it seemed like the series was bound for a seventh game, however, Toronto fought back. The Blue Jays were able to get two runners on base, both the tying and game-winning runs, when Joe Carter stepped up to the plate to face Mitch Williams. Joe Carter, in classic superstar fashion, took a Mitch Williams fastball deep to left field and over the outfield fence, winning the Blue Jays a second straight World Series title. Fans and teammates alike stormed the field to celebrate the championship-winning blast, the first of its kind since Bill Mazeroski’s Game 7 blast in the 1960 World Series against the Yankees.
1951 Best-Of-Three For NL Pennant Game 3
- Game: 1951 Best-Of-Three For NL Pennant Game 3
- Date: October 3, 1951
- Teams: New York Giants, Brooklyn Dodgers
- Score: NYG 5 - BKN 4
The final game of the best-of-three series for the National League Pennant in 1951 features every aspect necessary for a legendary baseball game: stars, dramatics, history, rivalry, and, most importantly, a hero.
Back in the early 1950s, the format for the MLB playoffs was very different. Instead of having an elaborate playoff system, there was just the World Series. In short, the best team in the National and American League would play one another for the championship. This was the case in 1953 when the Giants and Dodgers found themselves tied for the National League title. The tie necessitated a three-game series between the two sides to determine who would play in the World Series. The two teams each won a game in this three-game series, leading up to a final game three that would decide the winner.
The Giants found themselves trailing by three runs going into the bottom of the ninth, a daunting scenario with a trip to the World Series on the line. However, the Giants were quick to get to work, putting two runners on base with one out. This opened the door for Bobby Thompson to step up to the plate. Thompson hit a high drive to left field that found its way into the seats. This three-run home run sent the Giants to the World Series, and broadcaster Russ Hodges made one of the most legendary calls in MLB history, shouting, “the Giants win the pennant! The Giants win the pennant!” as Thompson jogged around the bases. This home run came to be known as “The Shot Heard ‘Round the World.”
What is the best World Series game ever?
The best World Series game ever played was the 2016 World Series Game 7, where the Chicago Cubs and Cleveland Indians fought for a long-awaited Championship title. After rain delays, questionable coaching decisions, and extra innings, the Cubs scored two runs and eventually held off the Indians from scoring in the bottom of the 10th inning. This was the first time the Cubs had won the World Series in just about 100 years.
What is the greatest baseball comeback in baseball history?
In 2004, the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees, one of the greatest rivalries in baseball history, battled for the American League Championship (ALCS). After the Yankees quickly went up 3-0 in the series, including scoring 19 runs in Game 3, everyone believed the Red Sox season was over. After the 19-run loss, the Red Sox were able to win eight straight games, beating the Yankees 4-3 in the series while also sweeping the St. Louis Cardinals 4-0 in the World Series.
Who has the greatest pitching performance in a World Series game?
In the 1956 World Series, pitcher Don Larsen threw a perfect game for the first and only time in World Series history. After nine innings, all 27 batters that had stepped up to the plate didn’t make it on base. Throughout the game, Larsen only threw 97 pitches while striking out seven batters. No pitcher in World Series history has ever come close to this distinction.
Who has the best walk-off home run in World Series history?
In the 1988 World Series, outfielder Kirk Gibson had badly hurt both of his legs and was on injured reserve for the entire playoff series. After being down one run in the bottom of the 9th, Gibson was put in to pinch hit with one batter on base, hitting a two-run home run to win Game 1 of the series. It was the only at-bat he contributed to the series, yet hitting a home run with two hurt legs had never been seen before.