1997 World Series Game 7: This Fan’s Greatest Series Memory

The greatest moment in World Series history that I can remember would have to be the end to Game 7 of the 1997 World Series. The Florida Marlins faced the Cleveland Indians in a fairly even matched series. The Marlins jumped out to an early lead in Game 1, but Cleveland came right back in Game 2 to tie things up. This trend continued through Game 6, with each team tied at three games a piece going in to Game 7.

To be frank, it was a shock for the Marlins to even be in the position they were in. According to MLB.com, they had just become a franchise only five years prior. Plus, they entered the playoffs in a wild card spot, and no team had ever won the World Series from that position. The odds were indeed stacked against the Marlins, but for some reason I was attracted to the team.

Fortunately, the Indians were forced to travel to Florida for the final game of the series. The stalemate was broken in the third inning, when Tony Fernandez came through with two outs and singled to score two runs for the Indians. Bobby Bonilla finally put the Marlins on the board when he hit a homerun in the seventh inning to make the score 2-1 in favor of the Indians.

Then, the ninth inning came and Cleveland fans could taste victory with only three outs to go. Despite the odds, the Marlins began their come-from-behind triumph with a single from Moises Alou. He was advanced to third base when Charles Johnson singled, as well. Then, Alou was able to score after a sacrifice fly from the rookie Craig Counsell that tied the game at two runs. I can still remember being a 9 year-old boy and jumping for joy. From that moment on, I was a Craig Counsell fan for life.

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The tenth inning passed with neither team able to put a run on the board. Then, in the eleventh inning, Bobby Bonilla began things with a single. Craig Counsell then hit a ball towards second base, but the Indians Tony Fernandez could not handle it and the ball trickled into the outfield. It was this poor play that allowed Bonilla to make it all the way to third base. Jim Eisenrich was intentionally walked next to load the bases.

The next batter hit the ball towards Fernandez once again, but he made the play at home to save the run. Edgar Renteria stepped to the plate with two outs, and the bases still loaded. The first pitch Renteria was thrown was a strike. Then, on the second pitch he ripped a single that scored Counsell from third and clinched the World Series for the Marlins. For the second time of the night, I erupted with joy and jumped up on the couch to give my sister a high-five. Since that moment, I cannot remember a World Series where I was so on the edge of my seat and so invested in a team’s outcome. I am a Milwaukee Brewer’s fan first and foremost, but the Marlins have been a close second ever since 1997.

Eric Bauer is a lifelong baseball fan, and enjoys watching the Milwaukee Brewers and Florida Marlins regularly. Eric has been writing about baseball for several sites for several years.