Posted on: July 20, 2009 5:38 pm
Edited on: July 21, 2009 12:46 pm

The moment I fell in love with a game.

"...and we'll see you tomorrow Night!" - Jack Buck

By: Christopher Torola

The day was October 26, 1991. I knew something special was going on because we had even been allowed to watch a baseball game in school earlier in the playoffs. My Dad was at the game that night with his boss. He had never been that big of a fan, but even he seemed a little excited. I was at home, watching the game with my mom... Homer Hankies in hand. It was Game 6 of the World Series, and the Braves were leading the series, 3-2. I was 11 years old.

In the top of the 1st, the Braves were able to get base runners on against Twins' starter Scott Erickson, but were unable to score. In the home half of the inning, rookie of the year Chuck Knoblauch hit a single, followed by a Kirby Puckett RBI triple. Braves' starter Steve Avery got Chili Davis out before giving up a RBI single to Shane Mack (his first hit of the postseason).

In the top of the 3rd, with a runner on first, Kirby Puckett made an run-saving catch high of the plexiglass in center field.

In the top of the 5th inning, National League MVP Terry Pendleton hit a game-tying, two-run home run. In the next at-bat, David Justice just missed hitting a go-ahead homer to right before making the third out.

In the bottom half of that inning, Dan Gladden stuck back with a walk and a stolen base. After advancing to 3rd on a Chuck Knoblauch single, he would be brought home by a Kirby Puckett sacrifice fly. The game was now 3-2 in favor of the Twins.

Top 7. Scott Erickson and Mark Guthrie would load the bases with one out for Twins' reliever Carl Willis. CBS commentator Jack Buck then declared that the series was on the line. Willis gave up one run on a fielders choice, and with the game tied, struck out David Justice to end the inning.

The score would remain locked as Willis went on to pitch a scoreless 8th and 9th. Rick Aguilera then came in to pitch a perfect 10th and 11th, striking out four of the six batters he faced.

Then, in the bottom of the 11th inning, Braves lefty Charlie Leibrandt made his first ever Major League relief appearance. Kirby Puckett was at the plate. The right-handed Puckett took the first three pitches of the at-bat... seeing two balls and a strike. And then it happened. On a 2-1, hanging change-up he sent the ball deep into the left-center seats, leading to my favorite moment in the history of the game.

A jubilant Puckett rounding bases with his fist in the air as the cheers and applause of 50,155 fans (my Dad included) filled the Metrodome, and Jack Buck famously declared, "...and we'll see you tomorrow night!"

The Twins would go on to win the World Series in dramatic fashion, with Jack Morris spreading 7 hits over 10 innings before Gene Larkin hit a walk-off, pinch-hit single to score Dan Gladden in a 1-0 game. Many fans, myself included, still remember it as the best Series to date. 

In Memory of Kirby Puckett

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