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

Posted on: May 27, 2009 4:37 pm
Edited on: May 27, 2009 7:15 pm

MLB's Worst Team Names

What's in a name?

I was looking into some history on what I thought were the MLB's current worst franchise names. For me the list came down to the following six:

The Sock teams: There are currently not two but three teams named after the color of their socks, or Sox. The Chicago White Sox, the Boston Red Sox and the Cincinnati Reds (who's name was shortened from the Red Stockings in the 1878).


The Oakland Athletics: The team, originally the Philadelphia Athletics, was named after a local gentleman's club, The Athletic Club of Philadelphia. In 1905 the team went professional and kept the same name. When they later moved to Kanas City in 1955, they continued to play as the Athletics. In 1968 the team moved to Oakland. The team name was officially changed to the A's from 1970 - 1981, before returning to the Athletics. This team name survived two city moves and two eccentric owners. Most surprising to me is that the name survived Charlie O. Finley. This was the guy who first gave baseball bright colored uniforms, night games, and unfortunately the designated hitter. He even tried to get the league to switch to a more visible orange baseball. Through all that, he was fine with his team being named after an Athletic club in Pennsylvania. 

The Philadelphia Phillies: The Phillies replaced the Worcester Brown Stockings (yes, another sock team) in 1883 under the name the Quakers. In 1884 the team changed its name to the Philadelphias. Newspapers had a hard time fitting the name in the box scores and started to type the them in as the Phillies. The team went by both the Phillies and the Quakers until 1890 when they officially changed their name to the Phillies.

The Houston Astros: The franchise started in 1962 as the Colt .45s. Two years later the team moved to the new Harris County Dome Stadium. At that time team owner Roy Hofheinz, decided to change team name and the stadium name to the Astros and the Astrodome. He did so to pay homage to Houston's affiliation to N.A.S.A. and the Space Program. I actually like this team name, but have always disliked their logos. It started as the dome made to look like a UFO, and then switched to the Star in 1994. Doesn't Texas have another famous sport team with a Start as the logo?

Then there are the racist team names. The Cleveland Indians and the Atlanta Braves. Although I personally think the Braves is an honorable term for Native Americans, and both are far better than the NFL's Redskins.

Some better names also have some interesting origins. The Dodgers, named for all the Trolley Dodging you needed to do when going to the stadium in Brooklyn. Although they had many names in a short amount of years, I think we all wish they were still the Bridegrooms. The Twins, named for the Twin Cities. The Mets, being named for the city's area as well as the team's corporate name. The Nationals, bringing back the original name for the team in our Nation's Capital. The Kansas City Royals, named after the American Royal, a livestock show, horse show, and rodeo held in Kansas City since the late 1800's.

Of course there are also all the animal/bird names like the Diamondbacks and the Orioles. I do think most could do better, I mean how many Tigers are there in Detroit? However, there are animal names more specific to the teams region like the Marlins and the Rays.


Please leave feedback on any team names that you think are either outdated or just plain bad. I had a lot of fun researching this and would love to get some opinions. 



The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com