1991 World Series

Minnesota Twins (4) vs Atlanta Braves (3)

After finishing last in the 1990 season, the Minnesota Twins and Atlanta Braves both rebounded to the top of their respective leagues for a trip to the Fall Classic. Both clubs were filled with soon-to-be familiar names and were evenly matched on both sides of the ball.

As with the '87 contest, the Twins still had a definite advantage over visiting teams thanks to the "baseball purist's nightmare" known as the Hubert Humphrey Metrodome. The trendy, but unpopular indoor stadium was notorious for deafening crowd noise as well as the inability to carry a long ball and most teams dreaded playing there.

Charlie Leibrandt was given the start for the Braves in Game 1, but fell 5-2 thanks to a strong seventh inning effort by Jack Morris. A three run blast by Greg Gagne and a bases-empty bomb by Kent Hrbek (that landed in the upper decks) backed up the thirty-six year old workhorse. Minnesota rookie Scott Leius was the hero in Game 2 after a clutch, tie-breaking homer in the eighth, but the most memorable play of the outing came on a controversial call by umpire Drew Coble. As Atlanta's Ron Gant attempted to retreat back to first (after knocking a third inning single) Hrbek caught the throw from pitcher Kevin Tapani and proceeded to "muscle" Gant off the bag while applying the tag. Despite a heated debate by Braves manager Bobby Cox, the call stood as the official believed it was the runner's own momentum that had carried him off of the base. The result was a 3-2 win that put the Twins up two games to none and left Atlanta praying for an advantage of their own back at Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium.

As the Series moved outdoors to the park of the National League champions, Twins manager Tom Kelly was quoted as saying that "managing without the designated-hitter rule was right up there with rocket science". The over confident skipper would regret his off-hand remark as he demonstrated his lack of both scientific and mathematical skills in Game 3. By the bottom of the eleventh inning, the visiting team had used all of their positional players during the 4-4 stalemate and were forced to employ bullpen pitcher Rick Aguilera (as a pinch-hitter) with a bases loaded, game-winning opportunity in the twelfth. The reliever nailed a high fly ball, but it was easily caught to retire the side. The Braves, realizing that their opponents were fresh out of fresh players, ended the struggle with Mark Lemke delivering a two out single to score David Justice, who had singled and stolen second. The Atlanta 5-4 victory was the first of four games in this Series to end with the winning team scoring the deciding run in the ninth inning or later.

Lemke was on the front page again after Game 4 when he tripled with one out in the ninth and then broke through the 2-2 tie after beating the tag at the plate by Brian Harper on a Jerry Willard fly ball to right. The second baseman was a respectable .234 hitter in the regular season, but had blown up as a .417 slugger in this Series. After squaring it up with their 3-2 victory, the Braves went out and played hardball in Game 5. Justice blasted a homer and drove in five runs and Lonnie Smith and Brian Hunter also homered as the Braves toasted the Twins 14-5. It was Smith's third home run in as many nights and the veteran substitute (in place Otis Nixon who was suspended with drug problems) showed he still had what it took to play in the major leagues. The Twins, on the verge of elimination, managed to force a seventh outing in Game 6 after Kirby Puckett drilled an eleventh inning home run off Charlie Leibrandt, who had just entered the game back at the Metrodome.

Game 7 matched Detroit native John Smoltz against his hometown hero Morris who had been a longtime Tiger standout. The Braves' twenty-four year-old prodigy idolized his pitching opponent and the two would come together for one of the most intense battles ever witnessed on a World Series diamond. Both aces were in peak form and held a 0-0 tie going into the eighth. Smith (playing with a record fourth team in Series play) led off Atlanta's eighth with a single to right and Terry Pendleton followed with a double to deep left-center. The Twins' middle infielders (still waiting for the cut-off) acted as if they had the ball and held Smith at third preventing the tiebreaker.

While the Braves fans agonized over the base running error, Atlanta nonetheless was in an enviable position with two runners on, no one out and the power-hitting Ron Gant at the plate. However, Gant proceeded to ground out to Hrbek, with Smith still holding. Dave Justice was the next batter, but Kelly called for an intentional walk against the cleanup man. That decision filled the bases and sent Sid Bream up to the plate. Bream followed Gant's lead and slapped a weak grounder toward Hrbek who threw the ball home for a force-out, then took the return from Harper for a double play.

Atlanta returned the favor in the bottom of the inning as Minnesota had runners at first and third with one out and Kirby Puckett due up. Mike Stanton was called in to replace Smoltz and was ordered to walk the lumber-wielding outfielder. With the bases loaded, Hrbek tapped a soft line drive up the middle, but Lemke snared the ball and stepped on second to double up Chuck Knoblauch. Chili Davis singled and Harper threatened to score in the ninth as he pushed a bunt past Stanton and first baseman Bream for a hit. Alejandro Pena was brought in from the bullpen and induced Shane Mack to ground into a double play, issued an intentional walk to Mike Pagliarulo and then struck out pinch-hitter Paul Sorrento. The "marathon man" Morris continued to dominate the Braves going into the tenth and retired the side with no incidents. Anxious to finish the affair Dan Gladden started the Twins' half of the inning with a double and was sacrificed to third by Knoblauch. Intentional walks to Puckett and Hrbek followed, loading the bases with one out in the 0-0 standoff. Pinch-hitter Gene Larkin finally sealed the 1-0 victory with a long-drive over Atlanta's infield that crowned the Twins as World Series Champions for the second time in five years.

Although they were winless on the road they remained unbeaten in the Metrodome, which had evolved into the "tenth player" on the team.

"Most people believe Babe Ruth was the greatest baseball player ever. I wonder if he could have hit the split-finger fastball? Ty Cobb ? I've seen his swing. I know he couldn't hit it." - Jack Morris in The Detroit Tigers Enyclopedia (Jim Hawkins, Dan Ewald, George Van Dusen, Sports Publishing, April 1, 2003, Page 123)
1991 World Series
1991 World Series Program
1991 World Series Official Program
1990 | Minnesota Twins (4) vs Atlanta Braves (3) | 1992
1991 World Series Fast Facts
Game 1
Date / Box Score
Location
The Metrodome
1 st Pitch
From
To
Steve Palermo (Former Umpire)
Attendance
55,108
National Anthem
Gladys Knight (The Empress of Soul)
Game 2
Date / Box Score
Location
The Metrodome
1 st Pitch
From
To
Dr. Bobby Brown (American League President, 1984-94)
Attendance
55,145
National Anthem
Charley Pride (Singer / Former Minor-Leaguer)
Game 3
Date / Box Score
Location
Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium
1 st Pitch
From
To
Jimmy Carter (39th U.S. President)
Attendance
50,878
National Anthem
Game 4
Date / Box Score
Location
Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium
1 st Pitch
From
To
Phil Niekro (Braves Pitcher, 1964-83)
Attendance
50,878
National Anthem
Travis Tritt (Actor / Country Music Singer-Songwriter)
Game 5
Date / Box Score
Location
Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium
1 st Pitch
From
To
Undetermined
Undetermined
Attendance
50,878
National Anthem
Vince Gill (Grammy Award Winning Singer)
Game 6
Date / Box Score
Location
The Metrodome
1 st Pitch
From
To
Tony Oliva (Twins Outfielder, 1962-76)
Attendance
55,155
National Anthem
Melissa Manchester (Recording Artist)
Game 7
Date / Box Score
Location
The Metrodome
Attendance
55,118
National Anthem
Jacqueline Jaquez (7-Year Old Minnesota Girl)
1991 World Series Fast Facts

1991 World Series
Game 1
Line Score / Box Score
1991 World Series Game 1 Capsule
Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Atlanta 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 2 6 1
Minnesota 0 0 1 0 3 1 0 0 x 5 9 1
Atlanta Pitcher(s) Minnesota Pitcher(s)
Charlie Leibrandt (L)
Jim Clancy (5
th )
Mark Wohlers (7
th )
Mike Stanton (8
th )
Jack Morris (W)
Mark Guthrie (8
th )
Rick Aguilera (S, 8
th )
-
Atlanta Home Runs Minnesota Home Runs
None
-
Greg Gagne (5 th )
Kent Hrbek (6
th )

1991 World Series
Game 2
Line Score / Box Score
1991 World Series Game 2 Capsule
Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Atlanta 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 2 8 1
Minnesota 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 x 3 4 1
Atlanta Pitcher(s) Minnesota Pitcher(s)
Tom Glavine (L)
-
Kevin Tapani (W)
Rick Aguilera (S, 9
th )
Atlanta Home Runs Minnesota Home Runs
None
-
Chili Davis (1 st )
Scott Leius (8
th )

1991 World Series
Game 3
Line Score / Box Score
1991 World Series Game 3 Capsule
Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 R H E
Minnesota 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 2 0 0 0 0 4 10 1
Atlanta 0 1 0 1 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 5 8 2
Minnesota Pitcher(s) Atlanta Pitcher(s)
Scott Erickson
David West (5
th )
Terry Leach (5
th )
Steve Bedrosian (6
th )
Carl Willis (8
th )
Mark Guthrie (10
th )
Rick Aguilera (L, 12
th )
Steve Avery
Alejandro Pena (8
th )
Mike Stanton (10
th )
Mark Wohlers (12
th )
Kent Mercker (12
th )
Jim Clancy (W, 12
th )
-
Minnesota Home Runs Atlanta Home Runs
Chili Davis (8 th )
Kirby Puckett (7
th )
David Justice (4 th )
Lonnie Smith (5
th )

1991 World Series
Game 4
Line Score / Box Score
1991 World Series Game 4 Capsule
Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Minnesota 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 2 7 0
Atlanta 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 1 3 8 0
Minnesota Pitcher(s) Atlanta Pitcher(s)
Jack Morris
Carl Willis (7
th )
Mark Guthrie (L, 8
th )
Steve Bedrosian (9
th )
John Smoltz
Mark Wohlers (8
th )
Mike Stanton (W,8
th )
-
Minnesota Home Runs Atlanta Home Runs
Mike Pagliarulo (7 th )
-
Terry Pendleton (3 rd )
Lonnie Smith (7
th )

1991 World Series
Game 5
Line Score / Box Score
1991 World Series Game 5 Capsule
Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Minnesota 0 0 0 0 0 3 0 1 1 5 7 1
Atlanta 0 0 0 4 1 0 6 3 x 14 17 1
Minnesota Pitcher(s) Atlanta Pitcher(s)
Kevin Tapani (L)
Terry Leach (5
th )
David West (7
th )
Steve Bedrosian (7
th )
Carl Willis (8
th )
Tom Glavine (W)
Kent Mercker (6
th )
Jim Clancy (7
th )
Randy St. Claire (9
th )
-
Minnesota Home Runs Atlanta Home Runs
None
-
-
David Justice (4 th )
Lonnie Smith (7
th )
Brian Hunter (8
th )

1991 World Series
Game 6
Line Score / Box Score
1991 World Series Game 6 Capsule
Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 R H E
Atlanta 0 0 0 0 2 0 1 0 0 0 0 3 9 1
Minnesota 2 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 4 9 0
Atlanta Pitcher(s) Minnesota Pitcher(s)
Steve Avery
Mike Stanton (7
th )
Alejandro Pena (9
th )
Charlie Leibrandt (L, 11
th )
Scott Erickson
Mark Guthrie (7
th )
Carl Willis (7
th )
Rick Aguilera (W, 10
th )
Atlanta Home Runs Minnesota Home Runs
Terry Pendleton (5th) Kirby Puckett (11 th )

1991 World Series
Game 7
Line Score / Box Score
1991 World Series Game 7 Capsule
Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 R H E
Atlanta 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 7 0
Minnesota 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 10 0
Atlanta Pitcher(s) Minnesota Pitcher(s)
John Smoltz
Mike Stanton (8
th )
Alejandro Pena (L, 9
th )
Jack Morris (W)
-
-
Atlanta Home Runs Minnesota Home Runs
None None

1991 World Series
Minnesota Twins
Composite Hitting Statistics
Name
Pos
G
AB
H
2B
3B
HR
R
RBI
Avg
BB
SO
SB
p
p
of-2,dh-1
of-2
dh-4,of-1
p
ss
of
p
c
1b
2b
dh-1
p
3b
of
p
3b-2,2b-1
c
3b
of
1b-1
p
p
p
4
3
3
3
6
2
7
7
4
7
7
7
4
2
7
6
3
4
3
6
7
3
2
2
4
1
0
2
4
18
1
24
30
0
21
26
26
4
0
14
23
2
2
5
11
24
2
1
0
0
0
0
0
1
4
0
4
7
0
8
3
8
2
0
5
3
0
1
1
3
6
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
1
2
0
2
1
1
0
0
0
1
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
2
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
1
0
0
1
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
2
0
1
0
0
0
1
0
0
0
1
0
0
0
0
1
2
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
4
0
1
5
0
2
2
3
0
0
2
0
0
0
0
1
4
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
4
0
3
0
0
1
2
2
1
0
2
1
0
1
1
2
4
0
0
0
0
.000
.000
.000
.250
.222
.000
.167
.233
.000
.381
.115
.308
.500
.000
.357
.130
.000
.500
.200
.273
.250
.000
.000
.000
.000
0
0
0
0
2
0
0
3
0
2
2
4
0
0
1
0
0
0
0
1
5
1
0
0
0
0
0
0
1
3
1
7
4
0
2
6
2
0
0
2
7
1
0
1
2
7
2
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
2
0
0
0
4
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
1
0
0
0
0
Totals
241
56
8
4
8
24
24
.232
21
48
7
1991 World Series
Atlanta Braves
Composite Hitting Statistics
Name
Pos
G
AB
H
2B
3B
HR
R
RBI
Avg
BB
SO
SB
p
ss
ss
1b
c-1
p
of
p
ph
1b-4,of-3
of
p
2b
p
of
c
p
3b
dh-4,of-3
p
p
p
2b-1
ph
p
2
7
5
7
3
3
7
2
4
7
7
2
6
2
3
7
3
7
7
2
5
1
3
1
3
3
16
6
24
1
1
30
2
3
21
27
0
24
0
2
27
0
30
26
2
0
0
4
0
0
0
6
1
3
0
0
8
0
0
4
7
0
10
0
0
6
0
11
6
0
0
0
1
0
0
0
1
0
2
0
0
0
0
0
1
0
0
1
0
0
2
0
3
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
1
0
0
0
0
0
3
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
1
2
0
0
0
0
0
0
2
3
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
3
0
0
2
5
0
4
0
0
3
0
6
5
0
0
0
1
0
0
0
4
0
0
0
0
4
0
0
3
6
0
4
0
0
1
0
3
3
0
0
0
0
1
0
.000
.375
.167
.125
.000
.000
.267
.000
.000
.190
.259
.000
.417
.000
.000
.222
.000
.367
.231
.000
.000
.000
.250
.000
.000
0
1
1
3
0
0
2
0
0
0
5
0
2
0
0
5
0
3
3
0
0
0
1
0
0
2
2
1
4
0
1
3
0
2
2
5
0
4
0
1
4
0
1
4
1
0
0
2
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
1
0
0
0
2
0
0
0
0
1
0
0
1
0
0
0
0
0
0
Totals
200
63
10
4
8
29
29
.253
26
39
5

1991 World Series
Minnesota Twins
Composite Pitching Statistics
Name
W
L
G
GS
CG
S
Sh
IP
ERA
H
SO
ER
BB
1
0
0
0
0
2
1
0
0
1
0
0
1
0
0
1
0
0
4
3
2
4
2
3
2
2
4
0
0
2
0
0
3
2
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
1
0
0
0
2
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
1
0
0
0
5.0
3.1
10.2
4.0
2.1
23.0
12.0
0.0
7.0
1.80
5.40
5.06
2.25
3.86
1.17
4.50
Infinite Earned Run Average
5.14
6
3
10
3
2
18
13
2
6
3
2
5
3
2
15
7
0
2
1
2
6
1
1
3
6
4
4
1
0
4
4
0
9
2
4
2
Totals
4
3
26
7
1
2
1
67.1
3.74
63
39
28
26
1991 World Series
Atlanta Braves
Composite Pitching Statistics
Name
W
L
G
GS
CG
S
Sh
IP
ERA
H
SO
ER
BB
0
1
1
0
0
0
0
1
0
0
0
0
1
2
0
1
0
0
0
0
2
3
2
2
2
3
2
5
1
3
2
0
2
1
0
0
2
0
0
0
0
0
1
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
13.0
4.1
13.1
4.0
1.0
5.1
14.1
7.1
1.0
1.2
3.46
4.15
2.70
11.25
0.00
3.38
1.26
0.00
9.00
0.00
10
3
8
8
0
6
13
5
1
2
8
2
8
3
1
7
11
7
0
1
5
2
4
5
0
2
2
0
1
0
1
4
7
1
0
3
1
2
0
2
Totals
3
4
25
7
1
0
0
65.1
2.89
56
48
21
21


Did you know that during the 1990 season (just one year earlier) both of these teams finished in last place in their respective divisions?
Jack Morris won the World Series Most Valuable Player Award due to his stunning pitching performance throughut the Series and his extra inning complete game shutout during Game 7 .
Game 6 could easily be called the turning point in the series as the Atlanta Braves were up by one and pitching strong. Kirby Puckett had other plans in the eleventh inning and the Braves did too — they made a call to the bullpen for reliever Charlie Leibrandt . Puckett deposited his pitch over the wall for a game ending home run and brought the series to a decisive seventh game.
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