2003 World Series

The biggest story of the 2003 World Series may not have been the actual Fall Classic, but more so the dramatic pennant race that led up to the Series itself. After years of less-than-stellar ratings, record audiences finally tuned in to the Major League Baseball postseason, making it the most-watched playoffs ever on cable. Fans also flocked to the ballparks setting a new attendance mark with over 1,858,979 tickets sold. Many attributed this renewed interest to the playoff's storybook backdrop that featured two of baseball's most beloved underdogs, the Boston Red Sox and Chicago Cubs. Both teams had surprised the experts by making the post season and each continued to shock their opponents by battling back in their respective leagues time and time again. After surviving the Divisional round, generations of long-suffering fans from both ball clubs reveled in the possibility that the curse of both "The Bambino" and "The Goat" was finally coming to an end. The baseball god's apparently had other plans and both teams fell just five heartbreaking outs short of making it to the Series.

Unlike the similarities shared between their tragic opponents, both league champions were as diametrically opposed as two teams meeting on the same diamond could be. On the American League side, the New York Yankees, recently nicknamed "The Evil Empire", surprised no one after posting the best record in baseball en route to their 39th Fall Classic. The National League champion Florida Marlins however, had managed to sneak undetected under everyone's "radar" after falling ten games under .500 on May 22. Amazingly, the moderately popular Florida franchise was making its second Fall Classic appearance in only it's tenth year of existence. After the emotionally exhausting playoffs, in which almost every game literally came down to the final pitch, many fans believed that the Series was a foregone conclusion and could not possibly live up to the drama of it's predecessors. Little did they know that another battle of "David vs. Goliath" was about to unfold and that neither team would ever be the same again...

In Game 1 the Yankees opened the Series in the same fashion that they had opened both the American League Divisional Series and America League Championship — with a loss. The 3-2 decision snapped the Yankees' ten-game-home winning streak (in the World Series), dating back to Game 2 of the 1996 Fall Classic. Despite the setback, the pinstripe faithful refused to panic, as the Bronx Bombers were 7-1, in which they had lost Game 1, under manager Joe Torre. Starting pitcher David Wells had surrendered a run in the first inning after Florida's Juan Pierre laid down a perfect bunt single that was followed by Luis Castillo's flare single to right, putting runners at the corners. Ivan Rodriguez lifted a sacrifice fly to center, scoring Pierre and giving him a playoff-best seventeen runs batted in. The Yankees tied the game in the third against Brad Penny after Derek Jeter came up clutch with a RBI single to center, scoring Karim Garcia from second and injecting some life into the crowd of 55,769 that was still suffering from an ALCS "hangover". Pierre later put the Marlins back on top in the fifth with a two-run single to left, giving Florida a 3-1 lead, but Bernie Williams answered back with a solo home run with one out in the sixth. It was the eighteenth post-season home run of his career and tied him with fellow Yankees Mickey Mantle and Reggie Jackson for the most round-trippers in Major League playoff history. Taking no chances, Florida pulled Penny in favor of closer Ugueth Urbina, who struck out Jorge Posada and Alfonso Soriano before inducing Nick Johnson to pop out to center, nailing down the win.

Game 2 evened the score as Andy Pettitte brought the Yankees back to life (for the third consecutive series) with a near-perfect 6-1 outing. Pitching on three days' rest, Pettitte allowed only one unearned run over 8 2/3 innings for his ninth consecutive win. Japanese import Hideki Matsui gave the pitcher all of the offensive support he would need, belting a three-run homer in the first inning. Alfonso Soriano, who had been struggling at the plate throughout the playoffs, added a two-run shot in the fourth that sealed the deal. Marlins right-handed prodigy Josh Beckett was given the start for Game 3 and the twenty-three year-old Texan worked through a lengthy rain delay and an imposing lineup, striking out ten while giving up three hits and two runs. However, Yankees starter Mike Mussina proved better giving up a single run in seven innings. After one-hundred eight pitches through 7 1/3 innings, Beckett was pulled in favor of the left-handed Dontrelle Willis who struggled with his control due to the wet weather. Once again, Matsui came up big at the plate snapping a tie with a two-out RBI single in the eighth. From there, ALCS Game 7 hero Aaron Boone and Bernie Williams both added home runs in the ninth capping off another 6-1 decision over the Marlins.

The fourth game in the Series held a special significance as the fans in attendance witnessed the final appearance on the mound by one of baseball's greatest pitchers, Roger Clemens. The future Hall of Famer came on strong sitting down the first two Marlins in the opening frame. However, things quickly turned sour after Ivan Rodriguez's two-out single sparked an early Marlins rally. Following Rodriguez's lead, Miguel Cabrera, a twenty year-old rookie, drilled a 2-2 pitch the opposite way from the forty-one year-old Clemens deep into the right-field seats, giving Florida a 2-0 lead. Jeff Conine and Mike Lowell followed with singles, putting runners at the corners. Derrek Lee then scored Conine putting the Yankees in a three-run hole after only one inning. Taking their turn, New York rallied around their struggling pitcher and responded by loading the bases with three singles to open the second. Aaron Boone kept their drive alive with a sac-fly to center that scored Bernie Williams cutting the lead to 3-1. Determined to "save face" for his forty-two pitch first-inning debacle, "The Rocket" settled in needing just fifty-four pitches to get through the next five innings.

Clemens returned for the seventh to face Luis Castillo as flashbulbs began to pop with each pitch. Falling behind on the count 1-2, Castillo battled the Yankee ace for five more pitches before looking at strike three on a fastball that tailed over the inside corner. The 65,934 in attendance gave Clemens a standing ovation as he walked off the field for the last time, honoring him for his twenty seasons of pitching supremacy. As the Marlins took the field to start the eighth, some of their classier players tilted their caps to the Yankees dugout. Clemens, who came back on to the field for a curtain call, returned the gesture by waving to the fans and to his opponents. Once again, Ugueth Urbina was summoned from Florida's bullpen but the Marlins reliever stumbled and surrendered two tying runs after Ruben Sierra lined a pitch down the right-field line for a triple, scoring both Williams and pinch-runner David Dellucci. Jose Contreras tossed two scoreless innings of relief for New York, while Florida's Chad Fox, after getting through the tenth, ran into trouble in the eleventh. With runners in scoring position, and Juan Rivera sent in to pinch-hit for Contreras, Braden Looper took the mound. After intentionally walking Rivera, Looper proceeded to strike out Aaron Boone and force John Flaherty to pop out to third leaving all runners stranded on base. As the Yankees prepared to take the field, Torre made a call to his own bullpen that would prove both controversial and costly. The Yankees skipper elected to go with Jeff Weaver in the eleventh, despite the fact that he had not appeared on the mound in twenty-eight days. Weaver, who had been demoted as a starter to a relief role, held the Marlins at bay with a series of well placed fastballs. After Looper tossed a scoreless top of the twelfth, Alex Gonzalez worked the count full to lead off the Marlins' half of the twelfth. Swinging for the bleachers, the shortstop drilled the payoff pitch down the left-field line, barely clearing the 330-foot sign on the wall, nailing a 4-3 win and setting off a celebration both on the field and in the stands. In retrospect, many fans felt that Torre's gamble on Weaver had not only cost the Yankees Game 4, but in the end, the Series.

New York caught another bad break in Game 5 after losing starting pitcher David Wells to a "freak" back injury after just one inning. Florida went on to hit reliever Jose Contreras for four runs in three innings, after clearly taking control in the second. Things then went from bad to worse as the Yankees struggling bullpen allowed six runs from the second through the fifth. Marlins starter Brad Penny took care of the rest while holding the Bombers to only one earned run over seven innings. Once again Florida had defeated the mighty Yankees and moved within one win of a second World Series championship. Game 6 maintained the Marlins' momentum as Josh Beckett, starting on three days' rest for the first time in his young career, dominated the Yankees with a complete-game, five-hit shutout. His rival, Andy Pettitte, who had won eleven consecutive games following Yankees losses, gave New York a valiant effort, holding the Marlins to two runs (one earned) over seven innings. Pettitte sat down the first two Marlins in the fifth, but Alex Gonzalez and Juan Pierre put together consecutive singles to keep the inning going. Pettitte got ahead of Luis Castillo, 0-2, but the second baseman worked the count to 2-2 before lining a single to right field. Outfielder Karim Garcia fielded the hit and went for home, but his throw was slightly up the first-base line, allowing Gonzalez to score with a heads-up slide, avoiding the tag and touching the plate with his left hand. Beckett remained focused and sat the Yankees down in order in the sixth, striking out Bernie Williams (looking) and Hideki Matsui (swinging) to put the Marlins nine outs away from the championship. Jorge Posada led off the seventh with a double to left, but Beckett got Jason Giambi to ground out to third before striking out Garcia and pinch-hitter Ruben Sierra. As a testament to Florida's defensive play, New York remained 0-for-7 on the night with runners in scoring position. After Yankees closer Mariano Rivera came in to prevent any additional runs, Beckett returned to the mound to finish the job, forcing both Williams and Matsui to fly out to left. He then got Posada to squib an inside pitch down the first-base line, which he appropriately, fielded himself tagging the catcher for the final out.

The "routine play" almost seemed anti-climatic as one of baseball's most dramatic post-seasons abruptly came to an end. While Marlins players mobbed each other on the field in celebration, the stands of Yankee Stadium remained silent as fans were coming to grips with another World Championship lost. Much like the 2001 Arizona Diamondbacks, Florida had managed to beat the odds AND the favored Yankees to become the best in baseball. Unlike the '97 franchise of free-agent "mercenaries", the '03 Marlins boasted a young team that looked to remain intact for future seasons. Things did not look as bright in the Big Apple however where a dynasty was about to see several changes — and a lot of pink slips.

Baseball Almanac Top Quote

"The bruise from the (2003) World Series loss to the Florida Marlins is still smarting, and some wounds from a difficult year working for George Steinbrenner remain open. (New York) Yankees manager Joe Torre is thinking about the end." - The Star Ledger (November 1, 2003)

2003 World Series

2003 World Series Program

2003 World Series Official Program

Florida Marlins (4) vs New York Yankees (2)

Game 1
Date / Box Score
Location
Attendance
55,769
1 st Pitch
Star Spangled Banner
God Bless America
Take Me Out to the Ballgame
Yankee Pianist
Game 2
Date / Box Score
Location
Attendance
55,750
Star Spangled Banner
God Bless America
Take Me Out to the Ballgame
Yankee Pianist
Game 3
Date / Box Score
Location
Pro Player Park
Attendance
65,731
Star Spangled Banner
God Bless America
Take Me Out to the Ballgame
Pro Player Pianist
Game 4
Date / Box Score
Location
Pro Player Park
Attendance
65,934
Take Me Out to the Ballgame
Pro Player Pianist
Game 5
Date / Box Score
Location
Pro Player Park
Attendance
65,975
Take Me Out to the Ballgame
Pro Player Pianist
Game 6
Date / Box Score
Location
Attendance
55,773
God Bless America
Take Me Out to the Ballgame
Yankee Pianist
2003 World Series Fast Facts

2003 World Series
Game 1

Line Score / Box Score

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Florida 1 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 3 7 1
New York 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 2 9 0
Brad Penny (W)
Dontrelle Willis (H, 6 th )
Ugueth Urbina (S, 8 th )
David Wells (L)
Jeff Nelson (8 th )
Jose Contreras (9 th )
None Bernie Williams (6 th )

2003 World Series
Game 2

Line Score / Box Score

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Florida 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 6 0
New York 3 1 0 2 0 0 0 0 x 6 10 2
Mark Redman (L)
Rick Helling (3rd)
Chad Fox (6 th )
Carl Pavano (7 th )
Braden Looper (8 th )
Andy Pettitte (W)
Jose Contreras (9 th )
-
-
-
None
-
Hideki Matsui (1 st )
Alfonso Soriano (4 th )

2003 World Series
Game 3

Line Score / Box Score

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
New York 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 4 6 6 1
Florida 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 8 0
Mike Mussina (W)
Mariano Rivera (S, 8 th )
-
-
Josh Beckett (L)
Dontrelle Willis (8 th )
Chad Fox (8 th )
Braden Looper (9 th )
Aaron Boone (9 th )
Bernie Williams (9 th )
None
-

2003 World Series
Game 4

Line Score / Box Score

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 R H E
New York 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 3 12 0
Florida 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 4 10 0
Roger Clemens
Jeff Nelson (8 th )
Jose Contreras (9 th )
Jeff Weaver (L, 11 th )
Carl Pavano
Ugueth Urbina (BS, 9 th )
Chad Fox (10 th )
Braden Looper (W, 11 th )
None
-
Miguel Cabrera (1 st )
Alex Gonzalez (12 th )

2003 World Series
Game 5

Line Score / Box Score

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
New York 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 2 4 12 1
Florida 0 3 0 1 2 0 0 0 x 6 9 1
David Wells
Jose Contreras (L, 2 nd )
Chris Hammond (5 th )
Jeff Nelson (7 th )
Brad Penny (W)
Dontrelle Willis (8 th )
Braden Looper (9 th )
Ugueth Urbina (9 th )
Jason Giambi (9 th ) None

2003 World Series
Game 6

Line Score / Box Score

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Florida 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 2 7 0
New York 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 5 1
Josh Beckett (W)
-
Andy Pettitte (L)
Mariano Rivera (9 th )
None None

2003 World Series

Florida Marlins

Composite Hitting Statistics

p
of
2b
of
of
p
ss
p
ph
1b
p
3b
p
p
of
p
c
c
p
p
1
6
6
6
6
2
6
1
2
6
3
6
1
1
6
1
1
6
2
2
2
24
26
21
11
0
22
0
2
24
0
23
2
2
21
0
1
22
0
0
0
4
4
7
2
0
6
0
0
5
0
5
0
1
7
0
0
6
0
0
0
0
0
1
0
0
2
0
0
0
0
1
0
0
2
0
0
2
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
1
0
0
0
0
1
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
1
1
4
1
0
3
0
0
2
0
1
0
0
2
0
0
2
0
0
0
3
1
0
1
0
2
0
0
2
0
2
0
2
3
0
0
1
0
0
.000
.167
.154
.333
.182
.000
.273
.000
.000
.208
.000
.217
.000
.500
.333
.000
.000
.273
.000
.000
0
1
0
3
1
0
0
0
0
1
0
2
0
0
5
0
0
1
0
0
2
7
7
2
5
0
7
0
1
7
0
3
1
0
2
0
0
4
0
0
0
0
1
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
1
0
0
0
0
0
Totals
203
47
8
0
2
17
17
.232
14
48
2

2003 World Series

New York Yankees

Composite Hitting Statistics

3b
p
p
of
c
of
dh
p
ss
1b
of
p
p
p
c
of
p
of
2b
p
p
of
3b
6
1
2
4
1
5
6
1
6
6
6
1
2
2
6
4
1
5
6
1
1
6
2
21
2
0
2
2
14
17
0
26
17
23
3
0
0
19
6
0
4
22
0
0
25
4
3
1
0
0
0
4
4
0
9
5
6
0
0
0
3
1
0
1
5
0
0
10
2
0
0
0
0
0
0
1
0
3
1
0
0
0
0
1
1
0
0
0
0
0
2
1
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
1
0
0
0
0
0
1
0
0
0
0
0
1
0
0
0
1
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
1
0
0
2
0
1
0
0
1
0
1
2
0
5
3
1
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
2
0
0
5
0
2
0
0
0
0
0
1
0
2
0
4
0
0
0
1
1
0
2
2
0
0
5
1
.143
.500
.000
.000
.000
.286
.235
.000
.346
.294
.261
.000
.000
.000
.158
.167
.000
.250
.227
.000
.000
.400
.500
0
0
0
0
0
0
4
0
1
2
3
0
0
0
5
1
0
1
2
0
0
2
1
6
0
0
0
0
3
3
0
7
3
2
3
0
0
7
1
0
3
9
0
0
2
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
1
0
0
0
1
0
0
0
0
Totals
207
54
10
1
6
21
21
.261
22
49
2

2003 World Series

Florida Marlins

Composite Pitching Statistics

1
0
0
1
0
2
0
0
0
1
0
0
0
0
0
1
0
0
2
3
1
4
2
2
1
3
3
2
0
0
0
1
2
1
0
0
1
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
2
0
1
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
16.1
3.0
2.2
3.2
9.0
12.1
2.1
3.0
3.2
1.10
6.00
6.75
9.82
1.00
2.19
15.43
6.00
0.00
8
4
2
6
8
15
5
2
4
19
4
2
4
6
7
2
2
3
2
2
2
4
1
3
4
2
0
5
4
0
0
1
5
2
3
2
Totals
4
2
6
6
1
2
1
56.00
3.21
54
49
20
22

2003 World Series

New York Yankees

Composite Pitching Statistics

0
0
0
1
0
1
0
0
0
0
1
0
0
0
1
0
1
1
1
4
1
1
3
2
2
1
2
1
0
0
1
0
2
0
0
2
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
1
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
7.0
6.1
2.0
7.0
4.0
15.2
4.0
1.0
8.0
3.86
5.68
0.00
1.29
0.00
0.57
0.00
9.00
3.38
8
5
2
7
4
12
2
1
6
5
10
0
9
5
14
4
0
1
3
4
0
1
0
1
0
1
3
0
5
0
1
2
4
0
0
2
Totals
2
4
6
6
0
1
0
55.0
2.13
47
48
13
14
baseball almanac flat baseball

baseball almanac fast facts

Did you know that Josh Beckett , who pitched a complete game shutout — full list posted below — on three days rest during Game 6 of the 2003 World Series (which helped him earn the World Series Most Valuable Player Award ), had never pitched a complete game shutout during his Major or Minor League career before that game?

In the history of the World Series there have been thirteen (13) walk-off home runs. Alex Gonzalez joined that "club" when he became the seventh (7th) player to connect in extra innings and leave the opposing team on the field:

World Series Walk-Off Home Runs
Series Name Game # Date / Box Inning
1949 Tommy Henrich 1 10-05-1949 9th Inning
1954 Dusty Rhodes 1 09-29-1954 10th Inning
1957 Eddie Mathews 4 10-06-1957 10th Inning
1960 Bill Mazeroski 7 10-13-1960 9th Inning
1964 Mickey Mantle 3 10-10-1964 9th Inning
1975 Carlton Fisk 6 10-21-1975 12th Inning
1988 Kirk Gibson 1 10-15-1988 9th Inning
1988 Mark McGwire 3 10-18-1988 9th Inning
1991 Kirby Puckett 6 10-26-1991 11th Inning
1993 Joe Carter 6 10-23-1993 9th Inning
1999 Chad Curtis 3 10-26-1999 10th Inning
2001 Derek Jeter 4 10-31-2001 10th Inning
2003 Alex Gonzalez 4 10-22-2003 12th Inning

Did you know that the Florida Marlins , following the 2003 World Series, are 2-0 (1.000) and the New York Yankees are 26-13 (0.667) in Fall Classic appearances?

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