|1996 World Series|
|MVP||John Wetteland (New York)|
|Umpires||Jim Evans (AL, crew chief), Terry Tata (NL), Tim Welke (AL), Steve Rippley (NL), Larry Young (AL), Gerry Davis (NL)|
|Hall of Famers||Yankees: Wade Boggs, Tim Raines, Mariano Rivera, Joe Torre (manager)|
Braves: Bobby Cox (manager), John Schuerholz (GM), Tom Glavine, Chipper Jones, Greg Maddux, John Smoltz,
|ALCS||New York Yankees defeated Baltimore Orioles, 4-1|
|NLCS||Atlanta Braves defeated St. Louis Cardinals, 4-3|
|Television||Fox (United States)|
MLB International (International)
|TV announcers||Joe Buck, Tim McCarver, and Bob Brenly (Fox)|
Gary Thorne and Ken Singleton (MLB International)
|Radio announcers||Vin Scully and Jeff Torborg|
|World Series Program|
The 1996 World Series was the championship series of Major League Baseball's (MLB) 1996 season. The 92nd edition of the World Series, it was a best-of-seven playoff between the National League (NL) champion (and defending World Series champion) Atlanta Braves and the American League (AL) champion New York Yankees. The Yankees defeated the Braves, four games to two, to capture their first World Series title since 1978 and their 23rd World Series championship overall. The series was played from October 20-26, 1996, and was broadcast on television on Fox. Yankees relief pitcher John Wetteland was named the World Series Most Valuable Player for saving all four Yankee wins.
The Yankees advanced to the World Series by defeating the Texas Rangers in the AL Division Series, three games to one, and then the Baltimore Orioles in the AL Championship Series, four games to one. It was the Yankees' first appearance in a World Series since 1981. The Braves advanced to the Series by defeating the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NL Division Series, three games to none, and then the St. Louis Cardinals in the NL Championship Series, four games to three. It was the Braves' second consecutive appearance in a World Series.
The Yankees lost the first two games at home, being outscored by the Braves, 16-1. However, they rebounded to win the next four games, the last three in close fashion, including a dramatic comeback win in Game 4 to tie the series. They became the third team to win a World Series after losing Games 1 and 2 at their home stadium, following the Kansas City Royals in 1985 and the New York Mets in 1986. They also became the first team since the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1981 to win four consecutive games in a World Series after losing the first two.
Game 5 was the final game to be played at Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium, as the Braves moved into Turner Field the following season. Atlanta became the only city to host the World Series and the Olympics in the same year and Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium became the only stadium to host baseball in an Olympics and the World Series in the same year.
The 1996 World Series marked the beginning of the New York Yankees' dynasty of the late 1990s and early 2000s. Despite the rich playoff history of the Yankees, the defending champion Atlanta Braves entered the Series as heavy favorites.
The Braves used the dominant pitching of Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine, as well as timely hitting, to defeat the Indians the year before, and looked to reuse that recipe against the upstart Yankees. In 1996, John Smoltz returned to form, winning 24 games and a Cy Young Award, providing another serious pitching threat for Atlanta. New York brought a lineup mixed with veterans, like Paul O'Neill, and young stars, like rookie Derek Jeter. The Yankees bullpen was also vastly superior to the Atlanta bullpen, which would prove to be the deciding factor in the Series.
After victory in 1996, New York would go on to win the Series three of the next four years, two of which came against either their cross-town rivals, New York Mets, or the Braves, making their dynasty of the 1990s part of the rivalry between both National League East teams. The Braves, while winning their division every season from 1991 through 2005, have not won a World Series game since Game 2 of this series.
Over the course of the 1996 World Series, the Braves hit .315 during the first six innings and .176 afterward. Atlanta had more hits, runs, homers, and a lower team ERA during the course of the series, but still lost, much like the 1960 Yankees' performance against the Pittsburgh Pirates.
This is the first World Series to feature the series logo on the side of each team's hats.
This was also the last of four consecutive World Series (1992-1996) to be presided over jointly by the presidents of the American and National Leagues in lieu of the Commissioner of Baseball, as Paul Beeston would be named CEO of Major League Baseball for the 1997 Major League Baseball season. Following Game 6, then-American League president Gene Budig presided over the Commissioner's Trophy presentation to the Yankees. Then-Chairman of the Executive Committee Bud Selig, who had presided over the trophy presentations in 1995 and would do so again in 1997, officially became Commissioner in 1998.
|1||October 20||Atlanta Braves - 12, New York Yankees - 1||Yankee Stadium||3:10||56,365|
|2||October 21||Atlanta Braves - 4, New York Yankees - 0||Yankee Stadium||2:44||56,340|
|3||October 22||New York Yankees - 5, Atlanta Braves - 2||Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium||3:22||51,843|
|4||October 23||New York Yankees - 8, Atlanta Braves - 6 (10 innings)||Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium||4:17||51,881|
|5||October 24||New York Yankees - 1, Atlanta Braves - 0||Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium||2:54||51,881|
|6||October 26||Atlanta Braves - 2, New York Yankees - 3||Yankee Stadium||2:52||56,375|
|WP: John Smoltz (1-0) LP: Andy Pettitte (0-1)|
ATL: Andruw Jones 2 (2), Fred McGriff (1)
Game 1 and Game 2 were originally scheduled for Saturday, October 19 and Sunday, October 20, respectively. Rain on October 19, however, washed out Game 1. The schedule was moved back one day, with Game 1 and Game 2 rescheduled for October 20 and 21, and the Monday travel day eliminated. This was the first rain out in a World Series game since Game 7 of the 1986 World Series.
The Braves, who had won Games 5, 6, and 7 of the NLCS against the St. Louis Cardinals by a combined score of 32-1, continued their roll early in the Fall Classic against the Yankees. Facing Yankees' starting pitcher Andy Pettite in the second inning of Game 1 with one on, rookie left fielder Andruw Jones became the youngest player, 19, in World Series history to hit a home run, surpassing Yankee great Mickey Mantle on what would have been Mantle's 65th birthday (Mantle died in 1995). Next inning, with runners on second and third and one out, Chipper Jones drove them both home with a single, moving to second on the throw home. After stealing third, Jones scored on Fred McGriff's single. After walking Javy López, Pettite was relieved by Brian Boehringer, who allowed a two-out three-run home run to Andruw Jones, who became only the second player in World Series history (after Gene Tenace in 1972), and youngest ever, to hit a home run his first two times up in a Series.
A Fred McGriff home run off the foul pole in the fifth left Atlanta ahead 9-0. Next inning, with runners on first and third and one out, back-to-back RBI singles by Marquis Grissom and Mark Lemke made it 11-1 Braves. David Weathers relieved Boehringer and allowed the Braves' final run on Chipper Jones' sacrifice fly. Andruw Jones had his third hit and scored the first run that inning. Braves starter John Smoltz would pitch six easy innings before turning it over to the bullpen in Atlanta's 12-1 rout. The Yankees scored their only run off of him in the fifth when Derek Jeter walked with two outs and scored on Wade Boggs's double.
|WP: Greg Maddux (1-0) LP: Jimmy Key (0-1)|
After showcasing their big bats in Game 1, the Braves used the dominant pitching of Greg Maddux to win Game 2. Fred McGriff, who went two for three with a sacrifice fly, had single RBIs in the first, third, and fifth innings, while Marquis Grissom added a run-scoring single in the sixth. This was more than enough for Maddux, who pitched a gem, scattering six hits in eight innings. Mark Wohlers pitched the ninth to combine with Maddux on the 4-0 shutout. With the Braves holding a 2-0 lead in the Series as it headed to Atlanta, they appeared on the brink of a championship repeat. The Braves beating the Yankees in the first two games by a combined score of 16-1 was the biggest run differential in World Series history. New York starter Jimmy Key lost his first World Series decision in three appearances, his first two coming in the 1992 World Series.
Before Game 2, Joe Torre and his first base coach José Cardenal met with Yankee owner George Steinbrenner, furious at the team's performance in the World Series so far. At that post-game meeting. Torre guaranteed three victories in Atlanta and then bringing the series back to Yankee Stadium to clinch at home. Steinbrenner doubted Torre, saying, "If you guys can't beat the Braves at home, you surely can't beat them down in Atlanta."
This is, as of 2018, the Braves' most recent victory in a World Series game, as they would go on to lose the next four in this Series, be swept by the Yankees in 1999 and have not appeared in a Fall Classic since.
|WP: David Cone (1-0) LP: Tom Glavine (0-1) Sv: John Wetteland (1)|
NYY: Bernie Williams (1)
The Yankees decided to shake their lineup up prior to Game 3 in an attempted to get themselves out of the slump they experienced in the first two games. Manager Joe Torre took veterans Paul O'Neill, Wade Boggs, and Tino Martinez out of the lineup. Replacing Boggs at third base was Charlie Hayes, while Darryl Strawberry took O'Neill's spot in right field. After starting him as the designated hitter in the first two games, Torre decided to keep Cecil Fielder in the lineup and had him replace Martinez at first base.
With the team in danger of going down 3-0, New York called on David Cone, who had made a late season comeback from suffering an aneurysm in his pitching shoulder, for the start. 1995 World Series MVP Tom Glavine got the start for Atlanta looking for his fifth career World Series victory.
The Yankees got the first run of the game in their first turn at bat. Tim Raines led off with a walk and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt from Derek Jeter. Bernie Williams drove him in with a single. It was the only run Cone would need, as the Yankees added another in the fourth inning. After Williams reached on a Jeff Blauser error, he would advance on a walk to Fielder and then a line drive to the right that Andruw Jones caught. Strawberry drove in the unearned run with a single; and after Mariano Duncan struck out, Joe Girardi drew a walk to put two runners on for Cone. Cone did manage to make contact, but hit the ball right at a stumbling Chipper Jones who touched third base to end the inning.
Cone led off the sixth inning with a walk to Glavine, followed by a single to Marquis Grissom. After retiring Mark Lemke on a failed bunt attempt, Cone loaded the bases by walking Chipper Jones. Fred McGriff popped out to Jeter for the second out, but Ryan Klesko drew a walk to force in Glavine and cut the lead to 2-1. Cone got Javy López to pop out to Girardi to end the inning, closing his night. Glavine would be done after the seventh, giving up the early first inning run but not being charged with the second.
In the eighth inning the Yankees put the game out of reach. Jeter reached on a single off Greg McMichael and Williams hit a home run following that, extending the lead to 4-1. After Fielder doubled, Brad Clontz came in and retired Hayes. He then walked Strawberry, only to give up another run with a single from defensive replacement Luis Sojo.
The Braves tried to rally in the bottom half and got a run back off Mariano Rivera on back-to-back doubles by Grissom and Lemke. With lefthanders McGriff and Klesko looming, Torre allowed the struggling Rivera to pitch to Chipper Jones, and Rivera struck out the latter. He then called on Graeme Lloyd to make quick work of the two lefties, which he did. Neither team threatened in the ninth and the Yankees got their much needed win.
Cone won his first World Series decision in three tries; he had previously recorded two no-decisions in the 1992 World Series. Glavine lost what would be his only start in the series that year, while Yankee closer John Wetteland received his first save.
|WP: Graeme Lloyd (1-0) LP: Steve Avery (0-1) Sv: John Wetteland (2)|
NYY: Jim Leyritz (1)
ATL: Fred McGriff (2)
With the Game 1 rainout, both the Braves and Yankees were forced to alter their pitching rotation. Atlanta started midseason acquisition Denny Neagle while New York countered with Kenny Rogers, the only other starter the Yankees had on their postseason roster and who had been largely ineffective during the season.
Rogers was hit early and often, and failed to make it out of the third inning. In the bottom of the second Fred McGriff led off with a home run to open the scoring. After Javy López and Andruw Jones walked, Jermaine Dye sacrificed Lopez to third. Jeff Blauser followed with a bunt single to score Lopez, and, after Neagle bunted to advance Jones and Blauser, Marquis Grissom doubled them in to give Atlanta an early 4-0 lead. Rogers was pulled after allowing Chipper Jones and McGriff to reach base to begin the third, and was charged with a fifth run when Brian Boehringer gave up a sacrifice fly to Lopez which enabled Jones to score. The Braves extended their lead to 6-0 as Andruw Jones drove in Chipper Jones with a double in the fifth off David Weathers.
Meanwhile, Neagle was pitching shutout ball and the Yankees had only gotten two hits through five innings. The sixth inning, however, proved to be troublesome. Derek Jeter led off and hit a foul pop near first base. As McGriff and Mark Lemke chased the ball from the infield, right fielder Dye came in and the ball appeared to be playable for him. However, umpire Tim Welke had his back to Dye and inadvertently blocked him from getting to the ball, causing it to simply drop foul. Jeter promptly singled to start a three run rally, capped by a Dye error in right on a Cecil Fielder single that allowed two runs to score. After Charlie Hayes drove in Fielder, Neagle was pulled in favor of reliever Terrell Wade, who walked Darryl Strawberry and was promptly pulled in favor of Mike Bielecki, who struck out the next three batters and then retired the Yankees in the seventh. Bielecki retired six of the seven batters he faced, striking out four total. Although the Braves were still leading, the deficit had been cut in half and a decision by Braves manager Bobby Cox proved a critical mistake.
Cox elected to bring in closer Mark Wohlers for a potential two-inning save against the bottom third of the Yankee order in the eighth. Charlie Hayes led off the inning with a dribbler down the third base line that stayed fair and Darryl Strawberry followed that up with a line drive single to left. After Mariano Duncan grounded into a fielder's choice to take Strawberry off the bases, backup catcher Jim Leyritz came to the plate for his first at bat of the night. With a 2-2 count on him, Leyritz jumped on a Wohlers slider and hit it over the left field wall to tie the game.
Both teams found trouble in the ninth inning. After recording the first two outs Wohlers gave up back to back singles to Fielder and Hayes in the top half and then gave up an infield hit to Strawberry which loaded the bases. However, he got out of the jam when Duncan hit a short fly ball to Dye. Mariano Rivera, pitching his second inning, got into his own trouble in the bottom half when he allowed a single to Lemke and a walk to Chipper Jones. With lefthander McGriff due up, and as he had done the previous night when Rivera struggled, Joe Torre called on Graeme Lloyd to get McGriff out. Lloyd did precisely that, forcing him to ground into an inning-ending double play.
The Braves sent Steve Avery, who had been largely ineffective as a starter over the previous few seasons, to the mound for the top of the tenth. After getting the first two outs of the inning Avery walked Tim Raines and gave up a single to Jeter. Bernie Williams then drew an intentional walk to load the bases so Avery could pitch to Andy Fox. The Yankees countered by pinch hitting Wade Boggs, whom Avery walked. Now trailing 7-6, Cox pulled Avery in favor of Brad Clontz and brought Ryan Klesko in as a defensive replacement for McGriff at first. This led to the eighth and final run for the Yankees as Clontz got Hayes to pop up but Klesko lost sight of the ball and it fell in to score Jeter. After Lloyd retired Klesko to lead off the bottom of the tenth, John Wetteland came in and recorded the final two outs, the last of which was a fly ball off the bat of Terry Pendleton. The 8-6 victory for the Yankees evened the Series at two wins apiece.
"It was our game to win and we had our chances," Avery said. "I ended up costing us the game."
|WP: Andy Pettitte (1-1) LP: John Smoltz (1-1) Sv: John Wetteland (3)|
With the Series tied at two apiece, John Smoltz and Andy Pettitte faced off in a pitcher's duel in the final game ever at Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium and gave up a total of zero earned runs in the combined they pitched.
The lone run of the game was scored in the top half of the fourth inning. Charlie Hayes hit a deep fly ball to center that Marquis Grissom appeared to have, but at the last second Jermaine Dye crossed in front of him and Grissom dropped the ball. Hayes advanced to second on the error, moved to third on a groundout by Bernie Williams, and scored on a double by Cecil Fielder.
Entering the sixth inning Pettitte had only allowed one hit, but Atlanta threatened. Smoltz led off the inning with a single and was followed by a Grissom single. With Mark Lemke batting the Braves called for a sacrifice bunt, but Pettitte fielded the ball and threw out Smoltz at third. The next batter, Chipper Jones, hit a ground ball right back to Pettitte, who started a double play to end the inning.
As the top of the ninth inning played out, Pettitte was due up fifth. Mark Wohlers gave up a walk to Paul O'Neill and had intentionally walked Jim Leyritz to bring up the pitcher's spot with two out. Pettitte then strode to the plate, making it clear that he was going to pitch the ninth. Wohlers retired Pettitte with a flyout to left field.
The Braves made a final attempt to tie in the bottom of the ninth. Chipper Jones led off with a base hit and was able to stretch it into a double. Yankee manager Joe Torre pulled Pettitte from the game in favor of closer John Wetteland after Fred McGriff grounded out to second. With the tying run at third, Wetteland recorded the second out as Javy López grounded out. He then walked pinch hitter Ryan Klesko intentionally to pitch to Dye. Braves manager Bobby Cox countered by pinch hitting Luis Polonia, who fouled off seven pitches before lifting a fly ball to deep right-center field. O'Neill, coached by first base coach Jose Cardenal, had moved several steps towards center field and in spite of having played with injured legs for most of the series, ran the ball down and caught it to end the game and give New York the series lead.
The loss suffered by Smoltz was his first in seven career World Series starts (Smoltz's record was 2-0 entering the game with four no-decisions). The Yankees became the first team to sweep the middle three games of the World Series since the Braves themselves did it in 1991 (although the Braves won all three games at Fulton County Stadium in the 1991 Series; the home team won all seven games of that series).
Through 2018, the 1996 Yankees are the last team to win all three middle games of the series on the road. Prior to this series, the last team to pull that off were the Baltimore Orioles in 1983 at Philadelphia.
|WP: Jimmy Key (1-1) LP: Greg Maddux (1-1) Sv: John Wetteland (4)|
The Yankees, seeking to clinch their first world championship since 1978 and the first for a New York City baseball team since the Mets won in 1986, faced off against Greg Maddux in a rematch of the Game 2 starters, as Jimmy Key took to the hill for the Yankees. The Braves, for the third time in their four World Series visits thus far in the 1990s, were facing an elimination game.
The Yankees struck against Maddux in the bottom of the third inning. Paul O'Neill led off the frame with a double and advanced to third on a groundout by Mariano Duncan. Joe Girardi then hit a flyball to center field that Marquis Grissom misjudged, which scored O'Neill and gave Girardi a triple. He scored on a single by Derek Jeter, and after stealing second Jeter scored on a single by Bernie Williams. These were the only three runs Maddux gave up in the series, but they were costly. Maddux pitched the next innings without giving up another run.
The Braves got a run back in the top of the fourth as Fred McGriff reached on a walk. Javy López and Andruw Jones followed with back to back singles to load the bases, and Jermaine Dye drew a walk to force in the run. Key got out of the bases loaded jam by getting designated hitter Terry Pendleton to ground into a double play to end the inning.
The top of the fifth inning saw another umpiring controversy. With Mark Lemke at the plate and one out, Girardi dropped a pitch from Key. Grissom tried to advance and Girardi's throw was late and replays clearly showed Grissom to be safe, but umpire Terry Tata called Grissom out. Atlanta manager Bobby Cox emerged from the dugout and began arguing the call to no avail. On his way back to the dugout Cox turned his ire to third base umpire Tim Welke, with the incident involving Welke's accidental interference in Game 4 still fresh in his mind. Welke threw Cox out of the game, marking the first managerial ejection in the World Series since 1992. Incidentally, Cox was also on the receiving end in the previous instance; he had been ejected for throwing a batting helmet from the dugout to protest a strikeout call (Fox and the video recap of the series erroneously reported that Whitey Herzog's ejection in the 1985 World Series had been the last time).
New York manager Joe Torre pulled Key from the game in the top of the sixth with one out and Chipper Jones on third. He had opened the inning with a double, meaning that the botched out call on Grissom the previous inning very likely cost the Braves a run, as the Jones at bat would have happened with Grissom still on at second base had the play been called correctly. David Weathers came in to pitch to Lopez and retired him. Then after a walk to Andruw Jones and Ryan Klesko coming in to pinch hit for Dye the Yankees went to Graeme Lloyd to pitch to Klesko, who did not have a hit against Lloyd in the series. Lloyd retired Klesko to end the inning and Mariano Rivera got the next six outs to send the game to the ninth. Maddux came out of the game one out away from a complete game in the eighth, and Mark Wohlers retired Cecil Fielder to end it.
John Wetteland was called on again for his fourth save of the series, but the Braves tried to rally. After he struck out Andruw Jones to lead off the inning, Klesko and Pendleton got back to back singles off of Wetteland. With one out and runners at the corners, Luis Polonia came off the bench to pinch hit for Jeff Blauser, but failed to produce a hit and struck out swinging. Grissom then followed with another single, scoring Klesko and giving the Braves at least one more chance with Lemke at the plate. However, Lemke simply popped out to Charlie Hayes in foul territory to end the game, series, baseball season, and Atlanta's reign as world champions. Wetteland became the second pitcher to record four saves in a single postseason series, following Dennis Eckersley's feat in the 1988 ALCS and since matched by Greg Holland in the 2014 ALCS. He also set a new record for most saves in one postseason, with 7, since tied by 5 other pitchers (Robb Nen, Troy Percival, Brad Lidge, and Koji Uehara, besides Holland). The Yankees had waited 18 years to see another title come to the Big Apple.
The Braves, who were playing in their 4th World Series since 1991, were in the midst of an un-precedented run of success, winning their division every full season from 1991-2005 (not counting 1994 because of the player's strike that canceled that season in August). During that period, the Braves would play in the National League Championship Series (NLCS) nearly every season from 1991-2001 (the lone exception being 2000). But the Braves would make the World Series only one more time in that time, winning their fifth National League pennant in eight seasons in 1999. They were again defeated by the Yankees, who swept the Braves in 4 games. The Braves have not returned to the World Series since, nor to the NLCS since 2001. The Braves' 2 game lead in the 1996 World Series marked the closest the Braves would come to a second World Series title in the Bobby Cox era.
It took Yankee manager Joe Torre a record 4,272 games to make it to the World Series in his combined careers as a player and a manager, but he would not have to wait very long to go back. The Yankees would win the American League pennant five more times in the next seven seasons (only falling short of making the World Series in 1997 and 2002), which included the Yankees winning three consecutive World Series championships from 1998 to 2000. This gave the Yankees four championships in five years. The 1996 championship was the 23rd in franchise history (that number now stands at 27) and the first of five that Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera, and Andy Pettitte won with the Yankees.
|New York Yankees||1||0||3||2||1||3||0||6||0||2||18||43||5|
|Total attendance: 324,685 Average attendance: 54,114|
This World Series is notable for being one of the few six-game series in which the winning team was outscored.
It happened previously in 1918, 1959, 1977, and 1992, and later in 2003.
Seven-game series winners were outscored in 1957, 1960, 1962, 1964, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1991, 1997, and 2002; (equaled in 2016 and 2017).
On The Millennium, a Seinfeld episode from 1997, George Costanza, an employee of the Yankees, destroys the team's 1996 World Series trophy by dragging it behind his car. This is one of many stunts performed by George in an effort to make Yankees owner George Steinbrenner fire him so he can take a job offer from the New York Mets. However, the plan backfires, as Steinbrenner fires Mr. Wilhelm instead, making Wilhelm free to go to the Mets. Also, in The Abstinence, George is hitting home runs over the center field wall at Yankee Stadium and teaching Derek Jeter and Bernie Williams how to properly hit home runs. Jeter replies "We won the World Series," to which George sarcastically replies, "Yeah, in six games!"
The 2016 CW Network series Frequency references games 3 and 4 of the 1996 World Series as a major plot point in its first episode. The series takes place in 2016 and 1996, and the principal characters communicate through time over an old ham radio set. The characters establish that they are communicating across time by talking to each other about the details of the series.
On October 11, 2005, A&E Home Video released the New York Yankees Fall Classic Collectors Edition (1996-2001) DVD set, featuring one World Series Game apiece from 1996, 1998, 1999, 2000, and 2001. Game 4 from the 1996 World Series is included in the set. On September 23, 2008, The Essential Games of Yankee Stadium DVD set was released, featuring six games that were played in Yankee Stadium, which were determined via fan voting. Game 6 of the 1996 Series is included in this set.