The Cardinals haven't won a World Series since 1982; the Tigers last title was 1984. Since 1984, the Cards have been to the Series three times [1985, 1987, 2004] while this is the first time we've seen the Tigers since then.
ESPN.com is celebrating this by letting fans vote on the best World Series since 1984...and here is my crack at it. Now, Yankee fans, don't get miffed that your titles are rated so low. Aside from the 1996 series, you were just so dominant that the series themselves weren't that special. And those Curse series of 2004 and 2005 rank low due to the lack of suspense and more feeling of a corination of a starved champion.
20-ATHLETICS v GIANTS, 1989: Known as the Earthquake Series, this is my most disappointing World Series ever. It could've been great. Both teams were really good and the Bay Area connection made it a hot item. But the earthquake put an obvious damper on everything...and there was a 10-day delay between Games 2 and 3. Also, the entire steroid controversy can be linked back to Jose Canseco and Mark McGwire....which leaves me with an entirely bad taste in my mouth.
19-TWINS v CARDINALS, 1987: The HHH Dome became legendary in this series as the home team won every game [that didn't happen again until 2001].
18-YANKEES v PADRES, 1998: The Yankees were just sooooo great this season that their series with the Padres was like seeing a guy smoke his little brother in a game of one-on-one. I mean, when Scott Brosius is the World Series MVP....it's just unfair.
17-YANKEES v BRAVES, 1999: The best thing about this Yankee buzzsaw over the Braves was the All Century celebration before Game 2.
16-WHITE SOX v ASTROS, 2005: A year after the Red Sox ended their curse, the Pale Hose did the same. It was a "close sweep", so to speak, but an unremarkable series nontheless.
15-BRAVES v INDIANS, 1995: This was the first World Series after the 1994 strike...and it was marred by demonstrators. Five of the six games were decided by just one run
14-YANKEES v METS, 2000: The Subway Series is remembered more for the Piazza-Clemens bat throwing moment more than anything on the field.....including the longest game in World Series history [nearly 5 hours]. Still, the Yanks won this series by a total of 3 runs.
13-RED SOX v CARDINALS, 2004: Historically, this should rate higher. But the series itself was a dud. After the Sox miraculously upended the Yankees in the ALCS....this was just a scrimmage.
12-BLUE JAYS v BRAVES, 1992: Canada's first title saw controversy with Canadian flags flying upside-down. But the games were good....with 4 of the 6 games decided by just a run. It also features the most peculiar end to a World Series - Otis Nixon dragging a bunt.
11-MARLINS v YANKEES, 2003: Should be ranked higher, since a very young Marlins team cultivated from the 1997 fire sale ended up punking the high priced Yankees.
10-REDS v ATHLETICS, 1990: Personally, this was my favorite. My Reds overcoming the odds and just sweeping up the Mighty A's. Yeah, I overrated this series...so bite me!
9-MARLINS v INDIANS, 1997: The Forgotton World Series because the Marlins sold everyone off after this series. But there was so much interesting facts in this series. One, the Marlins won the World Series in just their 5th year of existence...and became the first Wildcard team to win the championship. The Indians were two outs away from winning the title before losing the lead in the bottom of the 9th in Game 7. But check out the names that were in this series: Manny Ramirez, Gary Sheffield, Jim Thome, Orel Hershiser, Bobby Bonilla, Kevin Brown, Moises Alou, Matt Williams, Cliff Floyd and David Justice.
8-ANGELS v GIANTS, 2002: In the past 20 series, many people think of 1985, 1986, 1991, 1997 and 2001 as series that saw a team with a shot at winning the title miss out. People forget 2002. There were the Giants.....up 5-0 during the 7th-inning stretch in Game 6....losing it all by allowing three runs in the bottom of the 7th and three more in the bottom of the 8th to get this series to a Game 7 and denying Barry Bonds his first championship.
7-DODGERS v ATHLETICS, 1988: Sure, the Kirk Gibson HR is probably the biggest moment in this timeframe [only a Bill Buckner miscue or Joe Carter can even rival it], but the series itself was pretty cut and dry after that shot.
6-BLUE JAYS v PHILLIES, 1993: What other series could have a 15-14 game followed up by a 2-0 game?? This one, which saw Joe Carter ending the series in style.
5-YANKEES v BRAVES, 1996: This was the rebirth of the Yankee dynasty as the fell behind 0-2 before a Jim Leyritz HR in Game 3 turned the series around. The Yankees won the final four games and their first title in nearly two decades.
4-ROYALS v CARDINALS, 1985: A 7-game nail biter, the battle of Missouri started with the Royals losing the first two games at home. The Cardinals held a 3-1 lead and all the momentum. The Royals reeled off three straight wins, including a controversial win in Game 6 [pictured above] and an 11-0 beatdown in Game 7.
3-TWINS v BRAVES, 1991: These two teams went from worst-to-first to get to that Series. It went the full 7 games....with three of the games going into extra innings....and 5 of the 7 games being decided by just one run. Kirby Puckett made a great catch and hit a great HR. The capper was Game 7, which saw Jack Morris pitch 10 scoreless innings to win the title.
2-DIAMONDBACKS v YANKEES, 2001: This was one of the most emotional World Series ever. The only November classic, the series was pushed back due to the shutdown after the 9/11 attacks. New York was in the series just two months removed from that horror. President Bush walked out on that mound and fired in a first pitch. The Yankees, down 0-2, won the middle three games in the Bronx each by one run....including Games 4 and 5 in extra innings. After a D'backs blowout in Game 6, Arizona touched up the untouchable Mariano Rivera for two runs in the bottom of the 9th in Game 7 to take a 3-2 win and their first championship.
1-METS v RED SOX, 1986: To me, this is the best Series in this timeframe [the best series in my lifetime was the 1975 series]. This had everything - great players, great atmosphere, and the biggest gaffe in Series history. This was New York beating Boston in the postseason. This was the Red Sox nation collectively watching in disbelief their team choking away a World Series title in front of them.