White Sox

The history of World Series games on Halloween

White Sox

The Atlanta Braves can make horrifying history on Sunday.

By taking a 3-1 series lead with a Game 4 win on Saturday night, the Braves can become the first team to ever clinch a World Series title on Halloween. They will be hosting the Houston Astros in Game 5 with a chance to earn their first championship since 1995.

The MLB postseason has only reached Halloween five times in history, with each occurrence coming after 2000. Here’s a brief history on the first five World Series games to be played on Oct. 31:

2001 World Series, Game 4: Arizona Diamondbacks vs. New York Yankees

The first MLB game to ever be played on Halloween famously stretched into the next month.

Down to their final out and facing a potential 3-1 series hole, Tino Martinez stepped to the plate to face Byung-hyun Kim. The New York Yankees first baseman then launched a two-run homer to tie the score at 3-3 and send the game to extra innings.

 

For the first time, there was MLB November baseball, and Derek Jeter wasted no time in providing an instantly iconic moment.

Mr. November’s homer gave the Yankees a 4-3 win and evened the series at 2-2. The Diamondbacks went on to win the title in walk-off fashion a few days later in Game 7, capping off one of the greatest MLB postseason series of all time.

2009 World Series, Game 3: New York Yankees vs. Philadelphia Phillies

Jeter and the Yankees played some more Halloween baseball eight years after the shortstop’s famous Mr. November moment.

This time, the Bronx Bombers took care of business in nine innings. The game was delayed for an hour due to rain and was played during a drizzle at Citizens Bank Park. The Philadelphia Phillies jumped out to a 3-0 lead before the Yankees’ offense woke up in the fourth inning, scoring six unanswered runs until the Phils finally countered in the sixth.

Each team hit three home runs, but it was the Yankees who prevailed by a score of 8-5 to take a 2-1 series lead en route to their first championship since 2000.

2010 World Series, Game 4: San Francisco Giants vs. Texas Rangers

The San Francisco Giants’ rookie battery dominated Game 4 of the 2010 World Series.

Madison Bumgarner and Buster Posey made up the first rookie pitcher-catcher duo to start a Fall Classic game together since Spec Shea and Yogi Berra did it with the Yankees in 1947. Bumgarner allowed just three hits and two walks across eight scoreless innings before Brian Wilson closed the door on a 4-0 Giants victory.

Posey wasn’t just great behind the plate. His solo home run in the eighth inning provided some additional insurance as the Giants grabbed a commanding 3-1 series lead. San Francisco beat Texas the next night as well to kick off their early-2010s dynasty.

 

2015 World Series, Game 4: Kansas City Royals vs. New York Mets

The 2015 Kansas City Royals pulled off another one of their patented late comebacks on Halloween night in Game 4 of the World Series.

The New York Mets were up 3-2 entering the eighth inning with hopes of drawing even in the series. After getting the first out in the top half of the inning, reliever Tyler Clippard surrendered two walks and Mets manager Terry Collins turned to Jeurys Familia. Kansas City tied the game the next at-bat on an error from second baseman Daniel Murphy and took a 5-3 lead on singles from Mike Moustakas and Salvador Perez. Royals closer Wade Davis pitched the final two innings and slammed the door on the Mets.

The Royals went on to win their second ever World Series the next night.

2017 World Series, Game 6: Houston Astros vs. Los Angeles Dodgers

The most recent Halloween World Series game also featured some late offense and shutdown relief pitching.

The Astros had a chance to clinch their first ever World Series title in Game 6. They had a 1-0 lead entering the bottom of the sixth inning, but then the Los Angeles Dodgers’ bats woke up against Houston starter Justin Verlander. L.A. took a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the sixth and got an insurance home run thanks to a solo home run from Joc Pederson.

The Dodgers’ bullpen allowed just two hits over 4 1/3 innings in relief of starter Rich Hill to help secure a Game 6 win and force a Game 7. The Astros bounced back the next night and claimed their first (controversial) championship in franchise history.