Tuesday, November 2, 2010
Renteria again a World Series hero
By Matt Willis
Flash back to October 26, 1997. It was Game 7 of the World Series between the Florida Marlins and Cleveland Indians, one trying to win their first World Series, the other trying to snap a long drought without one.
With two outs and the bases loaded, Florida’s Edgar Renteria singled off Charles Nagy to drive in the winning run and give the Marlins a World Series title.
More than 13 years later, Renteria again came up with two outs in a possible World Series-clinching game, with one team, the Texas Rangers, trying to win their first World Series title, and the other, the San Francisco Giants, trying to snap a World Series drought.
Again, Renteria came through, knocking a three-run homer off of Texas ace Cliff Lee to give the Giants their first World Series title since moving to San Francisco and making his mark in baseball history.
Renteria joined Hall of Famers Yogi Berra, Joe DiMaggio and Lou Gehrig as the only players in baseball history with a game-winning RBI in two World Series-clinching games.
But that’s not the only history that Renteria made Monday night. The 1997 World Series was the last time Renteria won a ring. Only two players, Babe Adams and Dolf Luque, went more years between World Series championships.
Renteria was also rightfully given the World Series award, the fifth shortstop to do so, despite only playing 72 games in the regular season. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, that’s the fewest regular season games played by a position player that won World Series MVP. Gene Tenace held the previous record with 82 games in 1972.
He’s the fifth National League player to have multiple three-RBI games in a single World Series, and the first to do it since his teammate on the 1997 Marlins, Moises Alou, did so in their seven-game win over the Indians. Renteria did it in just five games this year.
Now if Renteria goes another 13 years before winning his third ring, he’d win it at the Minnie Minoso-esque age of 48.