Atlanta Braves, Starting Pitcher
"I was pouting
in the clubhouse."
The moment Francisco Cabrera smacked that single to left field, John Smoltz started sprinting. He ran about 150 yards through the clubhouse, down the tunnel leading to the field, up the stairs and into the dugout at Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium.
Smoltz, the 1992 NLCS MVP, had no idea if Sid Bream was safe or out at the plate. But he did know that Cabrera's hit had at least produced the tying run when David Justice scored from third in front of Bream.
"I was pouting in the farthest part of the clubhouse," said Smoltz, now an MLB Network analyst, about where he was in the bottom of the ninth. "I pitched that game. I had won two games and it looked like I was going to lose Game 7. I couldn't believe we were in that position. When we rallied [the Braves scored their first run to make it 2-1 on a Ron Gant sacrifice fly earlier in the inning], of course I didn't move. Then when [Cabrera] hit the ball, I ran."
When Smoltz reached his teammates on the field, he saw that Justice had grabbed Bream's neck after Bream tried to stand up at the plate. Justice pulled him back down to the ground.
"We just started a dog pile," Smoltz said. "Because in that situation, it was so hysterical you can't even feel anything."
Yes, Oct. 14, 1992, was a magical night for the Braves. Two unlikely heroes -- Bream, the slowest guy on the team, and Cabrera, who almost didn't make the postseason roster -- sent Atlanta to the World Series.
"That game had so many twists and turns, things that would never happen again," said Smoltz.
Smoltz was an eight-time All-Star. He won the Cy Young Award in 1996 and won a World Series in 1995 with the Braves. With a 2.47 ERA in eight World Series games, Smoltz is considered one of the greatest postseason pitchers in MLB history. But he says when he thinks about his career, one of the top-of-the-list memories is the moment Bream slid across home plate.
"I ended up getting the MVP of the series because of that slide," Smoltz said. "Obviously, that wouldn't have happened [without Bream]. It's one of those euphoric moments you can't duplicate
It was one of the greatest moments ever."
-- Anna McDonald, ESPN.com
Randy Marsh, Mike LaValliere, David Justice, Terry Pendleton, Sid Bream, Ron Gant, Brian Hunter, John Smoltz, Andy Van Slyke, Bud Selig
"I wasn't worried
about style points."
"I thought we'd have
[Bream] by a mile."
"Sid was barely safe.
a matter of inches."
"I didn't go to sleep 'til
7:00 the next morning."
"At that point in time,
it was up to me."
"You always have
that one out left."
"We knew Bonds didn't
have a good arm."
"I just knew that
it was the end."
Major League Baseball
The celebration began with Sid Bream and David
Justice at the plate as Mike LaValliere's tag was late.
Photo: AFP/Getty Images/Jim Gund