Once, back in 1991, we had what is known as the Worst-to-First Series between the Braves and the Twins, both of which ended the previous year. It turned out to be one of the most memorable World Series ever played, not ending until the bottom of the 10th Game 7 in the old Metrodome, on that great baseball night when Jack Morris made it clear he was ready to pitch in all night.
We love that Series. And for those same reasons we have to love between the Rangers and D-backs starting Friday night in Arlington.
It’s not a direct path from worst to first for these two teams, but it’s close, as they both lost more than 100 games two years ago, with a World Series between them. seems to be a lot higher than the other. 100-to-1.
We all want to believe in sports that our team will eventually find a magic season and win it all if the right people are in charge and the right people are on the field. They sell Cinderella at March Madness every year, except Cinderella rarely wins it all. But now even the Rangers and D-backs, both underdogs in their League Championship Series, who both won a seven-game series, have this unique opportunity.
So here are seven reasons why baseball fans want this World Series to go to seven before one of these teams takes home the big trophy:
Who wouldn’t want to see Adolis García continue to have an October for the ages, right up to the two home runs he hit in Game 7 of the Rangers’ game against the Astros? Twelve games, 17 hits, seven homers, 20 RBIs and even a bat-spike and around the bases that got both benches cleared in Game 5. Currently, he wears the belt of mr. October until someone takes it from him.
2. Two phenomena are shown
We really want to see who will be the best rookie in this series, Corbin Carroll – the presumed favorite to be the National League Rookie of the Year – or Evan Carter.
Carroll is 23. Carter is 21, and here’s how his own development in the Fall Classic this season: from the Double-A Frisco RoughRiders to the Triple-A Round Rock Express to making his big league debut last September.
Carroll had 13 hits in the first 12 postseason games of his career. Carter hit .308 in the postseason after hitting .306 when he was called up. Let the children play.
3. A historic hitting streak
We really need to see if the Rangers can do something no one else has done in Ketel Marte’s postseason career: Keep him from getting a single base hit. Sixteen October games for Marte so far. Sixteen hits in a row. He will try to keep it going in Game 1.
We’re certainly about to find out if the Rangers’ two aces, Nate Eovaldi and Jordan Montgomery, can lead their team to a title like a couple of aces — Randy Johnson, Curt Schilling — did. for the D-backs in 2001, when Schilling started Game 7 that time and Johnson ended it.
Both Eovaldi and Montgomery are ex-Yankees. Montgomery was traded, Eovaldi left after Tommy John surgery, though he had previously had a 14-3 year for the Yankees. The Red Sox also had Eovaldi before he was lost in free agency. The Yankees and Red Sox are watching this World Series. Eovaldi, who caught the ball in Game 1, and Montgomery were heavily present for the ’23 Fall Classic.
5. Bochy can continue to make history
We sit back today and wonder if 68-year-old Bruce Bochy, one of the greatest baseball managers of all time, still has that World Series magic left in him. This is Bochy’s fifth Series with his third team. He lost to the Padres in 1998, then won three with the Giants before retiring.
Now he will not retire from Rangers. His old catcher’s knees were shot, you could see it when he came out to catch the ball from a pitcher. But he may be walking slowly to another championship. If he wins, he will be only the sixth manager to win four World Series.
We’re also about to find out in this series, as long as it lasts, if anyone can get a run off D-back big righty reliever Kevin Ginkel. He pitched nine innings out of Torey Lovullo’s bullpen, striking out 13, giving up six hits. And it hasn’t run yet. October always finds unlikely stars, and now Ginkel has been found.
And, finally, who doesn’t want to see Corey Seager try to put another World Series MVP trophy in a case with the one he won with the Dodgers? Seager won his first in 2020, after also being the MVP of the NLCS against the Braves. You better believe he’s back.
The D-backs are back in the Series, 22 years after breaking the hearts of all Yankee fans at the end of Game 7 in 2001. The Rangers are back after breaking their hearts 10 years ago in seven games, when they had Cardinals beat by six until they had nothing. They are one of only six teams that have never won a World Series.
Rangers-D-backs. Hundreds of losses every two years. Maybe this series looked like a 1,000-to-1 shot at the time. Game 1 Friday night. Let’s play seven.