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Top Five World Series Performances by Foxes Alumni
11/05/2013 11:54 AM ET
Reggie Jackson, the 1977 World Series MVP, celebrates with Bucky Dent, the 1978 World Series MVP, after the New York Yankees win the 1978 Championship.
Reggie Jackson, the 1977 World Series MVP, celebrates with Bucky Dent, the 1978 World Series MVP, after the New York Yankees win the 1978 Championship. (inhistoric.com)

Let's just stipulate that the David Ortiz just completed the best World Series performance ever by a former Appleton Professional Baseball player. He went 11-for-16 with two homers and six RBI. His slashline (Batting Average/On Base Percentage/Slugging Percentage) was amazing and he was rightly named the Most Valuable Player of the 2013 World Series.

This week is a Top Five World Series Performances List of Former Foxes.

Just missing the list, but definitely worth a mention is Terry Forster for the 1978 Los Angeles Dodgers. Forster appeared in three games for the Dodgers that year. He allowed no runs on five hits and struck out six in four innings pitched. Pretty good numbers for him, but the Dodgers lost in six games to the New York Yankees.

Keep in mind….this will be a Yankee-heavy list.

5. Sparky Lyle - 1977 Yankees; 2 games, 1-0, 1.93 ERA; 4.2IP, 2H, R, ER, 0BB, 2K Lyle had a heavy workload going into the 1977 World Series against the Dodgers. Lyle appeared in 72 regular season games and went 13-5 with 26 saves and an ERA of 2.17. He was the winner of the American League Cy Young Award in 1977. Then, in the hard-fought American League Championship series against Kansas City, Lyle appeared in four of the five games and went 2-0. He allowed one run over 9-1/3 innings in those four games and his wins came in Game Four and Game Five. In the World Series, Lyle got the call again in Game One and got a blown save as he allowed an inherited runner to score that tied the game. But, that was the only hit he allowed in 3-2/3 innings and picked up the win on Paul Blair's RBI single in the bottom of the twelfth. Lyle worked again in Game Two and gave up a run, but his services were no longer needed.

4. Goose Gossage - 1978 Yankees; 3 games; 1-0, 0.00ERA; 6.0IP, H, 0R, 0ER, BB, 4K. Gossage's first game of this series was in Game Two at Los Angeles where he came in for the seventh inning with the Dodgers leading 4-3. Gossage retired all six batters he faced, but New York's offense couldn't come back.    His next appearance was in Game Four in New York. The Yankees had just tied the game 3-3 in the bottom of the eighth and The Goose entered in the top of the ninth and walked Rick Monday to start the inning, but he got the next three batters. In the tenth, Gossage retired the first batter on a flyout. Then, he struck out Reggie Smith and Steve Garvey swinging to set up Lou Piniella's game-winning single in the bottom of the tenth. Game Six was back in LA and Catfish Hunter allowed two runs in the first seven innings as the offense built a 7-2 lead. Gossage took over for Hunter when Joe Ferguson started the bottom of the eighth with a ground rule double. Vic Davalillo was the first batter Gossage faced and an infield single put runners on the corners. Gossage struck out Dave Lopes and got Bill Russell to ground into an inning-ending double play. In the ninth, with the Yankees still up 7-2, Gossage got Smith on a flyball, Garvey on a strikeout, and Ron Cey on a foul popup to close out the Yankees World Championship.

3. Dave McNally - 1971 Orioles; 4 games, 2 starts; 2-1, 1.98ERA; 13.2IP, 10H, 7R, 3ER, 5BB, 12K. The 1971 World Series between the Baltimore Orioles and the Pittsburgh Pirates is one of the greatest of all time. McNally, appeared in four of those games - including two as a reliever.   He helped the Orioles to the AL East pennant with a 21-5 record in the regular season and win in Game One of the 1971 ALCS against Oakland. McNally got the call in Game One of the 1971 Fall Classic and pitched a complete game in a 5-3 win for the Orioles. He allowed three runs on three hits and struck out nine batters at old Memorial Stadium. Two of the three hits McNally allowed were to Roberto Clemente. The series was tied 2-2 in Game Five when McNally got the start again, but this game did not go as well for him. The Pirates scored four runs - three earned - on seven hits off McNally, who took the loss. In Game Six, Jim Palmer pitched nine innings and the game was tied 2-2. In the bottom of the ninth, the Orioles sent a pinch-hitter up for Palmer, but the game stayed tied heading to the tenth. Pat Dobson came on in the top of the tenth. He allowed a one out single and had to intentionally walk Clemente with two outs and a runner at second base. Baltimore manager Earl Weaver went to his bullpen and brought McNally in to face Willie Stargell. McNally walked Stargell to load the bases. He escaped the jam be getting Al Oliver to fly out to center. McNally picked up the win to force Game Seven when the Orioles scored the winning run on a Brooks Robinson sacrifice fly. In Game Seven, McNally was called on one more time as a reliever. The Pirates led 2-1 and there were runners at first and second with two outs. McNally retired Stargell this time to keep the Orioles down a run. But, the Orioles would not score in the bottom of the ninth and Pittsburgh won the series.

2. Boog Powell - 1970 Orioles; 5 games; 5-for-17; 2 HR, 5RBI; .294/.455/.706. Had Brooks Robinson not almost single-handedly shut down the Reds with his defense at third base, Powell would have been a leading candidate for the World Series MVP. Powell hit a two-run home run in the fourth inning of Game One to tie the game 3-3. In Game Two, Powell hit a solo homer in the fourth to get the Orioles on the scoreboard to cut into Cincinnati's lead and make the score 4-1. In the fifth, Powell drove in another run with a single to make it 4-3. Later in the inning, Powell scored on a double by Elrod Hendricks and the Orioles were up 6-4. Powell added two more hits and an RBI in Game Five to help Baltimore finish off the Reds.

1. Bucky Dent - 1978 Yankees; 6 games; 10-for-24; 0HR, 7RBI; .417/.440/.458; Dent already a huge difference in the Yankees run to their second straight championship. As mentioned last week, Dent hit the home run at Fenway Park in the AL East Playoff Game that turned the game in favor of the Yankees. He struggled in the 1978 ALCS, but Dent was incredible in the World Series. Dent had one hit and two RBI in Game One, a loss. He went 1-for-4 in Game Two, another loss. Dent added another 1-for-4 performance in Game Three with another RBI that gave them a 2-0 lead on the way to New York's first win of the series. In Game Four, Dent went 1-for-4 again and the Yankees evened the series. Dent, who was batting ninth in the order, had a 3-for-4 game with an RBI and a run scored in Game Five. Dent drew a walk to start the bottom of the third with the Yankees down 2-0. He would score in the inning. He would single and score again in the fourth inning. In the eighth, Dent double to drive in two more runs to put the Yankees up 12-2. In Game Six, Dent went 3-for-4 and drove in three more runs.    His first hit of this game happened in the top of the second with the game tied 1-1. Dent singled against Don Sutton with runners on second and third to drive in two runs and give New York a lead they never relinquished. Dent singled off Sutton again in the fourth, but no one was in scoring position. Then, he knocked in another run in the sixth inning with another single to make it 5-2. That - along with Goose coming in later - pretty much clinched it for the Yankees. 

Dent was the first Appleton Professional Baseball Alum to win the World Series MVP Award. Now that David Ortiz has been named the World Series MVP, Dent is no longer the only Appleton Pro Baseball Alum to win that award.

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.
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