Oct 27, 1985; Kansas City, MO, USA; FILE PHOTO; Kansas City Royals fans celebrate after the game 7 win beating the St. Louis Cardinals 11-0 during the 1985 World Series at Royals Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports
2. 1985 World Series, Game 7
Bret Saberhagen: 9.0, 0 ER, 5 H, 0 BB, 2 K
Game Score: 79
Game Result: Royals 11, Cardinals 0
Even though it was the deciding game of the 1985 World Series, Game 7 was something of an anti-climax. The night before, Dane Iorg had give the KC Royals a walkoff win by capping a ninth-inning rally with a 1-out single that drove in two runs. Kansas City won 2-1 in one of the most famous games in franchise history.
To this day, many Cardinals fans still blame the loss on Don Denkinger’s famous blown call that put leadoff hitter Jorge Orta on first base.
The St. Louis Cardinals were still in shock after being three outs away from the title only to see victory slip from their grasp in a series of fielding blunders. St. Louis manager Whitey Herzog even admitted years later that he knew his club was beat after he saw the way they reacted to losing Game 6.
However, KC Royals fans didn’t know any of that at the time. The Royals still had to win Game 7 to finally win the franchise’s first title. Kansas City manager Dick Howser send his 21-year-old ace to the mound against Cardinals stopper John Tudor, who was pitching on three days rest.
Most everyone expected yet another tight game in a series filled with narrow victories. Instead, they got a laugher.
Bret Saberhagen came out throwing darts, and kept throwing ’em through nine sublime innings.
The KC Royals offense jumped on Tudor in the second inning to take the lead on Darryl Motely’s two-run home run. Kansas City chased Tudor in the third inning by adding another three runs on three walks and two singles. For all intents and purposes, it was all over after the Royals staked Saberhagen to a 5-0 lead.
The KC Royals turned the game into a complete joke with a six-run rally in the fifth inning, that saw Joaquin Andujar enter as a reliever. Andujar melted down over calls by home plate umpire Don Denkinger, who had blown the call on Jorge Orta the night before. The ensuing argument saw both Andujar and Cardinals manager Whitey Herzog get tossed after losing all composure.
Unperturbed by the angst from the other dugout, 21-year-old Bret Saberhagen continued to mow down St. Louis hitters all the way through the ninth inning for his second complete game of the series.
In his two World Series starts, Saberhagen racked up a 2-0 record, and an absurd 0.50 ERA while winning the 1985 World Series MVP Award.
He earned it.
While the KC Royals traded away Bret Saberhagen after the 1991 season, he still remains one of the best starting pitchers in franchise history. Saberhagen won two Cy Young awards during his eight seasons in Kansas City, and fired one no-hitter while winning 110 games.
Next: 2015 World Series, Game 2