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Which game in baseball history would you like to see?

Posted by Andy on August 31, 2011

On another thread, reader DaveZ wrote the following:

"Wouldn't it be cool to be able to go back in time and see the 1911 Ty Cobb play?  Led league in R, RBI, 2B, 3B, SBs, hit .420, spiked numerous opponents.  If I could go back to one baseball era it would be the late teens/early twenties, no doubt."

It got me to wondering--what one game from baseball's past would you like to be able to go back and witness first-hand?

The first thing that sprung to my mind was Game 3 of the 1932 World Series, to see if Babe Ruth really called his shot or not. But I'm sure there are lots of other great choices...let's hear 'em!

156 Responses to “Which game in baseball history would you like to see?”

  1. Samantha Clemons Says:

    Thank you for this post. I loved it!

  2. Andy Says:

    Thank to you EVERYONE for sharing their ideas and feelings. I've had a ton of fun reading all the responses.

  3. Phil Haberkorn in Indiana Says:

    Kenny Holtzman's first no-hitter.
    My generation of Cubs fans were discovering what it's like to be rooting for a pennant contender.
    Wrigley Field was rocking with authentic Cubs fans, not yuppies who just came to be seen on television.
    The Bleacher Bums led by cheerleader Dick Selma in the bullpen were a happening, not a marketing gimmick.
    The bikini-topped chicks did conga-line dancing on top of the outfield wall between innings. Out of "safety concerns," some nitwit decided to install "the basket" at the top of the wall the following season. Well, OK, it does help keep the trash from falling to the field.

    In the 7th inning, we got a scare when Hammerin' Hank hit what looked like a sure-fire HR to left, but Billy Williams picked it out of the vines - probably a "basket" homer these days.
    Vince Lloyd almost swallowed his WGN microphone...

    "(loud crack of the bat)
    Aaron swings, look out, that baby is hit...
    It is way back there...
    Billy Williams, back to the wall...
    back to the corner...
    HE GRABS IT!!!" - - - - from my tape recording of the game....

    That's when we KNEW it was Kenny's day.
    Hey, I had just graduated from high school ! !
    Men had just landed on the moon ! ! ! !
    Anything is possible ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !

    Hey, we were just kids, what did we know????

  4. kenh Says:

    Any game of the 1994 WS featuring the Expos and...

  5. MLS Says:

    @103..It was great to be alive then wasn't it? Dick there was a man that enjoyed what he was doing!

  6. Ken Says:

    April 7, 1977 - first-ever Blue Jays game. Because I know my dad would be there, and I miss him.

    (Sorry to get all sentimental, but it would have been his birthday earlier this week, so that's where my thoughts have been.)

  7. Scott Says:

    1941 AS game Ted Williams pops 3-run hr w/2 outs in the bottom of the 9th to win the game 7-5

  8. JT Says:

    I would like to have seen Josh Gibson play...maybe a game in which he and Satchel played together.

    Are you familiar with Dan Gutman's "Baseball Card Adventures" books? They are a neat series in which a kid uses baseball cards to travel through time and meets Honus Wagner, Ty Cobb, Roberto Clemente, etc. They are written for kids, but kept my interest while reading.

  9. Tony Says:

    July 1st, 1920. Walter Johnson pitched a no-hitter. Greatest pitcher ever pitching the best game of his career. I would love to have seen that. Though I have to admit the Ruth "Called Shot" game was a very close second.

  10. Barry1776 Says:

    Wow! GREAT question!! A number of people have mentioned the great move by Johnny Evers to save the day for the Cubs after "Merkle's Boner" That would be, hands down, my first choice. The chance to see two of the greatest teams of all time playing a very different type of baseball is just cannot be missed.

    When the Cubs returned to Chicago, they had to play and sweep a doubleheader to force the playoff game. With Brown, Overall and Pfiester unable to pitch, Big Ed Reulbach pitched two shutouts in one day - a feat that has never been duplicated. I will pick those games!

  11. TheGoof Says:

    My first thought was Merkle. Second was Game 7 in 1924. Game 7 in 1926 was third.

    Best game I've ever seen (on TV) was probably Game 2 of the NYY-SEA playoff in 1995. I could watch that every night.

    I was scribbling the other day on an envelope (the other side of which I did the research for my Granderson letter) and wrote 10 games "Everyone should know."
    The list: Merkle, 1924 Game 7, 1926 Game 7, Thompson, Maz, Bucky, Boone, Yaz's HR vs. Reds, Buckner and the first All-Star Game.

    I also scribbled 10 pre-20th century battles everyone should know, but that's for another site, maybe.

  12. Michael Says:

    Any modern day shutout that doesn't require the use of 6 pitchers by the winning team.

    Or (a close second) a CG LOSS that wasn't lost in the 8th or 9th.

  13. Jason Says:

    @62- thanks for the correction, I was thinking HR to win the Series.

    @80- As I remember it, game six between the Mets and Astros was
    so tense because everyone knew that Mike Scott was set to pitch game
    7 for Houston. The way he was that year it would have been very
    difficult for the Mets to beat him. The Mets won 108 games that year and
    they were expected to win easily.

    Instead 1986 was possibly the greatest postseason every. All three series
    were incredible.

    And there is an idea for another post. Greatest postseason ever.

  14. Jesse Says:

    I want to know what it feels like to celebrate a Cubs World Series win.

  15. Jay Says:

    Final game of the 1967 season at fenway park. One of the most exciting pennant races ever!

  16. Julian Says:

    Too many great choices. Maybe Mets-Braves from September 21, 2001, the first game in New York after 9/11. Mike Piazza hit a go-ahead home run in the bottom of the eighth off Steve Karsay, and I remember the chills it gave me watching on TV. It brought the city together out of the ashes, and to have been there for such a transcendent moment would have been amazing.

  17. SteveO Says:

    Did anyone mention Cadore vs. Oeschger in 1920?

    26 inning game, 1-1 tie, both starters go all 26 innings.

    In the same vein, in 1933, Carl Hubbell threw an 18 inning shutout with 12 Ks and no BBs.

  18. jay Says:

    I saw Game 6 of the 86 World Series on TV. I was fourteen years old and as Mookie's ball rolled through Buckner's legs, my dad, sister, and I jumped up and down and hugged and screamed for several minutes. I have seen that clip hundreds of times and still can't help but smile. I would have loved to see that game in person.
    Someone above mentioned the Spahn-Marichal duel in 63. I just bought a book about that game, though I have not yet started reading it. That would have been a fun one to see.
    On the opposite end of the spectrum, it might have been fun to see the Phillies-Cubs 23-22 game in 79. They showed the game a couple of years ago on MLB. It was such a ridiculous game that it was almost funny. I would have liked to try to keep score of that mess.
    I was at Shea Stadium on April 15, 1997, when Baseball retired Jackie Robinson's number. I would have liked to see Robinson's debut fifty years earlier.
    No one has yet mentioned Robin Ventura's grand slam single in the NLCS in 99 - an incrdible game with just about the strangest ending I have ever seen.
    And finally, I would have liked to have been at Yankee Stadium sitting next to Jeffery Maier in 96, just so I could have smacked that little brat's hands away and not allowed that farcical home run to have happened.

  19. Robert O'Connor Says:

    Too many low scoring games. Just watch any 2011 Giants game. Game I would like to see is Willie Mays hitting four in County Stadium Milwaukee
    in Hank Aaron's face. Willie plays in '52 and '53 would have more tan Hammerin' Hank.

  20. TheGoof Says:

    Jay, I hated that Ventura game. But that's for personal reasons. If I were a Met fan or Braves fan, maybe I'd love it. Or it I wasn't working (long story--I couldn't even go to the bathroom until the game was over).

  21. Kingturtle Says:

    hmm. no one has mentioned Reggie Jackson's 3-HR World series game? i saw it on tv. but oh to be there!!

  22. wboenig Says:

    Since all of the good choices have already been taken, I'll chime in with the most bizarre game in modern history in my mind -- Mets at Braves, July 4, 1985. You all know about that one.

    Another game that had a similar story but has been all but forgotten was Padres at Pirates, July 15, 1971. That game was 0-0 after six, 1-1 after nine, 2-2 after thirteen, 3-3 after sixteen, and ended when the Pirates plated a run in the seventeenth.

    Or how about Brewers at White Sox, May 9, 1984. Okay, this is really two games, but I would have gotten to see Tom Seaver pick up a win in the 25th inning of the continuation of the previous night's game, then pick up another win in the regularly scheduled affair.

  23. nightfly Says:

    So when it happened again that fateful afternoon at the Polo Grounds, the Cubs were ready to rock and O’Day was ready to rule.

    This is, no doubt accidentally, the most obscure Rock and Rule reference in history.

  24. JD Says:

    Gotta say Tigers @ Twins - Game 163 in 2009 was a pretty bloody good game...

  25. Gary W Says:

    Another game I would like to have seen was the 1959 exhibition game between the Dodgers and the Yankees one evening at the L.A. Memorial Coliseum. It was played to honor Roy Campanella, who had been paralyzed in a car wreck. It must have been quite a sight when the 90,000 fans were asked to light a match in Campy's honor. Then they turned off the lights.

  26. thom-13 Says:

    @114 I was surprised at how long it took for that game to come up. Although, I would like to see it and have my Cubs fan friend Chris know I had seen it. He was quite downtrodden when the Dbacks went and won the 2001 World Series after four years in existence as he is still waiting for his whole life for the Cubs just to get there.

    Of course, I am a lifelong Dbacks fan like my grandfather before me.

    I also would have liked to have been at Game 7 of the 2001 World Series (although I was at Game 2) or Game 7 of the 1991 World Series.

  27. Cyril Morong Says:

    Some of Bob Feller's games in 1936. He turned 18 in Nov of that year and he was pitching that year before he had graduated from high school. He had a 17K game, a 15K game and a 10K game. His strikeout rate (K's divided by batters faced) was three times the league average.

    The next highest K game by any pitcher that year was 14 by Van Mungo. In all of baseball over the previous 5 years, there was 1 17K game, no 16K games and 2 15K games.

    For a 17 year old high school junior to do this must have been amazing to see in person

  28. JD Says:

    @126 ... Games 7 of '91 and '01 were both incredible games. '11 now... maybe the pattern will continue and we're actually in for a quality World Series for a change.

  29. Rich Says:

    @ 86
    That is mine as well. The next game must have been a ton of fun, too. Trailing 2-0 in the 9th then scoring 3 to walk off AND win the series. It's a shame the technology wasn't around at the time to preserve these games.

  30. Phil Says:

    Game 6 of the '75 Series, as obvious as that might be. I was in high school, watching on TV, and--I wish it had been otherwise--rooting for the Reds. I would love to have been there as much for Carbo's home run, Foster's throw from left field, and (especially) Evans's catch as for Fisk.

  31. Robby Bonfire Says:

    1. Bobby Thomson's shot is still unmatched for emotion-ringing drama.

    2. The classic match-up in 1912 at Fenway Park between Smokey Joe
    Wood and Walter Johnson.

    3. All W.S. clinching wins by the Philadelphia Athletics in 1910, 1911, 1913,1929, and 1930.

    4. Got to see Babe Ruth in any Red Sox game in which he hit a home run in 1919.

    5. Final game at Ebbets Field between the NY Giants and Brkl Dodgers, on Sept. 1, 1957, won by the Giants, 7-5. In fact, I was there. Last out was Roy Campanella being called out on strikes on a pitch a foot off the plate with two runners on. Ouch!

  32. JP Caillault Says:

    June 14, 1870, Capitoline Grounds, Brooklyn - The end of the Cincinnati Red Stockings 1.5 season, 84 game winning streak, when they lost 8-7 in the 11th inning on a come-from-behind rally by the Brooklyn Atlantics. 20,000 people saw it and "there can be no question that the game was the finest ever played."

    Among the many interesting aspects of the game was this one: bottom of the 10th inning, game tied 5-5, Atlantics get men on 1st and 2nd with one out. Winning streak clearly on the line. Then "Smith sent a fly to George Wright, who dropped it purposely, and throwing it to Waterman at third put McDonald out. Waterman threw to Sweasy and he put Pearce out. So the side was disposed of for no runs, and by the coolest and best play probably ever seen on ball grounds." Winning streak preserved (for one more inning, anyway). It'd be another 25 years before the infield fly rule was implemented.

  33. Ken Says:

    Well as #77 suggested, here's my little ditty on Aaron's 715th homer:

    With all the hoopla about Aaron inevitably breaking Ruth's record, Atlanta was abuzz before the season started. I envisioned being in a "good" seat, no matter what it cost, behind the Brave's dugout, on opening day in Atlanta. The only trouble was, my bowling night was on Monday, opening night, so figuring it was a crap shoot to guestimate which game the record would fall, I wouldn't miss my bowling night, and could still possibly see the record fall on Tuesday. So I mail-ordered my tickets for the princely sum of $6 each.

    When the tickets came, I immediately saw there was a mistake. I wanted Tuesday night, and these tickets were for Monday night! So I ripped off a steamy diatribe to the Braves ticket office and returned the tickets. The Tuesday night tickets soon arrived in the mail.

    So now the reasons I would like to see that Monday night Opening Night game in which Aaron send #715 flying:
    1) I was so close - I had the tickets in my hands and returned them
    2) I had a hot date scheduled on Tuesday who would have just as soon agreed to Monday for the chance to see the record broken.
    3) You remember that endlessly replayed shot of Aaron hitting the ball? That was the exact view I would have had from my dugout seats.

    So where was I when the shot was fired? In the bowling alley, listening to some guys squawky transistor radio that alternately came and went. We figured the record had been shattered when all we could hear through the static was what sounded like cheering; never did hear Milo Hamilton's live broadcast.

    Any now, what you've all been dying to know - what REALLY happened on the following night in Atlanta? I am an eyewitness to the least remembered game of all time, which I'm sure was overlooked in the above entries:

    1) My date cancelled.
    2) It was cold as Hell.
    3) The Braves lost, and
    4) Aaron didn't even play!

  34. rick Says:

    Dock Ellis's no-hitter, thrown while under the effects of LSD. That has got to be something to see.

  35. Cabriael Says:

    A game where Denkinger's skull gets crushed by angry Cardinals players,blood coming out from all of his holes in his face.

  36. Johnny Dunce Says:


    Ken/133, great story.

  37. Johnny Dunce Says:

    Cabriael, yes! The man comes through for me.

  38. thom-13 Says:

    @128 I thought about suggesting that nice, especially because the Dbacks are looking likely for playoffs with no obvious greats. Following the tack, 1981 was strike season, but 1971 was a spectacular seven games.

  39. BDF Says:

    Great thread. My choice is Game 4, 1947 World Series, the Bill Bevens no-no that wasn't:

    "Wait a minute; they're calling Stanky back to the dugout and Lavagetto is gonna hit ..."

  40. Darrel Says:

    Game 7 of the 1985 World the time this Royal fan got home from church, it was all over but the shouting.

    The first Royals game ever in 1969, won by KC in extra innings.

    The game Brett got his 3000th hit.

    I'd like to see Chief Bender and Satchel Paige pitch.

    Kenny Rogers perfect game in Texas...My niece was taken to that game by her summer league softball coach. It was her first major league game she'd ever seen.....

  41. Troy Says:

    I was at it, October 8th,1995, game 5; Mariners-Yankees, Junior's smiling face after Edgar drove him in in the 11th inning, the link with my late mother, both of us there, our favourite players and that short window of Mariners' glory.

  42. Kingturtle Says:

    some other good ones:
    *Game 4 of the 1993 WS:
    *Game 7 of the 1991 WS:
    *Game 4 of the 1959 WS (with 92,000 other people! And Gil Hodges hitting the winning homer):
    *Game 2 of the 1916 WS (Ruth wins a 14 inning pitcher's duel):
    *Gehrig's 4 HR game:
    *1986 NLCS Game 6:

  43. Honolulu Blue Says:

    Like Fred M. above @ 47, I would like to see any of the Negro League-MLB All-Star clashes. The game was mostly the same, but the players and the country's attitudes were far different.

    I guess I'm unusual in that I would favor seeing almost any random game (like, oh, this one -> ) over a game where I know what's going to happen. But it's been interesting to read other people's responses.

  44. Lawrence Azrin Says:

    @143/ Honolulu Blue - "...I guess I'm unusual in that I would favor seeing almost any random game..."

    HB, I agree with you; in particular I'd like to see any random game of the deadball era (1904-19) with a HOFer playing. It would be fascinating just to note all the differences between then and the game now.

  45. Darrel Says:

    Game 7 of the World Series where Grover Cleveland Alexander was brought in to relieve against the Yankess.

  46. TheGoof Says:

    Twins-Tigers playoff... man, I was at a dinner meeting and it was on in the background. Caught the last few innings on radio and TV afterward. Wow. Just awesome.

  47. BSK Says:

    I'm sorry, but I couldn't go to any game before Robinson broke the color barrier or, more accurately, before baseball was fully integrated. Don't think I could enjoy watching a game that certain players were barred from participating in because of their race.

  48. Ryan Says:

    I'd like to ask a question of the readers here at b-r too:

    I work with a lot of people who weren't born in the USA, and aren't familiar with baseball at all. If you could show them one game to give them the "essence" of baseball - not necessarily a record-breaking moment, or a famous player, but a game that shows off everything baseball has to offer, what would it be?

    A youtube trek leading to a video of Endy Chavez and Adam Wainwright led me to this question, and you can guess my answer.

  49. Andy Says:

    Ryan, for me, it would be this game:

    It's a combined no-hitter ending on a walk-off homer in the 10th inning....the game has everything. Great pitching, tough manager decisions, clutch hitting, etc.

    Good luck trying to find a video of it, though...!

  50. Bob Sohm Says:

    The game at Baker Bowl in 1920 in which Casey Stengel tipped his cap after catching a fly ball and a sparrow flew out.
    Any Game at Dexter Park to see the lengendary Bushwicks play.

  51. C.T. Says:

    Bob Feller's Opening Day no-hitter against the White Sox in 1940

    The 1917 game in which Boston pitcher Ernie Shore retired 27 straight Senators in relief of starter Babe Ruth, who was thrown out for throwing a punch at umpire Brick Owens after arguing a ball four call on the lead-off hitter.

    Nearly any game during the Great Depression, when arguably the greatest players and some of the greatest teams played before precious few fans with no radio or TV to record their feats.

  52. Phil Haberkorn in Indiana Says:

    MEGA-DITTO's to MLS post #98 ! ! ! !
    My Dad could afford to take a VW MicroBus full of our family or neighborhood kids to a Cubs or Tigers game in the 60s - gas, tickets, ballpark food, and a snack at a restaurant on the way back..
    We lived in a little town in northeast Indiana, so it was a four-drive for him each way.
    And he didn't have to ask other parents to help pay for anything.

  53. Phil Haberkorn in Indiana Says:

    DaveZ @ post 41.....I have watched that Cubs-Phillies 23-22 game several times, having taped the replay of it on WGN (back in those days, they would re-run a Cubs game on Sundays during the winter just for fun).
    The part I like most is when Ernie Banks steps to the plate in the bottom of the 9th and hits a game-winning grand slam.
    The WGN crew was even gracious enough to send a copy to a Philly TV station so they could show it . .

  54. Phil Haberkorn in Indiana Says:

    One game I should have attended with my movie camera and a bag full of film: Mark "The Bird" Fydrych pitching for the Tigers.
    Why didn't I go? Because I was young and stupid and thought he'd pitch for years.

  55. Phil Haberkorn in Indiana Says:

    Brendan @74.....lay off Steve Bartman.
    Look at the pictures of that play, he wasn't the only one reaching for that foul fly.
    The Cubs got a chance to win the next night, and Bartman wasn't even in the ballpark.

  56. RobC Says:

    My daughter had a couple of good choices I had not considered: 1) The game where Ted Williams hit "The Red Seat" (yes, we are Sox fans) & 2) any game with Steve Dalkowski. (She would bring a radar gun in under her jacket.)