10 greatest individual performances in World Series history

Game 7 World Championship
The Giants rode an epic effort from Madison Bumgarner to win the 2014 World Championship. Image from The New York Times.

Since we have played over 100 world championships, there is a long list of contenders for the best performers in the world championship. Keep in mind that there have been over 100 of those, and every year there are at least a few outstanding players who put on one of MLB’s best post-season performances as they lead their team to the championship.

It’s also worth noting the overlap between some of the best World Series shows and the best World Championships to watch. Isn’t that part of the reason why fans watch the World Championships? We all want to see greatness happen before our eyes and capture one of MLB’s greatest post-season performances of all time.

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That’s why we put so much thought and effort into selecting the best World Series performances in baseball history.

It wasn’t easy because there are so many great offers to consider. We also had to limit each player to what they did in one game or one world championship rather than beyond the entire season. However, here is our list of the best World Championship performances in Fall Classic history.

10- Barry Bonds, 2002

His team may not have won, and Barry Bonds was denied the MVP award, but the controversial player was clearly the best player on the field.

Over the course of seven matches, he only took eight hits in 17 bat runs because he drew 13 walks and seven intentional walks. Of those eight hits, four were home hits and two were doubles. The only problem was that his teammates were at the base in front of him, with Bonds having only six RBIs. However, he finished the series with 1.994 OPS, which is when you hit four home runs in just 17 official players.

9. Babe Ruth, 1928

Babe Ruth played in the world championship 10 times, but 1928 was his best. The Yankees did quick work for the Cardinals, thrashing them out in four games.

But in those four games, Ruth was 10 for 16 (.625), including three home runs in Game 4. He wouldn’t be the last Yankee to hit three homeowners in a World Series game, but that’s enough to get him into our game. List of the best performances in the World Championship.

8. Bob Gibson, 1968

Technically, Micky Lulic was the best player in the world championship this year because his team won. But one could argue that Bob Gibson was pretty good.

He started Games 1, 4 and 7, making three full matches. In those 27 innings, he only allowed five runs with 18 strokes and led the Cardinals to win games 1 and 4. The Tigers had four of those five runs in Game 7 when Leulich was a little better. But Gibson was nothing short of exceptional in games 1 and 4, ending the streak with 35 attacks in those 27 rounds.

7. David Ortiz, 2013

Big Papi was an important part of the Boston tournaments in 2004 and 2007. But in 2013 the bazaar was at its best.

During six games against the Cardinals, he was an unstoppable force.

Participated in matches 1 and 2 and then moved on to the .688 racket, he went 11 against 16 with two house bugs and two doubles. The Cardinals scared him so much that he drew eight walks and four deliberate walks, which helped give him an OPS of 1.948 and a World Series MVP.

6. Miki Lulich, 1968

Micky Lulic almost single-handedly won the series for the Tigers, who trailed the Cardinal 3-1 after four games. He made a full run in Game 2, dropping just one run in six strokes. With Detroit losing 3-1, Leulich gave another full game in Game 5, giving up three runs in the first inning but shutting out the Cardinal afterward, allowing the Tigers to advance from behind for the win.

On a two-day break, Lolich was back on Court 7, beating the great Bob Gibson and throwing another full game. He only allowed one run on five hits and remains the latest bowler to throw three full games in the World Championships.

5. David Freese, 2011

David Friese was a young and somewhat unknown player until the 2011 World Championships when he delivered several hits.

The biggest was a three-way tie in the ninth game of Game 6 with the Cardinals on the verge of losing the series. Two rounds later, Friese made a Game 7 by hitting his home turf in the eleventh game of Game Six. But this match wasn’t the only one. Freese was in the middle of it all when the Cardinals won Game 1 and 3.

He also doubled in two rounds in Game 7.

He finished the .348 hitting series with five additional base strokes and seven RBIs, named for the NLCS and World Series MVP that same year.

4. Reggie Jackson, 1977

Until someone hits four runs in a World Series game, no one will surpass what Reggie Jackson did during the 1977 World Series.

In Game 6, Jackson hit three home runs, doing so from three bowlers. He actually came back in his last game in Game 4, which means he made four flips in a row. But it wasn’t the only game that earned Jackson a World Series MVP for the second time and with two different teams.

He hit 0.450 during the 1977 World Championships in five home runs, giving him an OPS of 1.792 over those six games.

3. Madison Baumgarner, 2014

It’s hard to imagine any pitcher holding a team more during the World Championships than Madison Baumgarner did. He opened the series with seven powerful innings, allowing only one run. He’s back in Game 4 with his second full-game shutdown after the season ended.

After that, he was called up again in Game 7, making five goalless innings of the game in just two days off.

When he entered the match, the Giants were leading 3-2, and it stayed that way through the final five rounds of the match, giving Baumgarner two wins and one honest win in the series while giving up only one game in nine strokes over the 21 innings.

2- Sandy Kovacs, 1965

Sandy Koufax made headlines at the start of the 1965 World Championships by choosing not to show the first game so he could celebrate Yom Kippur.

Honestly, after throwing 335.2 runs during the regular season and throwing a perfect match in September, he got an extra day off. The left then lost in Game 2 despite conceding two rounds over six innings.

However, Koufax made up for the loss and controversy for Game 1 by offering a complete shutdown of the game in Game 5.

This allowed the Dodgers to take the lead 3-2, only for the twins to force Game 7. In just two days off and while dealing with staggering pain due to arthritis, Koufax started Game 7. Despite giving up the curve ball early on. In the game, Koufax closed three strokes to lead the Dodgers to victory, winning the World Series MVP award for the second time.

1. Don Larsen, 1956

Two words: perfect game.

Don Larsen remains the only bowler in World Championship history to deliver a perfect no-kick during the Fall Classic.

This game alone is enough to give Larsen the honor of having one of MLB’s greatest post-season performances.

For what it’s worth, Larsen started Game 2 of the 1956 World Championships and lost with two in the second half, allowing for four unearned runs.

However, it’s safe to say that everything was forgiven for him after his perfect match. Remarkably, he only needed 97 shots to get 27 shots with only one hit to hit a three-ball count. It might have only been one match, but it was an amazing performance that no one is likely to match.

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