October 24

This Day in History

Sports

Oct 24, 1992:

Toronto Blue Jays finally win a World Series for Canada

On October 24, 1992, the Toronto Blue Jays beat the Atlanta Braves in the sixth game of the World Series to win the championship. It was the first time a Canadian team had ever won the trophy, and it was a truly international victory—the Blue Jays’ 25-man roster included several players of Puerto Rican descent, a Jamaican, three Dominicans and no actual Canadians.

The series itself was a bit of a nail-biter: Four of the six games were decided by a single run, and three were won in the last at-bat. The Braves won the first game relatively handily (that is, by two runs). The Jays won the second 5-4 (they were trailing 4-3 when they came to bat in the ninth), the third 3-2 (thanks to a bases-loaded single at the bottom of the last inning) and the fourth 2-1. The Braves won Game 5 easily, as John Smoltz and Mike Stanton pitched to a 7-2 victory.

In Game 6, the Braves were losing by one run at the beginning of the ninth inning. They put runners on first and second, and then pinch-hitter Francisco Cabrera scorched a line drive to left that, if Candy Maldonado hadn’t made an impossible catch at the last minute, would have scored at least two runs. As it happened, the next batter singled to tie the game and force it into extra innings.

At the top of the 11th, with two out and two on, 41-year-old Blue Jay Dave Winfield cranked a 3-2 pitch low down the left-field line, sending two of his teammates home. At the bottom of the inning, the Braves managed to score once and even got the tying run to third, but it wasn’t enough. Toronto reliever Mike Timlin got Otis Nixon to bunt, then charged the blooper and tossed the ball to first in plenty of time. It was a rather anti-climactic ending to a highly climactic series, but it did the job: The Blue Jays were the champions. "No one can say we choke anymore," Toronto’s Roberto Alomar told reporters in the locker room after the game. "This is a great club. We won like champions."

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