16. Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Baltimore Orioles, 1979
The 1979 World Series pitted the Pittsburgh Pirates against the Baltimore Orioles. It was the second time that the two teams had met in the Fall Classic that decade, with Pittsburgh winning the 1971 World Series in seven games.
1979 would provide just as much drama.
The Orioles took a 3-1 series lead after outscoring the Pirates 24-17 through four games. In Game 5, however, Pittsburgh’s starting pitching stepped up and allowed them to take over the series. The Pirates went on to win three consecutive games to claim their fifth World Series title, holding Baltimore to just two runs during the remainder of the series.
Phil Garner and Willie Stargell both delivered incredible performances for Pittsburgh. Garner scored four runs and drove in five. More impressively, he posted a .500 batting average, which stands as the best World Series career batting average in MLB history. Stargell recorded three home runs, seven RBI and seven runs during the series. At 39-years-old, Stargell became the oldest player in MLB history to be name World Series MVP.
1979 would mark the end of the most successful 10-year stretch in franchise history for the Pirates, and they have yet to win a playoff series since.
Next: 15. New York Yankees vs. Brooklyn Dodgers, 1956