#8) 2001: The Yankees’ World Series Comebacks
After the horrific attacks on New York and on America on September 11, 2001, New Yorkers in particular just needed something, anything, to collectively rally around. Even a Met fan (like myself), still rooting against the Yankees in the 2001 World Series, felt a strange feeling of happiness for Yankee fans and for all New Yorkers as the Yankees, though thoroughly outplayed in the Fall Classic against the Arizona Diamondbacks (being outscored 37-14 in the seven-game series), returned home, down two games to none, and won all three games played in New York, including the final two at Yankee Stadium in dramatic fashion. With Game 4 beginning on Halloween, the Yankees pulled a neat trick and provided a real treat for their fans. Trailing 3-1, Tino Martinez forced extra innings with a two-out, two-run home run in the bottom of the ninth inning before Derek Jeter hit a walk-off home run after midnight –- the first major league home run ever hit in November –- in the bottom of the tenth inning, to give the Yankees a stunning 4-3 victory to tie the Series at two games apiece. If that weren’t enough, Game 5 the next night, was almost a repeat ending. Shut out through eight innings, the Yankees got another two-out, two-run homer, this time from Scott Brosius, to tie the game 2-2, allowing Alfonso Soriano to win it on a twelfth-inning single, 3-2, and send the Yankees back to Arizona ahead in the Series by the same margin. Although Arizona won the final two games in Arizona, to win the Series in seven games, the Games 4 and 5 heroics brought some brief moments of joy to much of a city that needed it, so soon after September 11th. In an ironic side note, Yankee infielder Enrique Wilson was likely spared his life by losing the 2001 World Series. Exactly two months and a day after 9/11, on November 12, 2001, American Airlines flight 587 crashed in a Queens neighborhood. Wilson was scheduled to be on the flight, but since the Yankees lost, and there was no victory parade for Wilson to attend in New York, Wilson had safely flown home on a different flight a few days earlier.