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5 of Baseball's Most Dramatic Upsets


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1960 World Series, Pirates over Yankees
Bill Mazeroski of the Pittsburgh Pirates waves his hand as he walks across home plate to score the winning run of the 1969 World Series against the New York Yankees.
Bill Mazeroski of the Pittsburgh Pirates waves his hand as he walks across home plate to score the winning run of the 1969 World Series against the New York Yankees.
Bruce Bennett Studio/Getty Images

No team has dominated American sports quite like the Yankees. Throughout the team's history, the Yankees have hoisted 27 World Series trophies -- far more than any other. 1960 marked the beginning of a golden era of Yankee baseball, as the team featured Mickey Mantle, Roger Maris and Yogi Berra, three of the best players in Major League Baseball history. By almost any measure, the Pittsburgh Pirates were an inferior team. Their pitching was inconsistent, and although the Pirates' lineup included batting title winners Dick Groat and Roberto Clemente in their prime, they couldn't quite match the Yankees' firepower.

The box score at the end of the series even seemed to suggest that the Yankees were the superior team -- New York scored more total runs and racked up more total hits than Pittsburgh, and they still managed to lose. Those numbers were skewed by the fact that the Yankees dominated the three games that they won, winning by a combined score of 38-3, while keeping the games they lost very close.

Apparently nobody told the Pirates that they didn't stand a chance against the formidable Yankees. Despite getting blown out in the second and third games of the series, the Pirates hung around, getting strong pitching from Harvey Haddix and Vern Law in the next two games. Game 7 of the 1960 World Series is generally considered one of the most memorable games in baseball history. The back-and-forth game went down to the wire, with each team taking the lead in the 8th and 9th innings. Then, in the bottom of the 9th, Pirates second baseman Bill Mazeroski hit the only Game 7 walk-off home run in World Series history -- one of the most unforgettable home runs ever [source: Schoenfield].