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On this date in 2000: It’s a Subway Series!

BRONX, N.Y. — On this date in 2000, the New York Yankees and New York Mets played in the World Series. For the first time in 44 years, New York became the epicenter of the baseball world in October. Game 1 of the Subway Series at Yankee Stadium had all of the build-up, hype, and anticipation one could imagine. There was the Billy Crystal intro on FOX. Don Larsen threw out the ceremonial first pitch to Yogi Berra. Life was great for New York baseball fans.

Fans got their money’s worth as the pinstripes won the four hours and 51-minute affair, 4-3, on a two-out single by Jose Vizcaino in the twelfth.

Earlier this year when reruns were our only recourse, I wrote about how exciting it was to experience a Subway Series for the first time:

I thought about The Babe’s Called Shot, Larsen’s Perfect Game, Maris with 61 in ’61 but technically this is a rewatch. The buzz before that series was palpable. A Subway Series. New York was the epicenter of the baseball world in October.

It was the first Subway Series World Series since 1956 and city bragging rights were on the line. How cool to experience something that was the norm for the first half of the century but hadn’t happened for a couple of generations.

This one had all of the emotional swings and a gritty, gutty Yankee victory. A sold-out Yankee Stadium with two bulldogs on the bump in Andy Pettitte and Al Leiter. The Ghosts keep Todd Zeile’s ball in the yard, David Justice throws it into Derek Jeter, who, like a QB on the run, fires home to Jorge Posada to nail the nonchalant lazy base-running of Timo Perez to escape the sixth. Justice, who was the Yankee MVP after the trade deadline, made the Metsies pay in the home half with a two-run double.

This game also had the trademark Armando Benitez blowup. Paul O’Neill coaxed a clutch 10-pitch walk in the ninth and came around to tie it at three on a Chuck Knoblauch sac fly. Then to boot, you got your money’s worth on the price of that token ticket with extra innings! Bottom 12, the Yankees loaded the bases and Vizcaino burned his old team by driving in Tino Martinez with a single to left for the winning run.

It was a backbreaker for the Mets and bedlam in the Bronx for the Yankees! New York – New York, all eyes on us, can’t beat it!