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Oklahoma Memories

Joe Carter Wins B2B World Series


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"Otis Nixon - ground it out to short in the first, ground it out to short in the third, popped up to short in the fifth, base hits in the seventh and ninth - waggles a bat and he waits. Timlin to the dome, pitch on the way, and there's a bunted ball, first base side, Timlin to Carter, and the Blue Jays win it, the Blue Jays win it, the Blue Jays are World Series champions."

That is the voice of Toronto Blue Jays play-by-play announcer, the late Tom Cheek, calling the final out in the final game of the 1992 World Series in which Joe Carter made that last out giving the Blue Jays the world championship.

From the Oklahoma History Center, this is Oklahoma Memories. I'm Michael Dean.

Joe Carter was born and grew up in Oklahoma City. Following his graduation from Millwood High School, he was recruited to play baseball at Wichita State University. His junior year, 1981, he was named the Sporting News magazine's College Player of the Year, and in the 1981 draft, the Chicago Cubs chose him with the second pick of the first round. By the 1991 season, Carter had played for the Cubs, the Cleveland Indians, and San Diego Padres, and San Diego had traded him to Toronto in time for the '91 season.

The next year, 1992, he led the Blue Jays to being the first non-U.S. team to make the World Series playing against the Atlanta Braves. The series went to game six, with Toronto leading the series 3 games to 2. A win in game six would clinch the world title for the Blue Jays. That game went to the 11th inning, Atlanta trailing 4 to 3, bottom of the 11th, Atlanta at bat, two out, the Blue Jays just one out from winning the game and clinching the title, Carter playing first base, Mike Timlin was the reliever for the Blue Jays. The batter hit a bunt to Timlin who tossed the ball to Carter at first base for the World Series winning final out.

For Joe Carter that seemingly would be the highlight of his life in baseball, but the next year, 1993, the Blue Jays won the American League Pennant; the Philadelphia Phillies took the National League Pennant. Same scenario as 1992.Toronto lead the series 3 games to 2 going into game 6. Bottom of the 9th, the Phiilies with the lead 6 to 5, Blue Jays at bat, two out, two on, Joe Carter steps to the plate...with the count at 2 balls, 2 strikes...Tom Cheek describes the next pitch and delivered one of the most memorable calls in sports broadcasting history.

"Joe has had his moments, and to layoff that ball, totally outside part of the plate, he just went after one, two balls and two strikes on it. Here's the pitch on the way, a swing and a belt, left field, way back, the Blue Jays win it, the Blue Jays are World Series Champions, as Joe Carter hits a 3-run home run in the ninth inning, and the Blue Jays have repeated as World Series Champions. Touch 'em all, Joe, you'll never hit a bigger home run in your life." Minutes later Tim McCarver met up with Carter in the Blue Jays' locker room on the CBS TV post game show.

"You know, I thank God, this is a storybook ending. I told my wife before I went to the ballpark, I said something special's gonna happen today, you know, what can you say? This is awesome. This is unbelievable. 'You caught the ball last year in Atlanta, the last out from Mike Timlin. What is the difference between this year obviously, other than your involvement in the game-winning hit?' You know what? You may think it's ironic, but I told everybody I was going to catch the last out."
Joe Carter is the only player to ever record the final out in one World Series and then get a series-clinching walk-off hit in another./p>

As baseball fans celebrate this year's World Series between the Texas Rangers and St. Louis Cardinals, we celebrate the rich history of baseball in Oklahoma with a great exhibit on our national pastime at the Oklahoma History Center, NE 23rdStreet, just east of the state capitol in Oklahoma City. Oklahoma Memories is a production of the Oklahoma History Center, dedicated to collecting, preserving, and sharing our state's past. I'm Michael Dean.