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Tuesday October 5, 2010 6:47 pm

October baseball has different meanings




Posted by Adrien Griffin Categories: Athletes, MLB, Playoffs,

Barry BondsIf you’re curious about how much the baseball schedule has changed over the years, just take a look at the history of October 5. At one point in time, playing in the cold month of October was reserved only for the lengthiest of seasons. Now, thanks largely due to a growth in the playoff format, we’ve actually seen baseball extend right through the month and even stretch into November.

On this date in 1953, the New York Yankees finished the sixth game of the World Series; beating the Brooklyn Dodgers 4-3 with a game-winning single in the bottom of the ninth. The victory clinched the Yankees’ fifth-straight World Series; a record that still stands. Tomorrow, the modern version of the Yankees will take the field in Minnesota as they start their playoffs, attempting to win back-to-back championships for the first time since their three-peat from 1998-2000.

On this date in 2001, Barry Bonds broke the all-time single-season home run record. Well, twice, kind of. Bonds hit a 442-foot blast into right-center field for his 71st home run of the season, breaking Mark McGwire’s short-lived record. Two innings later, Bonds hit his 72nd home run as well. Of course, Bonds would finish the season with 73; a near-impossible number of homers that probably won’t be reached for a long time, if ever again.

1953 and 2001 are many years apart, but just the fact that one October 5 held the climax of a World Series and the other still featured regular season baseball is incredible. You can even shorten the gap. In 1984, the Tigers completed an ALCS sweep of the Royals while in1991, the Braves merely clinched a playoff berth with a game left in the season. For many teams, September baseball is relatively meaningless, but for a select few, October baseball means everything, regardless what point of the season it is.

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