Some of baseball's most enduring October memories are punctuated by jubilant celebrations. Take a look back at some of the most memorable expressions of joy in Major League Baseball's postseason by players and teams after the final out.
2004 Boston Red Sox
It was a celebration 86 years in the making. When closer Keith Foulke grabbed Edgar Renteria's grounder back to the mound and flipped it to first baseman Doug Mientkiewicz, long-suffering Red Sox fans could rejoice in the franchise's first world championship since 1918.
2003 New York Yankees
Aaron Boone (or as he's known in Boston, "Aaron Bleepin' Boone") homered on Tim Wakefield's first pitch in the bottom of the 11th inning in Game 7 of the American League Championship Series to send the Yankees to the World Series. Boone punctuated his home run trot by leaping on home plate while being mobbed by his teammates, and Yankees closer Mariano Rivera -- who was named the ALCS MVP -- is remembered for running to the mound and collapsing on it in joy.
1993 Toronto Blue Jays
"Touch 'em all, Joe." One of the most memorable home runs in baseball history came off the bat of Joe Carter, who ended Game 6 of the 1993 World Series with a three-run shot to give Toronto an 8-6 win to retain their world championship. Carter's joyful trip around the bases, punctuated by several leaps between first and second base, has become an enduring image of the Fall Classic.
1988 Los Angeles Dodgers
It didn't win the World Series for the Dodgers, but Kirk Gibson's pinch-hit home run off Dennis Ecklersley in the ninth inning of Game 1 provided another memorable October image. Who can forget a hobbled Gibson limping around the bases, pumping his fist at second, while his teammates mobbed home plate in the background?
1986 New York Mets
The 1986 World Series is most remembered for Bill Buckner's error at first base in Game 6. But the next night, Mets reliever Jesse Orosco struck out Red Sox second baseman Marty Barrett to give New York its second world title. Orosco flung his glove high in the air and bear hugged catcher Gary Carter before the two were buried in a pile of celebrating teammates.
1960 Pittsburgh Pirates
The only World Series to end with a walk-off home run in Game 7, the 1960 Fall Classic will forever be remembered for Bill Mazeroski's heroics in the bottom of the ninth inning of Pittsburgh's 10-9 win over the Yankees. As Mazeroski circled the bases, waving his cap wildly, fans began streaming out of the stands and accompanied him from third base to a mob scene at home plate.
1956 New York Yankees
The only perfect game in World Series history is remembered for Yankees catcher Yogi Berra sprinting from behind home plate and leaping into the arms of Don Larsen after Larsen struck out Brooklyn's Dale Mitchell to finish a 2-0 win in Game 5.
Information compiled from Wikipedia and media reports
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Panthers pound Ashland for repeat trip to Rupp (with video)
The Fleming County Panthers waited nearly an hour to ascend the ladders set up under the goals at Ellis T. Johnson Arena on Tuesday night.
To the victor belongs the spoils, which traditionally includes the nets after winning a tournament title. But Fleming County milled around on Morehead State’s floor taking pictures and soaking in the atmosphere after handling Ashland 82-59 in the 16th Region Tournament final.
Snipping the twine was almost an afterthought. In fact, except for a minute or so of celebration with their student section immediately following the final buzzer, the Panthers didn’t really even seem all that excited.
They expected to be here, and they were all business after earning back-to-back region titles and trips to Rupp Arena.
AARON SNYDER: Truth or Dare unkind to ’Cats
Ashland was left feeling like the shy kid after an intense game of Truth or Dare.
Truth: Fleming County outrebounded Ashland, 39-24, after Ashland outdueled Greenup County by 10 the night before.
'Relaxed' Steward earns MVP award
Both Fleming County coach Mark Starns and stellar senior Troy Steward attributed his significant strides this season to aggressiveness.
Playing a part, too, in Steward earning the 16th Region Tournament Most Valuable Player award was the lack of nerves, which were nearly overwhelming at times a year ago.
Central's 15th Region reign continues
Once was good.
Twice was nice.
Three was sweet for the Johnson Central Eagles.
Senior Slade McPeek scored 22 points and earned most valuable player honors Tuesday night as Johnson Central rolled past Shelby Valley, 81-56, for its third straight 15th Region championship at the East Kentucky Expo Center.
- Fleming goes for two: Panthers beat Ashland for 16th Region repeat Fleming County pulled away early and never looked back as the Panthers pounced on Ashland, winning 82-59 in the 16th Region championship game on Tuesday in Morehead. Fleming County will face Scott County in the Sweet Sixteen next Wednesday at Rupp Arena.
VIDEO: 16th Region semifinals highlights
Fleming County defeated Lewis County, 66-58, and Ashland beat Greenup County, 81-61, on Monday night at Morehead State University to set up tonight's championship matchup. Tipoff is set for 7.
Ashland cruises past Greenup to 16th Region championship game
Tyler Stewart is known for his unrelenting hustle as one of Ashland’s glue guys.
When the senior guard can pitch in some offense too, as he did Monday in the 16th Region Tournament semifinals, that’s just one more problem for Tomcats opponents.
Stewart scored 20 points, senior Steven Friley posted a double-double with 21 points and 14 rebounds, and Ashland outscored Greenup County 21-9 in the third quarter to break open what was a seven-point game at halftime and cruise past the Musketeers, 81-61.
Fleming battles back to 16th Region final
A healthy Wilder Williams this season has given Fleming County a whole new dimension.
Prior to his sophomore year, Williams sustained a football injury that resulted in three ankle surgeries and limited him to bench duty last season while the Panthers made their run to the 16th Region championship.
A physical 6-foot-3 player, Williams is making his presence felt around the basket as Fleming County looks to return to the Sweet Sixteen.
AARON SNYDER: Will the next hero be unmasked?
Who will the bat signal shine for tonight?
Or, should I say, the Cat signal?
In the third installment of a trilogy that might rival the Batman three-pack of “Batman Begins,” “The Dark Knight” and “The Dark Knight Rises,” Fleming County and Ashland will battle in a matchup that has produced a classic clash in each of the last two 16th Region Tournaments.
If the first two collectively served as a gradual progressions to tonight’s scene, the climax could be off the charts.
Corey Gregg was Ashland’s superhero in 2012, when the senior confidently fired a perfect 3-point shot from the right corner. The triple thrust the Tomcats and Panthers into overtime, from which Ashland emerged 79-73 in a first-round game.
Central wins, Lawrence falls in 15th
The biggest concern for Lawrence County coach Josh Cook was staying out of foul trouble.
His team stayed in it all night, and it cost them a spot in the 15th Region title game.
Shelby Valley senior Tyler Carr led four players in double figures with 19 points as the Wildcats knocked off Lawrence County, 72-60, in the semifinals of the 15th Region Tournament at the East Kentucky Expo Center.
“This one hurts,” said Cook. “We’ll learn from this, and I have no doubt that our kids will get back here and finish the job.”
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- Panthers pound Ashland for repeat trip to Rupp (with video)