1993 World Series: The Blue Jays Become A Dynasty
Two teams with very different histories met in the 1993 World Series. The Toronto Blue Jays might have been an expansion franchise, but they had become baseball’s most consistent team over the last decade and were looking to seal a dynasty by winning a second consecutive championship. The Philadelphia Phillies were one of the game’s oldest and most traditional organizations. But the Phils were the surprise team in this Fall Classic, having jumped out of nowhere after a decade of irrelevance.
You can more about the season-long paths the Jays and Phillies took to win their respective division titles, their key players and game-by-game narratives of their triumphs in the League Championship Series at the links below. This article will focus strictly on the games of the 1993 World Series.
READ MORE ABOUT THE 1993 TORONTO BLUE JAYS
READ MORE ABOUT THE 1993 PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES
READ MORE ABOUT THE 1993 ALCS
READ MORE ABOUT THE 1993 NLCS
The ’93 World Series opened up on a Saturday night at Skydome, the name Toronto’s Rogers Centre used to go by. Both teams had their aces lined up to pitch Game 1. Juan Guzman, fresh of two wins in the ALCS, was going for Toronto. A 26-year-old Curt Schilling, making his first appearance in the postseason, was looking to build on his NLCS MVP performance for Philadelphia.
A potent Phillie offense wasted no time. Lenny Dykstra led off with a walk, stole second and scored on an opposite field base hit from John Kruk. After another walk by Guzman, Darren Daulton delivered an RBI single. It was 2-0 and there were still runners on the corners and none out. Guzman buckled down to strike out Jim Eisenreich and Ricky Jordan and end the inning.
Toronto made their first move on Schilling on the bottom of the second. Joe Carter and John Olerud started the frame with singles. After a wild pitch moved them both up, Paul Molitor singled in both runs to tie the game.
More back and forth followed in the third. This time it was Mariano Duncan getting aboard for the Phils, stealing second and coming home on an RBI base hit from Kruk. But in the bottom of the inning, an error by Philadelphia left fielder Milt Thompson set up Carter to tie it back up with a sac fly.
The fifth inning was more of the same. Duncan tripled and scored on a wild pitch to give the Phillies the lead. Devon White answered in the bottom of the inning with a two-out home run. We had a 4-4 tie.
By rights, Philadelphia should have scored in the sixth when they got three singles and a walk. But in between all that, Thompson’s rough night continued when he grounded into a double play. A young Al Leiter, on in relief of Guzman, escaped unscathed. And when Olerud homered off Schilling in the inning’s bottom half, the Blue Jays had a 5-4 lead.
The Phils turned to their own bullpen, but David West could not keep the score tight. Pat Borders and Rickey Henderson hit one-out singles in the seventh. White and Roberto Alomar doubled. It was 8-4 and the game was broken open. Philadelphia picked up a run in the ninth, but the 8-5 final did not get tight again.
Toronto now held command position. Their #2 arm, Dave Stewart, was fresh off winning ALCS MVP and was one of the great big-game pitchers of his time. Philadelphia had to answer Stewart with lefty Terry Mulholland.
After a couple scoreless innings, the Phillies again drew first blood and again it started with a Dykstra walk. This one was followed by a Duncan walk. Kruk blooped a single to bring in one run. Dave Hollins singled and it was 2-0. Daulton grounded out. The runners moved up to second and third. That didn’t matter, because Eisenreich unloaded with a three-run blast. The Phils had made Stewart bleed and had a 5-0 lead.
Toronto’s lineup was deep and there was still a lot of game left. Molitor started the bottom of the fourth with a single and Carter hit a home run of his own. In the bottom of the sixth, Alomar knocked a two-out single and scored when Tony Fernandez doubled into the left field gap. Mulholland was chased and at 5-3 we had a ballgame going into the final three innings.
The Blue Jays were into their bullpen and Dykstra homered in the seventh to push the lead to 6-3. The Phils loaded the bases with one out in the eighth and had a chance to break it open for good. But Mike Timlin came out of the Toronto pen, struck out Duncan and held the score right there.
Timlin’s clutch work looked even bigger when Molitor doubled to lead off the eighth, stole third and scored on a sac fly. Alomar worked a walk and stole second. The Phils had turned to closer Mitch Williams, but the relief pitcher known as “The Wild Thing” had a way of putting his team and their fans on a roller-coaster.
But tonight he picked off Alomar and finished the eighth. Even though Fernandez walked in the ninth, Williams finished the game by getting a double play ground ball. With the 6-4 win, the Phillies had a road split and were heading back home for the next three games.
On Tuesday night, Philadelphia was on fire for the first World Series game at the old Vet since 1983. Danny Jackson, who pitched a gem in a must-win NLCS spot, was on the mound. Pat Hentgen—steady, consistent and a future Cy Young Award winner, was going for Toronto.
Jackson didn’t have the same stuff he’d enjoyed in his NLCS start. Henderson singled to start the game. White walked. Molitor tripled both runners in, then scored on a sac fly from Carter. Just like that, it was 3-0 Jays.
The Phils were primed to immediately get back in it when Duncan and Kruk singled, then moved up on a throwing error by Carter. With runners on second and third and one out, Hollins and Daulton both struck out.
It set the tone for the night. Molitor homered in the third to make it 4-0. A leadoff double from Kruk in the bottom of the fourth was wasted. Alomar led off the top of the sixth, stole both second and third and scored on a sac fly from Fernandez.
Eisenreich came up with a two-out RBI single to make it 5-1 after six, but the Blue Jay bats just piled on for more. Henderson doubled and White tripled in the seventh, keying a three-run rally. The final ended up 10-3, with Alomar adding an RBI triple to complete his four-hit night.
Wednesday night’s Game 4 would become one of the most famous in World Series history, at least among games that didn’t clinch a title. To say the bats were rolling…well, it would have been an understatement.
Tommy Greene was the Phils’ #2 starter and pitched extremely well in the clinching game of the NLCS. But the Blue Jays were on him from the outset. Henderson led the game off with a double. White worked a walk. Carter beat out an infield hit. The bases were loaded with one out. Greene got Olerud to pop out and was in position to escape. But Molitor walked, forcing in a run, Fernandez hit a two-run single and for the second straight night, the Phillie bats were down 3-0 before getting to the plate.
But Toronto starter Todd Stottlemyre was wild. He walked four men in the first inning. With a run in, the bases loaded and two outs, the Phils got a hit of their own—a triple from Thompson that cleared the bases and put Philadelphia up 4-3. And the night was still very young.
The lead was extended to 6-3 in the second when Greene helped himself with a single and Dykstra homered down the rightfield line. But Greene was better with the bat tonight then he was with his arm. A walk, followed by consecutive singles from Molitor, Fernandez and Borders cut the lead to 6-5.
With runners still on first and second, Philadelphia manager Jim Fregosi went to his bullpen for Roger Mason. It didn’t help. After a two-out walk to Henderson, White’s line drive single to center plated two more runs. The Blue Jays had the lead and a double steal moved two more runs into scoring position. Finally, Mason struck out Alomar to end the inning.
Leiter came out of the Toronto bullpen. With two outs, Dykstra doubled, Duncan picked him up with an RBI single and we were tied at a touchdown apiece just four innings in.
The Phillie offense had another burst in the fifth, using the strategy of letting small ball lead to big ball. Hollins bunted for a hit to start the inning. Daulton went to the opposite field for a home run and a 9-7 lead. Eisenreich bunted for a hit. Thompson promptly ripped an RBI double. With two outs, Dykstra homered. It was 12-7.
Was this enough? West came out of the Phillie bullpen. To no avail. White greeted him with a double and scored on a base hit from Alomar. Olerud singled to put runners on the corners with one out. A productive ground ball from Fernandez made it 12-9.
The Phillie bats just kept coming. Hollins led off the sixth with a double and scored on a single by Thompson. In the seventh, Duncan’s infield hit was followed by two walks and a hit batsman. With the bases loaded and one out, Eisenreich popped out. The score stayed at 14-9. But with six outs to go, surely this had to be enough.
Larry Andersen was on in relief, having set down the side in the seventh and looking like someone who could finally stabilize this game. He got Alomar to start the eighth.
Then, as though we hadn’t seen enough, all hell really broke loose. Carter singled. Olerud walked. Molitor doubled to left. The score was 14-10 and there were runners on second and third. Williams came out of the bullpen.
Fernandez singled. 14-11, runners on first and third and still only one out. Borders came to the plate as the tying run. The Wild Thing walked him. He struck out Ed Sprague and got to the brink of closing out the inning. But the top of the order was up.
Henderson’s single scored two and made it 14-13. White tripled. Two more runs came in. A stunned crowd now saw the home team trailing 15-14. The Blue Jays also found some relief help. Timlin and closer Duane Ward set down the next six batters in order. One of the wildest nights the World Series had ever seen was over.
So, it seemed, was this particular World Series. Toronto had a 3-1 series lead and two home games still in the bank.
The aces rematched on Thursday night. After all the offense of Game 4, some good old-fashioned pitching helped everyone catch their breath. The Phils were able to grab a quick run in the first when Dykstra walked, stole second, took third on a bad throw and came home on Kruk’s productive groundball. They added another run in the second with doubles from Daulton and Kevin Stocker.
Guzman got settled in. But Schilling was locked in. The Philadelphia ace delivered a complete-game five-hitter. The Phils won 3-1 and extended the series.
The win seemed more like a stay of execution for the Phillies then a real avenue toward coming back. That sense was heightened in the first inning of Game 6. Toronto came out swinging against Mulholland. After White walked, Molitor tripled and then scored on a sac fly from Carter. With two outs, Olerud doubled, Alomar came up with a two-out RBI single and Stewart had a quick 3-0 lead.
The Phillies picked up a run in the fourth when Daulton’s two-out double was followed by Eisenreich’s RBI single. But the Blue Jays immediately answered when Alomar doubled and came around on consecutive productive outs. A Molitor home run in the fifth made it 5-1. That score held to the seventh. The night was shaping up to be one long party in Toronto.
Not so fast. In the blink of an eye in the top of the seventh, Stocker walked, Mickey Morandini singled and Dykstra homered. It was 5-4 and Stewart was gone. Danny Cox came on, but Philadelphia kept hitting. Duncan singled and then stole second with one out. Hollins’ RBI single tied the game. Put the champagne on hold.
Another walk and an infield hit loaded the bases. Leiter came on. A sac fly from Pete Incaviglia gave the Phils a 6-5 lead. When the bullpen combination of Mason, West and Andersen held that score to the ninth, the ultimate outcome of this Series was finally back in doubt.
It’s worth noting though that Philadelphia missed a big chance in the top of the eighth when they were gifted two walks and a hit batsman, but failed to add on. The way this particular World Series was shaping up, you could never have too many runs.
And with The Wild Thing now on the mound you could never get comfortable. Williams walked Henderson to start the ninth. After White flied out, Molitor hit a hard line drive to center for a base hit. There were runners on first and second. Skydome was alive. Joe Carter came to the plate.
The count ran to two balls and two strikes. Williams threw a pitch that he appeared to be trying to hit the inside corner with. It was left out too far over the plate. Carter deposited it in the left field stands. For just the second time in history, a World Series had ended on a walk off home run.
It was a fitting end to a Series where offense had been so prominent and the back-and-forth between the lineups so frequent. Molitor was named World Series MVP, with a brilliant 12-for-24 showing at the plate, including two home runs, eight RBIs and ten runs scored. Alomar was almost as good, going 12-for-25. Carter drove in eight runs, including the three that ended the Series.
The Phillie lineup had players who met the moment in October. Dykstra homered four times and had a .500 on-base percentage. Kruk went 8-for-23 and consistently drove in big runs. On the pitching side, Mason quietly did very good work out of the bullpen, going 7.2 innings and allowing just one run. Schilling’s Game 5 gem remains a well-remembered part of the postseason portfolio he would develop over his career.
But ultimately, the story was the Toronto Blue Jays. This was a franchise that was now on eleven consecutive winning seasons. For much of that period, the “can’t win the big one tag” followed them around. They shed that label in 1992. And in 1993, it was replaced with a new tag—one that read “Dynasty.”