|1997 World Series|
|MVP||Liván Hernández (Florida)|
|Umpires||Ed Montague (NL, crew chief), Dale Ford (AL), Joe West (NL), Greg Kosc (AL), Randy Marsh (NL), Ken Kaiser (AL)|
|Hall of Famers||Marlins: none |
Indians: Jim Thome
|ALCS||Cleveland Indians defeated Baltimore Orioles, 4–2|
|NLCS||Florida Marlins defeated Atlanta Braves, 4–2|
|TV announcers||Bob Costas, Joe Morgan, and Bob Uecker|
|Radio announcers||Vin Scully and Jeff Torborg|
|World Series Program|
The 1997 World Series was the championship series of Major League Baseball's (MLB) 1997 season. The 93rd edition of the World Series, it was a best-of-seven playoff between the American League (AL) champion Cleveland Indians and the National League (NL) champion Florida Marlins The Marlins, who were underdogs, defeated the Indians, four games to three, to win their first World Series championship. Game 7 was decided in extra innings on a walk-off single hit by Édgar Rentería. The series began on October 18 and ended on October 26 (after midnight October 27). Marlins pitcher Liván Hernández was named the World Series Most Valuable Player.
The Indians advanced to the World Series by defeating the New York Yankees in the AL Division Series, three games to two, and then the Baltimore Orioles in the AL Championship Series, four games to two; it was Cleveland's second World Series appearance in three years. The Marlins advanced to the World Series by defeating the San Francisco Giants in the NL Division Series, three games to none, and then the Atlanta Braves in the NL Championship Series, four games to two; the Marlins set an MLB record by reaching a World Series in just their fifth season of existence. This was the fourth time in World Series history a Game 7 went into extra innings, and was the most recent occasion until the 2016 World Series, in which the Indians also lost in extra innings. The Marlins' championship made them the first wild card team to ever win the World Series.
This was the only World Series that Paul Beeston would preside over as CEO of MLB. The previous four World Series had been presided over jointly by the league presidents (first Dr. Bobby Brown and then Gene Budig for the AL, Leonard Coleman for the NL).
|1||October 18||Cleveland Indians – 4, Florida Marlins – 7||Pro Player Stadium||3:19||67,245 |
|2||October 19||Cleveland Indians – 6, Florida Marlins – 1||Pro Player Stadium||2:48||67,025 |
|3||October 21||Florida Marlins – 14, Cleveland Indians – 11||Jacobs Field||4:12||44,880 |
|4||October 22||Florida Marlins – 3, Cleveland Indians – 10||Jacobs Field||3:15||44,887 |
|5||October 23||Florida Marlins – 8, Cleveland Indians – 7||Jacobs Field||3:39||44,888 |
|6||October 25||Cleveland Indians – 4, Florida Marlins – 1||Pro Player Stadium||3:15||67,498 |
|7||October 26||Cleveland Indians – 2, Florida Marlins – 3 (11 innings)||Pro Player Stadium||4:10||67,204 |
Liván Hernández (1–0)
Orel Hershiser (0–1)
Robb Nen (1)|
CLE: Manny Ramírez (1), Jim Thome (1)
FLA: Moisés Alou (1), Charles Johnson (1)
The first World Series game in the state of Florida, Game 1 featured a youngster and a veteran facing each other on the mound. Fresh off his NLCS MVP performance, Liván Hernández took the hill for the Marlins and quickly gave up a run in the first thanks to a double by leadoff man Bip Roberts and an RBI single by David Justice. Indian starter Orel Hershiser got by the first two innings unscathed. However, after the Marlins tied the game in the third on Edgar Renteria's RBI groundout with two on, they scored four runs in the fourth. Moisés Alou's three-run home run off the left field foul pole put the Marlins up 4–1 and Charles Johnson followed with a home run to make it 5–1. After Manny Ramírez's home run in the fifth cut the lead to 5–2, Hershiser allowed a one-out walk and single in the bottom of the inning before Jeff Conine's RBI single made it 6–2 Marlins. Jeff Juden relieved Hershiser and after a force-out at second, threw a ball four wild pitch that let Bobby Bonilla score from third. Jim Thome's home run cut the lead to 7–3 in the sixth, then the Indians got another run in the eighth off of Jay Powell when Marquis Grissom walked with two outs and scored on Brian Giles's double, but Florida closer Robb Nen came in the ninth and got out of a jam by striking out Sandy Alomar Jr. and Thome with two men aboard.
Chad Ogea (1–0)
Kevin Brown (0–1)|
CLE: Sandy Alomar, Jr. (1)
Game 2 matched up Florida ace Kevin Brown against little known Chad Ogea, who had lost two games in the ALCS. Both teams scored in the first, thanks to RBI singles by David Justice for the Indians after Omar Vizquel doubled with one out and Jeff Conine for the Marlins with two on. Ogea barely escaped further damage when Moisés Alou got under a hanging curveball, but merely flied out to the warning track, missing his second three-run homer in as many nights by inches. After that, Ogea settled in and did not allow any more runs. Brown pitched well until the fifth when the Indians took the lead by stringing together three singles by Matt Williams, Sandy Alomar Jr., and Marquis Grissom. Later in the inning, with runners on the second and third, Bip Roberts drove in a pair of runs with a single up the middle giving the Tribe a 4–1 lead. The three-run lead ballooned to five when Alomar hit a laser into the left field stands for a two-run home run in the sixth. The Indians' 6–1 win tied the series heading to Cleveland.
Dennis Cook (1–0)
Eric Plunk (0–1)|
FLA: Gary Sheffield (1), Darren Daulton (1), Jim Eisenreich (1)
CLE: Jim Thome (2)
Game 3 was a wild affair that ended with the Marlins grabbing a 2–1 series lead. Charles Nagy of the Indians faced Al Leiter of the Marlins. In the top of the first, Gary Sheffield started the scoring with a home run to left. In the bottom half, the Indians retaliated with two runs thanks to two broken bat RBI singles by Matt Williams and Sandy Alomar Jr.. A bases loaded walk to Sheffield tied the game in the third, before Florida took a 3–2 lead in the fourth on Darren Daulton's home run. However, the Indians got a gift in the bottom of the fourth, when they drew four free passes, then a throwing error by third baseman Bobby Bonilla on Manny Ramírez's single allowed two more runs to score. The Tribe went up 7–3 on Jim Thome's two-run home run to right in the fifth inning. His home run was nullified in the sixth by Jim Eisenreich's two-run home run that cut the lead to 7–5. In the seventh, Craig Counsell hit a leadoff single off of Brian Anderson and moved to second on a groundout, then Édgar Rentería's single and Gary Sheffield's double off of Mike Jackson each drove in a run, making the score 7–7. In the ninth, Bonilla drew a leadoff walk off of Eric Plunk and scored on Dalton's single aided by an error that let Dalton go to third. After a strikeout and intentional walk, an error on a pickoff attempt allowed Dalton to score. After Charles Johnson singled, Alvin Morman relieved Plunk and an error on Counsell's ground ball allowed Cliff Floyd to score. One out later, a walk loaded the bases before José Mesa relieved Morman and allowed two-run singles to Sheffield and Bonilla aided by a wild pitch that gave the Marlins at 14–7 lead. In the bottom of the inning, the Indians loaded the bases on a walk and two singles with one out off of Robb Nen before Tony Fernández's sacrifice fly and Marquis Grissom's single scored a run each, then Bip Roberts' two-run double cut the lead to 14–11, but Omar Vizquel grounded out to end the game. This was the highest scoring game for twenty years till the fifth game of the 2017 World Series between the Houston Astros and the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Jaret Wright (1–0)
Tony Saunders (0–1)
Brian Anderson (1)|
FLA: Moisés Alou (2)
CLE: Manny Ramírez (2), Matt Williams (1)
This back-and-forth World Series continued that way in Game 4. Both teams were greeted by snow during batting practice and freezing temperatures throughout this contest. The official gametime temperature of 38 °F (3.3 °C) remains as of 2018 [update] the coldest recorded in World Series history, while as the game progressed media outlets reported wind chill readings as low as 18 °F (−7.8 °C).  Two rookies opposed each other on the mound this night; Jaret Wright for the Indians and Tony Saunders for the Marlins. In the bottom of the first, Omar Vizquel singled with one out before Manny Ramírez's two-run home run put the Indians up 2–0. Matt Williams then singled with two outs and scored on Sandy Alomar's double. In the third, Ramírez drew a leadoff walk, moved to second on an error and scored on David Justice's single. After another walk, Alomar's single scored Justice. After a third walk loaded the bases, Antonio Alfonseca relived Saunders and allowed an RBI single to Tony Fernández. The Marlins got on the board in the fourth on Jim Eisenreich's RBI single with two on, then Moisés Alou's two-run home run after a walk in the sixth cut the Indians' lead to 6–3, but that was as close as the Marlins got. In the bottom of the inning, Alomar's bases-loaded groundout off of Ed Vosberg made it 7–3 Indians. Next inning, Fernández hit a leadoff single, moved to second on a ground out and scored on Brian Giles's single. In the eighth, Williams' two-run home run after a walk capped the game's scoring at 10–3 as the Indians tied the series at two games apiece.
Liván Hernández (2–0)
Orel Hershiser (0–2)
Robb Nen (2)|
FLA: Moisés Alou (3)
CLE: Sandy Alomar, Jr. (2)
Game 5 was a rematch of Game 1's starting pitchers Liván Hernández and Orel Hershiser. The Marlins struck first when Darren Daulton hit a ground-rule double and scored on Charles Johnson's single. After a walk, Devon White's RBI double made it 2–0 Marlins. The Indians cut it to 2–1 in the bottom of the inning when Jim Thome tripled and scored on Sandy Alomar's single. Next inning, Alomar launched a towering three-run home run after two walks to put the Indians up 4–2. In the sixth, Moisés Alou hit his second three-run home run off Hershiser in as many games and his third home run of the Series to put the Marlins up 5–4. Eric Plunk then walked Craig Counsell with the bases loaded to force in another run charged to Hershiser. The Marlins added to their lead in the seventh when Alou hit a leadoff single off of Jeff Juden, stole second, moved to third on a groundout, and scored on Johnson's single. Next inning, Alou's single with two on off of José Mesa extended the lead to 8–4. Livan pitched terrifically in the middle innings, not allowing any runs until the ninth. An error and single put two on with no outs for the Indians. Robb Nen in relief allowed a two-run single to David Justice, then a two-out RBI single to Thome before Alomar flew out to right to end the game and give the Marlins a 3–2 series lead heading back to Florida.
|WP: Chad Ogea (2–0) LP: Kevin Brown (0–2) Sv: José Mesa (1)|
Game 6's attendance of 67,498 was the highest single-game attendance for the World Series since Game 5 of the 1959 World Series, when 92,706 people filled the football-oriented Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. The Series returned to the warmer climate of Miami for Game 6. Kevin Brown opposed Chad Ogea again and again Brown inexplicably struggled while Ogea flourished. Chad himself drove in the first two runs with a bases-loaded single in the second, and Manny Ramírez hit a sacrifice fly in the third (after Omar Vizquel hit a leadoff double and stole third) and the fifth (after a leadoff double and subsequent single). Darren Daulton's sacrifice fly with two on in the fifth gave the Marlins their only run of the game. With the Tribe leading 4–1 in the sixth, Ogea ran into serious trouble. The Marlins put runners on second and third with two out as reliever Mike Jackson replaced Ogea. Marlins catcher Charles Johnson stepped to the plate and proceeded to hit a sharp grounder that was headed for left field. Indians gold glove shortstop Omar Vizquel dove for the ball, grabbed it, sprung to his feet, and hurled a perfect strike to first base just before Johnson arrived. The play ended the threat and broke the Marlins' spirits. In the ninth, closer José Mesa wrapped up the win, tying the Series at 3–3.
Jay Powell (1–0)
Charles Nagy (0–1)|
FLA: Bobby Bonilla (1)
For the first time in six years, a seventh game would decide the World Series.
Indians manager Mike Hargrove, celebrating his forty-eighth birthday this night, made a significant strategic play prior to the start of the game. The Indians' rotation for the series consisted of Orel Hershiser, the starter and loser of Games 1 and 5; Chad Ogea, the winning pitcher in Games 2 and 6; staff ace Charles Nagy, who received a no-decision in the wild Game 3; and rookie Jaret Wright, who had won Game 4. Based on Wright's performance, Hargrove skipped over Nagy and gave the start to the rookie on three days' rest. Marlins manager Jim Leyland, opting to keep his rotation as it was, sent veteran starter Al Leiter out for Game 7.
The Marlins managed one hit in the 1st inning, a double off the bat of Édgar Rentería. That was the only hit Wright gave up through six innings, and the Indians staked him to a 2–0 lead in the third. With two out and Jim Thome and Marquis Grissom in scoring position, Tony Fernández singled to drive both runners in for the only runs of the game to that point.
Leading off the bottom of the seventh for the Marlins, Bobby Bonilla hit Wright's first pitch over the right-center field wall for a home run to cut the lead to 2–1. After striking out Charles Johnson and walking Craig Counsell, Wright was removed from the game in favor of Paul Assenmacher who was scheduled to pitch to Cliff Floyd. Marlins manager Jim Leyland elected to send Kurt Abbott to the plate after the pitching change; and Assenmacher retired him on a fly ball, then got Devon White swinging to end the inning.
In the top of the ninth inning, Cleveland again threatened. After Antonio Alfonseca walked Matt Williams to lead off the inning and Sandy Alomar Jr. reached on a fielder's choice to take Williams off the bases, Félix Heredia gave up a single to Thome which advanced Alomar to third. He was then pulled in favor of closer Robb Nen, inducing a groundball from Grissom to Rentería at shortstop, who elected to throw Alomar out at home, thanks in part to a great pick and tag by Johnson. He then got Brian Giles to fly out to end the inning.
The Indians sent closer José Mesa to the mound to try to win the series in the bottom of the ninth inning. Moisés Alou led off with a single, and Bonilla struck out swinging on a 3–2 pitch that would have been ball four. Nevertheless, just four strikes away from losing the World Series, Johnson lined a 1–2 fastball into right field, moving Alou to third. With runners on 1st and 3rd and one out, Craig Counsell fought off a low, inside fastball from Mesa, lining it into deep right field. Manny Ramírez caught the ball on the warning track to make it two outs, but Alou easily scored from third to tie the game. Although Mesa retired Jim Eisenreich to send the game to extra innings and held the Marlins without a run in the tenth, his blown save would open him to criticism for years to come.
After Nen struck out the side in the top of the 10th, Mesa was lifted after giving up back-to-back one-out singles for Game 3 starter Nagy, who got Alou to fly out to end the threat. After walking Williams, leading off the top of the 11th inning, Jay Powell retired Cleveland in order thanks to an alert fielder's choice on a sacrifice bunt by Alomar, which Powell fielded and threw out the lead runner at 2nd, followed by a Jim Thome inning-ending double play. Nagy took to the mound to face Florida in the bottom half of the 11th. Bonilla led off with a single to center. Gregg Zaun nearly caused a double play by popping his bunt attempt directly to Nagy. However, Bonilla was able to get back to first safely. Counsell followed with a ground ball that should have produced an inning-ending double play. Instead, the ball was misplayed by Fernández, slipping under his glove and into right field, and Bonilla advanced to third on the error. After Nagy loaded the bases with an intentional walk to Eisenreich, he got White to ground into a fielder's choice to Fernández, who elected to not go for the double play but instead quickly threw Bonilla out at the plate for the second out.
The next batter was Rentería; with the bases loaded and 2 outs in the bottom of the 11th inning of Game 7 of the World Series, he timed an 0–1 slider from Nagy and lined it up the middle out of reach of both Nagy (who was so close his glove even touched the ball), and the infielders. An exuberant Counsell scored from third, and jumped on home plate with his fists in the air in celebration—with the series-winning run. Rentería, in jubilation, removed his helmet with tears in his eyes before touching first base, having hit a World Series winning walk-off single.
After Game 7, the trophy presentation, usually taking place in the winning team's locker room regardless of venue, took place on the field for the first time ever before the crowd of 67,204. It was presided over by then-Chairman of the Executive Committee Bud Selig, who first did the honors in 1995 and would officially become Commissioner of Baseball in 1998. This is now a standard procedure whenever the champions are the home team of the deciding game (the only exception being 1999 when the New York Yankees chose to celebrate in their locker room).
|Total attendance: 403,627 Average attendance: 57,661|
Winning player's share: $188,468 Losing player's share: $113,226 
Soon after Game 7 was complete, rumors on the internet started to spread that the 1989 (four years before the Florida Marlins made their debut) film Back to the Future Part II accurately predicted their 1997 World Series victory. In reality, the movie stated that, in 2015, a Miami team with an alligator mascot would lose to the Chicago Cubs in the World Series. Ironically, the actual Cubs' 2015 season also ended on October 21, and in a four-game sweep, but this time, they lost to the New York Mets in that year's NLCS.
On October 31, 1997, most of the fan favorites of the 1997 Marlins were traded, including Moisés Alou, who was traded to the Houston Astros, and Al Leiter to the New York Mets, in a fire sale so infamous that it has come to synonymize the term in the baseball world. World Series MVP hurler Liván Hernández, however, stayed with the team for two more years. The Marlins had a record of 54–108 in 1998, the worst performance ever by a defending World Series champion. As a result, these Marlins are mockingly referred to as the first "Rent-A-Team" to win the World Series.
Jim Leyland, responding to reports that he would retire if the Marlins won the World Series, told NBC during the celebration, "My wife doesn't like me that much. I can't retire." However, he quit in the wake of their pitiful performance in 1998. He managed the Colorado Rockies in 1999, then scouted for several years before joining the Detroit Tigers as manager in 2006 and taking them to the World Series and losing in five games.
Marlins owner H. Wayne Huizenga, who dodged questions about selling the team during the on-field celebration, ultimately sold the team to John W. Henry after the 1998 season. Henry in turn sold it to former Montreal Expos owner Jeffrey Loria in 2001 as part of a deal to purchase the Boston Red Sox.
Loria would return the team to a World Series victory in 2003. That season started with only one of the 1997 World Series players left on the roster: pitcher Rick Helling. Helling was traded mid-season to the Texas Rangers. However, the team traded with the Baltimore Orioles for Jeff Conine. Conine would be the only 1997 Marlin to participate in the 2003 World Series victory.
The failure of José Mesa to save Game 7 ultimately ignited a heated feud with teammate Omar Vizquel. In Vizquel's autobiography, the veteran shortstop called Mesa a "choker." The two men ended their longtime friendship. Mesa later vowed to "...hit him every time" he faced him, and also stated that he wanted to kill Vizquel. Though Mesa did not actually bean Vizquel every time he subsequently faced him, he did hit him with pitches at least twice.
Game 7 also caused a scheduled Chicago Bears– Miami Dolphins game to be postponed to Monday night. It was seen on ABC in the Chicago and Miami markets, and was intended to air on Fox. The rest of the nation received the scheduled Green Bay Packers– New England Patriots game, the only time a rematch of a previous season's Super Bowl aired on ABC. It was also the first time in ten years a football game in this case the Denver Broncos at the Vikings was moved to Monday Night because of the World Series.
Also, largely as a result of over 67,000 attending every World Series game played in Pro Player Stadium in Miami, the 1997 World Series became just the second to draw a total attendance of over 400,000 for the entire series. The only other World Series to draw more than 400,000 in attendance was the 1959 World Series, which had three of its six games played at the Los Angeles Coliseum, which drew over 92,000 for each game played at the Coliseum in that World Series. The total attendance of 403,627 is the second-largest in World Series history, only to the attendance of 420,784 in 1959.
Miami and Cleveland have celebrated championships in the 19 years since: in addition to the Marlins' second World Series championship in 2003, the Miami Heat won NBA championships in 2006, 2012 and 2013, while the Cleveland Cavaliers won the 2016 NBA Finals just eight days after the NHL's Columbus Blue Jackets' affiliate, the Lake Erie Monsters (now the Cleveland Monsters), won the AHL's Calder Cup ending a 52-year championship drought for their city. With the exception of 2006, Akron, Ohio native LeBron James played on each of the aforementioned NBA championship teams. As previously mentioned, the Indians also made it to the World Series in 2016, but in losing to the Chicago Cubs in seven games, they replaced the Cubs (who until then had not won the Series since 1908) as the team with the longest championship drought, having last won in 1948.
This marked the first time since 1988 that NBC televised a World Series in its entirety. In 1995, NBC televised Games 2, 3, and 6, while rival ABC televised Games 1, 4, and 5, having split that series since ABC was promised the strike-cancelled 1994 World Series. Both networks had announced prior to the 1995 season, that they were bailing out what was initially a six-year-long revenue sharing joint venture with Major League Baseball called " The Baseball Network". Starting with the 1996 World Series, Fox and NBC would alternate World Series broadcast rights for the next five seasons, with NBC broadcasting in odd-numbered years and Fox in even-numbered years. This arrangement ended in 2001, when Fox got exclusive broadcast rights to the World Series, and still does today.
NBC's West Coast president Don Ohlmeyer disturbed Major League Baseball when he publicly wished the World Series to end in a four-game sweep so that it wouldn't derail NBC's fall entertainment schedule. (Game 5 fell on a Thursday, which had long been the highest rated night on NBC's schedule, if not on all of television.)
Midway through Game 2, "surprise guest" Joe DiMaggio joined NBC's Bob Costas, Joe Morgan and Bob Uecker in the television booth. DiMaggio joked that Morgan was a "Hall of Famer" and Costas a "future Hall of Famer", but he didn't know what to think of when it came to Uecker. Ironically enough, the Baseball Hall of Fame would present Uecker with its Ford C. Frick Award several years later.
Also working for NBC's coverage were Jim Gray, who served as field reporter. Meanwhile, Hannah Storm and Keith Olbermann served as pre-game hosts. Storm along with Jim Gray covered the celebration on the field following Game 7. Also following Game 7, Olbermann interviewed Mike Hargrove and Indians players from their locker room.
This was the last World Series broadcast on CBS Radio, which had covered the World Series consecutively since 1976. ESPN Radio would take over the national radio contract for Major League Baseball the following year. Vin Scully and Jeff Torborg were CBS Radio's announcers for the Series (the latter had once managed the Indians and would later manage the Marlins). This was Scully's eleventh and final World Series call for CBS Radio, and seventh consecutive since he rejoined the network following NBC's 1989 loss of baseball. It was also Scully's 25th and final World Series broadcast overall, including fourteen others he called for NBC and the Los Angeles Dodgers.  Torborg would continue to call games for Fox television until the end of the 2000 season, working alongside John Rooney and Chip Caray, when he elected to return to managing and was hired by the Montreal Expos.
Game 7 was the final Major League Baseball game called by longtime Indians radio announcer Herb Score, as he retired at season's end. Score's broadcast partner, Tom Hamilton, would take over as lead announcer and he remains in that position as of the 2017 season. It also marked the final game carried by Indians flagship station WKNR (1220); the broadcast rights would be moved to WTAM for the 1998 season.
- "1997 World Series Game 1 – Cleveland Indians vs. Florida Marlins". Retrosheet. Retrieved September 13, 2009.
- "1997 World Series Game 2 – Cleveland Indians vs. Florida Marlins". Retrosheet. Retrieved September 13, 2009.
- "1997 World Series Game 3 – Florida Marlins vs. Cleveland Indians". Retrosheet. Retrieved September 13, 2009.
- "1997 World Series Game 4 – Florida Marlins vs. Cleveland Indians". Retrosheet. Retrieved September 13, 2009.
- "1997 World Series Game 5 – Florida Marlins vs. Cleveland Indians". Retrosheet. Retrieved September 13, 2009.
- "1997 World Series Game 6 – Cleveland Indians vs. Florida Marlins". Retrosheet. Retrieved September 13, 2009.
- "1997 World Series Game 7 – Cleveland Indians vs. Florida Marlins". Retrosheet. Retrieved September 13, 2009.
- "Looking Back at the Coldest World Series of All Time". Accuweather.com.
- Plaschke, Bill (July 29, 2009). "Dodgers' tribute to Vin Scully needs to be a home run". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved August 27, 2010.
- 1997 World Series at WorldSeries.com (MLB.com)
- 1997 World Series at Baseball Almanac
- 1997 World Series at Baseball-Reference.com
- The 1997 Post-Season Games (box scores and play-by-play) at Retrosheet
- History of the World Series - 1997 at The SportingNews. Archived from the original on 2008.
- 1997 Florida Marlins
- 1997 Cleveland Indians
- Did the 1989 film Back to the Future II predict that the Florida Marlins would win the 1997 World Series?