This Hall of Fame class is chock full of superstars. It is being tabbed the Super Six and the amount of league pennants and World Series rings shared between them is a mountain high. Four of them faced off against each other for baseball supremacy twice in four years in some very memorable games.
Former Yankees skipper Joe Torre will be the first Bronx Bomber to be enshrined in the Hall of Fame since Dave Winfield was in 2001. Torre has the dubious honor of entering the Hall with Bobby Cox, Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine, three people he squared off against for two of his four Yankees titles.
Torre took over the Yankees in 1996 after Buck Showalter took the ’95 squad to the playoffs for the first time in over a decade. Torre, armed with now Yankees legends Bernie Williams, Paul O’Neill, Tino Martinez and the Core Four, led them team to a 92-70 first place finish in the AL East and blew through the Baltimore Orioles and Texas Rangers to get the Yankees back to the World Series for the first time since 1981.
Bobby Cox and his Hall of Fame roster including fellow inductees Maddux and Glavine as well as future no brainers in John Smoltz and Chipper Jones, were the reigning World Champs. They were amid one of the greatest runs in history, winning the NL East for the fifth time of their 14 consecutive year stretch. And when they faced off against the upstart Yankees in the 1996 World Series, it looked as if it would be a massacre.
The Braves hammered Andy Pettitte in Game One to a score of 12-1. Maddux was masterful in Game Two, hurling eight shutout innings while striking out two and walking none in a 4-0 victory. Heading to Atlanta for Game Three, trailing two games to none and being outscored 16-1 by the defending champs, Yankees fans were not hopeful.
2014 inductee Glavine took the mound in Atlanta and went face to face with the Yankees’ David Cone. While Cone could always be counted on, he was going against arguably the best lefty in the business at the time and things looked bleak. It was a beautifully pitched game by both starters. Coney went six innings of one run ball. But the Yankees were able to squeak one by on Glavine. A Bernie Williams single drove in Tim Raines in the first inning and set the pace. A Darryl Strawberry single with a little error on the Braves scored Bernie in the fourth and that would be all the Yankees would need as they went on to win 5-2.
While there is little doubt that Andy Pettitte’s Game Five gem will be one of the most remembered games of the Yankees late 90s dynasty, the victory against Glavine on October 22, 1996 started it all. The Yankees would go on and win 13 straight World Series games before losing Game three to the Mets in 2000. They would sweep the rest of the ’96 Series, sweep the Padres in ’98, sweep the Braves yet again in ’99 and defeat the Mets in the Subway Series four games to one in 2000. And it all started when Coney got the better of one of the greatest left handed pitchers to ever throw a baseball.