The 1991 World Series pitted the Minnesota Twins (95–67) of the American League against the Atlanta Braves (94–68) of the National League. The series was played from Saturday, October 19 to Sunday, October 27.
This series was, in some respects, similar to the 1987 World Series also played by the Minnesota Twins (against the St. Louis Cardinals), most notably in that the home team won all seven games. With 69 innings in total, the 1991 World Series holds the record for longest seven-game World Series ever (some of the early years had nine-game Series, extending longer). Seven players appeared in both the 1987 and 1991 Series for the Twins: Kirby Puckett, Kent Hrbek, Greg Gagne, Dan Gladden, Gene Larkin, Randy Bush and Al Newman. Terry Pendleton of the Braves also played in the 1987 Series, then as a member of the St. Louis Cardinals.
Before 1991, no league champion had ever finished the previous season in last place but both the Twins and the Braves had finished the previous season in last place. The Twins also won the AL West Division in 1991 with every team in the division having a .500 or better record, a feat the Braves themselves would achieve when they won the National League East in 2005.
In their "World Series 100th Anniversary" countdown, ESPN selected the 1991 World Series as the "Greatest of All Time", with five of its games being decided by a single run, four games decided in the final at-bat and three games going into extra innings.
Game 1, Saturday, October 19, 1991 at Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in
The ceremonial first pitch of the World Series prior to Game 1 was thrown by retired AL umpire Steve Palermo. Palermo had been forced into early retirement when he was seriously injured by gunshot while coming to the aid of a robbery victim in Dallas on July 7, 1991. After the pitch, the Series umpires jogged to the mound to exchange well wishes.
The Twins started their ace, Minnesota native Jack Morris, while the Braves countered with Charlie Leibrandt. Both pitchers had pitched on World Series teams, with Morris winning a ring with the 1984 Detroit Tigers and Leibrandt winning one with the 1985 Kansas City Royals.
Minnesota scored first in the bottom of the third. With two out, leadoff hitter Dan Gladden walked and then stole second. Rookie second baseman Chuck Knoblauch then singled to drive him in, but was caught in a rundown in between first and second and tagged out to end the inning.
The Twins added three more runs in the fifth, as shortstop Greg Gagne hit a home run with Kent Hrbek and Scott Leius on base. Leibrandt was pulled from the game following the home run, and reliever Jim Clancy promptly allowed Gladden and Knoblauch to reach base on an error and a walk. Gladden reached third on a fly ball by Kirby Puckett for the first out, and after Knoblauch stole second Chili Davis was put on intentionally. Twins catcher Brian Harper then lifted a fly ball to left field that was caught for the second out. Gladden tagged again and tried to score, running over Atlanta catcher Greg Olson in the process, but Olson held onto the ball for the third out.
The Braves broke through against Morris in the top of the sixth, as Jeff Treadway and David Justice reached base with two out. Ron Gant then followed with a single that Gladden misplayed, which scored Treadway and left runners at second and third. Morris got out of the jam by striking out Sid Bream to end the inning, and the Twins added an insurance run in the bottom of the inning as Hrbek homered off Clancy.
After walking the first two batters to lead off the eighth, Morris was pulled from the game in favor of Mark Guthrie, who induced a double play off the bat of Terry Pendleton. After walking Justice closer Rick Aguilera came into the game and gave up a run when Gant drove in Lonnie Smith from third base. It was the last scoring anyone did, as the Twins won the game 5–2.
Morris' win was his third World Series win in as many starts, as he won Games 1 and 4 of the 1984 series. Leibrandt's poor performance resulted in his being removed from the World Series rotation.
Game 2 , Sunday, October 20, 1991 at Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in Minneapolis, Minnesota
The pitching match-up featured 1991 National League Cy Young Award winner Tom Glavine against the Twins' sixteen-game winner and number two starter, Kevin Tapani.
In the bottom of the first, Dan Gladden lifted a seemingly routine pop-up toward second base. Atlanta fielders Mark Lemke and David Justice miscommunicated and collided with one another as the ball fell from Lemke's glove and Gladden reached second on a two-base error. After a walk to Chuck Knoblauch, Glavine induced Kirby Puckett to ground to third, where Terry Pendleton stepped on the bag to retire Gladden and threw across to Sid Bream to retire Puckett for the double play. The next batter, Chili Davis, then homered off Glavine and gave the Twins an early 2–0 lead.
The Braves got a run back in the top of the second when Justice singled, was doubled to third by Sid Bream, and then scored on a sacrifice fly by Greg Olson. Controversy occurred the next inning when Lonnie Smith reached first on an error by Scott Leius. With two outs, Ron Gant ripped a single to left. Smith, playing for a record fourth team in World Series play, tried to beat the throw to third from Gladden. Gladden's throw was wild and Smith was able to take third, but Gant was caught between bases trying to stretch his hit into a double. Tapani caught Gladden's throw and threw back to first. As Gant headed back to the base he got tangled with Kent Hrbek, who appeared to grab onto his leg and pull him off the base, and first base umpire Drew Coble called Gant out. A furious Gant and first base coach Pat Corrales argued to no avail.
Coble said (during an interview conducted for the home video recap of the series) that in his view, Gant was not in control of his body when he returned to the base, that his own momentum caused him to get tangled with Hrbek, and that he fell off the base. This call was ranked as one of the top ten worst baseball calls by both ESPN and Sports Illustrated. Hrbek became a hated figure in Atlanta, was booed lustfully, and would even receive a death threat. In 2011, the Twins celebrated the 20th anniversary of the controversial play by commissioning a bobblehead doll of Hrbek and Gant entangled, a promotion that proved popular with the Minnesota Twins fans.
The Braves tied the game in the fifth when Olson doubled, advanced to third on a groundout by Lemke, and came home on a sacrifice fly by Rafael Belliard. The game stayed tied until the bottom of the eighth when the unheralded Leius drilled a Glavine pitch into the left-field seats for what proved to be the game-winning home run. Rick Aguilera got the save and the Series headed to Atlanta with the Twins leading two games to none.
Game 3, Tuesday, October 22, 1991 at Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia
The Braves outlasted the Twins in a thrilling twelve-inning battle, the first World Series game ever played in the Deep South. This game matched Minnesota's twenty-game winner Scott Erickson against Atlanta's late-season hero and NLCS MVP, Steve Avery. In the NLCS, Avery had not allowed a run to the Pirates in sixteen-and-a-third innings.
Twins manager Tom Kelly said going into the three games in Atlanta that managing without the designated-hitter rule was "right up there with rocket science."
Reminiscent of Game 2, Gladden hit another ball toward Justice. This time, Justice and Gant miscommunicated, and Gladden wound up at third with nobody out in the top of the first. Gladden then scored on Knoblauch's sacrifice fly to Justice, and the Twins scored to end Avery's shutout streak.
The Braves, meanwhile, got the run back in the second when Olson scored on Belliard's single. Justice led off the fourth with his first World Series home run, and the Braves led for the first time in the Series, 2–1. In the fifth, they scored again when Smith homered. The Braves loaded the bases but only scored one more run due to the clutch relief pitching of Terry Leach. With the score 4–1, the Braves looked to close it out. As it turned out, the game was just beginning.
Except for the run that resulted from the first-inning misplay between Gant and Justice, Avery had been quite effective. But after Kirby Puckett homered in the seventh to make it 4–2 and two other fly outs made it to the warning track, Atlanta manager Bobby Cox reluctantly sent Avery out for the eighth inning. After a Terry Pendleton error put Brian Harper on first, Avery went to the showers in favor of the Braves' regular-season closer, Alejandro Peña. Peña had been 13 for 13 in save opportunities since joining the Braves in a late-season trade with the Mets, but he had not pitched since the prior Wednesday. The first batter that he faced, Chili Davis, tied the game with a monstrous home run to left, leaving Avery with nothing to show for a great pitching effort.
At this point, the game got bizarre. Substitutions and double switches were used by both teams into the twelfth, when Minnesota manager Tom Kelly used up his entire bench and had to send reliever Aguilera to pinch-hit for the active pitcher, Mark Guthrie, who had never had an at bat in his major league career, with the bases loaded and two out (Aguilera flied to center and the ball was caught by center fielder Ron Gant). Kelly said in an interview that if the game had gone on longer, since he had used up all his relief pitchers, he would have put left fielder Dan Gladden on the mound and put Aguilera in the outfield. In the bottom of the twelfth, Justice singled to right and after Brian Hunter popped out, Justice stole second. With two outs, Lemke entered the pantheon of World Series heroes by hitting a single to left that enabled Justice to just beat the throw from Gladden. His score gave the Braves a 5–4 win and cut the Twins lead in the Series to two games to one. Jim Clancy was the winning pitcher for Atlanta while Aguilera took the loss for Minnesota.
The game lasted a then record four hours, four minutes, until broken in 2005 in Game 3 of the 2005 World Series with a time of five hours, forty-one minutes. It was the first of four games in this Series to end with the winning team scoring the deciding run in the ninth inning or later. It was also the first World Series game to be played in the state of Georgia.
Game 4 Wednesday, October 23, 1991 at Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia
Because Game 3 had ended after midnight, Mark Lemke was credited as winning two World Series games in one day. As they had done in Game 3, the Braves won in their final at-bat. Game 4 matched up Jack Morris against Atlanta starter John Smoltz, a former Detroit prospect and Michigan native who had idolized him while a youngster.
As was the custom in the first three games, the Twins scored first. In the second inning, catcher Brian Harper scored on Mike Pagliarulo's double. The Braves tied it in the third when Pendleton hit his first ever post-season home run. The Braves appeared ready to take a lead in the fifth when Smith singled and stole second. A double by Pendleton sent Smith towards the plate. However, Smith made a critical error in judgment on the play. As Kirby Puckett went back to catch the ball, at the very last second the ball went over his head. Smith had gone back to tag up, which slowed him down enough to enable Puckett to retrieve the ball and throw it into the infield to give the Twins a chance to get Smith out. The throw reached Harper just as Smith was headed to the plate and he bowled over Harper in an attempt to dislodge the ball. The collision sent both sprawling, but Harper held onto the ball and got up to ensure Pendleton, who had gone to third, did not score. The Braves now had a runner at third with one out. A few moments later, Morris unleashed a wild pitch and Pendleton sped toward home. But Harper retrieved it and tagged the sliding Pendleton for the second out of the inning. Justice popped out and Morris was out of the jam.
In the top of the seventh, Pagliarulo homered to give the Twins the lead, 2–1. But the Braves got the run back in the bottom of the inning when Smith homered off Twins reliever Carl Willis to tie the game. The game entered the bottom of the ninth still tied, 2–2. With one out and Mark Guthrie pitching, Lemke drilled a triple off the left-center field wall. Jeff Blauser was walked intentionally to set up a possible double play to force extra innings. After a series of moves by both managers, former Brave Steve Bedrosian took the mound to face veteran minor leaguer Jerry Willard. Willard delivered a sacrifice fly to Shane Mack in right field. Mack caught it and fired toward the plate. The ball beat Lemke to the plate and Harper held it in his glove, but Lemke got around Harper with a hook slide, scoring the winning run that beat the Twins, 3–2. Harper leapt up and vociferously protested, as did Bedrosian, but umpire Terry Tata stood by the call. Replays showed that Harper had touched Lemke with his left elbow, but never touched him with the ball or his glove. CBS announcer Tim McCarver then read from the Major League Baseball rule book explaining why Tata had made the correct call. The win tied the Series at two games apiece and ensured it would return to Minnesota.
In Game 5, it was Glavine vs. Tapani in a Game 2 rematch. And despite the final score, this contest was still up in the air until the seventh inning. For three innings, the pitchers matched zeroes, but in the fourth, Gant singled to left and Justice homered off the top of the left-field wall for a 2–0 Braves lead. Bream followed up with a walk, and Olson then hit what appeared to be a double play grounder to second. But the ball hit Bream's leg, resulting in Bream being called out for runner interference but Olson being safe at first. Lemke, the hero of Games 3 and 4, drilled a triple that scored Olson, and Lemke himself then scored on light-hitting Rafael Belliard's double. At this point, the Braves led 4–0, their biggest lead in any game in the Series.
In the fifth, Pendleton and Gant singled, with Pendleton moving to third. Then Justice hit into a fielder's choice that scored Pendleton and gave the Braves a 5–0 lead. With Glavine working on a two-hitter, the game seemed in hand for the Braves. But Glavine was not sharp in the sixth inning and wound up getting pulled from the game. Knoblauch reached on a one-out walk and then went to third on Puckett's single. A walk to Davis loaded the bases, and Glavine suddenly couldn't find the strike zone. He walked in two runs by giving bases loaded walks to Harper and Leius. Kent Mercker came on to get out of the jam and he got the final two outs with only one additional run scoring. The game entered the seventh with the Braves leading, 5–3.
Tom Kelly sent David West out to begin the bottom of the seventh. West had failed to retire a batter in Game 3 and thus had an ERA of infinity. Smith hit his third home run in three nights, all solo shots, to give the Braves a 6–3 lead. And then the floodgates opened. Pendleton and Gant walked, Justice singled to score Pendleton, and West was again taken out without retiring a batter (he would retire his first World Series hitter in the 1993 World Series with the Philadelphia Phillies). Hunter singled to score Gant and put two on with nobody out and an 8–3 Braves lead. After Olson popped out, Lemke hit his third triple in his last four at bats, driving home Justice and Hunter, and scoring when Belliard singled to center. The Braves ended the seventh with an 11–3 lead and the announcers began talking about the chances of the two teams in Game 6.
However, there were still two innings to be played. Davis, playing this game in right field in place of Mack, who was 0-for-15, singled. He moved to second on a ground out and scored on Al Newman's triple. In the bottom of the eighth, Pendleton doubled and Gant tripled, scoring Pendleton. Justice grounded out to the pitcher, scoring Gant, and Hunter then ended the Braves' offensive barrage with a home run.
Both managers emptied their benches to give playing time to non-starters. Thus, Randy St. Claire was on the mound pitching to Francisco Cabrera as the ninth inning began. St. Claire gave up a run when Gladden tripled (the fifth triple of the game between the two teams) and scored on a fielder's choice, but the game ended in a 14–5 Braves rout, the only lopsided game in the Series. The Braves now had their first lead in Series games, three to two, and only needed one win to clinch their first World Series since 1957. In fact, the marquee wall at Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium read "Three at home and one at the Dome." The Washington/Minnesota franchise had now lost fourteen straight World Series road games dating back to 1925, a streak that remains active as the Twins have not advanced to a World Series since 1991.
Game 6 Saturday, October 26, 1991 at Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in Minneapolis, Minnesota
Both teams had each other in their palms. The Braves were one win away from their first world championship since 1957 while the Twins were returning to the Metrodome where they had a 9–1 postseason record (including 6–0 in the World Series) entering the do-or-die Game 6. After the reshuffling of the Braves' rotation following Game 1, Steve Avery would start for Atlanta on three days' rest. The Twins kept their three-man rotation with Scott Erickson, who had been batted around in Game 3, getting the start for Minnesota.
In the top of the first, the Braves got two baserunners on, but they would eventually be stranded. In the bottom of the first, Knoblauch singled and Puckett tripled, scoring Knoblauch and setting the tone for the rest of the evening. After retiring Davis for the second out of the inning, Avery faced Shane Mack. Mack was 0-for-15 in the series and had sat Game 5 in favor of the bat of Chili Davis, the Twins normal DH. Mack finally broke the hitless streak with a broken-bat single to score Puckett. Leius then singled, advancing Mack to third base, but Avery got Hrbek out to keep the score 2–0.
The Braves hit Erickson hard, but failed to score against him. No better example can be cited than Gant's seeming extra-base hit in the top of the third with Pendleton on first. Kirby Puckett leaped and made a sensational catch against the thirteen-foot Plexiglas fence, sending Pendleton back to first (where Puckett nearly doubled him off) instead of around the bases for Atlanta's first run. Erickson got out of it by getting a ground out from Justice.
In the fourth, the Twins appeared ready to increase their lead, putting runners at second and third with one out. But Avery buckled down and retired the side to keep the game close. Another critical play occurred in the fifth when Belliard kept the Twins from completing a double play with a fierce slide. His hustle enabled Lonnie Smith to reach first. This became important when Pendleton golfed Erickson's next pitch into the seats to make the game 2–2. With two outs, Justice lifted what appeared to be a go-ahead home run for the Braves to right, but the last instant, the ball hooked foul by about two feet. Erickson retired Justice and the Twins came to bat with the score tied.
Gladden responded with a walk and a steal of second. He moved to third on Knoblauch's liner to right and scored on Puckett's center field sacrifice fly and the Twins led 3–2. The Twins kept their one-run lead into the seventh. Lemke singled to center and went to second on a wild pitch by reliever Guthrie. After a strikeout, Smith walked and Pendleton then reached on an infield single. The Braves now had the bases loaded and one out as CBS commentator Jack Buck said the World Series was on the line right there. Gant hit what seemed to be a sure double play ground ball off the Twins' Carl Willis, which retired Pendleton, but he beat the relay to first and Lemke scored with the tying run. Willis, however, got out of the jam by striking out Justice to end the inning with score at 3–3.
The game remained tied at three until the eleventh. Bobby Cox sent Charlie Leibrandt to the mound to face Kirby Puckett. Puckett recalled telling Chili Davis that he planned to attempt to bunt for a base hit, to which Davis responded "Bunt my (expletive). Hit it out and let's go home!" Puckett replied that he would take a few pitches first. After taking three pitches from Leibrandt and with a two-ball, one-strike count on him, Puckett launched the next pitch into the left-center-field seats for a dramatic game-winning home run that tied the Series at three games apiece. Jack Buck famously called Kirby's home run with the line "And we'll see you tomorrow night!"
This moment is captured in statue of Puckett just outside of Gate 34 at the Twins new home, Target Field. The statue is of Puckett rounding second base, pumping his fists after hitting this dramatic walk-off home run.
Puckett's home run forced the first Game 7 since the 1987 World Series, which was also played at the Metrodome. With his walk-off home run, Puckett completed the game only one hit—a double—from hitting for the cycle.
Rick Aguilera took the decision for the Twins, while Leibrandt earned his second loss of the series.
Game 7, Sunday, October 27, 1991 at Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in Minneapolis, Minnesota
The first World Series Game 7 in four seasons saw a rematch of the Game 4 starters. Jack Morris returned to the mound for his third start of the Series for the Twins while John Smoltz made his second start. Going into the game, this World Series had been regarded as one of the best ever in the history of the major leagues. The seventh game would reinforce that point.
Neither team was able to score a run early on. The Twins had their first opportunity in the bottom of the third inning when Dan Gladden doubled and advanced to third on a flyout by Chuck Knoblauch, but Smoltz struck out Puckett to end the inning. The Braves put a runner into scoring position with one out in the top of the fifth as Mark Lemke reached third on a sacrifice bunt by Rafael Belliard and a bunt single by Lonnie Smith, but Morris got Terry Pendleton to pop out and then struck out Ron Gant to end the threat.
Neither team threatened again until the eighth inning. The top of the eighth included a critical defensive play, with Smith on first and nobody out. Braves manager Bobby Cox called for a hit and run with Pendleton at the plate. Pendleton responded by lacing a double into the left-center field gap, but Smith only advanced to third on the play. Logically, Smith could have scored on the play, but after Pendleton made contact Twins infielders Greg Gagne (shortstop) and Knoblauch (second base) feigned starting a double play by pretending to force out Smith at second. Smith hesitated, then ran to third while as Pendleton headed for second. Smith claimed he hadn't been fooled by the decoy as he was waiting to see if Puckett or Gladden would catch the ball. However, Morris later claimed the play should never have taken place. On the pitch before Pendleton's hit, with a 1–2 count on him, appeared to swing and miss for strike three (which Morris believed Pendleton did).
Pendleton appealed to home plate umpire Don Denkinger, saying that he'd foul-tipped the pitch at the plate. Denkinger turned to third base umpire Terry Tata, who confirmed. Nevertheless, the attempt at a rally was quashed. Morris got Gant to ground out to first baseman Kent Hrbek for the first out, which didn't permit Smith to score. David Justice was then walked intentionally so Morris could pitch to the struggling Sid Bream, who only had three hits in the series. Bream also had a reputation as one of the slowest runners in the league, a fact the Twins were able to take advantage of. Morris induced Bream to ground to first. Hrbek threw home to get Smith, and catcher Brian Harper relayed the throw to first in enough time to get Bream to retire the side. Had Smith not made his baserunning error, he would not have still been on base and the Braves would have taken at least a 1–0 lead into the bottom of the eighth. As it stood, however, the teams were scoreless.
The Twins attempted to respond in the bottom of the eighth. Randy Bush pinch hit for Gagne to lead off the inning and singled off Smoltz, then was promptly removed from the game in favor of the faster Al Newman to pinch run. Smoltz then retired Gladden but gave up a single to Knoblauch, his eighth hit of the Series. With one out, runners on the corners, and Puckett coming to the plate, Bobby Cox elected to remove his pitcher from the game. Mike Stanton entered and was ordered to intentionally walk Puckett to load the bases. The next batter was Hrbek, who had not had a hit in quite some time and who Stanton had struck out each of the previous three times he had faced Hrbek. This time Stanton got him to line out to Mark Lemke. Lemke then stepped on second to double-up Knoblauch and the game continued with no score.
The Braves went down in order in the top of the ninth as Morris retired Brian Hunter, Greg Olson, and Lemke. The Twins, with a chance to win the game in their final at bat, led off with a Chili Davis single. After Jarvis Brown came in to run for Davis, Harper attempted to move him over with a bunt down the first base line. However, while going to play the bunt, Stanton misstepped and injured his back. Harper reached base safely without a play and Cox was forced to bring in Alejandro Peña to pitch to Shane Mack. Despite his earlier struggles, Peña induced a ground ball double play to record the first two outs. He then gave an intentional walk to Mike Pagliarulo and struck out pinch hitter Paul Sorrento to send the game into extra innings.
Refusing to come out of the game, Morris took to the hill for the top of the tenth. A Twin Cities sports writer wrote that on that night, "[Morris] could have outlasted Methuselah." Morris successfully rebuffed several attempts by manager Tom Kelly to remove him during the game, remaining on the mound from the first pitch to the last. And as he had been for most of the night Morris was effective, retiring Blauser, Smith, and Pendleton in order. Morris threw 126 pitches in the game.
Peña faced Gladden to lead off the home half of the inning and the Twins' left fielder hit one to Hunter in left field. The ball took a high bounce off the artificial surface and Gladden tried to stretch the hit into a double, taking second ahead of the throw by Hunter. Kelly then called for a sacrifice bunt and Knoblauch executed to put the winning run on third with one out. As he'd done in the eighth, Cox called for an intentional walk to the resurgent Puckett. Hrbek, who had not gotten a hit in his last sixteen at-bats dating back to his single in the eighth inning of Game 3, was next up, and Brown would be scheduled after him in the spot left vacant when Kelly ran for the power-hitting Davis. Despite this, Hrbek's .115 average in the Series and his lack of baserunning speed, Cox decided to call a second consecutive intentional walk to the Minnesota first baseman, loading the bases.
This left Kelly with a tough decision, as Brown had not yet gotten a hit in the Series. To make matters more complicated, Kelly was left with only two players on his bench—injured utility man Gene Larkin, who had yet to appear in the Series, and backup catcher Junior Ortiz, who was the only other catcher besides Harper on the Twins roster. Kelly elected to send Larkin to pinch hit for Brown. On the first pitch he saw, Larkin drove a single into deep left field, scoring Gladden with the series-winning run and giving the Twins their second world championship since moving to Minnesota.
For the first time since 1962, a seventh game of the World Series ended with a 1–0 verdict. This Series was also the first since 1924 to end with an extra-inning seventh-game, when the home team, the Washington Senators (who would become the Twins franchise in 1961) won it in their last at-bat. The same thing would also happen in the 1997 World Series when the Florida Marlins would beat the Cleveland Indians in the eleventh inning of Game 7.
The 1991 World Series was the second in five seasons in which the home team won all seven games in the Series. The other time this happened was in 1987, which was also won by the Twins. Game 7 of this series was the last World Series game played at the Metrodome before the Twins moved out at the end of the 2009 season, and would be the last postseason baseball game played at the venue until 2002.
Following the game, CBS Sports analyst Tim McCarver consoled Atlanta fans by stating that this was an excellent team and that he expected they would "be around" for some time to come. The Braves would, in fact, go on to win an unprecedented fourteen consecutive division titles. They returned to the World Series the following year, but lost in six games to the Toronto Blue Jays. The Braves made three additional trips to the World Series before the decade ended, winning in 1995 against the Cleveland Indians but falling in 1996 and 1999 to the New York Yankees.
The Twins would contend for the 1992 American League Western Division title for much of the season but finished six games behind the Oakland Athletics, who won the division for the fourth time in five seasons. The Twins' 90-72 record would be their last winning campaign until 2001, which was Tom Kelly's last season as the team's manager. Over the next several seasons, the players that made up the core of the 1987 and 1991 Twins would slowly begin to leave. Dan Gladden, the Twins' left fielder, departed in the offseason for Detroit. Jack Morris, the pitching hero of the series, signed with Toronto and returned to the World Series the next year. Greg Gagne and Chili Davis departed following the 1992 season, with Brian Harper leaving at the end of the 1993 season.
Kent Hrbek's production began falling due to injuries that kept him off the field for much of the next two seasons, and he retired in 1994. The Twins then traded away both Scott Erickson and Kevin Tapani (neither of whom had ever regained their 1991 form) in 1995 season, as well as Kirby Puckett to retirement due to a loss of vision in his right eye caused by glaucoma. Chuck Knoblauch was the last hitter of the 1991 team to remain in Minnesota, eventually forcing a trade to the Yankees following the 1997 season, where he won three additional World Series titles. After being traded to the playoff-bound Boston Red Sox in 1995, Aguilera would return to the Twins through the 1999 season, the last remaining player from the 1991 championship team.
This was the last World Series that Fay Vincent presided over as commissioner, as he was forced to resign near the end of the 1992 season by the owners. In Game 1, a Kent Hrbek foul pop up hit Vincent's daughter Anne in the head.
The Twins and the Braves have met three times in Interleague play since the 1991 World Series. In 2002 the Braves finally experienced a Metrodome win by taking two games from the Twins in a three game series, only for the Twins to sweep a three game series from the Braves at the Metrodome in 2007. The Braves ultimately finished with an all-time record of 2–7 in the stadium before it closed as a baseball venue in 2009.
In 2010, the teams played a three game series at the new Target Field, in which the Braves won two out of three games. As of the 2011 season the Twins have never traveled to Atlanta for a regular season series, and Game 5 of the 1991 World Series remains the most recent game played by the Twins in Atlanta. However, the Twins played at Turner Field in 2011 for the first time for two pre-season exhibition games. The Braves and Twins split the series 1–1.By WIKI
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- Atlanta Braves, Dan Gladden, Jack Morris, John Smoltz, Kirby Puckett, Lonnie Smith, Minnesota Twins, Ron Gant