Nonetheless, the veteran catcher made Yankees history in 1996 with a Game 6 RBI triple off Greg Maddux to give New York a 1-0 lead. Following the title in 1996, Rodriguez was named the MVP of the series.
He remained with the Yankees until 1998 when he was traded to the Seattle Mariners for Jeff Nelson. Rodriguez spent three more seasons with Seattle before finishing his major league career with the Texas Rangers in 2001.
After his retirement from baseball, Rodriguez returned to Miami University where he had played college baseball and received an honorary degree in 2011. He is now the director of baseball operations for the Miami (Ohio) Ohio Red Hawks.
In 2015, Rodriguez was elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame by voters who called his career achievements unmatched by any other player.
He is only the second player to win the MVP Award in both leagues (Rodriguez did this from 1990 to 1992). The first one is Joe DiMaggio who won the MVP Award in 1941 while playing for the New York Yankees.
Besides being one of the most successful hitters of all time, Gary Rodriquez also appeared in three World Series with two different teams. He started out as a Yankee in 1996 but ended up with the Mariners.
It was the Yankees' 12th no-hitter, the 11th of the season, and the first since David Cone's perfect game against Montreal on July 18, 1999. It was New York's first road victory since Allie Reynolds defeated Cleveland on July 12, 1951.
The Yanks led 2-0 after six innings before the Cardinals got a run off New York's ace, Mariano Rivera, in the seventh. The Cardinals got two more in the eighth off Billy Wagner before Wilson retook the mound in the ninth.
Wilson gave up a single to his old friend Mark McGwire but otherwise pitched out of trouble until he ran into some trouble of his own with two outs in the ninth. After striking out Jason Isringhausen, Wilson walked Matt Holliday to force in the go-ahead run. He then watched as Todd Helton hit a ground-rule double down the left-field line that scored both runners and handed Wilson his second loss of the season.
Rivera took all the credit for the victory, saying "I don't know what happened out there. Maybe it was the pressure of being on the road, maybe fatigue from throwing so many pitches. But I just didn't feel like myself out there."
After the game, Wilson said he felt "fine" and needed only five or six more pitches to finish the game.
When the DH was first employed in the World Series in 1976, the Yankees' DHs hit.063 (1-for-16), while the Cincinnati Reds' DHs hit.357 (5-for-14). The Yankees employed three men as DH, while the Reds only used one: Dan Driessen. After the 1976 World Series, the Yankees never again sent a player out to bat for them in any game of the series.
The last team to use two hitters per side as their DHs in the World Series was the Houston Astros in 2017. They went 0-4 with their two batters before announcing that they would be using a lineup with one batter per side during Game Designated Hitter Games. The Astros finished last in the NL West with a 42-100 record.
The last time this position became vacant on its own was in 2019 when Daniel Murphy retired after 13 seasons with the New York Mets.
During Game 1 of the 2020 World Series between the Boston Red Sox and Tokyo Yakult Swallows, Japanese baseball will honor the memory of those who have died due to the coronavirus by wearing black armbands during Game 1 of the series. This is the first time this has happened since the original Tokyo Yakult in 1946. The Swallows are led by former major league pitcher Takahiro Norimoto who played for the team from 1997 to 2001.
The Fox television network aired the series from October 20 through October 26, 1996. Yankees bullpen pitcher John Wetteland was voted World Series MVP after salvaging all four Yankee victories. Wetteland went 1-0 with a 0.75 ERA and one save in four games (three starts). He struck out 17, walked only three, and earned the victory in all four games that he appeared in.
The award was based on voting by members of the Baseball Writers' Association of America. Voters were asked to select one player as the MVP "after considering all aspects of the game." The winner was announced during the awards show on November 2.
Yankees first baseman Mike Sweeney was the leading vote getter with 43 votes. He was followed by Indians third baseman Scott Cooper (40), Phillies second baseman Joe Morgan (37), and Cubs outfielder Randy Winn (36). In addition, five players received votes: Mariners left fielder Ken Griffey Jr., Red Sox right fielder Dave Ortiz, Padres catcher Tony Peña, Giants reliever Jeff Reardon, and Reds pitcher Eric Milton.
Wetteland's outstanding performance in saving all four games led the Yankees to victory. He entered in the eighth inning of Game One with New York trailing 3-1 and pitched a perfect ninth to earn the win.
Martinez, a superb fielder, blasted historic World Series homers for the Yankees in 1998 (off Padres pitcher Mark Langston in Game 1) and 2001 (off D-backs pitcher Byung-Hyun Kim in Game 4). Martinez has the fourth highest OPS among Yankees first basemen, barely ahead of Mattingly's.830.
A native of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, Martinez made his major league debut on April 17, 1997 vs. the Red Sox when he came off the bench to replace Mattingly. He went 3 for 5 with a home run and four RBIs. The Yankees lost that game 7-6 in 11 innings.
In 1998, Martinez started 91 games at first base and batted.273 with 26 HRs and 89 RBIs. That year the Yankees finished with a record of 102-60 and won their second consecutive World Series title. During that series against the Padres, Martinez hit.545 (15 for 28) with five runs scored, two doubles, one homer, and 10 RBIs.
In 1999, Martinez played only 77 games due to injuries. He returned in 2000 and 2001 and had another great season in 2001 when he hit.443 (76 for 169) with 22 HRs and 69 RBIs. That year the Yankees finished with a record of 100-58 and defeated the D-backs in seven games in the ALCS before defeating the Mets in five games in the World Series.