It has been a little more than a week since the end of the World Series, and something is still bothering me. It’s not that the Anaheim Angels were the team with the worst pitching staff to win the World Series in recent memory, though that does still get to me. What has really been driving me absolutely nuts is the sham of a list of the best moments in baseball history that was presented during Game 4 of the World Series. How on earth can Cal Ripken’s streak be the best “moment” of anything? It lasted for the better part of two decades! Talk about stuck in a moment you can’t get out of; that moment was as long as three presidential administrations.

The list was determined by fan voting – although apparently, these were Oprah fans, not baseball fans, because they picked the sappiest, most boring event possible to top their list. And how about having Barry Bonds and Mark McGwire’s respective record-breaking home runs so high up in the list? Forgive me if I’m mistaken, but foregone conclusions are not dramatic; everyone in the whole world knew they were going to break the home run record, and in the case of Bonds, no one particularly cared because of Sept. 11. How that qualifies for a great moment, I will never know.

So in humble protest, I hereby submit my own list of the 10 greatest moments in baseball history.

10) Jackie Robinson steals home.

If you ever want a definition of blind rage, look no further than the reaction of Hall of Fame Yankees catcher Yogi Berra after Robinson pulled off the pure steal of home without the benefit of a passed ball or wild pitch. The combination of Robinson’s breathtaking speed and Berra’s complete fit made for one of the most exciting moments in the game’s history and proved once and for all that Robinson was one of the most talented players of his generation.

9) Bill Buckner’s Game Six error.

The 1986 World Series was decided by the most famous error in the history of the sport when injury-hobbled Red Sox first baseman Buckner let New York Met Mookie Wilson’s dribbler down the line go through his legs, allowing Ray Knight to score and force a Game Seven. The error was the last in a series of mishaps on the part of the Red Sox, but Buckner will forever be one of the biggest goats in sports history.

8) Hank Aaron breaks Babe Ruth’s home run record.

I know I said foregone conclusions aren’t dramatic, but this one is different. Aaron might have been a sure thing to break the record, but the circumstances in which he did it make it special. After having received death threats during his march toward the record, two guys rushed the field as Aaron circled the bases, causing the world to hold its collective breath. Luckily, the guys just wanted to shake Aaron’s hand, but that doesn’t detract from the drama of the night. This moment also features the first of many great calls associated with events in this list: “There’s a new home run champion of all time, and its Henry Aaron!”

7) Carlton Fisk wills a home run to stay fair.

This one makes the list for no other reason than it shows the pure passion with which baseball players play the game so many of us love. Fisk and the Red Sox were the quintessential underdogs against the vaunted Big Red Machine, but that didn’t stop Fisk and the rest from putting up one hell of a fight before bowing out. When Fisk hit the ball down the left field line, he seemingly pushed the ball fair with the might of the fanatic waving of his arms before the entire stadium erupted in celebration. Timeless.

6) Lou Gehrig says farewell.

I defy you to watch the footage of Yankee legend Lou Gehrig’s farewell speech without getting choked up. The Iron Horse, stricken in the prime of his career by the debilitating disease that would later bear his name, was the picture of grace, humility and courage. There is no more memorable or stirring line in all of baseball history than Gehrig’s simple goodbye: “They say I’ve been given a bad break, but I’ve got an awful lot to live for. Thank you.” Gehrig reminded and continues to remind everyone that ballplayers really can be heroes.

5) Babe Ruth calls his shot.

I don’t care if there is no actual proof that the Babe’s legendary calling of his home run against the Chicago Cubs ever occurred. Every kid growing up has been told the story of how the Babe stared down the pitcher, pointed with his bat to left field and promptly put one over the left field fence. Almost every kid has also imitated the move, much to the chagrin of parents. The most enduring legend in baseball history, Ruth’s called shot is synonymous with baseball lore.

4) The Shot Heard Round the World.

This one is a no-brainer; Bobby Thomson’s game and series-winning home run off of cross-town rival Brooklyn Dodgers pitcher Ralph Branca was nothing if not legendary. Add to that one of the most enthusiastic calls in sports history – “The Giants win the pennant! The Giants win the pennant! The Giants win the pennant!” Loses points because of recent revelations that the Giants were stealing signs, allowing Thomson to know exactly what pitch was coming from Branca. Still, it is one of the most enduring moments in the game’s history.

3) Joe Carter Touches `Em All.

An under-appreciated postseason blast from the 1993 World Series, Toronto Blue Jay Joe Carter’s series winning home run was the first walk-off home run in a World Series-clinching game since Bill Mazeroski’s 1960 shot. The moment, which never got the attention it deserved because the Blue Jays played in Toronto and not New York or L.A., was punctuated by the call: “Touch `em all Joe. You’ll never hit a bigger one than that.”

2) Bill Mazeroski Shocks the Yankees.

Nobody thought the rough and tumble Pittsburgh Pirates could beat Mickey Mantle’s New York Yankees in the 1960 World Series, until Mazeroski put one over left fielder Yogi Berra’s head and the left field fence to clinch the Series. Is the quintessential baseball moment: bottom of the ninth, Game Seven of the World Series. The second greatest walk-off home run of all time.

1) Kirk Gibson Hobbles Around the Bases.

Game One of the 1988 World Series was an instant classic. The Dodgers trailed the heavily favored Oakland A’s heading into the bottom of the ninth inning with regular season MVP and nastiest closer in the game Dennis Eckersley coming to the mound. Dodger right fielder Kirk Gibson had not played in the game due to two completely destroyed knees when Dodger skipper Tommy Lasorda called on him to pinch-hit with [two out.] Gibson took forever to get to the plate as he ambled up in obvious pain, and took Eckersley deep into the count before getting the pitch he knew was coming: Eckersley’s trademark outside slider. Getting absolutely no power from his legs, Gibson walloped the ball over the right field fence purely from the strength of his arms. Gibson could barely run the bases, but the exuberate pump of his fist as he ran between first and second base said it all. The late and legendary Jack Buck was swept up in the moment, offering in my opinion the best call in all of baseball history: “The Dodgers have won the game, five to four! I don’t believe what I just saw!” Simply put, the greatest moment in baseball history.

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