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EXCERPT | November 4, 1991

Twin Peak

Minnesota outlasted Atlanta in a memorable Series

The Twins and the Braves battled in seven scintillating games for the World Series title. Steve Rushin reported for SI.

The truth is inelastic when it comes to the 88th World Series. It is impossible to stretch. It isn't necessary to appraise the nine days just past from some distant horizon of historical perspective. Let us call this Series what it is, now, while its seven games still ring in our ears: the greatest that was ever played. Both the Twins and the Braves enlarged the game of baseball, while reducing individual members of both teams to humble participants in a Series with drama too huge to be hyperbolized. There were five one-run duels, four of them won on the game's final play, three extended to extra innings—all categories that apply to the ultimate, unfathomable seventh game.

Only 24 hours earlier Minnesota centerfielder Kirby Puckett had virtually single-handedly forced that game with one of the most outrageous all-around performances the World Series has ever seen. Puckett punctuated his night by hitting a home run in the bottom of the 11th inning that gave the Twins a 4--3 win.

Afterward, even Puckett acknowledged he was having difficulty grasping the enormity of the evening. "Ten, 30, 50 years from now, when I look at it, it might be different," he said. "Right now? Unbelievable, man. Unbelievable." Yes, this Series was baseball's most epic tale.

The Twins have not reached the World Series since 1991. The Braves have been four times ('92, '95, '96 and '99), winning in '95.

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PHOTO

Photograph by V.J. LOVERO

MINNESOTA WILD Puckett's Game 6 heroics included three hits, three RBIs, two runs, one stolen base and a run-saving catch against the outfield wall, setting the stage for Jack Morris's 10 shutout innings in a 1--0 Game 7 win.

PHOTO

JOHN G. ZIMMERMAN

PHOTO

NEIL LEIFER

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MANNY MILLAN