Tourtellotte: Game 6, 2011 versus Game 6, 1975, an anniversary challenge

From SABR member Shane Tourtellotte at The Hardball Times on October 27, 2016:

Five years ago today, on Thursday, October 27, 2011, baseball fans received a gift. Game Six of that year’s World Series was an almost incredibly exciting game, instantly establishing itself in the first rank of great and memorable games in baseball history. One could plausibly claim in the immediate aftermath that it was the greatest baseball game ever played.

With the buffer of five years from the immediate excitement of that night, we can bring some perspective to the question. We have a better sense now of where the teams (the St. Louis Cardinals and Texas Rangers), the players, the managers, and other elements of that game fit into baseball’s history. Those matters do not affect how the game was played that night, but they do affect how it, and competing games, are viewed by baseball fans and by the public at large.

Acclaiming one game as the greatest ever played assumes some kind of consensus. Even before 2011, there wasn’t unanimity on the question, but there definitely was a plurality, even a majority. From the number of books written about the game and the teams that played it, to the survey undertaken by MLB itself, the reigning champion was Game Six of the 1975 World Series, between the Cincinnati Reds and the Boston Red Sox.

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Originally published: October 27, 2016. Last Updated: October 27, 2016.