Although actor Christopher Walken said the Yankees always win because “other teams can’t stop staring at those damn pinstripes,” in the 2002 film Catch Me If You Can, the New York baseball team proved to be more than just fancy uniforms in this year’s World Series.
In six games, the Yanks took home the 2009 MLB pennant on their home turf in New York, in a 7-3 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies on Wednesday evening (November 4), earning the franchise’s 27th title and its first since winning three straight from 1998-2000.
The MVP of the series was Japanese slugger Hideki Matsui, who recorded three home runs in six games. In the final game, he homered once and drove in six runs, tying a World Series record for most RBIs in a single game originally set by Yankees second baseman Bobby Richardson in 1960.
While Game 6 was a nail-biter in the first few innings, Matsui blew the game wide open with a two-run home run in the second inning, a two-run single in the third, and a two-run double in the fifth, single-handedly transforming the final game into a countdown win for the team.
While it was Matsui’s bat that helped the team win, it could be the player’s last season with the Yankees, because he’ll be eligible for free agency this fall, and is already 35, so it’s also unknown if he’ll even return.
It was a glorious night for the Yankees, whose season didn’t start so smoothly–with a steroids scandal involving A-Rod, followed by hip surgery that kept him out until May.
“My teammates, coaches and the organization stood by me and now we stand here as world champions,” Alex Rodriguez said, following the win. “We’re going to enjoy it, and we’re going to party!”
It’s been eight years since their last title, and the third-longest stretch without one since their very first, following gaps of 17 (1979-95) and 14 (1963-76).
The victory also comes in the Yankees first season in their new $1.5 billion ballpark in the Bronx.