2023 World Series: Diamondbacks and Rangers Make History in Game One

Adolis Garcia of the Texas Rangers running the bases after his walk-off homer in the bottom of the 11th defeated the Arizona Diamondbacks in Game One of the 2023 World Series.
(Photo by Sam Hodde/Getty Images)

2023 World Series: Diamondbacks, Rangers Make History in Game One

ARLINGTON, Tex. (Oct. 27) — The Arizona Diamondbacks and Texas Rangers gave us an entertaining and memorable Game One of the 2023 World Series. It came on the 22nd anniversary of the Diamondbacks’ very first World Series game and 12th anniversary of a game Rangers fans would like to forget. Friday’s game not only gave Rangers fans a joyous ending and Diamondbacks fans a gut punch, but it made history in a few ways.

Diamondbacks Starter Zac Gallen Survives Early Rangers Fireworks

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Let us begin with Zac Gallen, whose Game One start did not begin the way he wanted it to. He took 25 pitches to navigate through the first inning, coughing up two runs on two hits and a walk. A ground-ball double play by Mitch Garver stopped the bleeding. After that, Gallen gave up another run on a bases-loaded walk in the third. But he salvaged a decent start out of all that. Ultimately, his line was three runs on four hits with four walks and five strikeouts across five innings. He left the game in line for the win.

Only one other starting pitcher in World Series history has allowed at least three runs in five innings while walking as many as four batters and striking out at least five. This was Juan Guzman of the Toronto Blue Jays, who did so against the Philadelphia Phillies in Game One of the 1993 World Series. Guzman allowed four runs on five hits, walking four and striking out six in a game the Blue Jays ultimately won, 8–5.

Gallen appeared to be on his way to getting the win until one out in the bottom of the ninth…

Seager Gives Rangers a Spark

Corey Seager hit a dramatic, game-tying two-run home run in the bottom of the ninth off Paul Sewald. With that swing, he became the sixth player in World Series history to hit a game-tying home run in the bottom of the ninth. Here is the complete list.

Year Gm Batter Team Opponent Pitcher
1929 5 Mule Haas Philadelphia Athletics Chicago Cubs Pat Malone
1964 5 Tom Tresh New York Yankees St Louis Cardinals Bob Gibson
2001 4 Tino Martinez New York Yankees Arizona Diamondbacks Byung-Hyun Kim
2001 5 Scott Brosius New York Yankees Arizona Diamondbacks Byung-Hyun Kim
2015 1 Alex Gordon Kansas City Royals New York Mets Jeurys Familia
2023 1 Corey Seager Texas Rangers Arizona Diamondbacks Paul Sewald

In 119 iterations of the World Series, and 688 games, a game-tying homer in the bottom of the ninth has happened six times.

Since the homer went to right field, pitchers who were sitting in the Rangers bullpen had some of the best views of it on the field. “As soon as it left the bat,” Ian Kennedy recounted, “we knew it was gone, and it just kept going and going.” And as it was soaring through the air, the pitchers “turned into fans,” according to Kennedy.

Dane Dunning, who pitched across the fifth and sixth innings in relief of starter Nathan Eovaldi, was in the dugout when Seager hit his clout. “It’s wild,” he said. “Our dugout got super-energized immediately. It’s so cool seeing (Corey) fired up. It gets the boys fired up.”

Garcia Sends Rangers Past Diamondbacks

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Fast-forward to the bottom of the 11th. As mentioned earlier, 12 years prior, to the day — October 27, 2011 — was the most gut-wrenching loss in Rangers history, the David Freese game. In that game, Game Six, the Rangers were, twice, one strike away from their first World Series title. And twice the Cardinals tied the game, first on a Freese triple in the ninth and again on a Lance Berkman single in the tenth. Freese later led off the 11th with a walk-off homer.

Friday night in Arlington, it was Adolis Garcia’s turn. He ripped a 3–1 Miguel Castro fastball into the right-field stands for a walk-off homer, sending the fans into euphoria and his Rangers teammates into jubilation. Bullpen coach Brett Hayes got two handfuls of Chris Stratton’s jersey as he celebrated. “He had me and was shaking back and forth,” a gleeful Stratton said. “In those moments, you don’t know if you need to celebrate with your guys in the ‘pen or if you need to run out on the field. So we celebrated in the ‘pen and then went out there.”

Kennedy was not surprised by Garcia’s heroics. “…we’re hoping our guys pull through, and it seems like he does all the time,” Kennedy said. “He’s in for those moments. The bigger the moment, the more clutch he is.”

Achieving Immortality

Garcia also joined a special list, hitting the tenth extra-inning walk-off homer in World Series history. Here is the complete list, with four of the ten now in the Hall of Fame.

Year Gm Inn Batter Team Opponent Pitcher
1954 1 10 Dusty Rhodes New York Giants Cleveland Indians Bob Feller
1957 4 10 Eddie Mathews Milwaukee Braves New York Yankees Bob Grim
1975 6 12 Carlton Fisk Boston Red Sox Cincinnati Reds Pat Darcy
1991 6 11 Kirby Puckett Minnesota Twins Atlanta Braves Charlie Leibrandt
1999 3 10 Chad Curtis New York Yankees Atlanta Braves Mike Remlinger
2001 4 10 Derek Jeter New York Yankees Arizona Diamondbacks Byung-Hyun Kim
2003 4 12 Alex Gonzalez Florida Marlins New York Yankees Jeff Weaver
2011 6 11 David Freese St Louis Cardinals Texas Rangers Mark Lowe
2018 3 18 Max Muncy Los Angeles Dodgers Boston Red Sox Nathan Eovaldi
2023 1 11 Adolis Garcia Texas Rangers Arizona Diamondbacks Miguel Castro

Seager and Garcia also made the Rangers join an even more exclusive list. This was the second time in World Series history that a team hit a game-tying homer in the bottom of the ninth and a walk-off homer in extra innings, joining the Yankees in Game Four of the 2001 World Series against…the Diamondbacks.

Stratton was impressed to hear that but not entirely surprised. “This whole thing has been crazy and so much fun. You expect those guys to come up and do great things. The confidence and belief we have in them — they’re just doing what we expect them to do.”

Also See:

Rangers Beat Diamondbacks in Game One

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Evan M. Thompson, Editor-in-chief

Evan M. Thompson, Editor-in-chief

Evan is the owner and sole contributor of Thompson Talks, a website discussing the Big Four North American Pro Sports as well as soccer. He also is a credentialed member of the Colorado Rockies press corps. His first and biggest love is baseball.

Evan lives in Gilbert, Arizona and loves history, especially of sports. He is the treasurer for the Hemond Chapter of the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR) and also is a USSF and AIA soccer referee. He released his first book, Volume I of A Complete History of the Major League Baseball Playoffs, in October of 2021.

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