October 7, 1998
Chuck Knoblauch and the New York Yankees were battling the Cleveland Indians in the American League Championship Series for the right to move onto the World Series. It was Game 2. And it was a close game. Tied at 1 in the top of the 12th.
Jim Thome singled to lead off the inning. With Enrique Wilson pinch running, Travis Fryman put down a sacrifice bunt. Knoblauch was responsible for covering first base and made it over in time but the throw from Jeff Nelson hit the runner and skipped by Knoblauch. Rather than turn and retrieve the ball, Chuck made one of the biggest mistakes of his career.
As Knoblauch argued emphatically with the first base umpire, Wilson and Fryman continued their path around the bases. And Enrique scored. The Yankees went on to lose leaving many with the gut wrenching feeling of “what if?” The lesson we can pull from this incident is, finish the play. Run until the umpires stop you. I tell my players this story in hopes that they won’t make the same mistake. The Yankees ended up winning the series and their 24th World Series Title, but Knoblauch will forever be known as a Blauck-head.