I have only seen 23 years of baseball and I have a conscious memory of about 15 years of baseball. Without a doubt, that is a small fraction of baseball’s history but for me September 28th, 2011 was the greatest night in baseball history. Within minutes fortunes changed drastically thanks to dramatic comebacks that capped off not one but two historic collapses a month in the making. You literally could not write a better movie script than what actually played out that night and if you did script those events, everyone would say it was too unbelievable and unrealistic.
The video above only tells half the story too. That’s how great that night was – that video only covers the AL Wild Card. The Braves All-star rookie closer Craig Kimbrel also blew a save at almost exactly the same time as the drama was unfolding in Baltimore and Tampa. This allowed St. Louis, who had shut out Houston that night, to earn the NL Wild Card. Fittingly, the Cardinals would go on to win the World Series.
Great sports moments are immediately given names so that they can be identified and referenced quickly in conversation. That night quickly became known as Wild Card Wednesday or simply Game 162. I still get goosebumps watching what played out that night. Funny that the greatest baseball night I ever witnessed had nothing to do with my favorite team the Mets (they haven’t won a World Series in my lifetime so of course that might upstage Wild Card Wednesday). It was everything that is great about baseball summed up in 15 minutes of real-time madness. Check out the reactions of former players when the games were coming down to the wire.
That is exactly how every baseball fan reacted that night. Baseball isn’t exciting from start to finish. Excitement builds throughout the game and sometimes it culminates in the most unlikely of outcomes. A 6-month long season came down to one inning and it was a perfect reminder of why we love sports and why we love baseball. I don’t know if there will ever be another night like September 28, 2011. With the addition of the 2nd Wild Cards, maybe there will be another dramatic finish or two. For my money though, Game 162 or Wild Card Wednesday or whatever you want to call it will go down as the greatest night in baseball history.