1999 World Series: The Yankees dynasty defies all odds to triumph

The Yankees celebrate after winning the 1999 World Series on October 27 at Yankee Stadium and a civic reception by the NYC mayor for the team.

Table of Contents

The Event1999 World Series
The OpponentAtlanta Braves
The ScoreYankees 4-0 Braves
DateOctober 23–27, 1999
VenuesTurner Field (Atlanta)
Yankee Stadium (New York)
The MVPMariano Rivera
The most memorable gameGame 3
Yankees Batting heroesBernie Williams, Chuck Knoblauch, Derek Jeter, Tino Martinez, Scott Brosius, Paul O’Neill
Yankees Pitching heroesOrlando Hernandez, David Cone, Andy Pettitte, Roger Clemens, Hideki Irabu.
Regular season team record98–64
Yankees captainDerek Jeter
AL positionNo. 1
ALDS rival, scoreTexas Rangers; 4–0 
ALCS rival, scoreBoston Red Sox, 4–1
Yankees ManagerJoe Torre

The Yankees’ triumph in the 1999 World Series carried immense significance and was of great importance to the team and its fanbase. It signified a remarkable accomplishment as it marked the Yankees’ third championship in four years, establishing their position as a dominant force in the world of baseball. This achievement not only solidified their place in history but also extended their dynasty, building upon their earlier victories in the 1996 and 1998 World Series.

Derek Jeter, the renowned shortstop for the Yankees, played a crucial role in the 1999 World Series. His outstanding performance led to solidifying his reputation as a dependable and influential player. Jeter’s remarkable skills and leadership qualities were instrumental in the team’s triumph in the 1999 World Series, making him an integral part of their success.

The 1999 Yankees World Series championship was assured thanks to a balanced and talented team in every aspect of the game. They had impressive pitching, outstanding defense, and a powerful lineup. With Joe Torre as their manager, the team showed remarkable teamwork and a strong bond, which was crucial to their triumph in the 1999 World Series. 

Pitchers such as Roger Clemens, Orlando Hernandez, and Mariano Rivera showcased their skills and contributed greatly to the team’s overall success. Their exceptional performances on the mound played a significant role in securing the Yankees’ victory in the regular season and the 1999 World Series.

Yankees legend trio Derek Jeter, Jorge Posada, and Mariano Rivera

The Yankees’ 1999 World Series victory held great significance for multiple reasons. It not only continued their ongoing dynasty but also allowed them to achieve remarkable historical milestones. Moreover, the victory served as a form of redemption after previous setbacks and failures in the postseason. The series showcased exceptional individual performances, with one standout being Mariano Rivera, who earned the prestigious title of the 1999 World Series MVP as a member of the New York Yankees. 

The prelude to 1999 World Series: Yankees in 2009 regular season

Regular season batting average.282
Best individual recordDerek Jeter (.349)
Regular season pitching ERA 4.13
Best individual recordMariano Rivera (1.83)

The 1999 season was truly extraordinary for the New York Yankees, as it was marked by outstanding achievements and unforgettable experiences. The Yankees were eager to carry their winning momentum into the 1999 season after clinched the World Series title in the previous year. 

They kicked off the regular season in impressive fashion, triumphing in their initial four games and sustaining their high performance throughout the year. Under the guidance of manager Joe Torre, the team exhibited remarkable stability and exerted their dominance over rival teams. Their exceptional efforts led them to an impressive record of 98 victories and 64 defeats in the regular season.

The key players from the memorable 1998 season stayed together for the following year, as notable free agents David Cone, Scott Brosius (who was named the MVP of the 1998 World Series), and Bernie Williams all re-signed with the team on new contracts. All those played a role in building the Yankees for the 1999 World Series triumph.

The offseason had just begun when second-year general manager Brian Cashman made a significant trade, acquiring Roger Clemens from the Blue Jays. In exchange for Clemens, a distinguished pitcher who had earned the prestigious American League Cy Young Award in consecutive seasons with Toronto, the Yankees sent David Wells, Graeme Lloyd, and Homer Bush to the Blue Jays.

The 1999 Yankees had an impressive lineup filled with talented players, including Derek Jeter, Bernie Williams, Paul O’Neill, Tino Martinez, and Jorge Posada. These notable individuals contributed to the team’s strong offense, leading the American League in runs scored, batting average, and on-base percentage. Both Jeter and Williams showcased their exceptional skills and played key roles in the team’s success throughout the season.

The Yankees’ pitching staff in 1999 was a force to be reckoned with, led by standout starters Roger Clemens, David Cone, and Orlando Hernandez. These pitchers consistently delivered strong performances and played a crucial role in the team’s success. In the bullpen, Mariano Rivera considered one of the greatest closers in MLB history, showcased his dominance. Together, their collective efforts led the Yankees to lead the American League in earned run average (ERA) and strikeouts, solidifying their reputation as a formidable pitching staff. This continued till the 1999 World Series victory.

David Cone's perfect game on July 19 was one of the many high points for the 1999 Yankees.

In an interleague play game on July 18, 1999, the New York Yankees achieved a decisive 6-0 victory over the Montreal Expos. This game held special significance as it marked pitcher David Cone’s remarkable achievement of a perfect game. Cone delivered an outstanding performance on the mound, preventing any opposing player from reaching base throughout the entire game.

During the 1999 regular season, the Yankees participated in a total of 162 games. They emerged victorious in 98 of these games while experiencing 64 losses. Their remarkable performance throughout the season secured them the top spot in the standings making them a favorite to win the 1999 World Series.

The Yankees played their home games at Yankee Stadium, where they enjoyed a supportive fanbase. A total of 3,293,659 fans attended their games, creating an electrifying atmosphere. The 1999 Yankees concluded the season with an impressive winning percentage of .605, reflecting their dominance on the field.

The 1999 ALDS battle: Yankees 3-0 Rangers

The OpponentTexas Rangers
The ScoreYankees 3–0 Rangers
DateOctober 5–9
VenuesYankee Stadium
The Ballpark in Arlington
The memorable gameGame 1
Game 1Result: Yankees 8-0 Rangers
Place: Yankee Stadium
The crowd: 57,099
Game 2Result: Yankees 3-1 Rangers
Place: Yankee Stadium
The crowd: 57,485
Game 3Result: Yankees 3-0 Rangers
Place: The Ballpark in Arlington
The crowd: 50,269

For the second consecutive year, the New York Yankees dominated the Texas Rangers, who had amassed 945 runs in the 1999 season. The Yankees swept the Rangers in a three-game series, displaying exceptional performance on both offense and defense on their way to the 1999 World Series. Throughout the series, the Yankees allowed only one run, replicating their impressive feat from the previous year.

In Game 1, Ricky Ledee’s RBI double in the second inning gave the Yankees an early 1-0 lead. In the fifth inning, Derek Jeter and Paul O’Neill hit consecutive two-out doubles, with both players crossing the plate on Bernie Williams’s double. The momentum continued in the following inning as Ledee and Jeter drew walks, setting the stage for Williams’s explosive three-run home run, extending the Yankees’ lead to 7-0. In the ninth inning, Jeff Nelson took the mound and pitched a flawless inning, securing the Yankees’ commanding 8-0 victory.

In the second game, the Yankees had an impressive comeback in the fifth inning and ended up winning with a score of 3-1. This victory was largely due to Mariano Rivera’s exceptional performance as he successfully saved the game. The closer was the hero of the 1999 World Series.

Moving on to the third game, Roger Clemens pitched for seven innings and gave up only three hits, showing great skill and control. Once again, Mariano Rivera played a crucial role in securing the win for the Yankees by making an important save in the ninth inning. One of the Yankees’ three runs came from a home run hit by Darryl Strawberry in the first inning.

The 1999 Pennant duel: Yankees 4-1 Red Sox

The OpponentBoston Red Sox
The ScoreYankees 4-1 Red Sox 
DateOctober 13–18
VenuesYankees Stadium
Fenway Park
The memorable gameGame 3
Game 1Result: Yankees 4-3 Red Sox
Place: Yankee Stadium
The crowd: 57,181
Game 2Result: Yankees 3-2 Red Sox
Place: Yankee Stadium
The crowd: 57,180
Game 3Result: Yankees 1-13 Red Sox
Place: Fenway Park
The crowd: 33,190
Game 4Result: Yankees 9-2 Red Sox
Place: Fenway Park
The crowd: 33,586
Game 5Result: Yankees 6-1 Red Sox
Place: Fenway Park
The crowd: 33,589

The 1999 American League Championship Series featured a thrilling showdown between the New York Yankees, who won the East Division with a record of 98-64, and the Boston Red Sox, who secured the Wild Card spot with a record of 94-68. The Red Sox showcased their resilience by overcoming a two-game deficit in their previous series against the Cleveland Indians, earning themselves a spot in this highly anticipated post-season matchup against their long-standing rivals, the Yankees, who went on to win the duel and the 1999 World Series.

Before the 1999 ALCS, there was a well-known incident involving Yogi Berra and Bernie Williams. Berra approached Williams with a smile, recognizing that Williams was feeling nervous about the upcoming series against their rivals. He then advised Williams to relax and shared the team’s historical success against their opponents, stating that they had been winning against them for 80 years.

During Game 1, Derek Jeter played a crucial role in breaking the tie in the seventh inning with a single, helping the Yankees secure a narrow 4-3 victory over the Red Sox. In Game 2, Paul O’Neill stepped up and gave the Yankees the lead of 3-2 during the seventh inning. The game concluded with a successful performance by Mariano Rivera, who closed the game with that score, securing another win for the Yankees.

In Game 3, the Red Sox staged an impressive comeback, leaving the Yankees battered with a devastating 13-1 loss. The spirited Red Sox fans began chanting, “Where is Roger?” in reference to the Yankees star. The Yankees fans playfully responded with their own chant, “In the shower,” adding a touch of humor to the exchange. It gave a scare to the Yankees’ all-conquering march to the 1999 World Series win.

In Game 4, Paul O’Neill, Williams, and Jeter played exceptionally well, leading the Yankees to a convincing 9-2 victory. However, this game was also marked by an unfortunate incident involving fans. When Jimy Williams, the manager of the Red Sox, was ejected from the game for arguing a call in the ninth inning, some fans reacted by throwing trash onto the field. This incident overshadowed the game and was widely discussed afterward.

During Game 5, the Yankees’ offense came alive with notable contributions from Jeter and Tino Martinez. Their RBI singles helped the team secure a comfortable 4-0 lead. In the ninth inning, Jorge Posada further extended the Yankees’ advantage with a powerful two-run home run, making the score 6-1. With this strong performance, the Yankees emerged victorious in the game pushing themselves to the 1999 World Series.

The 1999 World Series: New York Yankees Vs Atlanta Braves

The OpponentAtlanta Braves
The Score4-0
DateOctober 23–27
VenuesTurner Field (Atlanta)
Yankee Stadium (New York)
The MVPMariano Rivera 
The memorable gameGame 3 
Game 1Result: Yankees 4–1
Place: Turner Field
The crowd: 51,342
Game 2Result: Yankees 7-2
Place: Turner Field
The crowd: 51,226
Game 3Result: Yankees 6-5
Place: Yankee Stadium
The crowd: 56,794
Game 4Result: Yankees 4-1
Place: Yankee Stadium
The crowd: 56,752

In the 1999 World Series, the Yankees achieved a remarkable feat by winning it in four games, securing their second consecutive championship, third in the past four years, and their 25th title overall. This victory marked the Yankees’ third consecutive triumph over the Braves franchise in the Fall Classic, as they had previously defeated the Milwaukee Braves in the 1958 World Series and the Atlanta Braves in the 1996 World Series. 

Mariano Rivera, the Yankees’ closer, received the prestigious 1999 World Series Most Valuable Player (MVP) award. Notably, this World Series was unique as it featured both the top-seeded teams from the American League (AL) and National League (NL), a rare occurrence that has only happened twice since then, in 2013 and 2020.

Game 1: Yankees 4-1 Braves

The 1999 World Series began with a matchup between Greg Maddux and Orlando Hernandez in Game 1, which set a new record for the latest start date in World Series history on October 23, surpassing the previous record set by the 1995 World Series on October 21. 

In the series opener, the Braves took the lead when Chipper Jones hit a home run down the right-field line during the fourth inning.  This would be the only hit allowed by El Duque (Orlando Hernandez) in his impressive seven innings on the mound, during which he struck out ten Atlanta batters. Notably, it would also be the sole home run hit by the Braves throughout the entire series.

In the eighth inning, Greg Maddux, who had not allowed any runs and had given up only three hits, faced a significant challenge. It started when Scott Brosius singled for the third time in the game. Pinch hitter Darryl Strawberry then received a walk, and Chuck Knoblauch reached base. With the bases loaded, Derek Jeter hit a single to left field, driving in a run and making the score 3-1 in favor of the Yankees. 

Paul O’Neill extended their lead to 3-1 with his contribution. Later in the inning, John Rocker, the Braves’ pitcher, walked Jim Leyritz with the bases loaded, allowing another run to score. Mariano Rivera closed out the game with a save, securing the Yankees’ 4-1 win and the lead in the 1999 World Series.

Game 2: Yankees 7-2 Braves

In Game 2 of the 1999 World Series, there was a special ceremony where the All-Century team was honored, and the Yankees had a remarkable offensive performance against Atlanta’s starting pitcher, Kevin Millwood. In the first inning, Chuck Knoblauch, Derek Jeter, and Paul O’Neill all hit singles, setting a strong start for the Yankees. Tino Martinez contributed with a hit, increasing the Yankees’ lead to 3-0 in the first inning.

In the third inning, Bernie Williams and Tino Martinez hit singles at the start of the inning. The Yankees extended their lead in the fourth inning when Martinez’s groundout drove in Derek Jeter, who led off the inning with a double. In the fifth inning, Chuck Knoblauch’s single scored Scott Brosius, who also doubled at the beginning of the inning.

David Cone pitched seven scoreless innings for the Yankees, while Ramiro Mendoza held the Braves without runs in the eighth inning. However, in the ninth inning, Mendoza allowed a leadoff single to Chipper Jones.  After a two-out walk, Jones scored on Greg Myers’s single. Jeff Nelson replaced Mendoza and gave up an RBI double to Bret Boone before retiring Otis Nixon on a groundout to end the game. With this victory, the Yankees took a 2-0 lead in the 1999 World Series.

This marked the final instance of a road team winning Game 2 of the World Series until the Texas Rangers achieved the same in 2011 against the St. Louis Cardinals. It also signified the last time the visiting team won the first two games of the World Series until the Washington Nationals replicated the feat in 2019 against the Houston Astros.

Game 3: Yankees 6-5 Braves

Andy Pettitte struggled early on as Bret Boone delivered a double, bringing Gerald Williams home with an RBI in the first inning of Game 3 of the 1999 World Series. The Yankees managed to tie the game in the bottom of the inning when Paul O’Neill hit an RBI single. However, in the third inning, Brian Jordan added to the Braves’ lead with an RBI single, scoring Boone, followed by Jose Hernandez doubling in Jordan and Andruw Jones. 

In the fourth inning, Boone doubled again, driving in Gerald Williams for the second time in the game, extending the score to 5-1. Unfortunately for the Braves, Boone was called out attempting to steal third, although replays suggested he had slid in just ahead of the tag. This call potentially cost the Braves a run, as Chipper Jones doubled two pitches later. Tom Glavine pitched well for seven innings, but he gave up home runs to Tino Martinez in the fifth inning and Chad Curtis, narrowing the Braves’ lead to 5-3.

The Yankees’ bullpen performed admirably, preventing the Braves from scoring any more runs after Andy Pettitte exited the game. In the eighth inning, a fatigued Tom Glavine gave up a two-run homer to Knoblauch, resulting in a tie game at 5-5. 

There had been deliberation on whether to keep Glavine on the mound for that inning. Despite having thrown only 72 pitches, Glavine expressed feeling physically drained due to an illness that caused him to miss his scheduled Game 1 start. He was hesitant to continue pitching but decided to attempt one more inning. 

Glavine was eventually replaced by John Rocker, who effectively shut down the Yankees’ offense until he was relieved after the ninth inning. The score remained tied until the bottom of the tenth when Chad Curtis crushed a walk-off home run—his second homer of the game—off Mike Remlinger, granting the Yankees a commanding 3-0 lead in the 1999 World Series.

Yankees Core Four with their manager Joe Torre at Yankee Stadium on Sept. 09, 2023.

Game 4: Yankees 4-1 Braves

In the third inning of Game 4 of the 1999 World Series, the Yankees had a breakthrough moment as Tino Martinez hit a single off Ryan Klesko’s foot with the bases loaded, resulting in two runs being scored. Jorge Posada followed with an RBI single, increasing the score to 3-0 in favor of the Yankees. Roger Clemens, determined to secure his first World Series victory, delivered an outstanding performance, allowing the only Braves to run in the eighth inning when Bret Boone singled in Walt Weiss. 

Jim Leyritz further extended the Yankees’ lead with a home run in the eighth inning, adding to his reputation as a remarkable player in postseason games and as a thorn in the side of Braves fans. Mariano Rivera, who was recognized as the Most Valuable Player of the the 1999 World Series, induced Keith Lockhart to fly out to left fielder Chad Curtis for the final out of the season.

Off the Winning Path

The Yankees made history by winning the 1999 World Series without losing a single game. This hadn’t happened since the 1938-1939 Yankees had this feat. It was also rare because they didn’t have the advantage of playing more games at their home stadium. The Yankees had an impressive record of 11 wins and only 1 loss in the playoffs, which was the best ever at that time. They were rewarded with a payment of $326,000 for each player on the 1999 World Series winning team as a result of the Yankees championship victory.

Yankees manager Joe Torre was diagnosed with prostate cancer at the start of the 1999 season. But he returned after treatment to guide the Yankees to the 1999 World Series win.

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