Jack Morris reflects on his World Series triumphs with the 1984 Tigers, 1991 Twins, 1992 and '93 Blue Jays
The word team comes to mind first and foremost with the ’84 Tigers. We had all came up through the minor leagues together and struggled together for quite some time as young players before things started to go our way. Finally we said enough of all this losing and we got serious about playing hard nosed baseball. Eventually we realized that we were just as good as the other teams who were beating us and once that happened good things started happening. Everything came together for us that season. We came out of spring training and hit the ground running. In fact, we had one of the best starts in the history of baseball — 35-5. We cooled off after that but we were able to grow from that confidence and sustain that momentum for the rest of the season.
The ’91 Twins were the polar opposite of the ’84 Tigers. We started out slow and then got hot midway through the year when we went on a 15 game winning streak. That got us back into contention and we never looked back. It was really a case of peaking at the right time because we played our best baseball late in the year that season. We had a lot of great players on that team too, guys like Kirby Puckett, who had some really big games for us that season. Our pitching staff really came together too. Myself, Scott Erickson, and Kevin Tapani, we all earned Pitcher of the Month honors that season. Ultimately it takes all nine guys out on the field to win and that year everything came together at the right time for us. On a personal note it was special too because I grew up in Minnesota and got to pitch the final out of Game Seven against Atlanta to win it. That will always be the highlight of my career, without a doubt.
The first championship in Toronto, 1992, it was pretty special. I had just come from winning it in my home state of Minnesota, and now I was able to be a part of bringing the first ever World Series titles to Canada — so it was pretty amazing. That city embraced us and actually forgot about hockey for a couple of years while we were winning those championships. Those two teams were stacked with talent. It was almost as if we could just turn it on too. I mean if we looked at the scoreboard and weren’t winning in the seventh inning, which was rare in those days, it was like a switch would go off. Two innings later we had the lead and would close it out. It was unbelievable. We had so much confidence in ourselves.
"This excerpt from World Series Winners: What It Takes to Claim Baseball's Ultimate Prize by Ross Bernstein is printed with the permission of Triumph Books / www.triumphbooks.com/WorldSeriesWinners."