Work in Sports
Yes way, Jose
Vizcaino ends longest World Series game ever
Updated: Sunday October 22, 2000 2:32 PM
NEW YORK (AP) -- Jose Vizcaino was the perfect person to win the first Subway Series game since 1956.
After all, he's one of two players ever to play for the Dodgers, Giants, Yankees and Mets.
Derek Jeter, Tino Martinez, Paul O'Neill, Glenallen Hill and Luis Sojo had all failed to drive in the winning run from third base in extra innings.
As the clock reached 1:04 a.m. EDT Sunday and the 50,000-plus still filling Yankee Stadium wondering who would win Game 1 of the World Series, it was by a player few even expected to be in the lineup.
Vizcaino's sharp single to left gave the Yankees a 4-3, 12-inning win over the Mets in a 4-hour, 51-minute thriller.
"Finally," said Vizcaino, who went 4-for-6, "my dream came true to play in the World Series, and I had a great game."
Vizcaino, whose single off Armando Benitez set up the tying run in the ninth, was one of the Yankees' "patches," one of eight players acquired after spring training to help the two-time World Series champions hold on.
Vizcaino was acquired from Los Angeles for Jim Leyritz on June 20 and helped the Yankees after Chuck Knoblauch's right elbow went haywire.
He didn't delay, as many players do after trades.
"I took the first flight to Boston because I was happy to come to the Yankees," Vizcaino said.
In 73 games for the Yankees, Vizcaino drove in 10 runs, known for his glove more than his bat. But Yankees manager Joe Torre noticed he was 10-for-19 in his career against Al Leiter, the Mets starter in the opener.
With Leiter gone, Vizcaino almost came out of the game in the ninth.
"He was going to get pinch hit for if I needed an extra-base hit or a home run," Torre said. "But once we were looking for a single to tie the game, I left him in there."
With runners on first and second in the ninth and the Yankees trailing 3-2, Vizcaino's single loaded the bases to Knoblauch, who hit a tying sacrifice fly.
On they went into the night, few fans leaving.
The Yankees loaded the bases in the 10th.
They had runners on second and third in the 11th.
After Luis Sojo fouled out with the bases loaded in the 12th, it was up to Vizcaino. He knew Wendell.
"I've played against him in the National League," Vizcaino said. "I knew what was coming. I was ready for that pitch. I would never look for a splitter or slider against him. His best pitch is the fastball. I knew he was going to come with the fastball."
And the 32-year-old journeyman -- the 66th person to play for both the Yankees and Mets -- came through, lining the first pitch into left field with Martinez scampering home.
Seconds later, Frank Sinatra was singing "New York, New York" as the Yankees walked off with their record 13th straight Series win.
"I kissed him on the cheek after the game and said, 'Thanks for making me look smart,"' Torre said.
Vizcaino even earned another Series appearance. Torre was asked if Vizcaino would start Sunday night in Game 2.
"I might get arrested if he doesn't," the manager said.