The 21st Century has already seen plenty of memorable World Series. From storied franchises adding to their trophy hauls to cursed franchises ending their long droughts (with another one of those to come in about a week).
As we set out on this historic Cubs-Indians World Series, we look back at the winning moments from every championship from 2000 until today.
And be sure to watch this year's World Series for the latest entry to this list, starting Tuesday night at 7:30 on FOX and FS GO.
The Boston Globe via Getty ImagesJohn Bohn
2000: New York Yankees
The "Subway Series" was a lot closer than the 4-1 score in games indicated. Each game was decided by just one or two runs.
In the clinching game, the Yankees broke a 2-2 tie with two runs in the top of the ninth on a Luis Sojo RBI single. Mr. Automatic, Mariano Rivera, then entered in the ninth. With two out and a runner on, Rivera got Mike Piazza to fly out to center, just shy of the warning track, to end the game, then found first baseman Tino Martinez for his first embrace as the Yankees won their fourth title in five seasons.
The only World Series this century so far to end with a run scoring instead of an out, the 2001 edition was one for the ages. The Diamondbacks dominated the Yankees in the first two games, winning by a combined score of 13-1. The Yankees bounded back with three dramatic one-run wins in New York. Back home, the D-backs rolled again in Game 6 to set up the decisive game.
Down 2-1 in the ninth and facing the daunting proposition of Mariano Rivera, the D-backs found a way. After a Tony Womack double had tied the game, Luis Gonzalez sent this soft line drive to center field over a drawn-in infield to make Arizona world champs.
Another seven-game series that ended up the only one the many talented Angels teams of this century has won, Anaheim returned home from San Francisco down three games to two. In Game 6, the Giants led 5-0 into the bottom of the seventh and seemed on the verge of taking the title. But then Anaheim rallied for six runs in the next two innings, then called on lights-out closer Troy Percival in the ninth.
Percival was again on the mound in the ninth the next night for Game 7. This time with a three-run lead, he worked around a single and a walk to retire Kenny Lofton for the final out and launch this celebration.
The small-market Marlins went back to Yankee Stadium with a 3-2 series lead in 2003, but somehow it still seemed like an uphill climb to win the title. Then Josh Beckett happened.
Then just 23, Beckett got the Game 6 start and went the distance, scattering five Yankees hits over nine innings and striking out nine. He retired Jorge Posada on an unassisted putout on a grounder up the line to end it, then was carried around the field by his teammates. It was the Marlins' second title in their 11-season existence.
The story of the 2004 playoffs was the Red Sox's rally from 3-0 down to their rival Yankees in the ALCS. After that, the World Series felt like a footnote. Boston kept right on steamrolling, sweeping the helpless Cardinals, who managed just three runs the rest of the series after losing an 11-9 slugfest in Game 1.
In the clinching game, closer Keith Foulke preserved a shutout started by Derek Lowe, getting Edgar Renteria to hit a come-backer to the mound. Foulke flipped to Doug Mientkiewicz at first base, the first person to officially secure a Red Sox championship since 1918.
The Astros didn't necessarily deserve to get swept, but still another World Series in which every game was decided by one or two runs ended up very one-sided. The White Sox eked out the first two in Chicago, then won a 14-inning marathon in Game 3 to set the stage for their clincher.
After Freddy Garcia and Brandon Backe both put zeroes on the board for seven innings, the Astros cracked in the 8th. Closer Brad Lidge gave up an RBI single to Jermaine Dye, and that was all Chicago needed. With two out in the bottom of the ninth, Orlando Palmeiro hit a chopper over the mound. Shortstop Juan Uribe charged it, scooped it and threw to Paul Konerko at first to win the franchise's first title since 1917. Uribe and Konerko found each other for the hug right after.
Like the Red Sox and White Sox before them, the Cardinals were out to end a lengthy drought. They'd been winless on the World Series stage since 1982, falling short in three other Fall Classics since. This one was all theirs. They took Game 1 in Detroit, shut out the Tigers in Game 3 behind Chris Carpenter, then rallied from a 3-0 deficit to win Game 4.
In Game 5, St. Louis bounced back after falling behind 2-1 early. A pair of runs in the fourth put them up 3-2, Scott Rolen added an insurance run in the seventh with a single, and Adam Wainwright survived a two-on, two-out jam in the ninth to strike out Brandon Inge and earn the flying hug from catcher Yadier Molina.
The wait was much shorter this time around for Boston fans, and it was no contest. Boston steamrolled the Rockies in Game 1, edged them out in Game 2, then pounded them again in Game 3 to set the stage for another sweep.
In Game 4, a 3-0 lead after 6 1/2 innings was trimmed to 4-3 after eight, but Jonathan Papelbon got Colorado out 1-2-3 in the ninth (after retiring the final two in the eighth, as well), culminating in a strikeout of Seth Smith that had Papelbon showing off his vertical in joy.
The Phillies hadn't won a World Series since 1980. The Tampa Bay Rays had never even been to one. In the end, the elder statesmen got the last laugh. Philadelphia won three one-run games, including the clincher to end its drought.
In the clinching Game 5, the Phillies took a 2-0 lead after the first, only to cough it up. They then took a 3-2 lead, only to give that up too. In the bottom of the seventh, a Pedro Feliz single put them back up 4-3. In the ninth, it was time for closer Brad Lidge — who had surrendered the White Sox's series-winning run in 2005. He shut the door, striking out Eric Hinske to end the game, then dropped to his knees in celebration after his 48th save in 48 tries that year.
For the Yankees, nine years is a long wait to return to the top, but they got back in 2009. After the defending champion Phillies took Game 1 in New York, the Yankees reeled off three straight wins. Philadelphia held off a furious rally in Game 5 to force Game 6, but that's where it would end.
The Yankees built a 7-1 lead after five innings, battering starter Pedro Martinez and reliever Chad Durbin, and then sailed to a 7-3 win. Mariano Rivera got Shane Victorino to ground to second baseman Robinson Cano, who flipped to Mark Teixeira at first to clinch the title. Teixeira popped off the base with his fist raised.
The Giants were oh so close in 2002. It'd be eight years before they'd get over the hump. The start of that whole "even years" thing, San Francisco rode strong pitching to get to the World Series, and kept it rolling once there. They shut out the big-hitting Rangers twice en route to a 3-1 series lead.
In Game 5, the teams traded zeroes for six innings before Edgar Renteria launched a three-run homer in the seventh. The Rangers got one back in the bottom half on a Nelson Cruz home run, but it wasn't enough. Closer Brian Wilson entered in the ninth and sealed the deal, striking out Cruz to end the game and turning to flash his trademark personality to the camera. It was the Giants' first title since 1954.
It was the Cardinals again in 2011, but this one was a lot more hair-raising than in 2006. Down 3-2 in the series heading home for Game 6, St. Louis had to rally from two-run deficits in both the ninth and 10th innings to ultimately win on an 11th-inning walkoff homer by David Freese to force Game 7.
Once there, the Cardinals once again found themselves in a hole as the Rangers put two on the board in the first. But that's all Texas would get. St. Louis scored twice in the first to erase the deficit, then added four more to win the series. The final out was a flyball to Allen Craig, whose third-inning homer was the eventual game-winner. Craig and center fielder Jon Jay ran in together to greet their waiting teammates in celebration.
Even-year magic, Part II. The Giants shut out the Tigers in Games 2 and 3 — the first behind a dominant start from Madison Bumgarner — and then wasted no time finishing things off.
Tied 3-3 after nine in Game 4, Marco Scutaro singled home a run in the top of the 10th to put San Francisco three outs away. Sergio Romo came on and struck out the side, ending with the great Miguel Cabrera, to clinch it. Catcher Buster Posey shed his helmet and rushed to the mound as Romo jumped for joy.
After two World Series titles won on enemy turf, the Red Sox finally got one in Boston. The Cardinals, though, at least made them work a bit for this one. The teams were tied two games apiece before the St. Louis bats went cold in the critical Game 5.
Back home with a chance to clinch, Boston didn't disappoint. John Lackey kept the Cardinals at bay over 6.2 innings, and Koji Uehara finished it with a perfect ninth, getting Matt Carpenter to strike out to end it. Uehara raced to meet catcher David Ross as the dugout ran to meet them and the home fans went crazy.
The legend of Madison Bumgarner hit full throttle here. He won Games 1 and 5 for the Giants against the Kansas City Royals, allowing just one run total and going the distance in Game 5. Back in K.C., the Royals struck back in Game 6 with a 10-0 romp.
In Game 7, starter Tim Hudson lasted just 1.2 innings for the Giants, allowing two runs. Jeremy Affeldt got the Giants through four innings with the team up 3-2, and manager Bruce Bochy didn't mess around. He went back to Bumgarner, who pitched five innings of shutout ball on very short rest to win the title again for San Francisco. The final out was a pop-up in foul ground to Pablo Sandoval, who caught the ball and then fell to his back in front of the jubilant Giants dugout.
The Royals would only have to wait a year to have their moment. Kansas City held serve at home to open the series, then won Game 4 in New York behind a three-run eighth inning.
In Game 5, the Mets look poised to send us back to the Midwest, leading 2-0 headed into the ninth, but K.C. scratched out two runs to force extras. In the 12th, the Royals erupted for five runs to take a 7-2 lead. With closer Wade Davis on the mound in bottom of the 12th, Wilmer Flores struck out looking to finish off the series. Davis hurled his glove in the air and raised his arms as catcher Drew Butera jumped out of his crouch.