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A Year To Remember Essay, Research Paper

After the 1994 work stoppage, Major League Baseball has had jobs acquiring fans interested in the game and into the ballparks. All that changed in 1998 when baseball enjoyed its greatest season of all time. From the place tally pursuit, the great pitching, and the unstoppable Northerners, there is no uncertainty about it. Even the 41 season, with Joe Dimaggio s 56 game striking run and Ted Williams run at a.400 batting mean pickets in comparing to the feats of Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa in 98. Because of all that was traveling on in 98, some immense achievements were overshadowed and became merely footnotes. Let s take a expression back at a most unforgettable season.


When people remember the 1998 season, they will intelligibly first think of the place tally pursuit. For most of the summer, Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa chased each other and the most august record in all of professional athleticss: Roger Maris individual season place tally record off 61 set back in 1961. When jumping preparation began, McGwire was thrust into the limelight when asked if he thought he would interrupt the record. From twenty-four hours one, it was expected of him to at least excel his 1997 place run sum of 58 if non make Maris. And even when him and Sosa were neck and neck, Sosa was still in Big Mac s shadow. It is widely believed that without Sosa, McGwire might non hold passed Maris and ne’er would hold reached such a mind-boggling figure.

A perfect illustration of McGwire and Sosa forcing each other is a Cubs-Cardinals series in mid-August at Wrigley Field. Both batters had been stuck on 47 for the past few yearss. In the underside of the fifth, Slammin Sammy slammed his 48th of the twelvemonth. Big Mac answered in the top of the 7th with his 48th. Then in the top of the 9th, McGwire bashed his 49th home run to once more lead Sosa. This, nevertheless, would non be the last clip that the two would traverse waies.

A few hebdomads subsequently the Cubs came to St. Louis for a two game series that started on Labor Day. At the clip, McGwire had 60 while his Dominican opposite number had 58. In the first frame of game one, McGwire game the fans precisely what they wanted to see when he blasted his 61st home run to bind Maris.

The full baseball universe and all of America was in expectancy for the following game. Even the Maris household was on manus for a game that was unimportant for the Cardinals as a squad. They were excessively far behind division-leading Houston and Wild Card taking Chicago to do a serious command for the postseason. Big Mac was 0 for 2 when he came to bat in the 5th frame. Cubs hurler, Steve Trachsel was fliping McGwire excess careful, but it did non assist. He belted a pitch merely hardly over the wall in left field. That sent the sellout crowd at Busch Stadium into exultation. By hitting figure 62 he had set the new individual season place tally record, but he still had three hebdomads to hit more. As he circled the bases, McGwire received praises from the full Cub baseball diamond, and even a clinch from former Cardinal, Cubs 3rd baseman Gary Gaetti. He even went into the first row of the bases and hugged the Maris household. Then Sammy Sosa came in from right field and personally congratulated McGwire. There was so a address from legendary Cardinal broadcaster, Jack Buck, and even one from McGwire himself.

After the exhilaration and the expectancy McGwire so went into a seven-day slack. In that hebdomad, Sosa was able to catch him. One twenty-four hours after Sosa hit his 62nd ; Big Mac crushed his 63rd. His chiropteran so came alive in a series in Milwaukee. In that series he hit Numberss 64, 65, and about 66. Umpire Bob Davidson ruled what could hold been 66 a two-base hit because a fan reached over and caught it ( Verducci, 4 ) . Thus the phase was set for a charming decision to the place tally race.

On the last Friday of the season, Sammy Sosa took the lead in the pursuit when he hit his 66th home run. Big Mac answered with hit 66th merely 45 proceedingss subsequently. Luckily for McGwire, Sosa was confronting the N.L. Central title-holders, the Houston Astros, while the Card games were up against the humble Montreal Expos and their hapless pitching. On Saturday, Big Mac blasted Numberss 67 and 68 out of the park. On Sunday McGwire finished what he started with a expansive sweep on Opening Day ( Verducci, 1 ) . In his concluding two at chiropterans of the twelvemonth, in fact, on his two concluding swings, he hit his 69th and 70th place tallies, blowing off Maris 61 and Babe Ruth s 60.

A unequivocal minute of McGwire s pursuit and even the baseball season in general came on that last twenty-four hours of the season. Right down the route from Busch Stadium, The St. Louis Rams and the Arizona Cardinals were playing a football game at the Trans World Dome. The Rams had the ball with 3rd and nine. All of a sudden, the TWA Dome s fans started shouting and heartening. This forced the Rams to take a delay-of-game punishment. The ground: nil that the Rams had done, but it was intelligence of Big Mac s 69th place tally that got the fans into a craze ( Verducci, 3 )


The other half of the place tally pursuit involves Chicago Cubs rightfielder, Sammy Sosa. Before 98, Sosa was a calling.250 batter, ne’er hitting more than 40 place tallies in a season, and striking out prolifically. 98 would turn out to be different. Many contribute Sosa s success in 98 to his adulthood at the home base. He kept his oculus on outside pitches and drove them to right field, alternatively of seeking to draw everything. He besides lowered his chiropteran and manus so it would travel through the zone quicker, and he even started to put off some bad pitches that he would hold swung at in the yesteryear. These apparently minor accommodations, were able to assist him hit for a better norm, have a higher place run possible, particularly to right field, and he struck out far less.

The twelvemonth started out great for Sosa. After two months, he was batting.320 with 13 place tallies. By this clip, McGwire already had 25 home runs. Sosa still was on gait for 39 place tallies which is really respectable. June brought increased success for Sammy. He set a Major League record for the most place tallies in one month with 20. So by the All-Star interruption, Sosa was merely three dorsum of McGwire with 33.

As the 2nd half of the season began, many saw assorted similarities between the pursuits that both McGwire and Sosa were set abouting. However, There was one chief difference between the two. Sosa put his squad above any single achievements. Not to state that McGwire did non, it is merely that the Cardinals were excessively far out of the crown race that McGwire and the record was the most of import thing traveling for the Cards. Sosa himself even said, If I didn t any more place tallies, I d be happy every bit long as the Cubs make it to the playoffs. Slammin Sammy s place tallies were one of the things that kept the Cubs in contention all twelvemonth. By early August, Sosa had already surpassed his season high in place tallies ( 40 ) and was taking the conference in RBI s.

At the clip that McGwire broke Maris record, Sosa had 58 home runs, and with three hebdomads left in the twelvemonth, still had a good shooting at go throughing Maris himself. He stole the show in a late season series against the Brewers at Wrigley. In game one he hit his 59th dong in the Cubs 11-10 loss. Sosa hit his 60th the following twenty-four hours to shut the Cubs shortage to five. He was besides instrumental in the Cubs ligature and winning the game in the underside of the 9th. In the concluding game of the series, Sosa tied Maris by blaring his 61st onto Waveland Avenue in the 4th frame. With the Cubs down by two in the underside of the 9th, Sosa lead off. The full crowd was trusting to see Slammin Sammy s 62nd, but he merely wanted to acquire on to assist the squad win this really of import game. On the 3rd pitch, Sosa hit a long shooting to deep left field. Equally shortly as it left his chiropteran, there was no uncertainty to Sosa, his squad, and the 1000s of fans crammed into the park and watching from the rooftops environing Wrigley Field. That blast went 480ft across Waveland, and traveled a ways down Addison Avenue. Unlike McGwire s 62nd, the game did non halt and there were no addresss. Alternatively the fans went brainsick and the Cubs stayed focussed on the game at manus. After the game, the fans stayed in the park and Sosa and the squad came out on the field to observe the milepost.

Two games subsequently, Sammy hit his 3rd calling expansive sweep and 63rd home run in San Diego. Then, in McGwire-like manner, Sosa went into a seven-day slack. He came out of his slack where else? The same topographic point were McGwire had came out of his slack, against the same squad that surrendered home runs numbered 59-62: against the Milwaukee Brewers. In game one, Sosa went 0 for 3, but crushed one merely hardly disgusting. The following twenty-four hours, Sosa, succeeded in hitting figure 64 And 65. The following dark in Houston, Sammy Sosa held the individual season place tally record for about 45 proceedingss, after hitting his 66th off of Jose Lima. That, nevertheless, would be Sosa s concluding place tally. He did hold some cardinal hits in the concluding two games against Houston and contributed to the Cubs triumph in the Wild Card tiebreaker versus San Francisco. Though he was non able to put the place tally record, he could take consolation in the fact that the Cubbies made the playoffs. His statistics ( .308 batting norm, 66 place tallies, 158 RBI s ) and parts were good plenty to gain him the National League Most Valuable Player ( MVP ) Award.


The one run in an all of athleticss that will ne’er even be approached is Cal Ripken Jr. s back-to-back games played run of 2632. That is over 16 old ages of playing in all 162 games. Ripken was able to go through Lou Gerig s old record back in 93. It came as a surprise to many. With one hebdomad to travel in the season, it was noticeable to the Baltimore fans that Ripken was non in the batting order. What is even more surprising is that he voluntarily ended the run. Afterwards Ripken said, It was clip. Alternatively of being saddened by the run s terminal, most fans celebrated Ripken and the run, merely as they had celebrated Maris run in the thick of McGwire and Sosa interrupting it.


Before 1998, David Wells was a no-name hurler for the great New York Yankees. That would alter early in the season. On May 17, merely a few hebdomads after Kerry Woods domination of the Astros, Wells stunned the full baseball universe by fliping merely the 3rd perfect game ( no smugglers allowed on base ) by a left -hander in history. Even after, most believed that Wells public presentation was a good luck, but it was non. He rose up to rule American League batters, and led the Yankees pitching staff. He had an 18-6 record and an ERA ( Earned Run Average ) under three to demo for his impressive work. Wells besides was a team leader on and off the field and greatly contributed to the Northerners regular season and playoff tallies.


Another participant that made 98 so particular was Kerry Wood of the Chicago Cubs. Through his first four starts, this cub showed tonss of promise. Wood s heater was clocked right around 100mph, and had a curveball and skidder to congratulate it. Then, In merely his 5th Major League start, Wood tied Roger Clemens record of 20 strikeouts in a individual game. He continued to rule batters throughout the twelvemonth, while merely fighting on juncture. By late August, Wood was 13-6 with a 2.60 ERA ( 1.20 ERA at Wrigley ) , and averaging a conference taking 12.3 strikeouts per nine innings. However, hurt would cut Kerry s season short. He strained a ligament in his throwing cubitus and missed the remainder

of the season. Wood was able to come back earlier than expected, and started game three of the division series. Wood gave up two tallies in five innings, but had a strong excursion in the Cubs loss to the Braves. After the season, the Baseball Writer s Association rewarded Kerry for his work in 98 by giving him the National League Rookie of the Year award.

OTHER Accomplishments

There were so many other smaller achievements in the unforgettable twelvemonth of 1998. First, San Francisco s Barry Bonds became the first participant of all time to hit 400 place tallies and steal 400 bases. Seattle s Alex Rodriquez became merely the 3rd participant in history with 40 place tallies and 40 stolen bases in a season. AROD besides led the American League in hitting and along with New York s Derek Jeeter, and Boston s Nomar Garciaparria as the best three shortstops of all time to play at the same clip ( Verducci, 2 ) . Roger Clemens of the Toronto Blue Jays won his 5th A.L. Cy Young award, while being the co-holder of the individual game strikeout record with Kerry Wood. In Philidelphia, Kurt Shilling became the first hurler of all time to strike out 300 hitters three old ages in a row. 98 besides was the first twelvemonth in which more than two people hit 50 or more place tallies. They were McGwire ( 70 ) , Sosa ( 66 ) , Seattle s Ken Griffey Jr. ( 56 ) , and San Diego s Greg Vaughn ( 52 ) . Griffey besides became the youngest participant of all time to his 350 place tallies. He is considered the merely active participant who has the possible to interrupt Henry Hank Aaron s calling place tally record of 756. Thirty-nine twelvemonth old Rickey Henderson of San Diego at age 39, became the oldest participant of all time to steal more than 50 bases.


In 98, the New York Yankees were unstoppable. Their lone lucifer are the great Yankee squads of the past. Like the 27- 32 squads with Babe Ruth and Lou Gerig. Or the squads of the 40 s with Joe Dimaggo. Possibly it was the squads of the 50 s with the great participants like Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris. Their pursuit of Babe Ruth s place tally record in 1961 resembled the great pursuit of 1998 with McGwire and Sosa.

After losing on opening twenty-four hours, the Northerners bulldozed their manner to the top of the American League East. The Yankees would put the American League record for most wins in a season while hardly losing the Major League record presently held by the 1906 Cubs. Their 114 wins would put them over 50 games above.500 and 18 game in front of second-place Boston.

One astonishing fact about the Northerners is their absence of a ace. The Cardinals had McGwire. The Cubs had Sosa. The Red Sox ( Boston ) had Mo Vaughn. What the Yankees did hold was a squad of talented, difficult working participants led by shortstop Derek Jeeter, 3rd baseman Scott Brocious, centre fielder Bernie Williams, and pitcher David Wells.

In the division Series of the playoffs, the Bronx Bombers destroyed the Texas Rangers in four. Then tragedy struck. Right fielder, Daryl Strawberry was diagnosed with colon malignant neoplastic disease. He would last. Even that was non able to change the Northerners obvious fate. In the American League Championship Series, the Cleveland Indians stood no opportunity and lost in five. Then in the World Series, the Northerners wholly dominated Kevin Brown and the San Diego Padres in a four game expanse, to make 125 wins including the postseason. However, unlike the 1997 World Champion Florida Marlins, the Northerners planned to support their rubric in 99 instead than hold a fire sale and dismantle the squad.


Probably the most exciting squad to watch in 98 was the Chicago Cubs. Now it may look that I am biased because I am a Cubs fan, but no other squad in baseball had so much occurrence and so many cliff-hanging ballgames.

When jumping preparation began, many North Siders believed that 1998 was eventually their twelvemonth. And why non? Over the winter the Cubs acquired 2nd baseman Mickey Morandini, shortstop Jeff Blauser and left fielder Henry Rodriquez. Henry was the left-handed batter the Cubs have severely needed to protect Sammy. Many Cub fans besides believed that they had deity on their side. In February, beloved Cub broadcaster and Hall of Famer Harry Caray passed off. In July the Cubs would lose another broadcaster, Jack Brickhouse. The two of them are believed to hold assisted in the Cubs many come-from-behind triumphs tardily in the season ( Rushin, 1 ) .

The Cubs started the season strong, contending with Houston and St. Louis for the top topographic point in the National League Central. Then on May 5, cub phenom, Kerry Wood showed one of the most ascendant public presentations in baseball history. In nine innings pitched, Wood, 21, gave up no tallies on one baseball diamond hit and struck out 20. The Cubs would necessitate more great excursions from Wood and the remainder of the pitching staff if they were to content for the postseason.

June would open another chapter to the Cubs charming season. They were still really much in the N.L. Central and Wild Card races. However, the limelight was on Sammy Sosa who powered his manner into the record books by hitting 20 place tallies that month.

By the All Star interrupt the Cubs were merely three games behind first topographic point Houston and Wild Card taking San Francisco. September would alter that. With the Acquisition of Randy Johnson, the Astros opened a thirteen-game spread between them and the Cubbies. All was non lost nevertheless. The Cubs were still a game up on the Mets ( New York ) and three on the Giants ( San Francisco ) , for the Wild Card topographic point.

On September 11, the Milwaukee Brewers came to Wrigley for an of import series for the Cubs. That series turned out to be likely the most exciting weekend in baseball history. After draging 8-2 in game one, the Cubs came back merely to lose 11-10.

The following game would turn out to be even more exciting. The Cubs were down early 10-2 and later 12-5, after a Gary Gaetti home run in the fifth. In the 7th and 8th innings the Brewer lead was cut to 12-10 on place tallies by Sosa ( 60 ) , Glenallen Hill, and Tyler Houston. Sosa lead off in the underside of the 9th with the Cubs still down by two. He singled. Next Hill singled. Then Gaetti singled and Sosa scored. Hill so scored to bind the game on a Tyler Houston hit. Finally pinch-hitter Orlando Merced hit a three-run place to give the Cubs a immense 15-12 triumph.

There was more of the same for the concluding game. The Cubbies jumped out to an 8-2 lead, in portion to Sosa s 61st place tally. The Brewers did come back and claimed a 10-8 lead. Same as the old game, Sosa led of the Cubs 9th, with them down by two. Alternatively of singling, Sosa sent his 62nd shooting to the street. However, the Cubs were still down by one. Not to worry, Hill and Gaetti were able to direct place the ligature tally. Then in the underside of the ten percent, first baseman Mark Grace came to bat. The fans were thirstily trusting that Grace could acquire on base so Sosa could bat once more. Sosa would non acquire his opportunity at figure 63 this twenty-four hours. Grace blasted his career-high 17th place tally, to give the Cubs an 11-10 win.

The Cubs went on to San Diego to take three of four from the Padres, so returned place to Wrigley merely to lose two out of three from the Cincinnati Reds. They so went up to Milwaukee for two games. In game one Kevin Tapani won his 19th game of the twelvemonth. The following game had a promising start with the Cubs acquiring a 7-0 lead. Disaster struck in the underside of the 9th. Cubs closer Rod Beck, the Shooter allowed five tallies to hit before lading the bases, with the winning tally on first, and two outs. Beck was able to acquire Jeremy Bernitz to hit a everyday fly ball to left field. Cubs left fielder Brant Brown was about to catch the concluding out of the game to maintain the Cubs a game up on the Mets. Alternatively, Brown dropped the ball, leting the bases to clear and the Brewers to win. Sammy Sosa said it best of this traumatic loss. If he ( Harry Caray ) wasn t already dead, he d dice once more.

It still wasn t the terminal for the Cubs. With three games left, the Cubs were still tied with the Mets and a game in front of the Giants for the Wild Card. In the concluding series the Cubs were in Houston. On Friday, the Cubs lost to Houston, and a eccentric event happened. Somehow, a black bird got into the Astrodome and began to circle Brown s caput in left field. Then it perched itself and starred at him. From first base, Mark Grace said, I would state Brant is holding a tough twosome of yearss ( Rushin, 4 ) . The Mets lost to the Braves and the Giants beat the Rockies on that dark, which created a tripartite tie for the Wild Card. On Saturday the Cubs and Giants won while the Mets lost. On, Sunday, the last twenty-four hours of the season, the Mets lost and were eliminated from the postseason while the Cubs lost in the ten percent frame. While the squad was sloging back to their cabinet room, the participants learned that Neve Perez had hit a place tally in the 9th frame to crush the Giants ( Rushin, 6 ) . Since the Cubs and Giants were still tied, there would be a one game playoff to be played the following dark at Wrigley Field.

The Cubs sent right hander, Steve Trachsel to the hill. Trachsel if you remember, gave up figure 62 to Big Mac. Fate seemed to be on the Cubs side that dark. The ceremonial first pitch was thrown out by hoops great, and Cub fan, Michael Jordan. By the 2nd frame there was a 40-foot He filled caput of Harry Caray drifting over Waveland Avenue. Both hurlers were flawless through four innings. But in the fifth with a adult male on, Gary Gaetti hit a high heater into the left field bleachers. The crowd went wild, even to the extent of throwing rubbish onto the field. By the 7th frame, the Cubs had build a 5-0 lead that they hoped would stand. During the 7th frame stretch, native Chicagoan and histrion, Bill Murray, sang Take Me Out to the Ballgame, in award of Harry Caray. The Cubs went into the top of the 9th still taking 5-0, and Rod Beck in to shut it. He was able to acquire two outs, but allowed three tallies to hit, and the binding tally on first. Then Joe Carter, hit a dad foul on the first base side. It was appropriately caught by Mark Grace. Grace, being the lone staying participant from the 89 Cub squad that won the National League East. After catching the concluding out, Grace fell to his articulatio genuss and wept ( Rushin, 6 ) . That dark belonged to the metropolis of Chicago and the fans stayed out all dark observing.

The Cubs fortune would run out in the playoffs against the Atlanta Braves. In game one the Braves discourtesy pounded Mark Clark in an 8-2 loss. In game two Kevin Tapani was two outs off from winning before Javier Lopez got the Braves on the scoreboard with a solo place tally. Atlanta was able to win it in the ten percent. In game three Kerry Wood made his first start since August. His strong public presentation was non plenty to maintain the Cubs alive. The Braves won the game and the series 3-0, stoping the great season for the Cubs.


It is easy to see why 98 was such a particular twelvemonth. The place tally pursuit entirely made the season memorable, but at that place was so much more. Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa made the mean individual attention about baseball once more, the manner it was back in the 50 s ( Verducci, 3 ) . Throw in a smattering of other great achievements and what do you acquire? The greatest season of all time, and likely the greatest there of all time will be. The memories of 98 will convey the fans back in 99 and beyond, trusting to see a glance of illustriousness 98 offered. Even though there will ne’er be a season every bit particular as 98, everyone will still hold the great memories of the greatest summer that Major League Baseball will of all time see.


Write an alternate ending to the short story The Masque of the Red Death by Edgar Allan Poe

Write an alternate ending to the short story The Masque of the Red Death by Edgar Allan Poe.

Write an alternate ending to the short story The Masque of the Red Death by Edgar Allan Poe. Compose a one- to two-page alternate ending to The Masque of Red Death, following MLA format. Begin your alternate ending with a sentence that appears on the last page of the original short story to transition from the original author’s voice to your own.

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