It may or may not be true that a mortician checks for a pulse one last time, just in case. As in life, a team that looks to be toast can suddenly arise from the dead to win a playoff series or huge playoff game. The 1985 Kansas City Royals are a good case. They got up off the mat not once, but twice, to win a World Series. Down 3-1 to the Toronto Blue Jays in the American League Championship Series, hot hitter George Brett put the team on his back and guided them to a comeback win. In the World Series against cross-state rival St. Louis, the Royals were again in a 3-1 hole and having to beat a powerhouse team. After clawing back to 3-2, KC trailed the Cards 1-0 in Game 6, going into the bottom of the 9th. One massive blown call later, a comeback win and a blowout and the Royals were unlikely champs.
This series was famous — and infamous — for the Marlins coming back from a 3-1 deficit, and a play involving unfortunate Cubs’ fan Steve Bartman. After the Marlins narrowly won game one, 9-8 at home, the Cubs reeled off three straight wins, beating Marlins’ crafty pitcher Dontrelle Willis along the way. Florida’s ace Josh Beckett tossed a tidy two-hitter for a 4-0 win to get Florida within one, with the series headed back to Wrigley for game six. The Cubs had game two winner Mark Prior on the hill and were cruising in the eighth with a 3-0 lead. Then came the foul ball. Bartman’s grab of what was later deemed an unplayable ball started a chain of events that saw Chicago lose the game 8-3 and the series.