04 Oct

thrill-ing start

On this date in 1989, in Game 1 of the National League Championship Series, Will Clark enjoyed one of the greatest single-game performances in postseason history. Living up to his nickname, “The Thrill,” the former Mississippi State All-America went 4-for-4 with two home runs, six RBIs and four runs, leading the San Francisco Giants to an 11-3 victory over the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field. Both of the homers — one a grand slam — and all of the RBIs came in the first four innings against Cubs ace Greg Maddux. “Clark had a helluva week tonight,” Cubs manager Don Zimmer told the Chicago Tribune after the game. Clark didn’t stop mashing after Game 1. He went 13-for-20 (an eye-popping .650 average) with eight RBIs and eight runs as the Giants won the best-of-7 series in five games. In the deciding game, a 3-2 win at Candlestick Park, Clark went 3-for-4 and broke a tie with a two-run hit in the eighth inning against nasty lefty Mitch Williams. Yes, Clark was named the NLCS MVP. Alas, he didn’t fare as well in the ’89 Fall Classic, going 4-for-16 with no RBIs as the Giants fell to Oakland in the so-called Earthquake Series. Though he never won a Series ring, Clark was a man for the postseason, batting .333 with five homers and 16 RBIs over 31 games with three different teams.

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