Franchise Ball News
Top 5 World Series: Season 70-89
Dec 8th 2020 By Honolulu Shimakaze

Note: Every World Champion is a special one. If you're left off of the list, please do not consider yourself a lesser champion.

This twenty season stretch was a stretch I will remember for a while. Season 70 was my first season of paying close attention to the playoffs as now I had new hope in a new team to breakthrough to the promised land. I was excruciatingly close in Season 72, but the dream would just have to wait for another time. However, Season 72's World Series between Peoria Destroyers and Honolulu Island Winds would end up not even being one of the best World Series of this time. As I am writing this article, so many other World Series in this time frame could call itself better, maybe even the best in Franchise Ball History.

Criteria: Match Quality and Team Matchups are the two biggest features I will be looking into. Do not expect many sweeps or blowout games here. Those are reserved for a "Top 5 World Series Champions" list.

So strap in, and let's take a moment on memory lane to see the best World Series Franchise Ball has to offer.

Number 5 - Season 83: Honolulu Shimakaze defeats Yonkers River Rats, 2-1

What? The Shimakaze one already? Hear me out: This season featured one of the greatest Final Five Pools in Franchise Ball History. Usually, there will be one Cinderella story or an inactive team that somehow beat more deserving powerhouses, even in some of the matches further on this list, but this Final Five featured equally imposing juggernauts. Honolulu Shimakaze, Yonkers River Rats, Peoria Destroyers, Oakland A's, and San Diego Bombers were all equally favored to win the crown. Ultimately, it came down to Shimakaze and River Rats.

As for match quality, Game 1 was exactly what was expected: back-and-forth. Just 6 of the 17 half-innings were scoreless as Shimakaze won 12-8. Game 2 was equally contested: a grand total of SIX (!) lead changes, four of which happened in the 4th and 5th innings. Unfortunately, River Rats' bats failed to capitalize on multiple bases-loaded opportunities in Game 3, letting down an otherwise incredible series on this ranking list.

Number 4 -  Season 86:  San Diego Giants sweep Buffalo Bisons, 2-0

The only sweep on this list, this season likewise had an incredibly stacked Final Six, highlighted by Cincinnati Reds, San Diego Bombers, Buffalo Bisons, and San Diego Giants. Ultimately, it was the pitching powerhouses of Bisons and Giants that would end up facing each other. However, Game 1 was more importantly marked by clutch hitting. The Bisons were trailing 6-5 in the top of the 9th, when 1B Franco Ramos proceeded to light up the night with a game-tying solo homer. In the bottom half of the 9th, Giants' LF Kurtis Roach then responded with his own walk-off solo homer.

Once again, Game 2 had incredibly clutch late-inning hits. The Giants were now trailing 10-8 in the top of the 9th, when back to back singles tied the game up, before Roach homered again, capping off a 12-10 lead entering the 9th. Bisons came back when SS Julius Grigsby tied the game up at 12 with another RBI single. The game headed to extras, and it didn't take long for two Giants home runs to be the dagger to Bisons' season. A scoreless bottom 10th meant Giants had won in the very closest of sweeps.

Number 3 - Season 74: Chicago WINNERS defeat Mesa FooFighters, 2-1

Now there's two names that are blast to the past. WINNERS was by far FB's most active user game and social-wise in from the early 60s to the mid 70s. So much so they made the 2nd iteration of the Hall of Fame, and I was witness to hours upon hours of searching from him. Foo on the other hand was rather long in the tooth now, and despite not appearing much during this World Series, still claimed many records (the biggest being holding the best record in FB history, 56-4).

The mostly dead Foo nevertheless squared off with WINNERS' bats in a back and forth slugfest that was Game 1. A normally shaky WINNERS bullpen managed to squeak past Foo 14-12. Game 2 saw Foo's bats get work done early, as despite a 7 run rally from Chicago in the 8th and 9th, saw Foo win 11-8. Game 3 was down to the wire. WINNERS had two men on in the top of the 9th trailing by two, and was one strike away from heartbreak... twice. Both times, RBI singles tied the game. Foo's Sammy Thompson was gassed, and by the time Foo had no response in their half of the 9th, it was over. A WINNERS 6-run 10th all but sealed the deal, and finally Chicago had their World Championship.

Number 2 - Season 82: Boston Monarchs defeat Baltimore Orioles, 2-1

Another name that's a blast from the past, Boston Monarchs was among one of the first teams to use aggressive substitutions to great success. Their approach to find average players that were having hot streaks made it incredibly difficult to predict their approach from a pitching standpoint. On the other hand, Baltimore Orioles was a well-established older team that is always incredibly consistent. Entering this season, they have had a very bizarre pattern of appearing in every World Series exactly every 10 seasons (Season 64, 73, 82, and now, most recently, 91), much like Halley's Comet.

Game 1 was by far the highest scoring game on this list so far. Neither team was particularly pitching-focused, so naturally this was expected. Orioles managed to squeak by 17-15. Game 2 was more reasonable, as Monarchs' Ronald Hermann managed to stifle O's bats and lead Monarchs to a 7-3 victory. However, Game 3 returned to  slugfest city, as by the end of the 5th inning, O's led 9-7. And yet... the bats now went silent. Really, from after the 5th inning to the 9th inning, no runs were made. The bottom half of the 9th now saw Monarchs still trailing 9-7, and finally, 1B Fausto Soria led the inning off with a solo homer, and two batters later, RF Alberto Healy likewise homered, stunning the O's bullpen and knotting it up at 9. The O's put up no response in the 10th, and with two on and two out, that brought Soria up again.

"The payoff pitch from Randolph- line drive... into the gap it goes! Here comes Whittle! Valadez cuts it off, the throw home! Safe! Soria has done it! The Boston Monarchs are World Series Champions!"

Honorable Mentions:

Season 80: New Orleans Hot Rods sweeps Tulsa Tornados, 2-0

It was a sweep and Tornados felt completely overmatched in Game 1, but it deserved to be mentioned that Game 2 saw Hot Rods win with a walk-off.

Season 77:  Los Angeles Lions defeats Baltimore Orioles, 2-1

Lions was once considered one of the greatest FB teams to never win a World Championship, that is until this series. It was tightly contested, with no huge slugfests besides the slow rolling 9-8 Game 2. Game 3 saw Lions' pitching shut down O's to 3 runs for their first and only World Series

Season 70: Honolulu Bad News Bears beats Spokane Warriors, 2-1

This was perhaps the most shocking WS win out of everyone here. Before they became a Hall of Fame comment section, Bad News Bears was Columbus Average Joes Wife's team, that somehow knocked off the two-time defending champion Warriors, which at this point had always swept their opponents. A narrow 7-6 victory in Game 3 meant Honolulu denied the first three-peat in FB history.

Season 89: San Diego Giants beats Cincinnati Reds, 2-1

This was a hyped WS match just because of the strength of the two opponents, but when it comes down to match quality, it wasn't very exciting. Despite Games 2 and 3 being relatively close, whoever led after the 1st inning was the team that won the WS championship

Number 1 - Season 87: Chicago Ohawks beats Peoria Massacre, 2-1

Where do I begin? A true Illinois showdown, this was by far the youngest WS ever in this twenty year stretch. Ohawks had been founded 4 seasons prior, Massacre, 3 seasons prior. A combined 7 seasons between the two teams showcased the best of offensive showdowns there was to offer. Game 1 saw each team duke it out in a close game all the way, but resulted in Massacre winning 8-6. Game 2 was even more contested, with Massacre tying the game at 8 in the 8th, before Ohawks 1B Santiago Whitcomb hit an RBI single, which was enough for Ohawks' bullpen to close the door and win 9-8.

That brings us to the ultimate Game 3. The bats once again caused all six outfielders of both teams to call the warning track home: by the end of the 2nd inning, a combined 5 homers and 3 extra base hits made the game 9-8 Massacre. The bats never let up, and by the mid 9th, Peoria still held onto a precarious 13-12 lead. In no time, Ohawks showed just how shoddy the lead was: CF Fidel Razo led off the 9th with a game-tying solo homer.  2B Emerson Washington ended up grounding out, but back to back singles from C Augustus Hyatt and DH Claudio Ruvalcaba. That brought up RF Reese Nelson.

"Here's the 3-1... hammered to right-center! Alfonzo going back, did he get it?! 'DID HE GET IT?!' SANTA MARIA! ITS OVER! REESE NELSON, WALK OFF HOMER! CHICAGO, LET THE PARTY BEGIN!"

Indeed, the party had just begun.

News Conversation
Nice article
10 months ago
Admins : 
nice article!
10 months ago
Great !!! memories
10 months ago
Marvols : 
Great job!
11 months ago
I miss WINNERS So much
11 months ago
Royals0 : 
I was 1 game away from playing the Hot Rods in Season 80. Lost to the Tornadoes like 17-14.
11 months ago
Well done
11 months ago
Definitely worth the read
11 months ago
Great article
11 months ago
Yeah Giants. Beautiful article Shima. I tried to sort of emulate his writing style in Wind Surge and Ohawks. I need work at it though.
11 months ago
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