#Shortstops: Grissom’s streak

Part of the SHORT STOPS series
Written by: Janey Murray

If you were to compile a list of the best World Series hitters of the 1990s, it would be nearly impossible to leave Marquis Grissom out of the conversation.

The outfielder played in three consecutive Fall Classics with the Atlanta Braves and the Cleveland Indians from 1995-1997. He proved to be up to the challenge of performing on the biggest stage, batting .390 combined over 19 games.

And until 1997, Grissom didn’t even know what it was like to go hitless in a World Series game. Beginning with his first Fall Classic appearance with the Braves in 1995, Grissom recorded a hit in every single World Series game he played in until Game 4 of the 1997 Series between the Indians and the Florida Marlins.

Coming off an ALCS MVP award in the Tribe’s pennant-clinching defeat of the Baltimore Orioles, Grissom started off strong in Game 1 of the Fall Classic, going 2-for-3 in a 7-4 Cleveland loss. But he had an even better showing the following night, going 3-for-4 as the Indians evened the series with a 6-1 victory.

“I'm just playing baseball, having fun,” Grissom told the Cleveland Plain-Dealer after the Game 2 win. “The game doesn't change just because it's the World Series."

Grissom’s streak stretched to 15 games when he went 2-for-3 in the Tribe’s 14-11 Game 3 loss to the Marlins.

The following night, his remarkable run came to an end when he went hitless in Cleveland’s 10-3 win at Jacobs Field. It marked the second longest World Series hitting streak in history, trailing only the Yankees’ Hank Bauer, who recorded a 17-game streak from 1956-1958.

"That's the way things work out sometimes," Grissom said after the streak was snapped. "I'd rather go out and win; that's the most important thing. ... If the wind had been blowing out, I might have hit one off the wall, or if I had a little more speed, I might have legged one out."

Despite the streak coming to an end, Grissom bounced back, recording hits in two of the three final games in the Fall Classic. The Tribe, meanwhile, fell short of a title, losing to the Marlins in seven games.

The bat Grissom used throughout the course of the 1997 World Series is now preserved in the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum’s collection.

Grissom remains one of the best World Series hitters of his era, having recorded hits in all but two of his 19 career World Series games.

"I'm not afraid to fail. That's the key. That's how you go up to the plate with confidence," Grissom said. "If you get to the World Series, why panic? You're there. Have fun."

Janey Murray was the 2019 public relations intern in the Hall of Fame’s Frank and Peggy Steele Internship Program for Youth Leadership Development

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Part of the SHORT STOPS series