Starting Nine: Clanging into History

Written by: Craig Muder

The Hall of Fame's Starting Nine includes must-see artifacts from every big league team. Check out the Nationals Starting Nine online.

Will Harris came set to the belt for his 0-and-1 offering to Washington’s Howie Kendrick, and Astros catcher Robinson Chirinos hopped to his right to give Harris a target away from the right-handed swinging designated hitter.

The pitch may have caught a bit too much of the plate for Harris’ liking, but still was low and somewhat outside. Kendrick, however, kept his head on the ball and took the pitch to the opposite field.

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Astros right fielder George Springer gave chase, seemingly thinking the ball would either hit the base of the wall or drift foul. But Kendrick’s shot was hit to the perfect spot for those rooting for the Nationals.

“Kendrick into the opposite corner,” said play-by-play announcer Matt Vasgersian on ESPN International. “That one well hit… Springer looks up… And it’s gone! Howie Kendrick has delivered the Nationals a one-run lead!”

Before that pitch, the Nationals trailed Houston 2-1 in the top of the seventh of Game 7 of the 2019 World Series, with Juan Soto on first base and one out.

But seconds later, the ball hit by Kendrick rattled off the right field foul screen at Minute Maid Park.

As Kendrick rounded the bases, the Nationals’ dugout roared in celebration. And a World Series legend was born.

The Nationals added two more runs in the final two innings and won Game 7 by a score of 6-2, bringing the franchise’s first World Series title home to the District of Columbia.

The ball, which now features a smudge of yellow paint from its meeting with the foul screen, is on display in the Autumn Glory exhibit at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.

Craig Muder is the director of communications at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum

Starting Nine

The Hall of Fame's Starting Nine is a lineup of must-see artifacts from our vast collection containing tens of thousands of pieces that preserve the magical moments and memorable stories of our National Pastime. Our curators have spent countless hours hand-picking special objects from every major league team to create a lineup of pieces you simply won’t believe we have!