The Braves' 1992 season was all but over. Atlanta was down by two runs in the bottom of the ninth in Game 7 of the NLCS and Pittsburgh starter Doug Drabek had been virtually unhittable the entire game. It looked as though the Pirates would finally break through and reach the World Series after losing in the NLCS the previous two seasons.
However, the Braves fought back and Sid Bream became an Atlanta hero. Bream scored the winning run by barely beating a throw by left fielder Barry Bonds with two outs to give the Braves a 3-2 win on Oct. 14, 1992, in a play now known affectionately by Braves fans as "the slide." Every day from now to Spring Training, MLB.com/Live will air a classic game on Baseball's Best. Bream's play at the plate and the Braves' dramatic win can be seen on Tuesday at 10 a.m. ET. What made the game-winning play even more impressive was the fact that Bream was hobbled by bad knees and was known as one of the slower runners in baseball. And the throw home came from Bonds, who was the 1992 NL MVP and also won the Gold Glove that season. But somehow, Bream managed to slide under the tag of Pirates catcher Mike LaValliere and the Braves were World Series bound for a second straight year. Bream immediately became a hero while pinch-hitter Francisco Cabrera, who had the game-winning hit, never quite got the same attention. Maybe it's because the little-used Cabrera had batted just 10 times during the season, but his hit proved to be just as important. His line drive to left field with the bases loaded and two outs scored not just Bream, but David Justice, too, as the Braves were down 2-1 before Cabrera's heroics. Entering the ninth, Pirates manager Jim Leyland decided to leave Drabek in the game in a situation that turned out costly for Pittsburgh. Drabek allowed a double to Terry Pendleton to open the frame before Justice reached base via a fielding error by the usually sure-handed second baseman Jose Lind. Drabek then walked Bream to load the bases before being relieved by Stan Belinda. Ron Gant got the Braves on the board with a sacrifice fly before Damon Berryhill walked to load the bases again. Brian Hunter then popped out and the Braves were down to their last out. Cabrera was sent in as a pinch-hitter for Jeff Reardon and he sent a 2-1 pitch into left field to set the stage for Bonds' left arm vs. Bream's hobbled knees. Bream won the battle and the rest is history for both clubs. The Pirates haven't had a winning record since, and the Braves won the division title each of the next 12 seasons, including a World Series title in 1995.
Rhett Bollinger is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.