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"I want to thank the good Lord for making me a Yankee".   Joe DiMaggio


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1999 world series

Game 4

Yanks - 4     Atlanta - 1

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BRONX, New York (Ticker) -- The year. The decade. The century.Take your pick. They all belong to the New York Yankees.  Roger Clemens put the finishing touches on a 25th World Series title, shutting down the Atlanta Braves until the eighth inning as the Yankees completed a four-game sweep with a 4-1 victory.
What was billed as a battle for mythical Team of the Decade status was no contest. The Yankees won their third World Series in four years and became the first repeat winners since the
Toronto Blue Jays in 1992-93.   New York has won 12 straight World Series games, tying the
record set by the Yankees in 1927, 1928 and 1932. The Yankees recorded the first back-to-back World Series sweeps since the same franchise did it in 1938-39.    "This club is so special," Yankees manager Joe Torre said. "To do this is even better this year because we validated what we did last year and didn't rest on our laurels."

'99WSSlides-Clemens-Weiss.jpg (14124 bytes)The 25 World Series titles dwarfs the nine won by the St. Louis Cardinals, who are second on the list, and are the most championships in professional sports history. The Montreal Canadiens have won 23 Stanley Cups in the National Hockey League.   No player was happier to be part of the Yankees' unparalleled success than the 37-year-old Clemens, who has won five Cy Young Awards and finally has a World Series title to his credit.   "I feel very blessed to be part of this team," Clemens said. "It was wonderful to play with them. Tonight I felt what it was like to be a Yankee, for sure."  Acquired from Toronto in a blockbuster trade in February, Clemens was given the rare opportunity to, in one night, erase a disappointing regular season (4.60 ERA) and a dismal performance against Boston, his former team, in his lone start in the
American League Championship Series. "I heard people talk about how I could be rattled and things
like that," Clemens said. "I don't get rattled. I put pressure on myself to rise to the occasion."
Clemens (1-0) did just that, allowing one run and four hits in 7 2/3 innings. He walked two and struck out four to outduel John Smoltz (0-1), the winningest pitcher in postseason history who
struck out 11 over seven innings.  Clemens, who climbed to the top of the dugout after the game and
exchanged handshakes with fans, remembered a moment earlier this season when the Yankees received their 1998 World Series rings.   "They came into the clubhouse, looked at me, and said, `We'll get you one,'" Clemens said.  The only serious Atlanta threat came in the eighth, when Walt Weiss reached on a one-out infield single, stepping on Clemens' leg as the pitcher covered first base.Gerald Williams singled to chase Clemens before Jeff Nelsonrelieved and allowed an RBI single to Bret Boone.  Closer Mariano Rivera relieved and retired Chipper Jones on agroundout to Luis Sojo, a defensive replacement at second base
who ranged far to his left to run down the ball. Several pitches earlier, Jones nearly had an extra base hit when his line drive landed inches off the foul line.  Rivera continued his dominance by retiring the side in order in the ninth, getting Keith Lockhart to fly out to Chad Curtis in left field for the final out.
Rivera had two saves and a win in the series to earn Most Valuable Player honors. He did not allow a run in 12 1/3 innings this postseason and 43 innings dating back to July.    "I couldn't have done it without my teammates. I'm just happyto win," Rivera said. "You don't think about it. It just
happens."  Clemens received all the support he needed in the third inning on run-scoring singles by Tino Martinez and Jorge Posada, who had two of the Yankees' eight hits.   The Yankees padded the lead in the eighth on a home run by pinch-hitter Jim Leyritz off Terry Mulholland. It was the eighth career postseason homer for Leyritz, whose three-run blast in Game Four of the 1996 World Series sparked the NewYork's six-game win over Atlanta.  Clemens allowed only two hits through seven innings, a one-out
single to Ryan Klesko in the second and a leadoff single to Lockhart in the fifth.
'99WS G4-Knobby.jpg (20413 bytes)Meanwhile, the Braves tied a record for World Series futility with their eighth straight defeat, done previously by the Philadelphia Phillies (1915, 1950) and the Yankees (1921-23).
"The Yankees are head and shoulders above," said Smoltz, who allowed six hits. "We don't deserve the blame, they deserve the credit." Despite eight straight Division titles, Atlanta will spend the
winter dwelling on another disappointing October. The Braves have made five trips to the World Series this decade and won just once. The ease in which they were dispatched will undoubtedly raise questions that the team has underachieved. "We scratched and clawed to get here," Smoltz said. "With what
our organization has done, maybe the next decade will be ours."  Atlanta is the first team to lose four World Series in the same decade since the New York Giants between 1911-17.  "Coming into the series, I would say no way to a sweep, but they played a perfect series and believe you me, they would have
swept any team the way they played these four games," Jones said.   The Yankees concluded this postseason with even greater easethan in 1998, when they won 114 times in the regular season. New
York was 11-1 this postseason after losing twice last year. New York received three dazzling efforts from their starters in the series, with Orlando Hernanez and David Cone each allowing just one hit in Games One and Two, respectively.  "We hear stories about how great the Atlanta pitchers were, but
we have some guys that can shut guys out," Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter said.
The Yankees broke through against Smoltz for three runs in the third. Chuck Knoblauch started with an infield single and went to third on a single by Jeter. Jeter stole second as O'Neill
struck out, prompting Smoltz to intentionally walk Bernie Williams to load the bases.    Jeter has hit safely in 17 straight postseason games, tying the record set by former Yankee Hank Bauer from 1956-58.
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