2005: Jermaine Dye, World Series MVP
Fans on Chicago’s South Side had waited 46 years for a World Series to come to town and the Chicago White Sox made sure not to disappoint. And at the end of it all, it was right fielder Jermaine Dye who delivered the clutch hit, singling home Willie Harris, who had reached with a leadoff single while pinch-hitting for starting pitcher Freddy Garcia.
Garcia had fired seven shutout innings at the Houston Astros, but Brandon Backe had matched him before being lifted for a pinch-hitter in the bottom of the seventh. He was replaced Brad Lidge, the Astros’ closer who had bounced back from serving up a series-losing home run to Albert Pujols in the 2004 NCLS to earn an All-Star berth in 2005 while saving a career-high 42 games.
With two men out and the go-ahead run 90 feet away, Dye bounced a 1-1 pitch from Lidge back up the middle to score the only run in Chicago’s 1-0 victory that locked up a sweep and the team’s first World Series title in 88 years.
That capped a series during which Dye was 7-for-16 while reaching base 10 times in 19 plate appearances, slugging .688 with a double and a homer. Dye’s home run helped set the tone for the White Sox in the series, giving them an early 1-0 lead in Game 1 by taking Roger Clemens deep with two outs in the bottom of the first to cap a nine-pitch at-bat.
Dye had come to the White Sox the previous offseason after three-plus seasons with the Oakland Athletics and in 2005 hit .274/.333/.512 in 145 games, hitting 29 doubles and 31 homers to go with 86 RBI. Dye remained with Chicago through the 2009 season before his 14-year career finished. He hit 164 homers in five seasons, including a career-high 44 in 2006.