It has happened only eight times in the last 120 years - two teams tied for first place on the final day of the regular season square off in a winner-take-all playoff to determine a division or pennant winner. Before 1969, "up to three" games were played to determine the champion, but since then, only one game has been played between the top two teams.
This history of sudden death playoffs is supplemented by interviews with over 30 major leaguers who had the opportunity to play in some of baseball's most critical and exciting games. Covered are the sudden death games between the 1946 Brooklyn Dodgers and St. Louis Cardinals, the 1948 Boston Red Sox and Cleveland Indians, the 1951 Brooklyn Dodgers and New York Giants, the 1959 Los Angeles Dodgers and Milwaukee Braves, the 1962 Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants, the 1978 Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees, the 1980 Los Angeles Dodgers and Houston Astros, and the 1995 Seattle Mariners and California Angels. A box score is provided for every game.