Originally written on Midwest Sports Fans  |  Last updated 11/14/14

As soon as the Boston Red Sox finished off the Detroit Tigers in the American League Championship Series, announcer Joe Buck was already hailing the St. Louis Cardinals/Red Sox World Series as a rematch of the 2004 battle between the same teams. That resulted in a sweep in favor of the Red Sox. Maybe, if Albert Pujols was part of the Cardinals, I could see some of the logic because David Ortiz is still around from that Sox team. But, with Ortiz the only player from either team who played regularly from that Series, it doesn’t seem appropriate to call it a true rematch (Yadier Molina only had three plate appearances in that World Series). But, Buck’s comment did get me thinking. There have been several recent championship rematches where there were significant players from both sides still playing. Here’s a look at them. The Atlanta Braves versus the New York Yankees in 1996, 1999 Derek Jeter, Bernie Williams, Andy Pettitte and Mariano Rivera were on the Yankees, while Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine and John Smoltz made up baseball’s best pitching rotation for the Braves. The Yankees won both. The Dallas Mavericks versus the Miami Heat in 2006, 2011  Dwyane Wade, Dirk Nowitzki and a role player or two saw each team come from behind to win a championship. The Boston Celtics versus the Los Angeles Lakers in 2008, 2010 The Celtics, led by Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen and Paul Pierce won the first matchup, while the Lakers took the second with Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol, Andrew Bynum, Lamar Odom and Derek Fisher leading the way. The Pittsburgh Steelers versus the Dallas Cowboys in 1976, 1979 Roger Staubach, Terry Bradshaw and a host of others, including Mean Joe Greene and Randy White participated in Super Bowl X and Super Bowl XIII. The Steelers won both games by four points. The New York Giants versus the New England Patriots in 2008, 2012 Tom Brady and Eli Manning went toe-to-toe in two classic Giant wins. For me and I think most sports fans, a real rematch is when teams face off in consecutive years. There haven’t been too many in recent years, but those championships seem to stand out because we all remember it happened in consecutive years. The Chicago Bulls versus the Utah Jazz in 1997, 1998 What I remember most was the Dennis Rodman, Karl Malone wrestling match getting up off the floor and oh-yeah, a few incredibly clutch buckets by Michael Jordan as the Bulls took both championships. The Dallas Cowboys versus the Buffalo Bills in 1993, 1994  The Cowboys thoroughly dominated as the “Triplets” of Troy Aikman, Michael Irvin and Emmitt Smith strutted their stuff with Jimmy Johnson as head coach. The Bills boasted three Hall of Famers of their own in Bruce Smith, Jim Kelly and Thurman Thomas. The Los Angeles Dodgers versus the New York Yankees in 1977, 1978 The Yankees won both Series with Reggie Jackson, Ron Guidry, Graig Nettles and Goose Gossage leading the way. The Dodgers great infield of Steve Garvey, Ron Cey, Davie Lopes and Bill Russell exacted revenge a few years later in 1981. The Los Angeles Lakers versus the Detroit Pistons in 1988, 1989  Magic Johnson’s crew (with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar) split with Isiah Thomas’ “Bad Boys” crew. The Philadelphia 76ers versus the Los Angeles Lakers in 1982, 1983 A split with Magic and Kareem (again on the list) against Julius Erving, Maurice Cheeks and their Philly gang. They faced off three out of four years in the Finals. The Boston Celtics versus the Los Angeles Lakers in 1984, 1985 A split with the classic Magic Johnson versus Larry Bird matchup carrying forth from their college days. They faced off three out of four years in the Finals. The Seattle Supersonics versus the Washington Bullets in 1978, 1979 Two teams no longer playing in the NBA with their nickname or with a franchise played in the years right before the league changed forever with Bird and Magic’s entrances. They were a pair of exciting series for the two cities as both had the chance to enjoy winning one. Going further back in time in the NBA and MLB, plenty more great rematches occurred. Howard Alperin is Managing Editor of AmericanizeSoccer.com The post 12 great championship rematches from American sports appeared first on Midwest Sports Fans.


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