6. Livan Hernandez, Starting Pitcher, Florida Marlins
Livan Hernandez would go on to put together a very serviceable 17-year big league career, including two All-Star appearances, three seasons leading the league in innings pitched and a Silver Slugger Award in 2004. However, in 1997, Hernandez was just a rookie who ended up thriving on the October stage.
Already on a role by winning the NLCS MVP against the Atlanta Braves, Hernandez took the hill for the wild card Marlins in Games 1 and 5 of the World Series against the Cleveland Indians and compiled a 2-0 record, including a gutsy eight inning performance in Game 5.
Edgar Renteria’s (more on him later) late-inning heroics in Game 7 would make the Marlins the first wild card team to ever capture a World Series championship.