Atlanta capture World Series

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The Independent Online

The Atlanta Braves, runners-up in 1991 and 1992, ended five years of frustration on Saturday night in Atlanta when they beat the Cleveland Indians 1-0 to win the World Series.

Tom Glavine's pitching was a key factor in the success as he allowed only one hit in eight innings, while David Justice's home run finally brought Atlanta its first major sports title.

"This has been a long time coming," Glavine said. "This organisation and this group of guys has worked so hard to get here and we've come up short."

Glavine and Mark Wohlers combined on the fifth one-hitter in Series history and the first since Jim Lonborg for Boston in 1967, allowing only a soft single by Tony Pena starting the sixth inning. Glavine used his change-ups and breaking balls to fool the best hitting team in the game, and was voted Most Valuable Player of the series.

Fittingly, it was Glavine who ended the elusive quest. He has been with the Braves longer than any player on their post-season roster, beginning his career in 1987 at the start of a four-year span in which Atlanta was the worst team in baseball, averaging 98 defeats each season.

For the Indians, who dominated the majors with 100 wins in a strike- shortened season, the loss finished a Series in which they could never really compete with Atlanta's awesome pitching staff. Cleveland seemed to have figured out Greg Maddux in winning the fifth game at Jacobs Field, but did not work out how to hit Glavine's off-speed stuff.

The Indians are now without a World Series title since 1948, when they beat the Boston Braves. Cleveland's last Series appearance was in 1954, when they were swept aside by the New York Giants.

"I told them they played well and they're champions," Mike Hargrove, the Cleveland manager, said. "We played hard and they should feel good about that.

"We pitched well enough to win. It just didn't work for us. We've got to get ready to dedicate ourselves to do it again."

WORLD SERIES: Atlanta Braves beat Cleveland Indians 1-0 (Atlanta win best-of-seven series 4-2).