The Raptors are just one game away from winning their first NBA Championship. Toronto currently leads the 2-time defending champion Golden State Warriors 3-1 heading into Game 5 at Scotiabank Arena (9 p.m. EST, ABC).
If they can get past the return of Kevin Durant and a dynasty desperately holding onto its grip over the rest of the league, the Raptors will provide Canada with its first professional sports championship since 1993 (between the NFL, NBA, MLB and NHL).
That year possibly was the most prolific year in the history of Canadian sports. The Montreal Canadiens took home their 24th Stanley Cup overall, while the Toronto Blue Jays won their second straight World Series title.
Here’s a look at those two seasons.
Toronto Blue Jays 1993 World Series Title
After taking out the Atlanta Braves in six games in the 1992 Fall Classic, the Blue Jays rolled to a first-place finish in the AL East with a 95-67 record. This was during the days that only two teams made the playoffs in both the American and National Leagues.
They faced off against Frank Thomas and the Chicago White Sox in the American League Championship Series. Paul Molitor scored the decisive run to take the lead in Game 6 and belted a 2-run triple to secure a series-clinching 6-3 victory.
This led to a matchup with the National League champion Philadelphia Phillies. The teams split the first two games in Toronto’s Sky Dome, while the Blue Jays racked up 25 runs in the next two contests in Philadelphia. In Game 4, they fought back from a 14-9 deficit in the 8th inning, scoring six runs on hits from Paul Molitor, Tony Fernández, Rickey Henderson, and Devon White. Three new World Series records included the longest game at four hours fourteen minutes (4:14), most runs by both clubs with twenty-nine (29), and runs scored by a losing team with fourteen (14).
The series eventually headed back to Toronto by Game 6 with the Blue Jays leading 3-2. In one of the more memorable plays in World Series history, Joe Carter cracked a 3-run homer in the ninth inning for a walkoff, come from behind 8-6 victory.
1993 Montreal Canadiens Stanley Cup Title
Surprisingly, it’s been 26 years since a Canadian team last won an NHL title. It’s fitting that the New York Yankees of hockey were the last team to do it.
Montreal earned a No. 4 seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs after a 48-30-6 record. This led to a first-round matchup with the old Quebec Nordiques (future Colorado Avalanche). After falling behind 0-2, the Habs stormed back to win four straight to advance. The win streak extended into the next two series, as they swept the Buffalo Sabres to clinch a spot in the conference finals versus the New York Islanders.
That series ended in just five games, leading to a Stanley Cup Finals matchup with Wayne Gretzky and the Los Angeles Kings. The Great One and Luc Robittaile dominated in Game One to put Montreal down a game early.
Éric Desjardins and John LeClair (twice) scored game-winning goals in overtime for the next three wins. Goalie Patrick Roy locked down the net in the final game for a 4-1 triumph, leading to his second Conn Smythe Trophy.
Five Canadian teams have made the Finals since then. The Vancouver Canucks came closest with a 4-3 series loss to the Boston Bruins in 2011.