NEW YORK - Storied Yankee Stadium gave birth to a new legend Sunday night when 19-year-old Atlanta Braves rookie Andruw Jones became the youngest player in history to hit a home run in the World Series.
Mr. Jones belted two home runs and drove in five runs. The Braves, with another stellar pitching performance from John Smoltz, crushed New York 12-1 in Game 1 of the rain-delayed 92nd Fall Classic.
The Braves moved to within three victories of a second consecutive world championship. Beginning with Game 5 of the National League Championship Series against St. Louis last week, Atlanta has won its last four games by a combined score of 44-2.
Yankee Hall of Famer Mickey Mantle had held the record for youngest player to homer in the World Series, set in 1952 against the Brooklyn Dodgers when he was 20 years and 11 months old. Mr. Jones, who began this season at Class A Durham, is 19 years and six months old.
Mr. Jones stunned a wildly enthusiastic crowd in the second inning when he hit a two-run shot off left-hander Andy Pettitte to give the Braves a 2-0 lead. The 6-1, 185-pound native of Curacao then belted a three-run homer off right-hander Brian Boehringer one inning later to put Atlanta up 8-0. He singled and scored a third run in the sixth.
Mr. Smoltz won his fourth postseason game in four starts this year, holding the Yankees to one run and two hits through six innings. He had a no-hitter broken up with two out in the fifth when Wade Boggs doubled to the wall in center field to score Derek Jeter, who had walked.
Chipper Jones drove in three runs with a double and sacrifice fly, and Fred McGriff hit a solo home run in the fifth.
Legendary "Joltin' Joe" DiMaggio threw out the opening pitch in the first World Series game played on baseball's most hallowed grounds since 1981. The game was postponed 24 hours after a deluge that left much of the field flooded. City-owned helicopters were flown in Sunday to help dry the turf.
The Braves' four-time Cy Young winner Greg Maddux will face left-hander Jimmy Key in Game 2 tonight at 7 p.m. The series moves to Atlanta on Tuesday for Game 3, scheduled to start at 8:15 p.m.