NEW YORK -- The New York Yankees bolted from the dugout even before the last grounder was scooped up. After a nine-year wait for championship No. 27, no one would dare hold them back.
"It feels better than I remember it, man," captain Derek Jeter said. "It's been a long time."
Hideki Matsui tied a World Series record with six RBIs, Andy Pettitte won on short rest, and New York beat the Philadelphia Phillies 7-3 in Game 6 on Wednesday, finally seizing that elusive title -- the most in all of sports.
Paint the town in pinstripes! The Yankees are baseball's best again.
Matsui, the Series Most Valuable Player, powered a quick rout of old foe Pedro Martinez. And when Mariano Rivera got the final out, it was ecstasy in the Bronx for George Steinbrenner's go-for-broke bunch.
What a way for Alex Rodriguez and Co. to christen their $1.5 billion ballpark: One season, one World Series crown -- the team's first since winning three in a row from 1998 to 2000.
"The Yankees won; the world is right again," team president Randy Levine said.
The season certainly ended a lot better than it started -- with a steroids scandal involving A-Rod, followed by hip surgery that kept him out until May.
"My teammates, coaches and the organization stood by me, and now we stand here as world champions," said Rodriguez, who admitted using steroids from 2001 to 2003 while with Texas. "We're going to enjoy it, and we're going to party!"
For Chase Utley and the Phillies, it was a frustrating end to another scintillating season. Philadelphia fell two wins short of becoming the first National League team to repeat as World Series champion since the 1975-76 Cincinnati Reds.
Utley tied Reggie Jackson's record with five home runs in a Series. But Ryan Howard's sixth-inning shot came too late to wipe away his untimely slump that included 13 strikeouts, also a Series mark.
Meanwhile, Phillies pitchers rarely managed to slow Matsui and the Yankees' machine.
"I told them that I loved the way they played. We're fighters and never quit," Philadelphia manager Charlie Manuel said.
This title came eight years to the day that the Yankees lost Game 7 of the 2001 World Series in Arizona on Luis Gonzalez's broken-bat single off Rivera.
Steinbrenner spent billions trying to win another Series. At last, his team did.
Fittingly, it was dedicated to the 79-year-old owner, who has been in declining health and didn't make the trip from his home in Tampa, Fla.
Still, his presence was felt.
"Boss, this is for you," the giant video screen in center field flashed during postgame ceremonies while his son, Hal, the team's managing general partner, accepted the championship trophy.
For the Four Amigos, it was ring No. 5.
Jorge Posada, Jeter, Pettitte and Rivera came up together through the minors and were cornerstones for those four titles in five years starting in 1996.
Now, all on the other side of age 35, they have another success to celebrate.
"It's an honor for me to win a championship with those guys. They are Yankee legends," Mark Teixeira said.
Matsui, playing perhaps his final game with the Yankees, hit a two-run homer off Martinez in the second inning and a two-run single on an 0-2 pitch in the third.
Teixeira added an RBI single in the fifth off reliever Chad Durbin, and Matsui cracked a two-run double off the right-center fence against lefty J.A. Happ.
A designated hitter with balky knees, Matsui came off the bench in all three games at Philadelphia. Still, he had a huge Series, going 8-for-13 (.615) with three homers and eight RBIs.