Wednesday, September 22, 2010

1962: Angels drop Tribe in 4

8/1-8/2 - Dodger Stadium
GAME 1 - Angels 4, Indians 3
Walt_Bond Buck Rodgers doubled home George Thomas...Felix Torres tripled home Rodgers...and finally Dean Chance executed a perfect squeeze play to bring Torres home to give the Angels a 3-0 lead off of Indian starter Dick Donovan in the bottom of the 2nd.  The Tribe chipped away by scoring solo runs in the 5th and the 6th to make it a 3-2 game entering the 9th.  Dan Osinski came on in the top of the 9th to close it out for Chance, who pitched a great game.  Willie Kirland was the first batter Osinski faced and greeted him with a double off the left center wall.  Jerry Kindall struck out looking and Bubba Phillips grounded weakly to short and it looked like Osinski was going to work his way out of it.  Pinch hitter Walt Bond would be down to his last  strikeBilly_Moran when Osinski grooved a fastball that wound up one hopping over the wall for a grounds rule double and a tie game.  Bond, who seemed so healthy at the time would tragically pass away 5 years later after losing his battle to leukemia.  It was nice to see him have his moment in the sun here.  Unfortunately for the Tribe, Bond's clutch double was not the game winner.  The Angels would get that game winner the following inning when reliever Gary "Ding Dong" Bell self imploded.  After walking Earl Averill, Bell uncorked two consecutive wild pitches before yielding a 1 out RBI single by Billy Moran.  The undeserved win goes to Osinski as Chance wound up with a no decision.

GAME 2 - Indians 3, Angels 2
Bubba_Phillips Playboy Bo Belinsky went 7 innings and gave up just 2 hits.  Belinsky ran out of gas or ran out on a night on the town, one can only speculate...Either way Tom Morgan came on to close it out and had a great 8th inning.  The 9th inning would not be so kind as Bubba Phillips crushed a 3 run homer to give the Tribe a 3-2 lead.  Frank Funk would pitch a clean 9th inning to notch the win an tie the series.


8/4-8/5 - Municipal Stadium
GAME 3 - Angels 2, Indians 1
Leon Wagner led off the top of the second with a long homer to right center.  Five battersArt_Fowler later Angel starter Don Lee lined a single to right to score George Thomas, who doubled after Wagner's homer.  Lee was on his "A" game posted goose eggs in all but one of the 7 innings he toiled.  The lone blemish on his record for the day was a 2 out solo shot by Willie Kirkland in the bottom of the 5th.  The top of the 8th saw Art Fowler replace Lee.  After watching the pen melt down the 2 previous days the Angels went to Fowler in hopes that he could be the closer they so desperately needed.  Fowler responded with a perfect 8th inning and a shaky 9th, which he thankfully was able to survive.  With Johnny Romano on 1st with a lead off single Kirkland hit a shot that died on the warning track safely in Earl Averill's Rawlings glove.  In most ballpark's that shot would have been in the 1st row of the bleachers, but not the cavernous "Mistake by the Lake".  Fowler followed that by jamming Jerry Kindall to get a slow roller to short for an easy force to end it.

GAME 4 - Angels 4, Indians 1
Steve_Bilko Jim "Mudcat" Grant had the unenviable task of protecting a 1 run lead for 6 innings.  His opponent Ken McBride would have begged to be in Grant's shoes as he was on the short side of the ledger thanks to an unearned run scored in the bottom of the 4th thanks to a passed ball that was charged to Buck Rodgers.  In most cases 1 run leads are like Herman's Hermits singles, they just do not stand the test of time.  This one run lead was no different.  The Halos scored 2 runs in the 7th with consecutive RBI singles by Albie Pearson and Billy Moran.  In the 9th they added 2 more runs on a two out triple by Steve Bilko, which cleared out all the remaining fans in the "Mistake".  McBride, who was pinch hit for by rookie Jim Fregosi (who singled), got the much deserved win thanks to the 2 runs scored during that inning.  Art Fowler for the second day in a row closed out the game and looks to be the Angels preferred choice to close.

1962: Dodgers sweep Phightin’s in high scoring series

8/1-8/2 - Dodger Stadium
GAME 1 - Dodgers 10, Phillies 7
Maury_Wills After having his first really successful season Sandy Koufax embarked on 1962 looking to take the next step in his natural ascension to greatness.  This game would not be a positive step for the hard throwing Brooklyn native.  Koufax did garner the win, but the 6 runs that he gave up in 5 innings worth of work would be nothing to write home about.  His opposing number Jack Hamilton wouldn't even last 5 innings as he gave up 8 (6 earned).  This would be a day for the lumber and not the arms.  With the game tied a 3 after just 2 innings LA exploded for 5 runs in the bottom of the 3rd.  Philly answered back with 2 in the 4th and 1 in the 5th before the relief pitching settled things down.  Dallas Green went 3 1/3 and gave up 2, while Stan Williams gave up only 1 in 4 innings.  Williams' performance on most days would get him the game ball, but when the offense posts 10 runs on 16 hits you have to give it to one of the regulars.  Maury Wills, who went 3 for 5 with 2 runs scored, an RBI and a stolen base takes top billing today.  Tommy Davis also had a 3 for 5 day, but he electric Wills got the nod.  Interestingly the lone homer hit today was by Philly's banjo hitting shortstop Bobby Wine.

GAME 2 - Dodgers 7, Phillies 2
The Phightin's carried a 2-1 lead into the bottom of the 4th when the Dodgers got theirDon_Drysdale mojo going.  Consecutive RBI singles by Ron Fairly and Larry Burright were followed by a long sac fly by Don Drysdale.  "Big D" settled down after giving up solo runs in the first to frames to shut the Phils out the rest of the way.  Once Drysdale found his goove he was unbeatable as evidenced by the 11 k's that he posted.  Philly slugger Johnny Callison was a 3 time victim of Drysdale.  Philly starter Art Mahaffey went the distance and gave up 7.  He remained in the game to rest the pen and take one for the team.  John Roseboro was the only Dodger regular without a hit.

8/4 - Connie Mack Stadium
GAME 3 - Dodgers 9, Phillies 6

Tommy_Davis Dennis Bennett was locked and loaded as he was protecting a 2-1 lead when all heck broke lose in the top of the 8th.  LA unleashed an offensive barrage that blew the doors right off the Philly barn.  12 batters in all went to the plate and 8 runners crossed it as Bennett lost everything in one foul inning.  Wills, as usual, started it all off with a single and a stolen base, which rattled Bennett enough to walk Junior Gilliam.  Tommy Davis singled home Wills and things just took off from there.  Wills wasn't done just yet.  His second at bat of the inning was a 2 run double.  Gilliam finished the scoring off with an RBI single to score Wills.  Johnny Podres, who started the game for LA, left after 6 2/3 innings on the short side down 2-1.  Ron Perranoski, who threw just 5 pitches got the final out of the inning and also set himself up nicely to gain the win after LA's offensive 8th.  Ed Roebuck pitched a clean bottom of the 8th, but faltered in the 9th and served up 4 runs to the Phills who were not about to go down without a fight.  Larry Sherry came on in relief to get the final 3 outs and gain the save and clinch the Dodgers sweep.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

1962: Pirates take 3 of 4 from Braves

8/1-8/2 - Forbes Field
GAME 1 - Pirates 4, Braves 1

Bob_Friend The ancient warrior, Warren Spahn, put forth one of those "New Millenium" Quality Starts by going 6 and giving up 3.  Unfortunately in Spahn's era a quality start culminated in a handshake with the catcher.  That award would go to Bob Friend, who went the distance scattering 7 hits and giving up just 1 run way back in the top of the 2nd when Del Crandall singled home Gus Bell.  The Bucs would answer right back with 2 of their own in the bottom of the inning when Friend got into the action with a 2 out / 2 run single after Spahn gave Don Hoak an intentional pass.  Al Skinner would double home Roberto Clemente in the 3rd to make it 3-1 and in the 7th they added an insurance run on a Dick Groat ground out.

GAME 2 - Pirates 5, Braves 0Roy_Face
The Bucs jumped out to a quick 3-0 lead thanks to a 2 run shot by Roberto Clemente off  of Bob Shaw, who just couldn't settle down.  Pittsburgh followed Clemente's homer up with 3 consecutive singles with the 3rd (by Smoky Burgess) scoring Al Skinner.  Fans at home could turn off their TV sets at this point since Buc starter Earl Francis was in the zone.  Francis finally ran out of gas with 2 outs in the 8th and relief specialist Elroy Face closed out the shared shutout.

8/4-8/5 - County Stadium
GAME 3 - Braves 5, Pirates 4 (10 inn)

Roy_McMillan Milwaukee was at the brink of elimination down 4-3 and heading to the bottom of the 9th.  Al McBean had thrown a very nice game and gave way to Face, who looked to close out the game and the series in the 9th.  A one out triple to an unlikely candidate, Joe Adcock, threatened the lead.  A clean single to center by Frank Bolling tied it up one batter later.  All glove / No bat shortstop Roy McMillan stunned the hometown crown with a lead off homer in the bottom of the 10th to win it.  Cecil Butler, who gave up 1 run in 3 innings of work, earned the win.

GAME 4 - Pirates 3, Braves 1
Game one winner Bob Friend and 1957 World Series MVP Lew Burdette hooked up in aRoberto_Clemente scoreless classic until the top of the 6th when the Bucs came up with two consecutive 2 out singles to score 2 runs.  The great Roberto Clemente singled home Dick Groat, then took second on an errant throw to the plate.  That cost the Braves, because Al Skinner lined a bullet to right to score Clemente.  A solo shot by Joe Adcock to lead off the 7th would cut Pittsburgh's lead to 2-1.  The Bucs would go back up by 2 in the 8th when Clemente once again came up with a clutch two out single to score Groat, who had doubled just like he did in the 6th.  Al Skinner hit one to the base of the wall that Aaron made a leaping catch on, otherwise the Braves would have been down by 4.  Friend made quick work of the Braves in the 8th and 9th innings to close out the game with a very economical 99 pitches.  The Bucs take the series 3 games to 1.

Monday, September 20, 2010

1962: Giants eliminate Cubbies in 4

Ed_Bailey Andre_Rodgers Willie_Mays Billy_Pierce

Ed Bailey

Andre Rodgers

Willie Mays

Billy Pierce

8/1-8/2 - Candlestick Park
GAME 1 - Giants 8, Cubs 4
Lou Brock remained hot in this tournament with a 2 for 5 day, which raised his average to .667, but that would not be enough to carry the day for Chicago.  Don Cardwell spotted the Jints a 3 run lead that was going to be hard to overcome.  The Cubs tied the game with 2 runs in the top of the 7th only to see the Jints explode for 4 in the bottom half of the frame.  Don "Mr. Perfect" Larsen got the win in relief of Jack Sanford, even though he was responsible for giving up the 2 runs that allowed the game to become tied.  Ed Bailey's 2 run shot in the 7th put the game out of reach..  Felipe Alou and Orlando Cepeda also homered.

GAME 2 - Cubs 7, Giants 5
Bob Buhl did not have his best stuff, but he found himself fortunate that Bill O'Dell had nothing.  Buhl gave up 5 run in the first 6 innings of work, but found enough guts and guile to shut the Jints out the rest of the way.  Down by 2 the Cubs posted 4 runs in the 8th to swing a 2 run deficit into a 2 run advantage.  A two run triple by Andre Rodgers scored Ron Santo and George Altman.  Santo knocked in the first run of the inning with an RBI single to score Billy Williams.  Dick Bertell singled home Rodgers with 2 out for an insurance run.

8/4-8/5 - Wrigley Field
GAME 3 - Giants 6, Cubs 2

Dick Ellsworth was no match for the high octane Giant offense as evidenced by the 5 runs he gave up in 5 innings of work.  Willie Mays went 3 for 4 with 5 RBI's on 2 homers off of Elswowth.  Orlando Cepeda chipped in with a solo shot off of reliever Barney Schultz in the 8th.  Juan Marichal went the distance allowing only 2 runs (1 earned) to put the Giants up 2-1 in the series.

GAME 4 - Giants 2, Cubs 1
Billy Pierce and Cal Koonce had the fans on the edge of their seats all game.  "Mr. Cub", Ernie Banks started off the scoring with a solo shot with 2 outs in the first.  At the time nobody could have expected that Banks' homer would be Chicago's only run of the game.  Pierce was just that good.  Pierce tied the game up with a RBI single that scored Chuck Hiller in the 3rd.  It remained knotted at 1 until the top of the 8th when Tom Haller hit a solo shot off of Koonce to put the Jints up 2-1, which is how the game would end.

1962: Twins eliminate O’s in 4

Charlie_Lau Lenny_Green Rich_Rollins Vic_Power

Charlie Lau

Lenny Green

Rich Rollins

Vic Power

8/1-8/2 - Metropolitan Stadium
GAME 1 - Orioles 9, Twins 4
Veteran Robin Roberts used all of his guile to survive those huge bats in the Twin lineup.  3 runs over 7 innings allowed the future HOF'er to leave with a 6-3 lead.  A 3 run outburst by the O's in the 8th put it out of reach.  Charlie Lau had a huge 3 for 4 day and immediately made plans to teach others how to hit.  Brooks Robinson went 3 for 5 and knocked in 2 runs like Lau.  Lenny Green went 4 for 5 for the Twins in a losing effort.

GAME 2 - Twins 13, Orioles 1
Jim Kaat allowed just 2 hits in this complete game effort that was close until the Twins scored 9 unanswered runs in the bottom of the 8th.  Lenny Green continued his hot hitting by going 2 for 3 with 2 RBI's and a homer.  Chuck Estrada took took the loss for the O's.

8/4-8/5 - Memorial Stadium
GAME 3 - Twins 4, Orioles 2

A 1-1 pitcher's duel between Camilo Pascual and Steve Barber turned in favor of the Twins in the top of the 7th.  Rich Rollins doubled home Bob Allison and Zoilo Versalles drove in Rollins with a neatly timed sac fly.  Both teams exchanged solo runs in the 8th and neither scored in the 9th as the Twins took a 2-1 series lead.

GAME 4 - Twins 5, Orioles 4
Milt Pappas struggled through 6 innings of work.  After serving up a 3 run lead to the Twins he got bailed out by his offense that scored 4 runs in the 6th off of Bonikowski.  Dick Hall was brought on to protect the O's 1 run lead, but he faltered in the 7th.  After pinch hitter Tony Oliva led off with a doubled Vic Power hit a 2 run shot 2 batters later to take back the lead for the Twins.  Frank Sullivan did a brilliant job in relief allowing just 1 hit in 2 1/3 innings of work.  Dick Stigman and Ray Moore got the final 2 outs to clinch the series.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Red Sox Upset Yankees In Wild Series!!!

Yankees Leading, Had Red Sox Down To Final Strike, Yet Lose!

Lou_Clinton The 1962 Boston Red Sox pulled off an improbable series victory, upending the powerhouse Yankees in five games.

Game one saw starters Bill Monbouquette of Boston and Ralph Terry of New York dominate. The game was scoreless after 8 innings, with neither team having any significant scoring opportunity.

All the scoring occurred in the ninth, when the Red Sox loaded the bases, and got a sacrifice fly off the bat of Frank Malzone, and an out later, a three run homer by Lou Clinton.

That homer was key, as the Yankees came back with 2 in the last half, on a Mantle single and home run by Moose Skowron.

The Yankees shook off that tough opening loss however, and took the next two gamesElston_Howard putting themselves in line to finish off the Sox. Game 2 was a wild affair in which the Red Sox out-hit the Bombers by an incredible 17-7 margin, yet lost by four runs. The Yankees got a hit most every time they had a runner on, leaving only one runner stranded all game. Elston Howard hit a grand slam and drove in 6 runs on the day. Whitey Ford was erratic, but got credit for the win in an 11-7 final.

Bill_Stafford Game three saw Bill Stafford cool down the Boston bats and then some, tossing a one-hot shutout. The Yankees scored only three themselves, despite 11 hits. One of the runs scored on an error, as the men from the Bronx left 8 runners stranded, a foreshadowing of their undoing later in the series.

With their backs to the wall, the Red Sox sent tall, lanky Don Schwall to the hill in game four, while the Pinstripers countered with young Jim Bouton. Neither starter was involved in the decision as the clubs battled each other all game long, with Boston staving off elimination by earning a 6-4 victory. Carl Yastrzemski had three hits for the Red Sox, and Clete Boyer broke out of an 0 for 10 series with two home runs over the Green Monster. In a bit of an unusual twist for these two clubs, four triples were hit in the game.

With everything on the line in game five, the series shifted back to the Stadium and theCarl_Yastrzemski two game one starters were sent back to the hill. And just like in game one, the Monbouquette and Terry were dominant. The Yankees actually had several chances at taking control of this one, but two Boston double plays kept them off the board and the game was scoreless through six.

Elston Howard opened the bottom of the seventh with a home run giving the Yankees a late lead. They then loaded the bases on a single by Roger Maris, and after a strikeout of Bill Skowron, a double by Tom Tresh. Clete Boyer was then intentionally passed bring Terry up with the bases loaded and only one out. It was a golden opportunity to break the game wide open.

Ralph_Terry Manager Bike Mike decided to stick with Ralph Terry, who had been so dominant in both games, and let him bat despite the chance to possibly put the game away right here. It was quite possibly the move that cost the series as Terry hit into the third Yankee double play of the game, ending the threat.

But the Bombers had the lead and needed only six outs to win it, with a hot pitcher on the mound. Terry gave up a lead off single to Chuck Schilling in the 8th, then two ground outs got him to third. But he bore down and got Gary Gieger on a fly to Mantle in shallow center to maintain the slim 1-0 lead.

The Yankees did not do anything in the eighth, and Terry started the ninth by walking  Pete Runnels. But a fly out off the bat of Yastrzemski and a strike out of Clinton brought it down to one man to get, shortstop Eddie Bressoud. Terry had Bressoud down to a 2-2 count, when he left a fast ball out over the plate two much and Bressoud shocked the home crowd with a double in the gap between Mantle and Maris, Runnels coming all the way around to score the tying run. Marshall Bridges was summoned to relieve a tired Terry, and promptly gave Eddie_Bressoudup a ringing single to center to Frank Malzone which scored Bressoud with the lead run.

Just like that, the Red Sox, down to their last breath, had climbed all the way back and secured control of their destiny. Bridges struck out Schilling to end the nightmare.

The Yankees put two on in the ninth with two out, but pinch hitter Johnny Blanchard grounded out ended the series.

Manager Bike Mike was hounded by reporters following the game about his decision to let Terry hit in the seventh. The New York dailies roasted him for the move, with rumors flying that his future as a Yankee manager was in doubt.

--submitted by Bike Mike--

Friday, September 3, 2010

Cubbies sweep 1st year Colt 45’s in 2 straight.

7/28 - Colt Stadium
GAME 1 - Cubs 4, Colt 45's 1
Bob_Buhl Bob Buhl
turned back the hands of time and looked just like a young stallion pitching for the Braves in County Stadium during those great pennant years of the late 50's.  Buhl would go 8 solid innings allowing just 1 unearned run in the bottom of the 1st.  Don Elston would come on board for a perfect 9th inning to get credit for an unofficial stat called a save.  The real story however was the young man playing centerfield, who has been trying so hard to live up to all of the billing he's been getting.  That man is the speedy Lou Brock.  Brock would go 4 for 5 on the day, hit a double and steal a base.  The promise and raw talent that he shows is unbelievable, but can he make it in Chi-town ?

7/29 - Wrigley Field
GAME 2 - Cubs 8, Colt 45's 6
The series moved to the "friendly confines" of Wrigley Field and with that the offensiveHal_Smith fireworks were displayed.  Houston starter Bob Bruce spotted the Cubbies 4 runs in the bottom of the first.  In most ball parks that would be enough, but not here and not with the wind blowing out and not with the Cub staff throwing balloons.  Cal Koonce gave most of it back by the 6th when Houston erupted for 3 runs to make it 5-4.  The first year Colt 45 team had been impressive all year.  In fact they finished ahead of the established Cubbies in the NL standings, which ate at the Northsiders craw to say the least.  Catcher Hal Smith would homer to lead off that 6th and the rest would be your garden variety small ball.  Houston was missing slugger Roman Mejias who tore cartilage in his left knee in the opener.  The Cubbies would answer back when pinch hitter George Will homered off of Bruce to start the bottom of the 7th.  The 8th would see the Cubbies break it open when Dick Bertell singled home George Altman while pinch hitting for Bob Anderson, who relieved Koonce.  Lou Brock, who was a homer short of the cycle, struck again with an RBI single to score Andre Rodgers.  Close the door this game was  done...well kind of.  Don Elston came on to close it out in the 9th and after walking Carl Warwick he served up a two run shot to Hal Smith for his 2nd of the game.  That cut the lead to 8-6 and everyone in the house began to talk about Lou_Brockcurses and gloom and doom.  Norm Larker was up left and he sent Altman all the way back to the ivy in right center before his shot ran out of gas.  A collective sigh of relief could be heard all along Addison.  Johnny Weekly would walk on 4 pitches to once again give Cub fans more reason to bite their finger nails and chain smoke.  Up stepped Billy Goodman, who had 3 consecutive singles heading into this at bat.  Elston jammed him, but Goodman who handles a bat like a magician handles a wand lined one into shallow left.  1961 ROY Bill Goodman, known more for his lumber than his leather, came out of nowhere to make a smooth diving catch to save the day for the Cubbies.  Hands down Lou Brock was the star of the series going 8 for 10 with three doubles and a triple.

Bosox sweep A’s in 2

7/28 - Fenway Park
GAME 1 - Red Sox 9, A's 4
Carl_Yastrzemski A monstah' 5 run 4th inning chased KC starter Ed Rakow from the hill after he gave up 8 runs and never recorded an out in the 5th.  Bill Monbouquette gave up 4 runs, but 3 weren't his fault.  Second year man Carl Yastrzemski, I think we'll call him Yaz for short hit 2 homers and had 3 RBI's.  First baseman Pete Runnels went 3 for 5 and had 3 RBI's himself.  Manny Jimenez went 3 for 4 and had 3 RBI's thanks to a 3 run homer to supply most of the A's offense.



7/29 - Municipal Stadium
GAME 2 - Red Sox 9, A's 7 (10 inn)
Boston took this game so lightly they started SeptemberChuck_Schilling call up Wilbur Wood.  A one hour rain delay in the third inning made short work of young Wood.  That same delay and lack of talent made short work of KC's Bill Fischer who gave up 6 runs on 7 hits in 4 miserable innings of work.  Down 6-3 in the 6th the A's rallied to tie it.  Norm Siebern doubled home Bobby Del Greco for the first run of the inning.  George Alusik walked with the bases loaded to force home Gino Cimoli for run #2, then Haywood Sullivan singled home Siebern to tie it.  Boston scored a solo run in the 7th on a Frank Malzone sac fly to take the lead, so Dick Radatz came on board to close it down.  He was greeted immediately by a Jerry Lumpe solo shot to tie it.  Neither team would score in regulation, so the game headed to extra innings.  Young Diego Segui started the inning for the A's, but couldn't get an out before allowing the Sahx to score 2 runs.  A Chuck "no I'm not Curt" Schilling double was the damage-do-er.  Gary Geiger chipped in with a sac fly for insurance.  Hal Kolstad pitched two scoreless innings to get the win as the Bosox swept the A's in 2 straight.

Phightin’s sweep Amazin’s in 2

7/28 - Connie Mack Stadium
GAME 1 - Phillies 6, Mets 3

ArtMahaffey Art Mahaffey looked at this Mets lineup and must have thought to himself, "10 years ago it would have been a pennant contender".  Well Mr. Mahaffey some of them were on pennant winners and contenders, but most wouldn't even be in the majors if it weren't for expansion.  You see these Mets were not only bad, they turned out to be the worst team in the history of major league baseball.  The only thing that stopped them from losing 142 games were two rainouts.  For all their poor play the lovable Metsies captivated the heart and soul of National League starved baseball fans in New York.  Those fans who were abandoned by the beloved Brooklyn Dodgers and the well respected New York Giants had nothing to root for for 4 years.  The Mets were so popular, they even outdrew the World Champion Yankees at the box office, even though they played in the dilapidated Polo Grounds.  To start this game #1 Roger Craig was given the honors.  Craig, who was a big Brooklyn Dodger hero in the pennant drives of 1955 and 1956 was obviously a fan favorite for the Mets.  Heading into the 7th inning he had himself a 2-1 lead.  A man who won 10 and lost 24 during the regular  season usually doesn't have 2-1 leads and it showed.  As quick as you can say "Jack Robinson" that 2-1 lead turned into a 6-2 deficit.  A huge 5 run outburst by the Phils in the bottom of the 7th derailed Craig's Cinderella story, and toRogerCraig think it all happened with a man on and 2 out.  Roy Sievers singled to put runners on the corners and Ruben Amaro was given an intentional pass, to face the pitcher.  Well the pitcher, Mahaffey, was called back to the dugout and Frank Torre was given the pinch hit honors.  All Craig needed to do was get Torre and get out of the 7th with out any damage.  He would get neither result.  Torre singled up the middle to score Don Demeter and Sievers to make it 3-2 Phillies.  Up next was lead off man left fielder Ted Savage, who hit just 7 homers during the regular season.  All it took was one pitch to make that number 8.  Credit the 257 foot left field porch with the homer, but it was a homer just the same, a 3 run homer.  Stick a fork in the Metsies, because they were done.  As if anyone was shocked.

7/29 - Polo Grounds
GAME 2 - Phillies 12, Mets 3

The Polo Grounds was the perfect site for the Mets season to end.  This crumbling RodKanehl and bumbling ballclub had the perfect ball park to play in, as within 2 years it would crumble to the ground by the same wrecking ball that befell it's cousin Ebbets Field.  As the song says, "Meet the Mets, meet the Mets, step right up and beat (er..great) the Mets.  Bring your kiddies, bring your wife...guaranteed to have the time of their lives".  Obviously the song writer has a warped vision of what a "time of your life" is, unless it's watching your team get a 12-3 shellacking by a sub par opponent.  If that's what one call's the "time of your life" then these fans, 50,000+ strong, partied hearty.  Alvin Jackson started for the Amazin's and was charitably relieved of his duties after just 2 innings.  I say charitably, because only 1 of the 5 runs charged to Jackson was earned.  You see these Metsies don't just lack hitting and pitching, they also field as if they are wearing that gold painted glove that Rawlings gives out every  fall.  "Hot" Rod Kanehl, the poster boy for the "new breed" booted 2 balls of his own as he turned the second base position into his own little private shop of horrors.  TheHodgesCoin rest of the Met fielders have the range of a 17th century musket, while the offense fires just about as often.  Yes these Mets are dreadful, but the fans can't get enough of them.  Casey Stengel said it best, "Their Amazin', Amazin', Amazin'.  The fans did get on bright moment to revel in.  Brooklyn's most beloved player, Gil Hodges, barely on one leg hit a 2 run homer in the top of the 9th for the fans who love him dearly.  So what if this wasn't game 2 of the '55 series, it was 1955 in their hearts and minds.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

1962 Qualifier Round: O’s sweep Sens in pair of 4-2 victories

7/28 - Memorial Stadium
Orioles 4, Senators 2

Brooks_Robinson The O's were first to score when Brooks Robinson doubled home the re-incarnated Jerry Adair with two out in the bottom of the first off of Dave Stenhouse.  Washington would take the lead with 2 runs in the 5th off of Chuck Estrada thanks to a Bud Zipfel 2 run homer.  That lead wouldn't last long as Whitey Herzog bunted home Russ Snider on a perfectly executed safety squeeze with the bases loaded and 1 out.  The game remained tied until the bottom of the 7th.  Brooksie singled and moved to second on a balk by Bennie Daniels, who had replaced Stenhouse after Gene Woodling unsuccessfully pinch hit in the top of the inning.  Chuck Hinton booted Gil Brandt's grounder to put runners on 2nd and 3rd.  A walk to Herzog loaded the bases and a deep fly by future hitting guru, Charlie Lau, plated Robinson.  Brandt would score to make it 4-2 on a slow grounder to Hinton by Johnny Temple.  Hoyt Wilhelm came on to close it out for the O's but got booted from the game for contesting balls and strikes...mainly balls.  1960 hero Hal Brown would take his place to lock down the victory to put the O's up 1-0 in the Beltway Series.

7/29 - D.C. Stadium
Orioles 4, Senators 2

On September 12, 1962 Tom Cheney fanned 21 Orioles over the course of 16 innings forDick_Hall a 2-1 Senator victory.  Washington would need that type of performance from the hard throwing righty from Morgan, GA.  What they got instead was a sub par effort that lasted just 2 innings and was responsible for 4 Baltimore runs.  It is not know if Chenney's performance or the 2+ hour rain delay ended his day.  All we can surmise is that the Nats were in a deep hole down 4-1 after 2 innings.  To their credit relievers Steve Hamilton (3IP), Claude Osteen (2IP) and Pete Burnside (2IP) shut down the O's for the final 7 frames.  Dick Hall, who replaced O's starter Steve Barber in the 3rd, kept up the good work and allowed just 1 run on 5 hits over 6 innings of fantastic relief work.  Washington would threaten in the 6th only to have Don Lock thrown out at the plate by a perfect throw from Russ Snyder after playing Harry Bright's double off the right field wall perfectly.  An almost exact scenario would play out the following inning when Gil Brandt would nail catcher Ken Retzer at the plate as he attempted to tag up and score the second run of the inning.  Those 2 outfield assists were game savers.  Wilhelm would come on to pitch a perfect 9th to notch the save and ensure the series sweep.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Mantle Walk Off homer + White Ford shutout give Bombers games 6 and 7 to clinch 1961 World Championship

9/1-9/2 - Yankee Stadium
GAME 6 - Yankees 4, Reds 3

GeneFreese1961 Down 3 games to 2 New York was forced to put their hopes on the right shoulder of 4th starter Rollie Sheldon.  Cincy went with game 2 winner Ken Hunt.  With 2 outs in the bottom of the 2nd Hunt plunked Johnny Blanchard, which brought up Moose Skowron  New York's flat topped first baseman crushed a 2-2 offering and hooked it right inside the foul poll just over the 297 mark to make it 2-0.  Hunt would help his own cause by doubling Johnson over to 3rd, where he easily scored on a Vada Pinson ground out to second to make it 2-1 New York.  Elston Howard would hit a solo shot in the bottom of the 4th to make it 3-1 Yanks, but Gene Freese would go deep in the 6th to bring the Yankee lead back to 1.  Yogi Berra would pinch hit for Sheldon in the bottom of the 7th, so Luis Arroyo was called upon to get 6 outs, which would tie the series.  After striking out Gordy Coleman, Arroyo grooved one to Freese, who hit a Mantle-like blast over the monuments to tie the game at 3.  It was as if all of New York went quiet.  Almost 70,000 fans went silent.  You could drop a pin on the Babe's plaque and hear it echo, that's how quiet the  Stadium got.  Jim Brosnan was easily able to get the Yankees out in the 8th.  Bill Henry would start the 9th, but on his 3rd pitch his day would end abruptly and CharlesmantleWS Mickey Mantle hit one high into the upper deck to end the game in dramatic fashion.  The Mick could barely round third before coach Frank Crosettie jumped on his back and took a free ride all the way home.  The normally stoic Bronx Bombers mobbed Mickey at the plate.  The fans lavished the Commerce Comet with chants of "Mickey, Mantle" for 4 long minutes.  At this point one sensed the tide had turned in New York's favor and would not slip back to the Reds.

Game 7 - Yankees 5, Reds 0
WhiteyFord61 Less than 24 hours after celebrating The Mick's game winning homer his drinking buddy Whitey Ford was about to take the mound for all the marbles.  Game 7's are nothing new to the Bronx Bombers.  Having a cool cat like Ford on the mound for a game 7 is a decided advantage.  Whitey won 25 games and the Cy Young Award that season.  The Queens native is known for coming up big on the biggest stage.  His opponent Joey Jay was also a 20 game winner.  Jay had a renaissance year after coming over from the Milwaukee Braves where he just never got a chance to pitch.  Once he cracked Cincy's rotation he was the final piece to the puzzle, which put them over the top en route to the pennant.  New York would strike first by scoring 2 runs with 2 outs in the bottom of the 2nd.  Mantle would lead off with a double, but he looked to be stranded at 2nd after Howard and Berra flew out.  Up came Moose Skowron, who was going to have one of those great offensive days.  It started out with line shot double that rolled all the way to the wall in leftMooseSkowron61 center to easily score Mickey.  Clete Boyer would follow that with a line shot single that almost took off Jay's head.  That single would score the Moose and give Ford a 2-0 lead to protect.  This tense game 7 remained 2-0 Yanks until the bottom of the 6th when Mickey led off the inning with a home run off the Ballantine sign on the big scoreboard in right center.  Nobody hits those majestic tape measure shots like the Mick and nobody has ever hit more in the Fall Classic either.  With a 3-0 lead and as Yogi would say, "it was getting late real early over here", Ford looked like a safe bet to put the game away easy.  Not for a second can you think anything is going to be easy when both teams are fighting for a championship.  The top of the 7th looked to be one of those half innings where one pitch can decide it all.  After Frank Robinson and Gordy Coleman singled to put runners on 1st and second with no outs things got real tense.  Most average pitchers crack in these spots, but not the man they call "Slick".  Whitey Ford is that man.  He's got the face of the boy next door but the heart and guts of a riverboat gambler.  Ford was able to get Gene Freese to line out to Clete Boyer at third for the first out of the inning.  Boyer, to those who see him play every day, is viewed as Brooks Robinson's equal with the glove.  CleteBoyer61WS Most say he has the better arm.  Nobody has better timing for the big moment.  That big moment would come on a hot smash hit down the line by Andy Kasko.  Boyer sucked it up like a Hoover vacuum then had the presence of mind to step on third to force Robinson and throw to Skowron at first all in one motion to nail Kasko for the unconventional 5-3 DP to end the inning.  Cincy would once again threaten to score in the following inning (8th).  Gus Bell would double off the wall in right to lead off the inning.  Wally Post would fly to deep left, which allowed Bell to tag up and go to third.  Cincy figured to at least get one run to cut the deficit to 2.  This is where the ridiculous occurred.  Joey Jay was allowed to hit for himself and he lined a shot down the line at third that somehow hit Bell in fair territory to stop play with Bell being automatically out and Jay reaching 1st and getting credit with a single.  Cincy's manager vehemently argued with the plate up, but to no avail.  The play stood as cal and when Vada Pinson struck out looking to end the inning the Reds were now in need of 3 runs with 3 outs left to go.  That mountain would become even harder to climb when Skowron hit a 2 run shot with 2 outs to make it 5-0.  At this moment everyone in the house that Ruth built was thinking "Lock it Up", and they were correct in their thought process.  Ford would walk Ellio Chacon to open the 9th, but strike out Frank Robinson and then get the next two batters in order to clinch the 1961 World Championship for the New York Yankees.  Amazingly the Bronx Bombers rallied from a 3 games to 1 deficit to win this one.  Ford would author a "slick" 7 hit shutout to win it for New York.  Mantle would be voted the series MVP.  The Mick would go 11-26 (.423) and hit 4 homers with 8 RBI, including the walk off homer in game 6.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

1961 World Series Games 3-5: New York takes 2 of 3 to force game 6 in the Bronx

8/28-8/31 - Crosley Field
GAME 3 - Yankees 20, Reds 5

MickeyMantle1961 With their backs up against the wall being down 2-0 and hearing all the clamor about their so called offensive slump the '61 Yankees broke out and bombarded Joey Jay and his minion of replacements.  With the score tied at 1-1 heading into the 4th the Yanks went on a offensive tear, which made Ralph Terry's (8 IP / 3 ER) afternoon a breeze.  New York would hit 7 homers in total, which included 2 by Mickey Mantle, who had a drought of 2 games without a long ball.  It wouldn't be an M&M Boys day without Roger Maris going deep as well.  Mantle would knock in 4 runs on a day when his team would score 20 runs on 19 hits.  With the game terminally out of reach Cincy let Jay Hook mop up and take one for the team to the tune of 10 runs in 3 1/3 innings.

GAME 4 - Reds 5, Yankees 3
Once again Whitey Ford pitches just good enough to get a no decision.  For a while itJimBrosnan1961 looked like he was going to lose thanks to a 2 run 7th inning by Cincy.  Down 3-2 in the bottom of the 9th with Tony Kubek on second Mantle lined a clutch single to left off Jim O'Toole to tie the game.  Cincy could not score in the bottom of the inning, so the game headed to extra innings.  O'Toole would pitch into the 11th inning and depart without a decision.Howie Nunn would start the top of the 12th, but never record an out as New York looked to take the lead.  After walking Maris, Nunn gave up a double to Mantle to put runners on 2nd and 3rd with no out.  Jim Brosnan would be called upon to replace Nunn and do the impossible:  Get 3 outs and not let a run score.  Brosna would jam Howard, who flew out to shallow right...too shallow for Maris to tag up.  Skowron would be next, and he hit a bullet to left that Ellio Chacon charged and made a running catch.  Maris broke from third, but was nailed at the plate by a perfect throw to end the inning.  New York missed a golden opportunity to go ahead.  As it would turn it 1 run would not have made a difference.  Jim Coates, who had thrown 3 scoreless innings in relief of Ford was not going to get a 4th.  A lead off walk to Frank Robinson was followed by Gordy Coleman striking out looking.  Gene Freese, who was the offensive hero in game 1 turned on a 1-1 offering by Coates and hit it over the left field fence for the game winner.  Brosnan, who saved Howie Nunn's bacon by getting 3 outs with 2 men on was the deserved winner.

GAME 5 - Yankees 5, Reds 3
TonyKubek1961 Three New York homers and a clutch relief performance by Luis Arroyo did the trick as New York was able to stave off elimination and force a game 6 back in the Bronx.  Cincy's game #1 hero, Bob Purkey, reverted back to form and gave up 5 runs on 10 hits in 8 innings of work.  Bill Stafford allowed just 1 run over the first 7 innings, but tired badly in the 8th when Cincy scored 2 to cut the lead to 2.  Arroyo came on to face the lefty Gordy Coleman with 2 outs in the 8th and easily got him to pop out to Richardson at second.  That would happen after Stafford gave up a solo shot to pinch hitter Leo Cardenas and Frank Robinson launched a bomb to deep center that Mantle was able to outrun.  On the play Vada Pinson was able to score to make it 5-3.  New York got on the board with a home run from an unlikely source, Tony Kubek.  Solo shots by Elston Howard and Bill Skowron rounded out the power numbers.  Mantle and Maris would each have two garden variety singles as the supporting cast paced the offense and help extend the series to game 6.

1961 World Series Games 1 & 2: Reds pitching stifles Yankee bat to take 2-0 series lead

8/25-8/26 - Yankee Stadium
GAME 1 - Reds 2, Yankees 0

BobPurkey1961 Nothing says World Series more than seeing the House that Ruth build all draped in red, white and blue bunting.  Having Whitey Ford on the mound to start the series is usually the punctuation mark for victory.  Ford went 8 solid innings and allowed just 2 runs on 4 hits.  On most days this would be the recipe for victory, but today was the day that knuckleball specialist Bob Purkey would pick to confound and confuse the Yankee hitters.  The much feared New York lineup was only able to muster up 3 hits off of Purkey.  A leadoff single by Moose Skowron to start the bottom of the 3rd was New York's only hit until a two out double by Bobby Richardson in the 8th.  Mickey Mantle singled in the 9th and the game all came down to a Yogi Berra fly ball that died in Frank Robinson's glove on the warning track in right center.  Gene Freese's two run shot in the 3rd would be all the runs that Purkey would need.

GAME 2 - Reds 1, Yankees 0
Fans in New York are starting to wonder if the 4 days off between the ALCS and theLeoCardenas1961 World Series is responsible for cooling the red hot Yankee bats.  Quite possibly it could be the Red staff, which now has 18 consecutive shutout innings vs an offense that hit 240 regular season homers.  Ken Hunt took the hill for Cincy after not pitching at all in the NLCS.  If rust slowed down the Yankee offense it did noting but make Hunt that much more effective.  Cincy would take a 1-0 lead in the 3rd when rookie shortstop Leo “don’t call me Chico” Cardenas doubled home Jerry Zimmerman with 2 outs.  That would be the only run scored off of Yankee starter Bill Stafford all day.  If fact it was to be the only run scored in the game.  Stafford would only have himself to blame for the run as he booted Zimmerman's comebacker, which allowed Cincy's light hitting catcher to reach base.  Jim Brosnan and Bill Henry each threw a scoreless inning in relief of Hunt with Henry getting the save.  Hunt would fan 7 Bombers on the day including Mantle twice.

1961 ALCS: Bombers outmuscle Tigers in 5

8/15-8/16 - Yankee Stadium
GAME 1 - Tigers 4, Yankees 3
Frank_Lary_DET Frank Larry
went all 11 innings allowing just 3 earned runs (3 total) on 9 hits.  His opponent, White Ford, "petered out" after only going 8 1/3.  What a wimp !!!  Ford was replaced by Luis Arroyo who had things under control until the top of the 11th when his gold glove caliber third baseman (Clete Boyer) really let him down.  Steve Boros hit a ball into the hole that Boyer ranged to get.  Picking the ball up was the easy part of the play.  Throwing to first was the hard part, which was evidenced by the fact that Boyer bounced it in the dirt with so much spin that Skowron could not scoop it and Boros wound up on second.  Brown singled to put runners on the corners and Boros scored easily on a diving stab hit by Fernandez that Boyer saved from going into left.  New York would go quietly in the bottom of the 11th to ensure a 1-0 series lead for Detroit.

GAME 2 - Yankees 4, Tigers 3
Same score...different results, plus the game completed in regulation.  New York took aMickey_Mantle_64 3-1 lead into the 6th only to see starter Ralph Terry yield 2 runs to allow Detroit to tie it.  Rocky Colavito singled home Billy Bruton and Norm Cash scored on a ground out by Boros.  Yankee power would put the Bombers back on top for good thanks to a lead off homer by The Mick in the bottom of the inning.  That would be Mickey Mantle's 2nd homer of the game, which gives him a homer in each of the 1st two games of the series.  Hal Reniff took the Yankees to the doorstep of victory, but needed a little lefty help in the form of Arroyo, who got Billy Bruton to pop out to Elston Howard behind the plate to end the game.  Renif did a masterful job in the 8t by getting out of a bases loaded jam.  Three's were running wild for Mantle today:  3 for 3 with 3 RBI.

8/18-8/20 - Tiger Stadium
GAME 3 - Yankees 9, Tigers 2

Jim_Bunning_DET After splitting 2 one run games at "the Stadium" the Tigers headed home with a huge amount of confidence that the Bombers were beatable.  This confidence was backed up by the fact that their ace, Jim Bunning, would be toeing the rubber.  Right from the start you could see that Bunning was not going to have an easy day.  A 3 run homer by Roger Maris and a solo shot by Yogi Berra, all in the top of the first put the Tigers behind the 8 ball real early.  Detroit would battle back to get a solo run in the bottom of the 1st as well as the 3rd off of Yankee starter Bill Stafford, but they could not overcome the 4 run jumpstart that Bunning allowed New York's potent lineup.  On the day New York would hit 4 homers, including one by the Mick to give him a homer in every game of this series so far.

GAME 4 - Yankees 15, Tigers 3Roger_Maris_NYY
Staked to a huge 8-0 lead after 3 innings Rollie Sheldon cruised to victory.  Frank Larry  departed after giving up those 8 runs, but his replacements fared no better.  New York would hit 8 homers on the day, including 3 by Roger Maris (3 for 5, 5 RBI).  Mantle would hit another homer to keep his streak of 4 consecutive games with a homer alive.  The Mick would also chip in with 4 RBI's.  Tony Kubek would go 4 for 5 and set the table all day for the big bats.

GAME 5 - Yankees 1, Tigers 0
Whitey_Ford_64 Paul Foytack would be brilliant all day going 8 innings and allowing just one measly run.  Unfortunately for Foytack and the Tigers that run would be a solo homer by The Mick in the bottom of the first.  Even less fortunate for the Tigers was the fact that the "Chairman of the Board", Whitey Ford threw a tidy 6 hit shutout.  In this series the Bombers have shown that they are capable of winning with their bats in blowout type games and with their arms, as evidenced by Ford's performance.  Mantle would be voted the ALCS MVP for his offensive exploits.  Mickey's 1st inning salvo added to his streak of consecutive games with a homer, making it 5 in a row.  The Bombers will head home to the Bronx to host the Reds in the 1961 World Series and hope to take advantage 3 off days, and a tired Red team that had to go 7 to beat the Giants.