Since we have a bit of a breather before the big games begin, let’s take a look back at one of the great events in baseball history – 49 Years ago yesterday. Maybe we can find ourselves a YH out of this ; )
There was Bobby Richardson, Roger Maris, Mickey Mantle, Tony Kubek, Yogi Berra, Dick Groat, Don Hoak, Bill Mazeroski and Roberto Clemente.
In 1960 the Yankees had won their 10th pennant in 12 years; only the Cleveland Indians in 1954 and the White Sox in ’59 had managed to break New York’s streak of consecutive AL championships.
The Pirates, meanwhile, were appearing in their first World Series since 1927.
Through the first 6 games of the Series, the Bronx Bombers had outscored the Bucs by a combined 48-17 score and completely shut them out in 2 of the 6. The Yankees were a machine.
Somehow Clemente and the Pirates were able to scrap their way to 3 wins.
As is typical of most classic battles, Game 7 really didn’t have the spark of an all time great game.. until the 6th inning. The Bucs had jumped out to a 2-0 lead when their 1st Baseman, Rocky Nelson hit a 2 out 2 run HR in the First Inning!
The powerful Yankees lineup was shutdown in order for the first 2 innings.
It looked like the Bucs were going to blow the game open in the 2nd when they loaded the bases with nobody out before the Yankees pulled off a Home to First double play. With runners at 2nd and 3rd and 2 outs… maybe the Yanks could stay in the game. But a clutch 2 out single by Bucs CF Bill Virdon gave the Pirates a 4-0 advantage.
It stayed that way until the 5th before the fireworks really started to happen. The Yankees picked up a run with a Bill Skowron leadoff HR. Although they went down quietly afterward, there was a spark in the Yankee dugout.
And that spark turned into a full fledged flame in the 6th when Bobby Richardson led off with a single and was followed by a walk to Tony Kubek. Roger Maris popped out to 3rd before Mickey Mantle stroked a single to center and picked up an RBI.
With Kubek at 3rd and Mantle at 1st Yogi Berra ripped a 3 run HR to give the Yankees the lead 5-4 at the end of 6 innings!
The 7th was uneventful. The last uneventful inning of the World Series in 1960.
In the 8th it was the heart of the Yankee lineup – Maris, Mantle and Berra. But Maris grounded weakly to the pitcher and Mantle lined out to short. Yogi coaxed a walk. Not much of a rally. 1 on .. 2 out. The Yanks though, were studly from top to bottom just as they are in 2009. Two singles and a double later the Bombers had added 2 runs to their lead. 7-4 Yankees.
The Bucs opened their half of the inning with 3 straight singles, scoring once. The second of those singles being the wicked hop off of Kubek’s throat. The Bucs had a run in, nobody out and runners at 1st and 2nd.. down now by 2 runs. They sac bunt and move the runners up! We’ll see that alot in the coming games ; )
A shallow fly ball was nothing more than an out before Roberto Clemente singled home a run to put them down by only one run. With 2 outs and 2 on the Pirates got a huge Home Run from backup catcher Hal Smith who had just entered the game! Pirates led 9-7 going into the 9th inning of Game 7!
But.. the Yanks are not the Yanks because they give up. They came storming out of the gates in the 9th; 2 straight singles put 2 on with nobody out and Roger Maris, Mickey Mantle and Yogi Berra due up. Unfortunately, Maris was horrible in this game and simply popped up to the catcher. Mantle though, was spectacular as always and singled in another run to bring the Yanks within one. Yogi’s groundball out knocked in the tying run before Skowron hit into a force play to end the Yankees half of the 9th.
9-9 in the bottom of the 9th in Game 7.
Game Winning Home Run in Game 7 of the World Series! The First and ONLY time it has ever been accomplished in baseball history.
It went this far!
Mazeroski ended the day 2-4 with 2 runs scored and that incredibly historic Home Run.
Congratulations Bill Mazeroski.. You are Yesterday’s Hitter!
“We made too many wrong mistakes.”