One that got away
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 ; )
This is Game 7 of the NY Yankees vs. Pittsburgh Pirates World Series. People were on the rooftops in Pittsburgh hoping to catch a glimpse of the game and some of the greatest players of the era.
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.
Pittsburgh did not lay down and roll over. This is the famous inning in which Tony Kubek (Yankees SS) was hit in the throat with a wicked hop off the bat of Bill Virdon.
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.
Bill Mazeroski led off the bottom half for the Pirates. He looked at ball one from Ralph Terry then ripped a mean line drive to deep left field that just scraped over the wall!
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.”
I like the numerology twist there. I actually think it is going to be tough for the Yanks to get past the Dodgers in the World Series. That’s my prognostication, which isn’t worth anything, but it’s mine. 😉
My grand dad was talking about this game up until he died. An avid Cardinals fan and everything ANTI-YANKEES (yes, even back then) this finish was music to his ears and he never stopped talking about it… that and the ’64 series of course.
Austin.. I’m hoping for the exact outcome as you!
Jeff – I’ve been watching MLB channel and for some reason the last week or so they’ve showed the Cardinals era with Gibson on the mound. Stellar teams. Thanks for your comment. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to waste people’s time with this old stuff. I just love it though. It’s the grass roots of why I feel the way I feel when I watch these great games.
Awesome old-school pictures, I love them!!! :] Also, great entry as usual. Love reading them always! xoxo http://diamondgirl55.mlblogs.com
I grew up listening to stories of Mickey Mantle and Yogi Berra. My Dad and granddad are Yankees fans. My granddad still hasn’t forgotten this game. I still hear about it today…
Holly Cimoli!! What a game 7! and what a series! With scores by the Bombers of 16-3, 12-0 and 10-0, you would have thought they had it in the bag. How nice it was for the Yankees to have Ted Williams throw out the first pitch?! I love watching old games. Clem Labine did not do well in that series. Watching Bill Stafford reminded me of a friend I have with that same name.
this gave me chlls just reading about it. I’ve seen the videos and heard stories from my father and grandpa about this game. i still do not think it gets the attention it deserves. there has never been anothe rgame 7 walkoff home run since this. The anniversary was yesterday as you said. In the Oakland neighborhood of Pittsburgh, where Forbes Field was located hundreds of fans go to where the field once stood and there is a recoridng of the game in its entirity played over loudspeakers. i would love to make it out there some year to take it what happened so many years ago. thank you for giving Mazeroski and the 1960 Pirates the respect they deserve. GO BUCS!
Wonderful entry. I’ve heard my Dad talk about the way baseball was.
Bill Maz? Oh, Buz! You just drove a stake through my heart! LOL. I was a kid when my older sister was dating a boy from Pittsburgh. He was a huge Pirates fan and I remember how ecstatic he was when they won that game.
Great post, always think old time pics are great, love the one from the roof tops…and the fact that the Yankees didn’t have a come from behind or walk off made it that much better…
Outside the Phillies Looking In
DiGirl – Thank You so much. I love the nostalgic feel you get when you look at those folks all dressed to the nines.. just to go to a ballgame!
Ginny & Cat – I get to listen to these old school stories every week at lunch with my buddy Dick Williams. His memory is flawless. He can even tell you the pitch and how it broke! : )
Emma – aha! You did a little reading. Yes, they plastered the Bucs except when it counted : ) That is cool about your friend’s name.
Jane – It’s Ok.. I have my own version of the Dodgers being beat by the Bobby Thompson HR. : ( But.. don’t forget my numerology says it could be a sign for their 27th!! : )
Matt – I was thinking about you as I was creating this post! And what a cool thing that they still memorialize that event. That is the power of baseball!
Peter – That is so cool. Think about how many people were up on the rooftops for that awesome Game 7! And the folks in Chicago thought they invented it.. chuckle.
Thanks for all the cool comments guys. It makes ya feel kinda neat to know it connects with you in some small way.