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Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Mickey Mantle: bunt single off Don Drysdale in 1959 All Star game.

Mickey Mantle had a bunt single off starter Don Drysdale in the second All Star game in 1959.  The first was played a month earlier.  Two All Star games were played 1959 through 1962.  Drysdale started both 1959 games for the NL pitching three innings in each; 0 hits, 4 SO, 0 runs, in the first, 4 hits (2 HR), 3 BB, 5 SO, 3 runs in the second, which he lost.

Dodger OF Wally Moon sliding
White Sox 2B Nellie Fox, 5th inning
Monday, August 3, 1959, 4:00PM, Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum
Attendance: 55,105, Time of Game: 2:24
AL 5, NL 3

I saw this on TV.  Memories are often wrong but my recollection is that Mickey popped the bunt past Drysdale who fell toward first base on his follow through.  The ball landed in front of shortstop Ernie Banks (NL MVP 1958-9) who had no play.  The play-by-play documentation shows that Mantle bunted leading off the top of the second inning and was then thrown out trying to steal.  The two previous posts deal with Mantle bunting.  Mantle led the AL in homers in 1955, 1956, 1958, 1960 and was second in 1961 with 54.

The AL starting lineup included these 4,5,6 batters:
Yogi Berra, C, Yankees
Mickey Mantle, CF, Yankees
Roger Maris, RF, Kansas City Athletics

Maris was replaced by Cleveland Indian Rocky Colavito who finished 1959 with 42 homers, tied with Harmon Killebrew for the AL lead.  Maris and Colavito were teammates in Cleveland in 1957 and early 1958 when Maris was traded to KC.  After the 1959 season Maris was traded to the Yankees where he hit 100 home runs in his first two seasons (39, 61) and was AL MVP in both.

Berra, Colavito and Frank Malzone homered for the AL; Frank Robinson and Jim Gilliam for the NL.

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