Sunday, October 5, 2014

Yogi did not strike out in 93 consecutive World Series at bats AB.

From Sunday, October 7, 1956 to Saturday, October 7, 1961 (ages 31.4 to 36.4) Yogi Berra did not strike out: in 93 consecutive at bats (AB) (including a SF in 1958) and 105 (106?) plate appearances (PA) in 26 World Series games.  This followed Yogi’s three AL MVP awards in 1951, 1954, 1955 and may be even more remarkable.  After all, other players have won three or more MVP but have any gone 93 WS AB without striking out?

Baseball Digest September 1956 via Wiki Commons
From 1956 through 1966 the Cy Young award went to the best pitcher in MLB, not separate awards for AL and NL.  In those WS in which Yogi did not strike out he faced faced Cy Young winners Don Newcombe (1956), Warren Spahn, the 1957 CY winner, (1957 and 1958) and Vern Law (1960), plus Lew Burdette (1957 and 1958) who won three complete games in 1957 in which he allowed only two runs and struck out 13 in his 27 innings.

Game 4 1956 WS at Yankee Stadium: Yogi in his second PA against Dodger starting pitcher Carl Erskine in the 3rd and the game tied 1-1: Yogi struck out as Mickey Mantle stole second following a walk.  Did Mantle’s steal attempt induce Yogi to swing at a bad pitch?  Yogi had singled off Erskine in the first inning driving in Joe Collins giving the Yankees a 1-0 lead.  The Yankees went on to score two runs in the 3rd to take a 3-1 lead.  Yanks won the game 6-2.  Yogi batted twice more: flyball: CF, against Ed Roebuck and ground out: 1B unassisted against a young Don Drysdale.

Game 5 was Don Larsen’s perfect game.  Yogi was not distracted into striking out, although he went 0 for 3 against Sal Maglie.  Yanks won 2-0.
Game 6 was a 1-0 Dodger win in ten innings at Ebbetts Field.  Yogi was 2 for 4 against complete game winner Clem Labine.
Game 7: Yanks won 9-0.  Yogi went 2 for 3, scored 2, 4 RBI.  Against Newcombe Yogi hit two run homers in the 1st and 3rd, both following Mantle strike outs.  Yogi was intentionally walked in the 5th and 7th by relievers; the 7th inning walk was followed by a bases loaded home run by Bill Skowron.  Yogi’s final PA was a line out  to second base in the 8th with the Yankees leading 9-0.

Game 3 1961 WS at Crosley Field Cincinnati: Yogi struck out against Reds pitcher Bob Purkey in a 3-2 Yankee win.
2nd: walk
5th: SO
7th: Yanks trailing 1-0, Mantle struck out but Yogi singled to right driving in the tying run.
9th: After Maris led off with a home run to break a 2-2 tie, Mantle struck out and Yogi grounded out: 1B-P.
Here are Yogi’s SO stats.

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