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Saturday, November 1, 2014

1964 World Series: Bob Gibson emerges.

Fifty years ago there was a World Series (WS) that went seven games and the winning team had a pitcher who won two and pitched in three, providing the difference.

Right now San Francisco Giants pitcher Madison Bumgarner is all the rage, not just for his two wins and five inning save in game seven but also because of his single games in two previous WS.  Bumgarner is compared to Christy Mathewson and hailed as the greatest WS pitcher ever.  Mathewson is somewhat easily dismissed because he pitched in a very dead ball era.  Not so in 1964.  Let's take a look at Bob Gibson in 1964 and a little at Sandy Koufax in 1963.  Both the mound and the strike zone were higher, providing an advantage to the pitcher that does not exist today, except that today's strike zone is wider and lower at the knees.  Plus, Bumgarner was pitching to the Kansas City Royals, not the Yankees of Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris, past their peek but still potent.

In 1964 it was the New York Yankees winning their fifth consecutive pennant against the St. Louis Cardinals winning their first since 1946.  The Yankees had been swept by the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1963 with Koufax winning games one and four; the only runs Koufax allowed were a two run homer by Tom Tresh and a solo homer by Mantle.  In 1964 the Yankees had fallen 5.5 games back on August 22 but had pulled even by Sept. 17, four up Sept. 23 through 26, and clinched on the second from last day, winning by one game over the Chicago White Sox.

1961 through 1963 the Yankees were managed by Ralph Houk.  1963 was the final season as a Yankee player for catcher Yogi Berra, who had been AL MVP in 1951, 1954, 1955.  Yogi also played the outfield in the early 1960s but in 1963 Yogi caught 33 games and pinch hit (PH) in 30.  Yogi also coached at first base.  Sometimes at the Stadium Yogi would leave the first base coaching box in the middle of an inning and the fans would applaud because it meant that manager Houk wanted Yogi to PH.  Soon Yogi would emerge from the dugout, swinging multiple bats to loosen up and the do his thing at the plate.  There was some odd rule that prevented Yogi from returning to the coaching box but, no matter, the fans loved it and they loved Yogi.

With the Yankees stable, Houk was promoted to general manager and Berra to field manager from player/coach.  Berra then named the Yankees best pitcher as player/coach: Whitey Ford replaced Johnny Sain as pitching coach.  Yogi and Whitey player/coach in consecutive seasons.  Cool.  In 1964 Ford (17-6) was second on the Yankees with 244 innings to Jim Bouton's (18-13) 271.  Al Downing (13-8) also threw 244.  Bouton and Downing had been added in each of the previous two seasons and on Aug. 12, 1964 they were joined by Mel Stottlemyre: 9-3, 96 innings.  Those four would start the seven WS games.  Five days before the start of the WS on Wednesday, October 7 Ford pitched a 5-2 complete game victory.  However, he was hurt and only started game one of the WS.

Johnny Keane managed the Cardinals from the second half of 1961 through 1964.  The Cards won 93 games in both 1963 and 1964.  They finished second to the Dodgers in 1963.  But Koufax was injured for part of 1964 and Philadelphia Phillies dominated most of the season only to falter badly down the stretch.  St. Louis was eleven games back on Aug. 23, twice as far back as the Yankees.  The Cardinals swept Philadelphia in St. Louis Sept. 28, 29, 30; winning pitchers: Gibson, Ray Sadecki, Curt Simmons.  The Cardinals were up one game over Cincinnati with Philadelphia 2.5 back.  All the Cardinals had to do was beat the lowly New York Mets in the final three games.

On Friday Oct. 2, the same day Ford pitched his final game in the 1964 regular season, Gibson started on three days rest, which was not unusual for him; Gibson went 8 innings and lost 1-0 to Met lefty Al Jackson.  Saturday the Cardinals also lost when Sadecki went only one inning: 5 runs, 4 earned, homer to George Altman; Mets 15, Cardinals 5.  St. Louis was now tied with Cincinnati.  The Reds had won nine consecutive games, including all three against Philadelphia and five against the Mets.  But they lost four of their final five, including the last two against Philadelphia.  All St. Louis had to do was beat the Mets in that last game.

Sunday, October 4, 1964, Busch Stadium I
Attendance: 30,146, Time of Game: 3:06
Cardinals 11, Mets 5

Curt Simmons4.17331013.432036-0.2211.13-1.2
Bob Gibson, W (19-12)42225203.0120100.0801.260.7
Barney Schultz, S (14)0.21000101.643210.0020.05-0.1
The WS would start on Wednesday, so Ray Sadecki (20-11) would face an injured Whitey Ford in a battle of lefties.

Cardinals: 93-69; Pythagorean W-L: 88-74

Yankees: 99-63; Pythagorean W-L: 98-64

Games 1, 2, 6, 7 would be played in St. Louis, just because that's how the rotation went, alternating each year between the two leagues.  The Yankees seemed a clear favorite as they had five years earlier when they lost to Pittsburgh in seven games.  1964 would be sort of like that.

Game one: Cardinals go up 1-0.
Wednesday, October 7, 1964, , Busch Stadium I
Attendance: 30,805, Time of Game: 2:42
Cardinals 9, Yankees 5

HR: T Tresh (1, off R Sadecki, 2nd inn, 1 on, 0 outs to Deep LF-CF).
HR: M Shannon (1, off W Ford, 6th inn, 1 on, 1 out to Deep LF).

Neither starter pitched well and Ford would never pitch again in any World Series:

Whitey Ford, L (0-1)5.18551418.442535-0.2751.23-1.7
Ray Sadecki, W (1-0)68445216.002937-0.1700.90-1.1

Game two: Yankees tie WS 1-1.
Thursday, October 8, 1964, , Busch Stadium I
Attendance: 30,805, Time of Game: 2:29
Yankees 8, Cardinals 3

HR: P Linz (1, off B Schultz, 9th inn, 0 on, 0 outs to Deep LF).

Mel Stottlemyre, W (1-0)97332403.0035630.3031.131.4
Bob Gibson, L (0-1)88443904.503656-0.1281.19-0.1
The rookie Stottlemyre made his bones.  In their first WS starts Stottlemyre had beaten Gibson.

Game three: Yankees go up 2-1.

Saturday, October 10, 1964, , Yankee Stadium I
Attendance: 67,101, Time of Game: 2:16
Yankees 2, Cardinals 1

HR: M Mantle (1, off B Schultz, 9th inn, 0 on, 0 outs to Deep RF).

Curt Simmons84113201.1330690.3851.202.7
Barney Schultz, L (0-1)011100110.80100-0.3712.22-1.0
Jim Bouton, W (1-0)96103200.0037720.5141.723.1
Mantle was playing right field to protect his legs.  Clete Boyer had an RBI double in second inning.  In the 5th Mantle committed an error on a single by Cardinal catcher Tim McCarver, which led to an unearned run.  In the bottom of the 9th Mantle led off with a walk off home run into the upper deck off Schultz.  Years later a story surfaced that Mantle had told on deck batter Elston Howard that he would homer.  Apocryphal?  It was certainly dramatic.  I remember watching it on TV.

Game four: Cardinals tie WS 2-2.

Sunday, October 11, 1964, , Yankee Stadium I
Attendance: 66,312, Time of Game: 2:18
Cardinals 4, Yankees 3

HR: Ken Boyer (1, off A Downing, 6th inn, 3 on, 1 out to Deep LF).

Ray Sadecki0.14320008.53433-0.2331.12-2.5
Roger Craig, W (1-0)4.22003800.0018110.0700.451.8
Ron Taylor, S (1)40001200.0013000.5111.771.8
Al Downing, L (0-1)64432414.702552-0.3190.98-1.6
Pete Mikkelsen10000100.003100.0871.390.8
Ralph Terry22000300.007000.0810.650.9

I attended with my cousin Richie.  We bought bleacher tickets early that morning at the Stadium and sat way out in left center well behind the 457 foot marker.

The teams had brothers at third base.  Cardinal Ken Boyer, Clete's older brother, was NL MVP in 1964.  Sadecki was terrible, allowing three runs in the first inning.  Yanks should have scored more.  After leading off with a double, Phil Linz should have been out trying to steal but Ken Boyer committed an error.  Then Bobby Richardson also doubled and Roger Maris singled.  Next Mantle was out trying to stretch his RBI single into a double.  Then Roger Craig replaced Sadecki and allowed an RBI single to Elston Howard.  3-0 Yanks with only one out.  They never scored again.  In the third with two out Mantle and Howard walked but Mantle was picked off second base, Craig to SS Dick Groat.  My first WS game and it was awful and getting worse.

Downing was cruising along with his comfy 3-0 lead waiting for loads of more Yankees runs when the roof caved in.  Sixth inning: single, single, out, error by second baseman Richardson on a DP grounder, grand slam homer by Ken Boyer. 4-3 Cardinals.  That was it. No more action.  Mantle walked again in the 8th with two out but Howard struck out.

Sadecki was terrible in both his starts but the Cardinals had won both.  That was crucial.  The series was boiling down to the rookie Stottlemyre and Bouton v. Gibson and Simmons.

Game five: Cardinals go up 3-2.

Monday, October 12, 1964, , Yankee Stadium I
Attendance: 65,633, Time of Game: 2:37
Cardinals 5, Yankees 2

HR: T McCarver (1, off P Mikkelsen, 10th inn, 2 on, 1 out to Deep RF).

HR: T Tresh (2, off B Gibson, 9th inn, 1 on, 2 outs to Deep CF-RF).

Bob Gibson, W (1-1)1062021312.0039870.1171.352.6
Mel Stottlemyre76212602.2530630.0411.031.2
Hal Reniff0.12000000.00300-0.0180.46-0.4
Pete Mikkelsen, L (0-1)2.22331316.751120-0.4071.66-1.2

Stottlemyre pitched seven good innings.  In the 5th Gibson hit a one out single.  Then Richardson made another error at second on a DP grounder, this one by Curt Flood.  Lou Brock then singled in Gibson and Bill White grounded into a force play but driving in an unearned run.

For the second consecutive day, the Yankees had a dramatic 9th inning home run.  Mantle led off and was safe on an error by SS Groat.  Howard SO.  Then Gibson robbed Joe Pepitone of a hit by knocking down the ball, pouncing on it and firing to first.  I wonder if it would be reversed if reviewed.  Mantle advanced to second.  Then Tommy Tresh homered to right center driving in two unearned runs.  Tie game 2-2.  Relief pitcher Pete Mikkelsen allowed a three run homer to McCarver in the 10th.  Stottlemyre (1-0) and Gibson (1-1) had now split their first two confrontations.

Game six: Yankees tie WS 3-3.

Wednesday, October 14, 1964, , Busch Stadium I
Attendance: 30,805, Time of Game: 2:37
Yankees 8, Cardinals 3

HR: R Maris (1, off C Simmons, 6th inn, 0 on, 1 out to Deep RF); M Mantle (2, off C Simmons, 6th inn, 0 on, 1 out to Deep RF); J Pepitone (1, off G Richardson, 8th inn, 3 on, 2 outs to Deep RF).

Jim Bouton, W (2-0)8.19332501.5635560.2890.781.2
Steve Hamilton, S (1)0.21000000.002210.0080.370.2
Curt Simmons, L (0-1)6.17330622.512653-0.1241.02-0.2
Ron Taylor0.20000000.001100.0470.830.7
Barney Schultz0.224420018.00600-0.0690.70-1.3
Gordie Richardson0.111100140.50233-0.0580.39-3.2
Bob Humphreys10000100.003000.0000.010.5

Bouton and Simmons were again tied 1-1 through five innings as they had been in game 3.  But in the 6th with one out the M&M boys suddenly struck: back to back home runs by Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle.  In the 8th Schultz entered and allowed four runs; Joe Pepitone hit a grand slam home run off Gordie Richardson, the one and only positive thing Pepitone did in his two WS, 1963 and 1964.  The Yanks had held off elimination.

Thursday, October 15, 1964, , Busch Stadium I
Attendance: 30,346, Time of Game: 2:40
Cardinals 7, Yankees 5

HR: M Mantle (3, off B Gibson, 6th inn, 2 on, 0 outs to Deep LF-CF); C Boyer (1, off B Gibson, 9th inn, 0 on, 1 out to Deep LF); P Linz (2, off B Gibson, 9th inn, 0 on, 2 outs to Deep LF).

HR: L Brock (1, off A Downing, 5th inn, 0 on, 0 outs to Deep CF-RF); K Boyer (2, off S Hamilton, 7th inn, 0 on, 2 outs to Deep LF).

E: Yankees C Boyer (2); P Linz (2).
E: Cardinals D Groat (2).

Game four starters Sadecki and Downing had three days rest but both lefties were skipped.  Sadecki had pitched only one third of an inning but the Cardinals did not want to tempt fate as they had won both his ineffective starts.  Stottlemyre and Gibson were meeting for the third time, both on only two days rest.  More sloppy fielding.

Mel Stottlemyre, L (1-1)45332203.151940-0.1320.98-1.0
Al Downing03330018.22300-0.0780.30-2.5
Rollie Sheldon20000200.006220.0080.200.5
Steve Hamilton1.12110214.50700-0.0260.10-1.4
Pete Mikkelsen0.20000005.792200.0070.121.4
Bob Gibson, W (2-1)99553933.0038550.2790.80-0.6
Three run innings: Cardinals 4th and 5th, Yankees 6th.  The Cardinals 4th included catcher McCarver stealing home and later on single by Dal Maxvill no error being charged on a high throw to the plate, which caused Yankee catcher Howard to leap wildly but in vain, allowing a run to score and the batter, Maxvill, to advance to second.  Stottlemyre deserved better.  3-0 Cardinals.

With one on, one out in the 5th, Mike Hegan PH for Stottlemyre and walked but Linz hit into a DP.  Downing did his final WS damage as a Yankee (terrible in his one 1963 game, too) in the bottom of the 5th:
Brock HR
White single
Ken Boyer double
Sheldon replaced Downing:
Groat ground out, White scores
McCarver SF
Shannon SO.  6-0 Cardinals.

Had Stottlemyre remained in the game he probably would have pitched better than Downing.

Trailing 6-0 the Yankees answered right back:
Richardson single
Maris single
Mantle home run.

Mantle played in 14 WS elimination games, homering in the first two in 1952 and in the last three: game four 1963 off Koufax and games 6 and 7 in 1964.

In the Cardinal 7th 6'7" side arm lefty Steve Hamilton struck out lefties Brock and White but Ken Boyer homered: 7-3 Cardinals.

In the 8th Mantle led off in his final WS plate appearance: fly out to center.  The Yanks went down in order.  The Cardinals left two on in the 8th.

Top 9:
Tresh SO
Clete Boyer HR
Linz HR
Richardson pop out to second.

I got home from high school in time to see the top of the 9th on TV.  I never gave up in those days.  Even on TV I could see that Gibson was spent and barely hanging on.  Richardson had committed fielding errors playing second base but he had set a WS record, which still stands, for most hits: 13.  Maris and Mantle were coming up.  I thought if Little Bobby can get another hit, the M&M boys could launch long balls and win it.  No sooner had my thought been formed and Richardson popped out.  Back then waiting for a walk was not considered and I didn't mind Richardson swinging at the first pitch.  But swing at the first pitch and popping out.  Oh no.  What are you doing?

After the WS Berra was fired and replaced by Keane, who was fired early in 1966 and replaced by Houk.

Manager Keane later said about Gibson: "He pitched the last three innings on guts."  Gibson's WS record:
1964 ❍ MVP28STLNLWSWNYY21.6673.0033020027.023119482312011131.1487.71.32.710.33.88
1967 ❍ MVP31STLNLWSWBOS301.0001.0033031027.0143315026001980.7044.
3 Yrs (3 Series)72.7781.8999082081.05519176173922023120.8896.10.71.910.25.41
In 1967 and 1968, Gibson pitched complete games 1, 4, 7.  Gibson is still the only pitcher to start and win those games in a best of seven World Series.

Sandy Koufax WS records:
1959 ❍23LADNLWSWCHW01.0001.002100009.05110107000310.6675.
1963 ❍ MVP27LADNLWSWNYY201.0001.5022020018.0123323023000690.8336.01.01.511.57.67
1965 ❍ MVP29LADNLWSWMIN21.6670.3833022024.0132105029000870.7504.90.01.910.95.80
4 Yrs (4 Series)43.5710.9587042057.0361062111610002130.8255.
4 WS

Madison Bumgarner has pitched in three WS: 4-0, 0.25 ERA, 36 innings, one CG.  His ERA in NLDS and NLCS: 4.15.  He pitched a complete game shutout in this year's wild card game.

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