In both games: one out, runners on first and third. The batter (Yogi Berra in 1960, Victor Martinez in 2017) hits a low line drive to first on the foul line side that the first baseman catches on a bounce. It looks like a line drive that would be caught on a fly. The first baseman steps on the bag to retire the batter but the runner on first (Mantle in 1960, Cabrera in 2017) goes back to first, instead of heading toward second, thwarting a double play and allowing the runner on third to score.
Venue: Forbes Field
Game Duration: 2:36
Day Game, on grass
Pirates 10, Yankees 9
Top of the 9th, Yankees Batting, Behind 7-9, Pirates' Bob Friend facing 1-2-3
Yogi Berra against Harvey Haddix: Groundout: 1B unassisted; McDougald Scores from 3B; Mantle stays at 1B.
Gil McDougald scored the run that tied the World Series game. 1960 is 57 years ago and the Yanks lost. Had Bill Skowron, the next batter after Berra, driven in Mantle with the winning run and the Yanks won, Mantle's play would be legendary. But the Yankees lost and even most Yankee fans wouldn't understand what Cabrera did tonight, especially the ones at Derek Jeter night Sunday.
Suppose the Yanks had lost the flip game. Then it's not such a big deal. Jeter's clever fielding move in a playoff game in Oakland would be lost to history.
Cabrera doing it suggests that it's more instinctive than one might think. Detroit even had a runner on third, same as 1960 Yanks. Ball was hit low in both cases. Everyone is frozen. Can't really fault the first baseman either.
If Mantle doesn't make that play, Bill Mazeroski does not get elected to the Hall of Fame many years later. Maz was a good fielding second baseman batting 8th for Pittsburgh that day who homered leading off the bottom of the 9th inning to win the 1960 World Series. Mazeroski wasn't even the best second baseman in that World Series. Yankee second baseman Bobby Richardson set the World Series record for RBI and is still the only player from a losing team voted WS MVP.
As the great Yogi would say: deja vu all over again.