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Thursday, July 20, 2017

20 game winner Mel Stottlemyre hit bases loaded IPHR against Red Sox July 20, 1965.

Mel Stottlemyre had beaten Cardinal Bob Gibson in their first matchup in the 1964 World Series. Gibson beat Stottlemyre in a game seven rematch. Stottlemyre was born: November 13, 1941 (Age: 75-249 days) in Hazleton, MO.

The next season, the first full one for Stottlemyre, he was 20-9 and led the American League in CG, IP, BF. Win number ten came:

Tuesday, July 20, 1965
Start Time: 2:03 p.m. ET
Attendance: 24,594
Venue: Yankee Stadium I
Game Duration: 1:59
Day Game, on grass
Yankees 6, Red Sox 3

That win made Stottlemyre 10-5. Stottlemyre allowed a home run to the first Red Sox batter he faced in that game: Jim Gosger, CF. The Yankees scored two in the bottom of the fourth inning off Red Sox starter Bill Monbouquette when Yankee second baseman Bobby Richardson led off with a single and shortstop Tony Kubek homered: 2-1 Yankees.

In the bottom of the fifth inning Stottlemyre did something pretty amazing. Monbouquette put the first three Yankees (Pepitone BB, Boyer 1B, Repoz BB) on base bringing up Stottlemyre. Remember, pitchers still batted in the AL through 1972. This was 1965. Stottlemyre drove one to center field where Gosger was playing. Straight away center was marked as 461 feet and the wall was even further slightly to the left behind the three monuments (Huggins, Gehrig, Ruth), which were on the playing field back then. Stottlemyre rounded the bases for an inside the park grand slam home run. Yankees 6, Red Sox 1.

Here's the link for Stottlemyre's home run log as a batter. He hit seven, four in Yankee Stadium; two each off lefties Gary Peters and knuckleballer Wilbur Wood, both of whom won at least 20 games in a season. Stottlemyre hit his first and last home runs off Peters. The homer off righty Monbouquette, who had won 20 in 1963, was number two for Stottlemyre.

Stottlemyre was regarded as a good hitting pitcher but, like almost all pitchers other than Babe Ruth, Stottlemyre sucked. In 1965 in 109 plate appearances (PA): OPS+ 5; that's 5% of league average. Career in 846 PA: OPS+ 28. In his final season batting before the designated hitter rule started, Stottlemyre in 1972: 94 PA, OPS+ 50. Maybe Stottlemyre should have converted to DH when his arm fell off by the end of 1974 (113 innings), his final season. Stottlemyre was only 32.

Stottlemyre threw 291 innings in 1965 and at least 251 every season through 1973, with 303 in 1969, Stottlemyre's third and final 20 win season. Stottlemyre was later the pitching coach on five World Series championship teams: one for the Mets and four for the Yankees. Mel Stottlemyre should be considered for the Hall of Fame as a pitching coach.

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