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Friday, June 09 2023 @ 10:21 am UTC
1960 Revisited - October 13   
By Bobster

Thursday, October 13, 1960---Game 7 of the 1960 WS got underway about 1 p.m. Bob Turley (1-0) vs Vern Law (2-0). It was Law’s 3rd start, again pitching on 3 days rest, and still with a sprained ankle. Murtaugh indicated that if Law could give him 5 to 6 innings, he’d bring in Friend and Face from there. Bobby Richardson led off for NY, making him the 5th different lead-off hitter for Casey Stengel in the 7 game series. Stengel had also used Kubek, Cerv, McDougald and Boyer in that role. Catcher Elston Howard was out for the game with a hand injury sustained in game 6 when he was hit by a pitch.

Inning 1: Richardson lined to Groat at SS, Kubek popped to Maz and Maris popped to Hoak.

Turley retired Virdon on a fly to Berra in LF and Groat on a pop to Kubek at SS. Skinner’s thumb had improved, and he was playing for the first time since game 1. In his absence, Gino Cimoli had played LF and gone 4 for 19 (.211) with 1 RBI. Skinner walked. Rocky Nelson was batting cleanup instead of Stuart. Stuart was only 3 for 20 with all singles and no RBIs in the series. Nelson had gotten 2 singles against Turley in game 2. Still, it seemed odd to have a part-time player, whose MLB high in HRs was 7, batting 4th in the championship game. No matter. Nelson slugged a HR to RF for a 2-0 lead. Clemente popped to Richardson at 2B.

Inning 2: Mantle flied to Virdon in CF. Hoak robbed Berra on a smash to 3B and threw him out. Skowron grounded to Groat.

For the Bucs, Burgess led off with a single. That was all for Turley. Stengel didn’t want to fall too far behind against Law. Bill Stafford came in to pitch. He walked Hoak. Maz got an infield single to load the bases when NY couldn’t make a play on his bunt. But Law grounded to Stafford who started a pitcher-to-catcher-to-first DP. But Virdon singled to drive in Hoak and Maz to make it 4-0. Groat grounded to Boyer at 3B.

Inning 3: Catcher John Blanchard bounced back to Law. Boyer popped to Maz. Hector Lopez batted for Stafford and singled. Richardson flied to Skinner in LF.

Lefty Bobby Shantz took the mound for NY. Skinner bounced out to 1B, Skowron to Shantz covering. Nelson walked. Clemente bounced to Richardson for a 4-6-3 DP.

Inning 4: Kubek popped to Groat, Maris flied to Clemente, Mantle singled and Berra flied to Clemente.

Shantz retired Burgess and Hoak on grounders to Richardson, and Maz on a pop to Kubek.

Inning 5: Moose Skowron homered to make it 4-1. Law then got Blanchard on a fly to Virdon, Boyer on a line drive to Maz and Shantz on a pop to Nelson at 1B.

Law grounded out to Boyer at 3B. Virdon bounced out to Richardson. Groat lined back to pitcher Shantz. The Bucs still led 4-1.

Inning 6: Richardson led off the 6th with a single. Kubek walked. Murtaugh brought in Face. Murtaugh had gotten all he could out of Law--3 starts in a 9-day period on a sprained ankle. Law (and Haddix in game 5) had shut down what had otherwise been a devastating offensive display from the Yankees. The same hitters who were setting WS records with wins of 16-3, 10-0 and 12-0 appeared overmatched against Law in all 3 of his starts. Imagine if he hadn’t been injured! Law left to a standing ovation. It was primarily because of him that the Bucs had survived to the 7th game. He was now leaving in the 6th with a 4-1 lead, 2 on and no outs. In his first World Series, and on a sprained ankle the entire time, Vern Law had been sensational. The Yankees were thrilled to see him exit. But Elroy Face had been no picnic either. Maris fouled out to Hoak But Mantle singled to make it 4-2. Then Berra hit a 3-run HR to RF to give NY a 5-4 lead. This was a shocking development against Face, who had dominated the Yankees in his 3 previous appearances. Skowron fouled out to Hoak. Blanchard grounded to Nelson. The Yankees now had a 5-4 lead.

For the Bucs, Skinner flied to Maris in RF, Nelson grounded to 1B, Skowron to Shantz covering. Clemente was out on a comebacker to Shantz. It was the 4th straight 3-up/3-down inning for Shantz.

Inning 7: Leading 5-4, Boyer started the 7th with a fly to Virdon in CF. Shantz, having already pitched 4 innings of relief, remained in the game and singled. Richardson grounded to Hoak who forced Shantz at 2B. Kubek flied to Clemente in RF.

Burgess led off the Pirate 7th with a single. That was their first runner since Nelson walked in the 3rd. Trailing 5-4, Joe Christopher ran for Burgess. Maz hit to SS for a Kubek-to Richardson-to Skowron DP. It was Shantz’ 5th straight 3-up/3-down inning.

Inning 8: Since Burgess left for a pinch runner, Hal Smith went behind the plate to start the eighth for the Pirates. Face got Maris on a comebacker. Mantle lined to Groat. Berra walked. Skowron got an infield single. Blanchard singled to make it 6-4. Boyer doubled to LF to make it 7-4. Shantz, now with 5 innings of relief under his belt and runners at 2B and 3B, batted for himself and ended the rally with a fly out to Clemente. The 2-run Yankee rally after the first 2 batters were out had given the Yankees a 7-4 lead.

Trailing 7-4, Gino Cimoli pinch hit for Face and led off the bottom of the eighth with a soft single to RF. Virdon hit what appeared to be a DP grounder to Kubek at SS. But the ball took a bad hop and came up high, striking Kubek in the throat. All hands were safe. Kubek was replaced at SS by Joe DiMaestri. Groat singled to score Cimoli and send Virdon to 2B. With the score now 7-5, Shantz was replaced by Jim Coates. Skinner bunted to Boyer, whose throw to Skowron retired Skinner as Virdon and Groat advanced on the sacrifice. Nelson flied to Maris in shallow RF as the runners held. Clemente hit a roller to 1B. Skowron and pitcher Jim Coates both went toward the ball as Skowron fielded it. Coates then tried to cover 1B too late to get Clemente. The infield hit scored Virdon to make it 7-6. Hal Smith, who had taken over for Burgess, took a very close pitch on 1-2, but it was a ball. On Coates’ 2-2 offering, Smith slugged a dramatic 3-run HR to erase the 7-6 deficit and put the Pirates ahead 9-7. Smith was mobbed at the plate and in the dugout. The Forbes Field crowd went wild. The deafening roar continued throughout Stengel’s pitching change as Ralph Terry replaced Coates. Terry got Hoak on a fly to Berra in LF to end the 5-run eighth inning rally that had changed a 7-4 deficit into a 9-7 lead.

Inning 9: The Bucs knew that if they held NY in the ninth, the Series was theirs. And it didn’t hurt that they had an insurance run and one of baseball’s best pitchers, Bob Friend, entering the game and needing just 3 outs. In an odd turnabout, Friend was hoping to pick up the save for a 9-7 win that would gave Face a WS victory. But Richardson led off with a single. Dale Long batted for DiMaestri and singled Richardson to 3B. Harvey Haddix replaced Friend against the lefty-swinging Maris. Maris popped to Hal Smith at the plate for the 1st out. The switch-hitting Mantle singled to make it 9-8, sending Long to 3B. Gil McDougald ran for Long. Berra hit a hard smash to Nelson at 1B for what looked like a game-ending DP. Nelson fielded the grounder standing on the bag for the 2nd out. He turned toward second base, expecting to throw to get Mantle. But Mantle wasn’t going to second. The out on Berra at 1B had eliminated the force-out situation. If Mantle had gone to second, it would have been a tag play situation. Instead, he dove head-first back into 1B. When Nelson saw what was happening, he dove head-first at Mantle. With both players sprawled in the dirt, Mantle’s hand safely reached the bag as McDougald crossed the plate with the tie run. The crowd had roared when Berra hit the ball to Nelson, thinking the Pirates would win the series on that play. Instead, it was tied, 9-9. Vinegar Bend Mizell (L) and George Witt (R) were up in the bullpen for Murtaugh. Haddix had pitched 7 innings just 3 days ago and was due up 2nd in the bottom of the ninth. Haddix got the final out when Skowron grounded to Groat who threw to Maz for the force on Mantle. But the Yankees had tied it 9-9.

For the bottom of the ninth, McDougald remained in the game at 3B and Boyer moved from 3B to SS. Mizell, who had pitched 2 strong innings in relief the day before, was called to make his way from the bullpen to the dugout. He would be Murtaugh’s choice to begin the 10th inning. Beyond Mizell, Murtaugh would have Witt, Cheney, Green and Gibbon for extra innings. Labine had pitched 3 innings the day before in the 12-0 loss to save the bullpen as much as possible. They had all been hit hard in the series. The only position players left on the bench were Schofield, Baker and Oldis. None had power. And while Schofield had been red-hot in September, Baker and Oldis had combined for a mere 13 hits the entire season. The Yankees had a lot of power in their lineup and slugger Bob Cerv still on the bench. Murtaugh couldn’t have been looking forward to extra innings.

Mazeroski, Haddix and Virdon were the scheduled batters for the Pirates in the ninth. Stuart was told to grab a bat and follow Mazeroski as a pinch hitter for Haddix. Mazeroski took a high slider for ball one. Blanchard went out and told Terry to keep it down because Maz was a good high ball hitter. Terry’s 1-0 delivery was another slider, still up too high. Maz pounced on it. He knew it was hit well and thought he had extra bases. So Maz was flying around first base to ensure at least a double.

"Here's a swing and a high fly ball going deep to left. This may do it! Back to the wall goes Berra. It is over the fence, home run! The Pirates win it!"--Chuck Thompson, 1960 WS Game 7 NBC radio broadcast.

Maz saw the second base umpire signal HR and slowed down, waving his helmet. The Yankees trotted off the field in disbelief as Maz made his famous run around the bases. He was mobbed by ushers, fans and teammates between 3B and home plate. And Pittsburgh hasn’t been the same since. The game ended about 3:36 p.m. And fans celebrated long into the night.

Haddix (2-0) was the winner in relief. Terry (0-2) took the loss. There were no strikeouts in the game. The Pirates stranded only 1 runner (Virdon in the 2nd). Mantle had 3 hits. Richardson and Skowron had 2 hits apiece. Skowron and Berra hit HRs. Virdon, Burgess and Maz had 2 hits apiece for the Pirates. Nelson, Smith and Mazeroski had HRs. These were the Pirates only HRs in the series other than Mazeroski’s 2-run shot in game 1. 36,683 fans were in attendance.

Richardson 2B
Kubek SS
Maris RF
Mantle CF
Berra LF
Skowron 1B
Blanchard C
Boyer 3B
Turley P

Virdon CF
Groat SS
Skinner LF
Nelson 1B
Clemente RF
Burgess C
Hoak 3B
Mazeroski 2B
Law P

It was an incredible series. The Yankees won by 16-3, 10-0 and 12-0. And still lost the series. Mazeroski was the offensive star in 3 of the 4 Pirate wins. He hit .320 with 2 HRs and 5 RBIs. Vern Law pitched 3 outstanding games. Elroy Face saved 3 games. Yet, the series Most Valuable Player went to the Yankees’ Bobby Richardson, the only time the honor was ever given to a member of the losing team. Richardson had an outstanding series. But his value to the Yankees in wins of 16-3, 10-0 and 12-0 while they failed to win the series paled in comparison to the value of Mazeroski, Law or Face in wins of 6-4, 3-2, 5-2 and 10-9.

The Yankees had 10 HRs in the series. The Pirates, who hit 1 HR in the first 6 games, got 3 in game 7. Rocky Nelson, whose 7 HRs and 35 RBIs in 1960 may have made him the unlikeliest cleanup hitter ever in a championship game, rewarded Danny Murtaugh’s confidence with a 2-run HR in the 1-run victory. And the biggest blow of all was struck by Hal Smith with 2 on and 2 out in the 8th inning of game 7. And Smith, a right-handed batter who did not start the game, would not have been playing against the right-handed Jim Coates if Burgess had not singled and been run for an inning earlier.

The Yankees team BA was .338. The Pirates hit .256. NY outscored the Bucs 55-27. The Yankees’ team ERA was 3.54. The Pirates’ ERA was 7.11. Richardson set a WS record with 12 RBIs. Mantle had 11 RBIs and 3 HRs. As a celebrating Gino Cimoli said in the winners’ clubhouse, "They set all the records and we won the game." Casey Stengel, who had led the Yankees into 10 of the last 12 World Series, was fired shortly after the 1960 Series ended. He had been expected to win it.

Tomorrow: What became of the members of the 1960 Pirates?

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