1960 - Game 7: New York Yankees @ Pittsburgh Pirates
Vinegar Bend Mizell
After finishing third, 25 games behind the White Sox, in 1959, the Yankees management considered major changes for 1960.
In the senior circuit, the Pittsburgh Pirates won the franchise's first pennant since 1927.
- After seven years of finishing either 7th or last, the Pirates rose to 2nd in 1958 before sinking to 4th in '59. But the farm system that Branch Rickey revitalized in the early '50s finally paid off in 1960.
When Rickey, ousted by Walter O'Malley in Brooklyn, took control of the Pirates in 1950, he announced: We're pointing toward 1955. That's when the bells will start ringing as the red wagon comes down the street. That's when the Pittsburgh folks will shout, "By George, this is it!" When 1955 came and went and the Bucs were still mired in last place, Rickey retired to deal with health problems. His successor, Joe Brown, completed the rebuilding process.
- Like the AL champs, the Bucs led their lead in runs scored (734 despite finishing 6th in HRs) and fewest allowed (593, tied with the Dodgers).
- Danny Murtaugh's Pirates had a solid top to bottom batting order. SS Dick Groat led in batting (.325) with RF Roberto Clemente second (.314). No other starter hit above the magic .300 mark, but the lowest average was a respectable .260 for 1B Dick Stuart, who topped the team in HRs with only 23 but also in strikeouts (107).
Groat once said of Clemente: He had the greatest God-given talent I ever saw. There was nothing in the game he couldn't do if he wanted to. Roberto had a reputation as a malingerer. But hardly anyone knew that, before he reported to the Pirates, he was involved in an automobile crash that left him with persistent back problems.
- Vern Law led the starting staff and the entire NL with 20 wins against only 9 losses. Bob Friend, another righty, was a close second at 18-12. Then came two southpaws, Vinegar Bend Mizell (13-5) and Harvey Haddix (11-10). Elroy Face added 10 victories out the bullpen to go with 24 saves.
- After moving back and forth between the top two spots in the early spring, Pittsburgh took first place for good on May 30, eventually winning by seven games over the Milwaukee Braves.
The Yankees entered the franchise's 25th World Series as 7-to-5 favorites.
- Since each team clinched early in the last week of the season, both managers could arrange their starting pitching as they saw fit.
- Stengel surprised many pundits by naming Art Ditmar to start Game One. While Art had led the team in victories, observers expected Casey to go with Whitey Ford, veteran of twelve Fall Classic starts.
Not choosing Whitey would come back to haunt Ole Case and be a factor in losing his job.
Mantle: My own feeling was that the pitching staff suffered from the absence of Jim Turner. I don't know exactly what happened, but the management had been putting heat on Casey after the nosedive of '59. So Jim Turner was pushed out as pitching coach ... I heard players on other teams say that Turner was the best pitching coach in the league. ... Casey was partial to ground-ball pitchers, and he liked Ditmar because he threw a lot of lowbreaking stuff ...
- In his first Series as a player or manager, Murtaugh also selected his top winner, Vern Law, to open the Series, proclaiming the 6'2" righty fully recovered from a mild ankle sprain suffered a few days earlier.
- Danny wasn't as forthcoming when asked about his captain, Groat, who had been sidelined with a fractured left wrist September 6 and didn't return to action until the last two days of the campaign. He's been our sparkplug all year. I've never seen a player who fought to win with greater determination. Were it anyone except Dick, I might have my doubts. When asked if his squad would fall victim to the jitters, the skipper scoffed. Don't forget the pressure was on our players all year. We weren't conceded to have a chance for the pennant, yet we made it. Why should we have the jitters now?
- Thus began one of the "zaniest" World Series ever, to use the adjective used by Pirates announcer Bob Prince during the first inning of the 7th game.
World Series Sluggers: Mickey Mantle,
Dick Stuart, Roger Maris
- Wednesday, October 5 @ Pittsburgh: Pirates 6 Yankees 4
WP: Vern Law; LP: Art Ditmar
- Thursday, October 6 @ Pittsburgh: Yankees 16 Pirates 3
WP: Bob Turley; LP: Bob Friend
- Saturday, October 8 @ New York: Yankees 10 Pirates 0
WP: Whitey Ford; LP: Vinegar Bend Mizell
- Sunday, October 9 @ New York: Pirates 3 Yankees 2
WP: Law; LP: Ralph Terry
- Monday, October 10 @ New York: Pirates 5 Yankees 2
WP: Harvey Haddix; LP: Ditmar
- Wednesday, October 12 @ Pittsburgh: Yankees 12 Pirates 0)
WP: Ford; LP: Friend
The first six games fell into a pattern.
- When the Pirates won, they won by a small margin. The total runs for the two clubs in the three Bucs' victories was 14-8.
- When the Yankees won, they clobbered the Pirates: 38-3.
- New York also held the edge in hits, 78-42, and HRs, 8-1.
- The Yanks had already set the World Series record for hits (78) and runs (46).
Observers then and now raised this question: Why did Stengel
on the mound for all nine innings in Game Six when the Yankees
led 8-0 after six innings. Throwing three fewer innings might allow Whitey
to contribute an inning or two in the finale if needed.
Decades later, when a videotape of Game 7 of 1960 was discovered, Yogi was asked by a fan why Stengel didn't take Ford out of Game 6 with the issue well in hand. Who knows? replied Berra. We didn't think like that. That wasn't the way the game was played then.
Game 7: Thursday, October 13 @ Pittsburgh
Neither manager's choice of a starter surprised anyone.
- The night before Game 7, Stengel told rookie righthander Bill Stafford he would start the finale. Bill thanked him and told his manager not to worry. Then he slept soundly. But the next morning, Casey changed his mind and chose veteran Bob Turley, the hero in relief in the '58 ultimate game and winner of Game Two.
When Turley arrived at his locker before Game 7, he found a baseball inside one of his spikes. It was placed there by 3B Coach Frankie Crosetti. That was Stengel's way of telling Bob he would start.
- Murtaugh went with his ace Vern Law, who had already won Games One and Four. However, Law would be pitching on an injured ankle that he had hurt during the team's pennant-winning celebration.
If they needed extra incentive, the Pirates got it from quotes in a column by AP writer Joe Reichler in that morning's Post-Gazette. Following NY's 12-0 romp in Game 6, Berra told Reichler: Don't write this, but even if they beat us tomorrow, we've got much the better club. When Joe asked Mantle if he agreed, Mick replied, Hell, it's true, isn't it? If you don't want to be quoted on that, he can quote me.
The Yankees would miss one of their key contributors.
- C Elston Howard, who had started four of the six games, was hit on his throwing hand by a stray pitch from Bob Friend. Rushed to the hospital, Elston was diagnosed with a fracture of the fifth metacarpal.
- John Blanchard would start behind the plate with the versatile Yogi Berra in LF.
- A Yankee victory would give Casey Stengel his eighth World Series title to break the tie with Joe McCarthy for most all-time.
Before the Yankees took the field for Game 7, Stengel told his team: Win or lose, this has been a good year, and I want to thank you for everything. Players wondered, Was that a farewell speech?
A summery Fall day with temperatures in the low 70s formed the backdrop for the crowd of 36,683. NBC telecast the game in color although few in the viewing audience watched on one of the new expensive color TVs.
New York Lineup
- 2B Bobby Richardson (9-for-25, .360) hit the second pitch on a line to SS Dick Groat, who caught it at his right ankle.
Stengel already had southpaw Bobby Shantz and righty Bill Stafford warming up.
Stafford had impressed his teammates and the coaching staff with his poise down the stretch.
SS Tony Kubek (10-for-27, .370), tied with Bill Skowron for most hits in the Series, hit a shallow fly that 2B Bill Mazeroski caught easily.
RF Roger Maris worked the count to 3-and-2 before fouling to 3B Don Hoak halfway up the 3B line.
- Bob Turley struck out 87 but walked 88 from his "no windup" delivery during the regular seson. If he had his control, he could be dominating. But Stengel had pitchers ready lest "Wild Turley" appear.
CF Bill Virdon (5-for-25, .200) hit the second pitch to Yogi Berra in LCF.
Groat (5-for-24, .208) popped to Kubek in short LF.
LF Bob Skinner drew a walk.
Bob had jammed his thumb in the first game of the Series and sat out the next five.
1B Rocky Nelson, called "Old Dad" by his teammates because he was the oldest Pirate at 35, had finally played in the World Series after 18 years in pro ball. The left-handed hitter stood in with his open stance, facing the P - his "John L. Sullivan" stance, as one writer dubbed it. But he moved his right foot toward the mound as the delivery came in. After falling behind 2-0, Turley bent a slow curve over the inside corner. The next delivery was a fast ball that Nelson deposited into the lower stands in RF for the Pirates' second roundtripper of the Series. That brought Stengel to the edge of the dugout steps, ready to pull his hurler on a moment's notice.
But he didn't need to because RF Roberto Clemente popped to Richardson.
Because of Clemente and his countryman, Yankee relief P Luis Arroyo, the Series drew great interest in Puerto Rico and throughout the Caribbean.
Pirates 2 Yankees 0
- Blanchard hit a one hopper up the middle that Law snared to his right for an easy out.
Boyer popped to Mazeroski in short CF.
Hector Lopez (2-for-6, .333) hit for Stafford and smacked an 0-2 pitch on the ground between 3B and SS to become the first Yankee baserunner.
Richardson lined to Skinner almost in his tracks in LF.
- Shantz, the pride of Pottstown PA, made his second appearance in the Series.
Skinner pulled a curve ball to Skowron who made the putout unassisted.
The crowd gave Nelson a good hand after his HR. Oddly, he had a better lifetime average against lefties than righties. He thrilled the crowd briefly by pulling a high curve ball into the RF stands far wide of the foul pole. Rocky then drew a base on balls.
Clemente tried a drag bunt on the first pitch but rolled it foul. He then hit a tailor-made DP grounder to Richardson to retire the side.
Bobby Richardson throws to first over Rocky Nelson to complete the DP.
- Kubek popped to Groat just on the outfield grass.
Maris made Law work, slashing the sixth pitch hard but right at Clemente.
Mantle picked on the first pitch and lined a single to RF.
Waving two bats around his head as he stepped into the batter's box, Yogi pulled the ball like the previous two lefthanded hitters but Clemente ran toward the line to snare the sinking liner.
- Burgess bounced to Richardson on the first pitch.
Hoak likewise grounded out 4-3.
Maz popped to Kubek near the LF line.
- Skowron sliced a HR into the RF stands. His other Series four-bagger went to the opposite field also.
Virdon ran in and easily took Blanchard's fly.
Elroy Face began warming in the Pirate bullpen along with lefty Harvey Haddix. Meanwhile, Jim Coates threw for the Yanks.
Boyer hit the ball solidly right at Mazeroski.
Shantz hit for himself, which caused Coates to sit down in the bullpen down the LF line. Bobby popped to Nelson near the mound.
Pirates 4 Yankees 1
- His curve breaking sharply, Shantz continued to mow down the Bucs.
Law got hold of one down the LF line but the ball hooked foul. Boyer then stabbed a one hopper to his left and threw out the Pirate P.
Virdon reached for a curve and hit a soft liner on one hop to Richardson.
Groat lined a curve softly right back at Bobby.
- The Yanks started from the top of the order with Richardson lining a single in front of Virdon in CF.
drew a full-count walk.
Murtaugh decided to bring in his fork-balling relief ace, Face, for the fourth time in the Series The crowd gave Law a standing ovation as he left the mound.
Murtaugh explained after the game why he took out his starter. I knew his ankle was hurting, and he might have injured his pitching arm if he'd stayed in any longer. Winning a World Series is important but not at the cost of ruining a pitcher like Vernon Law.
Showing signs of a tired arm, Elroy struggled for the first time in the Series.
Maris popped out to Hoak just outside the foul line behind 3B.
Mantle hit a grounder over 2B that Groat, not known for his range, could not get a glove on. Richardson scored, and Kubek hustled to 3B.
All game long, Berra had been telling his mates that, if they could get Law out of the game and get to Face, they'd win. Now he backed up his words with action.
Face tried to slip a fastball past Berra, but Yogi drilled a towering fly that landed in the upper deck just inside the RF foul pole to give the Yankees the lead and end Law's quest to become a three-game Series winner. Normally not prone to excessive displays, Berra leapt as he rounded 1st and saw the ball go into the stands.
Mantle thought, If this was going to be Casey's last game, it was fitting that the big blow would be delivered by Yogi, the only Yankee who was there when Stengel arrived in New York in 1949.
Skowron fouled out to Hoak near the stands.
Blanchard grounded to Nelson on a 3-2 pitch.
Yankees 5 Pirates 4
Berra hits a three-run HR in the 6th.
- Skinner lined a hanging curve to Maris.
Nelson lashed another curve on a big hop to Skowron unassisted.
Clemente hit a high chop to the left of the mound. Shantz, an excellent fielder, whirled and threw the speedy RF out with ease.
Bobby had now thrown four hitless innings.
- Virdon ran to his right to haul in Boyer's liner.
A righthanded batter, Shantz bounced a chopper off the hard infield that went over Hoak's head down the LF line. Skinner, playing shallow and toward the line, held the diminutive P to a single.
Bob Friend and Haddix warmed up in the Pirate bullpen in the RF corner.
Whitey Ford, who had been warming up for the Yankees, sat down.
Richardson grounded into a 5-4 forceout.
Kubek lined straight to Clemente.
- Burgess opened with a single to CF, the first hit off Shantz. Joe Christopher from the Virgin Islands ran for slow-footed Smokey.
The pinch runner took off on a full count pitch to Hoak. The crowd roared as Don got good wood on the ball, but it flew right to Berra.
Stengel came out to consult with Shantz.
On the first pitch, Mazeroski rapped
into a 6-4-3 DP.
- Hal Smith took over the catching duties - a fateful move by Murtaugh as it would turn out.
Maris hit the first pitch back to Face and was thrown out at 1B.
Mantle lined to Groat.
Face walked Berra on a 3-2 pitch.
Skowron picked on the first pitch and hit a high bouncer to Hoak, who threw to 2B too late to get Berra. It was Bill's 12th hit, tying a Series record.
Blanchard reached down and blooped a liner over Mazeroski's head to score Berra and send Skowron to third.
Friend resumed throwing in the pen.
Boyer smacked the first delivery just inside the LF line into the corner for a double that drove in Skowron and moved Blanchard to 3B.
Shantz hit for himself and, as he did in the 7th, chopped the ball down the 3B line, but this time the ball passed the bag just foul. He then poked a liner to Clemente, playing shallow in RF.
Yankees 7 Pirates 4
- At times when Berra played LF, Stengel moved Kubek to LF in the late innings and put Joe DeMaestri at SS. Yogi might move behind the plate in those instances. But Casey didn't make those moves in this game.
Gino Cimoli (4-for-19) hit for Face as both bullpens kept busy: Terry and Coates for the Yankees, Friend and Haddix for Pittsburgh.
Cimoli recalled feeling slightly weak at the stomach as he got his bat and walked to the plate.
Gino looped a single into short RCF.
Then came one of the most eventful plays of the game. Virdon hit a tailor-made DP ball right at Kubek. But at the last moment, the ball, hit something - a pebble? a clod of dirt? an angel's toe? - and shot up into Tony's throat. He dropped to the ground as both batter and runner reached safely.
Virdon: I hit the ball well, but I hit the ball right at Tony. I thought, "Oh,heck, a double play." Fortunately, there was a clump of dirt out of place, a pebble or something, and just as he got ready to field the ball, it took a quick, short hop that wasn't expected, and it hit him in the throat, directly in the Adam's apple. Instead of the double play, I ended up getting a single, and we had two runners on and nobody out. There's no question it would have been a double play.
After the trainer attended to him for several minutes, Kubek reluctantly left the game to the polite applause of the crowd. His windpipe swollen, Tony was spitting blood and couldn't tell Casey that he wanted to stay in the game. DeMaestri took over at SS.
Kubek stayed overnight in Pittsburgh's Eye and Ear Hospital for observation. He recalled in 1985: It was a terrible infield. It was like the beach at Normany, half sand, half pebbles, and they never dragged it.
Instead on two out and none on, the Pirates enjoyed runners on first and second with no outs.
Trainer administers to Tony Kubek after he is hit in the throat in 8th inning.
Arthur Daley wrote in the New York Times the next day:
Little Bobby Shantz ... bore down on Bill Virdon and forced him to slap a double-play ball at Tony Kubek. But the grounder, spitefully steered by Dame Fortune, struck a pebble and leaped at Kubek's throat, felling him for a freakish hit.
Groat whacked a 1-1 pitch between Boyer and the new SS to send Cimoli home from 2B. Virdon stopped there.
There hadn't been anything quite like it in world series history since 1924, when Earl McNeely of Washington slapped a grounder at Freddie Lindstrom of the Giants in the twelfth inning of the seventh game. This also hit a pebble. It skipped over Lindy's head and won the series.
Today's pebble wasn't quite so climactic in effect, but it did trigger a chain reaction.
Despite the fact that two left-handed hitters were up next, Stengel brought in RHP Jim Coates, a 13-game winner who had pitched two scoreless innings in Game 4.
Skinner bunted the first pitch to Boyer, who threw Bob out as both runners advanced a base.
Lefty Luis Arroyo joined Terry in the Yankee bullpen.
Nelson lifted a fly into short RF, but Virdon couldn't advance as Maris whipped the ball in.
Coates now had a chance to get out of the inning without further damage and the Yanks still leading 7-5. Casey went out to talk to Coates. (Did he ask him if he wanted to walk Clemente? That would put the go-ahead run on first.)
Coates wanted to pitch Clemente outside, trying to get the free-swinger to lunge at a bad pitch.
Jim jumped ahead of Roberto 0-2. After fouling off a pitch and taking a ball, Clemente reached out for a curve and hit a high chopper between the mound and 1B. Coates at first ran toward the ball. Then, when he realized Skowron would field it, deviated and headed toward 1B. But it was too late. Moose didn't bother to toss the ball as Clemente reached safely, Virdon scoring from 3B as a roar erupted from the crowd. It appeared that the batter would have been safe even if Coates had run straight to the bag.
That brought up C Hal Smith, who had replaced Burgess behind the plate in the top of the inning after Smoky gave way to a pinch runner.
First pitch: Curve on the outside corner. Strike 1.
Knowing Smith liked low pitches, Coates planned to "climb the ladder," hoping to get him to swing at a high hard one and pop up.
Second pitch: High. Ball 1.
At the plate, Hal repeated to himself, Meet the ball. Meet the ball.
Third pitch: Swing and a miss. 1-2 count.
Fourth pitch: Started to go for a ball over his head but checked his swing. In those days, the home plate didn't routinely ask the 1B umpire for help on such plays.
Umpire Bill Jackowski ruled ball 2 - another "what if?" moment in a game filled with them.
Fifth pitch: Smith smashed a low fastball over the LF wall to score three runs. As Coates watched the ball vanish, he flung his glove high in the air. Before the glove came down, Stengel was on his way to the mound.
Smith: It just felt like another home run until I rounded second and started for third and saw the people. They were on top of the dugout. Then it dawned on me. I got quite excited. He fought the urge to do a somersault. Later on, Hal said, I finally had a chance to be a hero, and then I didn't make it.
Ralph Terry replaced Coates and got Hoak to fly to LF to finally end the five-run uprising.
Mel Allen on the TV broadcast: The fans go wild in Pittsburgh as Hal Smith slams a long drive 425' over the LF wall scoring Groat and Clemente ahead of him. ... One of the most dramatic base hits in the history of the World Series. ... That base hit will long be remembered.
Chuck Thompson on the radio broadcast: We have seen and shared in one of baseball's great moments. Hal Smith has just hit a home run to put the Pirates in front by a score of 9 to 7. Thompson's partner, Jack Quinlan, agreed. I'm almost speechless. This is one of the most dramatic home runs of all time! Five runs are in, and the Pirates again have the lead. A tremendous wallop by Smith ... and the only reason that he was playing is that Burgess had been taken out earlier for a pinch-runner. ... Smith has delivered the cruelest blow ... When Smith got to the dugout, it's a wonder he could stand up ... he was pummelled by his teammates.
Pirates 9 Yankees 7
- Bob Friend took the mound for Pittsburgh to face the Yankees' 1-2-3 hitters.
Having been the loser in Games 2 and 6, Friend had a chance for redemption. He didn't feel tired. "You can rest all winter," Murtaugh told him. But Bob lasted only four pitches.
Richardson took a strike, then looped a single into LCF - his eleventh hit in the Series.
Dale Long, a lefthanded batter, hit for DeMaestri. Dale's claim to fame was his record streak of hitting a HR in eight consecutive games in 1956 while playing for the Pirates. Long lined a 1-1 pitch into RF for a single, sending Richardson to 2B.
Murtaugh brought in his fourth P, southpaw Harvey Haddix, to face
Maris. Haddix had won Game 5, giving up only two runs in 6 1/3 innings.
Haddix: That's the only time in my life I was really nervous. ... The hair stood up on the back of my neck. ... I kicked at the dirt in front of the mound. ... I was stalling. I had to get rid of that nervousness. Maris is in there, squeezing the sawdust out of the bat, and he can't wait to get at me. I'm talking to myself: "This is something you've waited all your life to do, and now you're going to blow it because of nerves." I don't think I threw a strike that inning. They were so anxious to hit.
The strategy worked as Maris popped to Smith behind the plate.
Hoak looked over from 3B and thought Harvey looked as cool as fish on ice.
Mantle: If you tend to overswing, you hate to face a pitcher like Haddix, who can twist you into a pretzel.
Haddix: The first pitch was a wasted pitch ... down and away. They didn't give me a chance to work on them. They all went for the second pitch. ... My second pitch to Maris was eight inches off the plate, and I jammed him, but Maris still hit the ball. He popped it up ...
Righthander George Witt joined Mizell in the bullpen.
Mantle, batting righthanded, lined the second pitch over Mazeroski's head for a single that drove Richardson home from 2B and sent the tying run, Long, to 3B. The blow was Mickey's third hit of the game and tenth of the Series, and the RBI was #11.
Haddix: Mantle likes the ball up and away. I'm going to back him farther off the plate. I knew you had to pitch him inside. On my second pitch, ... the ball was a foot off the plate, and he reached out and hit it. That was just bait; that's all it was.
Smith had a brief chat with Haddix as Berra strode to the dish. Yankee fans couldn't ask for anyone better at the plate in such a crucial situation.
After a ball to Yogi, Gil McDougald took Long's place on 3B.
Yogi drove the 2-0 pitch into the ground to 1B Nelson. For a fleeting moment, the Yankees thought Berra had smashed a double down the RF line to tie the game and possibly score Mantle with the go-ahead run as well. But Rocky made an outstanding backhand stop on the base. As he turned to throw to 2nd to get Mantle, Mickey, only 6' or so off the bag, dove back to 1B. Surprised, Nelson didn't get the tag down in time as the tying run scored. The "amazing turn of events," as Allen called it, gave Berra 36 RBI for his career, a World Series record.
Years later, Mantle explained that he started for 2B when Berra hit the grounder but knew that Nelson had me dead either way. So I ducked down and went underneath as he tried to tag me.
Skowron bounced the ball to Groat's right for a 6-4 forceout.
Nelson: I took one step off the bag with up; I couldn't take two steps off. The ball went over the bag and was in foul territory when I grabbed it.
In a New York Times article on the 50th anniversary of the game, C Smith revealed that he thought Nelson was going to throw home so he could tag McDougald and end the game. I thought we had a shot at McDougald. Hal also said he asked Nelson a few years after the play why he didn't throw home. Rocky told him, To be truthful, I didn't see you. Smith added, I understand Rocky's position. He sees a runner right there and thinks he can get him. He thought he could get Mantle.
A point that hasn't been made about this famous play was that, if Mickey had gone to 2nd, the Pirates had to tag him since Nelson had stepped on first to retire Berra. In the meantime, McDougald would have crossed the plate with the tying run. So the net effect of Mickey's quick thinking was to extend the inning.
Yankees 9 Pirates 9
- Terry returned to the mound to face Mazeroski. Allen reminded his viewers, "Sudden death now."
Dick Stuart moved on-deck to hit for the pitcher.
Mazeroski revealed years later that he had forgotten that he was the first batter in the bottom of the 9th. You're up! someone yelled in the dugout. So he got his helmet and bat.
First pitch: High slider. Ball one. Someone (a Pirate fan? a player? a coach or the manager?) could be heard yelling, "C'mon, Billy. Just get on." Blanchard went out for a quick word with Terry.
Ever confident despite his recent slump, Stuart imagined hitting a homer to win the World Series.
In the dugout, Law, a Mormon deacon, prayed that everything would come out right. Clemente was preparing himself in case he came to bat with two out and two on.
Blanchard: I had played against Mazeroski in the minor leagues. I knew he could hit that high ball. If you throw Bill a fast ball between the letters and the belt, he'll take you downtown.
Blanchard: (The first pitch) was just about an inch above the letters ... I just closed my eyes back there and put my mitt up there and let the ball stick. I said, "I'm glad he didn't swing." So I called time and went out to Terry and said, "Hey, listen, ... keep the ball down on this guy because, if you don't, we're going home early." So he said, "OK."
Second pitch: A fast ball a couple of inches lower than the first one. Mazeroski got hold of it and slammed it over the 406' sign in LCF to win the World Series! Pittsburghers would long remember both the date and the time: 3:37 PM. Terry threw his glove and stomped off the mound as fans poured from the stands.
Pirates 10 Yankees 9
Berra: I didn't think the ball was going out. I turned around, and I was going to play it off the wall. I was going to play the carom off the wall. ... If a guy hits a home run, you start walking in. But I didn't think this one was going out. I turned back after it went over the wall.
Mazeroski: When I hit it, I wasn't sure if it was going out. I knew Yogi wasn't going to catch it. ... On his trip around the bases: It was the first time I ever showed emotion on the field. I couldn't hold it down this time. We beat the Yankees, and I always hated the Yankees. They were always beating my Cleveland Indians. ... People say to me, "You beat the Yankees." But we beat the Yankees. It was the whole Pirates team.
Terry in 2004: I remember the pitch to Mazeroski. It was high - not high enough to be a ball, but right at the letters, exactly where Mazeroski liked it. I knew that he was a good high ball hitter, but I could not get the pitch down where I wanted it. After the first pitch, which was way up, Johnny Blanchard came out and told me to keep it down. Heck, I knew that. You have to remember that Casey Stengel had me warming up four or five times during the game. I was already tired when I came in to nail down the final out in the eighth inning. ... I felt bad after the game, not for me but for Casey. I went into his office, and he was taking off his uniform. He asked me about the pitch. Why did I leave it up high? Didn't I know the scouting report on Mazeroski? I told Casey I knew exactly what I was supposed to do but that I just couldn't get the ball down. That was okay with Casey. "As long as you weren't goin' against the scouting report. If it was just a physical mistake, that's fine."
That's all he said. I don't think it hit me at the time, but it turned out that I was the last person to see Casey wearing the Yankee pinstripes. Terry would get a chance to redeem himself in another Game 7 two years later.
Virdon: I was next at the bat rack. Dick Stuart was on deck. Did he know Maz's shot was going out right away? No, but I knew it was trouble. Immediately. You look to the outfield, and you look to see how the outfielder (Berra) is moving. You could see right away that he wasn't going to catch it. You were hoping it would hit the wall, and get away from him. Then it was out.
Mantle, who ran toward LCF to back up Berra: There was a sick sensation in the pit of my stomach. There was that unforgettable look on Yogi's face when he turned around, grim acceptance, expressed by a slow shrug of his shoulders. ... The Yankees walked off the field like zombies ... I can still see Terry trying to weave his way through the fans who were running onto the field. I can still see Mazeroski being swallowed up by his teammates as he crossed home plate.
- Mazeroski: Dad would have loved it. I only wish he could have been here today. Dad always wanted to play big league baseball himself. He was considered a great prospect. Once he was ready to sign with the Cleveland Indians, and then he had a foot cut off in a mine accident. From then on, all his hopes and ambitions were wrapped up in me, because I was an only son. Dad had to work hard in the mines, but whenever he could, he always would try to catch me a ball game or two. Then a year and a half ago, he died of lung cancer.
Concerning the home run: I came to bat intending to go for the long ball. The first pitch by Ralph Terry was a slider, a ball. The second was a high, fast one. I caught it on the fat of my bat. I knew immediately it was a good hit ball. I watched it sail over the fence as I rounded the bases. ... What did I think? I was too excited and too thrilled to think. It was the greatest moment of my life. On his team: We kept telling each other we could do it. All year, we've been a fighting, come-from-behind ball club. We always felt we could pull it out - even after the Yankees tied it up in the ninth - but I didn't think I'd be the guy to do it. It's hard to believe it's true. It certainly was a helluva ballgame. I've never seen anything more exciting or dramatic.
- Murtaugh: Of course, it's my biggest thrill. What bigger thrill could a baseball manager have than to win the World Series? No, I can't put into words how I feel. Right now it would take a man with a better education than I have. Just let's say I'm mighty proud and mighty happy.
When Bill Mazeroski hit that ball in the ninth, I doubted just for a moment that it would go over the wall ... When Yogi Berra stopped, I knew we had the World Series, and my one thought was - I'd like to kiss my wife. ... Everyone stood up on the bench, and I don't even remember who was beside me. I couldn't get to Mazeroski at all. What a terrific way to win a Series. It was just typical of my ball club - a fighting ball club all the way. There are no particular heroes to me. Every Pirate is a hero.
Danny added that, if the game had gone into extra innings, he probably would have called on Vinegar Bend Mizell to hurl the 10th.
As the celebration swirled around him, the skipper said, I'm going to go home and listen to some music and rock in my rocking chair.
- Hal Smith called his three-run HR in the 8th "the biggest thrill of my life." I hit a fast ball. It didn't dawn on me until I was rounding second base what it really meant. I knew, though, it was leaving the park.
- Nelson praised Mantle for his resourcefulness in getting back to 1B in the 9th to avoid the DP. Berra didn't hit it good, but it fooled me. I just missed Mantle. He slid inside the bag. He certainly made a good play.
- Cimoli: They broke all the records, and we won the game!
- Clemente told a reporter that he planned to use his World Series money to buy his mother a new home in Carolina, his hometown in Puerto Rico.
The only player to get a hit in all seven games packed up and left the jubilation. He was headed to New York to catch a flight to Puerto Rico the next day.
Mazeroski nearly paid a price for his heroism. I had been interviewed for an hour and a half after the game, and that gets old. The reporters were ten deep around me. They were asking me questions I had never been asked before. They wanted to know about my family ... and wanted to go way back. ... It had just been about baseball before that. ... I met Milene (his wife) outside the clubhouse and we lowered our heads and moved through the mob. It was pretty rough. We were by ourselves, and the fans just wanted to maul you. ... We went to a parking lot at a service station ... just across the street from Frankie Gustine's Restaurant ... Everybody knew us. Somebody gave me a beer. I toasted it, but somebody hit it and it nearly broke my tooth. I got into the car we had ... We drove up to Schenley Park to get away from it all. There was nobody there. ... Even the squirrels had disappeared. Maybe they were out celebrating.
- Reporters found Stengel sitting alone in front of his locker smoking a cigarette, his face pale and unsmiling. Rumored to be retiring at the end of the season, Casey said, I won't say anything about the future. I'm going to decide what I'm going to do later in October. I've got to find out a lot of things first.
I just told this team that they fought like eveything right down to the last inning. We were behind once, and we caught 'em. We were behind again, and we caught 'em a second time.
It's a good club. It showed it all the way through. At least every series I lost went to the last game.
Our pitching was a little off, but this is a good team.
Yes, it was a bad break when Tony Kubek got hit in the larynx. He was spitting blood, and he whispered to me that he couldn't talk, but he wanted to stay in the game. If it hadn't been for the bad bounce on the ball, we would have had one out, maybe even two.
A reporter asked, What about next year? How do I know about next year? said Casey. Some people my age are dead at this point in time.
The reporter persisted. Will you be back? Goddamnit, I just told ya, I ain't gonna tell you anything about it because I don't make my living here.
- Club President Dan Topping was asked, What's the pitch on Stengel? Dan replied, I won't talk about it now.
- Berra: I can't believe it. But he added, This was one of the most exciting games I ever played in. He also made sour grapes remarks unlike any he made at any other time in his long career as player and manager. We were the better team. That dirty, lousy infield beat us. What an excuse for a major league ballpark. We didn't lose this one. It was taken away from us.
- Shantz on the fateful 8th inning: I still had pretty good stuff. Cimoli's hit was on the fists, and he just plopped it into right. Then Virdon hit one that took a bad hop. I wasn't tired at all. Bobby added that four innings was his longest stint of the season.
- Maris was angry. The Pirates should never beat our club. I think if we played this team all season, we'd beat them real bad. They were real lucky. I think it is impossible for them to get any more breaks than they had in this Series.
- Mantle's eyes were moist and red from crying. He took a few minutes to control himself, then asked in an almost inaudible voice: How's Tony? They tell me his windpipe is broken. He was told it wasn't broken, but that there was internal bleeding and he was in the hospital. I sure hope he's all right, said Mickey. He's a good kid. When told he played a great Series, the Yankee star replied, But we lost. That's all that counts. I never thought we would. We had it won, too. We got nobody to blame but ourselves. Years from now, when people will look at the record books, all they'll know is that we lost. His eyes brimming up again, he turned his head. When asked what he would do in the offseason, Nothing. Not a thing. I'm going to stay in my home in Dallas and spend all winter trying to figure out how the heck we lost this Series.
Mantle wrote in 1994: I'm not embarrassed to say I cried in the clubhouse. I was angry at Casey all over again for getting cute with the way he used Whitey. I loved Casey, I really did. He was a big part of my career. But I believe he blew that one. ... The worst disappointment of my baseball career, and one that hurts to this day, was our loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 1960 World Series. The better team lost, the only time I truly felt that way. It wasn't even close. ...
Even now, thirty-four years later, I get upset when I think about it. The truth is, Casey blew it by not using Whitey Ford in the opener, which would have allowed him to start Whitey in three games. I didn't understand the decision then and I still don't.
Ford didn't talk to Stengel on the plan back to New York. Whitey told The New York Times in 1985 that not starting Game 1 in 1960 was the only time in my life I was mad at Casey. I couldn't figure it out. Sure, I missed some time during the season with a sore arm, but I had gotten back for a few games and I was all right.
wrote in The 1960 Pittsburgh Pirates - Day by Day: A Special Season
At 3:36.30 p.m. on Oct. 13, 1960, the city of Pittsburgh went wild. Everybody in a car honked the horn, everybody on the street started whooping and hollering, air-raid sirens wailed, chuch bells pealed, fire trucks added their sirens to the cacophony, everybody in a downtown office went to the window and started throwing paper by the waste-basketful onto the street below. Some emptied their filing cabinets. Confetti started floating down even before Bill Mazeroski crossed home plate to give the Pirates their first World Series title in 35 years.
At 4 p.m. the air still was full of bits of paper. No ticker-tape parade in New York ever saw more paper rain down.
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's Al Gioia wrote: "The bedlam - and there is no other way to describe the scene downtown after the game - continued on and on and on into the night. ... Confetti and debris were kneedeep on Fifth and Forbes Avenues as cheering, howling mobs engaged in a frenzy of screaming and yelling. Not since Colonel Bouquet saved Fort Pitt has there been such joy unconfined in the Golden Triangle." ...
Joe Falls of the Detroit Free Press was both overwhelmed and distracted by the outpouring of joy. "I left Forbes Field two hours after the game and was in paper up to my knees," he wrote. "It was the most beautiful scene you'd ever want to see. ... I went to my hotel room to write ... There was no air-conditioning. ... But it was so noisy I couldn't hear myself think, so I closed the window."
The Pittsburgh Press reported, "One veteran policeman said the celebration exceeded the ones on V-E and V-J days in World War II."
One group of Pittsburgers took their celebration to New York.
- They took the 8:15 PM flight to New York and took a taxi from LaGuardia to 42nd and Broadway, arriving about 11 as the theater crowds were letting out.
- They staged an impromptu parade, waving their Pirate pennants and "Beat 'em, Bucs" signs.
- One reveler said, I have some friends in New York who think there is no civilization west of the Hudson River. We showed 'em.
Total attendance was 349,813. Each member of the Pirates
earned $8,418, and the Yankees
made $5,125 each.
Two days after the Series ended, Dan Topping called a press conference and announced Casey Stengel's retirement because of his advanced age. Topping's attorney prepared a speech that Stengel dutifully read. When he finished, Joe Reichler, the baseball editor of the Associated Press, said, Casey, tell us the truth. Were you fired? You're goddamn right I was fired, the feisty 70-year-old replied. With that cat out of the bag, Stengel complained that he had never been allowed to pick his own coaches except for Jim Turner, who was fired after the '59 season. I wouldn't be a yes man, he said, dabbing a hankie to his moist cheeks. I never was, and I never will be. Casey added, I'll never make the mistake of being 70 again. Coach Ralph Houk was elevated to the manager's position.
1960 World Champion Pittsburgh Pirates
References: Dynasty: The New York Yankees 1949-1964, Peter Golenbock (1975)
The World Series, David S. Neft & Richard M. Cohen (1990)
Maz and the '60 Bucs: When Pittsburgh And Its Pirates Went All the Way, Jim O'Brien (1993)
All My Octobers: My Memories of 12 World Series When the Yankees Ruled Baseball,
Mickey Mantle with Mickey Herskowitz (1994)
The Seventh Game, Barry Levenson (2004)
Clemente: The Passion and Grace of Baseball's Last Hero, David Maraniss (2006)
Yogi Berra: Eternal Yankee, Allen Barra (2009)