Cardinals Clubhouse - IV

The 1964 Cardinals staged one of the greatest September spurts in history.

References: Drama and Pride in the Gateway City: The 1964 St. Louis Cardinals, ed. John Harry Stahl and Bill Nowlin (2013)
Stranger to the Game: The Autobiography of Bob Gibson with Lonnie Wheeler (1994)
Cardinals Journal: Year by Year & Day by Day with the St. Louis Cardinals Since 1882, John Snyder (2010)

The Spirit of St. Louis: A History of the St. Louis Cardinals and Browns, Peter Golenbock (2000)
Uppity: My Untold Story about the Games People Play, Bill White with Gordon Dillow (2011)
October 1964, David Halberstam (1994)
Dynasty: The New York Yankees 1949-1964, Peter Golenbock (1975)

Surprising '64 - Spring Training and April

Johnny Keane

Heading into the 1964 season, the Cardinals hadn't won the pennant since 1946.
  • They excited their fans in 1963 when they went on a tear from August 30 to September 15, winning 19 of 20 games to pull within a game of league-leading Los Angeles. It looked like the Redbirds would give legendary Stan Musial a fitting sendoff into retirement.
  • But the Dodgers came to St. Louis and swept a three-game series to start a six-game losing skid that doomed the Redbirds to second place, ending six games back despite winning 93 games. Still, it was the franchise's highest finish since 1957.
  • Was 1963 a fluke or the portent of an even better future?
  • At the least, the late season surge saved Manager Johnny Keane's job, which greatly pleased his players, particularly the African-Americans.

Keane's team had three major needs for '64.

  • A replacement for Musial in LF and a new RF after George Altman was deal to the New York Mets for P Roger Craig, who had just lost 24 and 22 games the previous two years for Casey Stengel's expansion team.
  • The Redbirds had led the NL in '63 in runs scored - 4.6 per game - but were only seventh in runs allowed - 3.9 per game. Hence the trade for Craig to add pitching depth.
Profile: Johnny Keane

Before he came to the Cardinals as a coach and then manager, Johnny Keane made a monumental contribution to the franchise by convincing Bob Gibson to stay in baseball and not play basketball full time. In his autobiography, Gibby described Keane as the closest thing to a saint that I came across in baseball.

  • Born in St. Louis in 1911, Johnny studied for the Catholic priesthood at the St. Louis Preparatory Seminary before choosing baseball as his profession.
  • The scrappy SS kicked around the minor leagues in the Cardinal organization until the outbreak of World War II.
  • Starting in 1938, he became a player-manager at the Class D level following a severe beaning that fractured his skull. The injury prevented him from serving in the military.
  • The Cards advanced Keane to AA Houston after the war, then AAA Rochester, followed by AAA Columbus.
  • When the Columbus franchise moved to Omaha, Keane had the opportunity to manage that city's native son, Gibson. The Cardinals organization had yet to make a final decision between grooming Bob as a P or converting him to OF. Gibby recalls, He had no prejudices concerning my color ... and on the morning I reported he asked me ... to throw some pitches to a few of the Omaha batters. Owing, I suppose, to fear of my fastball, none of them hit one out of the cage. chuckled and told me I was a pitcher. He never saw me play the outfield.
  • Two years after Keane's friend, Bing Devine, became the Cardinals GM in 1957, Johnny became a coach under Solly Hemus.
  • Gibson, Curt Flood, Bill White, and other African-Americans on the Cardinals despised Hemus, whom they considered a racist in addition to being overmatched as a ML manager. Gibson: Either he disliked us deeply or he genuinely believed that the way to motivate us was with insults. Hemus told both Gibson and Flood that they would never make it in the majors.
  • When the '61 Cardinals started 33-41, Keane replaced Hemus. Gibson, who had been pitched sporadically by Hemus and even sent down for part of one season, rejoiced. One of the first things Keane did as manager was walk up to me in the clubhouse, hand me the ball, and say, "You're pitching tonight, Hoot." It was a whole new world for the black players. The same night, Keane put Flood back in CF ... I was in the rotation to stay.

Keane's regular lineup to start the season was as follows:

  • 1B Bill White
  • 2B Julian Javier
  • SS Dick Groat
  • 3B Ken Boyer
  • LF Charlie James
  • CF Curt Flood
  • RF Carl Warwick
  • C Tim McCarver
Starting pitchers:
  • Bob Gibson
  • Curt Simmons
  • Ray Sadecki
  • Ernie Broglio
  • Roger Craig
The schedule sent the Cards to the West Coast to open the season
  • Ernie Broglio, who tied Gibson with 18 wins atop the '63 staff, started the opener against the Dodgers. Ernie didn't pitch badly, but Sandy Koufax fired a shutout, 4-0.
  • The next day, St. Louis beat the other half of LA's Big Two, Don Drysdale, 6-2 behind Gibson.

The Redbirds moved up the coast to San Francisco, where they took two of three.

  • Veteran Curt Simmons shut out the Giants 2-0 the first day.
  • When Roger Craig took the mound for the first time as a Cardinal, he had permission from the umpires to use a $3.95 hand warmer because of the bitter cold at Candlestick Park. He helped his own cause with a two-run double, but Willie Mays smacked a three-run HR. SF won in the 10th on reliever Ron Taylor's bases loaded walk.
    When Craig hit his two-run double, longtime St. Louis announcer Harry Caray exclaimed, The Cardinals are going to win the pennant! Holy cow!
  • Keane moved Flood to the leadoff spot for the first time in '64. Aided by three HRs (Flood, Boyer, and Johnny Lewis), Broglio pitched a complete game 3-2 victory as his skipper let him work out of trouble the last two innings.

The Cards finished the road trip with two games in Houston.

  • The lowly Colt .45's had finished 8th in their inaugural season of 1962 ahead of not only their expansion partner, the Mets, but also the miserable Cubs. Houston had dropped to 9th in '63 and would finish in that same spot in '64.
  • But after Gibson beat them 6-1 despite walking seven , they bounced back to rout Ray Sadecki in his first start of the season, 7-1.

The Cardinals finally opened at home against their '63 nemesis, the Dodgers.

  • 31,410, the largest crowd ever for a St. Louis home opener, saw their heroes wearing red caps for home games instead the traditional navy blue, which would continue to be donned on the road.
  • Two portsiders, Simmons and Koufax, started. After James hit a 3-run HR in the bottom of the 1st, Koufax retired with an arm injury. White's HR in the 7th proved to be the winning run, 7-6.
  • The Dodgers bounced back the next day, 7-5, as neither Broglio and Drysdale finished. Flood hit a double and a HR and drove in four in a losing cause.

The Colt .45's came to town for a three-game weekend series.

  • The opener went to the Redbirds 3-2 in 11 innings with Lew Burdette, longtime Cardinal nemesis when he toiled for Milwaukee, gaining his only win in a St. Louis uniform.
  • But the pesky Houstonians won the next two contests, 4-2 and 6-4, to level the Cards' record at 6-6.

The New York Mets, cellar-dwellers both years of their existence, would provide a perfect opportunity for the Cards to rise above .500 again.

  • Broglio coasted, 8-0, in the opener. Al Jackson, who would stifle the Redbirds late in the season, lasted only 1 2/3 innings.
  • The Mets put up a much tougher battle the next night, Tim Harkness socking a three-run HR off Gibby in the first inning. But after that, Bob allowed just two hits and no runs until replaced in the 8th. A bases loaded walk in the 11th put the victory in the Cards' column. 35-year-old reliever Bobby Shantz put up the last two goose eggs to gain the victory.

The Cardinals ended April with a mediocre 8-6 record despite playing half their games against the expansion teams from Houston and New York.

  • SS Groat ended the month with a puny .196 average. His DP partner, Javier, was even worse at .174 and was even benched for Phil Gagliano.
  • The new outfielders, Carl Warwick (.217), Charlie James (.238), and Doug Clemens (.250), had contributed little.
Continued below ...
May and June
Fifty years ago, the Cardinals staged one of the greatest September spurts in history.
The '64 Cardinals entered May in fourth place in the NL, 2.5 games behind Philadelphia.
  • Veteran Roger Craig pitched a complete game 6-2 victory to start the three-game home series against the Pirates.
  • However, the Buccos took the remaining two games, 5-4 and 12-8, roughing up Ernie Broglio for eight runs in 4 1/3 in the latter contest. Ray Sadecki took the loss by surrendering the go-ahead runs in the top of the sixth to run his ERA to 11.57.

The Phillies came to town for a two-game set.

  • The Redbirds gave Bob Gibson a 7-2 lead in the opener, but the fireballer didn't get to reap the spoils because of a beanball war. After Curt Flood hit a HR in the 2nd, Phils' P Dennis Bennett fired a pitch inches from Julian Javier's head because he felt the Cards were digging in on him too much. When Bennett came to the plate in the 3rd, Gibson threw consecutive deliveries over his head, eliciting a warning from the umpires. When Bob batted in the 4th, reliever Jack Baldschun hit Gibby on the ankle. On his way to first, Bob flipped his bat at Baldschun, who caught it with his glove. The umpires immediately ejected the Cardinal hurler. Craig finished the game and got the victory.
  • The next night, Ray Washburn dueled Phils' ace Jim Bunning, who left after surrendering two in the 5th. The Phillies got a run in the eighth before Ron Taylor shut them down for the save.

The Cardinals embarked on a nine-game, three city Eastern road trip.

  • They split two games with the Pirates, losing the opener 1-0 to long-time nemesis Bob Friend. The good news was that Sadecki pitched well. The winning run scored in the bottom of the 9th on a wild throw by Gibson, who relieved Ray when Roberto Clemente led off with a double.
  • Then Curt Simmons won 4-2 with Craig garnering his second save.

St. Louis then made its first-ever visit to Shea Stadium.

  • The four-game series started with another walkoff win for the home team. Carl Warwick hit a three-run HR in the 8th to tie the game at 4. In the bottom of the 9th, reliever Bobby Shantz took the loss on a single, a sacrifice, and another single.
  • The Redbirds won the Saturday game 5-1 behind Gibson before splitting the Sunday DH. Washburn won the nightcap 10-1 with relief help from Taylor.

The Cards continued their winning streak over the Phillies.

  • Sadecki won the opener 3-2 for his first complete game of the season, and Simmons bested his old team 4-2.
  • Bunning outdueled Broglio 3-2 in the finale.
  • Johnny Keane's club returned to St. Louis with a 16-12 record, good for third place, 1.5 behind the Giants.

The seven-game homestand produced a 5-2 mark.

  • The Braves lost 3-of-4 with Craig, Sadecki, and Simmons credited with victories.
  • The Cubs dropped 2-of-3, with Gibson striking out 12 to best former Cardinal Larry Jackson 1-0. Broglio had a miserable game in the loss, uncorking a record-tying three wild pitches in one inning, all curves that bounced past backup C Bob Uecker.
  • A weekend trip to Milwaukee didn't go well. After Simmons won the opener 6-1 with a three-hitter, the visitors dropped the last three, surrendering 25 runs.

The next homestand ended even-steven.

  • The Giants won back-to-back 2-1 games, Juan Marichal outdueling Gibson in the opener.
  • Cincinnati fell three times in the weekend four-game series. Sadecki continued his good hurling and Broglio got a 7-1 win. Gibson finished off the visitors 2-1 in the finale.

Next came a June 2-June 17 road trip from hell that would lead to changes on the ballclub.

  • After splitting the first two contests at Wrigley Field, the Cards dropped four in a row, one to the Cubs and three more in Cincinnati.
  • The Birds rallied to cop two of three from the Giants but got swept in L.A., scoring only two runs in three games against Don Drysdale, Sandy Koufax, and Joe Moeller.
  • Two more losses in Houston ran the losing streak to five.
  • On the June 15 trade deadline, the Cardinals were mired in seventh place, 28-31 and 6.5 back. They had scored only 29 runs in the first 13 games of the road trip with only three victories. Included was a 25-inning scoreless streak.
  • So GM Bing Devine made a six-player deal with the Cubs. He sent pichers Ernie Broglio and Bobby Shantz and OF Doug Clemens to Chicago for OF Lou Brock and hurlers Jack Spring and Paul Toth. The press immediately labeled the trade as "Broglio-for-Brock."
  • Bob Gibson spoke for many Cardinals when he labeled the deal with the Cubs "the worst trade ever." The Chicago press exulted that the downtrodden Cubs had finally put one over on their rivals from St. Louis.
Profile: Lou Brock

Lou Brock had done little in Chicago to justify the Cardinals' trading a front­line starter for him.

  • Brock had attended Southern University in Baton Rouge on an aca­demic scholarship, which he quickly lost because he didn't maintain his GPA. Not wanting to go back to the poverty of his childhood in rural Louisiana, Lou tried out for the baseball team in hopes of gaining an athletic scholarship.
  • After playing little as a freshman, he broke out as a sophomore - .545 BA with 13 HRs in only 27 games as Southern became the first black school to win the NAIA championship.
  • After continuing his fine play as a junior, he signed with the Cubs for a $30,000 bonus. He batted .387 in the Instructional League but was considered a raw talent in need of a great deal of polishing.
  • He won the class C Northern League batting title in 1961 with a .361 average to earn a late-season callup to Chicago.
  • He made the ML roster in 1962. Playing RF and CF, he hit .263. He didn't improve the following season and struggled with his fielding. In fact, Bob Smith of the Chicago Daily News in '63 proclaimed him the worst outfielder in baseball history.
  • Lou later admitted that he was his own worst enemy, pressing con­stantly as the criticism mounted. The Cubs' novel rotating system of coaches who took turns managing during the season didn't help him at all.

Brock started in RF the final two games of the road trip.

  • Batting second behind Curt Flood, Lou went 2-for-3 with a triple and two BB. He also stole a base. The Cards banged out 15 hits to romp over the Colt 45s 7-1 behind Simmons.
  • The next night, Brock had one hit in four ABs with an RBI. Washburn gave up only two hits in 7 1/2 innings in the 2-1 victory.

The Cardinals now began a crucial 13-game homestand.

  • The Giants split a four game visit. Gibson won his sixth game, 3-1, and Brock had a run-scoring double.
  • Next in were the 8th-place Colt 45s. Brock had two hits and two SBs in the 5-4 opening triumph. He now had four SBs in eight games. Keane warned opponents, We may squander a few, but we'll be running the bases. After Houston took Game Two, the Cards won the series 4-2 behind Craig.
  • The first-place Phillies spent the weekend in the Mound City but won only two of four. Sadecki pitched a complete game for his 8th victory.
  • Finally, the Braves won the last two games to drop the Redbirds under .500 again, 36-38, in 7th place.

The statistics as June ended showed this.

  • Only one Card had a BA starting with .3 and that was Flood with an even .300. Boyer was at .297
  • SS Dick Groat was hitting .286. Brock had raised his average from .251 to .283 during his time in red.

Julian Javier

Ron Taylor

Lou Brock

Surprising '64 - July and August
Fifty years ago, the Cardinals staged one of the greatest September spurts in history.

Dick Groat

Mike Shannon

Bob Skinner

Ernie Broglio

Barney Schultz

Bing Devine

Joe Moeller

Sandy Koufax


August Busch Jr.


Bob Gibson

As June turned into July, the 7th-place Redbirds started on a ten-game road trip.
  • After losing the last two home games to the Braves, the Cards returned the favor, taking both contests in Milwaukee, 6-1 behind Curt Simmons and 4-3 for Sadecki's ninth win. New LF Lou Brock made a sensational play on Rico Carty's drive to the LF wall to end the opener, and 2B Julian Javier homered in both contests.
  • But the Cardinals brief stay in fifth place didnt last long as Cincinnati took two-of-three low-scoring games: 4-1 and 3-2 losses before a 3-1 triumph with Roger Craig scattering 10 hits.
  • Baseball now took three days off for the All-Star game at brand new Shea Stadium in New York. 3B Ken Boyer and SS Dick Groat were selected as starters while CF Curt Flood and 1B Bill White also played.
  • The Cardinal club then made their second visit to Shea. After losing the opener 4-3 on Frank Thomas's two-run walkoff HR in the bottom of the 9th, St. Louis rebounded with a 3-1 triumph for Bob Gibson's 7th win and an 11-4 romp for Sadecki's tenth. In the first victory, newly called-up RF Mike Shannon drove in two with a single.
    Manager Johnny Keane called a clubhouse meeting at Shea Stadium to defuse a situation that had been brewing for some time. He had given his captain, Dick Groat, the go-ahead to call a hit-and-run any time he wanted to. But when the play backfired several times in a game, Keane revoked the privilege. Groat sulked and stopped talking to his manager. The tension divided the ball club. Without singling out anyone, Keane told the whole team to stop second-guessing him and grumbling behind his back. To Groat's credit, he apologized to Keane and all the players. As Carl Warwick recalled, After that the whole team kind of melded together. That's where we really kind of kicked it off.
  • The sojourn ended in Pittsburgh. After the Sunday game was rained out, the Cards swept a doubleheader the next day, 5-4 in 12 innings and 12-5. Brock garnered seven hits in the twinbill. White, who had blamed himself for the Cards' disappointing showing - "A year ago this time, I had 60 RBIs, to 30 now." - socked six hits in the twinbill to raise his average ten points to .269.
    In his autobiography, White pointed to the Cards' new LF as a reason for his improved hitting.
    I would up hitting .303 for the season, with 21 HRs and 102 RBIs - 72 of them in the second half of the season.
    Lou Brock was one reason for that. I usually batted behind Brock, so if he walk­ed or got a base hit it was a big advantage for me or for any other batter who fol­lowed him. With a guy that fast on first, no pitcher wanted to risk a breaking pitch that his catcher might have trouble catching or have to dig out of the dirt - by which time Lou would be well on his way to another stolen base. So whenever Lou was on base, I could look forward to a steady diet of fastballs - and I could hit fastballs.

So the Cardinals returned home after a 7-3 Eastern swing to face another struggling team, the defending world champion Dodgers who were mired in 7th place.

  • The win streak extended to five games with a thrilling come-from-behind 8-7 triumph over LA. Trailing 7-2 going into the 8th, the Cards scored two in that frame, then four in the 9th. Bob Skinner's single plated Ken Boyer and Bill White with the tying and winning runs against Bob Miller, who took over from the Dodgers' closer Ron Perranoski, who normally gave the Redbirds trouble.
  • But the Dodgers prevailed the next two nights, 13-3 over Gibson and 10-2 against Sadecki, to drop St. Louis back to 6th place.
  • The last place Mets provided the tonic the Cardinals needed to return to health. The St. Louisans scored 31 runs in their three victories but only two in their loss to Jack Fisher. The wildest game was the second of the four, in which NY scored five in the first and still led 6-4 in the 8th when the Cards plated 11 men. Included in the out­burst were a grandslam by Boyer followed by solo shots by White and C Tim Mc­Carver. In the final game of the series, the home team smacked six straight hits with none out in the 9th to score four and win 7-6.
  • With momentum seemingly on their side after winning 9 of 13, the Cardinals re­verted to their earlier inconsistent ways. The Pirates came to the Mound City and swept the three-game set, scoring 29 runs to only 11 for the home team. Sadecki, Craig, and Mike Cuellar were the losers.
  • Final verdict for the homestand: 4 wins, 6 defeats.

Perhaps a change of scenery would improve the Cards' luck.

  • Not right away as the Phillies pounded Gibson for a 9-1 victory. However, St. Louis bounced back to take the remaining three games in Connie Mack Stadium, including a Sunday doubleheader: 10-9, 6-1, and 4-1. Boyer's second grand slam of the sea­son sparked the 10-9 victory on Saturday while rookie Gordon Richardson made his ML debut with a complete game in the Sunday opener. The nightcap featured Sa­decki's eleventh win. The victories over the Phils would prove crucial as the season came to a close.
  • The Redbirds roared through Chicago with a three-game sweep of the Cubs. In the opener, Ernie Broglio, traded to Chicago June 15 for Lou Brock, started for the first time against his former team but was roughed up for six runs in six innings. StL won 12-7 with five in the top of the 10th. Simmons coasted the next day, 9-1, before Sadecki secured his 8th victory to complete the sweep, 5-2.

The Birds began August at home for four series.

  • July ended with a 7-6 loss to Cincinnati to make the Cards' record for the month 17-11, their best for any month so far in the '64 season. The Reds won the series on the first day of August with a 6-5 triumph despite Brock stealing home as part of a double steal with White. St. Louis salvaged the finale, 5-4. Ron Taylor pitched a scoreless 9th for his 8th save.
  • Next in were the Cubs. The series started badly when Lew Burdette, traded by St. Louis to Chicago earlier in the year, pitched a 10-hit shutout. But the Birds re­bounded to take the remaining two contests, 4-2 with Richardson winning his second, this time in relief, and 5-3 as Gibson squared his record at 9-9. Knuckleballer Barney Schultz struck out Ernie Banks with the bases loaded and two out to earn his first save.
    Schultz had been brought up from AAA Jacksonville on July 31 after Cards skipper Johnny Keane persuaded GM Bing Devine to make the move. Johnny had managed Barney three years at the AAA level where he made Schultz a reliever exclusively. The 38-year-old had learned the knuckleball in high school.
  • The homestand continued with the 9th-place Astros. The weekend series began strongly with a 5-hit shutout by Curt Simmons for his 12th win. Any visions of a sweep vanished the next day when Ron Taylor started and lost 4-3. The Cards had the tying run on 3B with one out in the 9th, but reliever Jim Owens struck out White and got Boyer on a grounder. At least the Redbirds salvaged the series the next day with a 8-2 thumping. Sadecki went the distance for his 13th victory.
  • The Giants came to town in 2nd place, 2.5 games behind Philadelphia. The first game illustrated the Cards' defensive prowess. Gibson led 2-0 in the 7th thanks in part to Shannon throwing out a runner at the plate in the 5th. After Jim Ray Hart slugged a homer, the next two batters hit singles. At that point, Keane called for Schultz, who was greeted by a double steal to put runners and 2B and 3B with no outs. But Barney got a strikeout, a foul pop, and a flyout to preserve the lead. In the 8th, SF got three singles with two outs but didn't score because Brock threw Orlando Cepeda out at the plate. Barney went 1-2-3 in the 9th for his second save. The visitors bounced back the next day with a 6-3 victory, but the Redbirds took the rubber game 6-4, during which White extended his hitting streak to 20 games. Schultz pitched the 9th to save Craig.
  • The Cardinals went on the road August 14 after going 7-5 at home to rise to seven games over .500 for the first time all season. But they stayed in 5th place, 8.5 be­hind the league-leading Phils.

The odd road trip took the Redbirds to LA, back to Houston, and then to SF. They broke even in the ten games.

  • The Cards split four games with the Dodgers, with neither team scoring more than 4 runs in any contest. Sadecki and Simmons won the bookend games, while Joe Moeller and Koufax notched the Dodger victories in the middle. But Sandy shut down his season after copping his 19th win because of elbow problems. His five appearances against StL in '64 produced these numbers: 3-1 with all three victories coming in complete game shutouts, 1.77 ERA, and 32 Ks. CF Curt Flood collected eight consecutive hits during the doubleheader that ended the series.
    The day the Redbirds began the series in Houston, owner August A. Busch Jr. asked for and received the resignation of GM Bing Devine. I felt it was time for a change, Busch explained. Bing has been in charge for seven years. We have not won a pennant in that time, and we are nine games away from one now. It was my feeling that we are not making any progress. Some reporters felt that the behind-the-scenes factor in the decision was Branch Rickey, whom Busch had hired as a "senior adviser" in October 1962, but Rickey vehement­ly denied the accusation and revealed that he had begged Augie to let Bing finish the season. Manager Keane figured he would be gone at the end of the season, too, if not sooner.
    The players were hurt by Devine's firing. But, as Gibson recalled, we decided that instead of packing it in for the year, we would dedicate ourselves to redeem­ing Devine with a strong finish.
  • The Colts went down to defeat in the first two games, 3-1 and 5-2, but rallied to cop the finale, 8-7. After the Cards scored four in the 9th for a 7-6 lead, the 45s tied it in the bottom of the 9th and won in the 10th as Schultz recorded his first blown save after saving the first two games of the set.
  • The return trip to the West Coast produced two losses in three games. The Birds took the opener 6-5 with three in the 9th, Schultz hurling a 1-2-3 in the bottom of the inning for save #6. The middle game showed the best and worst of Brock, who stole two bases but struck out four times in the 4-2 loss. The finale was a tense affair that the Giants took on Javier's error in the 10th to hand Schultz the loss.
  • The Cards flew home August 23 in 4th place a full 11 games behind Gene Mauch's Philllies.

The Cardinals ripped off six in a row at Busch Stadium.

  • They swept the Buccos. Gibson dominated 5-1, then Brock hit a walkoff HR to to win 7-6 in 13 innings, and finally Cueller pitched his only complete game of the season, 4-2.
  • The Koufax-less Dodgers dropped the first three of the weekend set. Sadecki (5-3), Gibson (4-1), and Simmons (5-1) recorded the victories.

Final tally for August: 18 wins, 10 losses to make the record 71-59, good for 4th place, 7 behind first-place Philadelphia but only 1.5 out of second place.

Profile: Bob Gibson

Bob Gibson, like Lou Brock, had played college baseball.

  • When he was at Creighton University in his hometown of Omaha, Gibson excelled in basketball more so than baseball.
  • Since his father died shortly before Bob was born, the future Cardinal fell under the sway of his oldest brother, Josh.
  • Bob played on the first black American Legion team to win the Omaha City Championship. However, he wasn't allowed to try out for his high school baseball team his junior year because the coach didn't want black players. So Bob ran track instead.
  • A new coach his senior year welcomed him to the baseball team, and Bob showed enough to obtain a modest offer from the Cardinals. But his brother insisted that Bob go to college.
  • After college, Gibby signed with the Cardinals and reported to AAA Omaha, managed by Johnny Keane. Gibson was pleasantly surprised that Keane, a former Catholic seminarian, had no prejudices concerning my color ... He was the closest thing to a saint that I ever came across in baseball.
  • After enduring racism in the minor leagues, Bob pitched for St. Louis in parts of the '59 and '60 seasons. Unfortunately, the manager, Solly Hemus, had no idea how to deal with black players.
  • So Gibby didn't begin to blossom until Keane took over midway through the '61 season. He won 13 that year, then 15 in '62, and 18 in '63.

Gibson benefitted from the work of the Cardinals trainer to get out of a slump early in the '64 season. As Bob recalled in his autobiography:

After a 4-0 beginning, I gave up six runs in five consecutive starts. There were many who thought I ought to go to the bullpen to work out my problems, but Keane said he was sticking with me because the Cardinals wouldn't win big unless I did. Bob Bauman, the trainer, noticed that I was tiring in the late innings ... It turned out that my legs weakened after a hundred pitches or so, and when that occurred, I released the ball too soon. The manager's prescription for this problem was running the stadium stairs. I didn't like it, but I got stronger. My shoulder was also sore, and the remedy I found for that was to loosen it up by waxing my car before a game.

Bob wrote this about the 1964 Cardinals:

Of all the teams I was on, though - of all the teams I've ever seen - there was never a better band of men than the '64 Cardinals. We were convinced of that. ...
We brought our racial feelings out into the open and dealt with them. ... I'm confident that I had a lot to do with it, and so did guys like White and Flood. None of the three of us was southern, none of us was uneducated, and none of us gave an inch to racism. The white players respected that. ... McCarver
[from Memphis] ... worked hard at changing his attitude about black people. ... In his book, The Way It Is, Flood wrote (and I wholeheartedly agree): "The men of that team were as close to being free of racist poison as a diverse group of 20th-century Americans could possibly be."

The '64 Cardinals entered September in fourth place, 7.5 games behind Philadelphia.
  • With the Cincinnati Reds and San Francisco Giants between them and the top spot, the Redbirds' chances of capturing the pennant seemed slim.
  • Still, they had won 18 and lost 10 in August, although they had lost a half game in the standings to the Phils during the month.
  • The schedule include a two-game series in Philly and a three-game set with the Phillies in St. Louis the beginning of the last week of the season. The Cards had the reverse setup with the Reds - two at home and three in the Queen City. No games were left with the Giants.

September began with eight home games.

  • The Cardinals took two of three from Milwaukee, beginning with a 5-4 victory on Bob Uecker's walkoff single in the bottom of the 9th after the Braves intentionally walked Carl Warwick to get to him. The backup catcher also clouted a homer.
    Bob Gibson took care of the business the next night, going the distance for his 13th win, 6-2.
    The Braves salvaged the finale behind Wade Blasingame, 7-0. Roger Craig allowed only one run in six innings, but Barney Schultz got blown up when he relieved in the 7th, allowing five runs in just 1/3 inning. The defeat kept the Redbirds 7.5 games behind.
  • The 8th-place Cubs came to town for three. The home team won the first and third games on walkoff hits - Ken Boyer's three run HR in the first game (8-5) and Lou Brock's single that scored Tim McCarver for a 5-4 triumph two days later before a Sunday crowd of only 16,161.
    Odd fact: 1964 was the fourth straight season that Ken Boyer hit 24 home runs. He would never hit that many again.
    In between, Chicago erupted for eight in the 2nd off Mike Cuellar and coasted, 8-5.
  • The homestand ended with a Labor Day doubleheader against the Reds. Incredibly the Cardinals won both games by identical 3-2 scores with walkoff hits.
    Gibson pitched masterfully in the opener but lost his 2-1 lead in the top of the 9th on consecutive doubles by C Johnny Edwards and SS Leo Cardenas. But the Redbirds ended it in the bottom of the inning on McCarver's single that drove home Boyer.
    The nightcap saw Schultz make the Reds knuckle under on two hits and no runs the last four innings to keep the score tied at 2. This time it was CF Curt Flood's turn to be the hero, smacking a single to score 2B Julian Javier, who got into scoring position after hitting into a forceout by stealing second.
    The sweep pulled St. Louis into a second place tie with the Reds, 6.5 behind the Phils. The final tally for the homestand, which started in late August: 12 wins, 3 losses and 3.5 games gained.

The Cardinals now embarked on a make-or-break 18-game road trip.

  • First stop: The City of Brotherly Love for two. The Phillies could deliver a painful blow to the Redbirds' pennant hopes with a sweep.
    But the Cards eliminated that possibility by taking the opener. Down 5-3 in the top of the 9th against Jack Baldschun in relief of Jim Bunning, Charlie James singled but was forced at 2B by Flood. Brock singled Curt to 3B but nearly got caught rounding 1B too far. Caught in a rundown, the speedy LF drew 1B Danny Cater closer to second, then blew past him back to the bag. Lou then stole second. That proved crucial as Bill White hit a grounder to 2B that might otherwise have ended the game to score Flood and send Brock to 3B. Old Reliable Boyer knocked home the tying run. Neither team threatened until the 11th. With Baldschun still on the hill, Flood and Brock led off with singles and both scored on White's double that kayoed Jack. The Birds added three more runs against Ed Roebuck for a 10-5 win. Brock ended with 5-for-6, including a HR, and four runs scored.
    The Phillies ended their three game losing streak the next afternoon by jumping on Ray Sadecki for five in the 2nd and coasting to give Chris Short his 16th win.
  • The Cards moved to Chicago for three with the Cubs. The result was the same as in St. Louis the weekend before - two victories and one loss.
    Gibson fired a two-hit shutout to defeat old friend Ernie Broglio 5-0.
    The Cubbies bounced back with a 3-2 victory the next day as veteran Bob Buhl held the hard-hitting Birds to five hits.
    A mere 11,606 showed up at Wrigley Field on Sunday to watch the Cards belt out 18 hits, including HRs by Brock, Shannon, and Javier, in a 15-2 romp.
    But the Phils took two of three in San Francisco to stay six in front.
  • Milwaukee welcomed the Cardinals for three starting with a doubleheader after a rainout.
    Bobby Bragan's 6th-place Braves got 6 off Sadecki and Schultz but the Cardinals tallied 11 behind White's 4-for-5 outburst.
    Game Two didn't produce as many runs but the result was the same - another Cardinals victory, 3-1. Gibson, getting stronger down the stretch, gave up only four hits.
    Only 3,019 spectators saw their team salvage the finale the next afternoon, 3-2, as Denny LeMaster won his 15th.
    In Houston, the Phillies also won 2-of-3 to stay six in front.
  • The Phillies headed to Los Angeles for four, starting with a 4-3 win over Drysdale to nose 6.5 ahead. Meanwhile, St. Louis traveled to Cincinnati for three. The Reds lurked only one game back in 3rd place, a half-game ahead of the Giants.
    After a Friday rainout, the Birds and Reds played two on Saturday. Staked to a 5-0 lead in the 3rd, Gibson struggled into the 9th with a 5-4 lead. But with two outs and a man on, Bob walked Vada Pinson. That brought up Frank Robinson, who swatted a 3-run HR.
    Facing the possibility of falling into a tie with the Reds, the Cards got a lift from Sadecki, who won his 18th with 9th inning relief help from Schultz, 2-0.
    Brock went 4-for-4 on Sunday to raise his average to .317, but the Reds took the series with three unearned runs in the 8th off Schultz, 9-6.
    After splitting four against the Dodgers, the Phillies returned home in the wee hours of Monday, September 21, 6.5 ahead with only 12 to play.
    2,000 fans greeted the Phillies when they arrived home from the West Coast in the wee hours of September 21. So confident were the Phillies that they started selling World Series tickets the next day: $25 for a box seat for four games, $17 for a reserved seat, and $9 for bleacher seats. The players were already placing their orders. SS Ruben Amaro had ordered $1,000 worth of tickets, and his mother, father, and sister were planning to travel from Mexico for the Fall Classic.
    Manager Gene Mauch warned his players that they still had work to do. He reminded them of what had happened 14 years earlier. The 1950 Phillies had a 7 1/2 game lead with only eleven games to play. But they lost eight of their next ten and had to win the last game to save the pennant.

The Phillies began a week of seven games in Connie Mack Stadium with three against the Reds. It would prove the be the most disastrous homestand in Philadelphia history.

  • While the Cardinals took Monday off, Philly dropped a tight game to the Reds, 1-0. The only run scored on an amazing play. In the top of the 7th, 3B Chico Ruiz, who had played little all season, singled with one out and moved to 3B on a hit by Vada Pinson. Ruiz then surprised everyone, including his manager, Dick Sisler, by breaking for the plate as Jim Mahaffey started to pitch. Startled, Mahaffey threw high and outside to the backstop as Ruiz slid in safely. The Phils had also lost to the Dodgers two days earlier on Willie Davis's steal of home.
    The Reds won again the next night 9-2, lighting up Short for six runs in 4 2/3 innings. Up the coast, Curt Simmons outdueled Tracy Stallard 2-1 to keep the Cards 1/2 behind the Reds and cut Philly's margin to 5.
    Cincinnati swept the series the next night, 6-4, to pull with 3.5. But the Mets reversed the previous day's score, Galen Cisco prevailing over Roger Craig.
  • St. Louis went to Pittsburgh for four as the Phillies hosted the Braves for their final four home games.
    Philly's losing streak reached four, 5-3. Ace Jim Bunning (18-6) took the loss.
    The Redbirds gained on both teams ahead of them by sweeping a doubleheader, 4-2, behind Gibson's pitching and Flood's 4-for-5 hitting in the leadoff spot and 4-0 as Sadecki twirled a 5-hitter for his 19th win.
    Friday night - same results:
    Milwaukee 7 Philadelphia 5
    Cincinnati won DH over the Mets, 3-0 (Jim Maloney's 15th win) and 4-1 - Reds 1.5 behind
    St. Louis 5 Pittsburgh 3 - Cards 2.5 back
    Phillies' swoon continues, 6-4.
    Reds' streak reaches eight, 6-1 as southpaw Jim O'Toole won #17. Cincy tied for first!
    St. Louis 6 Pittsburgh 3
    38-year-old Gene Mauch was called the "Little General" because of his propensity for micromanaging. He platooned at four positions during the '64 season and was among the top managers in sacrifice bunts, squeeze bunts, pinch-hitters, and pinch-runners. Dick Allen, in his first full ML season in '64, wrote in his autobiography: The problem with Gene Mauch as a field general in 1964 - and it haunted him until his retirement - was that he held the game too tightly in his hand ... Mauch never let us play the game instinctively. Desperate to halt his club's losing streak that threatened to deny them the pennant they seemed to have in their back pocket and with two starters, Dennis Bennett and Ray Culp, hampered by injuries, Gene decided to use his top hurlers, Jim Bunning and Chris Short, on only two days rest.
    Milwaukee 14 Philadelphia 8
    Bunning volunteered to start the finale on just two days rest only to be driven to the showers in the 6-run 4th. 20,569 fans gathered for the last home game of the season booed their club off the field.
    Thirty years later, Bunning, by then a U.S. Senator, acknowledged his mistake. Hindsight indicates that we should have been rested and then pitched. That's obvious to everyone now, but the emotions of the moment dictated that we try for it, that we go out there and pitch on two days of rest. To say no, to refuse the ball and say that you could not pitch on short rest, was to go against every impulse superior athletes. have.
    Cincinnati 4 New York 1
    The Reds captured sole possession of first place after gaining seven games in seven days
    Cardinals 5 Pirates 0
    Craig threw a 6-hit shutout to put the Cards a mere half game behind Philly.

The Reds and Cardinals returned home to finish the season, while the Phils hoped for better luck on the road against their closest competitors.

  • Monday, September 28
    24,146, the largest crowd for a home game since Sunday, August 30 against the Dodgers, saw both streaks continue - Cards' sixth win, Phils 8th defeat. Short on two days rest was no match for Gibson on three, 5-1.
    With the Reds idle, their lead dropped to 1.
  • Tuesday, September 29
    The Reds finally lost, 2-0 to Bob Friend of the Pirates.
    The Cardinals tied for first with a 4-2 win, Sadecki's 20th.
  • Wednesday, September 30
    The Pirates and Reds played an incredible game. Bob Veale and Maloney were on their game, pitching 12 1/3 and 11 scoreless innings respectively. The gooseggs continued until the top of the 16th when Donn Clendenon doubled and Jerry May singled off John Tsitouris. The Reds had now gone 33 innings without a run after plating three in the opening frame of their last game in New York.
    St. Louis jumped out 8-0, more than enough to withstand five by the Phils to give Simmons his 18th win. The Redbirds took sole possession of first place for the first time all season.
    Curt Simmons had pitched for the "Whiz Kid" Phillies, who had won the franchise's last pennant in 1950. But he had been called into the service the last month of the season after winning 17 games and missed the World Series. He returned for the '52 campaign and had some good years for the Phils before hurting his arm in 1959. When Mauch took over the team shortly after the 1960 season began, he had no interest in the 31-year-old lefty. So the club released him in May. The Cardinals signed him three days later. Curt, using the most herky-jerk windup in the majors, had contributed 34 games to the Redbirds entering the '64 season.
  • Thursday, October 1
    The Cards and Phils enjoyed an off day - Philadelphia's first since August 31.
    Meanwhile, Cincinnati salvaged the last game of the Pirates series, 5-4, to make the standings look like this entering the final weekend.
    Team W-L Games Behind
    St. Louis 92-67 --
    Cincinnati 92-68 0.5
    Philadelphia 90-70 2.5
    San Francisco 89-70 3.0

The Cards had the easiest task of the contenders - three at home against the last-place Mets while the Reds and Phillies played twice in Cincinnati.

  • Friday, October 2
    The closest to a sure thing that weekend seemed to be Bob Gibson facing the lowly Mets. But the game provided yet another example of why baseball is the most unpredictable of sports. Lefty Al Jackson mesmerized the Cardinals, limiting them to five hits and no runs. The Mets eked out a run in the 3rd on a single, stolen base, and another single to win 1-0.
    In Cincinnati, the refreshed Phillies ended their agonizing ten-game losing streak. Down 3-0 to O'Toole after seven innings, Philly erupted for four in the 8th and held on. The off day gave Short an extra day's rest, and Chris responded with his best start since September 14.
    So the standings changed to this with two days left.

    Team W-L Games Behind
    St. Louis 92-68 --
    Cincinnati 92-69 0.5
    Philadelphia 91-70 1.5
    San Francisco 90-70 2.0

    Incredibly, at this point the NL race could potentially end in a four-way tie if the Cardinals lost both their remaining games while the Giants won twice at home against the Cubs and the Phillies beat the Reds on Sunday. The least likely happening in that scenario was the Mets beating the Cardinals twice.
  • Saturday, October 3
    Not only did Casey Stengel's woebegones win again, but they clobbered the Redbirds 15-5. Sadecki left after one inning, five hits, and five runs. Former Met Craig gave up three more in 1 1/3 innings.
    The four-way deadlock went out the window when the Cubs outslugged SF 10-7 at Candlestick Park.
    But a three-way tie was still possible if the Cardinals lost and Philly beat the Reds.

    Team W-L Games Behind
    St. Louis 92-69 --
    Cincinnati 92-69 --
    Philadelphia 91-70 1
    San Francisco 90-71 2.5

  • Sunday, October 4
    KMOX, the St. Louis station that beamed Cardinal games across the country, sent a man to Crosley Field to give live updates on the Reds game during Harry Caray's broadcast from Sportsman's Park. The remote reporter had nothing but good news almost from the start as Bunning, a beneficiary of two extra days off after the unusual Saturday break, went the distance for his 19th win and fifth shutout of the season. The Phils jumped out with three in the 3rd, then one in the 5th, before removing all doubt with five in the 6th to coast to a 10-0 triumph.
    Starting an hour later, the Cardinals knew when they took the field that the Phils were doing their part. Still, the Redbirds had trouble shaking the Mets. When the visitors tallied two in the 5th for a 3-2 advantage, Johnny Keane replaced Simmons with Gibson, who kept NY at bay with only one run through the 8th while the Redbird bats came alive with three three-run innings, the 5th, 6th, and 8th, to cop the improbable pennant, 11-5. Bob got credit for his 19th victory.
    Talking to the press after the final game, Mauch took responsibility for his team's collapse. I just wore the pitching out ... When you manage the way I want to manage, you don't miss something by a game or two. All I can say is that I wish I did as well as the players did.
    When the team charter arrived in Philadelphia, Mauch told his players, I want to be the first one off. You guys didn't lose it. I did.

St. Louis didn't have long to enjoy their first NL crown since 1946. The Yankees were coming to town for the World Series in three days.

Wade Blasingame
Ken Boyer, Cardinals

Tim McCarver

Johnny Edwards
Leo Cardenas, Reds

Jack Baldschun
Phillies P Jim Bunning
Jim Bunning

Ed Roebuck

Denny LeMaster

Vada Pinson
Reds OF Frank Robinson
Frank Robinson
P Chris Short, Phillies
Phillies Manager Gene Mauch
Gene Mauch
Jim Maloney, Reds
Jim O'Toole, Reds
Richie Allen, Phillies
Dick Allen
Bob Friend, Pirates
Bob Friend
Bob Veale, Pirates
P Al Jackson, Mets
Al Jackson
World Series: Games 1, 2, 3

Bob Skinner

Mel Stottlemyre

Yogi Berra in clubhouse before Game 1

Clete Boyer and Ken Boyer

Lou Brock scores in Game 1.

Ken Boyer scores in Game 1 as Elston Howard receives the throw.

Berra Takes Out Whitey Ford Game 1.

Bob Gibson pitches in 1964 World Series.

Joe Pepitone hit by Gibson pitch.

Roger Maris at Busch Stadium

Jim Bouton

Tom Tresh

Boyer walks off while Mantle rounds 3B after HR won Game 4.

Having won the '64 pennant on the last day, the Cardinals quickly prepared for the World Series that started three days later. Only three of the 1964 Cardinals had postseason experience.

  • P Roger Craig participated in three World Series with the Brooklyn Dodgers.
  • SS Dick Groat and OF Bob Skinner played for the Pirates in the 1960 Classic.

The opponent for the fifth time in Cards history would be the New York Yankees, AL champions for the fifth straight season and for the 15th time in the last 18 years.

  • The immortal Yogi Berra took over as manager of the Yankees for the '64 season following the retirement of Ralph Houk, for whom Berra had served as a coach following his retirement after the '63 campaign.
  • The Yanks started the season a little slowly but hung in the top three of the league with the Orioles and White Sox throughout the summer.
  • The key factor that pushed the Bronx Bombers to the pennant was the call-up of P Mel Stottlemyre in August. The 23-year-old righthander with an excellent sinker went 9-3 down the stretch.
  • Another P who aided the stretch run was reliever Pedro Ramos, acquired in a trade with the Indians on September 5. He appeared in 13 games with an ERA of just 1.25 and a whopping eight saves. Unfortunately, he had arrived too late to be eligible for the World Series.
  • The Yankees pulled into a tie for first on September 17 during a streak of eleven straight wins that catapulted them into a lead of four games with a week to play.
  • The final margin for the 99-63 Yanks shrank to one game over Chicago and two over Baltimore.
  • So Yogi brought his AL champs to his hometown of St. Louis to start the Series.
    17-year-old Lawrence Berra tried out with the Cardinals in 1942 and received an offer of $250 from GM Branch Rickey. But Yogi wanted the same $500 bonus that his friend and fellow C Joe Garagiola received. So he declined Rickey's offer. The next year, Berra signed with the Yankees for the $500 he had been seeking.

The Cards approached the Series with the same confidence they had shown all season.

White: We knew these guys. We hard shared the same field in St. Petersburg before the Yankees had moved to Fort Lauderdale, and even after they moved we played them often in spring training. We knew their weaknesses as well as their strengths. To be frank, we also thought of them as a bunch of prima donnas, stars who just went through the motions in spring training and even in the regular season. By contrast, Johnny Keane made certain that we were in shape and ready to play by the end of spring training, and that we stayed that way throughout the regular season.
"We beat these guys so many times in spring training," Johnny told us before the series. "There's no reason we can't go out and beat them now."

Game One: Wednesday, October 7 @ Busch Stadium

  • Berra went with southpaw Whitey Ford (17-6) who, at 35, was the undisputed leader of the staff. Unable to use Bob Gibson because he pitched twice in the last three days of the pennant race, Johnny Keane chose his top lefty, Ray Sadecki (20-11). Ford was starting his 22nd World Series game. Sadecki, who was in the fourth grade when Whitey made his first World Series appearance, was making his first postseason start.
  • The Redbirds scored in their first at-bats on singles by LF Lou Brock and Groat and a SF by 3B Ken Boyer, whose 119 RBI had led the majors in 1964.
  • But the Yanks plated two in the 2nd on LF Tom Tresh's HR. The rally continued with three singles and a walk. It took an excellent throw by Brock to C Tim McCarver that nailed Ford at the plate to keep the damage at three runs.
  • The Cards cut the lead in half in the bottom of the ining on RF Mike Shannon's single, a groundout, and Sadecki's bingle.
  • The Yanks increased their lead to 4-2 in the top of the 5th on two out singles by CF Mickey Mantle and C Elston Howard followed by Tresh's double.
  • St. Louis erupted for four in the 6th to kayo Ford and take control of the game.
    Boyer singled to LF and went to 2B on a passed ball.
    After 1B Bill White struck out, Shannon, born and bred in St. Louis, hit a booming HR off the scoreboard at the back of the LF bleachers to tie the score.
    McCarver doubled to RCF.
    Berra brought in lefty Al Downing to face Charlie James, pinch-hitting for SS Dal Maxvill. James popped to 2B.
    Carl Warwick, batting for Sadecki, singled to LF to score McCarver and continued to 2B on the throw home.
    CF Curt Flood tripled to the base of the LF wall when Tresh momentarily lost the ball in the sun. Pinch-runner Julian Javier, suffering from bruised left hip, scored easily.
    Brock grounded to 3B. Cards 6 Yankees 4
  • Knuckleballer Barney Schultz, who saved 14 games during the regular season, took over and survived a shaky 7th in which Mantle singled and Tresh walked. The 8th wasn't as kind to him, as the visitors halved the lead on a pinch double by John Blanchard and 2B Bobby Richardson's single. Schultz got out of the inning by getting Mantle to ground out with two on.
  • Needing insurance runs, the Birds got them off reliever Rollie Sheldon.
    Shannon reached 1B when Clete Boyer, a 3B like his older brother Ken, booted Mike's grounder.
    McCarver walked.
    The rally seemed to be gutted when Schultz lined into a DP, Sheldon to 1B Joe Pepitone.
    The Yanks walked PH Bob Skinner intentionally and brought Pete Mikkelsen to the mound to face Flood.
    But Curt foiled the strategy with a clutch two-out single to score Shannon and send PR Jerry Buchek to 3B.
    Brock put the icing on the cake with a double into the LF corner to score another man.
    After Groat walked, Mikkelsen finally ended the inning by getting Ken Boyer to foul out to his brother.
  • Schultz retired Howard, Tresh, and 1B Joe Pepitone in order in the 9th.
    Final: Cardinals 9 Yankees 5
    The five runs were one more than the Yankees scored in the entire 1963 World Series when they were swept by the Los Angeles Dodgers. The defeat was Ford's fourth straight in the Fall Classic.

Game Two: Thursday, October 8 @ Busch Stadium

  • Berra went with his best pitcher down the stretch, Stottlemyre. Keane countered with his hottest pitcher, Gibson (19-12), who had three days to rest after pitching half the pennant-clinching game Sunday.
  • Fired up for his first World Series start, Bob struck out six of the first nine batters he faced. He would fan only three more the rest of the afternoon.
  • The Cards again drew first blood. Singles by Shannon and SS Dal Maxvill, Gibson's sacrifice, and Flood's groundout produced a run in the bottom of the 3rd.
  • But the Yankees immediately tied the score. The inning started with one out doubles by Howard and Pepitone. Oddly, Elston didn't score on Joe's hit because Brock tried for a shoestring catch on the blooper down the line. After holding up to see if the ball would be caught, Elston advanced only to 3B. Keane ordered Tresh put on to load the bases. Clete Boyer's fly scored Howard. Gibson struck out his opposing moundsman to end the threat.
  • The Yanks took the lead for good in the 6th.
    Mantle walked.
    After Howard lined out, Gibson hit Pepitone with a pitch. The Cardinals argued vigorously that the slider hit Joe's bat before grazing his thigh. They pointed out, to no avail, that the Yankee 1B made no move to first base until home plate umpire Bill McKinley made his call.
    When play resumed, the next batter, Tresh, singled to CF to score Mickey.
  • New York added two more in the 7th.
    SS Phil Linz, replacing Tony Kubek who had sprained his wrist two weeks before the Series, singled to LF, then went all the way to third on a wild pitch.
    Richardson singled to CF to score Linz, then went to 3B when RF Roger Maris followed suit.
    Mantle's grounder scored another run.
  • St. Louis finally touched Stottlemyre for another run in the 8th.
    Warwick got his second pinch hit of the young Series, a single to LF.
    Skinner, hitting for Gibson, smacked a ground rule double into the LF stands.
    After Flood's groundout to 3B failed to move the runners, Brock's skipper to SS sent Warwick across the plate.
    But the Yankee hurler escaped further damage.
  • Keane again called on Schultz for the 9th, and the results were disastrous.
    Linz homered into the LF bleachers to get back the Cards' hard-earned tally from the 8th.
    Maris's one out single caused Johnny to bring in southpaw Gordon Richardson to force Mantle to bat righthanded.
    But Mickey doubled down the LF line, Maris scoring all the way from 1B.
    Following an intentional walk to Howard, Pepitone singled off the RF screen. Mantle scored while Howard raced to 3B.
    Tresh's SF scored the fourth run of the inning.
    After ordering an intentional walk for Boyer, Keane summoned his third P of the inning. Craig got the final out.
  • Groat tripled and scored on McCarver's single to excite the home fans in the bottom of the 9th. But Shannon doused the comeback fire by grounding into a DP. Stottlemyre then completed his complete victory by striking out PH James. 21 of the 27 outs the Cardinals recorded came on grounders.
    Final: Yankees 8 Cardinals 3
Jim Bouton throws the first pitch of Game 3.

Game Three: Saturday, October 10 @ Yankee Stadium

  • The Series resumed in the Big Apple after a travel day. Hardly any of the Cardinals had ever played a game in the famous stadium in the Bronx. Craig, Groat, and Skinner had played there in earlier World Series. Ron Taylor had pitched in one game for Cleveland in 1962. Schultz had appeared in 13 games with Detroit in 1959, but none came at Yankee Stadium.
  • Southpaw Curt Simmons (18-9) squared off for the Cards against righthander Jim Bouton (18-13). Both pitched masterfully.
  • Clete Boyer's two-out double scored Howard, who had singled, in the bottom of the 2nd. Simmons, hurling mostly change-ups and off-speed breaking balls, would allow only two more hits through the 8th.
  • The Cardinals tied the game with an unearned run in the 5th.
    McCarver singled to RF and continued to 2B when Mantle lost the ball for an error. Berra had switched Maris to cover the much more spacious CF in the big stadium.
    Shannon lined to RF, Tim holding his base.
    Maxvill's grounder to 2B sent the runner to 3B.
    Simmons, a good hitting P like Gibson and Sadecki, rapped a single off Clete Boyer's glove to send McCarver home.
  • Bouton escaped a jam in the 6th.
    With one out, White beat out a bouncer to 3B.
    After Boyer flew out, Groat doubled to LF, Bill stopping at 3B.
    The Yanks gave McCarver an intentional pass to set up a forceout at any base.
    Shannon grounded into a force play to end the inning.
  • It was Simmons' turn to pitch out of trouble in the bottom of the 6th.
    With two out and Richardson on first via a single, Mantle doubled to RF to send Bobby to 3B.
    Keane then ordered a free pass to Howard, Johnny's second in two games to Elston and fourth overall in the Series.
    The strategy worked as Tresh popped out.
  • The Cards again put the go ahead run on 3B with one out in the 7th but failed to score.
    Maxvill led off with a double to LCF and advanced a base on Simmons' bunt.
    Flood hit the ball in the air but not deep enough to CF, and Brock grounded out.
  • The visitors mounted another threat in the top of the 9th.
    Linz's fumble gave McCarver 1B.
    Shannon sacrificed the go-ahead run to 2B.
    Warwick, 2-for-2 as a pinch hitter, walked.
    Skinner, batting for Simmons, flied to deep CF, McCarver taking third after the catch.
    But Bouton got Flood to line out to RF.
  • Keane brought in Schultz to face Mantle, Howard, and Tresh.
    But Barney didn't have to worry about the latter two as Mickey walloped the first pitch off the facade above the third deck of the RF stands. The ball was still rising when it ricocheted.
    Final: Yankees 2 Cardinals 1
    Babe Ruth may not have called his shot in Wrigley Field during the 1932 World Series, but Mantle certainly predicted what he would do in Game 3 of the '64 Fall Classic. As Schultz warmed up, Mantle stood with Howard, the next man in the batting order, in the on deck circle. "If he throws the first ball over," Mickey said, "I'm going to hit it out."
    The homer broke Ruth's record of 15 in World Series competition. The Mick later listed this roundtripper as one of his ten greatest thrills in baseball.
    In the Cards' clubhouse, Schultz explained: The ball I threw was right down the well. It was knee-high and across the plate. It didn't break.
    Trying to inject some levity into the gloomy atmosphere, Keane replied this way when asked if Barney's knuckleball had anything on it: Yes, I guess it did - when it came off Mantle's bat.

Mantle scores as Schultz walks to dugout after his one-pitch outing.

The Redbirds needed to win one of the next two games at the Stadium to send the Series back to St. Louis.

World Series: Games 4, 5, 6

Game Four: Sunday, October 11 @ Yankee Stadium

The Yankees took a 2-1 lead into Game Four to put the pressure on the Cardinals to win Game Four or face taking three in a row to cop the Series.

  • Yogi Berra wanted to start his veteran, Whitey Ford, but Whitey's arm had responded to treatment. He wouldn't pitch again in the Series. So the Yankee manager chose another southpaw, Al Downing. Johnny Keane chose his lefty, Ray Sadecki.
    Sadecki had won Game One 9-5 despite allowing eight hits and four runs in six innings. He liked to throw a high fastball, but many Yankees loved that pitch. Keane had little faith in Ray. So he told veteran Roger Craig to start warming up as soon as the bottom of the first started. Craig responded, "If you're that unsure of him, why don't you start me instead?"
  • After the Cards went down 1-2-3, the Yanks sent Sadecki to the showers quickly.
    SS Phil Linz doubled into the RF corner but was trapped off second on the throw in. However, 3B Ken Boyer's throwing error during the rundown allowed Phil to reach third.
    2B Bobby Richardson doubled into the LF corner, easily scoring Linz.
    RF Roger Maris slapped a single to RF, Bobby stopping at 3rd.
    CF Mickey Mantle followed suit but was thrown out trying to stretch the hit into a double, Mike Shannon to 2B Dal Maxvill. Richardson came home, and Maris went to 3rd.
    His fears having been realized, Keane brought in Craig.
    As Craig left the bullpen, his wife and two sisters gave him good luck kisses.
    C Elston Howard continued the onslaught with a single to CF, plating Maris.
    But Craig, his curve ball working with good control, got the next two hitters.
    Yankees 3 Cardinals 0 after one
  • Roger faltered in the third, walking Mantle and Howard with two out. But SS Dick Groat distracted Mickey at 2nd by talking to him and got close enough to grab Craig's quick throw and pick off Mantle.
    As Mantle headed to the dugout, he told Craig, You son of a bitch. You show me up in front of forty million people.
  • Downing and Craig cruised until the Cards erupted in the top of the sixth.
    Carl Warwick, batting for Craig, and CF Curt Flood both singled, Carl's being his third pinch hit of the Series.
    After LF Lou Brock flew out, Groat hit a double-play grounder to Richardson. But Bobby couldn't get the ball out of his glove and threw late to Linz. With Flood sliding hard, Phil dropped the ball. Instead of the inning being over, the Cards had the bases loaded with one out.
    That brought up Captain Boyer, just 1-for-13 in the series. Downing started with a low outside fast ball. With the growing shadows making it hard for hitters to pick up Al's fast ball, Howard signalled for another hard one. But Downing shook it off in favor of a changeup, a pitch that had worked well for him in win­ning 13 games. But instead of sinking, this one came in letter-high. Expecting another fast ball, Ken was out in front but adjusted midswing and swatted it high down the LF line. With a 10 mph wind blowing from LF to RF, the ball stayed inside the pole for a grand slam.
    Cardinals 4 Yankees 3
  • Righty Ron Taylor, who threw 101 innings and gained eight saves in the regular season, took over with the task of holding the one-run lead and evening the Series. And he did exactly that.
  • With Phil Mikkelsen and Ralph Terry shutting down the Redbirds, Ron faced Mantle in the bottom of the 8th with two outs and the bases empty. He walked The Mick, then struck out Howard.
  • That was the only runner Taylor allowed to secure to save - what he later de­scribed as "the greatest thrill of my life."
    Final: Cardinals 4 Yankees 3
    Keane: This has to be the finest relief work we've had. It couldn't be improved upon. Craig and Taylor were splendid. The two relievers yielded only two hits in 8 2/3 innings.

Ken Boyer is mobbed after his grand slam.

Game Five: Monday, October 12 @ Yankee Stadium

  • Keane went with Bob Gibson for the pivotal fifth game. Mel Stottlemeyer, who bested Bob in Game Two, toed the slab for the Yanks. Both started strong with four shutout innings.
  • Yankee Stadium's famous shadows and the bright backdrop of the CF bleachers made it harder than usual for batters to pick up Gibson's fastball and hard sli­der. C Tim McCarver thought the big Omaha native seemed right at home in his first appearance in the hallowed ballpark. As usual when he was on his game, Bob worked quickly, like a machine. This was the real Gibson, not the tired imi­tation NY beat four days earlier.
    After the first few games of the Series, many Yankees realized that the scout­ing reports they received didn't do the NL champs justice. Some wondered if the institutional racism of GM George Weiss's organization conditioned scouts to underestimate the abilities of the Cardinals' African-Americans. For example, Gibson was described as "nibbling at the plate." The report labeled Brock as not that good an outfielder without mentioning his speed and the pressure he put on defenses.
  • Stottlemeyer was not as sharp as in his previous start. When he was at his best, most of his outs came on ground balls - 16 in Game Two. But today, the Cards had hit just five rollers the first four innings.
  • With one out in the 5th, Gibson looped a single to LF. Flood hit another DP grounder to Richardson, but the usually surehanded 2B booted the ball to put runners on 1st and 2nd.
    Brock singled to RF to send Gibson home and Flood to 3rd.
    1B Bill White grounded to Richardson but beat Linz's hurried DP throw into the dirt at 1st, allowing Curt to score. Berra and Pepitone argued the call, and many press box observers thought they were right.
    Cardinals 2 Yankees 0 after 4 1/2.
  • The way Gibson was pitching, two runs seemed more than enough as Bob mowed down the Yanks through eight.
  • But the 19-game winner had to face Mantle, 1B Joe Pepitone, and Howard in the 9th.
    Mantle hit a bouncer toward Groat. Thinking of the old, faster Commerce Com­et, Groat charged the ball instead of waiting for the big hop. His bobble put Mickey on 1st (payback for the pickoff play?).
    Howard struck out.
    Pepitone smashed Gibson's first changeup of the game back up the middle. The ball bounced off Bob's right hip as he completed his big follow through. The ball caromed toward the 3B line. The former Harlem Globetrotter scrambled after it and in one whirling motion flung it half sidearm, half underhand to White to re­tire Pepitone on a bang-bang play. Tom Tresh, the on deck batter, thought the play was the greatest he had ever seen by a P. McCarver also watched in awe because Gibson reacted entirely on instinct.
    After another long argument with the 1B umpire over his out call, Tresh hit the first pitch, a fastball down the middle, 402' into the RCF bleachers to tie the game. Without Gibson's great play, the Yankees would have won.
    Richardson was so excited on the bench by Tresh's HR that he jumped up and hit his head on the concrete dugout roof, almost knocking himself out.
    Cardinals 2 Yankees 2 after nine.
  • Herky-jerk righthanded sinkerballer Pete Mikkelsen returned to the mound in the top of the 10th.
    The last thing Pete wanted to do was walk the leadoff batter, but that's how White reached 1st.
    Boyer laid down a bunt to the right of the mound. Pepitone stayed to 1st, but Mikkelsen ran to cover the bag. No one fielded the ball, and Boyer got a cheap single.
    When Groat missed a sacrifice attempt on a sinker in the dirt, White was caught between 2nd and 3rd. Surprised when Bill ran toward 3rd instead of returning to 2nd, Howard threw too late to Clete Boyer. Once again, St. Louis's team speed worked to their advantage.
    Groat forced Boyer 6-4. With none out, White held 3rd.
    That brought up McCarver and his hot 7-for-16 bat. Intent on lofting a fly ball to bring hom the go-ahead run, McCarver did even better, smacking a HR into the RF stands. Just like that, the Cards led by 3. Cardinals 5 Yankees 2
    McCarver had smashed the previous pitch down the RF line but it sailed foul by about 4'. Tim returned to the box furious with himself because he had got­ten the pitch he wanted and figured he wouldn't see one so good again. But Mikkelsen threw a sinker that didn't sink. As McCarver raced toward 1st, he watched the #7 on Mantle's back moving toward the fence and figured he'd accomplished his goal of hitting a sacrifice fly. As Mickey continued to run, Tim speeded up, thinking double or triple. As he rounded 1st, he saw the CF slow down and realized he had hit it out - "the biggest hit in my life."
  • Gibson started the bottom of the 10th with his 13th strikeout.
    Linz skied to Boyer.
    But Richardson kept NY hopes alive with a single.
    Maris popped up Gibson's 133rd delivery, and Boyer made a nice catch leaning into the box seats behind 3rd.
    Final: Cardinals 5 Yankees 2

McCarver greeted after his 10th inning HR

Jim Bouton with his signature cap-losing motion in Game 6

Game Six: Wednesday, October 14 @ Busch Stadium

  • Curt Simmons and Jim Bouton, the Game Three starters, faced each other again. Both pitched well, but the Cardinal bullpen allowed the Yankees to pull away.
  • The Cards started the scoring in the bottom of the 1st on singles by Flood and Brock and a double play grounder by White.
    Cardinals 1 Yankees 0
  • The Yanks finally tied the game in the 5th. Switch-hitter Tresh, batting right­handed against Simmons, bounced a ground-rule double into the LF stands. After two outs, Bouton helped his own cause with a single.
  • The M&M boys conspired to propel the Bombers into the lead in the top of the 6th. Maris lifted a hanging curve off the RF foul pole onto the pavilion roof. Hit­ting from the right side, Mantle went Roger one better, lining a fastball against the screen at the back of the pavilion.
  • The Yankees guaranteed a Game Seven by exploding for five runs in the 8th against knuckleballer Barney Schultz. Linz began with a single but was still on 3rd after a sacrifice and a groundout. Remembering Game Four's climax too well, Barney walked Mantle intentionally. But Howard singled for run #3, and Tresh walked to load the bases. Keane brought in rookie southpaw Gordie Richard­son to face the left-handed Pepitone. Joe swung at the first pitch, a darting sli­der, and popped it up behind the plate. McCarver raced back and got hold of the ball but dropped it. Given new life, Joe smacked the next slider onto the pavilion roof for a grand slam.
    Yankees 8 Cardinals 1
  • In the bottom of the inning, White's groundout knocked in Flood, who had walked and gone to 3rd on Brock's double.
    Yankees 8 Cardinals 2
  • The Cards knocked out Bouton in the bottom of the 9th after one out singles by Shannon and 2B Jerry Buchek. Portsider Steve Hamilton came on to face PH Bob Skinner, who recorded the Redbirds' 10th hit, a single to score Shannon. But Flood hit into a game-ending 6-4-3 DP.
    Final: Yankees 8 Cardinals 3

    The victorious New Yorkers checked back into their hotel. They had been instructed to pack their suitcases and check out that morning before leaving for the ball park. Management didn't want to be charged for an extra day's lodging if the Cardinals won Game Six. Bouton thought this was the first time the parsimoniousness of the Yankees' front office trumped their arrogance.

Pepitone Clouts Grand Slam onto Pavilion in 8th inning of Game 6.

Al Downing

Roger Craig

Bob Gibson pitches in Game 5.

Yogi Berra, 1B coach Jimmy Gleason, and Joe Pepitone argue the out call on Gibson's sensational play in the 9th inning of Game 5 with umpire Al Smith.

Tim McCarver smashes HR to win Game 5

Gordie Richardson

Pepitone crosses home after his Game 6 grand slam.

Maris, Mantle, and Pepitone after Game 6

Video highlights of the 1964 World Series

Game Seven will be the Ultimate Game feature in the next issue
of the Golden Baseball Magazine.