Pivotal World Series Plays
Law and Face Save Pirates' Sinking Ship
1960 World Series - Game 4: Pittsburgh Pirates @ New York Yankees
After the Pirates won Game 1 6-4, the Bronx Bombers clobbered the NL champions 16-3 and 10-0, the latter victory coming on Pittsburgh manager Danny Murtaugh's not-so-happy 43rd birthday. The host of writers covering the Series were split concerning the Bucs' chances. Many thought the Pirates were so demoralized by the brutal beatings that they would roll over and play dead. But others pointed out that momentum in baseball is only as good as the next game's starter, and the Pirates would have their top hurler on the mound in Game 4, 20-game winner Vernon Law. He had conquered the Yanks in Game One, scattering 10 hits and giving up just two runs in seven innings.

L-R: Danny Murtaugh, Vernon Law, Ralph Terry, Don Hoak
It didn't take long for the Moment of Truth to arrive for the Pirates as 67,812 watched in Yankee Stadium. After Ralph Terry set down the Bucs in the top of the 1st, Law faced a bases loaded with one out situation in the bottom of the inning. LF Bob Cerv blooped a single to center, and SS Tony Kubek followed with a double. But Vern got RF Roger Maris to fly to short right field, Cerv holding at third. Murtaugh made an unusual move by calling for an intentional walk to Mickey Mantle in the first inning. But Mickey had led the onslaught in the previous two games with six hits, including three homers, in eight at-bats with five runs scored and seven RBIs. That brought the dangerous Yogi Berra to the plate. You couldn't blame Pirate partisans for thinking, "Here we go again." But Law got the Yankee catcher to hit a grounder down the third base line to Don Hoak, who fielded it, stepped on the bag, and threw to first for a double play to end the inning. By the end of the Series, it would be apparent that the momentum in the Series began to turn at the point.
The Yankees drew first blood in the fourth on 1B Bill Skowron's opposite field home run. But after 13 successive scoreless innings, the Pirates responded with three in the top of the fifth. LF Gino Cimoli singled, and both he and C Smoky Burgess were safe when Skowron fielded Smoky's grounder and threw too late to second to get the forceout on Cimoli. Hoak tried to bunt the runners over but popped out. When 2B Bill Mazeroski popped out, it looked like the Pirate rally would fizzle. But Law, a .181 hitter during the season, smacked Terry's first pitch for a double into left field corner to send home Cimoli with the tying run. With two strikes on him, CF Bill Virdon stroked a liner to center that scored Burgess and Law to give the Pirates their first lead since Game One.

L-R: Bill Skowron, Gino Cimoli, Smoky Burgess
It was now up to Law to make the two-run lead stand up. After 2B Bobby Richardson singled to start the bottom of the 5th, Vern struck out Terry, Cerv, and Kubek. Then he set down the meat of New York's Order - Maris, Mantle, and Berra in the 6th 1-2-3.

L-R: Bobby Richardson, Gil McDougald, Johnny Blanchard, Elroy Face
With the Pirates still not adding any insurance runs, Skowron led off the NY 7th with a ground rule double. 3B Gil McDougald followed with a single, Bill stopping at 3rd. Murtaugh visited the mound but decided to leave Law in. When Richardson forced McDougald but beat the throw to first, Skowron scored to cut the margin to 3-2. When PH Johnny Blanchard singled to right to put runners at 1st and 2nd, Murtaugh brought in righthander Elroy Face, who had gotten the save for Law in Game One. The 5'8" 155lb forkballer, who finished a league-high 68 games, got Cerv to fly out on a sensa­tional catch by Virdon in front of the 407' sign in right-center field and then got a groundout from Kubek to get out of the jam.
The Yankee bullpen kept the pressure on by holding the Pirates scoreless in the 8th and 9th. But that didn't faze Face, who followed Law's example by re­tiring Maris, Mantle, and Berra again in the 8th. Then he ran his streak of consecutive outs to eight-of-eight facing Skowron, McDougald, and PH Dale Long in the 9th. Skowron was the toughest of the three. He missed hitting a game-tying homer by no more than six inches when his drive curved the wrong way around the right field foul pole. Then Bill smashed what looked like a double down the left field line only to have Hoak make a brilliant backhand grab and a strong throw to first to end the game and even the Series.
The Pirates revealed that they had a pregame meeting in which they decided to throw "the book" out the window. "We figured we were concentrating too much on their weaknesses at the plate, and our pitchers weren't pitching their kind of game," said third-string C Bob Oldis. "We had a book on the Yankees from the start, and we were told that you pitch this fellow low inside and another low out­side. Stuff like that. But some pitchers like Friend and Law are giving up some­thing when they try to pitch a certain way they're told to instead of pitching the way they know how."
Both Mantle and Berra praised Face. "They talk about his forkball, and you get the wrong idea," said Mickey. "He's no junk pitcher. He's quick. His fastball is plenty fast enough." Yogi added, "He has a funny little jiggling motion as he lets go of the ball that confuses you a little." Mantle also credited his counterpart Virdon with keeping the Pirates in the Series. "He's made two great catches that saved victories for them in the first and fourth game. If it hadn't been for him, we probably would have the Series all wrapped up by now and been on our way home."