The World Series produced many incredible dramatic moments, but it wasn’t until 1960 that the Fall Classic ended with a Game 7 home run. This World Series was among the craziest in baseball history as the New York Yankees topped the Pittsburgh Pirates 55-27 and second baseman Bobby Richardson took home the player’s award. more useful. This is a losing cause as Pittsburgh second baseman Bill Mazeroski wrote an incredible conclusion to an unforgettable series.
The Pirates were huge underdogs against the Dynastic New York Yankees, who had won 16 World Series titles since Pittsburgh’s last title in 1925. While the Yankees occupied the baseball penthouse, the Pirates languished in its basement. . The Eternal Doormats were so oppressed that Hollywood portrayed them as a major league team in need of divine intervention in the 1951 film, “Angels in the Outfield”.
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However, there was an idea that 1960 might be different, however, after the Pirates defeated the Cincinnati Reds, 13-0, in their home opener, which included a home run from Mazeroski to the center left field at Forbes Field. Throughout a magical and winning season, the Pirates have shown tremendous resilience. They earned 21 of their 95 wins in their batting final, including a dozen with two strikeouts. Pittsburgh native Dick Groat won the National League MVP with a 0.325 batting average, league best pitcher Vernon Law won the National League Cy Young Award and the phenomenon Roberto Clemente made the first of his 15 All-Star appearances.
In the first six games of the 1960 World Series, the Bronx Bombers lived up to their nickname by edging the Pirates, 46-17. But while New York beat Pittsburgh by scores of 16-3 (Game 2), 10-0 (Game 3) and 12-0 (Game 6), the Pirates won the tightest games: 6-4 ( match 1), 3- 2 (Game 4) and 5-2 (Game 5).
The 36,683 fans who packed Forbes Field for Game 7 on the afternoon of Thursday, October 13, 1960, took advantage of unusually warm temperatures and a quick start for the Pirates, who took a 4-0 lead after two sleeves. Law shut out the Yankees until Bill Skowron’s homerun in the fifth inning. When the first two hitters hit base in the sixth inning, Law was relieved by Roy Face, who had been notable in saving Pittsburgh’s three wins in the series. He wouldn’t register a fourth.
After Yankees superstar Mickey Mantle made a single to make it 4-2, Yogi Berra posted a three-run homerun to put the Yankees ahead. New York added two more runs in the eighth inning to bring the score to 7-4 and push the Pirates to the brink.
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Crazy eighth inning gives Pittsburgh a head start
With the Yankees six out of another title, the Pirates came home to plate against New York pitcher Bobby Shantz, who had faced the minimum of 15 batters since entering the third inning.
After pinched hitter Gino Cimoli opened the inning with a single, Pittsburgh center fielder Bill Virdon hit what looked like a safe double play ball. As Pirates fans collectively held their breath, Yankees shortstop Tony Kubek lost his when Virdon’s Grounder hit a boulder and threw himself on his jugular. Kubek grabbed his windpipe and staggered to the ground like a boxer with blood oozing from the corners of his mouth. Instead of turning two for a double game, Kubek left for the hospital with bruised vocal cords.
Pirates fans, however, were in full swing as Groat followed with a single scoring to cut the Yankees’ lead to two. Four batters later, defensive substitute Hal Smith hit a three-run homerun over Berra’s header into left field to give the Pirates a 9-7 lead.
Needing just three strikeouts to win the title, Pirates reliever Bob Friend took the mound, despite allowing up eight runs in his six innings in the series. Friend continued his recent trend by dropping back-to-back singles.
Pittsburgh manager Danny Murtaugh relieved Friend with Harvey Haddix to face the heart of the New York squad. After a Roger Maris pop-up, Mantle hit a scoring single, and Berra followed with the choice of a fielder to tie the score at nine. As the Yankees sent the game deep into the ninth, all tied up, moans emanated from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette newsroom, not only because of the changing fortunes of the hometown team, but also the need to change the headlines for the fourth time. A fifth modification would soon be necessary.
Bill Mazeroski hits most dramatic home run in World Series history
Although Yankees left-hander Whitey Ford had a scoreless streak of consecutive innings that would ultimately break Babe Ruth’s World Series record, New York manager Casey Stengel threw him nine full innings in the 12-0 rout. from Game 6. Instead of using the future Hall of Fame, Stengel took 24-year-old Ralph Terry to the mound.
Known more for his glove than his bat, Mazeroski, another future Hall of Famer, went to plate to take the lead from the bottom of the ninth. The 24-year-old has averaged just 10 home runs a year over his five major league seasons, but he threw Terry’s second pitch into the sky over Steel City on a similar trajectory to the home run. which he had hit on his first Forbes Field bat six months earlier. Berra and Mantle ran to the 406-foot mark in the left center and watched the baseball go through the ivy-covered brick wall and disappear into the green foliage of Schenley Park.
As Berra’s shoulders slumped in disappointment, Mazeroski celebrated the series-winning home run and Pittsburgh’s first World Series title in 35 years. The hero jumped around the bases while twirling his batting helmet in his right hand. “I knew I had a good hit, but I wasn’t sure it was going to come out,” Mazeroski later recalls. “When the referee gave the home run, well, I don’t think I touched the ground all the way down to second.”
Delirious Pirates fans stormed the pitch and joined the celebration at home plate. It was a magical conclusion to an enchanted year for the team dubbed “Destiny’s Darling” by New York Times sports journalist Arthur Daley. Game 7 also made history in that none of the 77 batters who came at plate were struck out, making it the only postseason game without strikeouts.
As Mantle wiped away tears in the Yankees clubhouse, Maris sat in front of his locker with an unopened can of beer instead of the usual bottle of champagne that has capped many Yankees seasons. He shook his head and mumbled, “What happened to us, for crying out loud, what happened?” Walking with only a towel, Berra replied, “We just got beaten up, Roger, by the most cursed baseball team that I or you or anyone else have ever played against.”
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