Game 7. 1960 World Series. Awesome

Here it is about gentlemen of fortune. They lives rough, and they risk swinging, but they eat and drink like fighting-cocks, and when a cruise is done, why, it’s hundreds of pounds instead of hundreds of farthings in their pockets

Robert Louis Stevenson, Treasure Island.

 Picked Vernon Law over Brandon Webb this afternoon. After all, it is Christmas and you are supposed to indulge yourself. Did exactly that and it was an absolutely phenomenal three hours. So it was a Pirates life for me.

Mazeroski.jpgFinally watched Game 7 of the 1960 World Series on the MLB Network Tuesday afternoon. Yankees-Pirates. The network showed it last week but had to tape it until there was time to watch it.

There was time this afternoon while Webb was supposedly thinking about where he will pitch next year. Didn’t think about Webb once during the entire broadcast.

Instead stayed riveted to the television and watched every single play – especially the one that I have waited over 40 years to see – of the single greatest baseball game ever played.

Pirates 10, Yankees 9

This was the one that ended with Bill Mazeroski’s walkoff home run, the only one ever to come in the Seventh Game of a World Series. But there was so much more to watch than just Mazeroski’s home run in a game in which there was not one strikeout.

This was the last game Casey Stengel ever managed. He was fired shortly after. He deserved to be fired after this one.

He starts Bob Turley, who had pitched just fine in Game 2, allowing two earned runs in 81/3 innings. As Turley takes the mound to face the first hitter in the first inning, Stengel has two relievers – a left-hander and a right-hander – warming in the bullpen.

Other fun things to note:

* The starting pitchers warming up in front of the dugouts before the game rather than in the bullpen.

* How far some of the hitters stand away from the plate and the size of the bats they use. Roberto Clemente’s bat was huge, he was far off the plate and his body was falling off toward third base when he swung the bat.

VernonLaw.jpg* Yogi Berra took two bats to home plate and swung them both until he was ready. Then the bat boy would come to the plate and take one away when Berra was ready to hit. Berra, by the way, is really really short. But on one base-running play, he shows surprising speed.

* So was Bobby Shantz, who pitched brilliantly in relief until Stengel made the mistake of taking him out. Shantz, a left-hander, was mowing down the Pirates until a couple of bad breaks in the eighth. He left with a 7-5 lead, two on, nobody out but two left-handers coming to the plate.

* The Forbes Field infield was a mess in the eighth inning. No grounds crew doing any inbetween innings work to smooth it out. The dirt was completely torn up. Bill Virdon hit a ground ball that took a bad hop and hit Yankees shortstop Tony Kubek in the throat. It was a crucial play in the Pirates five-run eighth. Baseball history to that point is filled with famous late-inning bad hops. Watch this and you know why.

* The television production values and angles were pretty good, considering no replay. Broadcaster Mel Allen sounded like he was broadcasting an August game between two last place teams.

* Vernon Law (above), who won the Cy Young Award that year, started for the Pirates. His manager, Danny Murtaugh, took him out too soon. It almost cost the Pirates the game.

* The Pirates first base coach was Mickey Vernon. In 1961, he would be named the first manager of the Washington Senators. Think Jerry Narron’s uncle Sam was also a coach on that team.

* The Pirates played really good defense, especially their outfielders. Clemente and center fielder Bill Virdon really cover some ground

* Watching Mazeroski’s home run was cool, but really anti-climatic. There was so much more to watch and study. Can’t wait to watch again.

The one play I have been waiting 40 years to see? Berra’s ground out to first base in the top of the ninth inning. The play by Pirates first baseman Rocky Nelson. What Mickey Mantle actually did on the play.

For all these years, I’ve always wondered just exactly happened on that play, how it actually unfolded. Finally got to see it.

Awesome. Absolutely awesome. Don’t know what I’m talking about? Surely the MLB Network will show it again. Watch it for yourself

Anybody have the broadcast of Game 8 of the 1912 World Series?

“Can’t repeat the past?…Why of course you can!”
F. Scott Fitzgerald – The Great Gatsby

1 Comment

Enjoyed reading your impressions. Here are some others I came up with:

1. The size of the players…everyone had small arms and something of a belly except Mickey Mantle…who appeared to be carved out of granite.

2. No time wasted, either by pitchers or batters. Batters stayed in the box after each pitch and got ready for the next one.

3. Rocky Nelson had the strangest batting stance I’ve ever seen.

4. Agree with you about the critical play at first base involving Mantle. Yes, he picked the lesser of two options, but in that tenth of a second, his athleticism totally saved the play for him.

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