1 LAW AND ORDER IN PITTSBURGH
In Pittsburgh, which is what Beat 'Em, Bucs, Pa. used to be called, it was the most perfect of days. A cheerful October sun danced across Forbes Field and a gentle breeze ruffled the ivy climbing the ancient walls. No one did a lick of work all day. By mid-afternoon it was apparent that the day's steel quotas had not been ignored in vain. The Pirates beat the Yankees 6-4 to make Pittsburgh hysterically happy.
The Yankees scored first when Roger Maris put one of Vernon Law's sliders into the upper deck in right field. If the Pirates were going to turn and run, this was the time to start. Instead they ran all over the Yankees. Bill Virdon led off with a walk and, on Art Ditmar's first pitch to Dick Groat, stole second. When Yogi Berra's throw came sailing down to second base, neither Bobby Richardson nor Tony Kubek was present. Richardson and Kubek looked at each other and at Berra and Virdon and the ball, which by this time was in center field. Virdon grinned and kept right on going to third base. Dick Groat doubled to right, scoring Virdon. Bob Skinner singled through the middle, scoring Groat. Then Roberto Clemente also singled through the middle, scoring Skinner, who had stolen second. Mickey Mantle had a big inning picking up stray baseballs in center field.
Fine defensive plays stopped the Yankees in the second and in the fourth. In the second, Skinner caught Richardson's line drive in left and threw it in to Bill Mazeroski at second base to double up Berra, who flopped frantically in the dirt like a beached whale (opposite), trying to get back. Yogi also was victimized in the fourth when, with Maris on second and Mantle on first, he hit the longest, highest, hardest fly ball he has hit all year. But Forbes Field is a big ball park, and when the ball came down, both Virdon and Clemente were under it. Virdon made the catch—bouncing off Clemente—and although Moose Skowron singled later for the Yankee run, the famed Yankee big inning never occurred.
October 16, 1960
In the Pirate fourth, Jim Coates, who had relieved Ditmar, threw a fast ball right across the letters to Mazeroski. The count was two strikes and no balls and Mazeroski was surprised to see such a nice fat pitch in such a situation, but not too surprised to hit it over the scoreboard for two more runs.
That was about all except for Roy Face. No Pirate victory is quite official without Face. In the eighth the Yankees led off with two singles and Danny Murtaugh decided that maybe Law was getting a little tired or maybe his twisted ankle was beginning to ache. Anyway, Murtaugh waved in Face. Mantle struck out, Berra flied out, Skowron struck out.
The Yankees looked futile. In the light of what happened the next day, it was a pretty sneaky way for a World Series to start.
2 MANTLE AND HIS MOB BREAK LOOSE
It rained Wednesday night in Pittsburgh and again on Thursday morning and again just before the game. The Pirates would have been better off if it had rained all day. The Yankees turned a relatively close ball game into a complete rout with seven runs in the sixth inning and before they were through managed to compile a number of interesting statistics. Not the least of these was the score, 16-3.
Yet this was a ball game that the Pirates might have won except for a number of circumstances that came together in the Pittsburgh half of the fourth. It all began when Bob Skinner showed up at the park with a jammed thumb, suffered during a slide into third the day before, and had to be kept out of the lineup. This forced Murtaugh to play Rocky Nelson at first base, in order to keep a high level of left-hand hitting against the Yankees' Bob Turley, and depleted his bench of left-hand hitters.
Bob Friend started against Turley and pitched good ball for four innings, striking out six and allowing six hits, most of them bleeders through the infield. The Yankees scored twice in the third when Gil McDougald doubled down the left-field line—the Pirates insisted the ball was foul—and again in the fourth when Turley hit a hanging curve ball for a single with Richardson on base. But Friend's fast ball was whistling and even the Yankees admitted later they were lucky to lead by three runs.
In the fourth the Pirates struckback. Gino Cimoli and Smoky Burgess singled, and Don Hoak followed with a double. This scored one run, put runners on second and third with none out and set up a situation which could have settled the 1960 World Series right there. Another hit would have tied the score and sent Casey Stengel waddling out to remove Turley, and who knows what might have happened then? But Mazeroski's vicious drive went straight into Gil McDougald's glove at third base and it was Murtaugh who pulled out his pitcher, the weak-hitting Friend, for a pinch hitter. With Nelson already in the game, Murtaugh sent up Gene Baker, a right-hand-hitting utility infielder with a .243 average. Baker popped out. Bill Virdon ended the inning by grounding to Richardson. The Pirates didn't know it immediately, but only agony remained for them.
Against the Pirate relief pitchers—Fred Green, Clem Labine, George Witt, Joe Gibbon and Tom Cheney—the Yankees went wild. By the end of the day, Mickey Mantle had two home runs, Richardson a double and two singles, Kubek three singles, Howard a tremendous triple and a single. The Yankees had 19 hits in all, seven of them in that amazing sixth inning. Mantle drove in five runs, tying a Series record held by Tony Lazzeri, Bill Dickey and Ted Kluszewski; his two home runs were both hit right-handed and the second escaped Forbes Field at the 436-foot sign in center field, where no right-handed batter had ever hit a baseball before. When Mantle got through, he had 13 World Series home runs, only two behind Babe Ruth.
Later, the Yankees were not too exhilarated and the Pirates didn't seem too depressed. "Anybody get hurt out there today?" asked Murtaugh. "No? Then we're O.K."
A photographer asked Stengel to look happy. "Hooray for us," Casey said.
3 BOBBY RICHARDSON: THE MOUSE THAT ROARED
The Pirates waved the second game aside as just one of those things; they decided to file it and forget it. But on Saturday the Yankees started in as if Thursday's game had never ended. This time there were no ifs and buts and might-have-beens. This time the Pirates were simply demolished. The score was 10-0 and the game was not as close as it sounds.
Vinegar Bend Mizell started for the Pirates and in the first inning gave up three singles, a walk and a run before turning the ball over to Clem Labine with one out and the bases full. Labine fooled Elston Howard with a good sinker, but Howard topped the pitch slowly down the third-base line, so slowly that it could not be fielded. Another run scored and the bases remained loaded. Bobby Richardson came to bat.
The little second baseman (5 feet 9 inches) is one Yankee that rival pitchers don't mind pitching to with bases occupied. During the regular season Richardson hit just one home run. Never in his life, in the majors, minors or high school, had he hit a bases-loaded homer. "As a matter of fact," Bobby said later, "I've never even hit a three-run homer in the big leagues. I don't get much of a chance. Usually, in a situation like that, all I hear is Casey bellowing 'Hold that gun!' and then he takes me out for a pinch hitter."
This time, because it was only the first inning and the Yankees already had two runs, Casey left him in. Bobby tried to bunt the man in from third, missed, and Labine ran the count to 3 and 2. Then Clem confidently grooved a fast ball. Wee Bobby—to his own astonishment and the stupefaction of the Pirates—smashed a sharp line drive into the left-field stands for a grand-slam home run.
In the fourth, with the bases loaded again, Richardson came up again, now the big hero, with the crowd roaring for him to do it—again. Bobby didn't, but the sharp single he sent into left field scored two more runs and increased his runs batted in for the day to six, a total that erased the names of Lazzeri, Dickey, Kluszewski and Mantle from the World Series record books, at least in this particular category.
"I hope they leave all those guys in there with their five runs batted in," said Tony Kubek, who is Richardson's good friend, "or everyone will look at Bobby's name and figure this isn't much of a record."
Mickey Mantle hit a home run to move within one of Babe Ruth's Series record, and by getting a pair of singles and a double in four other times at bat, enjoyed his biggest—if not his most dramatic—Series day.
Whitey Ford, who pitched the shutout, didn't need all those muscles. He gave up a double in the fourth inning and singles in the sixth, the seventh and the ninth. That was all. He walked only one man. It was Whitey's sixth World Series victory; only Red Ruffing and Allie Reynolds, both Yankees, naturally, had won seven.
Even after the bombing, Murtaugh was philosophical, which could be accounted for by three things:
1) The Pirates still trailed only 2-1 in the Series.
2) His pitching staff was in wonderful shape—excluding, of course, Labine, Green, Witt, Cheney and Gibbon, who had marched in the same dreary parade in both the second and third games. Law was rested and ready to work again. Friend had pitched just four innings and was itching to get back at the Yankees. Harvey Haddix hadn't pitched at all. ElRoy Face had been in only two innings.
3) Saturday was Danny Murtaugh's 43rd birthday.
If he had told the Yankees, they might have baked a cake.
4 VIRDON SAVES FACE AND THE RULE OF LAW
By Sunday New Yorkers were beginning to wonder if the Pirates, like the long-gone National League itself, were a myth. Where was all the deadly pitching and defense, the decisive, timely hitting, the fabled spirit which had flattened good ball clubs like Milwaukee and St. Louis and San Francisco and L.A.? Finally, in the fourth game of the 1960 World Series, the doubters saw the team that had won its pennant by seven games. The Pirates did not overpower the Yankees as they had been overpowered, but they won 3-2 and proved that they were indeed real.
The three key men, as in the opening-game victory in Pittsburgh, were Law, Face and Virdon. And perhaps the key moment of the game came in the first inning, when Bob Cerv, leading off for the Yankees, singled, and Tony Kubek doubled him to third—just as though the Pirate nightmare of Thursday and Saturday was to continue forever. It was then that Law demonstrated how superior the first-line Pittsburgh pitching is to that of the secondary relief men who had been drubbed so unmercifully in the previous two games. He made Maris fly out to short right field. He walked Mantle intentionally to setup the double play, and he forced Berra to bounce into that double play. Hoak took the ball, stepped on third and buzzed it across to first to beat Berra by inches.
The Pirates knew then that they were not going to be slaughtered, and they were not particularly concerned when the Yankees did score. Skowron rammed a pitch into the right-field seats with two out in the fourth, but instead of coming apart, Law got tough; he struck out four of the next five batters.
Ultimately, he tired, and the Yankees got to him for a double and two singles to score another run in the seventh. This left two men on base with one out—so in came Face to save the game. The first batter, Cerv, whaled a baseball out into right center, almost to the 407-foot mark on the bleacher wall. Back went Virdon at full speed to save the saver. He jumped high into the air, caught the ball and landed, rolling, against the fence. That was the last chance the Yankees had.
As for the Pirate offensive against Ralph Terry, it was nothing for four innings; the slender right-hander struck out five, gave up no hits and only one unimportant, two-out walk. But when the Pirates finally got a foot in the door, they wiggled and pushed until they had three runs.
Gino Cimoli led off the fifth with a single. Smoky Burgess hit a two-strike curve ball down toward first base, the ball hopping slowly, and Skowron came in to pick it up. He threw to Kubek at second, trying to get the lead man, and the throw was late. Everyone was safe. When Hoak and Mazeroski popped out to the infield, it appeared that Terry was out of trouble, however, for now the pitcher was coming up.
But Vernon Law is a pitcher who can hit, and he hit Terry for a double into the left-field corner. Cimoli scored and Burgess reached third. Virdon, with two strikes, swung and hit the ball on the handle of his bat. It flew lazily out into center field, dropped 15 feet in front of the hard-charging Mantle, and both Burgess and Law scored. When Law reached the whooping Pirate bench, Danny Murtaugh walked up the steps to meet him and solemnly shook his hand.
The Yankees didn't feel too bad about Face; this was the best relief pitcher in the National League, probably in all baseball, and they had hit a couple of pretty good shots against him. Somebody just happened to catch the ball. As a matter of fact, the Yankees didn't seem to feel too bad about anything. They dashed into their dressing room, into the players' lounge, and cheered uproariously as Frank Gifford caught a touchdown pass from Chuck Conerly to help the football Giants beat the Steelers 19-17 on TV. Pittsburgh hadn't completely swept the day.
In the Pirate dressing room, Law had to grin about Skowron's home run. "I didn't even intend for that pitch to be a strike," he said. "I was trying to throw it outside. It was outside, all right, but not far enough for that guy."
Virdon thought that the catch he made in the first game off Berra was tougher than the big one he had made against Cerv. "I had more room to go back," he said. "Also, Clemente wasn't climbing up my back."
At the end of four games, the Yankees had 32 runs to 12 for the Pirates; they had 56 hits to 32 and seven home runs to one. But the score in games was 2-2 and it was no longer a short World Series.
5 HADDIX AND FACE: HOPE FULFILLED AND FAITH REAFFIRMED
The cloak of invincibility which enfolded the Yankees after their early, crushing victories began to show a few loose threads on Sunday. In the fifth game, on Monday, the Pirates clawed it to shreds. Two little Pittsburgh pitchers, Harvey Haddix and—of course—ElRoy Face, stopped the Yankees on five hits while the bat-swinging part of the Pirate lineup slashed and poked and rattled four Yankee pitchers for 10 hits and a 5-2 victory.
Haddix and Face were working with a lead all the way. The Pirates, who came through with three-run innings in each of their first two Series victories, hit the magic number again against Art Ditmar. In the way of the Pirates, it was exciting.
Dick Stuart singled to lead off the second and was forced by Cimoli. Burgess doubled into right field, sending Cimoli to third. At this point the Yankees got into the act with an infield error which Stengel was later to classify as "a very bad thing to do." Kubek fielded Hoak's slow roller and, with no chance to get Cimoli at the plate, threw to McDougald at third. But McDougald dropped the ball, Burgess slid in mightily, and everyone was safe, including Hoak on second base. Then Bill Mazeroski rammed a double out into left field for two more runs and a lead that Pittsburgh never lost.
The Pirates scored again in the third off Luis Arroyo when Groat doubled and Clemente singled him home; and again in the ninth off Ryne Duren when Burgess opened the inning with a single to left field and chugged on to second as Cerv fumbled the ball. Joe Christopher, in to run for Smoky, went hurtling down to third when Duren turned loose a wild pitch. Hoak smashed a fast ball back through the box and out into center field to score him.
Haddix, pitching in his first World Series game after 10 big league seasons, gave the Yankees both their runs in the first three innings. Elston Howard doubled into right field leading off the second and moved around on successive infield outs. Roger Maris hit a home run into the upper deck in right in the third inning. However, through the middle part of the ball game the Yankees could do nothing with Harvey's good curve. ("He was breaking everything low," said Stengel, "and my fellows were chasing it.") At one point Haddix struck out five of eight Yankee batters, but finally, like Law before him, he weakened.
With one out in the seventh, Kubek and Pinch-hitter Hector Lopez singled to put runners on first and second. Out came Murtaugh to relieve Haddix and give his signal for Face: right hand held out flat, palm down, about three feet from the ground, which means "Give me the little guy." Against nine Yankee batters, the little guy had no trouble at all. Throwing more sliders than fork balls, Roy let only Mantle reach base, on a walk, and Mantle was unable to move a step farther.
"I'll bet," said Bob Skinner, who is 6 feet 4 inches tall, "that when Face goes out there to pitch, he looks as big as me."
As the two ball clubs packed and began the trip back to Pittsburgh, where the Series would resume on Wednesday, the Yankees had added another home run to their impressive total, while the Pirates still had just one. But now it was the Pirates who were out ahead. The knife seemed to be carving "Beat 'Em, Bucs" on the hammer.
BOBBY RICHARDSON of the Yankees, who reached the major leagues because of his fielding skill, hit a grand-slam home run in the third game and had six RBIs.
BILL VIRDON of the Pirates was the defensive and offensive star of the fourth game. He made a game-saving outfield catch and drove in the winning runs.
HARVEY HADDIX gave the Pirates a big lift by pitching strongly in the fifth game, allowing only two runs until the seventh inning, when it was time for Roy Face.