For the NEW YORK Yankees (see page 26), it was the week they won—not just five of six games but maybe a pennant as well. The spurt put the Yanks back on top for the first time since August 6 and, not surprisingly, it was Mickey Mantle who carried them into the lead. Mantle collected his 450th career homer and his 2,000th major league hit in the same game, a 6-2 win over the Angels that gave the New Yorkers a .002 edge in the standings. But Mantle was not the whole show; the newest Yankee, Pedro Ramos, came out of the bullpen twice to pitch 7‚Öî innings of masterful relief, and Whitey Ford threw his ninth shutout and his first complete game since July 15. The other two contenders, BALTIMORE (2-4) and CHICAGO (2-3), must do better against the second-division teams if they intend to catch New York. The Orioles' regular starters failed to win a game, but the blame was really on the hitters, who did not produce in two 2-1 losses to the seventh-place Twins. Those defeats dropped the Birds out of first. For the second consecutive week the White Sox found ninth-place WASHINGTON (3-2) hard to handle. Two weeks ago the Senators knocked the Sox out of first, and last week they beat them twice more, considerably dimming Chicago's pennant chances. Dick Phillips won both games with last-inning RBIs, one of them wrapping up a four-hit, 1-0 victory for Bennie Daniels. One team that could give the Yanks trouble is CLEVELAND (4-0), which has seven games remaining with the league leaders. The surging Indians, on the rise with a 32-15 record since early August, pitched their way from seventh to fifth as the staff allowed just eight runs and the hitters came through in the clutch to sweep all their games by narrow margins. Hopelessly stuck in eighth place, the BOSTON Red Sox (5-1) were also winning. The Sox had plenty of power hitting (13 homers, .330 team BA) and more pitching from Dick Radatz, who won once and tied the major-league record for most appearances by a pitcher in a season (74). KANSAS CITY'S John Wyatt matched that record the day after Radatz did, but the Athletics needed more relief than Wyatt could give as they lost four of six by lopsided scores. The DETROIT Tigers lost all four of their games when they hit only .214 and failed to support solid pitching by Dave Wickersham and Hank Aguirre. Dean Chance of the LOS ANGELES Angels (1-4) did not need much support from anyone. He shut out the Yankees on two hits, running his record to just one run allowed in 50 innings against the Yanks this year. Most of the action at MINNESOTA (2-4) occurred off the field. Owner Cal Griffith declared he would make sure that the players on the Twins are treated differently next year—and then gave Manager Sam Mele the traditional vote of confidence.
Although the Reds were 6½ games out of first, Sammy Ellis, CINCINNATI'S (4-2) 23-year-old star reliever, would not give up on his team's chances of winning the pennant. Ellis was married this season, and he and his bride are planning a long winter honeymoon. "Frankly," says Sammy, "I need all the Series money I can get." Working toward getting it last week, Ellis pitched 6‚Öî scoreless innings, figured in three of the Reds' wins and received credit for one of them. For once, Ellis' pitching was backed up by his light-hitting teammates. They batted .282 and pulled the Reds back up to third. The ST. LOUIS Cardinals, who also won four of six, got hard hitting from Curl Flood (.462) and two wins from Ray Sadecki to keep one step ahead of the Reds in second. But neither the Cards nor Cincy could gain more than a half game on the league-leading PHILADELPHIA Phillies (4-3). The Phils lost three one-run games, but strong pitching from Jim Bunning, Chris Short, Dennis Bennett and Bobby Shantz brought home the four victories that put them in the driver's seat for the final two weeks of play. They have five games with the Reds and three with St. Louis. The tired SAN FRANCISCO Giants (2-3) slumped back to fourth with Juan Marichal the only winner on the staff. Willie Mays, the tiredest Giant of all, took a four-day rest and came back refreshed to hit three homers and score seven runs in two games. Veteran Bob Friend was bombed twice, but the rest of the PITTSBURGH Pirate (4-2) starters kept busy shooting down enemy hitters. Bob Veale won his 17th and 18th games, and Don Cardwell, who returned to the Bucs after a season's work in the minor leagues, threw a four-hit shutout. It was open season on Manager Walt Alston's job again in LOS ANGELES, but the Dodgers (4-3) may save it for him yet. They moved within striking distance of a first-division finish. MILWAUKEE'S (2-4) shaky pitching staff allowed 35 runs, and Warren Spahn was blasted for five of them when he attempted his first start in a month as the Braves dropped down a notch to sixth. The HOUSTON Colt .45s fired three-year manager Harry Craft, and Coach Lum Harris stepped up to the top job. The Colts greeted the new field boss by pulling out a 2-1 win in the ninth inning to gain a split of six games. The NEW YORK Mets' (1-4) pitching allowed just 13 runs, but the attack was so weak (.213 team BA) that they could only win when Tracy Stallard threw a four-hit shutout. The CHICAGO Cubs (2-4) were out-scored 35-15 when 18 pitchers failed to check the opposition in their losses. Last year's 20-game winner, Dick Ellsworth, was hit particularly hard, allowing 13 runs in two starts.
September 27, 1964
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
When the season is over, the Chicago Cubs' ace right-hander Larry Jackson goes home to Boise, Idaho, to spend the winter, and he usually has gone a disappointed man. Jackson has been in the big leagues for nine seasons and has been considered one of the National League's best pitchers for most of them, but as 1964 began he had yet to do what every pitcher dreams of doing—win 20 games in one year. So, with little else to do in Boise, Jackson sat down last year and started persuading himself that he could be a 20-game winner. "I told myself I could win 20 games all last winter. I kept it up during the spring and then all through the season," said Jackson last week. He may turn out to be the best example of the value of positive thinking since Norman Vincent Peale proposed the theory. In the first year of Jackson's experiment he has won his 20 games. Tuesday he pitched a six-hit, 6-1 victory over the pennant-contending Cincinnati Reds and became the major leagues' first 20-game winner of 1964. But his new self-inspired confidence propelled him further. Four days later he threw another six-hitter, defeating Milwaukee 5-3, for his 21st win and a big edge toward becoming baseball's winningest pitcher of the year. And what does Jackson think of it all? "I am no better this year than before [his ERA is, in fact, higher than in 1963], but I kept telling myself that I had to average four wins a month to make 20, and that's just what I did."