Thursday, June 21, 2007

1962 World Series Revisited

By now we've all heard several "expert" accounts of what happened in the 1962 World Series between the San Francisco Giants and New York Yankees. The jaw-dropping, gut-wrenching, head-shaking in disbelief final play of the series -a line drive by Willie McCovey right at second-baseman Bobby Richardson- that gave the Yankees their World Series victory.

But upon further review I was able to uncover the kind of Giant baseball that we 2007 Giants' fans have become accustomed to. Thanks to here's a recollection of what really cost the San Francisco Giants their chance at World Series championship glory.

Lots of scribes chastised Matty Alou for not being able to score on Willie Mays' double in the 9th inning of Game 7 at Candlestick Park. The play where Roger Maris got all kinds of kudos/love on a throw into home plate. Some scribes blamed the inclement weather for slowing the ball down so slow-footed Roger could gather it in time to twirl and throw his seed to the dish but I have some evidence that proves blaming Matty (one of the Gigantes worst trades, by the way) was just a pencil pusher's wishful thinking.

The Yankees had Elston Howard at catcher. These days Yogi Berra was a backup backstop and part-time outfielder. Bill Skowron was the first baseman. Bobby Richardson was the second-baseman, Tom Tresh the shortstop and my pick for series MVP (not Ralph Terry), Clete Boyer was at the hot corner. In the outfield was Mickey Mantle, Roger Maris and left field was by committee. Some guy named Hector Lopez, Johnny Blanchard, Yogi and young Joe Pepitone.

The Giants had Ed Bailey and Tom Haller at catcher. Orlando Cepeda at 1B. Chuck Hiller at 2B. Jose Pagan at SS. Jim Davenport at 3B. Felipe Alou-LF, Willie Mays-CF, Willie McCovey-RF.

Game One: NY Yanks 6 SF Giants 2 @ Candlestick Park
Whitey Ford got the Win. Clete Boyer hit a homer.

Game Two: Jack Sanford of the SF Giants pitched a 2-0 shutout. Willie McCovey hit a homer. Series tied at 1-1.

Game Three: Yankees win, 3-2. Bill Stafford got the complete game win. Billy Pierce the loss.
The game was deadlocked in a 0-0 tie heading into the bottom of the 7th inning.
Tom Tresh opened the inning with a single to center. Mickey Mantle followed with a single to left. Both runners advanced one base on an error by none other than Felipe Alou. Roger Maris then singled to right field and both runners scored. (2-0 Yankees.) Mc Covey bobbled the ball in right and Maris went to second base. Elston Howard flied out to Mays in centerfield and Maris went to third base. Skowron was hit by a pitch. Runners on 1st and 3rd base. Clete Boyer hit a grounder, scoring Maris from third. (3-0 Yankees.)

Giants in the top of the 9th. Mays led off inning with a double . McCovey grounded out to second base, Mays to third. One out. Cepeda flied out to right field . Two outs. Ed Bailey homered. (3-2, Yankees.) Davenport flied out. Game over, Yankees win. Yankees were up 2-1.

Game Four. 7-3 San Francisco. Series tied at 2-2. (Chuck Hiller hit a grand slam.)

Game Five, won by the Yankees 5-3. Yankees up 3-2.
Jack Sanford got the loss despite striking out 10 Yankees.

With the Giants ahead 1-0 going into the bottom of the 4th, Tom Tresh led off with a double. Mantle walked and Maris hit a grounder that forced Mantle. Runners on 1st and 3rd, one out.
Sanford threw a wild pitch. Tom Tresh scored. Score 1-1.

In the San Francisco half of the 5th inning Jose Pagan homered. SF-2 NY-1.

In the New York half of the 6th inning. Richardson singled. Tresh sacrificed him to second base. Mantle grounded out second to first, Richardson moved to third base. Catcher Haller allowed a passed ball, Richardson scored. Game tied at 2-2.....This is what cost the Giants the '62 Series. It's all about Game 5... Both Yankee runs scored on a passed ball and a wild pitch. Makes you wonder was the pitcher wild or the catcher just not getting his body in front of the ball. Two gift runs.

In the 8th, Ralph Terry struck out. Kubek singled. Richardson singled and Tom Tresh hit a homer. (NY-5 SF-2). Yankees 3 Giants2

Game 6: 5-2 Giants. Series knotted up at 3-3.
Game 7: 1-0 Yankees. Yankees win the Series 4-3.

They lost two (2) games because of two errors in one inning (Alou, McCovey) and a couple of miscues between the pitcher and catcher. (One passed ball by Haller and one wild pitch by Sanford). The inability to catch the ball is what cost them the 1962 World Series.

Not Matty Alou's stopping at third base on a Willie Mays double. The only guy that could have scored on that hit was the man who hit it. Because even if the throw was as good as legend has it, Willie would've done his patented hook slide and got around the tag. Somehow some way, #24 would've made it happen. Unfortunately, that's not the way this script was written.

Sort of reminds me of the 2007 Giants, in that they found ways to lose. History does tend to repeat itself.

kevin marquez