Monday, July 6, 2015

World Series: Did You Know?

Boston's big guy, David Ortiz, posted the second highest single-series batting average in the Fall Classic of 2013. All he did was hit an astonishing .688 in the six games. I guess Dave was determined not to let the St. Louis Cardinals win.

David hammered home the point in game one at home, going 2-3, with three RBIs and a pair of runs scored. The Red Sox won 8-1, but amazingly, they got just six additional hits. But for the Cards, Dave was just warming up. He had a longball to his name in this. Game two saw another home run.

In the second game at Fenway, the home team came up short. Ortiz got two hits, knocked home another two. But Boston got just four hits, total in a 4-2 loss. Ortiz hit his big blast in the bottom of the sixth. To no avail!

The Red Sox lost game three in St. Louis on a bizzare play. Ortiz had only one hit. He did not score a run or knocked in any. But officially, he went 1-2 with two walks, so it was another strong game. Boston now trailed 2-1, so game four was a must.

Ortiz was not retired in the game, going 3-3 with two runs scored and another walk for good measure. Boston won this game 4-2. Ortiz did not finish the game, as he left for a pinch runner. Boston though, was not finished. They took the final game in St. Louis 3-1, to go up three games to two in the 2013 Fall Classic. Ortiz? 3-4 with an RBI.

The Red Sox closed this out 6-1 at home. It was the first time Boston won the World Series at Fenway since 1918. Ortiz had an odd game. How many times have you seen someone go 0-1 and score two runs? Well, Dave did just that. He also walked four times, three of them intentional. In his one at-bat, he fanned. I think St. Louis was scared of him at this point. But it was too late.

MVP of the 2013 Fall Classic? Ortiz!

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Right There At Rogers, 6/17/2015

So I took in my second baseball game of the season on June 17th at Rogers Centre. It was a first for me and my father. It was the first ever AL vs. NL game we'd ever seen live in person. The New York Mets apposed the Toronto Blue Jays.

Starting pitchers

Toronto: Drew Hutchison (5-1, 5.75 ERA)

New York: Jon Niese (3-6, 4.24 ERA)

So I figured Hutch had his work cut out for him in this important start for the Jays (34-32). The Mets had the better record (36-30) for good measure. BTW, if you want some delicious food before the game, go to Wahlburgers. Great beer there!

So the game started with the first pitch at 7:07 pm. It was drilled by the Mets' leadoff hitter, Curtis Granderson. Fourtunatly, it ended up caught by Kevin Pillar at the warning track near the power alley in right. Hutch gave up a single to the next batter, but managed to escape. The Jays didn't seem to have it against Niese, as they failed to get the ball out of the infield in the bottom of the first. Jon fanned Josh Donaldson for his first K.

Hutch seemed to settle down in the top of the second, as he did what Niese did to Toronto in the bottom of the first. He made sure New York didn't get the ball out of the infield, and collected his first K. The game was patiently waiting it's first run as I patiently waited for the Jays' first hit!

The bottom of the frame brought with it an interesting pendulum to it. Out, walk. Out, walk. Pillar was at the dish, and delivered a single to score the first run of the ballgame.With Ryan Goins up, the inning came to a bizzare end. Pillar (On first) and Danny Valencia (On third) tried to get another run all by themselves on the second pitch to Goins. Via a double steal. But the Mets were on to that and Valencia was caught in a rundown between home and third. When Danny was tagged out to retire the side, I turned to my father and said, "That was the worst delayed double steals I've ever seen!"

Hutchison looked like he was poised for another 1-2-3 inning in the top of the third, as he even got his second K of the game. But Granderson connected solidly again, only this time he was rewarded. Pillar couldn't flag it down on the fly, and Curtis ended up with a two-bagger. A walk then put the go-ahead runner on first, but a strikeout put an end to that.

The Jays got a leadoff single by Goins in the bottom of the frame, but then went down meekly after that. A groundout was the best result and Niese fanned the last two batters.

Hutch and Niese then got 'em 1-2-3 in the fourth inning, but Niese actually looked better as he got still another strikeout. That was his fourth of the night.

Hutch himself fanned two the next inning, but had a scare as the Mets got another double, this time by Ruben Tejada. Drew managed to escape when he got Granderson popped to short.

After Valencia fanned to start the bottom of the fifth, it was Pillar with a single, and Goins following suite. However, with Pillar on his way to third, Goins tried for second. He was gunned out, and I began to think about the opportunities that the Jays were squandering with some poor baserunning. That feeling was accentuated when Jose Reyes popped out to end the inning. One run was not going to do it against the Mets.

The sixth inning was a lot like the fifth inning for Hutchison. He gave up yet another double, as the Mets now had three. This one was hit with two out by Michael Cuddyer. And it ended Hutchison's night. Drew had thrown 105 pitches over 5 2/3 innings. Steve Delabar came into the get the final out of the inning. Steve did just that. The bottom of the frame saw Toronto pick up their first double by Josh Donaldson (He'd fanned on both his previous trips to the dish). Jose Bautista drew a walk. Edwin Encanacion fanned as Niese now had six strikeouts. But he still trailed 1-0. A single by Chris Colabello made it 2-0. There was still only one out, but Russell Martin hit into an inning-ending double play.

Delabar made Josh Gibbons look like a genius as he fanned two in a 1-2-3 seventh. Toronto was up to seven strikeouts in an many innings. Pillar put Toronto up by three in the bottom of the frame by stroking a solo home run. A walk to Goins meant more perhaps? Not to be as another inning-ending double play followed.

Two subsititions were made by the Blue Jays to start the eighth. First, Liam Hendricks came in to pitch. Ezequiel Carrera replace Colabello in left. The Mets got this inning off on the right foot as Dilson Herrera singled. Granderson fanned but on the first pitch to Juan Lagares, Herrera swiped second. Lagares sent Pillar far enough back that Herrera took third after the putout. Another pitching change as Aaron Loup came in to pitch to Lucas Duda. A lefty-lefty matchup. On 2-0 pitch, Duda hit a towering fly to Bautista in right. For Jose, it would be his only putout of the game. The inning was over.

Akeel Morris made his major league debut for the Mets to start the bottom of the seventh. His control let him down. Donaldson and Bautista started things with back-to-back walks. One out later, it was Carrera with a single to make it 4-0. Another single by Martin and it was 5-0. Dad and I got up to leave, as I was walking in the hallway I heard a roar. Valencia had hit a three-run home run to make it 8-0 Toronto. That proved to be the final score. I'm 2-0 at Rogers' this year!

Saturday, July 4, 2015

World Series: Did You Know?

Three pitchers have struck out six batters in a row. Many years apart.

The first such occurrence was by Hod Eller in the infamous 1919 World Series. Pitching for the Cincinnati Reds in game five of this tainted Fall Classic, it was more Eller's pitching then Chicago's bad play that made the difference. In the bottom of the second inning of a scoreless tie, Eller fanned Chick Gandil, a proven fixer. Swede Risberg, another fixer, followed that by going down on strikes. The inning ended with Ray Schalk striking out. Schalk was not part of the fix. In the sequence of six K's, though, he was one of two Hall Of Famers!

Eller's mound opponent was in on the fix, but pitching well in this game. Lefty Williams had a K of his own in the top of the frame as part of a 1-2-3 inning (The whole inning was, of course). In the top of the third, he did it again, with Eller himself making the second out. But Lefty got no strikeouts.

Eller sure did in the bottom of the inning. He fanned Williams to start, then added Nemo Leibold. Eddie Collins, another Hall Of Famer, went down on strikes to end another 1-2-3 inning of all strikeouts.

Williams' teammates made an error behind him, preventing him from a 1-2-3 fourth. He got out of that inning without any of baserunner reaching. Eller, then made two plays on grounders from Buck Weaver and Shoeless Joe Jacksons. His throws to first made the two outs. Then he fanned Happy Felsch for another 1-2-3 innings. Cincy went on to win the game, 5-0.

When the Los Angeles Dodgers loaded the bases in the bottom of the third inning against Baltimore's Dave McNally in game one of 1966, it ended his day. Moe Drabowsky came in, and soon issued the fourth walk of the inning, scoring a run to cut Baltimore's lead to 4-2. The Dodgers had no way of knowing it then, but they would not touch home again.

The bottom of the fourth saw some reality set in for Los Angeles. The Orioles relief ace was not about to make things easy for the Dodgers. Jim Barbieri, batting for Joe Moeller (Who'd relieved a battered Don Drysdale earlier), fanned. As to, did Maury Wills and Willie Davis. The gave Moe four strikeouts in just 1 2/3 innings.

Drabowsky fanned Lou Johnson, Tommy Davis and Jim Lefebvre in the bottom of the fifth to make it six straight.

Drawbosky finished the game with a masterful performance. The Dodger managed just one hit and two walks of him in 6 2/3 innings pitched. The K's continued all game long, and when it was over, he'd fanned 11. The Orioles went on to sweep the Dodgers.

The 1985 St. Louis Cardinals looked ready to beat the Kansas City Royals in game five at home. However, it was Kansas ahead 4-1 in the top of the sixth as Todd Worrell came in to pitch. He got Buddy Biancalana out on strikes. Danny Jackson, the pitcher for the Royals, also fanned. As did Lonnie Smith for the third out. All swung and missed at strike three.

The next inning saw Willie Wilson miss on a 1-2 pitch. George Brett fouled off a 2-2 pitch. But the next pitch, he swung and missed. Frank White lasted just three pitches, as he swung and missed with two strikes.

Jackson got two K's of his own as the Cardinals batted in the bottom of the seventh. Then, Brian Harper batted for Worrell. Getting into the 1-2-3 on strikeouts act, Jackson got his third straight. Jeff Lahti came in to pitch the top of the eighth for St. Louis. KC scored a run before he ending the uprising with a K of his own. Jackson went on to win the game 6-1 for Kansas, and got his final punch out in the bottom of the inning as he fanned Willie McGee.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Common Denominator: AL Pennant Winners Other Then The Yankees in the 1950s!

The Cleveland Indians of 1954 and Chicago White Sox of 1959 had one positioned player that was the same, one pitcher that was the same, and manager Al Lopez.

Larry Doby hit 32 home runs and batted in 126 runs for the Tribe in 1954. But he hit just .125 in the Fall Classic. The Indians needed more from him, but the New York Giants made sure the World Series stayed in New York that year. His year of 1959 would prove to be his last in the majors. After striking out in his only plate appearance in the second game of the double header on July 26th, he was sent down to the minors, never to return.

Early Wynn was the ace of the Indians in '54. He went 23-11 with an ERA of 2.73. He pitched a splendid game in the second game of the Fall Classic, only to lose 3-1 to Johnny Antonelli. Since it was a Giants sweep, he did not get to pitch again. Such was not the case in 1959. With the "Go-Go" White Sox, Wynn not only won a league-leading 22 games (His 23 wins in '54 also topped the junior circuit), but he was on the hill in game one of the Fall Classic vs. Los Angeles. And did he ever stop the Dodgers! He pitched a shutout through seven before giving way to Gerry Staley. Staley pitched a scoreless eighth and ninth and the White Sox won it easily, 11-0!

Wynn though, saw the Dodgers knock him out in the third inning of the fourth game. While Chicago rallied to tie it, it was Los Angeles with a 5-4 win. Wynn looked doomed to never pitch again as Los Angeles led three games to one. In game five, Bob Shaw beat a young Sandy Koufax 1-0, to send it back to Chicago for game six. Wynn was given another chance, but ended up losing 9-3 to Johnny Podres.

Al Lopez saw it all from the dugout for Cleveland and Chicago those two magical years. He definitly made a curious choice not to start veteran Bob Feller in 1954. Bob was 13-3, but had lost both his starts in the 1948 Fall Classic. So Feller ended his career without a Fall Classic win, which is amazing. The 1959 team had the speed, yet it was the Dodgers stealing five of a possible six bases compared to the White Sox succeeding just twice in five attempts. The White Sox seemed unable to solve relief pitcher Norm Sherry, who ended the World Series with two wins and two saves.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

World Series: Did You Know?

The New York Yankees have only twice lost a best-of-seven Fall Classic when they were ahead after five games. Honourable mention goes to the 1921 New York Giants, who trailed 3-2 after five games, but won the next three games to win the best-of-eight, 5-3. Babe Ruth tasted World Series defeat for the first time as a Yankee. First time ever, for that matter.

But what about 3-2, loses the next two? Well, Ruth was there too, as was Lou Gehrig. The year was 1926, and the Yankees, who had finished an embarissing seventh (69-85) in 1925, were looking to win it all.

Ruth and co. were doing just that. At least through five games. The St. Louis Cardinals would not be denied in the end, however. The Babe had hit three home runs in game four to held New York tie the series. The Bronx Bombers took game five, 3-2, in extras. What could the Cardinals do?

What they did was win game six, right there in Yankee Stadium, 10-2. It was Grover Cleveland Alexander with the pitching and the whole Cardinal team with the offence. In game seven, it was a tight game, and Alexander would be needed again.

It was 3-2 St. Louis after six and a half. But leading off the bottom of the frame, it was Earl Coombs with a single for New York. A bunt moved him into scoring position. Ruth was walked intentionally. Bob Meusel grounded into a fielder's choice that erased Ruth at second. But Gehrig coaxed a walk from Jesse Haines. It was time for Alexander The Great!

And Pete came through! A majestic K of Tony Lazzeri (After Tony had fouled off some pitches) kept the Cards in front. St. Louis went down 1-2-3 in the top of the ninth, however. Three more outs to go and St. Louis had this one in the bag.

He got Combs and Mark Koenig on grounders. Ruth was next and Alexander had to be careful. He was a little to careful with the Bambino. Ruth made it to first via a walk. Meusel was at the dish, and Gehrig was next should he make it. However, for some reason, here was where Babe Ruth decided to take matters into his own hands. By trying to steal second. He was gunned out. The 1926 Fall Classic came to a sudden end.

In 2001, the Yankees were up against the upstart Arizona Diamondbacks. And up three games to two. Here's where Randy Johnson did some Grover Cleveland Alexander heroics of his own for the home team in game six and seven. He stopped the Bronx Bombers cold over seven innings. The D-Backs won the game, 15-2. He was there in relief in game seven.

It appeared to be too little, too late for Randy in game seven, however. The Diamondbacks were down 2-1 in the top of the eighth, when Johnson was summoned from the bullpen. He fanned Chuck Knoblauch to strand a runner. In the top of the ninth, he got 'em 1-2-3. But it was still 2-1, New York.

Mariano Rivera was on the hill for New York, to seal the deal. But it was Mark Grace getting it all started with a single. Next, an error on a sac bunt attempt put the D-Backs in serious business. And the Yankees, in serious trouble.

Jay Bell batted for Johnson, tried to bunt, and failed as New York got the force at third. Tony Womack hit a double, but that just tied the game as Bell only made it to third. With first base open, Craig Counsell was hit by a Rivera pitch. It was up to Luis Gonzalez. On an 0-1 pitch, he stroked a single to centre to score Bell! The mighty Yankees had lost!

And lost after having a 3-2 series lead. It happens, even to the Yankees. But not very often!

Common Denominator: Three Rings Without MJ In the 1990s

Mario Elie, is that. He didn't play with the Chicago Bulls. But he played with Hakeem (Drafted before Micheal Jordan in 1984) and Tim Duncan (2-1 lifetime vs. LeBron!). When you play with those guys, good things do happen! You don't just need MJ for that.

Micheal Jordan's Bulls dominated the 90s in basketball, and there was little room for anyone to win outside of The Bad Boys in 89/90. The next season, 90/91Jordan took care of them, Charles Barkley's Philadelphia 76's and finally Magic's Lakers in the finals.

Unnoticed with all that going on was Elie's first year with the Golden State Warriors. Long before they beat LeBron James and his team in this year's finals, they were coached by Don Nelson to a 44-38 record. Elie didn't do much. He only played 30 games (None of them starts) and averaged just 7.7 points per game. But in the playoffs, the Warriors made it to the second round, and Mario played in all nine games. He even started seven of them and averaged 9.3 PPG. Not too bad for the small forward / shooting guard.

But it wasn't until 93/94 that Elie got the ring. Sans MJ, of course. It was the Houston Rockets turn to win! Hakeem Olajuwon was the centre, and a dominating one at that. Mario, a small forward, also had another great teammate. Well, at least someone who would go on to win a lot of rings: Robert Horry!

And my favourite Rocket of all time was there, Sam Cassell! As you can see, the team had a lot of character.

Elie averaged 9.3 PPG and dished out 3.1 assists per game. Hakeem's strong play at both ends kept the opposition at bay. 27.3 PPG and 11.9 rebounds per game. That didn't tell half the story of how dominating he was. Houston got past Portland, Phoenix in seven (Coming back from 2-0 down), Utah and New York. The Knicks were ahead three games to two, before the Rockets came back. Elie didn't do much in game seven, as he played just eight minutes, not scoring a point.

But was it all tainted? Had Jordan not retired after 92/93? Well, Jordan was back the next season, but his Bulls lost to Orlando. The Magic, with a dominating centre of their own (Last name O'Neal. Ever heard of him?), and looked poised to take out Houston in the final. Calling Hakeem!

Well, the Rockets (Who'd added Clyde Drexler) needed five to beat Utah, seven to beat Phoenix (Coming back from 3-1 down this time) and then San Antonio (David Robinson, there, but Duncan, not). Could the dream die?

Not if The Dream had anything to say about it. Olajuwon went out there and matched Shaq every which way. All Hakeem did was 32.8/11.5/5.5. Shaq gave a good account for himself in his very first final (28.0/12.5/6.3), but he and his team were simply overmatched. Not helping his cause (But certainly helping the Rockets cause!) was our man. Mario averaged 16.3 PPG in the finals. In game four, Elie chipped in with 22. The Rockets won this game for the sweep.

But MJ and his 'mates proved too strong for everyone the next three seasons. So Mario had to wait until 1999 to get another ring. Ironically, it was with the very team Houston had beaten the Western Conference Finals in 1995, San Antonio. They just so happened to have a guy named Robinson, still. And a sophomore named Duncan. There would be no sophomore jinx!

The Spurs made it to the finals. Who better to face then the Knicks? Things had come full circle for Elie. The finals proved to be anti-climatic. It took the Spurs just five games to win. They too, had been a team of character. Two castoffs from MJ's dynasties, Will Perdue and Steve Kerr (Fourth ring in a row, and didn't he just get one behind the bench this year?), Jerome Kersey, Avery Johnson, David Robinson, and Tim Duncan. Call it destiny! Mario averaged 11.6 PPG in the finals.

At this point, Elie had three rings. Duncan and Robinson were at one each. Duncan went on to four more (So far), Robinson had to settle for just two. Another dynasty was on the way in the Los Angeles Lakers (Also coached by Phil Jackson). Elie was the man in the middle of those runs. Right place, right time!

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

World Series: Did You Know?

Although Jim Kaat pitched in four games in the 1982 Fall Classic, he failed to get a decision. The ancient veteran, 43 years young in '82 (And weeks away from his 44th birthday) was working out of the pen that year for the St. Louis Cardinals (Save for two starts). Kaat didn't even see any action in the National League Championship Series.

So when Jimmy got to the mound in game one of the World Series vs. the Milwaukee Brewers, he had to wonder how much work he'd get. The Cards, you see, were trailing by a wide margin when Kaat came in.

Indeed, it was 6-0, Milwaukee by the top of the sixth inning in the opening tilt in St. Louis. Kaat got the last out of the inning. The next inning saw Milwaukee get a hit and a walk off him, but Kaat got out of there. It mattered little. St. Louis ended up losing the game 10-0.

Game two was better. Kaat came in earlier, and he was needed. Kaat came on in the top of the fifth. 3-2, Brewers, Robin Yount on second after hitting a double. But Cecil Cooper greeted Jim with a single to score him. 4-2. The next two batters were retired by Kaat, but his night was done. St. Louis rallied to win.

In game three in Milwaukee, the Cardinals really asserted themselves. They were leading 5-0 by the time Kaat came in. There was one on and one out in the bottom of the seventh. Jim got Ben Oglivie to fan, but then Gordon Thomas singled. Kaat's night was again done quickly. The Cardinals, however, won the game 6-2 to go up two games to one in the 1982 Fall Classic.

Kaat came in to douse the flames in game four, with the Cardinals leading 5-4. The Brewers had runners on the corners, and two out. But a single by Cooper off Kaat tied the game, and Jim had a blown save to his name. Ted Simmons batted next. On a 1-1 pitch, Kaat threw a wild pitch. The Cardinals replaced Kaat with Jeff Lehi, who ended up intentionally walking Simmons. St. Louis went on to win the game, but Kaat was not charged with the loss.

The Cards ended up winning two of the next three games, but Kaat did not pitch in any of them, He picked up his first World Series ring, however. 23 years after entering the bigs with the original Washington Senators. Long time coming!

Monday, June 29, 2015

World Series: Did You Know?

Rick Wise ended up the winning pitcher in a game many (myself included) have dubbed "The Greatest Game Ever Played". Well, at least at Fall Classic time. Game six of the 1975 World Series. Started with a flyball from Pete Rose to Carl Yastrzemski, ended with a majestic home run from Carlton Fisk. Right off the foul pole in left.

Wise did not start the game. The Boston Red Sox, down three games to two at home, had to beat the Cincinnati Reds in game six and seven in order to win it. They started Luis Tiant (winner of games one and four) this game. For four innings, he stopped the Reds. A three-run home run by Fred Lynn gave Boston a 3-0 lead.

But the Reds wanted to wrap it all up tonight. They tied it in the top of the fifth. Ken Griffey scored Ed Armbrister and Pete Rose. A long single off the Green Monster by Johnny Bench tied the game. Two innings later, the Reds pushed across two more runs on a George Foster double. A solo home run by Cesar Geronimo in the top of the eighth finished Tiant, and gave the Reds a 6-3 lead. Just eight more outs to go. The Reds managed two get two outs in the bottom of the frame. But a dramatic pinch-hit three-run home run by Bernie Carbo tied the game, and sent the faithful at Fenway into a frenzy!

Roger Moret had a scoreless inning for Boston. Dick Drago added three scoreless frames of his own. But really, what Drago got was a game-saving catch from Dwight Evans in right in the top of the eleventh. The Red Sox, avoided the bullet, but had to be mad at the fact they hadn't won it themselves in the bottom of the ninth. They had the bases loaded and nobody out for Lynn. Lynn flied out to Foster in left, who gunned out Denny Doyle at the plate, trying to score the winning run.

Rick Wise pitched the top of the eleventh, after Boston went down 1-2-3 in the bottom of the eleventh. He gave up a one-out single to Tony Perez, and then another single to Foster. However, the next two Cincy batters went down without either base runner advancing. So when Carlton Fisk came up in the bottom of the inning, and belted Pat Darcy's second pitch of the inning (He'd gotten six straight Red Sox out in the tenth and eleventh) off the left-field foul pole, Wise was the winning pitcher. The Red Sox and their fans were so ecstatic (and relieved), that probably no one was going to remember the winning pitcher, in relief.

The Reds recovered from this (And another 3-0 lead by Boston the next game) to win game seven. Wise did not pitch in it.

No doubt, it's all about Fisk when you talk about the 1975 World Series. And for very good reason. Wise had started game three in Cincinnati and gotten routed. He did not take the loss. He and the Reds had an interesting history. On June 23rd of 1971, he no-hit Cincy right there in Riverfront Stadium (Pete Rose was the final out of that game). And his bat did some damage, too. He smacked two home runs!

Then, facing Don Gullet of the Reds on July 3rd of the next season, he hit another home run. Clearly, there was something special for Rick Wise versus Cincy. And while it's Fisk with the walk-off, it's The Wise Guy with the relief win.


Cincinnati Reds 6, Boston Red Sox 5 (Retrosheet Boxscore:)

Cincinnati Reds 4, Boston Red Sox 3 (Retrosheet Boxscore:)

Rick Wise Career Home Runs | (

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Basketball History On Youtube: Wilt's 100!

The game of the century.

Wilt Chamberlain, perhaps the most dominating pro athlete in the history of all sports, scored 100 points in one NBA game March 29, 1962. Kobe had 81 a few years back, but that's still not even close. The Philadelphia Warriors may have been playing a poor Knick team, but still...

Sadly, the game was not televised, so we have only the audio, but no matter. It's sort of like, "The Giants win the pennant," and "Oh, the band is out on the field!", for me. Wilt was truly a superman!

Things to look (hear) for:

Wilt scored 31 in the final quarter

Wilt made 27 of his first 28 free throws, then went into a slump and made only 1 of his last four. That's still good enough for an amazing 28/32! Quite an accomplishment for a poor free throw shooter!

Speaking of which, the Warriors shot 43 of 52 from the line, and only three players (Chamberlain, Guy Rogers and Joe Ruklick) actually missed free throws. The rest of the Philadelphia players went 5-5 from the line.

Al Attles has a perfect game: 8 for 8 from the field and 1 for 1 from the line. Another forgotten footnote from this game!

Wilt attempted 63 shots and made 36 of them. The Philadelphia Warriors actually made 63 of their shots from the field. They attempted 115.

Amazingly enough, the New York Knicks actually attempted more shots (118) then the Warriors did. But they made only 57.

Wilt had a better night at the line then Richie Guerin (13-17) and Willie Naulls (13-17) of the Kicks combined!

Wilt missed at his first two attempts at 100.

The Knicks score is given incorrectly no less then three times!

The attendance was just 4, 124!


Saturday, June 27, 2015

World Series: Did You Know?

The Yankees won the 1962 Fall Classic, despite batting just .199 as a team. Their opponents, the San Francisco Giants, hit .226. It looked like in game one that it might be high-hitting series, but it was not to be.

Game one saw the Yankees win 6-2 in Candlestick Park, but barely out-hit the Giants 11-10. The game was closer then the score would indicate as the teams were tied at two going into the top of the seventh. A surprising home run by Clete Boyer broke the deadlock. Boyer knocked home another the next inning with a sac fly. But San Francisco seemed to have the edge in pitching after this.

Ralph Terry pitched a fine game for New York. However, he took a 2-0 loss. Jack Sanford stopped the Yankees cold on just three hits. Mickey Mantle hit a double in the top of the ninth, but he was stranded. It was on to New York in game three, where the Yankees seemed doomed for a while against Billy Pierce.

The Yankees scored all three of their runs in the bottom of the seventh off Billy Pierce, and it was enough for a win. Singles by Tom Tresh, Mantle and a an error brought Roger Maris to the plate in that inning with two runners in scoring position. Roger came through with a single to score two. Later, he scored the third an final run of that inning.

New York got nine hits, but only three runs in game four, and the Giants squared this thing at two games with a big 7-3 win. Maris and Mantle both scored a run, but were held hitless, as was Elston Howard. Worse still, an ex-teammate of Mantle's got the win, Don Larsen!

Game four was tied at two, like the World Series itself, going into the bottom of the eighth. But a dramatic, three-run home run by rookie Tommy Tresh paved the way for an eventual 5-3 win by the Yankees. But the Yankees woes at the dish continued as they were held to just six hits at home. And while they were up three games to two in the 1962 Fall Classic, they'd have to win it on the road.

New York lost game six in San Francisco, 5-2. Billy Pierce pitched even better this time. It seemed amazing that the Bronx Bombers got two runs in this game, as they collected just two hits. Their biggest was Maris' solo home run in the top of the fifth. But the Giants were ahead 3-0 at the time. Whitey Ford took the loss for the Yankees. Winner-take-all game seven!

That's where Ralph Terry pitched a gem for the Yankees. He'd lost game two, won game five, and pitched a shutout in game seven! But how about the Yankees? Well, they got only seven hits. And only one run. It proved to be enough, but the run scored on a double play. Willie Mays hit a double to put runners on second and third with two down in the bottom of the ninth. Willie McCovey lined to Bobby Richardson at second to end it. The Yankees didn't do much hitting, but they managed to pull it out!

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

World Series: Did You Know?

Johnny Sain was the only member of the New York Yankees bullpen to surrender a run in the 1951 Fall Classic. Seems odd considering he was a better pitcher then Bobby Hogue, Bob Kuzava, Tom Morgan and Joe Ostrowski. But they held the New York Giants in check while Sain didn't. That's insane!

Hogue and Morgan picked up Allie Reynolds in a lost cause in game one at Yankee Stadium. Leo Durocher's team didn't need any miracles. They won it easily, 5-1. Dave Koslo went the distance for the Giants.

The Yankees lost Mickey Mantle for the rest of the Fall Classic, as he tripped over a sprinker in game two, but they won the game by the score of 3-1. Hank Bauer finished the game in Mantle's spot. Mickey scored the game's first run. How about the bullpen? The Yankees didn't need any as Ed Lopat went all the way to square up the World Series.

Game three was in the Polo Grounds, and the hometown team won. Like game one, it was a rout. The final score was 6-2 as the Giants got a great pitching performance from Jim Hearn. The Yankees' pitching was ineffective. At, least, that was until Hogue and Ostrowksi came in for mop up duty. The held the Giants scoreless for 3 2/3 innings. But it was too late.

So the Yankees needed game four. They ended up returning the favour to the Giants. They won a 6-2 game of their own here. Allie Reynolds got the better of Sal Maglie as Joe DiMaggio hit a home run. Reynolds finished with a eight-hitter and seven K's.

The Yankees left the Polo Grounds on a winning note as they took game five, to go up 3-2 in the 1951 Fall Classic. Oh, they won it big. 13-1! Gil McDougald had a grand slam in the top of the third. It was more than enough, of course. DiMaggio and Phil Rizzuto drove in three each for good measure. Lopat was even better then in game two, as he pitched a complete game five-hitter.

The Yankees wrapped it up at home Vic Raschi won it 4-3. But he had trouble. Vic left without retiring a batter in the top of the seventh. It was 4-1, Yankees at the time. And the tying run was at the dish. Johnny Sain hopped in from the bullpen and got the next three batters out. It looked like a brillant move by Casey Stengel. But Sain narrowly avoided disaster in the eighth as the Giants loaded 'em up on a hit and two walks.

In the top of the ninth, the wheels really came of the chariot for Said. It was still 4-1, but Eddie Stanky singled. Alvin Dark got a bunt single. Wally Lockman singled to load 'em up. No outs. Bob Kuzava came in to pitch.

But Monte Irvin hit a long drive to left to score Stanky. Both Dark and Lockman moved up into scoring position on the play. Another long drive to left scored Dark, with Lockman staying at second. Still, a single could tie this thing, eh? Pinch hitter Sal Yvars gave it a ride to right. But Hank Bauer, who'd drove in three runs on the afternoon, made the catch to end it.

So Sain got a "hold" out of all that, but he hardly deserved it. Yet he was a valuable member of Stengel's teams from 1951 to 1954. He'd spot start (Going 11-6 in '52 and 14-7 in '55 with only 35 starts), he'd relieve (Leading the league in saves in 1954 with 26). Sain was part of the "Spahn and Sain" combo of the 1948 Boston Braves. And he was the last pitcher to face Babe Ruth (In an exhibition game) and the first to pitch to Jackie Robinson (Opening Day, 1947). Later, he served as a pitching coach on the Yankees from 1961 to 1963, helping Whitey Ford, Ralph Terry and Jim Bouton to their first 20-win seasons). Maybe he got bombed here in 1951, but that shouldn't take away from all his Yankee contributions! Sadly, most Yankee fans rue the fact that they traded the very man who beat New York three times in the 1957 Fall Classic for him.

Lew Burdette!

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

World Series: Did You Know?

Stan "The Man" Musial hit only one home run in the Fall Classic. The Man had a little growing up to do in his early years in baseball, but he got plenty of World Series experience.

Stan had been called up late in the 1941 season. While he batted .426 over the course of his twelve games, he couldn't get his St. Louis Cardinals past the Brooklyn Dodgers. The next year, it was different. Stan hit .357 to lead the National League, and the Cards were in the Fall Classic against the New York Yankees. Joe DiMaggio hit .333 to Stan's .222, but it was St. Louis with the win in just five games.

The next year, same two teams, but a different result. The Cardinals won 105 games and Stan hit a respectable .278 in the October Showdown, but it was the Yankees needing just five games themselves to win.

The Cardinals were favoured again the very next year, and it was the cross-town Browns who faced them. This was an all Sportsman's Park affair. But after three games, it looked like the Browns might pull off an upset. They led two games to one and were the "home" team in game four.

The Cards needed a boost and quick. And they got it! Stan was the man to do it. In the top of the first with one out, Johnny Hopp singled. Stan Musial came to the dish, and got a pitch he liked. Stan put the Cardinals out in front 2-0 with the four-bagger. He singled and scored in the top of the third, added a double and a walk later, and propelled the Cards to a 5-1 lead. The stunned Browns never got back on track in the Series.

The Cardinals won it all in six games, and Stan had one World Series left in him. The 1946 Fall Classic was hailed as a showdown between Stan and Ted Williams, but Stan hit what he had in 1942, .222, with no home runs. Williams hit only .200, and also failed to go deep. The Cardinals won in seven games.

It wasn't long after that Stan began to hit the long ball with regularity. In 1948 he hit a career-high 39. Five more times he was to pass the thirty home run plateau. Stan had taken his game to a new level, but try as he might, he couldn't get St. Louis back to the World Series. The 1946 Fall Classic proved to be his last, and Ted Williams only.

And, in one of the game's great irony's, Stan's team returned to the World Series in 1964, just one season after he retired with the second most hits behind Ty Cobb. Pete Rose passed Stan and Ty for that eventually, but Musial ranks near the top of many offensive categories. Stan Musial finished with 475 home runs. Just two days ago, David Ortiz hit # 476 to pass Stan for 29th on the all-time list.

But The Man and all his milestones can't be overshadowed by just one World Series home run.

Monday, June 22, 2015

World Series: Did You Know?

Stan Hack hit a triple in the top of the ninth inning of game six in 1935, only to be stranded. Hack's Cubs needed just a fly ball to get him home and break the deadlock. But it never came. And when you don't get it done in the World Series, it's not long before the other team does!

The Cubs trailed the Detroit Tigers three games to going into game six in bengal country. It was one great back and forth game six.

Chicago trailed 1-0 and 2-1, but scored twice in the top of the fifth on a Billy Herman two-run blast. The Tigers weren't about to yield this thing at home, and tied it in the bottom of the sixth on a double and a single. There, things stayed until the bottom of the ninth.

But it was in the top of the ninth that the Cubs looked destined to score. Stan Hack hit a triple to centre. Remember, just a fly ball here and it's 4-3, Chicago. But Billy Jurges went down on strikes. Larry French, the Cubs' starting pitcher, was allowed to bat for himself for some reason. It was not a smart move as he grounded back to his mound adversary, Tommy Bridges. When Augie Galan flied out to left the inning was  over, with Hack right there on third. Someone should have just thrown Hack his glove, for he played third base.

The Tigers took advantage of that wasted opportunity by Chicago. With one out, Mickey Cochrane singled. Charlie Gehringer grounded out to first, moving Cochrane to second. Unlike Chicago, Detroit would get the man home. Goose Goslin singled to right, and Cochrane raced around to score the winning run. 4-3, Tigers. And the World Series was theirs, four games to two.


Detroit Tigers 4, Chicago Cubs 3 (Retrosheet Boxscore:)

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Baseball And Father's Day

Well, Happy Father's Day to all the sports dads out there. You persistence and passion in getting 'em to the game or practice on time never gets enough appreciation. My father was one such parent to myself and my two brothers. And we have all grown up to like sports.

As for things I do every Father's Day. Well, let's start with baseball, right? How about a movie? Field Of Dreams. I saw that movie for the first time in the early 90s, I think. From the start, it led me down the path of Shoeless Joe Jackson and the 1919 World Series. Poor Joe, for something he probably didn't realize what the consequences were, had to take the fall for that Fall Classic. As for the film's accuracy, Joe batted left and threw right. In the film, Joe batter right and threw left. Moonlight Graham's one game was actually June 29th, 1905. Not the last game of the regular season in 1922. The book, Shoeless Joe, which the movie is based on, gets the correct date. But both the novel and movie state that Graham played just a half of an inning in the outfield. Graham played the bottom of the eighth and ninth, but did not bat.

Jim Bunning is one of my favourite Father's Day story. In 1964, as a member of the Philadelphia Phillies, he tossed a perfect game against the Mets. The final score was 6-0 for Philly, but there's a little known fact to this game. Bunning delivered two RBIs, for good measure. The Phillies, weren't so good down the stretch as they had the pennant in the bag. 6 1/2 with 12 to play, before a 10-game losing streak derailed their hopes. I met Jim Bunning earlier this year at a forum for the Toronto Maple Leafs baseball team (Not to be confused with the hockey team) and we had a great conversation.

My father was a huge Yankee fan in the Mantle era of the 50s and 60s. I'd read dad's books cover to cover, and it made me a fan of the game from back then, appreciating the history. Recently, I decided to renew my interest in baseball, which was at it's peak in the early 90s when the Jays were winning. Time to get back to that, Toronto!

My father and I went to our first game together May 29, 1992. Toronto beat Chicago 3-0. We made it a point to go to some games after that. My big regret was my interest in baseball started to wane in the early 2000s. I'd still read and watch about the history of it, but that was it.

But dad and I made it back to the Roger's Centre last year, and for the first time since 2001. Actually, we went to two games last year. And I went to the season finale. 2015 saw dad and I go twice more. On May 24th, we saw the Jays pound Seattle 8-2. Likewise, on the 17th of June they pounded the Mets 8-0, bringing back memories of the 1993 team with all this offence.

A big thank you to my father, for making me a baseball fan. It's been quite a journey!

Saturday, June 20, 2015

World Series: Did You Know?

In the 1922 Fall Classic, at least one team scored exactly three runs in all five games. But the New York Yankees could not find a way to beat their cross-town rivals in this World Series. The Babe and his teammates had to accept being a bridesmaid. It was a tight one all the way, though.

In game one, the Giants, the home team at the Polo Grounds, edged the Yankees 3-2. But the Giants could have scored more as they banged out eleven hits to the Yankees seven. It was the Bronx Bombers with a 2-0 lead until the Giants scored all three of their runs in the bottom of the eighth inning.

In game two, the Giants wasted no time, jumping out to a 3-0 lead in the top of the first. The game was also played at the Polo Grounds, but it must have felt like the Giants were the home team. Yankee Stadium did not come along until the next season. But the Yankees did not go away quietly. The got a run back in the bottom of the first to make it 3-1. Another tally in the bottom of the fourth on an Aaron Ward solo home run got the Yankees to within a run. And then, Mr. Home Run himself tied it. No, not with a home run, but Babe Ruth doubled and scored on Iris Meusel's two-bagger. From there, it was the Bob Shawkey and Jesse Barnes show. No more runs scored and the game was called due to darkness after ten innings. But some felt there enough time to play at least another inning.

Certainly the Yankees wish they could have. From their, they came up short every game. Their effort in game two was as close as they would come to not losing. It was also the last tie ever in the Fall Classic. The Giants took game three, 3-0 behind a splendid pitching performance from Jack Scott, who finished with a four-hit shutout. The National Leaguers had a 2-0 lead in October's Classic of '22 and were getting stronger.

But the Yankees scored twice in the bottom of the first inning of game four, and looked to get back in it. The Giants scored all four of their runs in the top of the fifth. The Yankees got a run back in the bottom of the bottom of the seventh on another home run by Ward. But that would prove to be the final score. With a 4-3 win in this game, the Giants were looking for the sweep in game five.

And they got it, but it was another nail-biter. The game see-sawed back and forth. First it was 1-0, Yankees, then 2-1, Giants. Two more runs by New York on single tallies in the top of the fifth and seventh game the Yankees one last lead, but the Giants were not about to be denied the sweep. The scored three runs in the bottom of the eighth to put this game away. Art Neft retired the Yankees 1-2-3 in the top of the ninth to clinch it.

So, for the second year, the Giants and Yankees had met, and the Giants had won both. The Yankees needed a change, obviously. And it seemed to come with the new ballpark. Remarkably enough, the Yankees and Giants would meet again in the 1923 Fall Classic (The Dodgers and Yankees never met in the World Series three years in a row). But this time, Babe Ruth and company would prevail. And with the coming of Lou Gehrig as a regular in 1925, the Yankees turned the tide in this historic rivalry. There wasn't Mickey and Willie there yet, but as 1922 proved, it was still exciting when the Giants and Yankees met in the final showdown in baseball!