Yankees Hand Houk Skipper’s Job

 

This Week in 1960s Baseball

(October 20, 1960) Coach Ralph Houk today was named to succeed Casey Stengel as manager of the New York Yankees.

Ralph Houk replaced Casey Stengel as New York Yankees manager for the 1961 season. In three seasons as field manager, Houk led the team to three American League pennants and two World Series titles.

Ralph Houk replaced Casey Stengel as New York Yankees manager for the 1961 season. In three seasons as field manager, Houk led the team to three American League pennants and two World Series titles.

Stengel had managed the Yankees since 1949. During that 12-year period, his teams won 10 American League pennants and seven World Series championships. The Yankees let him go after the team lost to the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 1960 World Series.

Houk had been part of the Yankees’ organization since 1947, first as a back-up catcher for eight seasons and then as a minor league manager and Yankee coach. He had been Stengel’s first base coach during the 1960 season, and he was interim manager for 13 games during the 1960 season when Stengel was hospitalized.

Houk would find immediate success as the new Yankees manager, winning three consecutive AL pennants and the World Series in 1961 and 1962. He moved into the club’s front office as general manager following the 1963 season, and served in that capacity until 1966, when he returned to the bench, serving as the Yankees’ field skipper for eight more seasons. He would later manage in Detroit and Boston.

In letting Casey Stengel go after the 1960 World Series loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates, the Yankees were firing one of the most successful managers in the franchise’s history. In 12 seasons as Yankees manager, Stengel led the team to 10 American League pennants and seven World Series championships.

In letting Casey Stengel go after the 1960 World Series loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates, the Yankees were firing one of the most successful managers in the franchise’s history. In 12 seasons as Yankees manager, Stengel led the team to 10 American League pennants and seven World Series championships.

Stengel would return to managing in 1962 as the first skipper of the New York Mets. Stengel was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1966.

Yankees Edge Red Sox 4-3 to Clinch Pennant

 

This Week in 1960s Baseball

(September 25, 1960) After one year’s absence from the World Series in 1959, the New York Yankees clinched a return ticket to the Fall Classic with a 4-3 victory over the Boston Red Sox that made the Yankees the American League champions for 1960.

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Luis Arroyo stopped the ninth inning rally that clinched the 1960 pennant for the New York Yankees.

The Yankees broke a scoreless tie with three runs in the top of the third inning, including a two-RBI single by Roger Maris. The Red Sox came back in the bottom of the same inning, when a single by Vic Wertz scored Pumpsie Green and Willie Tasby. Ted Williams was thrown out at home to end the inning.

The Yankees scored again in the top of the sixth inning when Yankee starting pitcher Ralph Terry singled in shortstop Tony Kubek. Terry (10-8) shut down the Red Sox through the eighth inning.

Boston rallied in the bottom of the ninth. With two runners on and two outs, Frank Malzone singled to center field to score Tasby, chasing Terry out of a complete game. The Yankees brought in their relief ace, Luis Arroyo, who got Pete Runnels to pop out to second baseman Bobby Richardson. That pennant-clinching out gave Arroyo his sixth save for that season.

It also gave Yankees manager Casey Stengel his tenth – and last – pennant as a manager.

Yankees Can Casey

This Week in 1960s Baseball

(October 18, 1960) Five days after losing to the Pittsburgh Pirates in Game Seven of the World Series, the New York Yankees today fired Casey Stengel as the team’s manager.

In his first five seasons as manager, Casey Stengel guided the New York Yankees to five consecutive World Series championships.

In his first five seasons as manager, Casey Stengel guided the New York Yankees to five consecutive World Series championships.

Stengel had managed the Yankees since 1949. During that 12-year period, his teams won 1,149 regular season games, 10 American League pennants and seven World Series championships.

The Stengel-led Yankees dominated baseball in his first five seasons as manager, winning the World Series each year from 1949-1953. The Yankees were also World Series champions in 1956 and 1958.

After finishing third in the American League in 1959, the Yankees rallied at the end of the 1960 season, winning their final 15 games of the regular season and taking the pennant by eight games over the Baltimore Orioles. The Yankees lost the World Series 4-3 despite outscoring the Pirates 55-27.

There was a general feeling that, because of his age, Stengel had lost touch with the players. Stengel turned 70 during the 1960 season.

A few days after his dismissal, the “Old Perfessor” quipped, “I’ll never make the mistake of being seventy again.”

Pirate’s Blast Scuttles Yankees

 

This Week in 1960s Baseball …

(October 13, 1960) – Today at Forbes Field, Pittsburgh Pirates second baseman Bill Mazeroski‘s dramatic bottom of the ninth inning home run off Yankee hurler Ralph Terry broke up a 9-9 tie and ended one of the most exciting seven-game World Series ever played.

The National League’s best second baseman, Bill Mazeroski, traded his magical glove for a home run bat in hitting the long ball that beat the Yankees 10-9.

The National League’s best second baseman, Bill Mazeroski, traded his magical glove for a home run bat in hitting the long ball that beat the Yankees 10-9.

It had been a World Series of improbabilities, played out as no one could have expected or predicted.

On the one hand you had the New York Yankees, the perennial October players, back in the World Series (their tenth appearance in the last 12 years) after a one-year absence. The Yankees earned their World Series berth by sprinting ahead of the rest of the American League in September, winning their last 15 games.

For the Pirates, it was their first World Series appearance since 1927.

In the first six games of the 1960 World Series, the Yankees were clearly the dominant team (outscoring the Pirates 46-17), but had only three victories to show for it. Whitey Ford pitched shutouts for the Yankees in Game Three and Game Six. Vern Law, the Pirates’ 20-game winner and the eventual Cy Young Award recipient that year, claimed two of the Pirates’ wins, while veteran left-hander Harvey Haddix posted one victory and a save.

Game Seven turned out to be one of the most exciting in World Series history.

Mazeroski’s dramatic home run off Yankees pitcher Ralph Terry (left) sent the Yankees home and sent Casey Stengel to the National League … as the New York Mets’ first field manager.

Mazeroski’s dramatic home run off Yankees pitcher Ralph Terry (left) sent the Yankees home and sent Casey Stengel to the National League … as the New York Mets’ first field manager.

Law retired the Yankees in order in the first two innings, while the Pirates scored 2 runs in each of the first two frames. The Yankees finally scored off Law in the fifth inning as Bill Skowron led off the inning with a solo home run to the right field seats. The Yankees scored four more runs in the sixth inning, off the Pirates’ ace reliever Roy Face, who gave up an RBI single to Mickey Mantle and then surrendered Yogi Berra’s three-run homer.

The game stayed 5-4 in favor of the Yankees until the top of the eighth inning, when back-to-back RBI hits by John Blanchard and Clete Boyer raised the Yankees’ lead to 7-4. But in the bottom of the eighth, the Pirates rallied for five runs – on singles by Dick Groat and Roberto Clemente and a three-run homer by Hal Smith – to take a 9-7 lead into the ninth inning.

Bob Friend, an 18-game winner during the regular season, came in to close out the ninth. But he gave up back-to-back singles to Bobby Richardson and Dale Long. So Pirates manager Danny Murtaugh brought in Haddix to pitch to Roger Maris, the American League MVP of 1960. Haddix got Maris to foul out, and then gave up an RBI single to Mantle. Berra grounded out to Rocky Nelson at first, scoring Gil McDougald (pinch running for Long). Skowron grounded out to end the inning with the score tied at nine.

In the bottom of the ninth, Mazeroski led off for the Pirates. On deck was Dick Stuart, the team’s leading home run hitter.

Harvey Haddix got the last out in the top of the ninth inning, and was the pitcher of record when Mazeroski homered ... his second victory of the 1960 World Series.

Harvey Haddix got the last out in the top of the ninth inning, and was the pitcher of record when Mazeroski homered … his second victory of the 1960 World Series.

The Yankees’ pitcher was right-hander Terry, a 10-game winner for New York during the regular season. Terry had recorded the last out of the eighth inning, inducing third baseman Don Hoak to fly out. Hoak would be the last Pirate to make an out in the Series. Mazeroski took a strike on Terry’s first pitch, and sent the second one over the left field wall at Forbes Field for a 10-9 Pirate victory.

Mazeroski scores, Pittsburgh erupts.

It ended the 1960 World Series, and Casey Stengel’s career as New York Yankees manager.

It was the first walk-off home run in World Series history.

 

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