A Paige of History

 

This Week in 1960s Baseball

(September 25, 1965) The Boston Red Sox tonight defeated the Kansas City Athletics 5-2 on the slugging of first baseman Lee Thomas and outfielder Tony Conigliaro.

What made this game memorable was the debut of the Athletics’ new pitcher … who was also the oldest player on the field.

25 Sep 1965, Kansas City, Missouri, USA --- Satchel Paige Pitching for Kansas City Athletics --- Image by © Bettmann/CORBIS

At age 59, Satchel Paige was the starting pitcher for the Kansas City Athletics on September 25, 1965. He pitched three scoreless innings, but didn’t figure in the decision.

The A’s starter was none other than the legendary Satchel Paige, making his first major league appearance in more than a dozen years. At age 59, Paige was the oldest player ever at the major league level. And tonight he pitched as if he still belonged. In three innings, Paige faced 10 batters and retired all but one, allowing a first-inning double to Carl Yastrzemski. Paige registered one strikeout, fanning Red Sox pitcher Bill Monbouquette in the third inning.

Monbouquette (10-18) was the game’s winner with a seven-hit complete game.

The Red Sox got Monbouquette all the runs he would need on two-run homers by Thomas (his twenty-first) and Conigliaro (his thirty-first). The Red Sox scored another run in the eighth inning on a John Wyatt wild pitch.

Kansas City scored its runs on RBI singles by Bill Bryan and Dick Green. The losing pitcher was Don Mossi (5-7).

Paige was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1971 after a professional career that spanned 29 seasons over five decades.

One HR Down, 60 To Go

 

This Week in 1960s Baseball

(April 16, 1961) Mickey Mantle’s tenth-inning home run – a two-run shot off Hank Aguirre (0-1) – propelled the New York Yankees to victory today over the Detroit Tigers in a 13-11 slugfest.

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Mickey Mantle was the hitting star of the day, with two home runs and four RBIs.

Mantle’s game-winning home run was his second of the day and seventh of the season. Mantle drove in four runs to give him 15 RBIs on the young season.

The winning pitcher for the Yankees was Luis Arroyo (1-0). Arroyo pitched the final two innings for the victory, shutting out the Tigers and striking out three.

Two Detroit players – Norm Cash and Chico Fernandez – each had three RBIs for the Tigers. Rocky Colavito hit his third home run of the season in the second inning off Yankee starter Whitey Ford.

Two Yankee batters hit their first home runs of the 1961 season. Shortstop Tony Kubek hit a solo home run off Detroit starter Don Mossi in the second inning. In the fifth inning, Yankee right fielder Roger Maris hit his first home run of the season off Paul Foytack.

The reigning American League MVP, Roger Maris finally got his first home run of the 1961 season in the eleventh game. He would hit a lot more (and repeat as MVP).

The reigning American League MVP, Roger Maris finally got his first home run of the 1961 season in the eleventh game. He would hit a lot more (and repeat as MVP).

Maris had struggled at the plate during the Yankees first 10 games of the season. He came into this game batting only .161 with no home runs and only one run batted in. His bat would warm up with the weather, hitting 11 home runs in May and 15 in June on his way to a record 61 by season’s end, eclipsing Babe Ruth’s single-season record.

About Wins Gathering Mossi (And Vice Versa)

 

Glancing Back, and Remembering Don Mossi

For most of his career – at least until his arm finally gave out – Don Mossi was effective as a starting pitcher or reliever, depending on his team’s needs at the time.

As part of a dynamic starting rotation that included <a rel=

When the outstanding starting rotation of the Cleveland Indians of the 1950s kept the young Mossi in the Tribe’s bullpen, he excelled there. When he had the opportunity to become a regular starter, first in Cleveland and then with the Detroit Tigers, he had his finest seasons.

Mossi was signed by the Indians in 1949 and spent five seasons progressing through Cleveland’s farm system as a starter. His rookie year was 1954 with Cleveland’s American League championship team … a team with established starters such as Bob Feller, Bob Lemon, Mike Garcia and Early Wynn. Working mostly out of the bullpen, Mossi was 6-1 with a 1.94 ERA and seven saves. Over the next two seasons as an Indians’ reliever, Mossi was a combined 10-8 with 20 saves, appearing in 105 games with a 3.03 earned run average.

In 1957, Cleveland needed Mossi as a spot starter, and he started in 22 of his 36 appearances. He was 11-10 in 1957, and then returned to a reliever’s role in 1958, going 7-8 with a 3.90 ERA.

Control was Don Mossi’s greatest strength as a pitcher. From 1959-1962, Mossi finished among the top five each season in strikeout-to-walk ratio, leading the league in 1961 with 2.915 strikeouts to every bases on balls issued. His 1.76 walks per nine innings was the lowest in the league in 1961.

Control was Don Mossi’s greatest strength as a pitcher. From 1959-1962, Mossi finished among the top five each season in strikeout-to-walk ratio, leading the league in 1961 with 2.915 strikeouts to every bases on balls issued. His 1.76 walks per nine innings was the lowest in the league in 1961.

In November of 1958, the Indians traded Mossi with Ossie Alvarez and Ray Narleski to the Tigers for Al Cicotte and Billy Martin. As a starter for the Tigers, Mossi went 17-9 in 1959. His ERA was 3.36 with 15 complete games and three shutouts. Injuries limited his effectiveness in 1960 to 9-8 with a 3.47 ERA, and then Mossi had his best all-around season in 1961 as part of a dynamic starting rotation that included Frank Lary and Jim Bunning. Mossi went 15-7 with a 2.96 ERA and 12 complete games. He pitched 240.1 innings, which would be his career high. He also had the league’s lowest rates of bases on balls per nine innings (1.88) and the league’s best strikeout-to-walk ratio (2.91).

Time was starting to take its toll on Mossi’s left arm. He could pitch only 180.1 innings in 1962, his record slipping to 11-13 and his ERA growing to 4.19. Arm problems limited Mossi to 16 starts and a 7-7 record in 1963, and he was sold to the Chicago White Sox, where he was 3-1 with a 2.93 ERA in 1964. He finished his career with the Kansas City A’s, going 5-8 in 1965 with a 3.74 ERA.

Mossi had a 12-year career record of 101-80 with 50 saves and a 3.43 ERA. He was an All-Star in 1957.

 

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