Runnels Gets Nine Hits as Red Sox Sweep Tigers

 

This Week in 1960s Baseball

(August 30, 1960) – Today the Boston Red Sox swept a doubleheader from the Detroit Tigers, taking the night cap by a 3-2 score after winning the opener 5-4 in 15 innings.

Red Sox infielder Pete Runnels collected nine hits during the doubleheader. Runnels went six for seven in the opener, with five singles and a double in the fifteenth inning that drove home Frank Malzone with the winning run. Continue reading

NL All-Stars Turn Up the Heat; Perry Prevails

 

This Week in 1960s Baseball

(July 12, 1966) In St. Louis, the National League All-Stars edged the American League 2-1, in a game played at Busch Stadium in 105-degree weather. Continue reading

Gunning Down Batters

 

Glancing Back, and Remembering Tommie Sisk

Tommie Sisk signed with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1960. He won 14 games in the Pirates’ minor league system in 1961, and won 10 in 1962 when he was called up to the Pirates. After being rocked by the lowly New York Mets in his major league debut, Sisk settled down as a rookie reliever in 1963, going 1-3 with a 2.92 ERA in 57 appearances. Continue reading

Out of the Frying Pan …

 

Glancing Back, and Remembering Woodie Fryman

Woodie Fryman pitched for six different teams during an 18-year major league career. He was signed by the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1965 and made his major league debut with the club in 1966, going 12-9 with a 3.81 ERA. His rookie season included nine complete games and three shutouts. Continue reading

Johnny, Take Us Home!

 

This Week in 1960s Baseball

(July 7, 1964) The National League today won the All-Star game 7-4 on a walk-off home run by Phillies right fielder Johnny Callison.

Johnny Callison’s three-run homer off Dick Radatz was the game winner for the National League All-Stars.

Johnny Callison’s three-run homer off Dick Radatz was the game winner for the National League All-Stars.

Callison, who entered the game in the fifth inning as a pinch hitter for pitcher Jim Bunning, flied out in his two previous at-bats. His ninth-inning home run off Boston Red Sox reliever Dick Radatz was his only hit of the day.

The American League opened the scoring in the first inning on Harmon Killebrew’s RBI single off NL starter Don Drysdale. The NL took the lead in the fourth inning on solo home runs from Billy Williams and Ken Boyer. The Nationals added another run in the fifth inning when Dick Groat doubled off Camilo Pascual, bringing home Roberto Clemente.

The American League tied the game when Brooks Robinson tripled home two runs in the sixth inning, then took the lead on Jim Fregosi’s sacrifice fly in the seventh inning. The AL led 4-3 going into the bottom of the ninth, with Radatz on the pitching mound.

Juan Marichal pitched a scoreless ninth inning to pick up the victory. Marichal was also the winning pitcher in the first 1962 All-Star Game, and had a career ERA of 0.50 in eight All-Star apearances.

Juan Marichal pitched a scoreless ninth inning to pick up the victory. Marichal was also the winning pitcher in the first 1962 All-Star Game, and had a career ERA of 0.50 in eight All-Star appearances.

Willie Mays walked to open the ninth inning, stole second base, and then scored on Orlando Cepeda’s single, tying the game. With runners at first and second base, Radatz struck out Hank Aaron for the inning’s second out. But Callison ended the All-Star thriller with one stroke.

It would be Callison’s last All-Star appearance.

A Ray of Winning Sunshine

 

Glancing Back, and Remembering Ray Culp

Ray Culp was a strapping Texan who threw hard and won often. In fact, from 1963 through 1970, the right-hander had only a single losing season – his only season as a member of the Chicago Cubs.

Ray Culp had an outstanding rookie season with the Philadelphia Phillies in 1963, going 14-11 with a 2.97 ERA.

Ray Culp had an outstanding rookie season with the Philadelphia Phillies in 1963, going 14-11 with a 2.97 ERA.

Culp was signed by the Philadelphia Phillies in 1959 and worked his way through the Phillies’ farm system to make the big league club as a member of the starting rotation in 1963. He was 14-11 as a rookie with a 2.97 ERA, pitching 203.1 innings with 10 complete games and five shutouts. He was selected that year as The Sporting News National League Rookie Pitcher of the Year and was a member of the National League All-Star team.

He was 8-7 in 1964 and followed in 1965 with a 14-10 record and a 3.22 ERA, third on the team in victories behind Jim Bunning and Chris Short. He moved to the bullpen in 1966, going 7-4 with a 5.04 ERA, and then was traded to the Chicago Cubs for Dick Ellsworth.

Culp went 8-11 for the Cubs in 1967, and then was acquired by the Boston Red Sox, where his career took off to reflect the promise he showed in his rookie season. Culp was 16-6 for Boston in 1968 with a 2.91 ERA. He pitched 11 complete games for the Red Sox with six shutouts.

Ray Culp’s career rebounded when he was acquired by the Boston Red Sox in 1968. He was 71-58 with a 3.50 ERA in six seasons with the Red Sox.

Ray Culp’s career rebounded when he was acquired by the Boston Red Sox in 1968. He was 71-58 with a 3.50 ERA in six seasons with the Red Sox.

Culp followed up in 1969 with a 17-8 season and a 3.81 ERA. He also earned a spot on the American League All-Star team that season. Culp was 17-14 for Boston in 1970 with a 3.04 ERA and 15 complete games in 33 starts. He was fifth in the league in strikeouts with 197. It was his last winning season.

Culp’s record slipped to 14-16 in 1971 with a 3.60 ERA, but by this time his arm was effectively pitched out. He was 5-8 for Boston in 1972, and made only 10 appearances in 1973, going 2-6. He was released by the Red Sox following the 1973 season, and retired at age 31.

Culp finished his 11-year major league career with a record of 122-101 and a 3.58 ERA.

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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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No Strikeout Shortage

 

Lights Out: Chris Short Strikes Out 18 in a Game He Can’t Win

When: October 2, 1965

Where:  Shea Stadium, New York, New York

Game Time: 4:29

Attendance: 10,371

By the 1964 season, Chris Short had arrived as a premier pitcher for the Philadelphia Phillies. Over the next three seasons, he would be the second-best left-handed starter in the National League, looking up only to a guy named Sandy Koufax.

Chris Short pitched 15 scoreless innings against the New York Mets in 1965 but didn’t get the win as the game was called after the sixteenth inning. Short struck out 18 Mets batters

Chris Short pitched 15 scoreless innings against the New York Mets in 1965 but didn’t get the win as the game was called after the sixteenth inning. Short struck out 18 Mets batters.

Short went 17-9 in 1964 and 18-11 in 1965. He was particularly outstanding during the last month of the 1965 season, making eight starts with two relief appearances, and going 4-2 with one save and a 1.75 ERA in those 10 appearances.

In two of his best games that month, he pitched a combined 24 scoreless innings … and didn’t get the win in either game. The first game was a nine-inning shutout performance against the Pittsburgh Pirates in which he was one-upped by Bob Veale’s 10-inning one-hitter.

The other incredible Short performance occurred on the next-to-last day of the season.

It was the second game of a scheduled twi-night double header with the New York Mets. In the opener, Jim Bunning ran his season record to 19-9 with a two-hit, 6-0 shutout. Short started the second game, and continued the frustration for Mets’ bats.

In that game, Short blanked the Mets for 15 innings, striking out 18 Mets batters. The Mets’ only scoring threat came in the bottom of the third inning, when back-to-back doubles by Ron Hunt and Joe Christopher should have produced the game’s first run had it not been for great hustle and an outstanding throw by Tony Gonzalez (playing right field that day) that held Hunt at third base. With runners at second and third and one out, Short struck out Charlie Smith, walked Jim Hickman intentionally, and then caught Danny Napoleon looking to end the inning without a score.

Short simply outmatched the Mets lineup over the next 12 innings. Unfortunately, Mets rookie starter Rob Gardner, making only his fourth major league start, matched Short’s performance inning-for-inning, allowing just five hits in 15 scoreless frames. Both Short and Gardner were gone as the game entered the sixteenth inning, and the game was called for curfew after 18 scoreless innings and 4-1/2 hours of frustration.

Chris Short pitched 15 scoreless innings against the New York Mets in 1965 but didn’t get the win as the game was called after the sixteenth inning. Short struck out 18 Mets batters

Chris Short had an outstanding month of September to close out the 1965 season. In eight starts and two relief appearances, Short was 4-2 with a 1.75 ERA. In two games, he pitched at least nine scoreless innings with no decision.

The game was replayed the next day when the Phillies swept two games from the Mets to close out the season.

Short’s amazing last month of the 1965 season included five complete games but no shutouts. Had the Phillies scored at least one run in each of the two games when Short pitched enough scoreless innings to qualify for shutouts, he would have been a 20-game winner on the season, and would not have had to wait until 1966 to achieve that milestone.

Hot Bat in Philly

 

Glancing Back, and Remembering Don Demeter

Don Demeter’s well-traveled major league career had plenty of ups and downs. His best “ups” ranked him among the most productive hitters in baseball.

Don Demeter broke into the major leagues with the Los Angeles Dodgers. He was a key player in the Dodgers’ successful 1959 pennant run, batting .256 with 18 home runs and 70 runs batted in.

Don Demeter broke into the major leagues with the Los Angeles Dodgers. He was a key player in the Dodgers’ successful 1959 pennant run, batting .256 with 18 home runs and 70 runs batted in.

Demeter was signed by the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1953. He finally broke into the Dodgers’ lineup as a regular in 1959, hitting 18 home runs with 70 RBIs for that season’s World Series champions.

At the start of the 1961 season, the Dodgers traded Demeter with Charley Smith to the Philadelphia Phillies for pitcher Turk Farrell and infielder Joe Koppe. In Philadelphia, Demeter came into his prime, hitting 21 home runs with 70 RBIs for the 1961 season.

In 1962, Demeter batted .307 with 29 home runs and 107 RBIs. His power numbers slipped slightly in 1963, as Demeter finished the year with 22 home runs and 83 RBIs.

In December of 1963, the Phillies traded Demeter and pitcher Jack Hamilton to the Detroit Tigers for pitcher Jim Bunning and catcher Gus Triandos. It may be the best trade the Phillies ever made. Bunning, who had already won 100 games in the American League, went on to become the first 100-game winner in both leagues en route to a Hall of Fame career.

With the Philadelphia Phillies in 1962, Demeter hit .307 with 29 home runs and 107 RBIs. He finished 12th in the voting for National League MVP.

With the Philadelphia Phillies in 1962, Demeter hit .307 with 29 home runs and 107 RBIs. He finished 12th in the voting for National League MVP.

Demeter, the centerpiece of the trade for Detroit, went on to hit 22 home runs for the Tigers with 80 RBIs in 1964. His offensive numbers would never be that strong again. Demeter slipped to 16 home runs and 58 RBIs in 1965, and in 1966 he was involved in a trade for another starting pitcher, going to the Boston Red Sox for Earl Wilson. Wilson blossomed into a 20-game winner for the Tigers, while Demeter’s offensive stats continued to decline.

Demeter spent a little over one season with the Red Sox, and closed out his career with the Cleveland Indians in 1967, batting .207 with five home runs and 12 RBIs in 51 games.

Demeter finished his major league career with a .265 batting average and 163 home runs. From 1961-1964, Demeter averaged 24 home runs with 85 RBIs.

 

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Making Papa’s Day Perfect

 

Lights Out: Phillies’ Jim Bunning Achieves Pitching Perfection

When: June 21, 1964

Where:  Shea Stadium, New York, New York

Game Time: 2:19

Attendance: 32,026

Jim Bunning was a pitcher with two careers. Both were of Hall of Fame caliber.

In his first season with the Phillies, Jim Bunning went 19-8 with a 2.62 ERA – and one perfect game.

In his first season with the Phillies, Jim Bunning went 19-8 with a 2.62 ERA – and one perfect game.

For the first nine of his 17 big league seasons, Bunning was one of the best right-handed pitchers in the American League, winning 118 games for mostly mediocre Detroit Tigers teams, leading the league in victories once (20-8 in 1957) and in strikeouts twice (201 in 1959 and 1960 each).

When Bunning was traded to the Philadelphia Phillies before the 1964 season, he started the year – and his second baseball career – with a vengeance. He immediately established himself as the ace of a Phillies staff that was in its first pennant race in more than a decade. In fact the Phillies were in first place by two games going into a Father’s Day matinee against the New York Mets.

For all practical purposes, the game was decided in the top of the first inning. John Briggs led off the game by working Mets starter Tracy Stallard for a walk. John Herrnstein bunted Briggs to second, and then Stallard struck out Johnny Callison for the second out. The next batter, third baseman Dick Allen, smashed the ball to left field to drive in Briggs.

It would turn out to be all the runs Jim Bunning would need on this Father’s Day.

Jim Bunning was the first player to pitch a no-hitter in each league. And he was the first pitcher to win more than 100 games in each league.

Jim Bunning was the first player to pitch a no-hitter in each league. And he was the first pitcher to win more than 100 games in each league.

Bunning struck out Mets lead-off hitter Jim Hickman, then induced Ron Hunt to ground out to Tony Taylor at second base and Ed Kranepool  to pop up to Phillies shortstop Cookie Rojas. A three-up, three-down inning for Bunning. He would have eight more before the afternoon was over.

The Phillies scored another run in the second and four more runs in the sixth, including a solo home run by Callison and a two-run single by Bunning, who allowed no Mets base runners in retiring all 27 batters he faced. He ended the game with 10 strikeouts, including two each in the seventh, eighth and ninth innings.

Bunning’s 1964 season would turn out to be the best of his career. In 39 starts, he went 19-8 with a 2.63 ERA in 284.1 innings pitched. He completed 13 of his starts, and five were shutouts. He made two relief appearances, and earned saves in both of them.

And he was the first National League pitcher to throw a perfect game in the Twentieth Century.