First in Fleet

 

Glancing Back, and Remembering Tommy McCraw

No first baseman better fit his team in the 1960s than did Tommy McCraw for the Chicago White Sox. In contrast to the kind of lumbering slugger normally stationed at first base, McCraw brought a deft glove and plenty of speed to first base in Chicago, matching the strengths of White Sox teams that were consistent contenders throughout much of the 1960s. Continue reading

Man-Sized Farewell

 

This Week in 1960s Baseball …

(September 29, 1963) The final game of the St. Louis Cardinals’ 1963 season was also the final game in the illustrious career of Stan Musial.

In his final major league at-bat, Stan Musial singled for hit number 3,630, the most in National League history.

In his final major league at-bat, Stan Musial singled for hit number 3,630, the most in National League history.

And he made it a “man-sized” farewell.

Musial got two hits in three at-bats during the Cardinals’ 3-2 victory over the Cincinnati Reds. Dal Maxvill doubled with one out in the bottom of the fourteenth inning to drive home the game-winning run.

Musial singled in the fourth and sixth innings. His base hit in the sixth inning off Reds starter Jim Maloney drove in Curt Flood with the game’s first run. It was Musial’s last appearance in a major league game, as Gary Kolb came into the game to run for him. Kolb later scored on a Charley James sacrifice fly to put the Cardinals ahead 2-0.

The Reds tied the score when Cincinnati shortstop Leo Cardenas singled to drive in two runs with two outs in the top of the ninth inning.

Maloney struck out 11 Cardinal batters in the seven innings he worked. The Cardinals’ starting pitcher. Bob Gibson, also struck out 11 batters in nine innings.

Ernie Broglio (18-8) pitched the final three innings for the Cardinals to pick up the win. The losing pitcher was Joey Jay (7-18).

Musial’s two hits gave him 3,630 for his career, the most ever by a National League hitter and second all-time to Ty Cobb’s 4,189 hits. His run batted in was number 1,951 for his career, also the most by a National Leaguer.

And Musial’s two hits gave him 1,815 career hits at home, exactly the same as the number of career hits he collected on the road. Stan the Man would be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1969, his first year of eligibility.