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Addendum: Albert Pujols

October 22, 2011 Leave a comment

Albert Pujols hitting his second home run of three tonight in the 7th inning

[Tim Sharp, Reuters]

This is a little embarrassing. Little did I know while writing my post earlier this evening about the 1960 World Series, in which I mentioned seeing Bobby Richardson get a World Series record six RBIs in one game, that Albert Pujols was in the process of doing the very same thing. I noted that Hideki Matsui duplicated Richardson’s feat two years ago. If I had taken the time to watch tonight’s World Series game instead of writing about one half a century ago, I could have seen history being made instead of being stuck in history.

In fairness to myself, the game was essentially over when Pujols tied the record with two out in the top of the ninth. His solo homer upped the Cardinal lead over the Rangers from 15-7 to 16-7. Still, a marvelous feat. After grounding out in the first, Pujols singled in the fourth, singled in the fifth, hit a three-run homer in the sixth, a two-run homer in the seventh, and the solo home run in the ninth. That’s some kind of night. The three home runs tied the famous series record for most home runs in a game, set by Babe Ruth (1926, 1928) and tied by Reggie Jackson (1977).

Categories: Baseball, History

Hey, I Was There!

October 22, 2011 Leave a comment

[National Baseball Hall of Fame Library, via NYT]

The NYT had an article Wednesday, the morning of this year’s opening World Series game, on the history of World Series programs. And there’s a pretty good accompanying slide show, too, with programs going back to 1911 (Giants-Athletics). But what caught my eye instantly was the program used as a graphic at the article’s head. The one above.

That’s not just any program. I have that program! It’s the program my father bought for me 51 years ago when he took my brother and me to game 3, the first Yankees home game of that famous series between the Yankees and the Pirates. You know the Series. The one where the Yankees beat up on the Pirates in three of the first six games (16-3, 10-0, 12-0), with the Pirates squeezing in three close wins (6-4, 3-2, 5-2) in-between. Add it up: that’s a 46-17 run margin over six games.

As for game 3, the one we went to, that’s the 10-0 Yankee win. Yankee second baseman Bobby Richardson hit a grand slam in the first inning that landed three rows in front of us, one of the thrills of my childhood, driving in Bill Skowron, Gil McDougald, and Elston Howard. Three innings later, he hit a single with the bases loaded that brought Skowron and McDougald in again and sent Howard to second. Six RBIs, still the world series single-game record, tied only two years ago by fellow Yankee Hideki Matsui.

Whitey Ford was on the mound that day, throwing a four-hit shutout. Richardson would go on to win the World Series MVP award. What a team! Maris in his first year as a Yankee. Mantle. Howard and Berra both available to catch, with yet another pretty darn good catcher, Johnny Blanchard, in reserve. Kubek sharing middle-infield duties with Richardson. Gosh, I worshiped them.

Well, anyway, that was that. I won’t talk about game 7. A little too much pain for a young boy. I know exactly where I was when Mazeroski hit that home run, just as I know where I was three years later when I learned that Kennedy was shot. For today, let’s just admire that program. My copy is in a box somewhere. I should go find it.

Categories: Baseball, Life