Roger hits pair, Mick one; Yankees split


August 13, 1961 – Roger Maris homered in each game and Mickey Mantle homered in the opener as the Yankees and the Senators split a Sunday doubleheader in steamy Washington, DC. The Senators won the first game 12-2 and the Yankees took the nightcap 9-4.

Maris and Mantle are now tied for the major league lead with 45 homers. They reached that mark in the Yankees 117th game.Ruth hit his 45th homer in game 132.

The key to remember is that The Babe hit 17 of his 60 home runs in 1927 in September. In the past, that tripped up sluggers like Jimmie Foxx and Hank Greenberg who chased Ruth but fell short with 58 home runs apiece..

In the first game, Washington’s Chuck Hinton led off the bottom of the first with a home run off Yankee starter Bud Daley. Maris then tied the game 1-1 with a home run off Bennie Daniels in the fourth.

The Senators broke the game open with a six-run sixth, highlighted by Jim King’s two run double. King later homered and had three RBI’s along with Bud Zipfel. Hinton and Bob Johnson had three hits apiece for Washington

Mantle homered in the ninth to account for the other Yankee run. It marked the 13th time this season the M&M Boys homered in the same game.

Daniels (7-6) went nine innings, allowing just five hits while fanning six batters and walking none. Daley (9-16), now 5-8 with the Yankees, took the loss.

In the nightcap, the Yankees quickly got to work. Bobby Richardson singled, Maris hit his fourth home run in four games, Johnny Blanchard tripled and Elston Howard singled to give New York an early 3-0 lead in the first inning.

Leading 4-1 entering the eighth, Clete Boyer hit a two-run homer to cap a five-run inning.

Jim Coates raised his record to 9-3. Marty Kutyna (6-4) took the loss.

Box score, 1st game

Box score, 2nd game

Green’s grand slam helps Senators veto Yanks

August 12, 1961 – Gene Green pinch-hit a grand slammer against Yankee relief ace Luis Arroyo in the seventh to snap a 1-1 tie and the Senators went on to beat New York 5-1 at Griffith Stadium.

61yankees111Roger Maris homered for the second day in a row to account for the only Yankee run in the fourth inning. Maris tied the score 1-1 with his 43rd of the season against Dick Donovan.

Yankee starter Bill Stafford ran into trouble in the seventh, loading the bases on a double by Marty Keogh, intentional walk to Bob Johnson and a single by former Yankee Gene Woodling.

Arroyo came in an immediately gave up Green’s home run, a long drive deep into the left field seats.

Donovan (8-8) allowed just five hits to the Yankees in a complete game effort. Stafford (9-6) was the losing pitcher.


Box score

BASEBALL IS BACK: And the SportsLifer will continue to provide day-by-day updates on the 1961 New York Yankees as the M&M Boys try and chase down the Babe. Play ball!

M&M Boys give Dad a birthday present


August 11, 1961 – It was my Dad’s birthday. #36. Hard to imagine now, how young he was in 1961.

And because it was his birthday, my younger brother and I were getting a special treat. We could stay up and watch the Yankees game.

That Friday night both Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle homered, and the Yankees pounded the Washington Senators 12-5 at Griffith Stadium.

My brother, Jimbo,  well he was only five at the time, fell asleep in the third inning, but by then the Yankees were ahead 8-0. I stayed up till the final out as the Bombers stretched their winning streak to nine.

Maris, above left, reached Washington reliever Pete Burnside for a solo homer in the fifth, his 42nd of the year. Not to be outdone Mantle, above right, batting right-handed, hit a two-run shot, his 44th, off Burnside in the seventh inning. Mantle is now 14 games ahead of Babe Ruth’s record pace, and Maris 11 in front of The Bambino.

Maris snaps power drought

Maris, was struggling through a long home run drought before touching up lefty Burnside for the third time this year. Since hitting four home runs in a doubleheader against the White Sox on July 25, Maris had just one homer, a week ago against Minnesota’s Camilo Pascual.

Maris had one home run in his previous 56 at bats when he homered in the fifth. He had just one home run on team’s recently completed 11-game homestand.

Yankee batting/first base coach Wally Moses worked for hours with Maris before first game of the four-game series in Washington.

“Wally’s mantra was, “Keep your head behind the ball and drive it,” recalled former Yankee pitcher and broadcaster Jim Kaat. “Wally told Roger to keep his front side closed as long as he could while striding into the ball.” It certainly worked, at least for one night.

The Yankees got production up and down the lineup in collecting 19 hits. Tony Kubek had four hits and Elston Howard and Clete Boyer three apiece.

The Yankees scored two in the first as Kubek tripled in a run and scored on a sac fly by Mantle.

New York broke the game open with a six-run third that drove starter Joe McClain (7-13) from the hill. . Howard hit a two-run double, and Boyer, starting pitcher Ralph Terry and Bobby Richardson each knocked in a run.

The Yankees coasted from there, with the M&M Boys supplying late thunder.

Terry won his eighth game in nine decisions. Hal Reniff got his second save.

Box score

Ford reaches 20 victories for the first time


August 10, 1961 – Whitey Ford reached the 20-victory plateau for the first time, riding three Yankee home runs to a 3-1 victory over the Los Angeles Angels, It was New York’s eighth straight win, all at home, and completed a four-game sweep of the Angels.

Ford (20-2), who failed to reach 20 in his previous two starts. has won 14 games in a row since losing to Boston on May 29. Luis Arroyo pitched two innings of one-hit relief for his league-leading 22nd save. In the photo above, Ford, at left, is toweling off Arroyo after another save.

61yankees133Bobby Richardson, Yogi Berra and Bill Skowron each hit a solo homer in support of Ford.

Richardson gave the Yankees a quick 1-0 lead by leading off the game with a home run, his third of the season. Berra hit his 16th, and third in three games, to snap a 1-1 tie in the fourth.

And Skowron blasted his 20th home run of the season in the seventh inning for insurance. Jim Donohue (4-5) gave up all three Yankee home runs.

Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris failed to homer today,but the New York Times charted their successes daily, as shown in the graphic above right. Mantle hit three home runs in a doubleheader last Sunday, but Maris has hit just one home run in 54 at bats since belting four in a July 25 doubleheader. Roger currently has gone 31 at bats without a home run since taking Camilo Pascual deep on August 4.

Box score

Yankees win 2-0 behind Skowron, Coates

August 9, 1961 – Bill Skowron accounted for all the scoring and Jim Coates pitched a four-hitter as the Yankees won their seventh straight,beating the Los Angeles Angels 2-0.

61yankees102After Elston Howard and Mickey Mantle singled in he fifth inning, Skowron, pictured at right, hit a sac fly to score Howard with the first run of the game.

In the seventh, Moose tripled to center and scored on a wild pitch.

Coates (8-3) was brilliant, striking out four batters and walking two. Ted Bowsfield was the loser.

The Yankees have won the first three games of this series and maintain a three-game lead over the Detroit Tigers in the American League race.

Box score

Maris single lifts Yankees over Angels 5-4 in 10

August 8, 1961 – Roger Maris singled in the winning run in the 10th inning and the Yankees extended their winning streak to six games with a 5-4 decision over the Los Angeles Angels in a Tuesday night game at Yankee Stadium.

61yankees101Yogi Berra and Elston Howard each knocked in a pair of runs for the Yankees, and Luis Arroyo earned his 10th victory with three innings of scoreless, one-hit relief.

With the score tied in the 10th, Tony Kubek led off with a double and Maris knocked him home with a line drive single to right.

The Yanks jumped to a 3-0 lead in the first as Yogi Berra hit a sacrifice fly and Elston Howard followed with a two-run double.

The Angels climbed back in and took a 4-3 lead in the sixth against New York starter Bill Stafford as George Thomas and Joe Koppe drove in the runs.

Berra homered in the bottom of the sixth to tie the game at 4-4.

Arroyo (103) had his screwball as he struck out five batters and walked only one. Art Fowler (5-5), who would later become Yankee pitching coach, was the loser.


Daley News: Bud hurls Yankees past Angels

August 7, 1961 – Bud Daley spun a six-hitter and Yogi Berra homered to snap a 1-1 tie in the sixth inning as the Yankees went on to defeat the Los Angeles Angels 4-1 in a Monday night game at Yankee Stadium.

61yankees100Rocky Bridges gave the Angels a 1-0 lead with a single in the second, and Roger Maris tied the game in the third inning with a bunt single to third that scored Bobby Richardson.

Berra led off the sixth with a drive into the lower stands in right field, his 14th homer of the season. The Yankees added two unearned runs in the eighth on an error and a wild pitch.

Daley (9-15), who came over in a trade from the Kansas City Athletics on June 14, is now 5-7 with the Yankees. Ken McBride (9-8) went the distance in a losing effort.

Asked about the bunt after the game, Maris told a group of reporters, “I told you this game isn’t all made up of home runs. Bunts count too. If they’re going to play back on me, I’m going to bunt.”

The game was a make-up game for an April 18 rainout. The Yanks had six home games rained out in in April.

The win moved the Yankees three games ahead of Detroit in the AL, their biggest lead of the season to this point. .

Box score


Oh Daddy! Yanks sweep Twins in 2 walk-offs

August 6, 1961 – It was a hot summer afternoon in White Plains. A Sunday. We were playing ball in the backyard when suddenly a big “YEAH” reverberated from inside the white house with blue shutters on 6 Herbert Avenue.. And then an “OH YEAH.”

Blanchard Johnny 2479-71C_FL_NBLSeconds later my Dad, just 35 at the time, was on the back porch letting the world know that Johnny Blanchard had done it again. Dad had that confident pitch in his voice, the gleam in his eye, the skip in his step. 1961 was a Yankee summer, no doubt about it.

Indeed, Blanchard, shown at left, had done it again. With the Yankees trailing the Twins 6-5 entering the bottom of the 10th, Blanchard hit a clutch homer to right to tie the game. The Yankees would win 7-6 in 15 innings, then sweep with a 3-2 walkoff victory in the nightcap.

Mickey Mantle, below at right, hit three home runs in the doubleheader and now has 43 on the year, two in front of Roger Maris. Mickey is now 16 games games ahead of Babe Ruth’s pace.Through 108 games Mantle had 43 homers, Maris 41 and Ruth 35.

In a home run happy opener, Mantle hit home runs in the first and third against Twins starter Pedro Ramos. But the Yankees trailed 5-3 in the fifth, when Zoilo Versalles and Bob Allison each homered for Minnesota, and Ted Lepcio had a two-run triple.

After Clete Boyer scored on a wild pitch, Elston Howard tied the game at 5-5 with a fifth inning single. Mantle and Howard each finished the first game with four hits.

Whitey Ford, failing to gain his 20th victory for the second straight start, gave up a hoMANTLE, MICKEY  / 1956  /  NEW YORK YANKEES  /  OKLAHOMA BASEBALL: UNKNOWN: Caption reads, Mickey Mantle, who is headed for the Mayo Clinic Monday for the third time in his 15-year career, came close to quitting baseball last week but was talked out of it by Ralph Houk. Photographer UNKNOWN. Original Photo UNKNOWN. Published on run to Bill Tuttle in the top of the 10th, before Blanchard’s heroics again tied the score.

The Yankees finally broke through in the 15th for the win, their longest game of the season. Tony Kubek and Clete Boyer led off the inning with singles, and after Maris just missed a home run to right, Mantle was walked intentionally. Yogi Berra then beat out a potential double play grounder as the winning run scored.

Hal Reniff (1-0), who pitched three innings of scoreless relief, got his first career victory. Ray Moore (4-4) took the loss.

Mantle got the Yankees going in the nightcap when he powered a long home run into the right center field bleachers in the second inning.

Rollie Sheldon (8-3) and Al Schroll (0-1) waged a pitching battle that was finally decided in the bottom of the ninth. With the score tied at 2-2, Mantle walked and Howard singled, and with two out Clete Boyer lined a single to right and Mantle raced home to score the winning run and send the Stadium crowd of 39,408 home happy.

Box score, 1st game

Box score, 2nd game

BASEBALL IS BACK: And the SportsLifer will continue to provide day-by-day updates on the 1961 New York Yankees as the M&M Boys try and chase down the Babe. Play ball!

Mantle’s triple lifts Yanks, Coates to 2-1 win

August 5, 1961 – Mickey Mantle tripled to drive home Roger Maris with the go-ahead run in the eighth inning and the Yankees defeated the Minnesota Twins 2-1 in a Saturday matinee at Yankee Stadium.

61yankees97With one out in the eighth Maris singled to center and Mantle followed with a triple to left to make a winner of Jim Coates (7-3). Coates, shown right, went all the way, scattering just four hits.

Minnesota took a 1-0 lead in the first when Bob Allison singled to knock in Zoilo Versalles.

The Yankees got even in the second when Bill Skowron singled and scored on a double by Elston Howard.

Jack Kralick (10-7) was the tough-luck loser for the Twins.

Box score

BASEBALL IS BACK: And the SportsLifer will continue to provide day-by-day updates on the 1961 New York Yankees as the M&M Boys try and chase down the Babe. Play ball!

Blanchard does it again, HR beats Twins in 10

August 4, 1961 – Johnny Blanchard continued his clutch hitting with a three-run walk-off homer in the 10th and Roger Maris and Elston Howard also homered as the Yankees defeated the Twins 8-5 on the day Barack Obama was born in Hawaii.

61yankees96With the Twins trailing 5-2 in the eighth, Harmon Killebrew blasted a long home run against Yankee reliever Luis Arroyo into the left field seats to tie the game at 5-5. It was Killer’s 33rd homer of the year.

Maris broke out of a home run drought with his 41st of the season, a three-run bomb against Camilo Pascual in the first inning. It was Roger’s first career home run against Pascual, and gave him 101 RBIs on the year.

It was also his first homer in 10 games, when he hit four in a doubleheader with the White Sox on July 25. Maris leads teammate Mickey Mantle by one for the major league lead.

Howard’s homer came in the sixth inning and gave the Yankees a 5-2 lead.

Arroyo (9-3) got the win in relief of Bill Stafford, who left after seven ahead 5-2. Bill Pleis (3-2) was the loser.

PS – Obama went on to become the first African-American President and the 44th President of the United States. Former President Obama, who served two terms, is a fan of the Chicago White Sox.

Box score

BASEBALL IS BACK: And the SportsLifer will continue to provide day-by-day updates on the 1961 New York Yankees as the M&M Boys try and chase down the Babe. Play ball!