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

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

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

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!

Mick blasts #40, ties Roger; Yanks sweep A’s


August 2, 1961 – Mickey Mantle hit his 40th home run, tying him with Roger Maris for the major league lead, to start the Yankees on their way to a 12-5 win and a doubleheader sweep of the Kansas City Athletics at Yankees Stadium.

The Yankees won the opener 6-5 as Bob Cerv knocked in Maris with the winning run on a fielder’s choice grounder and an error in the bottom of the ninth.

Mantle’s 40th, off old teammate Art Ditmar, tied him with Maris for the MLB lead. Both are16 games ahead of Babe Ruth’ pace. The Babe hit his 40th in 120 games. The Yankees have played 104 games, including one tie, of the expanded 162-game American League schedule.

With one out in the first inning of the nightcap, Tony Kubek singled, Maris doubled in a run and Mantle, pictured above, homered deep into the right field stands.

Johnny Blanchard singled in two runs with an opposite field single in the third, and the Yankees broke the game open with a seven-run fifth. Consecutive run-producing singles by Kubek, Hector Lopez, Mantle, Yogi Berra and Blanchard increased the lead to 12-0. Mantle and Blanchard each contributed cervthree RBIs to the cause.

Former Yankee Norm Siebern hit a three-run homer off winning pitcher Ralph Terry (7-1) in the eighth. Hal Reniff finished up for his first career save.

Yankees win opener in walk-off fashion

The first game was a see-saw affair that saw Whitey Ford fail in his bid to win 20 games for the first time. Ford singled in a run in the eighth to snap a 3-3 tie and entered the ninth with a 5-3 lead.

However in the ninth the Yankee ace gave up a single to Jerry Lumpe and a home run to Haywood Sullivan which tied the score at 5-5.

A single by Maris, a ground-rule double by Mantle and an intentional walk to Elston Howard loaded the bases for the Yanks in the last of the ninth. After Yogi Berra popped out, Cerv, above left, hit a ground ball to third baseman Wayne Causey whose throw home was dropped by catcher Joe Pignatano, allowing the Yankees to walk off with the win.

Howard and Ford each had two RBI for the Yankees.

Luis Arroyo (8-3) got the win in relief of Ford, and Jim Archer (7-6) was the loser.

With the sweep, the Yankees increased their lead over the Detroit Tigers to 2 1/2 games.

PS – The Yankees were playing without manager Ralph Houk, who is serving a five-day suspension following a run-in with umpire Ed Hurley on July 30. Houk was suspended for arguing two home plate calls that he felt cost the Yankees the second game of a doubleheader with the Orioles. The Yankees were swept 4-0, 2-1.

Houk was also fined $250 by AL president Joe Cronin. Third base coach Frank Crosetti took over the managerial reins in Houk’s absence. Houk called the suspension “very tough.”

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!

Orioles fly over Yankees twice 4-0, 2-1

July 30, 1961 – Dick Williams doubled home Jackie Brandt with the winning run in the ninth inning as the Orioles beat the Yankees 2-1 and completed a sweep of a Sunday doubleheader in the Bronx in front of a sweltering crowd of 57,180.

Left-hander Steve Barber (12-8) hurled a shutout in the opener, holding the Yankees to just seven, hits, all singles, and striking out six in a 4-0 victory. Batterymate Hank Foiles propelled the O’s with a 61yankees91pair of homers and three RBI.

Foiles snapped a scoreless tie in the fifth with a home run off Yankee starter Bill Stafford (9-5). He added a two-run shot in the eight against Jim Coates.

In the nightcap, the Orioles scratched out a run and drove starter Rollie Sheldon off the hill in the second inning on a RBI grounder by Brooks Robinson.

The Yankees, shut out throughout the first 16 innings of the doubleheader, tied the game 1-1 in the eighth inning on Mickey Mantle’s RBI grounder.

But Brandt opened the ninth with a walk and came around to score one out later on Williams’ double to center against Bud Daley (8-14).

The Yankees loaded the bases with nobody out in the last of the ninth, but Dick Hall struck out Clete Boyer looking and induced Hector Lopez to ground into a 6-4-3 double play to end the game.

Milt Pappas (7-6) got the win, and Hall earned his third save.

The Yankees were shut out twice and scored just six runs in the four-game series, losing three.

Despite losing three of four to the Orioles, the Yankees hit the second All-Star break with a one and a half game lead over the Detroit Tigers. They won 20 of 29 games in July.

Roger Maris, bothered by a hamstring injury, pinch hit in the ninth inning and grounded out to first to end the first game. He singled in three trips in the nightcap, and was replaced by a pinch runner.

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!

Berra’s HR beats Birds; Ford wins 13th in a row


July 29, 1961 – Yogi Berra snapped a 4-4 tie with an eighth-inning home run and Whitey Ford won his 13th game in a row as the Yankees beat the visiting Baltimore Orioles 5-4 on Old Timers Day at drizzly Yankee Stadium.

Ford (19-2), above right, pitched a complete game to extend his winning streak. He allowed seven hits and struck out seven.

Bobby Richardson knocked in two runs and Berra, above left, singled in another as the Yankees took an early 4-0 lead in the third inning.

Jackie Brandt singled to score two runs and tie the score 4-4 in the seventh following Dave Philley’s two-run single in the fourth.

Reliever Jack Fisher (4-10) was the losing pitcher.and Mickey Mantle was 0-for-4.

Cautioned by a slippery playing field, Roger Maris sat out the contest with a pulled hamstring. Mickey Mantle went 0-for-4.

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!

Here’s the Skinny: O’s cool off hot Yankees 4-0

July 28, 1961 – Hal “Skinny” Brown cooled off the hot Yankees with a six-hit shutout and catcher Gus Triandos hit a three-run homer in the first inning as the Orioles blanked the Yankees 4-0 in a Friday night game at Yankee Stadium.

61yankees88Yankee starter Bud Daley retired the first two Oriole hitters in the first, then walked Brooks Robinson. Jim Gentile then singled and Triandos, a former Yankee, crushed a home run into the left field seats.

Jackie Brandt hit a home run in the eighth inning for the final run of the game.

Brown (8-3) fanned three and didn’t walk a batter in going the distance. Brown was called Skinny by many because of his slender 6’2”, 180-pound rail thin frame.

Daley (8-13), 4-5 since joining the Yankees, also pitched a complete game.

Mickey Mantle collected three of the six Yankee hits, all singles and is now hitting .337.

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!

Mantle leads Yankees to series sweep of ChiSox


July 27, 1961 – The Yankees jumped out to an early four-run lead then held off the rallying White Sox in the ninth inning for a 4-3 win at Yankee Stadium. The victory completed a four-game sweep for the Bronx Bombers.

Mickey Mantle, shown above, drove in a pair of runs in support of Ralph Terry, who lost his shutout bid in the ninth inning. Roger Maris and Hector Lopez each drove in a run as the Yankee outfield figured in all the scoring.

Mantle put the Yankees ahead with a sac fly in the first and gave them a 3-0 lead with a single in the third inning. Lopez tripled home a run in the second, and Maris singled in a run in the third.

Terry entered the ninth with a 4-0 lead, but after striking out the leadoff hitter gave up a pair of singles to Roy Sievers and Al Smith and was replaced by Luiz Arroyo. Minnie Minoso singled, Nellie Fox walked to load the bases and Cam Cameron lined a two-run single to pull Chicago within 4-3.

With the tying an go-ahead runs on base, Sherm Lollar hit into a 4-6-3 double play to end the game.

The Yankees turned three double plays during the game and would finish the year with 180 DPs, most in the American League.

Terry (6-1) was the winner and Arroyo got his 21st save, pitching in and out of trouble in the ninth. Billy Pierce (5-7) was the loser.

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!