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

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


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!

Yankee errors, Shaw’s pitching lead 6-1 A’s win

August 3, 1961 – Kansas City took advantage of two Yankee errors in the first inning to score three runs against their former ace Bud Daley and starter Bob Shaw did the rest, holding the high-scoring Yankees to one run in the A’s 6-1 victory.

61yankees95Ex-Yankees Norm Siebern and Jerry Lumpe along with Joe Pignatano all drove in runs in the first and the A’s never looked back during the Thursday night affair at Yankee Stadium.

Trailing 5-0 in the sixth, the Yanks scored their only run when Yogi Berra singled to drive in Roger Maris, who had two of the Yankees six hits.

Shaw (7-9) got the complete game victory, and Daley (8-15), 4-7 with the Yankees, 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!

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!