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

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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 drop doubleheader to lowly Senators

July 19, 1961 – The expansionist Washington Senators ruined Al Downing’s major league debut by scoring seven runs in the second inning en route to a 12-2 win over the Yankees and a sweep of their twi-night doubleheaderr at Griffith Stadium.

Gene Green homered and doubled in three runs to lead Washington to an 8-4 AHB2012q76320victory in the opener.

Mickey Mantle belted his 36th homer in the nightcap and moved ahead of Roger Maris for the first time since June 2. Maris is now hitless in six games, and his average has dropped 17 points to .272.

After a 1-2-3 first inning in the second game, Downing couldn’t get anybody out in the second. A single by Green and two walks loaded the bases. Downing then hit Dale Long with a pitch to force in a run, and walked Chuck Cottier to force in another

The lefty from Trenton, NJ, was replaced by Hal Reniff. Washington pitcher Dick Donovan greeted him with a two-run single and three more runs crossed home on Bob Johnson’s single and a couple of throwing errors.

Mantle hit a bomb to right in the sixth to close out the scoring.

Donovan (6-8) went the distance, allowing nine hits and Downing 0-1 was the loser.

The Yankees jumped out to a 3-0 lead in game one, a two-run single by Clete Boyer highlighting a three-run third. Boyer knocked in three of the four Yankee runs.

Washington’s Harry Bright homered in the second and Green hit a two-run blast in the fifth to tie the score.

Chuck Hinton snapped the 3-3 tie with a double in the sixth that gave Washington the lead for good.

Bennie Daniels (5-5) pitched a complete game allowing six hits. Bud Daley (8-11) was the loser.

Box score, 1st game

Box score, 2nd game

BETTER DAYS: With baseball and life in general on hold during the coronavirus crisis, the SportsLifer will take a daily look at the 1961 Yankees as they captured the attention of sports fans everywhere. It was the year of the great home run race, as Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle chased Babe Ruth into history. Hopefully the SportsLifer can provide some nostalgic entertainment for fans who are starving for baseball, past and present. Play ball!


M&M strike again, Yanks rout Senators 13-4

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July 2, 1961 – Roger Maris launched a pair of home runs and Mickey Mantle one as the Yankees crushed the Senators 13-4 in a Sunday afternoon game at Yankee Stadium. The Bombers swept a three-game series from the expansionist Senators.

Elston Howard and Bill Skowron also homered for the Yankees, more than enough offense to help Bud Daley to his second win in pinstripes.

Maris and Mantle, #7 above greeting Maris at home, homered in the same game for the eighth time this season, and for the second game in a row. Maris curently leads the American League with 30 home runs, and Mantle is right behind him with 28.

Maris gave the Yankees the lead to stay when he lined a three-run homer into the right field seats in the fourth.

Maris led off the seventh with another home run to right. Bob Cerv doubled in two runs and Billy Gardner singled home another to highlight a four-run inning and make it 9-2.

The Yanks scored four more runs in the eighth on a pair of two-run homers by Mantle and Skowron. Mantle, who walked in each of his first four times at bat (he walked 126 times in 1961), kept his 15-game hitting streak alive with the home run.

Daley is now 2-2 with the Yanks and 6-10 overall. Luis Arroyo mopped up for his 17th save.

Pete Burnside 1-5 took the loss.

Box score

BETTER DAYS: With baseball and life in general on hold during the coronavirus crisis, the SportsLifer will take a daily look at the 1961 Yankees as they captured the attention of sports fans everywhere. It was the year of the great home run race, as Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle chased Babe Ruth into history. Hopefully the SportsLifer can provide some nostalgic entertainment for fans who are starving for baseball, past and present. Play ball!


Mantle hits pair, Maris HR in 9th tips Nats 7-6

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July 1, 1961 – Roger Maris hit a walk-off home run in the ninth and Mickey Mantle homered twice and drove in four runs  as the Yankees rallied to defeat the Washington Senators 7-6.

Tony Kubek singled to lead off the bottom of the ninth against reliever Dick Sisler and Maris, above at left, followed with a shot just inside the right field foul pole to give the Yankees a dramatic victory on the day Diana, Princess of Wales (then Diana Frances Spencer) was born in Great Britian.

Mantle homered leading off the second to the left of the 457-foot sign to get the Yanks on the board, and added a three-run shot to left in the third to bring New York within 5-4.

Mantle’s homers briefly tied him with Maris for the league lead at 27 before Maris broke a nine-day home run drought and hit the game-winner, #28, in the ninth. After 74 games Maris is a game ahead of Babe Ruth and Mantle, above at right, in the great home run chase.

The Nats jumped off to an early lead when Marty Keough hit a three-run, inside-the-park home run to dead center. Gene Green hit a two-run shot in the fourth to put Washington up 5-1.

With two outs in the seventh Mantle walked, stole second and scored on a clutch single by Ellie Howard to tie the game at 5.

Former Yankee Dale Long, who shares the MLB record of homering in eight straight games with Don Mattingly and Ken Griffey Jr,, greeted Yankee reliever Jim Coates with a home run into the right center field bleachers in the top of the ninth to give the Senators a 6-5 lead and set up Maris’ heroics.

Luis Arroyo (3-3) picked up the victory and Sisler (1-3) was the loser.Sisler is the youngest son of Hall of Famer George Sisler.

Box score

BETTER DAYS: With baseball and life in general on hold during the coronavirus crisis, the SportsLifer will take a daily look at the 1961 Yankees as they captured the attention of sports fans everywhere. It was the year of the great home run race, as Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle chased Babe Ruth into history. Hopefully the SportsLifer can provide some nostalgic entertainment for fans who are starving for baseball, past and present. Play ball!


Ford tips Senators, finishes June with 8-0 mark

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June 30, 1961 – Whitey Ford won his eighth straight start in June and Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris combined to drive in all five runs as the Yankees returned to the Bronx to post a 5-1 win against the Minnesota Twins.

Ford, now 14-2, leads the majors in victories. He allowed an unearned run while giving up five hits and striking out eight. Rube Marquard of the New York Giants won eight games in a month in 1912. The last pitcher to do it was Lynwood “Schoolboy” Rowe of the Detroit Tigers in 1934.

The Yankees trailed 1-0 entering the sixth inning before Maris hit a ground-rule double to right to score Bobby Richardson, who singled and stole second. Mantle followed with an inside-the-park home run to center, racing home behind Maris and scoring without a slide to give New York a 3-1 lead. It was Mantle’s 25th home run of the season.

“I’d rather hit ‘em out,” said Mantle. “It doesn’t seem like a homer when you have to run.” Mantle’s drive hit just to the right of the 461-foot sign in center field.

The Yanks finished off the scoring in the eighth when Richardson singled, Tony Kubek hit a ground-rule double and Maris scored both with a line drive single to right.

Washington’s Dick Donovan (3-8) pitched five shutout innings before the Yankees got to him in the bottom of the sixth.

Although he failed to connect in the last seven games of June, Maris finished the month  with 15 home runs to 11 for Mantle, and has 27 home runs and 65 RBIs heading into July to lead all major leaguers. Mantle is right behind him at 25 home runs and 64 RBIs.

After 73 games in 1927, Ruth had 26 home runs.

Box score

BETTER DAYS: With baseball and life in general on hold during the coronavirus crisis, the SportsLifer will take a daily look at the 1961 Yankees as they captured the attention of sports fans everywhere. It was the year of the great home run race, as Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle chased Babe Ruth into history. Hopefully the SportsLifer can provide some nostalgic entertainment for fans who are starving for baseball, past and present. Play ball!


Senators stop Yankee rally, hold on for 8-7 win

May 17, 1961 – The Yankees nearly overcame an 8-1 deficit, but a furious rally in the final two innings fell just short in an 8-7 setback to the Washington Senators in the Bronx.

61yankees30Washington’s Billy Klaus led off the game with a home run against Art Ditmar and Pete Daley’s home run in the fourth gave the Senators a 2-1 lead.

The Senators then knocked out Ditmar with a four-run fifth to take a 6-1 lead. An RBI single by Danny O’Connell, RBI double by Jim King and a two-run single by Willie Tasby drove Ditmar out of the box.

Former Yankee Dale long slugged a two-run double in the seventh to stretch the Washington advantage to 8-1 before the Yankee bats began to stir.

Mickey Mantle singled leading off the eighth and scored one out later on a base hit by Ellie Howard. Roger Maris, who drove in the first Yankee run with a groundout in the second inning, smashed a two-run homer to deep right field to make it 8-4. It was Roger’s first home run at Yankee Stadium this year, and the first of 12 he would hit against lefties

Yogi Berra hit a sacrifice fly and Clete Boyer a run-scoring single to cap the five-run inning and bring the Yankees within 8-6.

Howard, batting .392, led off the last of the ninth with his third hit of the game. Tony Kubek then doubled to put runners on second and third with out. Johnny Blanchard’s groundout drove in Howard, but with the tying run on third Jesse Gonder grounded to short to end the game.

Pete Burnside (1-2) got the win, with a save from John Gabler. Ditmar (2-2) took the loss.

Washington swept the two-game series and dealt the Yankees their seventh loss in 10 games.

The Yankees have an off day tomorrow before traveling to Cleveland.

BETTER DAYS: With baseball and life in general on hold during the coronavirus crisis, the SportsLifer will take a daily look at the 1961 Yankees as they captured the attention of sports fans everywhere. It was the year of the great home run race, as Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle chased Babe Ruth into history. Hopefully the SportsLifer can provide some nostalgic entertainment for fans who are starving for baseball, past and present. Play ball!

Box score


Senators beat Yankees behind Woodeschick

May 16, 1961 – Dale Long’s sacrifice fly capped a three-run third inning and the Senators held on to beat the Yankees 3-2 at Yankee Stadium, giving Hal Woodeschick his second win over the Yankees in nine days.

61yankees37The Senators reached Yankee starter Bill Stafford for all three runs in the third. Don King and Willie Tasby had RBI singles before Long’s sac fly gave Washington all the runs it would need.

Bob Cerv had an RBI grounder in the third and Mickey Mantle hit an upper deck shot in the sixth for his 10th homer of the season, but the Yankees could get no closer.

The Yankees loaded the bases on three walks in the seventh, but relief pitcher Dave Sisler came on to strike out Yogi Berra and end the threat. Yogi struck out just 28 times in 436 at bats in 1961, and 414 times in 7,555 ABs in his career.

The Yankees managed just two hits against Woodeschick and Sisler, who went on to save his fifth game of the season.

Roger Maris continued his struggles, and now is batting .208 with three homers and 11 RBIs a month into the season.

Maris worried about being traded according to Tom Clavin and Danny Peary in Roger Maris — Baseball’s Reluctant Hero.” The Yankees don’t hold on to outfielders who hit .200,” he said.

BETTER DAYS: With baseball and life in general on hold during the coronavirus crisis, the SportsLifer will take a daily look at the 1961 Yankees as they captured the attention of sports fans everywhere. It was the year of the great home run race, as Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle chased Babe Ruth into history. Hopefully the SportsLifer can provide some nostalgic entertainment for fans who are starving for baseball, past and present. Play ball!

Box score


Yankees split with Senators, finish April in 2nd

April 30, 1961 – Facing the “new” Washington Senators for the first time, the Yankees split a Sunday doubleheader with the hosts at Griffith Stadium.

The old Washington Senators moved to Minnesota and became the Twins in 1961. The new Senators were one of the AL’s two expansion teams this year, along with the Los Angeles Angels.

The Yankees won th61yankees12e first game of the twinbill 4-3, and the Senators took the nightcap 2-1. The teams split the brief two-game series.

Third baseman Clete Boyer’s two-out, eighth inning single proved to be the difference in the opener as the Yankees extended their winning streak to four games. Whitey Ford (3-1) picked up his third straight win, and Luis Arroyo got his third save of the season. Dick Donovan (0-4) was the loser.

In the second game, Hal Woodeshick pitched eight innings of one-run ball before getting relief help in the ninth. Right-hander Rollie Sheldon, age 24, took the loss in his first major league start.

Ex-Yankee Gene Woodling and Dutch Dotterer drove in the Washington runs.

The Yankees rallied in the ninth inning of the nightcap as Hector Lopez, Mickey Mantle and Bill Skowron singled in succession to give the Yankees a run. But with the tying and winning runs on base, southpaw Pete Burnside came on to retire Roger Maris and Boyer on groundouts to end the game.

The Yankees finished the month of April in second place with a 9-5 record, a game behind the Detroit Tigers.

PS — The baseball news of the day came off the bat of San Francisco Giants center fielder Willie Mays, who hit four home runs in a game in Milwaukee. Mays just missed a record fifth when he backed Henry Aaron up against the center field fence to catch a long drive. Aaron hit two home runs himself to account for all the Braves runs in a 14-4 Giants win. The Giants hit eight home runs all togther, and May had eight RBIs.

BETTER DAYS: With baseball and life in general on hold during the coronavirus crisis, the SportsLifer will take a daily look at the 1961 Yankees as they captured the attention of sports fans everywhere. It was the year of the great home run race, as Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle chased Babe Ruth into history. Hopefully the SportsLifer can provide some nostalgic entertainment for fans who are starving for baseball, past and present. Play ball!

Box score, 1st game

Box score, 2nd game


Expansion draft forces changes for ‘61 Yankees

April 28, 1961 — Following the 1960 season, the American League expanded from eight teams to 10 and increased the schedule from 154 games to 162 (a move which would have a huge impact on the 1961 home run chase…more on that to come).

61yankees20New ball clubs were added in Washington and Los Angeles, and the original Washington Senators relocated to Minnesota to become the Twins. The National League expanded the following season, adding the New York Mets and the Houston Astros.

A draft was established to stock the new Senator and Angel ballclubs. The Yankees lost much of their bench and second-line pitching, as Bobby Shantz, Eli Grba, Duke Maas, Bob Cerv and Dale Long were all drafted, and veteran utility man Gil McDougald retired.

Manager Casey Stengel and general manager George Weiss were both given their walking papers,  despite the fact the Yankees had won the AL pennant and advanced to the seventh game of the 1960 World Series. They were replaced by Ralph Houk and Roy Hamey. Johnny Sain took over from Ed Lopat as pitching coach, and Wally Moses became the new batting coach.

BETTER DAYS: With baseball and life in general on hold during the coronavirus crisis, the SportsLifer will take a daily look at the 1961 Yankees as they captured the attention of sports fans everywhere. It was the year of the great home run race, as Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle chased Babe Ruth into history. Hopefully the SportsLifer can provide some nostalgic entertainment for fans who are starving for baseball, past and present. Play ball!