Ford reaches 20 victories for the first time

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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


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

 


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!


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

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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!


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

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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!


Score that! Blanchard’s pinch slam tips BoSox

July 21, 1961 – Remember the old mimeograph machine, a duplicating machine that forced ink through a stencil onto paper. Many of us who grew up in the 50s and 60s took tests on mimeograph paper which was oftentimes stained a dark blue or purple. Once the copier was invented and Xerox introduced the first commercial copier in 1959, the mimeograph was toast although it was still common well into the 60s.

61yankees82My father created a box score stencil designed to keep score of baseball games and had hundreds of copies printed. He would often keep score of games while watching on TV, and since curfew in our house was 9 pm, he would slip the scoresheets under my bedroom door.

During the home run chase of 1961, most night games began at 8 pm. I got special permission to watch Maris and Mantle hit twice, then had to go to bed.

So I looked forward to getting these scoresheets first thing in the morning when I woke up.

On this particular Friday, the first place Yankees were facing the Red Sox at Fenway Park.

Trailing 8-6 entering the ninth inning, the Yankees pushed across a run. With two outs and the bases loaded, pitch-hitter Johnny Blanchard hit a grand slam homer into the Red Sox bullpen in right to give the Yankees an 11-8 win.

Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle hit back-to-back homers in the first to put New York in front 2-0. It was #36 for Maris and #37 for Mantle, both well ahead of Babe Ruth’s pace.

Yogi Berra hit a two-run homer in the third to put the Yankees on top 6-3.

But Boston rallied to put up four runs in the fifth and take a 7-6 lead against Whitey Ford, who was riding an 11- game win streak. Don Buddin and Frank Malzone each knocked in a pair of runs to spark the Red Sox comeback.

Berra brought the Yanks within 8-7 in the ninth with an RBI single that set up Blanchard’s heroics.

Luis Arroyo (6-3), in relief of a surprisingly ineffective Whitey Ford, worked the final two innings for the win. Arnold Earley (1-4) suffered the loss.

With the win, the Yankees moved back into first place, a half game ahead of the Detroit Tigers.

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!


M&M go back-to-back, Yanks beat Chisox 6-2

July 13, 1961 – Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle kicked off the second half of the season with back-to-back home runs in the first inning against Early Wynn and the Yankees went on to a 6-2 win over the White Sox at Chicago’s Comiskey Park.

61yankees75For the ninth time this year Maris, right, and Mantle, left, have homered in the same game, for the second time back-to-back.

Yogi Berra thinks that may have been the first time he uttered the famous Yogism “It’s deja vu all over again.”

Maris now has 34 home runs on the season and Mantle 30. Maris is 14 games ahead of Babe Ruth’s record 60 HR pace in 1927 and Mantle is even with the Babe through 84 games.

Bobby Richardson opened the game with a single, and one out later Maris reached the upper deck in right. Mantle followed with another upper deck shot, this one to center, the 350th home run of his career.

Clete Boyer later singled in the fourth run of the inning.

The White Sox cut the Yankee lead to 4-2 in the fifth when catcher Sherm Lollar and pitcher Frank Baumann hit back-to-back homers against Bill Stafford.

But the Yanks added some insurance in the ninth when Tony Kubek doubled and Mantle singled for a 6-2 lead.

Stafford (8-4) went six innings for the win, and Luis Arroyo pitched three innings of one one-hit relief for his 19th save. Wynn (7-2), gunning for the 292th win of his career, was the loser.

The Yankees moved back into a first place tie with the Detroit Tigers.

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!


Yankees collect 16 hits, close in on first place

June 14, 1961 – The Yankees pounded Indian pitching for 16 hits, including home runs by Roger Maris and Bobby Richardson, to beat the Indians 11-5 and climb to within a game of the Indians and the Tigers, who are tied for first place in the AL.

61yankees50Maris, heating up after a cold start to the year, put the Yanks on top 2-1 in the fourth with a two-run homer, his 22nd of the season and 13th in the last 21 games.

Richardson, batting eighth in the potent Yankee lineup, hit his first home run of the season, a three-run liner into the left field seats at Municipal Stadium to cap a four-run seventh and give the Yankees a 9-2 lead.

Tony Kubek, Yogi Berra and Richardson each had three hits for the Bombers. Richardson, the batting star and MVP of the 1960 World Series with a record 12 RBIs, knocked in a season-high four runs. Richardson remains the only player ever to win World Series MVP on a losing team.

Whitey Ford (10-2) won his fourth straight start in June, but tired after the Indians scored three in the seventh. Chuck Essegian homered for the Tribe,

DALEY NEWS: Following the game, the Yankees acquired left-hand starter Bud Daley from the Kansas City A’s for right-hander Art Ditmar and outfielder Deron Johnson. Daley won 16 games for the last place Athletics last season, while Ditmar led all Yankee starters with 15 wins in 1960.

The Yanks reportedly gave Kansas City the choice of either Johnson or outfielder Hector Lopez in the deal. Johnson later went to Cincinnati, where he led the National League in RBIs in 1965 with 132.

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!


Yankee power, defense sweep out Angels

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June 11, 1961 – Mickey Mantle hit a three-run homer in the first inning and Roger Maris added  a pair of solo shots as the Yankees beat the Los Angeles Angels 5-1 to complete the sweep of a Sunday doubleheader before 37,378 at Yankee Stadium.

Earlier, Yogi Berra hit a pair of home runs and Maris robbed Ken Hunt of a home run, pictured above, with a game-saving catch in the seventh inning  as the Yankees took the first game 2-1.

All Yankee runs in the doubleheader came as the result of home runs.

The Yankees jumped to an early 3-0 lead in the nightcap when Clete Boyer and Tony Kubek reached on infield errors and Mantle blasted a three-run shot deep into the seats in right against former Yankee Eli Grba..

Maris pulled homers to right in the third and seventh and now has 20 homers to lead the league. Mantle follows with 18.

In the first game, Berra homered in the second and seventh to put the Yankees on top. The crowd was still buzzing in the top of the seventh when Maris reached over the low barrier in right to deny former Yankee Ken Hunt of a game-tying home run and fell into the lap of a lady in the front row.

In the ninth Maris again reached over the fence to rob Ted Kluszewski of a homer. Hunt homered with two outs in the ninth to make it 2-1, but Ralph Terry got Ken Aspromonte to bounce out to Boyer at third and end the game.

Terry, now 4-0, went the distance again, allowing just five hits and striking out five while walking one.

Roland Sheldon (3-2) went eight innings in the second game and Luis Arroyo finished for his 10th save.

The Yankees have won 17 of 22 and are now 34-20 exactly one-third of the way through the season. They trail the first-place Cleveland Indians by two and the Detroit Tigers by a 1/2 game.

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!