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Ralph Terry, Bobby Richardson, Pennant/World Series Winning And Losing Notes

February 21, 2021

I believe, more than somewhat incredibly, Ralph Terry and Bobby Richardson, each members of great New York Yankees’ teams were involved directly (also a 6th time, all but “directly”) in a total of five last plays in either last World Series or in one case, a pennant clinching game.

Terry, many people know, yielded the game winning home run to Bill Mazeroski, (tied B9–please read about Hal Smith’s 3 run home run that transformed a one run Pirates’ deficit, into a two run lead with two outs/B8 in #7/’60 World Series) that ended the 1960 World Series.

Two years later, Terry pitched a brilliant 3 hit shutout as the Yankees won game 7 at San Francisco, vs the Giants, to cop an incredible 20th title in 40 seasons. You think going vs Brady is tough, try that!!

Bobby Richardson, a tremendous player, who happened to shine in two Yankees’  World Series losses, the aforementioned ’60 “Classic,” when he was voted the Series MVP, despite being on the non winning team (see Chuck Howley, still disgracefully not in the Football “Hall” and Jerry West in basketball. Are Richardson, Howley and West the only ones in those 3 major sports/leagues to do so? Off the top of my head, goaltenders Roger Crozier and Ron Hextall did so in the National Hockey League) and 1964 when he got a record, he shares with Marty Barrett (1986) and the sensational Lou Brock, 13 hits in that 7 game World Series vs the Cardinals, a team Brock was famously or infamously dealt (deal and cards) to that season. (Lou tied Bobby’s single WS hits mark in defeat vs the Tigers in ’68), caught the last out in Terry’s masterpiece. Another tangent, however, one I believe is noteworthy: All 3 13 hits in one W.S. record holders did so for the non winning team–Richardson in ’64, Brock in ’68 and Barrett in ’86, all being 7 game World Series.)

In addition to snaring another baseball great, Willie McCovey’s line drive to end the game (the Giants had Mateo Alou on third and the nearly 90–(God/G-d or “force” willing the New York Giants Preservation Society, a fine organization, will wish/sing Willie a happy 90th on May 6th) member of baseball’s pantheon of greats Willie Mays on second), Richardson and Roger Maris (why not he in the diluted no Pete, face it Barry Bonds and Clemens, baseball “Hall”) each made big plays/throws as Alou could only get to third on Mays’ 2 out double to right field. (On the “football” Saturday on which Maris’ death was announced–the eventual champion Bears winning the December tilt at the eventual AFC wild card game losing Jets, only Bob Costas, among the 3 major network reporters/reports of Roger dying, cited that ’62 World Series play.

So we have Richardson and Terry involved in the same last play of the ’62 World Series, Ralph also in ’60’s last play. That makes 3. “4” is operative, as Bobby popped out to Dax Maxvill to end the ’64 World Series, the so great Bob Gibson and the Cardinals hanging on (7-5).

The 5th “direct” and one “almost such” is certainly the least known and one I “discovered” last night. The Yankees clinched their 25th pennant and a record tying 10th and last for their legendary manager, Charles Dillon “Casey” Stengel (“You could look it up”) when third baseman (Bobby played most of his career at second base and was at that position when the ’62 WS ended) Bobby Richardson caught that season’s A.L. batting champion, Pete Runnells foul pop.

Terry was the winning pitcher in that ’60 pennant clincher, hurling 8 and 2 thirds innings, before Luis Arroyo came in (a foreshadowing of his great relief work in the legendary Yankees’ ’61 season) and retired Runnells.

The Yankees won 10 pennants in the 12 seasons in which Stengel was their manager. They went on to cop an incredible 14 in 16 seasons (Al Lopez, each time, with the eventual, non-winning World Series team was the only other manager to win an A.L. “flag” in that span. See Alex Hanumn, in the NBA, as his titles with the Bob Pettit led St. Louis Hawks in ’58 and the Wilt Chamberlain led ’67 Philadelphia 76ers were the only non Celtics crowns in a 13 season period from ’57-’69. Again and Brady is so great, a 7-11 (often I stop there and not so much “gulp” but “munch, ” mark in winning it all in playoffs appearances, but consider Bill Russell, who was on 11 title winners in 13 seasons and put in, as he often did with big shots, Sam Jones, who won 10 crowns in 12 seasons. There is Joe DiMaggio, Henri Richard, and the classy great Jean Beliveau, all greats on great teams with great title and title round records).

Finally, I once got director Oliver Stone to laugh visibly when I told him on my birthday in 2012 (I think if he cares and he did, Mr. Stone is a Red Sox fan and surely not one of either the Yankees or the Republican Party) the Yankees, despite having a “by a good margin,” major North American sports league record 27 crowns, have not won one with a Republican as U.S. President since 1958.

I will “stop right there” as the Meat Loaf song, “Paradise By The Dashboard Lights,” (Michael Lee Aday aka Meat Loaf is a Yankees’ fan) intoned in a different vein, regarding politics but add this ties the longest/most glaring Yankees’ 20 season title drought (they won their first World Series in 1923, the first season of Yankee Stadium and the 20th if not for the Highlanders/Yankees franchise, certainly the 20th in which they played with a World Series win a possibility. (That encompasses 1903-1923, with no World Series having been played in 1904).

The current Yankees’ pennant “drought” (they of course, have been a very good team for almost every year of this span and their great winning history is unmatched!!) is not quite their worst, but with just one, that in 2009, when they also won their lone title in the aforementioned 20 year period (’01-2020), it is their second least number of pennants over any 17 year span, topped only by an 18 year period from 1903-1920. However, since there was no World Series in 1904, the current span of one pennant in 17 seasons matches the ’03-1920 17 years of the least number of Yankees’ pennant with a World Series appearance, a possibility.

I know, I need to get a life!!




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