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Some Notes From Cards/Mets May 11, 1965

July 28, 2021

May 11, 1965 a Tuesday then and this year, a Cards at Mets (I almost yielded to the overwhelming technology and typed “@”) game, matched two of the great pitchers of all-time, albeit neither in their prime.

Certainly Warren Spahn, 42 years old and with the fourth year Mets was not, as he and his 358 career victories (62, more than vs any other team, (29 losses) against the Cardinals), with defending World Champion St. Louis, starting Bob Gibson.

Now Gibson, an alumnus of Creighton University (it was around talk by others, regarding Bob’s basketball exploits there, that I finally achieved a picture/”nice Bob Gibson,” however, it and his great pitching/determination is treasured, even if he was not close to always being nice about it) as Lindsey Nelson intoned, was nearing his prime and that night received the Babe Ruth Award from the Baseball Writer’s Of America, from N.Y. chapter president, Leonard Koppett, for his outstanding (2-1) including the #5 and 7 wins pitching, in the most recent World Series, as Nelson eloquently stated, “in competition with the New York Yankees.”

Gibson entered the 5-11-1965 tilt with a (5-0) record and 3 shutouts, for a Cards’ team, that was off to a disappointing start, in what would be a disappointing season. Their “MacArthur vow,” if they took one, manifested, as they “returned” to pennant winning glory in both ’67 and ’68 and title winning such in 1967.

At that point, Gibson had a (7-2) lifetime record vs the Mets, the same as his eventual career World Series mark. (Bob lost his first and last World Series starts with Mel Stottlemyre and Mickey Lolich, the latter in #7/’68 W.S. gaining victories) but in between, won 7 straight World Series starts/decisions, as one of the Fall Classic’s all-time great performers.

Both his losses to the Mets, at that May 11, 1965 “point in time,” were by (1-0) scores, each to Al Jackson.

 

Warren Spahn 1953.jpg

The great, great pitcher Warren Spahn, pictured above, and I once discussed the relative greatness of he and Sandy Koufax.

He was standing near a wall at an event and first I remarked that it was a disgrace that people did not know him. 

Less diplomatic but politely and clearly extolling Mr. Spahn’s greatness, I told him that my favorite Sandy Koufax was better. 

I knew what he would say and I said it first. Spahn won 363 games, sadly for all of us as Sandy’s career was cut short, 198 more than Sandy won. 

Next a “reporter,” (likely no worse than those who succeed today) “Sam” Marciano, approached Mr. Spahn and clearly knew “nada” about him.

Both Mr. Spahn and I knew it was so typically sad of current media and society, so far removed and opposite (virtually polar) of the greatness demonstrated by the likes of Warren Spahn, Bob Gibson and Sandy Koufax, among a select group of others. 

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