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Notes From O’s/Yankees May 1965

December 9, 2022

The pitchers that Sunday May 2, 1965, Dave McNally for the Baltimore Orioles and Mel Stottlemyre for the Yankees would amass a combined and quite impressive seven 20 or more wins seasons.

Jerry Adair had set an ongoing record for consecutive fielding chances sans an error the day before. Walter “Red” Barber informed us that a great player, Tommy Davis of the Los “ANGLE-es” (as Red pronounced L.A. which is an acceptable if not the correct pronunciation) broke his ankle the night before, while just after Barber talked of how Yankee Stadium was certainly conducive to Curt Blefary’s left handed power strokes, the then rookie hit a long 2 run home run T2 that scored former Yankees player, Norm Siebern ahead of him.

A pair of true greats, Mickey Mantle of the Yankees and Brooks Robinson of the Orioles were involved in consecutive plays that “retired” the other, Mick grounding out Brooks at third to Norm Siebern at first to end the Yankees’ first, followed by “Robi” flying out to Mickey in left field.

The Orioles had battled the Yankees in the 1964 pennant race (remember those?) before the “Pinstripers” grabbed an incredible 14th pennant in 16 seasons.

Roger Maris, Elston Howard and Clete Boyer were out of the Yankees lineup, however despite both the O’s coming close in ’64 and the injuries limiting new Yankees manager, Johnny Keane’s choices–one would have been very unlikely to predict the Yankees precipitous drop that manifested in 6th and last place seasons in ’65 and ’66 seasons.

Conversely Baltimore rose to the top of the baseball world in 1966, sweeping the defending champion Dodgers.

Yes it was the Dodgers, that despite losing the aforementioned Tommy Davis (sadly the earth “lost” Tommy in 2022), who won the ’65 title. (In the victorious dressing room, after Sandy Koufax had pitched a 3 hit shutout in #7 at Minnesota (Twins) to yield a Dodgers’ title, he told interviewer Vin Scully (you can see Scully was a Barber disciple, listening to “Red”), people picked us for 6th and 8th after Tommy Davis broke his ankle.

Finally, that 1966 World Series ended when Dave McNally, the above cited pitcher that May day the year before, got Lou Johnson (in ’65 W.S. #7, Lou homered to give L.A. a lead they did not relinquish) to fly out to Paul Blair, a second year player, referenced by Barber as not saying “nice to meet you” but “this is a big ballpark” upon Red’s introduction to him. Tommy Davis, never to bat in a Dodgers uniform, but eventually to hit so well for and against the Orioles was on deck as the ’66 World Series ended.

 

Al Lopez Indians.jpg

Al Lopez, pictured above, managed both teams, (the ’54 then known as the Indians and ’59 White Sox) that denied the Yankees pennants during their incredible 16 year run. 

Similarly but better, Alex Hannum coached both teams that denied the incredibly great Boston Celtics NBA titles during their great 11 titles in 13 seasons display of winning.

While Lopez and his teams were denied in the subsequent World Series by the Giants and then the Dodgers, the Hannum coached St. Louis Hawks won, what is still the franchise’s, (located in Atlanta starting in 1968-1969) lone title “6’ing” the Celtics in the ’58 final.

Nine years later Mr. Hannum’s Philadelphia 76ers ended Boston’s 8 straight titles run, doing so convincingly, winning (140-116) in the clinching 5th game of the “semis.”

Subsequently, Philly beat a San Francisco Warriors team that included greats, Rick Barry, Nate Thurmond and coach Bill Sharman in 6 games to win it all.   

 

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