1960 World Series
From BR Bullpen
The 1960 World Series was played between the Pittsburgh Pirates, representing the National League, and New York Yankees, representing the American League. It is most notable for the Game 7, 9th-inning home run hit by Bill Mazeroski, winning the game for the Pirates, 10-9, and also winning them their third Championship, their first since 1925. Befitting the wild and crazy flow of this Series, Bobby Richardson was named MVP of the Series, the only time that someone from the defeated team has been so honored (through 2012).
This was the first trip to the Fall Classic for the Pittsburgh Pirates in 33 years. They were up against the New York Yankees, who had appeared in nine out of the last eleven Series (winning seven of them), and were the heavy favorites to win their eighth world championship in twelve years.
The Yankees outscored the Pirates, 38-3, in the three games they won. For the Series as a whole, the Yankees outscored the Pirates 55-27, outhit them .338 to .256 (team batting averages), and out-homered them 10-4, and yet lost. This is highest run-scored/runs-against ratio of any team that lost the World Series. The Pirates were soundly defeated in the three games they lost, but three of the four games they won were close, low-scoring matches, thus skewing the statistics. Game 7, of course, saw 19 runs scored between the two teams.
Mazeroski became the first player to hit a walk-off home run to win a World Series. Thirty-three years later, Joe Carter would become the only other player to end the World Series with a home run, doing so for the Toronto Blue Jays in the 1993 World Series, albeit in Game 6.
Although most noted for the series-ending homer, Game 7 is also the only game in Series history with no strikeouts recorded by either side.
This would prove to be Casey Stengel's last World Series, as the Yankee club soon sent him into retirement. This led to his famous remark, "I'll never make the mistake of turning 70 again."
This World Series featured seven past, present or future league Most Valuable Players. The Pirates had two (Dick Groat (1960) and Roberto Clemente (1966)), while the Yankees had five (Yogi Berra (1951, 1954, 1955), Mickey Mantle (1956, 1957, 1957), Roger Maris (1960, 1961), Elston Howard (1963), and Bobby Shantz (1952).
As noted in the superstition called the "Ex-Cub Factor", this was the only Series after 1945 and until 2001 in which a team with three or more former members of the Chicago Cubs were able to win a World Series.
Series MVP: Bobby Richardson (New York)
|1||Yankees – 4, Pirates – 6||October 5||Forbes Field||36,676|
|2||Yankees – 16, Pirates – 3||October 6||Forbes Field||37,308|
|3||Pirates – 0, Yankees – 10||October 8||Yankee Stadium||70,001|
|4||Pirates – 3, Yankees – 2||October 9||Yankee Stadium||67,812|
|5||Pirates – 5, Yankees – 2||October 10||Yankee Stadium||62,753|
|6||Yankees – 12, Pirates – 0||October 12||Forbes Field||38,580|
|7||Yankees – 9, Pirates – 10||October 13||Forbes Field||36,683|
 Game 1
|New York (A)||1||0||0||1||0||0||0||0||2||4||13||2|
|W: Vernon Law (1-0) L: Art Ditmar (0-1), S: Elroy Face (1)|
|HR: NYY – Roger Maris (1), Elston Howard (1) PIT – Bill Mazeroski (1)|
It was the Pirates who struck first, winning Game 1, 6-4, at Forbes Field on the strength of Vern Law's pitching, Roy Face's relief work and Mazeroski's two-run home run in the 4th inning. But the win was costly. Bob Skinner, one of the Pirates' best hitters, jammed his left thumb and it was uncertain if he could return to the series. After finishing the regular season with 15 wins in a row, the Yankees showed a sign of what was to come by dropping the opener. Yogi Berra set a record by appearing in his 11th World Series, but allowed two steals here. Law returned from an ankle injury to stifle the Yankee bats, except for homers by Roger Maris and Elston Howard. Meanwhile, the Bucs pounded Art Ditmar for three quick runs in the 1st, and Mazeroski took Jim Coates deep in the 4th for insurance.
 Game 2
|New York (A)||0||0||2||1||2||7||3||0||1||16||19||1|
|W: Bob Turley (1-0) L: Bob Friend (0-1)|
|HR: NYY – Mickey Mantle 2 (2)|
Game 2 featured former Cy Young Award winner Bob Turley for the Yankees against Bob Friend, one of the premier pitchers in baseball. Friend had won a major league-high 22 games in 1958 and won the NL ERA title in 1955. Gino Cimoli replaced Bob Skinner in left field for Pittsburgh. The Yankees broke a scoreless tie in the 3rd inning with a pair of runs and took a 3-0 lead in the 4th on an unearned run. Friend had 6 strikeouts through 4 innings but Danny Murtaugh gambled in the bottom of the 4th by lifting Friend for a pinch-hitter (the seldom-used Gene Baker) with the Pirates trailing, 3-1, with two runners aboard. The Pirates failed to score again that inning and the bullpen of Fred Green, Clem Labine, Red Witt, Joe Gibbon and Tom Cheney proceeded to surrender 13 runs as the Yankees trounced the Bucs, 16-3. Mickey Mantle homered twice (off Green and Gibbon) for 5 RBIs; he became the fourth player with 5 RBI in a World Series game and became the first non-left-handed batter to slug a ball over the 436' mark in right-center at Forbes Field (Dale Long, Stan Musial and Duke Snider had done so previously). The two clubs combined to break the 1946 World Series's record of 30 hits in a game.
 Game 3
|New York (A)||6||0||0||4||0||0||0||0||x||10||16||1|
|W: Whitey Ford (1-0) L: Vinegar Bend Mizell (0-1)|
|HR: NYY – Bobby Richardson (1), Mickey Mantle (3)|
Yankee ace Whitey Ford finally got to start a game and shut out the Pirates, 10-0, on 4 hits in Game 3. The Yankees scored 6 runs in the 1st inning, highlighted by a grand slam home run by Bobby Richardson against Clem Labine, who replaced starter Vinegar Bend Mizell as Murtaugh lifted Mizell after only 5 batters. For the second consecutive game, Murtaugh used Labine, Fred Green, Red Witt, Tom Cheney and Joe Gibbon in relief. After back-to-back "laughers," the Yankees led the series 2-1. Richardson became the 7th player in World Series history to crack a grand slam and set a World Series record with 6 RBI in the game. Mickey Mantle, meanwhile, collected four hits and another homer, his 14th World Series dinger, bringing him within one of Babe Ruth's record.
 Game 4
|New York (A)||0||0||0||1||0||0||1||0||0||2||8||0|
|W: Vernon Law (2-0) L: Ralph Terry (0-1), S: Elroy Face (2)|
|HR: NYY – Bill Skowron (1)|
Determined to stop the Yankee juggernaut in its tracks, the Pirates came to Yankee Stadium on Sunday, October 9th equipped with their stopper and their closer. Pirates starter Vernon Law and reliever Elroy Face held the Yankees to only 2 runs on 8 hits, as the Bucs won by a score of 3-2. New York briefly gave the home fans something to cheer about when they loaded the bases in the 1st, but Law recovered to get Yogi Berra to ground into a 5-3 double play. Moose Skowron took Law deep in the 4th for a 1-0 Yankee lead. The Pirates scored all their runs in the 5th inning. Law's double plated Gino Cimoli, who had singled, and Bill Virdon's single scored Smoky Burgess and Law. Law exited in the 7th with two on and one out. Roy Face came in and Bob Cerv greeted him with a long fly, almost to the center field wall 407 feet away, before Virdon snared it with a jumping grab. Face got the next seven in a row to wrap up the victory.
 Game 5
|New York (A)||0||1||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||2||5||2|
|W: Harvey Haddix (1-0) L: Art Ditmar (0-2), S: Elroy Face (3)|
|HR: NYY – Roger Maris (2)|
With the series now tied at two apiece, Yankee manager Casey Stengel was desperate to avoid a comeback by the underdog Pirates. In a controversial move in Game 5, he started Art Ditmar, who had also started Game 1, but Ditmar only lasted 1 1/3 innings. Stengel had hoped that Pittsburgh would underestimate Ditmar, but it would appear to have been the other way around, as the Pirates won, 5-2. With Gino Cimoli at third following a Smoky Burgess double, a Don Hoak grounder to short scored Cimoli, and Burgess was safe at third when Gil McDougald dropped Tony Kubek's throw. Hoak took second base on the play. Bill Mazeroski then doubled in both runners. New York got one back on an Elston Howard double and two infield outs, but Roberto Clemente singled in Dick Groat in the 3rd. Maris homered in the bottom of the inning to close it to 4-2, but New York got no closer. For the second straight day, Elroy Face finished the game by no-hitting Mickey Mantle, Roger Maris and company for 2 2/3 innings. Face and starter Harvey Haddix, however, were not the only right-handers shutting down the heavy-hitting Yankees on this day. The "rifle" right arm of right fielder Roberto Clemente also played a pivotal role, forcing New York to go station to station on a pair of 7th-inning singles, thus preventing them from narrowing Pittsburgh's lead at that point to one run. Hoak's RBI-single in the 9th gave the Pirates a 5-2 lead. Face retired seven of eight batters he faced in this one, stranding two inherited runners, to finish the New York games with 5 1/3 shutout, hitless innings and two saves. The Associated Press ran flattering profiles of both Clemente and Face in the next day's papers, and with the Series returning to Pittsburgh, the immediate future looked bright for the "Battlin' Bucs."
 Game 6
|New York (A)||0||1||5||0||0||2||2||2||0||12||17||1|
|W: Whitey Ford (2-0) L: Bob Friend (0-2)|
Just as the Pirates had done in Game 4, the Yankees came into enemy territory determined not to lose. Whitey Ford returned to the mound for the Pirates, against Bob Friend. The Yankees took a 1-0 lead in the 2nd inning on a two-out, bases loaded infield single by Ford. Friend ran into worse trouble in the 3rd. The inning began with a hit batter, a double and two singles. With the Yankees leading 3-0 and two runners aboard with no outs, Danny Murtaugh lifted Friend for Tom Cheney. After a sacrifice fly, a single and Richardson's RBI triple, 5 runs had scored and the Yankees led, 6-0. Vinegar Bend Mizell, Fred Green, Clem Labine and Red Witt followed Cheney to the mound as the Yankees again pounded the Bucs' bullpen and prevailed, 12-0, behind Ford's second shutout of the series. The series was tied 3-3.
 Game 7
|New York (A)||0||0||0||0||1||4||0||2||2||9||13||1|
|W: Harvey Haddix (2-0) L: Ralph Terry (0-2)|
|HR: NYY – Bill Skowron (2), Yogi Berra (1) PIT – Rocky Nelson (1), Hal Smith (1), Bill Mazeroski (2)|
Bob Skinner, out of action since Game 1 with the thumb injury, returned to left field for the Pirates in Game 7. 36-year old Rocky Nelson, a prolific home run hitter in the minors who had spent his major league career as a pinch-hitter and back-up first baseman, found himself batting cleanup in the championship game after Dick Stuart had slumped in the series. Those two players got the Pirates off to a quick start when Skinner walked in the 1st inning against Bob Turley and Nelson followed with a two-run home run. Bill Virdon's two-run single in the 2nd inning gave starter Vern Law a 4-0 lead. A solo home run by Bill Skowron in the 5th made it 4-1. But in the top of the 6th inning, with the first two Yankees aboard, manager Danny Murtaugh, who along with third baseman Don Hoak, felt that Law's ailing ankle was affecting his delivery, made the decision to remove his ace in favor of his diminutive but dominant closer. Elroy Face had finished all three Buc wins, seemingly toying with New York's power-laden lineup in the last two, allowing just one Bronx Bomber to reach base over five and a third innings of no-hit ball. But before Face would escape this inning, Pittsburgh's 4-1 lead became a 5-4 deficit, the big blow being Yogi Berra's three-run blast. Before escaping this game altogether, leaving for a pinch-hitter in the 8th, Face would yield yet two more tallies, making it 7-4, New York, with reliever Bobby Shantz at the top of his game. Fortunately for Pittsburgh, this game was far from done.
After pinch-hitter Gino Cimoli and Virdon both singled to lead off the bottom of the 8th (with Yankee shortstop Tony Kubek being hit in the throat by Virdon's bad-hop hit and having to leave the game), Dick Groat lined a single to left, cutting New York's lead to 7-5. Next up was Roberto Clemente. Fooled badly, he bounced one weakly between first base and the pitcher's mound. Unfortunately for New York, while Clemente was busting it down to first base, pitcher Jim Coates and first baseman Skowron were getting their wires crossed, both of them going for the ball rather than the bag. When the dust settled, Clemente had a hustle hit and the Yankee lead was again slashed, with the score now 7-6. The Pirates now had two runners on base and back-up catcher Hal Smith at the plate. Smith did what every Bucs fan was hoping for and hit one over the wall, and the Pirates took a 9-7 lead as the Forbes Field crowd went wild.
Bob Friend, an eighteen-game-winner for the pennant-winning Pirates but 0-and-2 in the Series, was called upon in the 9th to try to protect the 9-7 lead. But Bobby Richardson and pinch-hitter Dale Long both greeted Friend with singles. With left-handed hitting Roger Maris up next, Murtaugh lifted Friend in favor of Harvey Haddix, Pittsburgh's starter – and winner – in Game 5. Although he would get Maris to foul out, Haddix then gave up a key single to Mickey Mantle that scored Richardson and moved Long to third. With pinch-runner Gil McDougald replacing Long, Yogi Berra followed suit, hitting a blistering shot to first.
First baseman Rocky Nelson fielded the ball inches from the bag and stepped on the base for the second out rather than attempting a 3-6-3 double play (Nelson to Groat to Nelson) which would have ended the inning, the game, and the World Series. By stepping on the bag, Nelson removed the all-important force play, thus giving the Yankees a chance to tie the game as long as McDougald crossed the plate before a play was made on Mantle. Berra's shot had gotten to Nelson so quickly that Mantle had not had a chance to advance toward second base. Mantle's reaction suggested that he thought Nelson caught the ball before it bounced, as he hesitated for a moment and then dove back into first base. The left-handed Nelson awkwardly repositioned himself for the anticipated throw to second base as Mantle made his dive, barely evading Nelson's off-balance tag attempt as the tying run scored. On the next play, shortstop Dick Groat made a fine back-handed stab of Skowron's grounder in the hole and fired to Bill Mazeroski for the inning-ending force on Mantle.
Ralph Terry, who had gotten the final out in the Pirates' 8th, returned to the mound in the bottom of the 9th to finish the job. The first man he faced was Bill Mazeroski. With a count of one ball and no strikes, the Pirates' second baseman smashed a historic long drive over the 406-foot mark in left center, ending the contest and crowning the National Leaguers as champions. As the Pirates erupted in a wild celebration, the Yankees stood in disbelief knowing that they had clearly dominated the series, but were unable to finish the task. The improbable champions were outscored, 55-27, and out-hit, 91-60, but in the end the home team prevailed. Years later, Mickey Mantle was quoted as saying that losing the 1960 series was the biggest disappointment of his career. For Bill Mazeroski, it was the highlight.
 Composite Box
|New York Yankees||7||2||8||7||3||13||6||4||5||55||91||8|
|Total Attendance: 349,813 Average Attendance: 49,973|
|Winning Player’s Share: – $8,418 Losing Player’s Share – $5,125|
 Quotes of the Series
- Yogi Berra's assessment of what happened to his club:
- "We made too many wrong mistakes."
- Chuck Thompson's famous radio call of the final play, including a supposed mistake on who the pitcher was, and initially flubbing the final score:
- "Well, a little while ago, when we said that this one, uh, in typical fashion, was going right down to the wire, little did we know! ... Art Ditmar throws... There's a swing and a high fly ball going deep to left, this may do it! ... Back to the wall goes Berra, it is ... over the fence, home run, the Pirates win! ... (long pause for crowd noise) ... Ladies and gentleman, Bill Mazeroski has just hit a one-nothing pitch over the left field wall to win the 1960 World Series for the Pittsburgh Pirates by a score of ten to nothing! ... Once again, that final score, the World Champion Pittsburgh Pirates TEN, and the New York Yankees NINE!"
In reality, Thompson had been in the midst of saying "Art Ditmar throws in the Yankee bullpen" at the time the home run was hit and had not been mistaken as to the identity of the pitcher.
- Bill Mazeroski describing his Game 7 walk-off at-bat:
- "Nobody told me what to do when I went up to hit in the 9th inning. The score was tied, 9 - 9, and I knew the only important thing was for me to get on somehow. I let the first pitch go by. I was waiting for a high fastball. The second pitch was a fastball – much like the ball I hit for a homer in the first game – and I knew I got good wood on it."
- Roger Angell's description of Bill Mazeroski's forgotten fielding gem which immediately preceded his never-to-be-forgotten Game 7 walk-off homer:
- "...a great play that will forever go insufficiently sung, because of what happened afterward and because it was a simple force at second. Indeed with the fleet Mantle barreling toward second on the pitch, Dick Groat's best play on Skowron's grounder into the hole was to first. Groat, however, after bobbling the ball slightly, looked to Mazeroski and rushed his throw, which went wide, surely wider than the compactly put-together Maz could stretch. But Maz, for whom second base is T.S. Eliot's "still point of the turning world," seemed to lay every fibre of his being end to end for an instant to snag Groat's throw and nip the sliding Mantle by a heartbeat. And then he jogged in toward the bottom of the 9th and immortality."
- Would-be World Series goat Rocky Nelson putting things into perspective:
- "Smith hit the big blow that won the game for us, no doubt about it. Maz's hit was anti-climactic for me."
One reads Nelson's comments with mixed emotions. Since it was Nelson's own almost unfathomable brain cramp that, in effect, erased Smith's name from the (sports) history books, it would seem the least he could do to try to counteract that erasure in every way possible. However, the honorable way for Nelson to go about that task would have been a profound mea culpa, acknowledging his own culpability vis-à-vis Smith. Instead, he pumps up Smith at the expense of Mazeroski, an egregiously ballsy tack for Nelson to take, considering not only the obvious fact that it's Mazeroski's homer that saved Nelson from being possibly the biggest goat in the history of the World Series but also the fact that, just moments before, it had been a tremendous defensive play by Maz that extinguished the fire onto which Nelson had just poured gasoline, thus affording Maz even the opportunuity to, as it were, clear Nelson's name.
- Speaking with Associated Press staff writer Joe Reichler, soon-to-be NL MVP Dick Groat sets the record straight regarding Bill Virdon's pivotal Game 1 delayed steal:
- "I went along with the general assumption that Billy had surprised the Yankee infield with a delayed steal. It not only made good reading but it gave the Yankees something to think about. The truth is, however, that I fouled it all up. Virdon ran because he either missed my sign or I gave it too late. The latter is probably what happened.
- "If you recall, Virdon opened the inning by drawing a pass from Art Ditmar. I was the next hitter and I flashed the hit-and-run sign to Billy. I usually gave my own signs. Billy caught the signal all right but then I noticed that Kubek and Richardson were holding a conference at second base. I knew full well what they were discussing. They had a good book on us and they knew that I liked to pull the hit and run play at a time like this. So I decided to cross them up. I flashed the other sign to Virdon, taking the hit-and-run sign off.
- "I was the most surprised person in the park when Billy ran on the next pitch. It was outside and high and naturally, I took it. Billy, I'm sure, never got the second sign. Kubek and Richardson were blamed for supposedly becoming confused as to who would cover the bag. I'm sure that wasn't the case. I think they just decided that I would hit the first pitch and they agreed not to leave their positions fearing I might just punch the ball through a vacated spot.
- "But don't blame Virdon. The fault was all mine. I fouled up the whole play – thank goodness."
- Yankee right fielder Roger Maris, speaking with the Associated Press following Game 7, proves somewhat less than gracious in defeat:
- "The Pirates should never beat our club. I think if we played this team all season we'd beat them real bad. They were real lucky. I think it is impossible for them to get any more breaks than they had in this series."
- Ex-Pirate star/then-Yankee bench player Dale Long likewise venting some serious sour grapes:
- "Maybe we lost but I was on the better team this time... The best team lost. Imagine Hal Smith hitting a homer."
- Home run hero Hal Smith responding to an unseen chanter's "Pirate Power!":
- "We don't have any power, remember?"
- Vernon Law, winner of Games 1 and 4, and removed with a three-run lead in the 6th inning of Game 7, here gives his evaluation of one of the less celebrated but more troublesome members of the Yankee lineup:
- "Bill Skowron impressed me as the best Yankee hitter in the Series and he hit that home run off me yesterday in the 5th inning on actually a waste pitch. I tried to waste a sidearm fastball by throwing it a foot outside but it nicked the outside corner and Skowron hit it into the right field seats."
- Pirate skipper Danny Murtaugh, quoted by Ray Grody of the Milwaukee Sentinel:
- "Along the way, I've taken a lot of kidding about how ugly I am. Well, I want to tell you I feel pretty good-looking today."
 Further Reading
- John Kuenster: Heartbreakers: Baseball's Most Agonizing Defeats, Ivan R. Dee Publishers, Chicago, IL, 2001. ISBN 978-1566634120
- Bill Morales: Farewell to the Last Golden Era: The Yankees, the Pirates and the 1960 Baseball Season, McFarland, Jefferson, NC, 2011. ISBN 978-0-7864-6327-5
- Thad Mumau: "Had ’Em All the Way": The 1960 Pittsburgh Pirates, McFarland, Jefferson, NC, 2015. ISBN 978-0-7864-9711-9
- David S. Neft and Richard M. Cohen: The World Series; 1st ed., St Martins Press, New York, NY, 1990, pp. 281-286.
- Jim O'Brien: Maz and the '60s Bucs: When Pittsburgh and its Pirates Went All the Way, James P. O'Brien Publishing, Pittsburgh, PA, 1993.
- George Skornickel: "1960 World Series", in Clifton Blue Parker and Bill Nowlin, ed.: Sweet '60: The 1960 Pittsburgh Pirates, SABR, Phoenix, AZ, 2013, pp. 295-308. ISBN 978-1-93359-948-9
- Jim Reisler: The Best Game Ever: Pirates 10, Yankees 9: October 13, 1960, Da Capo Press, Cambridge, MA, 2007.
- 1960 World Series at WorldSeries.com (MLB.com)
- 1960 World Series at Baseball-Almanac.com
- Kodak Presents - Baseball's 25 Greatest Moments: Bill Mazeroski's Home Run
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Pre-1903 Postseason Series