1965 World Series
From BR Bullpen
The 1965 World Series featured the National League champion Los Angeles Dodgers against the American League champion Minnesota Twins, who had won their first pennant since 1933 when the team was known as the Washington Senators. Both teams improved from 6th-place finishes in 1964; the Twins won the A.L. pennant with relative ease while the Dodgers were locked in a season-long 5-way battle in the N.L. between themselves, the San Francisco Giants, Pittsburgh Pirates, Cincinnati Reds, and Milwaukee Braves. The Dodgers used a 13-game September winning streak to clinch the pennant on the next-to-last day of the season over the second-place Giants. In the World Series, the Dodgers prevailed in 7 games to capture their second title in three years, and their third since moving to Los Angeles in 1958.
The Twins won the first two games of the series against Don Drysdale and Sandy Koufax, but once Claude Osteen shut out the Twins in Game 3, things turned around. The Dodgers proceeded to win the three middle games at Dodger Stadium and Koufax pitched two shutouts, including a three-hitter with ten strikeouts to clinch. Ron Fairly and Lou Johnson both hit two home runs for the Dodgers; both of Fairly's came in losing efforts,, but Johnson's were in games the Dodgers won.
Sandy Koufax declined to pitch Game 1 of the Series because game day fell on Yom Kippur, the Jewish Day of Atonement.
This was only the second World Series in which both teams were located west of the Mississippi River. The other occurred in 1944 when the St. Louis Browns faced their Sportsman's Park tenants, the St. Louis Cardinals.
This was the first series in which both teams had had losing records the previous year. Coincidentally, this has since been repeated two other times, both times also involving the Twins - in 1987 and 1991. The Twins' loss in Game 7 remains the only World Series game the Twins have lost at home, having later won all their home games in 1987 and 1991.
Series MVP: Sandy Koufax (Los Angeles)
|Game||Score||Date||Location||Attendance||Time of Game|
|1||Dodgers – 2, Twins – 8||October 6||Metropolitan Stadium||47,797||2:29|
|2||Dodgers – 1, Twins – 5||October 7||Metropolitan Stadium||48,700||2:13|
|3||Twins – 0, Dodgers – 4||October 9||Dodger Stadium||55,934||2:06|
|4||Twins – 2, Dodgers – 7||October 10||Dodger Stadium||55,920||2:15|
|5||Twins – 0, Dodgers – 7||October 11||Dodger Stadium||55,801||2:34|
|6||Dodgers – 1, Twins – 5||October 13||Metropolitan Stadium||49,578||2:16|
|7||Dodgers – 2, Twins – 0||October 14||Metropolitan Stadium||50,596||2:27|
 Game 1
|Los Angeles (N)||0||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||2||10||1|
|W: Mudcat Grant (1-0) L: Don Drysdale (0-1)|
|HR: LAD – Ron Fairly (1) MIN – Don Mincher (1), Zoilo Versalles (1)|
Game 1 was set to be a pitching duel between future Hall of Famer Don Drysdale for the Dodgers' and the Twins' Mudcat Grant (21-7, 3.30 ERA on the year). Drysdale was starting because the game fell on Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the year for Jews. Dodger ace Sandy Koufax, who was Jewish, stated he would not pitch that day. In the Twins' 3rd inning, any thought of a pitcher's duel was put to rest. Going into that inning, it was 1-1. Coming out, it was 7-1. It started with a Frank Quilici double to left field, followed by an error by 2B Jim Lefebvre, allowing the pitcher Grant to reach. Then, shortstop Zoilo Versalles stepped to the plate. He had hit 19 home runs in the regular season and would later win the AL MVP Award for that year. He crushed a pitch from Drysdale for a three-run home run to make the score, 4-1. However, the Twins' scoring wasn't over. With still no one out, left fielder Sandy Valdespino began things again with a double. After a few outs and baserunners, and a single by Harmon Killebrew, the Twins had two runners on board again. With three straight singles (by Earl Battey, Don Mincher, and Quilici), which scored three unearned runs, the Twins jumped out to a six-run lead and never looked back, winning the game, 8-2. The Dodgers had gotten their runs on a Ron Fairly homer and a Maury Wills bunt single that scored Lefebvre. Grant received the win while Drysdale took the loss. In the postgame news conference, it was reported that a joking Drysdale said to Dodger manager Walter Alston: "I bet you wish Drysdale was Jewish too."
 Game 2
|Los Angeles (N)||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||0||0||1||7||3|
|W: Jim Kaat (1-0) L: Sandy Koufax (0-1)|
In Game 2, the Twins again got to a Dodgers ace, this time Hall of Famer Sandy Koufax. Also again, the pitcher for Minnesota, this time Jim Kaat, shut down the Dodgers' offense. This time though, the Twins didn't get their runs until later on. Again though, an error hurt the Dodgers. When Jim Gilliam bobbled the ball at third base, Zoilo Versalles reached, and ended up scoring on a Tony Oliva double. The Twins went up 2-0 in the series as they prevailed, 5-1, in the game.
 Game 3
|Los Angeles (N)||0||0||0||2||1||1||0||0||x||4||10||1|
|W: Claude Osteen (1-0) L: Camilo Pascual (0-1)|
In Game 3, Claude Osteen was the pitcher for the Dodgers. With his team down 2-0 in the series, pressure was put on him to have a good start (no team had ever come back from a 3-0 deficit in the postseason at that time, and no team would do so for another 39 years (the Boston Red Sox managed the feat in the 2004 ALCS). Osteen was set to face the Twins' Camilo Pascual who had had a very solid year (9-3, 3.35 ERA). In the 1st inning, after a double, Zoilo Versalles was caught stealing home to end the inning. In the 4th inning, with the score at 0-0, Johnny Roseboro put two runs on the board for the Dodgers on a two-run single. Osteen, who was shutting out the Twins continued to do so inning after inning, while Los Angeles continued to score runs on a Willie Davis single and a Lou Johnson double in the 5th, and then a Wills double in the 7th. Osteen completed the game by getting backup catcher Jerry Zimmerman to ground into a double play. He allowed only five hits in the contest. He had done what the Dodgers' first two aces could not and helped make the series a tight two games to one as the Dodgers won, 4-0.
 Game 4
|Los Angeles (N)||1||1||0||1||0||3||0||1||x||7||10||0|
|W: Don Drysdale (1-1) L: Mudcat Grant (1-1)|
|HR: MIN – Harmon Killebrew (1), Tony Oliva (1) LAD – Wes Parker (1), Lou Johnson (1)|
In Game 4, a rematch of Game 1's starting pitchers, Drysdale and Grant, this time the Dodgers' ace prevailed, ending out with game statistics of 2 runs on five hits and two walks. Drysdale had eleven strikeouts in the game, fanning Jimmie Hall and Don Mincher three times each. The Twins' Grant gave up three runs in the first five innings and then was taken out during the 6th inning, when the Dodgers put three more runs on the board, two charged to Grant, while one went to reliever Al Worthington. After that inning, the Dodgers got one more run, on a Lou Johnson home run. The Twins had gotten their two runs on home runs from Harmon Killebrew and Tony Oliva. Back in form, Drysdale had evened up the series and the Dodgers won, 7-2.
 Game 5
|Los Angeles (N)||2||0||2||1||0||0||2||0||x||7||14||0|
|W: Sandy Koufax (1-1) L: Jim Kaat (1-1)|
In Game 5, a mirror image of Game 4, the pitcher for the Twins who had done so well in Game 2, Jim Kaat, did not do as well this time, as the Dodgers won their third straight by shutting out the Twins. Koufax had an excellent start, giving up only four hits, one walk, and striking out ten. After Kaat gave up two runs quickly in the 1st inning, and then again in the 3rd, Dave Boswell came in to attempt to stop the bleeding. Later, Jim Perry did the same. While both fared better than Kaat, Koufax basically put the game out of reach in the 7th, when he helped himself out with an RBI single to score Ron Fairly. The Dodgers won their third in a row and went up 3-2 in the series. The final score was 7-0.
 Game 6
|Los Angeles (N)||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||0||0||1||6||1|
|W: Mudcat Grant (2-1) L: Claude Osteen (1-1)|
|HR: LAD – Ron Fairly (2) MIN – Bob Allison (1), Mudcat Grant (1)|
In Game 6, Claude Osteen did not fare quite as well as he had in his last start. In the 4th inning, Earl Battey reached on an error by Dick Tracewski, yet another fielding blunder made by the Dodgers. This was followed by a Bob Allison two-run home run. Meanwhile, Grant was on his game once again for the Twins. Although he pitched very well (1 run, 6 hits, 5 strikeouts), he also helped himself, similar to Koufax for Los Angeles in the previous game, but this time with a towering three-run home run, after Frank Quilici was intentionally walked to get to him. A Ron Fairly home run, his second of the series, put the Dodgers on the board and made the score 5-1, which would end up being the final, as Grant pitched a complete game.
 Game 7
|Los Angeles (N)||0||0||0||2||0||0||0||0||0||2||7||0|
|W: Sandy Koufax (2-1) L: Jim Kaat (1-2)|
|HR: LAD – Lou Johnson (2)|
In Game 7, a series that held many would-be pitching duels, featured one final one. Dodger manager Walt Alston was torn between starting Drysdale on normal rest or Koufax with only two days' rest. He decided on the left-handed Koufax, figuring that if needed he would bring the righthanded Drysdale on in relief, and then go back to his lefthanded relief ace, Ron Perranoski. The Twins went with Jim Kaat, also starting on two days' rest. Koufax had trouble throwing his curveball for strikes but escaped a couple of early jams, including one in the 3rd inning when Zoilo Versailles appeared to have stolen second base with one out but was ruled out due to interference by the batter Joe Nossek. In the 4th inning, Dodger left fielder Lou Johnson told Koufax that he would get him the only run he would need. Johnson promptly stepped to the plate and hit a ball off the left field foul pole to give the Dodgers a 1-0 lead. Ron Fairly followed with a double and scored on a Wes Parker single. Knowing Kaat was pitching on two days rest, Minnesota manager Sam Mele pulled him quickly and brough in reliever Al Worthington. Worthington, Johnny Klippstein, Jim Merritt, and Jim Perry combined to shut out the Dodgers for the rest of the game. The Twins threatened again in the 5th inning when they had runners on first and second base with only one out. Versailles then hit a hard ground ball down the third base line that appeared to be going for a double. This may have ended Koufax's day as Don Drysdale was warming up in the bullpen. But Dodger third baseman Jim Gilliam (who ironically was often replaced that season late in games for defensive reasons) made a diving backhanded stop and stepped on third for a force out. Koufax then bore down and got the third out of the inning. Koufax gave up on throwing his curveball and simply blew the hard-hitting Twins away with his fastball from that point on. He ended up tossing a three-hit shutout, striking out ten in one of the greatest World Series Game 7 pitching performances ever.
 Composite Box
|Los Angeles Dodgers||3||2||2||6||1||4||4||1||1||24||64||6|
|Total Attendance: 364,326 Average Attendance: 52,047|
|Winning Player’s Share: – $10,297 Losing Player’s Share – $6,634|
- 1965 World Series at WorldSeries.com (MLB.com)
- 1965 World Series at Baseball-Almanac.com
- 1965 World Series box scores and play-by-play at Retrosheet.org
- David S. Neft and Richard M. Cohen: The World Series, 1st ed., St Martins Press, New York, NY, 1990.
|Modern Major League Baseball World Series
Pre-1903 Postseason Series