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Mayor's Trophy Game
The Mayor's Trophy Game, a label given to an annual in-season exhibition game in New York City, was originally played between the New York Yankees and New York Giants. The Brooklyn Dodgers also participated. The series was discontinued after the Dodgers and Giants moved west following the 1957 season. It was revived in 1963, and the New York Mets became the Yankees' opponent. The games were played primarily to benefit sandlot baseball in New York City, with proceeds going to the city's Amateur Baseball Federation.
The series went on hiatus in 1980 and 1981, as attendance had dwindled. Although stars often played, frequently pitchers were brought up from Triple A for the games in order to save the major-league staffs. The game was revived in 1982 but discontinued once again following the 1983 season.
Yankees vs. Giants and Dodgers (1946-55; 1957)
There was an unusual three-cornered exhibition game between these three clubs on June 26, 1944, which benefited the war effort. This does not appear to have been part of the Mayor's Trophy series, which began in 1946. The New York Times first reported on June 9, 1946 that the Giants and Yankees had agreed to play a best-of-three exhibition, with the winner to receive the William O'Dwyer trophy. O'Dwyer was Mayor of New York City from 1946 to 1950.
- Yankees 10-3
- Giants 1-7
- Dodgers 2-3
Game 1 – Polo Grounds, July 1. Yankees 3, Giants 0. Tommy Henrich homered to back the combined seven-hit shutout by Bill Wight and Mel Queen. According to one Giants player, quoted in The Sporting News on August 14, "One of those American League umps called a phantom double play, though the pivot infielder was never near the bag. They were trying to hurry the game along, while we were hustling to win." LP: Hal Schumacher. Attendance: 27,486.
Game 2 – Yankee Stadium, August 5. Yankees 3, Giants 2. The Yankees scored the game-winner in the bottom of the ninth, and there was an altercation between Babe Young and Art Passarella on the final play. Young screamed that the AL umpire had robbed the NL by calling Joe DiMaggio safe at home on a sacrifice fly by Gus Niarhos. In the first inning, Joe Page broke Johnny Mize's hand with a pitch. Mize was out until September 13 and then promptly broke a toe in his return. WP: Cuddles Marshall. The loser was Woody Abernathy, even though he held the Yankees hitless for six innings, allowed only four hits in total, and two of the runs he allowed were unearned. Attendance: 25,067.
Game 3 was not needed.
Although the series was tied, Game 3 was not played because of scheduling difficulties. It appears that the best-of-three format was then discarded in favor of a single game.
1948: Polo Grounds, August 16. Yankees 4, Giants 2 (11 innings). The game was overshadowed by the announcement of Babe Ruth’s death. The crowd and players rose in tribute. Steve Souchock won it in the 11th inning with a two-run homer off Monte Kennedy, who went all the way for the Giants. Joe Page, who had entered in the 8th, was the winner. Johnny Mize and Buddy Kerr homered for the Giants. Attendance: 17,091.
1949: Yankee Stadium, June 27. Yankees 5, Giants 3. Joe DiMaggio tested his ailing right heel and pronounced himself ready to return to regular action, even though he popped out all four times at bat. Loser Kirby Higbe walked two men with the bases loaded in the eighth. Phil Rizzuto, who had 3 RBIs and fielded superbly, was the MVP. WP: Fred Sanford. Attendance: 37,547.
1950: Polo Grounds, June 26. Yankees 9, Giants 4. Cliff Mapes was the hitting star, with two homers and three RBIs. Hank Bauer also homered. For the second year in a row, Fred Sanford was the winner, while “phenom” Clint Hartung, then a pitcher, was the loser. Both pitched complete games. Attendance: 12,864.
1951: Yankee Stadium, June 25. Before a crowd of 71,289, then a record for an exhibition game, the Yankees beat the Dodgers 4-3 in 10 innings. Gene Woodling hit a “grand single” off Phil Haugstad to win it. Although Woodling hit the ball into the right field seats, he passed Hank Bauer on the bases, as Bauer was loafing after watching Phil Rizzuto score the winning run. Roy Campanella won a wristwatch as MVP with a homer, double, and three men caught stealing. WP: Jack Kramer.
1952: Yankee Stadium, July 21. Yankees 5, Dodgers 3. Mickey Mantle hit a two-run homer in the eighth to snap a 3-3 tie, and the game was called after that inning because the Yankees had to catch a train west! WP: Joe Ostrowski. LP: Clyde King. Attendance: 48,263.
1953: Yankee Stadium, June 29. Dodgers 9, Yankees 0. Wayne Belardi was MVP, hitting two homers and a double to drive in six runs. The winner was 20-year-old rookie Johnny Podres. LP: Ewell Blackwell. Attendance: 56,136 (the largest New York baseball crowd of the year to that point).
1954: Yankee Stadium, June 14. Dodgers beat Yankees 2-1 despite getting just two base hits. Duke Snider's fourth-inning homer was the only hit that Harry Byrd allowed in seven innings. Jim Gilliam's eighth-inning single drove Don Hoak in all the way from first. WP: Billy Loes. LP: Tom Gorman. Attendance: 28,084.
1955: Yankee Stadium, June 27. Yankees 4, Giants 1. Giants replaced Dodgers as relations grew strained between Brooklyn and the Yankees. Prelim: softball game between “Toots Shor’s Crumbums” and the “21 Club Gentlemen.” In the main event, Phil Rizzuto tripled home the tying run and scored the lead run in the fifth inning. Attendance: 19,193. WP: Bob Wiesler. LP: Ramón Monzant.
1956: Not played. In the July 4 edition of The Sporting News, Dan Daniel wrote, "The annual game for the Mayor's Trophy has not yet been scheduled for this season. August 13 seems to be the only open date. Perhaps the clubs plan to skip a year and whet the appetites of the customers." In the August 15 edition, Daniel's colleague Joe King confirmed that no suitable date could be found.
1957: Ebbets Field, May 23. The Yankees beat the Dodgers, 10-7, before an estimated crowd of 30,000. (The New York Times wrote, "Mayor Robert F. Wagner gave his enthusiastic support to the drive to get out a big crowd." A home run derby preceded the night game, in which Mickey Mantle homered and had three singles. WP: Al Cicotte. LP: Ken Lehman.
Interlude: In-season exhibition games at Yankee Stadium, 1958-62
By 1958, the Dodgers and Giants were gone to the West Coast. That March 11, a public relations representative for Mayor Robert Wagner named William Peer said, "The (Mayor's Trophy) game is a casualty right now. It will remain a casualty unless we get another team here to play the Yanks and split the take."
Meanwhile, until the series was revived in 1963, the Yankees played a few in-season exhibitions at home against big-league opponents, including two notable rematches against their erstwhile city rivals. (The sporadic series against the U.S. Army Cadets also continued during these years.) These were not billed as Mayor's Trophy Games. As before, though, the Bombers gave their half of the proceeds to benefit sandlot baseball in New York.
1958: May 12. Milwaukee beat New York, 4-3, before approximately 13,000 fans (15,000 tickets were sold). Before the game there was a home run derby. Mickey Mantle, Yogi Berra, and Moose Skowron represented the Yankees. Eddie Mathews, Joe Adcock, and Hank Aaron represented the Braves. Sal Maglie, making his season's debut at age 41, hurled seven strong innings. Johnny Kucks took the loss, giving up two runs in the 8th. Braves manager Fred Haney used nine pitchers for one inning each; Bob Rush, who worked the 7th, got the win.
1960: June 27. Dodgers 4, Yankees 3. Frank Finch of the Los Angeles Times wrote that the teams played in front of "a highly vocal crowd with a heavy Brooklyn accent." The Dodgers devoted their part of the take ($58,000) to the continued support of Roy Campanella. This was the second half of a home-and-home series; the previous year's benefit for Campy at the L.A. Coliseum is much better remembered. The crowd of 53,492 was the biggest of the year to that point at Yankee Stadium. Gil Hodges drove in the game-winning run with a seventh-inning triple. WP: Sandy Koufax. LP: Ryne Duren.
1961: July 24. Giants 4, Yankees 1. On a muggy 90-degree evening, Joe King of The Sporting News wrote that Willie Mays "drew what amounted to a continuous ovation whenever he was on the field, and at times it thundered louder than the turbulent storms which had almost washed away the game." Mays hit a two-run single that gave the Giants the lead, and they held on the rest of the way. Bobby Bolin pitched six innings for the win, giving up his only run on a homer to Mickey Mantle. Billy O'Dell finished up. Al Downing took the loss. Attendance: 47,346.
Yankees vs. Mets (1963-79; 1982-83)
Overall record: Yankees 10, Mets 8, with one tie.
1963: Yankee Stadium, June 20. The game was originally scheduled for June 3 but rain postponed it until June 20. Jay Hook pitched five innings and Carl Willey pitched the last four as the Mets won, 6-2. Casey Stengel -- allegedly looking to get back at his old employer -- insisted on using Willey, his best pitcher, rather than Ken Mackenzie. Stan Williams was the loser. Attendance was 50,742. Most were the “New Breed” of Mets fans, who had their banners confiscated upon entering The House That Ruth Built.
1964: Shea Stadium, August 24. Again the original date, June 15, was postponed because of rain. A crowd of 55,396 saw the Yankees beat the Mets, 6-4, with two unearned runs in the ninth. Yogi Berra, then Yankees manager, hit into a double play as a pinch-hitter in the seventh. WP: Pete Mikkelsen. LP: Willard Hunter.
1965: Yankee Stadium, May 3. Mets beat Yanks on run in 10th, 2-1; 22,881 saw a wide throw on a two-out squeeze bunt by Cleon Jones decide the game as Chris Cannizzaro scored. Warren Spahn got the win, while 1964’s winner, Pete Mikkelsen, took the loss.
1966: Shea Stadium, June 27. Yankees beat Mets 5-2 behind homers by Ray Barker, Billy Bryan, and Joe Pepitone. Ralph Kiner would later remember Pepitone's blast as one of the longest ever hit at Shea. Whitey Ford was the winner, pitching three perfect innings. Larry Bearnarth took the loss. The crowd of 56,367 booed Mayor John Lindsay.
1968: Shea Stadium, May 27. Mets beat Yankees 4-3 as Don Bosch hit a ball that turned into a triple as it bounced over Bill Robinson’s head in the eighth inning. The crowd was 35,198. WP: Bill Short. LP: Dooley Womack.
1969: Shea Stadium, September 29. The game was originally scheduled for July 7 but rained out. The Mets had less than a week before opening the playoffs against Atlanta, but still played their regulars. The Amazin's beat the Yanks, 7-6, for their third straight victory in the series. A livelier ball was used for five innings, and all runs but one were scored with it. Attendance: 32,720. Art Shamsky was the hitting star. WP: Jim McAndrew. LP: Ron Klimkowski.
1970: Yankee Stadium, August 17. Yanks trounced Mets, 9-4, before a crowd of 43,987. Danny Cater and Pete Ward homered. Steve Kline, helped by two four-run innings, went the distance for the win. Loser Rich Folkers and Nolan Ryan were shelled.
1971: Shea Stadium, September 8. The Yankees won 2-1 before 48,872. Jim McAndrew and Nolan Ryan had a combined no-hitter for 7 2/3 innings, but the Yankees broke through in the ninth against loser Ron Taylor. John Ellis tied it with a sacrifice fly and Ron Hansen singled for the go-ahead run. Dave Marshall made two outstanding catches. WP: Al Closter.
1972: Yankee Stadium, August 24. A crowd of 52,308 saw Yankees rookie Doc Medich, up from West Haven in the Eastern League, beat the Mets 2-1. John Ellis hit the game-winning homer off Bob Rauch in the sixth.
1973: Shea Stadium, May 10. The Mets won 8-4, thanks to five runs in the second inning, sparked by Felix Millan. George Stone held the Yankees scoreless for seven innings but eventually gave up a grand slam to Graig Nettles in the eighth. LP: Mike Pazik.
1975: Shea Stadium, May 15. Before the game, Dave Kingman and Ed Kranepool received complimentary “Perfect Man Permanent” hair treatments. It didn’t help – the Yankees won, again by a 9-4 score. Bob Johnson, called up from Syracuse to pitch in the game, was the winner. George Stone, trying to come back from arm problems, pitched reasonably well (four hits and three runs in six innings) but lost. The Yankees broke it open in the seventh, sending 10 men to the plate against Randy Tate.
1976: Yankee Stadium, June 14. The Yankees won, 8-4, before 36,361 fans. Six of their runs were unearned, thanks to three Mets errors. Jim Beattie won and Rick Baldwin lost. Mets catcher Jay Kleven, who would go 1 for 5 in the majors, made the impression that earned him his cup of coffee with two hits.
1977: Shea Stadium, June 23. The game was rescheduled from May 9. The crowd of 15,510 was by far the smallest since the series resumed. The Mets won 6-4 behind homers from Joel Youngblood and Ron Hodges. The pitchers of record were both triple-A farmhands: Tom Makowski for the Mets and Roger Slagle for the Yankees.
1978: Yankee Stadium, April 27. Fran Healy’s squeeze bunt drove home Jim Spencer with the game-winning run in the 13th inning. The final was 4-3 before 9,792 fans – at least at the beginning. This year’s edition featured Graig Nettles’ infamous attempt to throw the game (as alleged in Sparky Lyle’s book The Bronx Zoo, though Nettles later denied it). Ron Hodges opened the 11th inning with a bouncer to third, which Nettles heaved 10 feet over the head of Chris Chambliss at first. However, the Mets could not bring Hodges in from second. It might not have gone that long if Brian Doyle (in his first game at Yankee Stadium) hadn't made two diving stops with the bases loaded that turned into inning-ending double plays -- the last thing his teammates wanted! WP: Ken Clay. LP: Mardie Cornejo.
1979: Shea Stadium, April 16. The game was called on account of rain in the fifth inning with the score tied at 1-1. Reggie Jackson singled in Mickey Rivers in the third inning, and that was where it ended. Attendance was 13,719 for the 2 PM start.
1980-81: not played. Instead, the Mets and Yankees made cash contributions to the city’s Amateur Baseball Federation. The previous 17 games had raised a total of $1,776,141.56.
1982: Yankee Stadium, May 27. The Mets won, 4-1, before a healthy crowd of 41,614 – the best the Yankees had drawn at that point in the season. In early April, the revival was announced at City Hall. Mayor Ed Koch presented “crying towels” to representatives of both teams, saying “one of you will need these.” Winning pitcher Steve Ratzer, who never got into a regular-season game for the Mets, arrived from Tidewater just six hours before the game. His name was sewn on his uniform so hurriedly that the “A” fell off! In the eighth inning, John Stearns doubled off loser Roger Erickson and Joel Youngblood drove him in with a tie-breaking single. After the game, Mets owner Nelson Doubleday lifted the trophy high and toured the clubhouse to congratulate his players.
1983: Shea Stadium, April 21. Major-league umpires refused to work this game. There were a couple of stories. One concerned a feud between AL and NL umps over labor practices; another was that NL umps John Kibler and Terry Tata were unhappy that Commissioner Bowie Kuhn had not suspended Yankees owner George Steinbrenner for remarks about the integrity of NL crews in spring training. (The Boss was fined $50,000.) Four college umpires worked the game before 20,471 fans. The Yankees won 4-1, behind a third-inning homer by Willie Randolph off starter and loser Rick Ownbey. Yankees farmhand Ben Callahan got the win.