Archive for the ‘Hitters’ Category

The Reds thought they beat the Cardinals on a home run that didn’t count. The Cardinals thought they won on a home run that did count. The unsatisfying result was that neither team won. A tie score was declared and a makeup game was scheduled.

The adventure began on a Saturday afternoon, May 14, 1938, when the Reds and Cardinals played at Sportsman’s Park in St. Louis.

In the sixth inning, the Reds led, 3-1, and had runners on first (Billy Myers) and third (Lonny Frey), two outs, when Dusty Cooke hit a deep drive to right-center against Cardinals rookie starter Max Macon.

“The ball soared on and on,” The Sporting News reported, and still was rising as it carried over the outfield wall and the bleacher seats. It struck an iron girder just below the roof “at a point where the pavilion is not protected by screen,” the St. Louis Post-Dispatch observed, and caromed back into the playing field.

Lee Ballanfant, the umpire with the closest view, ruled the ball was in play. Center fielder Enos Slaughter retrieved it and threw to third baseman Joe Stripp. Cooke, sliding, arrived just ahead of the ball.

Cooke was credited with a two-run triple, extending the Reds’ lead to 5-1, but the Reds argued that he hit a three-run home run, making it a 6-1 score.

According to the Associated Press, Sportsman’s Park had no ground rule for a ball striking a beam underneath the pavilion roof and falling back into the playing field.

Ballanfant, backed by the other two umpires, Bill Klem and Ziggy Sears, determined it was a judgment call.

Reds manager Bill McKechnie disagreed and filed a protest, saying the umpires deprived Cooke of a home run. The Reds contended it was a home run because the ball cleared the outfield wall and would have landed on the pavilion roof or in the seats if it hadn’t struck the girder.

Diamond drama

Trailing 5-1, the Cardinals rallied for four runs in the bottom of the ninth. If Cooke had been allowed a home run instead of a triple, the Reds would have held on for a 6-5 victory. Instead, the score was 5-5 and the game went to an extra inning.

In the 10th, Frank McCormick’s two-out single scored Lonny Frey from second, giving the Reds a 6-5 lead.

Joe Stripp led off the bottom of the inning with a single against Ray Benge. Gene Schott relieved and fell behind in the count, 3-and-1, to Enos Slaughter.

Given the sign to swing away, Slaughter crushed a home run above the pavilion roof in right, turning “an impending defeat into a glorious Cardinals victory,” the Post-Dispatch reported. Cardinals rushed onto the field and “mauled and hauled Slaughter from the plate to the dugout” in celebration of the 7-6 comeback triumph. Boxscore

According to the Sporting News, McKechnie called National League president Ford Frick at his New York office and was assured a hearing would be held.

“Even officials of the St. Louis team anticipate Frick will allow the protest,” The Cincinnati Post reported.

Play it again

Frick decided to visit Sportsman’s Park and see for himself the spot where Cooke’s drive struck the beam near the pavilion roof.

On June 3, two days after he made his inspection, Frick ruled Cooke’s hit was a home run, but instead of awarding the Reds a 6-5 victory, Frick declared the outcome a 7-7 tie. He ruled that all statistics from the game counted in the record book, but the outcome did not. He ordered the game replayed in its entirety.

The Reds had hoped Frick either would award them a win, or rule for play to resume in the sixth, with the Reds batting, two outs, and a 6-1 lead.

“If that was a home run, the Reds won the game, and it must be difficult for manager McKechnie to understand Frick’s ruling to replay,” J. Roy Stockton wrote in the Post-Dispatch.

McKechnie, a former Cardinals manager who led them to the 1928 National League pennant, told The Cincinnati Post, “Frick’s decision that we must replay the entire game is unjust.”

“Frick showed a distinct lack of courage,” McKechnie said to the Cincinnati Enquirer.

Frick told the Associated Press that awarding the Reds a win, or resuming the game in the sixth inning, would penalize the Cardinals “for an error which was in no part its own and concerning which they had no responsibility.”

The Cardinals, though, were unhappy, too. They thought Frick should have upheld the decision of the umpires and validated the 7-6 victory.

Just peachy

The makeup was scheduled as the second game of a Saturday doubleheader on Aug. 20 at Sportsman’s Park.

The Cardinals scored four in the first, knocking out Reds starter Peaches Davis.

In the seventh, with the Cardinals ahead, 5-1, Johnny Mize hit a ball that struck near the edge of the pavilion roof atop the screened section in right. Mize stopped at second base, but umpire Dolly Stark incorrectly ruled it a home run. The Reds argued, and plate umpire George Barr overruled Stark, declaring the hit a double.

The Reds scored three in the eighth, but the Cardinals held on for a 5-4 victory. Boxscore

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Julian Javier hit only four home runs for the 1968 Cardinals, but two of those resulted in 1-0 victories.

Three times in his career, Javier hit a home run in a 1-0 Cardinals victory. The only other player to hit a home run in three 1-0 Cardinals triumphs is Ken Boyer, according to researcher Tom Orf.

Just as noteworthy is the list of Cardinals who never hit a home run in a 1-0 win. Stan Musial never did it, according to Orf. Neither did Lou Brock, Jim Edmonds, Mark McGwire, Johnny Mize, Ted Simmons or Enos Slaughter as Cardinals.

Boyer blasts

Boyer ranks third in most career home runs (255) for the Cardinals.

The first time he hit a home run in a 1-0 Cardinals victory was Sept. 7, 1956, against the Reds’ Joe Nuxhall at St. Louis.

Swinging at a Nuxhall curve with one out in the seventh, Boyer hit “a tremendous shot that cut through a strong headwind to land well up in the left field bleachers” at the original Busch Stadium, the Cincinnati Enquirer reported.

The home run was Boyer’s first since July 26 and helped snap Nuxhall’s six-game winning streak. Boyer hit .330 with five home runs versus Nuxhall in his career. Boxscore

Two years later, on July 19, 1958, the Reds again were the opponent when Boyer hit a home run in a 1-0 Cardinals win at Cincinnati.

Leading off the 10th, Boyer hit an Alex Kellner curve over the Crosley Field wall in left for his fifth home run against the Reds that season, helping end a seven-game Cardinals losing skid. Boxscore

The final time Boyer hit a home run in a 1-0 Cardinals win was June 25, 1960, at Philadelphia. Leading off the ninth, he lined the first pitch from Jim Owens just over a railing into the first row of seats in left at Connie Mack Stadium.

“It was a good pitch, high and inside,” Boyer told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “I hit it good.”

Curt Simmons, facing the Phillies for the first time since they released him in May, earned his first Cardinals winBoxscore

Good timing

While Julian Javier was visiting children at a Pittsburgh hospital, a 6-year-old boy asked him to hit a home run that night against the Pirates. Javier delivered, connecting against Steve Blass for a 1-0 Cardinals victory at Forbes Field on May 15, 1968. Boxscore

Four months later, as the Cardinals were closing in on clinching a second consecutive National League pennant, Javier hit another improbable home run to give the Cardinals a 1-0 victory.

On Sept. 2, 1968, at Cincinnati, Javier led off the 10th against the Reds’ Ted Abernathy, who had a 2.07 ERA and hadn’t allowed a home run since July. Abernathy threw low strikes with an underhanded submarine delivery. Javier, who batted .174 versus Abernathy, called him Abernasty, the Post-Dispatch reported, “because he doesn’t give you many good pitches to hit.”

To Javier’s surprise, he got a hanging curve from Abernathy and drove the pitch into the left field screen at Crosley Field for a home run.

“I do not see many high pitches from Abernathy, so I am glad I got a good cut at the one he gave me,” Javier said to the Dayton Journal Herald.

The home run gave the Cardinals a 1-0 victory and earned the 20th win of the season for Bob Gibson, who was on his way to winning the National League Most Valuable Player and Cy Young awards. The shutout was the 12th of Gibson’s 13 that season. Boxscore

Javier, who had 76 regular-season home runs for the Cardinals, got the last of his 1-0 game-winners on Aug. 26, 1969, against the Astros at St. Louis. His home run beat Larry Dierker, who allowed two hits in seven innings. Boxscore

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Facing Ernie Broglio for the first time since they were traded for one another, Lou Brock ignited a rally with a bunt.

On July 28, 1964, Broglio started for the Cubs against the Cardinals at Wrigley Field in Chicago. It was the first time the Cardinals and Cubs played one another since the June 15 deal of Brock and pitchers Jack Spring and Paul Toth to the Cardinals for Broglio, pitcher Bobby Shantz and outfielder Doug Clemens.

Broglio, who was 3-5 with a 3.50 ERA for the 1964 Cardinals, entered the series with a 1-4 record and 5.70 ERA for the Cubs. Pitching with an aching right elbow, he lost his first four decisions with the Cubs before beating the Mets with a 10-hit complete game.

Brock, who batted .251 for the 1964 Cubs, entered the series with a .338 batting average and 11 stolen bases for the Cardinals. Brock’s speed, base running and hitting drew comparison’s with former Cardinals standout Enos Slaughter.

“He’s about as close to Slaughter as you can get,” Cardinals manager Johnny Keane told the Associated Press, “and he’s faster. His running has made a great difference to this ballclub.”

Brock said, “Stealing bases is like hitting. It’s timing and rhythm. I don’t study pitchers much. When you have the timing and rhythm, a pitcher can do anything and you can still steal the base.”

Lighting a spark

The Tuesday afternoon game was played before 16,052 spectators on a day when the Chicago temperature exceeded 90 degrees.

Brock grounded out and struck out in his first two plate appearances against Broglio.

In the sixth, with the Cubs ahead, 4-1, Brock gave the Cardinals a chance to climb back. With one out and none one, he pushed a bunt toward the mound. Broglio fielded the ball, but Brock streaked to first with a single. Ken Boyer drove him in with a triple, and Bill White followed with a home run, tying the score at 4-4.

Though the Cubs regained the lead in the bottom of the sixth against an ineffective Bob Gibson, Broglio couldn’t protect it and the Cardinals knocked him out with two runs in the seventh. Broglio and Gibson each gave up six runs.

The game was delayed for five minutes before the start of the ninth because of excessive heat and humidity. Plate umpire Doug Harvey was overcome by exhaustion and was replaced by Lee Weyer.

The Cardinals prevailed, 12-7, in 10 innings, with another of their former pitchers, Larry Jackson, taking the loss. Boxscore

Chicago blues

Brock faced Broglio twice more in 1964, going 0-for-2 with a walk on Sept. 6 and 2-for-4 (two singles) on Sept. 11.

In the Sept. 6 game, Broglio pitched 6.1 innings and allowed one earned run, but he told The Sporting News, “I felt as if I had pulled everything inside the elbow.” Boxscore

The last match between them was on June 27, 1965, when Brock drove in a run with a groundout. Boxscore

As a Cardinal, Brock was 3-for-10 versus Broglio. As a Cub, he was 7-for-31, with two home runs. His home run on July 19, 1962, ended a streak of 11.1 scoreless innings for Broglio. Boxscore

Overall, Brock hit .244 versus Broglio with five RBI.

Brock excelled against the Cubs throughout his Cardinals career. His .334 batting mark versus the Cubs was his best against any opponent. Brock also had career highs in hits (342) and doubles (64) against the Cubs.

In four starts against the Cardinals, Broglio was 0-2 with a 5.32 ERA. He underwent right elbow surgery after the 1964 season for removal of four bone fragments, and told The Sporting News he had been taking cortisone shots once every two weeks for two years.

Broglio pitched two more years (1965-66) for the Cubs and was 30 when he played his last game in the majors.

Brock and Broglio developed a friendship after their playing careers. Broglio displayed a photo from Brock, who inscribed it to “a hell of a player.”

“Ernie is top of the charts,” Brock told ESPN. “He is a good man, a man with integrity. We have a good relationship.”

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What happened to Bob Gibson on a frigid night at Connie Mack Stadium was weird even by Philadelphia standards. Almost as weird as Santa Claus being booed and pelted with snowballs, or a team mascot getting attacked by an opposing manager.

Sixty years ago, on April 16, 1962, Gibson gave away a six-run Cardinals lead in the first and didn’t last the inning against the Phillies.

For a pitcher who usually excelled at protecting leads and dominated the Phillies, the failure by Gibson defied the odds and illustrated just how difficult and unpredictable the game could be, even for those at the top of the profession. 

Frozen tundra

After winning their first three games of the 1962 season, the Cardinals were in Philadelphia to play the Phillies on a Monday night. According to the St. Louis Globe-Democrat, the temperature at game time was “a bone-chilling cold” 32 degrees.

“The ball was slick and cold, just like a piece of ice,” Cardinals manager Johnny Keane told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

The starting pitchers were Gibson, 26, and Cal McLish, 36, whose full name was Calvin Coolidge Julius Caesar Tuskahoma McLish.

Both were making their first appearances of the season. Against the Phillies in 1961, Gibson was 3-0 with an 0.67 ERA, allowing two earned runs in 27 innings. An Oklahoma native who followed the Cardinals as a youth, McLish was making his Phillies debut after being acquired from the White Sox a month earlier. (In 1982, McLish was the pitching coach for the Brewers, who opposed the Cardinals in the World Series.)

An audience of 3,895 settled in to see the show.

Out of control

Struggling to get pitches over the plate, McLish “was in the showers before you could pronounce his whole name,” Neal Russo of the Post-Dispatch observed.

McLish walked the first two batters, Don Landrum and Julian Javier. Bill White doubled, scoring Landrum and moving Javier to third. After Stan Musial was walked intentionally, loading the bases, Ken Boyer walked unintentionally, scoring Javier.

Gene Oliver made the first out, popping up to third. Doug Clemens, who grew up in Leesport, about 70 miles northwest of Philadelphia, cleared the bases with a double, making the score 5-0.

Phillies manager Gene Mauch replaced McLish with Dallas Green. “It wasn’t that bad pitching out there,” McLish said to the Post-Dispatch, “but I kept fighting myself and got in a rut.”

Green drilled Julio Gotay with a fastball. “It was a knockdown pitch,” Keane told the Post-Dispatch.

The next batter, Gibson, wasn’t intimidated. He rapped a grounder into the hole on the left side for an infield single, and, when shortstop Ruben Amaro made a wild throw after gloving the ball, Clemens scored, giving the Cardinals a 6-0 lead.

Not worth the wait

“Thirty minutes elapsed before Dallas Green got the side out, and, by that time, Gibson was as stiff as a fungo bat,” Stan Hochman noted in the Philadelphia Daily News.

Keane told the Post-Dispatch, “Gibson was cooled off by the time he got to the mound. Maybe we missed the boat by not sending him to the bullpen while we were at bat so long.”

Like McLish did in the top half of the inning, Gibson walked the first two batters (Tony Taylor and Johnny Callison), but Tony Gonzalez struck out and Wes Covington flied out to center.

Then the next six Phillies batters reached base.

Billy Klaus singled, scoring Taylor. Frank Torre walked, loading the bases, and Clay Dalrymple followed with a two-run single, getting the Phillies within three at 6-3.

Amaro walked, reloading the bases, and Gibson was relieved by Ernie Broglio.

“I have no excuses,” Gibson said to the Post-Dispatch. “I was just wild. My ball was moving real good _ in fact, it was moving a little too much. I had good stuff.”

Keane said, “Gibson, with his fastball, usually knocks the bats out of their hands on a cold night like this one.”

Roy Sievers batted for Dallas Green and drew a walk from Broglio, scoring Torre from third. Tony Taylor followed with a two-run single, tying the score at 6-6.

With Broglio shutting out the Phillies over the last eight innings, the Cardinals rallied for four runs against Don Ferrarese and two versus Jack Baldschun, winning 12-6. Boxscore

(Two weeks later, Ferrarese was traded to the Cardinals for Bobby Locke.)

Back on track

In his book “Stranger to the Game,” Gibson recalled, “After that, our pitching coach, Howie Pollet, made me throw more pitches and simulate game conditions in the bullpen, which seemed to help.”

Two weeks later, Gibson pitched a two-hitter to beat the Houston Colt .45s. Boxscore

Gibson was 15-13, including 3-1 versus the Phillies, in 1962 before he broke his right leg during batting practice before a September game against the Dodgers.

For his career, Gibson was 30-12 with a 2.59 ERA versus the Phillies. He had more career wins against the Phillies than he did versus any other club.

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On his 37th birthday, Lou Brock hit an inside-the-park home run.

Brock hit nine home runs inside the park _ three with the Cubs and six with the Cardinals. He was 22 when he hit the first and 38 when he hit the ninth.

Brock had the power to hit balls over the walls at any big-league ballpark and also the speed to circle the bases on balls hit inside the park.

Out of the park

The first time Brock hit a big-league home run was on April 13, 1962, for the Cubs in their home opener against the Cardinals at Wrigley Field in Chicago. Leading off the bottom of the first inning against rookie Ray Washburn, Brock hit a pitch over the bleachers in right-center and onto Sheffield Avenue. The ball carried at least 450 feet, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

“Two years ago, I batted against Washburn in the NAIA (National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics) tournament and all I got were three strikeouts and a little bunt single,” Brock told the Post-Dispatch. “When I told the boys at Southern U. last winter that I would have to face Washburn in the majors, they asked me if I was going to jump behind the water cooler and hide when he pitched.” Boxscore

(Brock had six hits in 14 career at-bats in the big leagues versus Washburn _ a .429 batting mark. Brock and Washburn were Cardinals teammates from 1964-69, playing on three National League pennant winners and two World Series championship teams.)

Friendly Forbes Field

Four days after his homer against Washburn, Brock hit his second home run, and his first inside the park, against the Pirates’ Tom Sturdivant at Wrigley Field. Boxscore

Brock “sped around the bases while Donn Clendenon was chasing the ball in the left field corner,” the Chicago Tribune reported.

Sturdivant again was the pitcher when Brock hit his next inside-the-park homer on April 23, 1963, at Pittsburgh’s Forbes Field. Boxscore

Brock’s drive to center struck the wire screen of a light tower (the screen, or cage, was in play) and bounded back past center fielder Bill Virdon. Brock circled the bases as Willie Stargell retrieved the ball.

A right-hander who played 10 years in the majors and pitched in six World Series games for the Yankees, Sturdivant was no match for Brock. In seven career plate appearances versus Sturdivant, Brock had four hits and two walks _ an on-base percentage of .857.

Three months later, on July 21, 1963, Brock hit his second inside-the-park homer of the season, and the third of his career, against the Pirates’ Don Cardwell at Forbes Field. The drive hit the center field wall. Boxscore

Igniting the offense

In June 1964, Brock was traded to the Cardinals and transformed the lineup with his hitting, speed and intimidating base running.

Brock’s first Cardinals home run was launched onto the pavilion roof in right at the original Busch Stadium in St. Louis against the Giants’ Jack Sanford on June 21, 1964.

Brock’s second Cardinals home run was inside the park _ again at Forbes Field _ versus the Pirates’ Steve Blass in the first game of a July 13 doubleheader.

Batting second in the order, between Curt Flood and Dick Groat, Brock hit a shot that landed in deep right-center, bounced against an iron gate, and caromed away from right fielder Roberto Clemente. Brock scored without a slide ahead of the relay throw from Bill Mazeroski. Boxscore

Brock’s performance in the doubleheader illustrated his multiple skills. In the second game, he powered a home run into the upper deck in right. He totaled seven hits, a walk, two RBI and five runs scored in the doubleheader. Boxscore

For his career, Brock hit .299 with six home runs in 79 games at Forbes Field, which was the Pirates’ home until July 1970.

(Brock wasn’t alone in finding the large outfield at Forbes Field to be good for hitting homers inside the park. The Cardinals’ Terry Moore hit two in one game there in 1939.)

Hit and run

From 1965 to 1975, Brock hit two homers inside the park _ on May 22, 1965, versus the Mets’ Jack Fisher at the original Busch Stadium, and on May 3, 1970, against the Astros’ Tom Griffin at Busch Memorial Stadium.

In 1976, Brock hit two inside-the-park homers.

The first of those came on June 18, his 37th birthday, and it was the second homer hit inside the park by a Cardinals batter that night at Busch Memorial Stadium.

In the fourth inning, the Cardinals’ Hector Cruz hit a pitch from the Padres’ Randy Jones deep to left-center. As Willie Davis leaped for it, he banged into the wall and the ball careened back toward the infield. Cruz circled the bases as Davis chased the ball, and scored just ahead of the relay throw from Enzo Hernandez.

Brock batted in the next inning against Jones and hit a drive to right-center. The ball got past Dave Winfield, hit a seam in the artificial surface, bounced over Davis, who was backing up the play, and rolled to the wall. Brock raced around the bases before Tito Fuentes could make a relay throw to the plate. Boxscore

“All in a day’s work _ a hard day’s work,” Brock said to the Post-Dispatch.

Asked about achieving the feat at 37, Brock replied to the Associated Press, “Age don’t mean nothing. It’s only when you can’t do the job any more that it counts.”

Three months later, on Sept. 8, 1976, Brock hit another homer inside the park at St. Louis. The pitcher was the Expos’ Chuck Taylor, Brock’s former Cardinals teammate.

Brock’s final inside-the-park homer was hit on Sept. 21, 1977, against the Expos’ Hal Dues at Montreal. Boxscore

The career leader in inside-the-park home runs is Jesse Burkett, who played in the majors from 1890 to 1905. He hit 55 inside-the-park homers, including 19 with the Cardinals and eight with the Browns.

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Tommy Davis twice hit home runs to beat Bob Gibson in 1-0 shutouts pitched by Sandy Koufax.

A two-time National League batting champion who amassed 2,121 career hits, Davis batted .167 against Gibson, but made a lasting impression on the Cardinals’ ace with those game-winning home runs.

In his book “Stranger to the Game,” Gibson said, “The man on the Dodgers who could beat you _ whom you couldn’t let beat you _ was Tommy Davis.”

Davis died April, 3, 2022, two weeks after he turned 83.

Local guy

Born and raised in Brooklyn, Davis excelled in multiple sports at Boys High School. His basketball teammate was Lenny Wilkens, who launched a Hall of Fame playing career with the St. Louis Hawks.

A right-handed hitter, Davis was a prized baseball prospect. The Phillies and Yankees wanted him, but he chose the Dodgers in 1956 after Jackie Robinson phoned him and made a pitch, according to the Society for American Baseball Research.

The Dodgers departed Brooklyn for Los Angeles after the 1957 season, and Davis made his big-league debut two years later in a game at St. Louis against the Cardinals. Boxscore

In 1960, the Cardinals also were the opponent when Davis got his first big-league hit (against Ron Kline) and his first big-league home run (against Bob Duliba).

Civil rights

in 1961, the Dodgers’ spring training site, Holman Stadium in Vero Beach, Fla., still had segregated seating and segregated bathrooms. According to author Jane Leavy in the book “Sandy Koufax: A Lefty’s Legacy,” Davis led a contingent of Dodgers players to see Peter O’Malley, who was in charge of the facility, and said to him, “We got to change this.”

O’Malley agreed, but at the ballpark the next day the black fans, unconvinced they could sit where they wanted, were in what had been the segregated section near the right field corner. According to Leavy, Davis and his teammates “took them by the hand and led them out of the stands” and showed them it was all right to sit anywhere. “Directing traffic until they got used to it,” Davis said.

Smart hitter

A couple of months later, on May 25, 1961, 6,878 spectators attended a Thursday night matchup between Koufax and Gibson at St. Louis.

Davis, starting at third base and batting fifth, struck out his first two times at the plate. In “Stranger to the Game,” Gibson said, “I had been striking him out with sliders low and away, and I seemed to have the edge on him.”

Gibson was on a roll, having retired seven consecutive batters, when Davis led off in the seventh inning.

“I had noticed that, as I continued to pitch him outside, Davis was gradually sneaking up toward the plate,” Gibson said. “He was practically on top of the plate, and so, out of duty, I buzzed him inside with a fastball.

“I don’t know if he was setting me up, but he must have been looking for the fastball on his ribs, because he backed off a step, turned on that thing, and crushed it over the left field fence.”

In the book “Sixty Feet, Six Inches,” Gibson said, “I think he was just waiting for me to bring one inside, and I was still young and dumb enough to oblige him.”

Cardinals catcher Hal Smith told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, “The pitch Davis hit wasn’t even a strike.”

The home run into the bleacher seats in left-center broke a streak of 20 consecutive scoreless innings for Gibson and was all Koufax needed. He pitched a three-hit shutout for a 1-0 victory. It was the first time Koufax pitched a complete game against the Cardinals. Boxscore

Dodgers pitching coach Joe Becker told the Post-Dispatch, “Finally, after six years of trying, he’s putting all of his baseball abilities together.”

Brooklyn brotherhood

A year later, on June 18, 1962, Gibson and Koufax engaged in another duel before 33,477 attendees on a Monday night at Dodger Stadium.

Through eight innings, the Dodgers’ only hits were two singles by ex-Cardinal Wally Moon. Koufax limited the Cardinals to five singles.

The game was scoreless when Davis batted in the bottom of the ninth with one out and none on.

“Smart guy that I am, I remembered that Davis had beaten me the year before when I stopped pitching him outside and came in with a fastball,” Gibson said in “Stranger to the Game.”

“I thought, ‘Now, he remembers that I remember that pitch inside, and so he’s thinking that there’s no way I’m coming inside again in this situation. Just to cross him up, I’m going to do it again.’

“So, I threw the fastball inside again, and goddamn if he didn’t hit it out again to beat me. I learned right then that the dumbest thing you can do as a pitcher is try to be too smart.”

With the count 1-and-0, Davis told the Post-Dispatch, he was looking for a fastball. “Gibson had been getting me out on breaking stuff,” Davis said. “He was throwing the fastball when he got behind.”

Davis’ walkoff home run deep into the bullpen in left gave Koufax and the Dodgers another 1-0 victory. It was the first time Koufax pitched a complete game without allowing a walk. Boxscore

“There are instances, as Tommy Davis taught me twice over, when a pitcher can think too much,” Gibson said in “Stranger to the Game.” “That was a hard lesson for me.”

In “Sixty Feet, Six Inches,” Gibson said, “It was a textbook case of overthinking. Dumb, dumb, dumb. Worse yet, I went against my better judgment. When I started winning big was when I stopped doing stuff like that.”

After the game, according to Jane Leavy, Davis and his wife went to a Los Angeles nightspot and saw Gibson there.

“I walked over to him and he said, ‘Hi, how you doing, Tom?’ ” Davis told Leavy. “My wife says, ‘Oh, is this the guy you hit the home run off?’ I’m thinking, ‘I’m dead. I’m dead. I’m dead.’ “

Hit man

In September 1963, the Dodgers were a game ahead of the second-place Cardinals entering a series at St. Louis. After the Dodgers won the first two games, Gibson started the finale.

With the Cardinals ahead, 5-1, Davis faced Gibson with the bases loaded in the eighth inning and delivered a two-run single, knocking Gibson from the game. The Dodgers rallied and prevailed in 13 innings, sweeping the series on their way to winning the National League pennant. Boxscore

Davis had an amazing season in 1962, leading the National League in batting (.346), hits (230) and RBI (153). Those were the most hits by a National League player since Stan Musial had 230 for the 1948 Cardinals, and the most RBI by a National League player since Joe Medwick had 154 for the 1937 Cardinals.

Davis repeated as National League batting champion in 1963, hitting .326.

In May 1965, Davis broke his right ankle and he wasn’t the same ballplayer after that. Coveted as a designated hitter in the American League in the 1970s, he played 18 seasons in the majors and hit .294.

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