Archive for the ‘Opponents’ Category

After losing 10 of 11 decisions against the Dodgers, Al Jackson persevered and outdueled Sandy Koufax.

Jackson died Aug. 19, 2019, at 83. A left-handed pitcher who relied on a sinker for groundball outs, Jackson made his major-league debut in 1959 with the Pirates, spent most of his career with the Mets and had two strong seasons with the Cardinals.

During his first stint with the Mets from 1962-65, Jackson was 1-9 versus the Dodgers. He lost eight consecutive decisions against them before spinning a three-hitter and outdueling Claude Osteen in a 1-0 Mets victory on June 21, 1965, at Dodger Stadium. Boxscore

Two months later, on Aug. 10, 1965, Koufax got his 20th win of the season, striking out 14 Mets and beating Jackson in a 4-3 Dodgers victory at Los Angeles. Boxscore

The Mets traded Jackson and third baseman Charlie Smith to the Cardinals for third baseman Ken Boyer after the 1965 season.

Tough luck

After opening the 1966 season as a reliever, Jackson was moved into the Cardinals’ starting rotation in May, replacing Ray Sadecki, who got traded to the Giants.

The first time Jackson faced the Dodgers as a Cardinal was June 1, 1966, at St. Louis. Although he pitched well, he again took the loss. Jackson held the Dodgers to three hits in seven innings, but Koufax pitched a shutout in a 1-0 Dodgers victory.

Jackson “deserved a better fate, but he was pitted against a master,” the Los Angeles Times observed.

The Dodgers scored an unearned run in the seventh. With one out and none on, Jackson “got a slider too high and too close” to Willie Davis, who hit the pitch into the right-field corner for a triple, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported. When right fielder Bobby Tolan’s throw eluded relay man Julian Javier, Davis raced to the plate on the error.

“I’m sure Jackson would like to have that pitch back,” Davis said. Boxscore

The loss dropped Jackson’s career record versus the Dodgers to 1-10.

Beating the best

One month later, on July 1, 1966, at Dodger Stadium, Jackson and Koufax again were matched against one another.

Koufax had a five-game winning streak versus the Cardinals. His season record was 14-2. Jackson had been given an extra day of rest since making his last start five days earlier against the Astros.

The two left-handers held their opponents scoreless through the first six innings. With one out in the seventh, Orlando Cepeda singled and Mike Shannon slugged a home run, giving the Cardinals a 2-0 lead.

Jackson did the rest, pitching a six-hit shutout. Only one Dodgers baserunner, Wes Parker in the first inning, reached second base. Jackson got the Dodgers to ground into three double plays and walked none.

“When I have a good day, I work my infielders pretty hard,” Jackson said.

The game was completed in 1 hour, 53 minutes.

Jackson said “my breaking ball wasn’t working so good” and his fastball initially was “too straight.” A word of advice from pitching coach Joe Becker helped.

Becker “told me to become a pitcher again, instead of a thrower, and I started keeping the ball down,” Jackson said.

In the ultimate compliment, Koufax said, “I had the best stuff I’ve had all year, but Al just pitched better.” Boxscore

Action Jackson

Jackson’s gem changed his luck against the Dodgers. Six of his last eight career decisions versus the Dodgers were wins. Jackson was 2-2 with an 0.92 ERA versus the Dodgers for the 1966 Cardinals and 3-0 against them for the 1967 Cardinals.

Jackson, who was traded back to the Mets after the Cardinals won the 1967 World Series title, finished with a career mark of 7-12 and a 3.41 ERA versus the Dodgers. He was 5-2 against them as a Cardinal; 2-10 as a Met.

Here is the breakdown of Jackson’s Dodgers decisions: 3-0 vs. Don Sutton, 1-0 vs. Claude Osteen, 1-0 vs. Jim Brewer, 1-2 vs. Don Drysdale, 1-5 vs. Koufax, 0-2 vs. Joe Moeller, 0-2 vs. Pete Richert and 0-1 vs. Bill Singer.

Jackson had an overall major-league record of 67-99 with a 3.98 ERA. In two seasons with St. Louis, he was 22-19 with a 2.97 ERA.

In 1966, when he was 13-15 with a 2.51 ERA, Jackson was second on the Cardinals in wins, games started (30), complete games (11) and innings pitched (232.2). He was 12-14 with a 2.61 ERA as a starter; 1-1 with an 0.73 ERA in six relief appearances.

Jackson was 9-4 with a 3.95 ERA in 39 appearances for the 1967 Cardinals. He was 5-3 with a 4.88 ERA in 11 starts; 4-1 with a 2.81 ERA as a reliever.

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Steve Huntz had impressive timing for a player with unimpressive numbers.

Fifty years ago, on Aug. 28, 1969, Huntz hit his first major-league home run, giving the Cardinals a 2-1 walkoff victory over the Astros at St. Louis.

Huntz was an unlikely candidate for such a feat. The rookie infielder entered the game with a season batting average of .186.

Prospect with pop

Huntz began his professional career when he signed with the Orioles as an amateur free agent after three successful varsity seasons at St. Ignatius High School in Cleveland.

In 1964, his first professional season, Huntz had 74 RBI for the Class A Midwest League Fox Cities Foxes. Of his 98 hits, 34 were for extra bases.

Cardinals scouts Jim Belz and Joe Mathes liked what they saw from Huntz. Based on their recommendations, the Cardinals paid $8,000 for the right to select Huntz in the November 1964 minor-league draft.

Huntz broke his leg in 1965 and sat out the season. He came back in 1966, played for Class AA Arkansas and committed 44 errors at shortstop.

After spending the 1967 season with Class AAA Tulsa, Huntz was called up to the big leagues when rosters expanded in September and appeared in three games for the Cardinals.

Huntz, a switch-hitter, was considered a prime candidate to earn a spot with the 1968 Cardinals as a utility player, but he batted .167 in spring training and “displayed limited range at the most critical position as backup man to Dal Maxvill at shortstop,” The Sporting News reported.

The Cardinals kept veteran Dick Schofield as their reserve shortstop and sent Huntz to Tulsa for the 1968 season.

Playing for manager Warren Spahn, Huntz hit .284 with 35 doubles and 74 RBI, helping Tulsa win the 1968 Pacific Coast League championship. Though Huntz committed 41 errors at shortstop, the Cardinals were intrigued by his power.

“He’s an infielder with sting at the plate and there aren’t many prospects like that around,” said Cardinals assistant farm director Fred McAlister.

As for fielding, McAlister said, “Huntz does a good job of moving to his right, bracing himself and gunning the ball. He can’t move to his left the way Dal Maxvill can, but how many men can a shortstop throw out when he fields the ball deep to his left? It’s making the routine plays that’s most important with a shortstop.”

Ups and downs

After the 1968 season, Schofield was traded to the Red Sox for pitcher Gary Waslewski, opening a path for Huntz to be a reserve infielder for the 1969 Cardinals. A headline in The Sporting News declared, “Cards Tap Huntz As New Super Sub.”

Huntz, 23, spent the entire 1969 season with the Cardinals, but struggled from the start. A breakthrough came on July 1, 1969, in a doubleheader against the Mets at St. Louis. Huntz, who had one RBI for the season, started at second base in the opener and drove in a run. Boxscore In the second game, he started at shortstop and drove in three runs with a bases-loaded double against Don Cardwell. Boxscore

Nearly two months later, Huntz got his first big-league home run. He entered the game against the Astros at Busch Stadium in the ninth inning as a replacement for Maxvill, who was lifted in the bottom half of the eighth for pinch-hitter Vic Davalillo.

The Astros led, 1-0, until the Cardinals tied the score in the bottom of the ninth against starter Don Wilson. Vada Pinson led off with a single. Joe Torre followed with a potential double-play grounder, but the ball took a bad hop, caromed off shortstop Denis Menke’s shoulder and went into center field for a single, advancing Pinson to third. A Dave Ricketts sacrifice fly scored Pinson.

Huntz led off the bottom of the 10th and hit a 2-and-1 pitch from Wilson over the right-field wall for the walkoff home run. Boxscore

Cardinals manager Red Schoendienst told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, “When Steve went up to hit in the 10th, I said, ‘Hit one out of here so we can get going,’ and damned if he didn’t.”

Huntz had one more Cardinals highlight. On Sept. 26, Huntz became the only 1969 Cardinals batter to hit two home runs in a game. Facing the Expos at Jarry Park in Montreal, Huntz hit a two-run home run against Don Shaw and a solo home run versus ex-Cardinal Larry Jaster. Boxscore

“I haven’t exactly been mashing the ball, you know,” Huntz said. “I’ve tried to do the job, but I haven’t performed as well as I thought I would.”

Huntz completed the 1969 Cardinals season with a .194 batting average in 71 games. He had more strikeouts (34) than hits (27) and committed nine errors in 52 games at shortstop.

Moving on

At spring training in 1970, Huntz hit .345, but the Cardinals deemed him overweight and opted to send him to Tulsa. After Huntz told teammates he wouldn’t report to the minors, the Cardinals traded him to the Padres for pitcher Billy McCool on April 2, 1970.

The Padres assigned Huntz to their Class AAA farm club at Salt Lake City. He threatened to quit, but reconsidered after a talk with Padres manager Preston Gomez. “I told him to get in shape and he could be up with us before too long,” Gomez said.

Huntz hit .308 in seven games for Salt Lake City and got called up to the Padres.

On April 28, 1970, in his first Padres at-bat, Huntz hit a home run against the Expos at San Diego. It came against Waslewski, his former Cardinals teammate. Boxscore

Huntz hit 11 home runs for the 1970 Padres. Three of those homers came against future Hall of Famers _ Tom Seaver, Gaylord Perry and Phil Niekro.

Huntz also played for the White Sox in 1971 and again for the Padres in 1975.

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Taking advantage of clumsy defensive work by the Pirates, Terry Moore achieved an unusual feat for the Cardinals.

Eighty years ago, on Aug. 16, 1939, Moore hit two inside-the-park home runs in one game, driving in all four runs in a 4-3 Cardinals victory over the Pirates at Forbes Field in Pittsburgh.

Moore was the first player to hit two inside-the-park home runs in one game at Forbes Field, according to the Pittsburgh Press.

First homer

In the opener of the Wednesday afternoon doubleheader at Pittsburgh, Bob Klinger, a second-year right-hander, held the Cardinals scoreless for six innings and the Pirates led, 2-0.

In the seventh, Pepper Martin led off for the Cardinals and reached base when his grounder was fumbled by shortstop Arky Vaughan for an error.

Moore followed with a drive to the gap in left-center. Running hard and trying for a triple, Moore took advantage of what the St. Louis Globe-Democrat described as “a disconnected relay throw” by the Pirates and motored safely to the plate behind Martin with a two-run, inside-the-park home run, tying the score at 2-2.

The Pirates regained the lead, 3-2, in the bottom of the seventh with an unearned run against Cardinals starter Bob Weiland.

Second homer

In the top of the ninth, after Martin singled with one out, Moore drilled a pitch from Klinger to deep left. The ball struck the scoreboard, about halfway up.

Left fielder Johnny Rizzo, a former Cardinals prospect best known for his hitting, “went one way and the ball caromed another,” according to the St. Louis Star-Times.

As Rizzo looked around left-center for the baseball, it rolled toward the left-field foul line, the Globe-Democrat reported.

When he finally spotted the ball, Rizzo “frantically chased” it, the Pittsburgh Press reported. Moore tore around the bases and scored behind Martin with his second two-run, inside-the-park home run of the game, giving the Cardinals a 4-3 lead.

More drama

The Pirates threatened against reliever Bob Bowman in the bottom of the ninth. Pep Young led off with a double and advanced to third on Ray Mueller’s sacrifice bunt. Left-hander Clyde Shoun relieved Bowman and struck out Paul Waner, who was batting for Klinger.

Lloyd Waner, who had entered the game in the top half of the ninth as a defensive replacement in center for rookie Fern Bell, was due up next. Lloyd Waner, like his brother Paul, was destined for induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame and was batting .285 for the season. However, he batted left-handed, and Pirates manager Pie Traynor apparently wanted a right-handed batter to face Shoun with two outs and the potential tying run at third.

Traynor sent Jim Tobin, a pitcher, to bat for Lloyd Waner. Tobin, who was batting .265 for the season, grounded out to first, ending the game. Boxscore

Moore finished the 1939 season with 17 home runs, second on the club to Johnny Mize, who slugged 28.

In 11 seasons with the Cardinals, Moore hit 80 home runs. He hit three inside-the-park home runs, all at Forbes Field. The first occurred on Sept. 7, 1936, leading off the game against Waite Hoyt of the Pirates. Boxscore

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After getting lit up by Dennis Lamp, Lou Brock nearly turned out the lights on the Cubs pitcher.

Forty years ago, on Aug. 13, 1979, Brock got his 3,000th career hit, a smash that struck Lamp’s right hand, turning three of his fingers purple.

Brock’s single came on the first pitch after Lamp brushed him back.

“I should thank Lamp for that fastball under the chin,” Brock said to the Chicago Tribune. “It brought me back to reality because it was a pretty close pitch. All the thoroughbred players I know bounce back from that, so I was ready for the next pitch. My concentration was back where it should have been.”

Setting the stage

After batting .221 in 1978, Brock said the 1979 season would be his last as a player. He needed 100 hits to reach 3,000.

“I seriously doubted he’d make them,” Bob Broeg of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch admitted. “I hoped a grand guy wouldn’t wind up an embarrassment in the batting order.”

Acting on a teammate’s tip, Brock, 40, made an adjustment in his batting stance, keeping his weight on his front foot, and began spraying hits consistently again. He went into the game against the Cubs with a .321 batting average and 2,998 hits.

The Monday night game at Busch Memorial Stadium matched Lamp against Cardinals starter Pete Vuckovich. Cardinals manager Ken Boyer put Brock in the No. 2 spot in the batting order between Garry Templeton and Keith Hernandez.

The Cubs were the ideal opponent for Brock’s attempt at the milestone. They were Brock’s first major-league team before they traded him to the Cardinals in 1964.

In the Cardinals’ clubhouse before the game, Brock’s mood was loose and relaxed, the Post-Dispatch reported. “He’s so even-keel you’d never know what was at stake,” Hernandez said.

Brock and Templeton shadow-boxed. Third baseman Ken Reitz reminded Brock of a bet they made in spring training regarding whether Brock would reach 3,000 hits before Reitz got to 1,000.

Playing before a crowd of 44,457, Templeton led off the Cardinals’ half of the first with a single. Boyer called for a hit-and-run and Brock lined a single to left for hit No. 2,999.

Big hit

Brock’s second at-bat of the game, and his first attempt at hit No. 3,000, came when he led off in the fourth.

“I pictured in my mind a hit up the middle,” Brock said.

The count was 1-and-2 when Lamp unleashed his brushback pitch. The high and tight fastball set up the next pitch, a curve Lamp hoped Brock would miss or hit weakly.

“I thought it was a good pitch,” Lamp said.

Instead, Brock drilled the ball, “a line drive that would clean the sawdust off a 2-by-4,” according to Post-Dispatch columnist Tom Barnidge.

Said Brock: “I really smashed that ball at him.”

The ball pounded into the fingers of Lamp’s throwing hand _ “It felt like having your hand caught in a car door,” he said to The Sporting News _ and caromed across the third-base line. Third baseman Steve Ontiveros retrieved it but had no chance to throw out Brock, who streaked across first base. Video

Crowning achievement

As the crowd roared, club owner Gussie Busch and Stan Musial, the first Cardinal to achieve 3,000 hits, came onto the field to join Brock and his teammates in a ceremony.

“I’ve always wanted to leave baseball in a blaze of glory,” said Brock, who became the 14th major-league player to achieve 3,000 hits. “I’ve always wanted to orchestrate my own exodus.”

Lamp was removed from the game and replaced by a former Cardinal, Doug Capilla. “My middle and index fingers swelled up and turned purple,” Lamp said.

In the fifth inning, with Ken Oberkfell on second base and two outs, Boyer sent Tony Scott to bat for Brock.

Brock went into the Cubs’ clubhouse to check on Lamp, who was relieved when X-rays showed no fractures to his fingers. “I told him not to be afraid to pull the ball next time,” Lamp said. “I guess what this means is that they’ll be sending my fingers to Cooperstown.”

That’s a winner

In the bottom of the ninth, with the score tied at 2-2, Reitz got his 1,000th career hit, a single against Willie Hernandez, but too late to win his bet with Brock. Tommy Herr, making his major-league debut, was sent in to run for Reitz.

After Hernandez hit Oberkfell with a pitch, moving Herr to second, Bruce Sutter relieved and yielded a single to Dane Iorg, loading the bases.

Templeton followed with a flyout to left fielder Dave Kingman. Herr tagged and headed toward the plate. The throw was wide and Herr scored the winning run. Boxscore

Great champion

Among the post-game reactions to Brock’s achievement:

_ Ted Sizemore, Cubs second baseman and former Cardinal: “Lou Brock is the most mentally prepared player I ever saw. He’s a guy who can identify with goals. When he sets his mind to it, he can get it. He’s one of the great champions in the game.”

_ Bob Forsch, Cardinals pitcher: “I think he wanted to do this against the Cubs. I mean, they’re the club that traded him away. There had to be a real sense of satisfaction.”

_Ted Simmons, Cardinals catcher: “You look at Lou’s career and you envy it. I do. I think most players do. I’ve enjoyed every ballgame I’ve ever played with him. What he’s done has been remarkable.”

The Sporting News called the 3,000 hits “a testimony to his ability, pride, determination and competitive spirit.”

In an editorial, the Post-Dispatch concluded, “What truly sets him apart is the self-discipline and fidelity to purpose that made possible the consistency and stamina demanded by such a sports milestone.”

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Before Ernie Broglio became a principal figure in the Lou Brock trade, he had much success, including his greatest game, against the Cubs.

Broglio died July 16, 2019, at 83. He was a premium starting pitcher when the Cubs acquired him, reliever Bobby Shantz and outfielder Doug Clemens from the Cardinals for Brock and pitchers Jack Spring and Paul Toth on June 15, 1964.

Based on his results for the Cardinals, the Cubs thought Broglio would be a consistent winner.

Broglio earned 21 wins for the Cardinals in 1960 and 18 in 1963.

The right-hander was 11-4, with four shutouts, as a Cardinal against the Cubs.

The best of those performances came on July 15, 1960, when Broglio pitched a one-hitter and struck out 14 in a 6-0 Cardinals victory over the Cubs at Busch Stadium in St. Louis.

Right stuff

Broglio entered the Friday night game with a 9-4 record and a streak of four consecutive wins.

With one out in the second inning, the Cubs’ Ed Bouchee, a left-handed batter, lined a single against the screen in right field. Broglio retired the next 13 batters in a row before Richie Ashburn drew a walk with two outs in the sixth.

In the seventh, Ernie Banks walked with one out before Broglio retired the last eight batters in a row.

Every Cubs starter except Bouchee struck out. None of the three Cubs baserunners advanced to second. Boxscore

“This is the best I’ve ever seen Broglio pitch,” Cardinals manager Solly Hemus said to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Broglio “kept the Cubs off balance with changing speeds and breaking stuff,” the Chicago Tribune reported.

Asked by the Post-Dispatch which pitch worked best, Broglio said, “My curve. It was breaking off fine.”

Cardinals catcher Carl Sawatski told the Associated Press, “His curveball was working almost perfectly and his fastball was as good as ever.”

Broglio credited Sawatski with perfect pitch selection. “I didn’t shake him off once,” Broglio said.

Sawatski also contributed a solo home run onto the right-field pavilion roof against starter Don Cardwell, who pitched a no-hitter for the Cubs against the Cardinals two months earlier on May 15, 1960.

Big deal

Two months after his gem against the Cubs, Broglio shut them out again, pitching a three-hitter in a 4-0 Cardinals triumph on Sept. 3, 1960, at St. Louis. He struck out seven and walked two. Boxscore

Broglio was 3-0 with a 1.15 ERA versus the Cubs in 1960.

When the Cubs acquired him from the Cardinals, Broglio, 28, was regarded a more prominent player than Brock. In six seasons (1959-64) with the Cardinals, Broglio was 70-55, including 18 shutouts. Brock hit .257 in four seasons (1961-64) with the Cubs.

In a 2014 interview with the Chicago Tribune, Broglio recalled, “I was a little bit upset because I wanted to finish my career with the Cardinals.”

Asked to recall his reaction to the trade, Bill White, the first baseman for the 1964 Cardinals, told me in a 2011 interview, “We all thought it was nuts. Lou was a raw talent. At that point, he didn’t really understand baseball. He might try to steal while 10 runs up or 10 runs down.”

According to the Tribune, Brock “had fallen into some disfavor” with Cubs manager Bob Kennedy, “a stickler for sound application of baseball’s fundamentals.”

“Kennedy was irritated at times by Brock’s erratic outfield play and occasionally by his unsound baserunning,” the Tribune reported.

Kennedy said the acquisition of Broglio “gives us as good a pitching staff as there is in the league.” Cubs third baseman Ron Santo added, “With our pitching staff now, we can win the pennant.”

Broglio, who had a damaged right elbow, was 4-7 with a 4.04 ERA for the 1964 Cubs, who finished eighth at 76-86. In a 2016 interview with his hometown San Jose Mercury News, Broglio said, “They (Cardinals) got rid of used merchandise. The Cubs didn’t know. Nowadays, that trade never would have happened.”

Brock hit .348 with 33 stolen bases and 81 runs scored, sparking the 1964 Cardinals to the National League pennant and a World Series championship.

Broglio told the Mercury News the Cardinals players went to Stan Musial’s restaurant in St. Louis after clinching the World Series title and called him at his home in San Jose to thank him for his contributions and to have him feel a part of the celebration.

Broglio was 7-19 with a 5.40 ERA in three seasons (1964-66) with the Cubs. Brock went on to a Hall of Fame career with the Cardinals.

According to the San Jose newspaper, Brock sent Broglio an autographed photo with the inscription, “History and time have tied us together. You are and were a hellava player.”

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After being demoted to the minors early in his rookie season with the Cardinals, Bob Gibson got a chance to return a few months later and showed he belonged in the big leagues.

Sixty years ago, on July 30, 1959, Gibson made his first major-league start for the Cardinals and pitched a shutout in a 1-0 triumph over the Reds at Crosley Field in Cincinnati.

The win was the first of a club-record 251 Gibson achieved with the Cardinals. He and fellow Baseball Hall of Famer Jesse Haines (210) are the only pitchers to earn 200 wins as Cardinals.

Work in progress

Gibson, 23, made his big-league debut for the Cardinals on April 15, 1959, in a relief appearance against the Dodgers at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.

After pitching in three games, all in relief, for the Cardinals and posting a 10.12 ERA, Gibson was demoted to Class AAA Omaha on April 28, 1959.

Playing for manager Joe Schultz, Gibson was 9-9 with a 3.07 ERA in 135 innings pitched for Omaha.

In his book “From Ghetto to Glory,” Gibson said, “Pitching regularly, my early wildness practically vanished. That pleased me and evidently it pleased the Cardinals.”

The Cardinals brought him back on July 29, 1959, and manager Solly Hemus told him he’d start the next night against the Reds.

Close call

Before the game, Reds farm director Phil Seghi told Bill Ford of the Cincinnati Enquirer that Gibson nearly signed with the Reds instead of the Cardinals in 1957 when he was attending Creighton University in Omaha.

“As late as 2 in the morning, he agreed to verbal terms with us,” Seghi said, “but by daylight he had jumped to the Cardinals.”

Seghi said “a member of the Gibson family nixed the deal” with the Reds.

According to the Dayton Daily News, Gibson’s basketball coach at Creighton, Tommy Thomsen, scouted for the Reds and recommended Gibson.

“The Reds looked him over a few times and decided they liked what they saw,” the Dayton newspaper reported. “So they told Thomsen to go to work on him and try to get him to sign. Thomsen thought he was making progress until he read Gibson had signed with Omaha, a Cardinals farm. The Reds representatives quickly got in touch with Gibson and the youngster said he was a native of Omaha and he felt honor-bound to sign with the hometown team.”

Tested early

Gibson was matched in his first Cardinals start against Reds rookie Jim O’Toole. Years earlier, Gibson and O’Toole competed for a roster spot on a semipro team in South Dakota and Gibson got the job.

In the first inning, Gibson quickly got into trouble when Johnny Temple led off with a walk and the next batter, Vada Pinson, singled. Gus Bell grounded to short, forcing Pinson at second and advancing Temple to third. With runners on first and third, one out, Gibson escaped the mess unscathed when Frank Robinson flied out to shallow center and Jerry Lynch grounded out.

The Cardinals scored in the second. Ken Boyer led off with a double, moved to third on Bill White’s groundout to second and scored on Joe Cunningham’s single. In the bottom half of the inning, Gibson struck out his first big-league batter, Willie “Puddin’ Head” Jones.

In the fifth, O’Toole’s single “bounced off the left shin of Gibson, momentarily throwing fear into the Cards,” the Cincinnati Enquirer reported, but Gibson was able to continue and got the next batter, Temple, to ground into a double play.

Dramatic ending

Gibson’s biggest challenge occurred in the ninth.

Lynch led off with a single and Ed Bailey followed with a liner toward White at first base. White stopped the hard smash with the thumb of his glove. The ball fell to the ground and White picked it up and threw to second in time to force out Lynch.

With a runner on first, Jones popped out to the catcher for the second out, but Gibson walked pinch-hitters Frank Thomas and Don Newcombe on eight consecutive pitches to load the bases for Temple, who was batting .328.

In his book “Stranger to the Game,” Gibson said, “I was half-expecting Hemus to yank me out of the game.”

Reliever Marshall Bridges was ready in the bullpen, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported, but Hemus stuck with Gibson.

Gibson’s first two pitches to Temple were outside the strike zone and called balls. After a called strike on the third pitch, Temple fouled off a delivery to even the count at 2-and-2.

On the next pitch, a fastball, Temple hit a liner to shallow center and it was caught by Curt Flood for the final out.

The Cincinnati Enquirer called Gibson’s ninth-inning escape act “a credit to his competitive determination.”

Gibson, sipping a cup of orange soda, told the Post-Dispatch, “I can throw a lot harder, but my shoulder has been a little sore for the past week.” Boxscore

Hit or miss

Gibson lost his next five decisions before earning a win on Sept. 12, 1959, in a start against the Cubs at Wrigley Field in Chicago. Gibson pitched a six-hitter, struck out 10 and drove in a run in the 6-4 Cardinals victory.

He didn’t pitch again for two weeks until Hemus used him in relief in the last game of the season against the Giants on Sept. 27, 1959.

In “from Ghetto to Glory,” Gibson said, “I was so bored I would sit on the bench in the far corner of the dugout and I’d just about fall asleep because it’s no fun when you’re not playing.”

Gibson finished with a 3-5 record and 3.33 ERA in 13 appearances for the 1959 Cardinals. His ERA as a starter was 3.16.

“The few times I did get a chance to pitch I could not possibly be sharp because of lack of work,” Gibson said. “Especially when I went eight or nine days without pitching. I’d be exceptionally strong and the ball would move every which way. I never knew where it was going and, as a result, I walked a lot of men (39 in 75.2 innings) and made too many mistakes.”

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