Baseball, more than any other game, is defined by its colorful personalities and magical numbers.
Following are a few diamond tidbits which might trigger some ball talk over breakfast or lunch. Enjoy!
• Game 7 of the 1960 World Series is known for Bill Mazeroski’s home run which lifted the Pirates over the Yankees, 10-9. There were 77 batters in that game and not a single one struck out. Pittsburgh stranded just one baserunner in the contest. The Pirates won the Series despite being outscored by New York, 55-27.
• Philadelphia outslugged the Cubs, 23-22, at Wrigley Field on May 17, 1979 with Mike Schmidt hitting a game-winning home run in the 10th inning. Neither starting pitcher, Dennis Lamp of the Cubs nor Randy Lerch of the Phillies, made it out of the first inning. The Cubs lost despite three homers by Dave Kingman and a grand slam by Bill Buckner.
• Babe Ruth, playing for the Boston Braves in 1935, finished his career with three home runs in a game at Pittsburgh. His 714th and final career homer cleared the right field roof at Forbes Field. Babe retired the following week at the age of 40.
• Ted Williams of Boston was batting .399 heading into the final day of the 1941 season. He went 6-for-8 in a doubleheader against the Philadelphia A’s to finish with a .406 average, the only player in the last 82 years to top .400. In 1957 at the age of 38, Williams hit .388 and was just five hits shy of .400. In one stretch that year, he reached base 16 consecutive times with either hits or walks.
• Everyone remembers Bobby Thomson of the Giants homered off Ralph Branca of the Dodgers to win the 1951 N.L. pennant playoff. Probably few know that on deck was a rookie center fielder for the Giants named Willie Mays.
• Sandy Koufax, great left hander for the Brooklyn and Los Angeles Dodgers, had a 0.95 earned run average in World Series action.
He struck out 61 batters in 57 innings.