Game Seven: Maz Homer in 9th Wins, 10-9
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THE HOME OF THE WORLD CHAMPS, Oct, 13 -- Bill Mazeroski sailed a homer out of Forbes Field on the second pitch in the ninth inning and the Pirates were champions of the world of baseball.
They came from behind with a roaring five runs in the eighth when Hal Smith -- an old Yankee -- hit a three-run homer and then won in the ninth, 10-9, over Casey Stengel's crowd of bruisers.
Mazeroski, who must be the greatest .270 hitter in baseball -- he is today, that's for certain -- went sailing around the bases waving his hat in one hand and pandemonium broke loose among the 36,683 patrons.
Ralph Terry, the 22-year-old righty of the Yanks, was the loser and Harvey Haddix, who put the Bucs in front three to two by winning the fifth game in Yankee Stadium, now has two World Series pitching victories.
The Yankees had roughed up Vern Law and Roy Face and Bob Friend to take a 7-5 lead, but Dan Murtaugh's brash Buccos wouldn't quit.
And who will say they backed into Pittsburgh's first world title since 1925?
It was the third time now that the Pirates have been baseball's kingpins. And it was a sight to see them do it the Yankee way, after being tagged as a club that "hits one over this way and one over that way," by Casey.
Today they hit three home runs. Rocky Nelson, who could be wearing the goat's horns this morning, socked one in the first inning then along came the Smith boy in the eighth and the Mazeroski kid in the ninth.
Two of Stengel's maulers had hit home runs raising their Series total to 10 and they set all kinds of records, individual and otherwise. But then what the hell, let them have them, the Pirates have what they came out to get 10 days ago.
Five of the New York pitchers got into the ball game as the Pirates collected 11 hits and made them all big ones too, as they left only one runner on base during the afternoon of Pittsburgh success.
Yogi Berra, the record breaking catcher and left fielder for the New Yorkers, had sent the American League champs sailing into a lead in the sixth inning, shortly after the Bullpen Baron had replaced the Deacon.
He hit a three-run homer into the upper deck of the right field stands and the golden arm of the Pirate bullpen stood a chance of becoming the losing pitcher. But his guitar playing partner, Smitty, erased those chances with his three-run belt off Jim Coates in the Buc eighth, a 430 footer.
And with that the Baron had an opportunity to become the winner, but Bob Friend couldn't get either of the first two Yanks out in the ninth and Haddix had to get called.
And he almost -- but not quite -- pitched the victory right then and there. A run had scored when Mickey Mantle singled and there was a runner at third.
Berra hit a hard grounder to first where Rocky scooped the ball and stepped on first. But Mantle scrambled back in on his belly to ruin the double play which would have ended it right then and there.
But Rocky made the play backwards, instead of tagging Mantle first and the tying run came home but the Mazeroski boy took the Rock off the hook and gave Harvey the victory. The one that Billy the Kid will remember the rest of his life didn't go as far as Smitty's into the Schenley Park trees, but those 420 feet or so it covered will do until another year.
Little Shantz, who again was brilliant in relief until he sagged in the eighth, after pitching one-hit ball for five innings, saw his shortstop injured by a hot grounder off Bill Virdon's bat.
Then came a ringing single to left by Dick Groat to score Gino and Coates was called in to pitch.
Bob Skinner, returning to the lineup for the first time since being injured in game one, sacrificed. But Rocky flied to right, Bob Clemente beat out a slow bounder to Skowron as Virdon scored. Then the count on Smitty went to two-two and whack. He hit the ball and Coates threw his glove up in the air, as Smitty joyfully ran around the bases for a three run homer.
But the Yankees came roaring back to tie in their part of the ninth. Bobby Richardson and Dale Long -- an old Bucco -- singled against Friend and that brought the call for Haddix.
Roger Maris lifted a foul to Smitty back of the plate but Mantle singled to right scoring Richardson and putting Long at third. Gil McDougald ran from there for Dale and scored the run which made it 9-9 when Rocky failed to make the double play backwards.
And then came the Mazeroski boy in the ninth and the Pirates were champs.
Prior to the wild finish to the most exciting game in the Series, the Pirates had run up a lead of four for the Deacon in two innings.
Turley, who had won 16-3 over the Pirates in the second game, was clipped for a quick deuce in the first. He had two out when he walked Skinner and Rocky sent a two-one pitch over the right field screen and the champs were on the way, although later it looked like a black afternoon for them.
In the next inning Turley was rapped for a single by Smoky Burgess and that brought on Bill Stafford. He walked Don Hoak on four pitches. Maz -- OUR HERO -- was up to sacrifice but instead beat out his bunt for a full house.
Then Law bounced back to the mound for a home-first base double play. Bill Virdon gave the Pirates two with a single into center. For two and two-third innings the Deacon was perfect. Hector Lopez ended this with a pinch-single to left for Stafford.
And in the fourth there was another hit and in the fifth Skowron hit into the right field stands for his second homer of the set. The next round was fatal as the Yanks went ahead, 5-4.
Richardson looped a single to center and Kubek walked. On came the Baron in this spot to retire Maris on a foul to Hoak. But Mantle singled to center scoring a run and Yogi sent Pirate hopes into the doldrums with a homer upstairs in right field.
And in the eighth they scored two more and it appeared that was going to be the windup of the Pirates for the season.
The Baron retired the first pair but walked Berra. Skowron hit a high bounder to Hoak and his throw wasn't fast enough to get Yogi at second base. John Blanchard then looped a base hit to right scoring Berra. Clete Boyer doubled to left scoring Skowron nefore Shantz went out.
But our gang wasn't through and then went roaring on to the title with the five runs eighth and the one run ninth by the Mazeroski boy. And they hailed the new champions of baseball after that sock ended the game with the Pirates in front 10-9.
First Published October 13, 2010 12:00 am