Willie McCovey Lines out to Bobby Richardson, October
Yogi Berra, who has seen it all, said:" When
McCovey hit the ball, it lifted me right out of my shoes. I never saw a
last game of a World Series more exciting."
Famed restaurateur Tracy Nieporent recalled: "I can still remember being
in the playground the fall of 1962. We were playing stickball. The radio
was on. Willie McCovey hit the line drive to Bobby Richardson, if
Richardson didn't catch it, the Giants would win the Series. But
Richardson did catch it and the Yankees did."
Three days of rain had finally ended. Candlestick Park was finally dry.
But the wind, as was the practice there, was whipping, gusting.
Outfielders were at its mercy.
Game seven matched New York's Ralph Terry, winless in four World Series
decisions, against San Francisco's 24-game-winner Jack Sanford who he
had lost to in Game Two.
With two outs in the sixth inning, Terry had a perfect game going and
the Yankees were clinging to a 1-0 lead. Relaxing out in the Giants
bullpen was "Mr. Perfect Game," Don Larsen. He saw Sanford's single
breaking up Terry's bid for the perfecto. Entering the bottom of the
ninth, Terry had allowed only two hits to the Giants.
With two outs the Giants had runners at second and third. It could have
been worse. Willie Mays, off a 49-homer, 141-RBI season, doubled to
right, but Roger Maris ran and grabbed the bounding ball. His quick
throw to cutoff man Bobby Richardson forced Matty Alou to hold at third
The 26-year-old Terry, two years earlier, had been the goat in the World
Series. Now, he had a chance to make up for it. With first base open,
Giants cleanup hitter Willie McCovey moved towards the plate. In the on
deck circle was Orlando Cepeda.
Yankees Manager Ralph Houk decided to let right-hander Terry pitch to
the left-handed-hitting McCovey, who had tripled in his previous at-bat
. The count was one and one on the big Giant they called "Stretch."
The next pitch was inside and McCovey hit a line drive. It was about 5
feet off the ground when it blurred by the pitcher's mound. But Yankees
second baseman Bobby Richardson was perfectly positioned. Moving
slightly to his left, he threw up his glove. A second straight world
championship - New York Yankees.
Terry, who wound up with a four-hitter and gave up no walks, was
jubilant and also modest. "I was thankful to have the opportunity to
pitch a seventh game and have a real shot at redemption."
# # #
baseball team uniforms were quite different than how they are today.
You can reach
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About the Author:
Harvey Frommer is in his 38th year of writing books.
A noted oral historian and sports journalist, the author of 42 sports
books including the classics: "New York City Baseball,1947-1957" and
"Shoeless Joe and Ragtime Baseball," his acclaimed REMEMBERING YANKEE
STADIUM was published in 2008 and his REMEMBERING FENWAY PARK: AN ORAL
AND NARRATIVE HISTORY OF THE HOME OF RED SOX NATION was published to
acclaim in 2011. The prolific Frommer is at work on When It Was
Just a Game, An Oral History on Super Bowel One.
His work has appeared in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times,
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Frommer along with his wife, Myrna Katz Frommer are the authors of
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