Tag Archives: milwaukee braves

“This Day in History ~ 50 Years Ago Today”

Pitching Duel of the Century

Pitching Duel of the Century

50 YEARS AGO TODAY: 42-year-old Warren Spahn of the Milwaukee Braves and 25-year-old Juan Marichal of the San Francisco Giants hooked up in a 16-inning duel ended only when Willie Mays homered leading off the last inning. Both pitchers went all the way. Jim Kaplan wrote a great book on the event: “The Greatest Game Ever Pitched.”  Courtesy of Dan Schlossberg, Facebook”

Nothing like promoting one of my favorite books to get me back in the blogosphere.  I’ve been adrift for nearly a month now and missed it terribly, but had to take a minute to comment on two of my favorite baseball heroes and one of the many special moments in baseball history. 

I was one year out of high school when I witnessed this game (via the sports section unfortunately and not in person) but I remember the stats well.   The book takes a few chapters to get into the game, dwelling on the individual pitchers, Marichal and Spahn, instead.  But Kaplan’s insight is purposeful and steady and I found myself grasping each page instead of skipping directly to the game which is what I intended to do when I cuddled up to spend the entire day recapturing the memories of the game.

My enthrallment with Juan Marichal began a few years ago when I watched an in-depth interview Bob Costas had with him.  He’s really a very humble man and the honesty he portrayed when talking about the awful incident when he lost his temper and went after an opposing player, with a bat no less, that put the fellow in the hospital was painful to listen to.  But I didn’t doubt his sincerity when he spoke about it saying it was the one regret he had during his baseball career.  And it didn’t surprise me that the two of them ended up being good friends in the end.

As usual, I won’t go into details about the book or the game since there’s huge amounts of readily available data written about both.  I just wanted to take some time to comment on the game and also to thank you for the kind notes I’ve received as I’ve been on a mini-vacation from blogging this past month. 

It’s nearly time for the All Star break when baseball starts to take shape for the rest of the season, and when, hopefully, the Giants (and others, of course) start getting their act together .  When you look at the Divisions, it’s amazing to see that the Dodgers are only 3 1/2 games behind in the NL West, but are in the cellar, with the Giants 3 games behind and only 1/2 game ahead of the Dodgers. 

So it’s going to be an interesting and fun rest of the year for all of us baseball fans.  Will there be a sequel to this greatest game?  Maybe.   I’m sure the thrill of victory and agony of defeat had its origins in baseball so why should we possibly expect anything less?

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This Day in History ….. July 10, 1932

  • Connie Mack 1887

    “1932 – To save train fare for the single-date appearance, Connie Mack takes along just two A’s pitchers to Cleveland. Lew Krausse the A’s starting pitcher, gives up four hits in the first inning and his replacement, Eddie Rommel pitches 17 innings in relief, giving up a record 29 hits, but wins 18-17.  

    I had no idea whatsoever of blogging this morning.  Need to clean house after my 8 day baseball tour left things in a bit of shambles here, but this little ditty brought up all sorts of stuff that’s been on my mind anyhow so I wanted to share some of it with you.

  • The Giants are my home team and this is particularly relevant to them, but it’s going on everywhere lately and frankly I think the fans are getting a little tired and fed up with it.  Probably the pitchers are too.  It relates to a relief pitcher coming in and throwing

    Juan Marichael

    one or two pitches and the coach pulls him out – or worse, the starting pitcher throws a bad pitch inthe 4th or 5th inning  and is pulled out only to have the relief guy come in and walk the next three.  I was listening to a great interview with Bob Costas and Juan Marichal a few weeks ago and Juan talked about pitching 15 innings with a pitch count of over 227 pitches back in the 70’s.   The game was between the SF Giants and Milwaukee Braves and both Marichal and Warren Spahn pitched scoreless innings until the 16th when Willie Mays homered to end the game 1- 0.  Just this week the Giants took along a huge arsenal of pitchers on their road trip.   And at one point in one game they’d pretty much used them all, at least all the eligible ones.  Maybe the problem is they have to pay so much for a pitcher nowadays, they can’t afford to use him more than a couple pitches a game, at least the relief pitchers.  Or maybe they’re worried they won’t be able to get the job done.  Who knows.  But c’mon coach.  Get real.  For the amount of money these guys make, if the coach puts them in a game after 4-5 days off-time and they can’t even make it through one inning, how

    Dusty Baker 2002 World Series

    valuable are they to the team anyway?   Maybe the coaches (includes managers) should have a little more faith in their pitchers, both starters and relievers.    Remember in the 2002 World Series ….. with the Giants leading 5–3 going after the bottom of the 7th inning of Game 6?   Giants Manager Dusty Baker took pitcher Russ Ortiz out of the game and brought in relief pitcher Felix  Rodriguez who almost immediately gave up a 3 run homer to Scott Spiezio  for the Angels.  A win for the Giants would have given them the lead in the Series.   Instead, Anaheim went on to win the game 6-5 and eventually the 2002 World Series.   To this day I can hardly look at Dusty Baker without feeling he was trying to throw the game.  Probably a little reactionary on my part,  but that’s how I feel.  When I read about Eddie Rommel this day in history it brings back all those gut feelings of maybe, just maybe, the managers and coaches should be trusting our pitchers a little more.  Isn’t that after all what they’re getting paid to do?   If they don’t trust them to get the job done, what are they doing there in the first place?    Just one person’s opinion after sitting through

    Scott Spiezio

    too many games watching the pitcher get yanked before he gets  a chance to finish the job he’s hired to do.   At least that’s the way I see it.   Okay, back to cleaning the house! 

    Here’s a synopsis of that infamous Game 6 Saturday, October 26, 2002 at Edison International Field of Anaheim in Anaheim, California

    Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    San Francisco 0 0 0 0 3 1 1 0 0 5 8 1
    Anaheim 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 3 X 6 10 1

    WP: Brendan Donnelly (1–0)  LP: Tim Worrell (1–1)  SV: Troy Percival (2)  
    HRs:  SF – Shawon Dunston (1), Barry Bonds (4)  ANA – Scott Spiezio (1), Darin Erstad (1)