1953 Red Barber resigns as a Brooklyn Dodger broadcaster and will take the ‘catbird’ seat with the rival New York Yankees. The ‘Old Redhead’ reportedly left the team because he was upset with Brooklyn owner Walter O’Malley’s refusal to support him when he failed to get a higher fee from Gillette, the sponsor of the 1953 World Series on television.
1981 After dropping the first two games of the Fall Classic, the Dodgers defeat the Yankees, 9-2, capturing the World Championship in six games. The victory at the Bronx ballpark marks the third time this postseason that Los Angeles will come from behind to win a series, having been down 0-2 against the Astros in the five-game strike-necessitated NLDS and 1-2 behind the Expos in the NLCS five-game series.
1981 Entering Game 6 of the World Series in the fifth inning, Yankee right-hander George Frazier, relieving starter Tommy John, gives up three go-ahead runs in the team’s 9-2 elimination loss to the Dodgers at Yankee Stadium. The 27-year-old reliever becomes the first pitcher to lose three games in a best-of-seven World Series and the second to drop that many decisions in any Fall Classic, joining White Sox Lefty Williams, the loser of a trio of games in the best-of-nine series played in 1919.
1995 In Game 6, Tom Glavine and Mark Wohlers combine on a one-hitter to defeat the Indians, 1-0, giving the Braves their third World Championship, the first since moving to Atlanta. David Justice’s leadoff homer in the sixth inning off Jim Poole proves to be the difference.
2011 After being down by 10.5 games on August 25 for the NL Central Division lead, the Cardinals beat the Rangers at Busch Stadium, 6-2, in Game 7 of the Fall Classic to win their eleventh world championship in franchise history. In Game 6, the Redbirds had been down to their last strike in the ninth and the tenth innings but rallied to tie the score and eventually win the game on David Freese’s leadoff, walk-off home run in the 11th.
Note: These historical notes are excerpts from a list of many more at the website linked above. I recommend you click it for more amusing or tragic baseball facts from this day.
1964 Three days after resigning as manager of the World Champion Cardinals, Johnny Keane replaces Yogi Berra as the Yankees’ field boss. The new skipper of the Bronx Bombers will not fare well next year, leading the aging team to their first losing season since 1925, finishing 27 games behind the Twins with a 77-82 record.
1964 Albert “Red” Schoendienst, a favorite former player, is named the Cardinals’ new manager, replacing Johnny Keane, who resigned the day following the team’s Game 7 Fall Classic victory over New York. Red will compile a 1,041-955 record for the Redbirds during 12 full seasons and two stints in 1980 and 1990 as interim skipper, capturing a World Championship in 1967 and an NL pennant in 1968.
1988 The Dodgers become World Champions when Orel Hershiser limits the opposition to four singles in Game 5 of the World Series and beats the A’s, 5-1. The right-hander, who also won Game 2, is named the Most Valuable Player of the Fall Classic.
1994 Receiving all 28 first-place votes, Raul Mondesi (.306, 16, 56) is named the National League’s Rookie of the Year. The Los Angeles right fielder, who easily outdistanced Astros’ hurler John Hudek and Braves’ outfielder Ryan Klesko, is the third consecutive Dodger to win the award.
2004 After dropping the first three decisions, the Red Sox win their fourth consecutive ALCS game to win the American League pennant, beating the Yankees in the Bronx, 10-3. Johnny Damon’s two home runs, including a grand slam and Derek Lowe’s solid pitching performance, help Boston join the 1942 Maple Leafs and the 1975 Islanders as the only teams in the history of professional sports to overcome a 3-0 series deficit to win a seven-game series.
LHP Jordan Montgomery (1-0, 3.27 ERA postseason) pitches for the Rangers and RHP Justin Verlander (1-0, 0.00 ERA postseason) goes for the Astros. Here’s a preview of Game One.
The Rangers added Max Scherzer and Jon Gray to the ALCS roster. To make room, Brock Burke and Matt Bush were left off. The Astros’ right-hander Ronel Blanco was added to their roster, replacing outfielder Jake Meyers.
1917 A letter signed by 24 World Series Champion Chicago White Sox members and manager Pants Rowland contains complaints about not receiving their full share after beating the New York Giants. The written request, discovered as a tattered document more than 40 years later among boxes stored at the Hall of Fame library, may explain the ‘Black Sox’ motivation for fixing the Fall Classic two years later.
1923 At the Polo Grounds, the visiting Yankees score five runs in the eighth inning, beating the Giants in Game 6 of the Fall Classic, 6-4. The victory over their crosstown rivals gives the franchise its first World Championship.
1946 In Game 7 of the World Series, the Cardinals beat the Red Sox, 4-3, when Enos Slaughter streaked home from first on a long single into the left-center gap by Harry Walker, who stayed a first to avoid making the last out before the run score. The play surprises everyone, including cut-off man shortstop Johnny Pesky who hesitates, as legend has it, throwing the ball home.
“In the year that has been so improbable, the impossible has happened.” – VIN SCULLY, commenting on Kirk Gibson’s dramatic World Series walk-off home run.
In his only plate appearance in the Fall Classic, a limping Kirk Gibson, appearing as a pinch-hitter in the ninth inning of Game 1, sends a two-out, 3-2 pitch from relief ace Dennis Eckersley over the right-field fence, giving the Dodgers a 5-4 victory over the A’s. The round-tripper marks the first time a World Series game ends on a come-from-behind home run in the final inning.
2017 Twenty-nine years later, Justin Turner follows Kirk Gibson into franchise folklore when he hits a postseason walk-off three-run home run in the 12th inning of LA’s 4-1 victory over the Cubs in Game 2 of the NLCS. In his only Fall Classic appearance, a hobbled Kirk Gibson came off the bench in 1998 to hit one of the most memorable round-trippers in World Series history, giving the Dodgers a come-from-behind victory against the A’s in Game 1.
1908 In a make-up contest necessitated by Fred Merkle’s baserunning blunder on September 23, Three Finger Brown outduels Christy Mathewson, 4-2, as the Cubs win the National League pennant by one game over the Giants in one of the most dramatic pennant races of all time.
1929In front of 50,000 fans at Wrigley Field, surprise starter Howard Ehmke establishes a new World Series record, striking out 13 Cubs en route to a 3-1 A’s victory in Game 1 of the Fall Classic. The mark will last 34 years until Dodger hurler Carl Erskine fans 14 Yankees in 1953.
1939 In the top of the tenth, Yankee outfielder Joe DiMaggio scores from first base when Reds’ catcher Ernie Lombardi lies in a daze at home plate after being run over by ‘King Kong’ Charlie Keller. The Bronx Bombers score three runs thanks to ‘Lombardi’s Swoon,’ winning the game, 7-4, to complete the World Series sweep and become the first club to win four consecutive Fall Classics.
1956 Don Larsen pitches the first perfect game in World Series history, defeating the Dodgers, 2-0 in Game 5 of the Fall Classic at Yankee Stadium. The 27-year-old right-hander, who had a poor start in Game 2 because of a lack of control, throws only 97 pitches, striking out pinch-hitter Dale Mitchell looking for the final out.
1957 Club President Walter O’Malley makes it official, announcing the Dodgers will play in Los Angeles next season. The club’s departure from Brooklyn corresponds with the massive social shift in the borough that finds many of its former residents leaving for the suburbs of Long Island.
1966 The Orioles collect only three hits off Claude Osteen, but Paul Blair’s fifth-inning 430-foot home run proves to be the difference when Baltimore beats the Dodgers in Game 3 of the World Series, 1-0. Wally Bunker throws a six-hitter, winning the first Fall Classic game ever played in Baltimore.
The Cardinals’ LHP Jordan Montgomery (8-5, 3.26 ERA) faces the Dodgers’ LHP Clayton Kershaw (9-3, 2.39 ERA).
Today in Dodgers’ history:
1957 Grounding out, Pirates left-handed first baseman Dee Fondy becomes the last player ever to bat in Ebbets Field when the Dodgers blank the Bucs 2-0 in the final major league game ever played in Brooklyn.
1971 Al Downing becomes a 20-game winner when he blanks the Braves at Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium, 2-0. The Dodger left-hander, best remembered for giving up Hank Aaron’s historic 715th home run, will compile a 123-107 record during his 17-year major league career.
1981Dodgers 7, Giants 5 at Candlestick. The Dodgers got a three-run homer from Mike Scioscia and two more runs in the third inning to put themselves ahead. The game was — marred? supplemented? — when a fan threw a helmet and — well, here:
Reggie Smith went into the stands after a fan who had been heckling him during the game; the fan had just thrown a batting helmet into the dugout before Smith climbed into the stands; Smith punched the fan and tried to pull him over the rail onto the field; Dodger teammates grabbed Smith; eight fans were arrested and Smith was ejected by HP umpire Harry Wendelstedt; as two policemen walked with Smith down the RF line to the clubhouse, someone threw a beer bottle and missed.
2001 Batting for reliever Joe Beimel in the bottom of the sixth inning, Craig Wilson drives the first pitch he sees into the seats in left center for his seventh pinch-hit home run, tying the major league mark established last season by Dodger infielder Dave Hansen. The Pirate rookie’s two-run round-tripper sparks a five-run frame, enabling the Bucs to overcome a 5-0 deficit in their eventual 7-6 victory over the Chicago at PNC Park.
2003 Eric Gagne ties John Smoltz’s National League mark for saves with 55 when he helps the Dodgers defeat the Padres, 5-3. The Los Angeles closer equals the NL mark in consecutive opportunities, which is also a record.
The As give the ball to RHP Frankie Montas. The big (6’2″, 255 lbs) rightie threw two innings of two-hit one run ball against the White Sox in Game Three of the Wild Card Series and picked up the win. The Astros haven’t named a starter as of 9:00 PM HST Wednesday.
The Rays plan to use RHP Ryan Thompson to start, but not for very long. LHP Ryan Yarbrough is expected to come in and pitch the middle innings. I don’t understand this move, since Yarbrough started nine of the eleven games he was in this season. Why not just hand him the ball in the first inning? The Yankees will counter with LHP Jordan Montgomery, who was 2-3 with a 5.11 ERA in the regular season and has never made a postseason appearance until now.
Ernie Lombardi’s 1939 “swoon” took place on this date in baseball history, as did Don Larsen’s 1956 perfect game and the brawl between the Mets’ Bud Harrelson and the Reds’ Pete Rose in 1973.