In spring training of 1962, rookies Phil Linz and Tom Tresh battled for the Yankee
shortstop job. Linz was a feisty singles hitter, but the more powerful Tresh won
the contest, and thereafter Linz filled in capably at three infield positions. The
humorous Linz was the protagonist in the famed "Harmonica Incident" of late August
1964. The third-place Yankees, who had just lost four straight in Chicago, were in
the team bus, stuck in traffic. Linz began playing "Mary Had a Little Lamb" on his
harmonica, enraging manager Yogi Berra. A ruckus ensued. The event may have galvanized
successful stretch run for a pennant, but the publicity sealed Berra's dismissal
after the season.
FROM THE BASEBALL CHRONOLOGY
»August 20, 1964: On the New York team bus following a 5–0 White Sox win, Phil Linz begins to play "Mary Had a Little Lamb" on his harmonica. Manager Yogi Berra orders Linz to stop, then slaps the instrument out of his hands when he continues playing. The incident is reported as indicating dissension on the club and Berra's lack of control, as well as the level of Linz's humor.
»October 15, 1964: St. Louis takes an early lead in the deciding World Series game 7. Lou Brock's 5th-inning home run triggers a 2nd 3-run frame and a 6–0 lead for Bob Gibson. Mickey Mantle, Clete Boyer, and Phil Linz homer for New York, but it's not enough. The Cards win 7–5 and are the World Champions. Both Boyers, Ken Boyer for the Cards and Clete Boyer for the Yankees, homer in their last World Series appearance, a first in ML history.