This young Puerto Rican outfielder from the Bronx captured the imagination of White
Sox fans with his daring basepath antics and belly-slides. In 1955 he swiped a league-high
25 bases. In Game Five of the 1959 WS, Rivera's catch with his back to the infield
of Charley Neal's long drive preserved a 1-0 Sox victory in front of over 90,000
screaming Dodger fans. And Jungle Jim was a character. To former First Lady Bess
Truman, in attendance at an A's game, Rivera said: "I'm sure sorry my homer beat
your team, but it was a helluva wallop, eh, Bess?" To President Kennedy, on Opening
Day 1961, when Rivera asked for an autograph: "What's this? This is just a scribble!
I can hardly make it out! You'll have to do better than this, John."
»May 20, 1958: In Chicago, New York coast to a 5–1 win over the last-place Sox behind the pitching of Johnny Kucks. Mickey Mantle's line drive between Al Smith and Jim Rivera goes for his 2nd inside-the-park homer of the year. The Yankees have now won seven in a row. Mantle will hit three inside-the-park this year, and a Yankee-record six during his career.