Now, the outcome of this most unusual 1960 World Series came down to one day,
one game, and subsequently one inning. Murtaugh had no doubt that Law, winner
of Games One and Four would be his starter in the finale. "All I want from
Vern today is five good innings. If he can give me that I'll have Face and
Friend ready," said the Bucs skipper. Stengel was less definitive about his
choice of starter, reserving the right to change his mind at game time. He was
leaning towards Bob Turley, but also named Stafford, Bobby Shantz, and Ralph
Terry as possibilities, in that order. A couple of hours before the first
pitch was to be thrown, Turley went to his locker and found a brand new ball
tucked inside one of his baseball spikes, indicating to him that he would be
getting the nod.
Law set the Yankees down in order to open the game, and after retiring the
first two batters in the bottom half, Turley walked Skinner. First baseman
Rocky Nelson then put Pittsburgh on the board with a home run into the right
field stands to the sheer joy of the Forbes Field crowd. After a one-two-three
Yankee second inning, Turley gave up a lead off single to Burgess, and out
came Stengel with the quick hook. Not wanting to let things get out of hand,
he brought in the 21-year-old Stafford, who pitched five innings of scoreless
relief in Game Five. He proceeded to load the bases, but then got Law to hit
into a double play that forced Bur gess at home. Virdon, however, slashed a
single to right center, scoring both Hoak and Mazeroski for a 4-0 lead.
New York broke into the scoring column with Skowron's opposite-field home run
off Law to lead off the fifth inning. They came right back in the sixth,
driving Law from the game and taking a 5-4 lead. After Richardson had opened
the sixth with a single and Kubek walked, Murtaugh brought Face in from the
bullpen. With one out, Mantle came through with an RBI single, and Berra
smacked a tremendous three-run home run down the right field line that landed
in the second deck.
Going into the top of the eighth with Face still pitching for Pittsburgh, the
Yanks still clung to a 5-4 lead. Face retired the first two batters, Mantle
and Maris, but then found himself in more trouble. He walked Berra, allowed an
infield single to Skowron, and gave up a single to back-up catcher John
Blanchard that scored Berra. Clete Boyer then doubled into the left field
corner scoring Skowron before the third out was finally recorded. Things
looked bleak for Pittsburgh, trailing 7-4 going into the bottom of the eighth.
At this time, cases of champagne were being moved into the Yankee clubhouse
in anticipation of a victory celebration.
From 1960: The Last Pure Season by Kerry Keene.
Copyright © 2000 by Kerry Keene. Reprinted with permission.