1963 World Series
The 1963 World Series matched the two-time defending champion New York Yankees against the Los Angeles Dodgers, with the Dodgers sweeping the Series in four games to capture their second title in five years, and their third in franchise history. Starting pitchers Sandy Koufax, Don Drysdale, and Johnny Podres, and ace reliever Ron Perranoski combined to give up only four runs in four games. The dominance of the Dodgers pitchers was so complete that at no point in any of the four games did the Yankees have the lead. New York was held to a .171 team batting average, the lowest ever for the Yankees in the post-season.
|1963 World Series|
|MVP||Sandy Koufax (Los Angeles)|
|Umpires||Joe Paparella (AL), Tom Gorman (NL), Larry Napp (AL), Shag Crawford (NL), Johnny Rice (AL: outfield only), Tony Venzon (NL: outfield only)|
|Hall of Famers||Dodgers: Walt Alston (mgr.), Leo Durocher (Coach), Don Drysdale, Sandy Koufax.|
Yankees: Yogi Berra, Whitey Ford, Mickey Mantle.
|TV announcers||Mel Allen and Vin Scully|
|Radio announcers||Ernie Harwell and Joe Garagiola|
Of the Los Angeles Dodgers four World Series championships since the opening of Dodger Stadium, this was the only one won at Dodger Stadium. Also, of the six championships from the Dodgers franchise, it remains the only one won at home.
This series was also the first meeting between teams from New York City and Los Angeles for a major professional sports championship. Seven more such meetings have followed with three more times each in the World Series and the NBA Finals, and the 2014 Stanley Cup Final.
Despite injuries that limited Mickey Mantle to just 65 games, the Yankees went 104–57 to win their fourth straight American League pennant—this one by 10 1⁄2 games. Catcher Elston Howard (.287 BA, 28 HRs, 85 RBI) won the MVP Award, while Joe Pepitone, Roger Maris, and Tom Tresh also topped the 20 home run mark. Their pitching was anchored by Whitey Ford (24 wins, 2.74 ERA) and Jim Bouton (21 wins, 2.53 ERA).
The Dodgers' road to the World Series was much more challenging. After blowing a four-game lead with seven to play in 1962, the Dodgers again built a lead in 1963. On August 21, the Dodgers beat the Cardinals 2–1 in 16 innings to take a 7 1⁄2 game lead. When they went to St. Louis for a three-game series on September 16, their lead was one game over the Cardinals, who had won 19 of 20 games. Sports fans around the country were saying how the Dodgers were going to blow it again. But the Dodgers swept the three games from the Cardinals to move four games ahead with nine to play; a 4–1 win over the Mets clinched the pennant in the season's 158th game.
|1||October 2||Los Angeles Dodgers – 5, New York Yankees – 2||Yankee Stadium||2:09||69,000|
|2||October 3||Los Angeles Dodgers – 4, New York Yankees – 1||Yankee Stadium||2:13||66,455|
|3||October 5||New York Yankees – 0, Los Angeles Dodgers – 1||Dodger Stadium||2:05||55,912|
|4||October 6||New York Yankees – 1, Los Angeles Dodgers – 2||Dodger Stadium||1:50||55,912|
|WP: Sandy Koufax (1–0) LP: Whitey Ford (0–1)|
LAD: Johnny Roseboro (1)
NYY: Tom Tresh (1)
Sandy Koufax started it off with a then record fifteen-strikeout performance in Game 1. It bested fellow Dodgers pitcher Carl Erskine's mark in 1953 by one, and would be surpassed by Bob Gibson in 1968. Koufax also tied a World Series record when he fanned the first five Yankee batters he faced in that game. Since "K" is the time-honored scoring symbol for "strikeout" (Vin Scully once remarked that "Koufax's name will always remind you of strikeouts"), some newspapers' headlines for the game coverage consisted simply of Koufax's surname prefixed by fifteen K's.
Clete Boyer was the only Yankee regular not to be struck out against Koufax. Mickey Mantle, Tom Tresh and Tony Kubek were struck out twice each, and Bobby Richardson was struck out three times—his only three-strikeout game in 1448 regular season/World Series games. (Just that regular season, Richardson had been struck out only 22 times in 630 at-bats, without even being struck out twice in one game.) Koufax also struck out three pinch-hitters, including Harry Bright to end the game. The only offense the Yankees managed was a two-run shot by Tom Tresh in the eighth.
The Dodger 4-run outburst in the second inning was started by a monster double by Frank Howard into the Death Valley section of left center field in old Yankee Stadium. Bill Skowron singled him in and after Dick Tracewski singled to put two men on, catcher John Roseboro launched a three-run home run off Whitey Ford. Skowron would single in Willie Davis in the third and all five runs were charged to the ineffective Ford, who went just five innings.
|WP: Johnny Podres (1–0) LP: Al Downing (0–1) Sv: Ron Perranoski (1)|
LAD: Bill Skowron (1)
Willie Davis doubled in two runs in the first inning, former Yankee Bill Skowron homered in the fourth, and Tommy Davis had two triples, including an RBI triple in the eighth to lead the Dodger offense. Yankee starter Al Downing, who would take the loss, went only five innings and charged with three runs. Ralph Terry, in relief, allowed Davis's RBI triple. Dodger manager Walt Alston went with #3 starter Johnny Podres over #2 starter Don Drysdale because he was left-handed and Yankee Stadium was favorable to left-handed pitchers. Podres delivered a six-hitter through 8 1⁄3 innings; ace reliever Ron Perranoski, also a left-hander, got the last two outs and the save, and the Dodgers headed home with 2–0 Series lead.
|WP: Don Drysdale (1–0) LP: Jim Bouton (0–1)|
Don Drysdale pitched a masterful three-hitter at Dodger Stadium in his complete-game win. Manager Walter Alston called Drysdale's performance "one of the greatest pitched games I ever saw." Jim Bouton, making his first World Series start, dueled Drysdale throughout, permitting only four hits in seven innings for a losing cause. The lone run of the game came in the bottom of the first on a Jim Gilliam walk, a wild pitch and a single by Tommy Davis. Gilliam almost scored again in the eighth off Hal Reniff, but was caught in an attempt to steal third. The final out came on Joe Pepitone's drive that backed Dodger right fielder Ron Fairly up against the bullpen gate to make the catch of a ball that would have been a home run in Yankee Stadium. Tony Kubek had two of the Yankees' three hits, but none of the hits were extra-base hits.
|WP: Sandy Koufax (2–0) LP: Whitey Ford (0–2)|
NYY: Mickey Mantle (1)
LAD: Frank Howard (1)
Aces were on the mound again in a game 1 rematch between Whitey Ford and Sandy Koufax. This time, it was a pitcher's duel. The Dodgers scored first in the bottom of the fifth on a monumental Frank Howard home run into the upper deck at Dodger Stadium. The Yankees tied it on a Mickey Mantle home run in the top of the seventh. But in the bottom of the inning, Gilliam hit a high hopper to Yankee third baseman Clete Boyer; Boyer leaped to make the grab, and fired an accurate throw to first base. But first baseman Joe Pepitone lost Boyer's peg in the white-shirted crowd background; the ball struck Pepitone in the arm and rolled down the right field line, allowing Gilliam to scamper all the way to third base. He then scored a moment later on Willie Davis' sacrifice fly. Sandy Koufax went on to hold the Yankees for the final two innings for a 2–1 victory and the Dodgers' third world championship. To date, this is the only time the Dodgers have won the deciding game of a World Series at home.
The World Series Most Valuable Player Award went to Sandy Koufax, who started two of the four games and had two complete game victories. When the award was given to Koufax at a luncheon in New York City, he was presented with a new car—while the luncheon was taking place, a New York City police officer put a parking violation ticket on the car's windshield.
Composite line scoreEdit
|Los Angeles Dodgers||3||4||1||1||1||0||1||1||0||12||25||3|
|New York Yankees||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||2||1||4||22||1|
|Total attendance: 247,279 Average attendance: 61,820|
Winning player's share: $12,794 Losing player's share: $7,874
The Yankees' four runs in the series was, at the time, the second-lowest total in a World Series, as the Philadelphia Athletics had scored only three runs in 1905. The Los Angeles Dodgers would set a new low in 1966, two runs.
In popular cultureEdit
- In the 1986 novel Replay by Ken Grimwood, the protagonist bets his life savings on a Dodgers sweep, knowing they will win. His winnings total more than 12 million dollars, at the apparent odds of 100–1, with Grimwood referring to it as "one of the great upsets in baseball history".
- This is the World Series that Jack Nicholson's character R.P. McMurphy lobbies unsuccessfully to watch on television (and subsequently "announces" by imagining the action) in Miloš Forman's 1975 film One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. He imagines quite a different scene than what occurred, however, as he describes Richardson, Tresh, and Mantle knocking Koufax out of the box. In reality, the Yankees never led at any time in the Series, and only once in the entire Series (and that only for a half-inning) were the Yankees and Dodgers tied at a score other than 0–0. A brief clip of Ernie Harwell's NBC Radio broadcast of Game 2 can be heard in the film.
- This was longtime Yankees announcer Mel Allen's 22nd and final World Series broadcast. Allen was suffering from an attack of severe laryngitis at the time of the Series, and while doing play-by-play for NBC television during Game 4 his voice gave out completely in the bottom of the eighth inning, requiring Vin Scully to take over for the remainder of the game. (The following year—Allen's last with the Yankees—he would be passed over for the Series assignment in favor of boothmate Phil Rizzuto.)
- Game 4 was the highest-rated sports broadcast of 1963, per Nielsen ratings. Of all televised World Series games, its 39.5 rating (percentage of all U.S. television-equipped households that watched the game) has only been surpassed by Game 7 in 1975 (39.6) and Game 6 in 1980 (40.0).
- Cohen, Richard M.; Neft, David S. (1990). The World Series: Complete Play-By-Play of Every Game, 1903–1989. New York: St. Martin's Press. pp. 298–301. ISBN 0-312-03960-3.
- Reichler, Joseph (1982). The Baseball Encyclopedia (5th ed.). Macmillan Publishing. p. 2171. ISBN 0-02-579010-2.
- Forman, Sean L. "1963 World Series". Baseball-Reference.com – Major League Statistics and Information. Archived from the original on November 30, 2007. Retrieved December 9, 2007.
- Branch, John (June 5, 2014). "New York vs. Los Angeles: Rivalry Revived". The New York Times. p. B11.
- Barnes, Mike (June 1, 2014). "Stanley Cup Final: Kings vs. Rangers in L.A.-New York Championship Duel". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved May 15, 2015.
- "1963 World Series Game 1 – Los Angeles Dodgers vs. New York Yankees". Retrosheet. Retrieved September 13, 2009.
- "1963 World Series Game 2 – Los Angeles Dodgers vs. New York Yankees". Retrosheet. Retrieved September 13, 2009.
- "1963 World Series Game 3 – New York Yankees vs. Los Angeles Dodgers". Retrosheet. Retrieved September 13, 2009.
- "1963 World Series Game 4 – New York Yankees vs. Los Angeles Dodgers". Retrosheet. Retrieved September 13, 2009.
- New York cop seeks revenge
- Young, Dick (January 31, 1964). "Young Ideas". Daily News. New York City. p. 57. Retrieved November 4, 2019 – via newspapers.com.
- Quinn, Dan (October 30, 1986). "World Series came out big winner over NFL". The Journal News. White Plains, New York. p. 42. Retrieved November 3, 2019 – via newspapers.com.