1 LAW AND ORDER IN PITTSBURGH
In Pittsburgh, which is what Beat 'Em, Bucs, Pa. used to be called, it was the most perfect of days. A cheerful October sun danced across Forbes Field and a gentle breeze ruffled the ivy climbing the ancient walls. No one did a lick of work all day. By mid-afternoon it was apparent that the day's steel quotas had not been ignored in vain. The Pirates beat the Yankees 6-4 to make Pittsburgh hysterically happy.
The Yankees scored first when Roger Maris put one of Vernon Law's sliders into the upper deck in right field. If the Pirates were going to turn and run, this was the time to start. Instead they ran all over the Yankees. Bill Virdon led off with a walk and, on Art Ditmar's first pitch to Dick Groat, stole second. When Yogi Berra's throw came sailing down to second base, neither Bobby Richardson nor Tony Kubek was present. Richardson and Kubek looked at each other and at Berra and Virdon and the ball, which by this time was in center field. Virdon grinned and kept right on going to third base. Dick Groat doubled to right, scoring Virdon. Bob Skinner singled through the middle, scoring Groat. Then Roberto Clemente also singled through the middle, scoring Skinner, who had stolen second. Mickey Mantle had a big inning picking up stray baseballs in center field.
Fine defensive plays stopped the Yankees in the second and in the fourth. In the second, Skinner caught Richardson's line drive in left and threw it in to Bill Mazeroski at second base to double up Berra, who flopped frantically in the dirt like a beached whale (opposite), trying to get back. Yogi also was victimized in the fourth when, with Maris on second and Mantle on first, he hit the longest, highest, hardest fly ball he has hit all year. But Forbes Field is a big ball park, and when the ball came down, both Virdon and Clemente were under it. Virdon made the catch—bouncing off Clemente—and although Moose Skowron singled later for the Yankee run, the famed Yankee big inning never occurred.
In the Pirate fourth, Jim Coates, who had relieved Ditmar, threw a fast ball right across the letters to Mazeroski. The count was two strikes and no balls and Mazeroski was surprised to see such a nice fat pitch in such a situation, but not too surprised to hit it over the scoreboard for two more runs.
That was about all except for Roy Face. No Pirate victory is quite official without Face. In the eighth the Yankees led off with two singles and Danny Murtaugh decided that maybe Law was getting a little tired or maybe his twisted ankle was beginning to ache. Anyway, Murtaugh waved in Face. Mantle struck out, Berra flied out, Skowron struck out.
The Yankees looked futile. In the light of what happened the next day, it was a pretty sneaky way for a World Series to start.
2 MANTLE AND HIS MOB BREAK LOOSE
It rained Wednesday night in Pittsburgh and again on Thursday morning and again just before the game. The Pirates would have been better off if it had rained all day. The Yankees turned a relatively close ball game into a complete rout with seven runs in the sixth inning and before they were through managed to compile a number of interesting statistics. Not the least of these was the score, 16-3.
Yet this was a ball game that the Pirates might have won except for a number of circumstances that came together in the Pittsburgh half of the fourth. It all began when Bob Skinner showed up at the park with a jammed thumb, suffered during a slide into third the day before, and had to be kept out of the lineup. This forced Murtaugh to play Rocky Nelson at first base, in order to keep a high level of left-hand hitting against the Yankees' Bob Turley, and depleted his bench of left-hand hitters.