Willie Davis was the second hitter for the Dodgers in the eighth inning. On September 13, when Willie was getting ready to play against the Phillies in Philadelphia, he received a phone call from Kenny Myers, the scout who had signed him five years ago for $5,000. "Willie," said Myers, "you are standing up at the plate like a stick. Bend over so you can see the pitch better. You are too great an athlete to be hitting .220." So Davis went to the ball park and copied the stance used by Stan Musial. Since that day, Davis has hit .344.
He pumped a double to right off Ralph Terry and quickly came home on a tremendous triple by his roommate, Tommy Davis, a hit that temporarily raised Tommy's World Series batting average to .625. Podres lasted through the seventh, through the eighth and got one man out in the ninth. Then he tired—and admitted it. So Walter Alston brought in Ron Perranoski from the bullpen. The best relief pitcher in baseball finished off a short Yankee rally and kept the score 4-1.
In the dressing room Tommy Davis shook Willie Davis' hand.
"What do you say, Baby?" he asked.
"I say goodby, New York. We won't be back."
Los Angeles was ready for the third game of this World Series, all the way from Disneyland to Pasadena and back downtown to the Follies strip joint at Main and Third, where top billing went to a brunette named Sandi Cofacks. The city of Los Angeles, however, did not really believe that the Dodgers could win the third game of the Series. This season Los Angeles had been persuaded that Don Drysdale, with a record of 19-17, was only a fair pitcher, because his record was not as supreme as it was in 1962 when he won 25 games and lost only nine. Silly city.
Once this year, when Drysdale was enveloped by a canopy of criticism from the Los Angeles press, Walter Alston asked to meet the Dodger writers and discuss his best right-hander. "I consider Don Drysdale," Alston said, "to be just as effective a pitcher this year as he was last year. Look at his earned-run average and not at his won-lost record. In a lot of the games that he has lost we have given him nothing to work with. But his earned-run average is lower now than it was last season [2.66 vs. 2.84]."
When Drysdale arrived at Dodger Stadium for the third game he was an 11-10 underdog in the betting but, universally, he was almost odds-on to lose. There were few people in Los Angeles willing to bet on him. He had lost tough games this year, 1-0, 2-1, 3-2, but losing is losing, and Los Angeles has a definite feeling about losing. Before walking down the left-field line to pose for pictures and to talk to reporters, Drysdale was asked two questions:
Q. There are a lot of people who feel that you will lose today. How do you feel?