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This day in baseball history: Orioles defeat Twins in first ALCS

Featured image The first ever ALCS, played in 1969, pitted the Baltimore Orioles against the Minnesota Twins. The 1969 Orioles were an insanely talented team. They won 109 games during the regular season and outscored their opponents by 262 runs. Few teams in modern baseball history have had better years than that. The Twins weren’t nearly as good. They were no slouches, though. The Twins tallied 97 regular season wins, outscoring the »

This day in baseball history — The Dodgers win pennant on final day

Featured image When we last looked in on the 1966 pennant race, it was mid-September. The Los Angeles Dodgers had overcome a mediocre August and moved into first place, two and half games ahead of the Pittsburgh Pirates and three ahead of the San Francisco Giants. In the second half of September, the Dodgers maintained their lead, but couldn’t shake the competition. When Sandy Koufax beat the St. Louis Cardinals 2-1 on »

This day in baseball history — The Dodgers consolidate their lead

Featured image When we last visited the 1966 National League pennant race, the Dodgers had surged into first place on the strength of four consecutive shutout wins against the Houston Astros. As of the end of play on September 11, they led the Pittsburgh Pirates by one game and the San Francisco Giants by two. Four days later, as the Dodgers began a three game series with the Pirates, their lead was »

This day in baseball history — Osteen succeeds where Drysdale and Koufax failed

Featured image This month marks the 50th anniversary of the World Series between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Minnesota Twins. 1965 was only the Twins’ fifth season in Minnesota and they were already in the World Series. In Washington, DC, from whence they came, the franchise hadn’t been the Series since 1933. This World Series was dramatic in the sense that it went seven games. However, the games themselves didn’t produce »

This day in baseball history — Dodgers retake first place

Featured image On September 28, 1965, the Los Angeles Dodgers moved into sole possession of first place in the National League for the first time since September 6. The Dodgers were hot, having won ten straight games. However, the San Francisco Giants had started off the month of September by winning 18 of 21 before finally cooling off to the tune of 2-4 in their most recent games. Diabolically, the schedule-makers had »

This day in baseball history: The Reds hang in there against Koufax

Featured image The Cincinnati Reds didn’t win the National League pennant in 1964; they finished a game behind the St. Louis Cardinals. Judged by run differential, however, they were the best team in the NL. The Los Angeles Dodgers struggled in 1964, a season in which they lost Sandy Koufax for a month and a half. However, they were the champion’s of baseball in 1963. Thus, it wasn’t surprising that, as they »

Jackie, Sandy, and the Duke — an all-time Dodgers team

Featured image The baseball playoffs are down to a final four: the Los Angeles Dodgers, St. Louis Cardinals, Boston Red Sox, and Detroit Tigers. These are four of the sport’s most venerable franchises. So why not pick all-time teams (25 players and a manager) for each of them? Doing so is a highly subjective exercise, of course. The biggest problem is comparing players who played well for a team for many years »

This day in baseball history

Featured image On September 18, 1963, the St. Louis Cardinals played a must-win game at home against the Los Angeles Dodgers in the finale of a three-game series. At the start of the series, the Cards trailed the Dodgers by just one game, having won 19 of their last 20 contests. But the Dodgers won the first two games, limiting the Cards to one run and seven hits. In the previous 20 »

This day in baseball history

Featured image Until early September, it didn’t appear that the 1963 baseball season would offer fans a pennant race. The New York Yankees had the AL crown wrapped up before September. Going into the final week of August, they led second place Minnesota by 11.5 games. On today’s date, September 16, they were 14 games ahead of second place Chicago. The Los Angeles Dodgers also looked secure at the beginning of September, »

This day in baseball history — a prolonged duel of ace relievers

Featured image On June 11, 1963, relievers Dick Radatz and Terry Fox dueled for more than seven innings in a game between the Boston Red Soc and the Detroit Tigers. Boston eventually prevailed 7-3 in 15 innings. Radatz and Fox were two of the very best relief pitchers in baseball. Radatz was known as the Monster (Detroit baseball writer Joe Falls quipped that “the Red Sox don’t warm him up, they assembled »

This day in baseball history — a dramatic end to a classic series

Featured image On Wednesday, October 3, 1962, the Los Angeles Dodgers and the San Francisco Giants played the final game of their playoff series. Though the 1962 playoff series is all but forgotten, it was a classic, made so by an epic second game and a dramatic finale. If these two teams had still been in New York, as they were during their legendary 1951 series, I suspect this playoff would still »

This day in baseball history — the Dodgers and Giants produce an epic

Featured image On Tuesday October 2, 1962, the Los Angeles Dodgers played a must-win game against the San Francisco Giants, who led them by one game to none in a best of three games playoff for the National League pennant. Dodgers manager Walter Alston turned to his ace, 25-game winner Don Drysdale. Although Double D would have to pitch on only two days of rest, he seemed a better option than rookie »

This day in baseball history

Featured image On September 28, 1962, the Los Angeles Dodgers lost 3-2 to the St. Louis Cardinals in 10 innings. They thus missed the opportunity to clinch at least a tie for the National League pennant. The Cardinals opened the top of the tenth with singles by Curt Flood and Stan Musial off of Ron Perranoski, who was pitching his third inning of relief. With two out, Charley James singled in the »

This day in baseball history

Featured image On Tuesday, September 25, 1962, the outcome of a pair of close games ensured that the National League pennant race would come down to the final games of the season. Heading into the previous weekend, this didn’t seem very likely. The Los Angeles Dodgers held a 4 game lead over the San Francisco Giants with just 9 games remaining. But the Dodgers dropped two of three games in St. Louis, »

This weekend in baseball history, part 2

Featured image A long-time reader completes his account of the late August 1961 showdown between the first-place Cincinnati Reds and the second-place Los Angeles Dodgers: The Dodgers’ ten game losing streak (August 14 through August 24) obscured the fact that Cincinnati wasn’t playing very well either. During the same stretch, the Reds had lost four of the seven games that weren’t against Los Angeles. And now, Los Angeles had won the first »

This day in baseball history

Through the years, the Chicago Cubs have been known for terrible player personnel decisions, the best remembered of which is probably the one that sent Lou Brock to the St. Louis Cardinals for, basically, Ernie Broglio. On April 8, 1960, the Cubs made a deal that ranks with their worst. They traded Ron Perranoski, Johnny Goryl, Lee Handley, and $25,000 to the Los Angeles Dodgers for Don Zimmer. The deal »