Down three games to two in the 1960 World Series, Casey Stengel finally figured out who the ace of his pitching staff was, bypassing Bob Turley and selecting Whitey Ford as his Game Six starter. In Stengel’s telling, though he had help: “I asked my players if they wanted Ford to start and they all did except six or eight; they was the other pitchers which wanted to start themselves.”
Did Stengel really poll his team about whom to start, or was he just talking? Beats me.
Danny Murtaugh faced no quandary. He would start the well-rested Bob Friend.
Pitching on three days rest, Ford reportedly was not at his best in Game Six. According to one account, “his fastball had little zip and his curve wasn’t breaking much.” Yet, the crafty veteran somehow managed to pitch a seven hit shut-out, in which he walked only one batter. Presumably, his pitches were, at least, sinking. 16 Pirates grounded out, three of them into double-plays.
The game was basically settled in the top of the third, when the Yankees scored five runs to take a 6-0 lead. Here’s how they did it:
Kubek was hit by a pitch; Maris doubled to right [Kubek to third]; Mantle singled to right [Kubek scored, Maris scored]; Berra singled [Mantle to third]; CHENEY REPLACED FRIEND (PITCHING); Skowron out on a sacrifice fly to right [Mantle scored]; Blanchard singled to center [Berra to second]; Richardson tripled to left [Berra scored, Blanchard scored];Ford was called out on strikes; Boyer flied out to center.
From there, the Yankees cruised to a 12-0 victory. In the process they banged out 17 hits. Maris, Berra, and Blanchard led the way with three each. Richardson had two hits (both triples) and three RBIs. That ran his Series totals to nine hits and 12 RBIs. For the season he had batted only .252 with 25 RBIs in 150 games (in a previous post, I inadvertently overstated his 1960 RBI total).
Richardson failed to add to his RBI total in Game 7. But the 12 he amassed in the first six games still stands as the most ever batted in by a player in any World Series.
Like Bob Friend and “Vinegar Bend” Mizell, Richardson would run for office as a Republican after retiring from baseball. In 1976, he narrowly lost a race for Congress in South Carolina’s Fifth District.