Marty Lurie Talks San Francisco Giants Baseball

World Series Heads Into Sacred Territory

Game Six is the third critical game in a seven game series. Already we have seen the Angels win game two in Anaheim evening the series at one game each.

Next, The Giants won the second critical game, winning game four, evening the series at two games each.

Now, the Angels try to even the series at three each, forcing a game seven.

The sixth game is a beautiful game to watch in any series. If the trailing team in the series wins the game, then the ultimate takes place, one baseball game for the championship, game seven.

If the series ends after six games, a sudden chill permeates the air as we realize baseball is gone until the flowers bloom and the sun shines brightly over head next spring.

Let’s take a look a some of my favorite game six stars from past World Series games and figure out what will happen this year.In 1955, my Brooklyn Dodgers won their first title beating the Yankees in seven games. I stayed home from school to watch the seventh game as Johnny Podres beat the Yankees.

The Dodgers led the series three games to two heading into game six. Whitey Ford pitched a complete game for New York, the Yankees got a three run homer from Moose Skowron in the first inning and forced game seven with a 5-1 win over Karl Spooner and the Dodgers.

My Uncle Abe got to go to the seventh game and to this day I think it was the most wonderful thing that ever happened in his life, seeing the Dodgers win the series over the Yankees, you don’t know how Brooklyn suffered until 1955.

My Uncle Abe took me to my first game in Brooklyn in 1954 beginning my life long love affair with baseball, so each year when the World Series starts to ease into a possible game seven, I think of Abe and how happy he was to finally see his Dodgers win the World Series in the most dramatic fashion.

Someday I’ll meet Johnny Podres and thank him for my Uncle and the joy he gave him when he beat the Yankees 2-0 in game seven.

Without Whitey Ford’s game six masterpiece that baseball moment would not have occurred.

In 1962, the Giants and Yankees finally played game six after a five day rain delay. The Giants tied the series 3-3 behind a fabulous game thrown by Billy Pierce in Candlestick.

Ralph Terry beat the Giants in game seven 1-0, when he retired Willie McCovey with two on and two out in the bottom of the ninth inning.

No one in the Bay Area will ever forget that game, thanks Billy Pierce for setting it up.

Sandy Koufax gave me one of my biggest thrills when he beat the Twins 2-0 in game seven in Minnesota in 1965. Koufax was chosen by Walter Alston to pitch ahead of Don Drysdale on two days rest.

Game six set up that wonderful basbeall moment when Mudcat Grant won his second game of the series for the Twins, beating LA and Claude Osteen 5-1.

Saturday Russ Ortiz starts to try to close it out for SF while Kevin Appier tries to keep it alive for Anaheim.

Believe me, the game six pitchers play a big part in baseball lore, especially if one stands up tall to force a game seven.

In 1968, Denny McLain vindicated himself after two terrible world series starts against the Cardinals. The thirty one game winner lost his two starts in games one and four, then came back on two days rest and beat St. Louis and Ray Washburn 13-1 in game six.

Game seven was a classic as Mickey Lolich beat Bob Gibson 4-1 to win the series for the Tigers. I remember how unbeatable Gibson looked in that series, striking out 17 Tigers in game one 4-0.

When Gibson lost I realized for the first time that anyone can lose and there is never a sure thing in baseball.

Game six, 1986, was the Bill Buckner game for the Mets and the Red Sox. Boston was one out away from the title when the Mets rallied to win the game on Buckner’s error in the tenth inning when he let an easy ground ball go under his glove at first base.

The Mets won game seven 8-5, adding to the Curse of the Bambino.

Game six in 1975 featured Carlton Fisk’s famous home run in the twelfth inning giving the Red sox a 7-6 win in twelve innings.

Game seven saw the Sox lose again when Joe Morgan drove in the winning run with a single off of Jim Burton, a journeyman lefthander who carried the Sox hopes in the final frame.

Again, the heroics of game seven which are indelible on any baseball fans mind, were set up by a game six hero.

Pittsburgh has had a few game seven heroes. None would have existed, including Bill Mazeroski, without memorable performances in game six.

In 1960, Whitey Ford (again for NY, remember 1955) forced a game seven when he shut the Pirates out 12-0 in game six.

Pittsburgh won game seven on Mazeroski’s home run off Ralph Terry in the bottom of the ninth inning. I’ll never forget that one either, sitting in journalism class in the tenth grade in Miami Beach listening to the game on the radio.

In 1971, Jim Palmer, Pat Dobson and Dave McNally pitched ten innings when the Orioles forced game seven winning 3-2.

What made game six special was Frank Robinson scoring the winning run when he tagged up on a short fly to center field and then beat the throw home. Possibly, the most daring base running feat that I can remember.

Steve Blass came back for Pittsburgh in game seven and pitched the greatest game of his life beating the Orioles 2-1. Roberto Clemente single handedly beating Mike Cuellar with a memorable display of speed and power.

1979 the Pirates did it again to Baltimore. Down in the series 3-1, Pittsburgh won the final three games of the series. Game six was John Candeleria’s turn as he whitewashed Baltimore 4-0 setting up the heroics of Willie Stargell whose homer off Scott MacGregor won the seventh game 4-1.

We can go on and on recounting the peformances and career defining moments of the players who starred or failed in either games six and seven of a world series.

This year the world series has been a series devoid of dominant starting pitching.

Anaheim and SF match each other hit for hit.

Can Ortiz get it done? Maybe. More likely, if the Giants win in six, Felix Rodriguez, Tim Worrell, and Robb Nen will determine the outcome.

For Ortiz and Appier the job is simple, get the ball to the bull pen after the sixth inning. Appier usually pitches to the competition, if Ortiz is on his game, Appier will match him, if Ortiz gets the shakes again, count on Appier giving way to Donnelly and Francisco Rodriguez by the fifth inning.

I have a feeling that we will see a game seven.

The series has been one of runs and hits. Saturday and Sunday, if we go that far, should be much of the same.

With Livan Hernandez ready for Sunday, I feel the Giants have the edge this weekend.

Every game is unique unto itself. The big players who win the championship for their teams will join the list of the immortal series heroes of all time.

If you want to think of unlikely game six heroes who made the seventh game possible for their winning teammates, go no further than John Stuper in 1982 when he won game six over the Brewers 13-1 allowing Joaquin Andujar to win game seven for the Cardinals 6-3. John Stuper won 32 games in his entire major league career, his biggest was game six in the 1982 series.

So who will it be Saturday night? Barry Bonds or Troy Glaus, my guess is it will be someone on the fringe of stardom who determines whether or not we see the ultimate baseball game of all time, game seven of a world series.

I’ll be there in Anaheim with the rally monkey, Darren Baker, the thundersticks and baseball history.

I’ll savor the moments and tell you about it when it is over and when I’m back home on Monday.

Until then, I don’t care who is managing the Mets, Cubs, Mariners or the A’s, let’s see some baseball history.

This weekend is for Uncle Abe who will always be with me.

Thanks, Abe. I’ll always love you and the gift you gave me.


There are no comments yet...

Kick things off by filling out the form below.

You must log in to post a comment.