Everyone knows about the 1951 New York Giants dramatic, ninth inning playoff win against the Brooklyn Dodgers, but many fans, especially younger fans, are unaware that the San Francisco Giants did it again in 1962.
The Giants and the Los Angeles Dodgers finished the season on Sept. 30 tied for first place, which meant that, just as in 1951, the teams would play a best two-out-of three playoff series.
In 1962, the Giants, behind left-hander Billy Pierce, who had been 12-0 at Candlestick Park during the season, shut out the Dodgers and Sandy Koufax, 8-0 in the first game.
In 1951, the Giants, behind big right-hander Jim Hearn, beat the Dodgers and Ralph Branca, 3-1 at Ebbets Field in the first game.
In 1962, the Dodgers won the second game, 8-7, when Ron Fairly drove home Maury Wills on a ninth-inning sacrifice fly.
In 1951, the Dodgers won the second game when Clem Labine, who was the Dodgers’ top relief pitcher, started and shut out the Giants, 10-0.
Now we come to the third game. The game was played on Oct. 3 in 1951. The game was played on Oct. 3 in 1962.
Juan Marichal started for the Giants against Brooklyn Dodgers’ 1955 World Series hero Johnny Podres, who was working on only two days’ rest.
After eight innings, the Dodgers led 4-2.
In 1951, at the end of eight innings, the Dodgers led 4-1.
Ed Roebuck, who had come into the game for Podres in the sixth inning with the bases loaded and no out, and had escaped without a run scoring, was on the mound to open the ninth inning. There were no closers in 1962. There were relief pitchers who usually pitched until they lost their effectiveness or tired.
Matty Alou pinch-hit for Don Larsen. The little left-handed slap hitter singled to right.
Harvey Kuenn hit a ground ball to the left side that shortstop Maury Wills fielded and tossed to second baseman Larry Burright for a force out.
Willie McCovey, representing the potential tying run, batted for Chuck Hiller. Roebuck walked him. Ernie Bowman ran for Willie.
Roebuck then walked Matty’s older brother, Felipe, to load the bases with only one out.
The batter was Willie Mays. The greatest of all Giants hit a hard shot up the middle that caromed off Roebuck, scoring Kuenn. The bases were still loaded with Giants.
Dodgers’ manager Walt Alston gave the ball to Stan Williams, which was a fatal mistake.
Orlando Cepeda hit a fly ball to fairly deep right field where Ron Fairly made the catch, but Bowman scored to tie the game, and Alou moved to third. Willie was still on first with two outs.
Facing left-handed hitting Ed Baily, Williams made a wild pitch that rolled only a few away from Johnny Roseboro. Alou held third as Mays moved to second.
Bailey was walked intentionally walked to once again load the bases, bringing up Jim Davenport.
Williams walked in the go-ahead run.
Davenport’s walk was not Bobby Thomson’s home run, but just like Thomson, Davenport put the Giants ahead, 5-4 in the ninth inning. This game was not at the Polo Grounds. It was at Dodger Stadium. The Dodgers seemingly would still have a chance.
Alston took out Williams and brought in left-hander Ron Perranoski, who got Jose Pagan to hit a ground ball behind second.
Larry Burright messed it up as Willie scored the Giants’ sixth run. Bob Nieman struck out to end the inning, but not the Dodgers’ nightmare.
Giants’ manager Al Dark brought in Billy Pierce, who retired the Dodgers in order.
It was less dramatic than 1951 in some ways, but winning a pennant in the ninth inning can be nothing but dramatic.
Once again, “The Giants win the pennant. The Giants win the pennant.”
Third Game of the 1962 Playoff Series at Retrosheet
By JOHN DREBINGER Special to The New York Times. (1962, October 4). Giants Win Playoff, 6-4, in 9th; Oppose Yanks in Series Today: Giants Beat Dodgers to Win Pennant and Will Face Yanks in Series Today 4-RUN 9TH INNING DECIDES 6-4 GAME Giants Combine 2 Singles, 4 Walks and Error in Rally to Win Playoff, 2 to 1. New York Times (1923-Current file), p. 1. Retrieved August 3, 2010, from ProQuest Historical Newspapers The New York Times (1851 – 2006). (Document ID: 90581537).