1965 World Series
|Dates:||October 6 – 14|
|MVP:||Sandy Koufax (Los Angeles, the 2nd time)|
|TV announcers:||Ray Scott and Vin Scully|
|Radio announcers:||By Saam and Joe Garagiola|
|Umpires:||Eddie Hurley (AL), Tony Venzon (NL), Red Flaherty (AL), Ed Sudol (NL), Bob Stewart (AL), Ed Vargo (NL)|
|Hall of Famers:||Dodgers: Walt Alston (mgr.), Don Drysdale, Sandy Koufax.
Twins: Harmon Killebrew.
The 1965 World Series featured the National League champion Los Angeles Dodgers against the American League champion Minnesota Twins, who had won their first pennant since 1933 when the team was known as the Washington Senators. The Dodgers prevailed in seven games to capture their second title in three years, and their third since moving to Los Angeles in 1958.
Both teams improved from sixth place finishes in 1964; the Twins won the A.L. pennant with relative ease while the Dodgers were locked in a season long five-way battle in the N.L. between themselves, the Giants, Pirates, Reds, and Braves. After the Giants won their 14th consecutive game to take a 4 1⁄2 game lead on September 16, the Dodgers went on a 13-game winning streak over the final two weeks of the season to clinch the pennant on the next to last day of the season over the second place rival Giants.
During the 1965 Season, the Dodgers relied heavily on the arms of Sandy Koufax and Don Drysdale, and would rely on them even more in the World Series, as the Dodgers only used seven pitchers. The Dodgers' strong core of pitchers, which also included Claude Osteen and Ron Perranoski, kept them in the pennant race and into the Series. Koufax, surviving on a steady diet of Cortisone and pain killers for his arthritic left elbow, pitched five times in 15 days down the stretch, winning four (three shutouts), including 13 strikeouts in the pennant winner against Milwaukee.
Dodger hitting however remained strictly popgun, especially after Tommy Davis went down in late April for the season with a broken ankle. Manager Walter Alston promptly called up 12-year minor league veteran Lou Johnson from Spokane. Johnson led the Dodgers, along with ROY Jim Lefebvre, in home runs with just 12.
The Twins, managed by Sam Mele, had a more balanced attack, equally strong in pitching and hitting, although their defense committed 173 errors including 39 by shortstop Zoilo Versalles. Offensively Mele again had balance with good hitting, power and speed up and down his lineup that included AL's leading hitter Tony Oliva (.321), and 20-plus home runs from five different players. Pitching was spearheaded by 20-game winner Mudcat Grant, Jim "Kitty" Kaat, and Camilo Pascual.
This was only the second World Series where both teams were located west of the Mississippi River. The first occurred in 1944, when the St. Louis Browns faced their Sportsman's Park tenants, the St. Louis Cardinals.
This World Series was the first in which all games were played in cities that did not have National League or American League teams in 1903, the year of the first modern World Series.
The Twins won the first two games of the series against Don Drysdale and Sandy Koufax, but once Claude Osteen shut out the Twins in Game 3, things turned around. The Dodgers proceeded to win the three middle games at Dodger Stadium and Koufax would pitch two shutouts including a three-hitter with ten strikeouts to clinch. Ron Fairly hit two home runs for the Dodgers, both in losing efforts.
|1||October 6||Los Angeles Dodgers – 2, Minnesota Twins – 8||Metropolitan Stadium||2:29||47,797|
|2||October 7||Los Angeles Dodgers – 1, Minnesota Twins – 5||Metropolitan Stadium||2:13||48,700|
|3||October 9||Minnesota Twins – 0, Los Angeles Dodgers – 4||Dodger Stadium||2:06||55,934|
|4||October 10||Minnesota Twins – 2, Los Angeles Dodgers – 7||Dodger Stadium||2:15||55,920|
|5||October 11||Minnesota Twins – 0, Los Angeles Dodgers – 7||Dodger Stadium||2:34||55,801|
|6||October 13||Los Angeles Dodgers – 1, Minnesota Twins – 5||Metropolitan Stadium||2:16||49,578|
|7||October 14||Los Angeles Dodgers – 2, Minnesota Twins – 0||Metropolitan Stadium||2:27||50,596|
|WP: Mudcat Grant (1–0) LP: Don Drysdale (0–1)
LAD: Ron Fairly (1)
MIN: Don Mincher (1), Zoilo Versalles (1)
Game 1 was set to be a pitching duel between Dodgers' Don Drysdale and the Twins' Mudcat Grant (21–7, 3.30 ERA on the year). Drysdale was starting because the game fell on Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the year for people of the Jewish faith. Dodger ace Sandy Koufax, who was Jewish, stated he would not pitch that day.
In the Twins' third inning any thought of a pitchers' duel was put to rest. Going into that inning, it was 1–1. Coming out, it was 7–1. It started with a Frank Quilici double to left field, followed by an error by Jim Lefebvre, allowing the pitcher Grant to reach. Then, shortstop Zoilo Versalles stepped to the plate. He had hit nineteen home runs in the regular season and would later win the AL MVP Award for that year. He crushed a pitch from Drysdale for a three-run home run to make the score, 4–1. However, the Twins' scoring wasn't over. With still no one out, left fielder Sandy Valdespino began things again with a double. After a few outs and baserunners, and a single by Harmon Killebrew, the Twins had two runners again. With three straight singles (Earl Battey, Don Mincher, and Quilici), scoring three unearned runs, the Twins had jumped out to a six-run lead and would never look back, winning the game 8–2.
The Dodgers had scored their runs on a Ron Fairly homer and a Maury Wills bunt single that scored Lefebvre. Grant received the win while Drysdale took the loss. In the postgame news conference, a reporter jokingly said to Dodger manager Walter Alston, "I bet you wish Drysdale was Jewish too."
|WP: Jim Kaat (1–0) LP: Sandy Koufax (0–1)|
In Game 2, the Twins this time got to Dodger ace Sandy Koufax. Minnesota's pitcher, this time Jim Kaat, again shut down the Dodgers' weak offense. A heavy rain storm soaked Metropolitan Stadium overnight, and the two teams slogged their way through the first five innings. In the top of the fifth, Ron Fairly singled, then left-fielder Bob Allison made a diving, sliding catch of a fly ball off the bat of Jim Lefebvre, preventing a run. This time the Twins didn't get their runs until later on. Again though, an error hurt the Dodgers. In the Twins half of the sixth, Versalles hit a missile shot and Jim Gilliam bobbled the ball at third base, the ball ricocheted off Gilliam and into left field. Versalles reached on the two-base error, and ended up scoring on a Tony Oliva double. Killebrew followed with a single plating Oliva. That is all the runs the Twins would need, though Kaat added insurance in the eighth with a two-run base hit of his own. The Twins went up 2–0 in the series as they prevailed, 5–1 in the game.
|WP: Claude Osteen (1–0) LP: Camilo Pascual (0–1)|
In Game 3, Claude Osteen was the pitcher for the Dodgers. With his team down 0–2 in the series, pressure was put on him to have a good start so that his team would not fall behind 0–3. He was set to face the Twins' Camilo Pascual who had a quality (though somewhat injury plagued) year (9–3, 3.35 ERA). Dodger Stadium filled to capacity, and the fans were treated to a special appearance from Casey Stengel, a member of the 1916 Dodgers World Series team. Stengel, sans his cane despite a broken hip, hobbled on to the field and threw out the first pitch to the delight of everyone.
In the first inning, Versalles led off with a double. A groundout to first by Nossek, sent Versalles to third. Another groundout followed by a walk to Killebrew and the Twins had runners and first and third with two out. But Versalles was caught stealing home on the front end of an attempted double steal to end the inning. In the fourth inning, with the score at 0–0, Johnny Roseboro put two runs on the board for the Dodgers on a two-run single. The play would cost the Dodgers dearly, as Jim Lefebvre bruised his heel crossing the plate with the second of the two runs. The Dodgers, already short on hitting (Lefebvre was batting .400 at the time), went with Dick Tracewski (who batted only .118 for the Series) at second base the rest of the way. The Twins received a scare of their own in the bottom of the seventh inning. Catcher Earl Battey, chasing a popup off Willie Davis, collided full speed with the railing used to cover sub-field level "dugout seats" next to the Twins dugout. Battey crumpled in a heap in front of the dugout holding his neck and was replaced by Jerry Zimmerman. Battey would recover and play the rest of the series. Osteen, who was shutting out the Twins continued to do so inning after inning, while Los Angeles continued to score runs on a Willie Davis single and a Lou Johnson double in the fifth, and then a Wills double in the sixth.
Osteen, who as a pitcher for the Senators had had a perfect 5–0 record against the Twins, completed the game by getting backup catcher Jerry Zimmerman to ground into a double play. He allowed only five hits in the contest. He had done what the Dodgers first two aces could not and helped make the series a tight two games to one as the Dodgers won, 4–0.
|WP: Don Drysdale (1–1) LP: Mudcat Grant (1–1)
MIN: Harmon Killebrew (1), Tony Oliva (1)
LAD: Wes Parker (1), Lou Johnson (1)
In Game 4, a rematch of Game 1 pitchers Drysdale and Grant, the Dodgers ace prevailed allowing only two runs, both earned on five hits and two walks. He had eleven strike outs in the game, fanning Jimmie Hall and Mincher three times each. The Twins' Grant gave up three runs in the first five innings, then was removed in the sixth inning, when the Dodgers put three more runs on the board, two charged to Grant, while one was charged to reliever Al Worthington.
The Twins opened the game with aggression on the base paths when Sandy Valdespino, tried to stretch a single into a double. Lou Johnson, not known as a great fielder gunned down Valdespino with a laser shot to Tracewski at second. The Dodgers meanwhile scored their first two runs without even getting the ball out of the infield. Leading off the first inning, Maury Wills collided at first base with Twins second baseman Frank Quilici on an infield single as pitcher Mudcat Grant was slow to cover the bag. The play cartwheeled Wills backwards, but the Dodger SS dusted himself off and promptly stole second. Wills went to third on another infield single to first, this time by the speedy Willie Davis as Grant was again slow to cover. Wills scored when Ron Fairly was safe at first beating out a DP grounder.
In the bottom of the second, Dodger speed made up for what seemed a lack of power. Parker bunted a single, again down the first base line. Parker then attempted to steal second but made it all the way to third when Grant's pitch went wild. Parker scored when Roseboro's grounder to second got through Quilici.
After that inning, the Dodgers showed power with Parker and Johnson home runs. The Twins had scored their two runs on home runs from Killebrew and Oliva. Back in form, Drysdale had evened the series up as the Dodgers won, 7–2.
|WP: Sandy Koufax (1–1) LP: Jim Kaat (1–1)|
In Game 5, a mirror image of Game 4, the pitcher for the Twins who had done so well in Game 2, Jim Kaat, did not do as well this time, as the Dodgers won their third straight by shutting out the Twins. Koufax had an excellent start, giving up only four hits, one walk, and striking out ten. After Kaat gave up two runs quickly in the first inning, and then again in the third, Dave Boswell came in to attempt to stop the bleeding. Later, Jim Perry did the same. While both fared better than Kaat, Koufax basically put the game out of reach in the seventh, when he helped himself out with an RBI single to score Fairly. The Dodgers won their third in a row and went up 3–2 in the series. The final score was 7–0.
14-year old and future major league pitcher Craig Swan, a member of the Long Beach, CA, Pony League Champions, threw out the first pitch. In the first inning Dodger speed forced the Twins into fielding mishaps. Maury Wills doubled and Gilliam singled in the run. Next, Willie Davis bunted and third-baseman Killebrew's hurried throw to first went high, through Quilici's glove enabling the streaking Davis to make it all the way to third and plating Gilliam. Meanwhile, Koufax demonstrated top form striking out 4 of 6 hitters in the second and third innings as the Dodgers continued to use speed to put pressure on the Minnesota defense. In the Dodger third, in rapid succession, Davis singled and promptly stole second. Johnson singled and Davis scored without a throw from center-fielder Nossek. Fairly doubled to center bringing home Johnson and chasing Kaat from the mound. In the fourth inning Wills beat out an infield single to Versalles, stole second, and came home on another Gilliam single to center. The Dodgers collected 14 hits and 4 stolen bases on the day, while Koufax steadily kept the Twins in check for the shutout.
|WP: Mudcat Grant (2–1) LP: Claude Osteen (1–1)
LAD: Ron Fairly (2)
MIN: Bob Allison (1), Mudcat Grant (1)
In Game 6, Osteen did not fare quite as well as he had in his last start. In the fourth inning, Battey reached on an error by Dick Tracewski, yet another fielding blunder made by the Dodgers. This was followed by a Bob Allison two run home run. Meanwhile, Grant for the Twins, was on his game once again. Although Grant pitched very well (1 run, 6 hits, 5 strike outs), he also helped himself, similar to Koufax for L.A. the game before, but this time with a towering three-run home run, after Quilici was intentionally walked to get to Grant. A Fairly home run, his second of the series, put the Dodgers on the board and made the score 5–1, which would end up being the final, as Grant pitched a complete game.
Twins manager Sam Mele chose to leave veteran pitchers Pascual and Perry and youngster Jim Merritt in the bullpen, instead going with Mudcat Grant on only two days rest. Grant quickly disposed of the Dodgers in the first inning and the Dodgers responded by turning a double-play after Versalles led off the Twins half of the first with a single. In the second inning, Twins catcher Earl Battey brought the nearly 50,000 Metropolitan Stadium fans to their feet by leading off with a triple past a diving Willie Davis in center. Battey showed no outward ill-effects of his collision with the railing in Game 3, by diving head first into third base on the play. Osteen promptly struck out Allison and Quilici to quell the threat. Later in the third inning, Battey gunned down Roseboro on an attempted steal. Battey continued his fine play in the fourth by hustling to first when Tracewski booted his groundball, and Allison followed with a home run. Mudcat Grant checked the Dodgers and complimented his battery mate’s performance with his three-run home run in the bottom of the sixth. Grant pitched solidly all day to give the Twins a win and tie the series at 3–3.
|WP: Sandy Koufax (2–1) LP: Jim Kaat (1–2)
LAD: Lou Johnson (2)
A series that held many would-be pitching duels featured one final one in Game 7. Dodger manager Walt Alston was torn between starting Drysdale on normal rest or Koufax with only two days' rest. He decided on the left-handed Koufax, figuring if needed he would bring the right-handed Drysdale on in relief, and then go back to his left-handed relief ace Ron Perranoski. Koufax told announcer Vin Scully in a post-game interview that he and Drysdale had come to the ballpark that day not knowing which of them would be on the mound and that Manager Alston announced his decision at a team meeting. According to Koufax, the manager announced the decision purely in strategic terms regarding lefty vs. righty, saying he worded his announcement without even using the pitchers' names, saying only that he thought he'd "like to start the left hander." The Twins went with Jim Kaat, also starting on two days' rest. Both managers had relief pitchers warming up as their respective starters began the game. Koufax had trouble throwing his curveball for strikes but escaped a couple of early jams, including one in the third inning when Zoilo Versailles had stolen second base with one out, but was called back after batter Joe Nossek was ruled out for interference. After the early innings, Koufax effectively gave up on his curveball and pitched the rest of the game almost exclusively with fastballs, yet still baffling the hard-hitting Twins. In the fourth inning, Dodger left fielder Lou Johnson told Koufax that he would get him the only run he would need. Johnson promptly stepped to the plate and hit one off the left field foul pole to give the Dodgers a 1–0 lead. Ron Fairly followed with a double and scored on a Wes Parker single. The two runs were scored on three consecutive pitches.
Knowing Kaat was pitching on two days rest, manager Mele had pulled him quickly and brought in reliever Al Worthington. Relievers Worthington, Johnny Klippstein, Jim Merritt, and Jim Perry combined to shut out the Dodgers for the rest of the game. The Twins threatened again in the fifth inning when they had runners on first and second with only one out. Versailles then hit a hard ground ball down the third base line that appeared to be going for a double. This may have ended Koufax's day as Don Drysdale was warming up in the bull pen. But Dodger third baseman Jim Gilliam (who ironically was often replaced that season late in games for defensive reasons) made a diving backhanded stop and stepped on third for a force, then Koufax bore down and got the third out of the inning. He ended up tossing a three hit shutout, striking out ten in one of the greatest World Series Game 7 pitching performances ever.
Sweet Lou Johnson hit two home runs, including the game winner in the clinching Game 7.
No relief pitchers were used by the winning team in any game of this series; the winning starting pitcher went the distance in all seven games. This had not happened since 1940, and has never been repeated since.
The Twins' loss in Game 7 remains the only World Series game the Twins have lost at home, having later won all their home games in 1987 and 1991. Through 2014, the Twins have never won a road World Series Game (not including when the franchise was the original Washington Senators).
The National League won its third consecutive World Series (Dodgers in 1963, St. Louis Cardinals in 1964). The Senior Circuit would not claim back-to-back titles again until 1975 and 1976, when the Cincinnati Reds did so.
|Los Angeles Dodgers||3||2||2||6||1||4||4||1||1||24||64||6|
|Total attendance: 364,326 Average attendance: 52,047
Winning player's share: $10,297 Losing player's share: $6,634
The Dodgers would return to the World Series the following year, only to be swept in four straight games by the Baltimore Orioles. The Dodgers would score two runs in Game 1, those would be only runs they would score in the entire series. Sandy Koufax would retire after the series at age 30, due to chronic arthritis and bursitis in his pitching elbow.
Meanwhile, the Twins would have to wait twenty-two more years before returning to the World Series, where they would finally win their first World Series championship since 1924 (when they were known as the Washington Senators), and their first since moving to Minnesota, by beating the St. Louis Cardinals in seven games.
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