Thursday, November 17, 2011

1962 World Series disappointment

As a baseball fan, losing the World Series leaves you feeling deep disappointment.  It is a deeper hurt than your favorite football team losing the Super Bowl.  That is just one game.  But with the World Series, you have the emotionally draining ebb and flow of each game.  Texas Ranger fans are still reeling from losing this year’s Series, especially after coming so close to winning it all in Game 6.  What has been the most disappointing World Series lost for you?        9D79XSUG6D3F

The pain from losing the 1962 World Series resurfaced for me last month when I met former New York Yankee pitcher Ralph Terry at a Kansas City Baseball Historical Society meeting.  The Yankees played the San Francisco Giants that year.  New York was the defending champion and was favored, but my heart was with Willie Mays and the Giants.

Ralph Terry had been the Yankee’s goat of the 1960 World Series.  He surrendered the last of ninth inning, 7th Game winning Home Run to Bill Mazeroski of the Pittsburgh Pirates.  Terry also struggled in the 1961 World Series the Yankees won against the Cincinnati Reds.    He was the losing pitcher in Game Two, the Reds only win.  The Yankees staked him a 6 – 0 lead  in their Series clinching Game Five, but Terry could not get through the 3rd inning and did not record the win.  Terry won 23 games during the 1962 regular season, but he had memories of those past World Series performances he had to erase.  However; it started badly for him, he lost Game Two of the Series 2-0.

His World Series losing streak ended when he won Game 5; 5 – 3, giving the Yankees a 3 – 2 Series lead.  A Northern California rain storm cancelled Game 6 a Series record 3 times.  When play resumed, the Giants won and set the stage for a chance of Ralph Terry’s total vindication in Game Seven.

In that game, Terry led the Giants 1 – 0 going into the bottom of the ninth inning.   With two outs, Matty Alou singled and Mays doubled.  The next batter was Willie McCovey who had tripled in the seventh inning and homered off Terry in Game Two.  McCovey hit a line drive to Second Baseman Bobby Richardson to end the Series.  Giant fans still speculate about the outcome being different if McCovey’s drive was a few feet to the right or left.

It has been 49 years since the 1962 World Series, but seeing Ralph Terry last month brought back my painful memories of it.  It was a Series that ended in frustration for me, but final vindication for him.

What has been your most disappointing World Series lost?