In my write-up of the 1960 Season
, I described the 1960 World Series as "one of the most remarkable World Series ever."
The Pittsburgh Pirates
beat the New York Yankees
4 games to 3, despite being outscored in the series 55 to 27. The 55 runs scored by the Yankees as well as the 28-run differential are both World Series records, for either a winning or losing team.
I thought it might be interesting to take a look at the 1960 World Series game by game and see what Player won-lost records have to say about it. The links in the section headings below are to box scores and play-by-play descriptions of the games from Retrosheet
, which is my source for the data which I used to calculate Player won-lost records.
After a one-year absence, the 1960 season
saw the New York Yankees
regain their usual position at the top of the American League. The 1960 season gave the Yankees 10 pennants over the previous 12 seasons and, while obviously not known at the time, was the first of five straight pennants from 1960 through 1964, at which point the Yankees would have won 14 of the previous 16 American League pennants.
Meanwhile, over in the National League
, the Pittsburgh Pirates
won their first pennant in 33 seasons, just three years removed from a string of eight straight 7th or 8th place finishes from 1950 - 1957 that saw the Pirates average 97 losses per season.
For the season, the Yankees won two more games than the Pirates, 97-95, including a 15-game winning streak to end the season. The combination of Yankee mystique, the 15-game winning streak, and some feeling that the Pirates were a bit of a fluke pennant winner led to the Yankees being considered heavy favorites
heading into the World Series.
Game 1: Pittsburgh 6, New York 4
produced the first run of the 1960 World Series with a two-out solo home run in the top of the first inning.
The Pirates responded in the bottom of the first inning with two singles, a double, a walk, and two stolen bases, knocking Yankees starter Art Ditmar
out of the game after five batters (only one of whom made an out) and taking a 3-1 lead.
The Yankees cut the lead in half in the top of the fourth inning when Moose Skowron
singled home Maris with one out. But Bill Mazeroski
hit a one-out, two-run home run in the bottom of the inning off of Jim Coates
to push the Pirates lead to 5-2.
The Pirates added one more insurance run in the sixth inning on a Bill Virdon
The Yankees threatened in the top of the ninth inning, scoring two runs on an Elston Howard
home run, and brought the tying run to the plate with one out. But Roy Face
got Hector Lopez
to ground into a game-ending 6-4-3 double play and the Pirates won Game 1 by a final score of 6-4.
Player won-lost records for Game 1, in something similar to a box score, are shown in the next table.
The stars of the game for the Pirates were Bill Mazeroski
(2-for-4 with a 2-run home run and 2 runs scored, part of 3 double plays on defense), Bob Skinner
(1-for-3 with a SB, drove in the run that gave the Pirates the 2-1 lead they never relinquished), and Bill Virdon
(1-for-3 with a SB, run scored, and run batted in).
The two Pirates pitchers both score positive in net pWins but negative in net context-neutral wins. In 1960, the major-league ERA was 3.82 with a major-league batting average of .255. Law
allowed 4 runs in 9 innings and a .351 batting average against. But, given a lead in the first inning, Law and Face were able to preserve it for the final eight innings of the game.
For the Yankees, Maris and Skowron played well (5 hits, including 1 HR, 2 RBI), but their contributions were more than offset by negative performances by practically everybody else, most notably pitchers Jim Coates
(2 runs in 3.2 IP) and Art Ditmar
(who allowed 4 of 5 batters faced to reach safely) and second baseman Bobby Richardson
, who went 0-for-4 with an error. Elston Howard's
two-run pinch-hit home run in the 9th inning was a case of too little, too late.
Game 2: New York 16, Pittsburgh 3
Game 2 was scoreless until the third inning when the Yankees struck first on RBI base hits from Tony Kubek
and Gil McDougald
. The Yankees added a third (unearned) run in the fourth inning when pitcher Bob Turley
singled home Bobby Richardson
with two outs.
The Pirates struck back in the bottom of the fourth inning. Gino Cimoli
and Smoky Burgess
led off the inning with singles, and Don Hoak
doubled, scoring Cimoli and putting the tying run in scoring position with nobody out. The Pirates failed to score any more runs, however, and it was all downhill from there.
In the bottom of the fourth inning, with one out and the tying run on second base, Pirates manager Danny Murtaugh pinch hit for starting pitcher Bob Friend
. Friend hadn't pitched particularly well to that point, allowing 3 runs (2 earned) on 6 hits over four innings. But, in retrospect, he was the pitching star of the day for the Pirates. Four relief pitchers combined to allow 12 runs over the next three innings as the Yankees extended their lead to 15-1 by the end of the seventh inning. Both teams added meaningless runs in the ninth inning to produce the final score of 16-3.
A Player won-lost box score for Game 2 follows.
The players of the game for the Yankees were starting pitcher Bob Turley
, who pitched 8.1 solid innings (3 runs, two earned, on 13 hits and 3 walks) and also drove in the Yankees' third run, Bobby Richardson
, who went 3-for-4 with three runs scored and two RBI, Mickey Mantle
, who hit two home runs and drove in five runs, and Gil McDougald
, who went 2-for-3 plus a walk with one run scored and two RBI.
As an example of the extent to which context matters, Bobby Shantz
faced one batter and got him to hit into a game-ending double play. Given the situation when he entered the game - the Yankees were leading 16-3 - the value of this play in context was trivial.
For the Pirates, Don Hoak
, whose 4th-inning double briefly appeared to put the Pirates back in the game, was the only player whose net contributions were significantly positive. The two biggest culprits in terms of net Player losses for the Pirates were their first two pitchers, Bob Friend
and Fred Green
, who combined to allow 7 runs in 5 innings (plus two batters). Clem Labine
might have pitched the poorest of any Pirates pitcher (7 batters faced, 5 of whom scored), but the score was already 6-1 when he came into the game with the seventh run of the game already on second base (it didn't help matters that his defense committed a passed ball and an error behind him either), so the value of his performance was somewhat less negative in context.
Game 3: New York 10, Pittsburgh 0
Game 3 was over early. After Whitey Ford
set the Pirates down 1-2-3 in the top of the first inning, the Yankees made quick work of Pirates pitching. The Yankees sent 11 men to the plate against 3 Pirates pitchers in the bottom of the first inning to take a 6-0 lead. They added four more runs in the bottom of the fourth inning and Ford pitched a 4-hit, 1-walk complete-game shutout.
A Player won-lost box score for Game 3 follows.
The big hero of Game 3 was Bobby Richardson
, whose first-inning grand slam broke the game open. Several other players also contributed, though, including Mickey Mantle
, who went 4-for-5 including a two-run home run, Whitey Ford
, and Bill "Moose" Skowron
, who went 2-for-5 and drove in the first run of the game.
On the Pirates side of things, Roberto Clemente
was the only player whose contributions netted out positive. At the bottom of the Pirates list were the first two Pirates pitchers of the day, each of whom faced five batters and recorded only one out.
Game 4: Pittsburgh 3, New York 2
After losing the previous two games by a combined score of 26-3, the Pirates desperately needed a strong performance from their starting pitcher, or at least they needed him to make it out of the first inning.
Fortunately, Vern Law
was up to the task. Even so, the Yankees struck first for the fourth time in as many games on a Moose Skowron
home run in the bottom of the fourth inning.
But this time, the Pirates answered back in the top of the fifth inning as Law doubled home one run and Bill Virdon
singled home two more.
The Yankees managed one more run in the seventh inning to cut the Pirates' lead to 3-2, but Roy Face
retired the last eight Yankee hitters of the game and the Pirates evened up the World Series with a 3-2 win.
A Player won-lost box score for Game 4 follows.
The heroes of Game 4 for the Pirates were their two pitchers: Roy Face
and Vern Law
. On the Yankees' side, it was sort of a generalized team loss: pitching not bad but not quite good enough, not enough hitting.
Game 5: Pittsburgh 5, New York 2
For the first time in the series, the Pittsburgh Pirates scored the first run of the game, scoring three runs in the second inning on three hits and an error, knocking Yankees' starter Art Ditmar
out of the game.
The Yankees scored single runs in the bottom of the second and third innings but the Pirates matched those in their half of the third and the top of the ninth for a final score of 5-2, Pittsburgh, giving the Pirates a 3-2 series lead with the series headed back to Pittsburgh.
A Player won-lost box score for Game 5 follows.
Several Pirates were key contributors to this win, led by the same man who was tops in net pWins in Game 4, Roy Face
The big loser for the Yankees was Gil McDougald
, whose 2nd-inning error led to two unearned runs. McDougald also went 0-for-4 including making the final out of the 7th inning with the tying run on first base.
Game 6: New York 12, Pittsburgh 0
Game 6 was highly reminiscent of Game 3: the Yankees scored six runs in the first three innings and Whitey Ford
pitched a complete-game shutout. The Yankees won 12-0 and the World Series was tied at three games apiece.
A Player won-lost box score for Game 6 follows.
The top player of Game 6 was Whitey Ford
, who pitched a complete-game 7-hit shutout and also went 1-for-4 with a sacrifice and two RBI.
The player most responsible for the Pirates' loss was starting pitcher Bob Friend
who only lasted two innings plus four batters and put the Pirates in a 5-0 hole.
Game 7: Pittsburgh 10, New York 9
The Pirates struck first in Game 7 on a two-run home run by Rocky Nelson
and added two more runs in the bottom of the second inning.
Pirates starter Vern Law
seemed to be well on his way to picking up his third pitching win of the World Series, shutting the Yankees out through four innings. The Yankees picked up a single run in the top of the fifth inning as Moose Skowron
led off the inning with his second home run of the World Series, but the Pirates still held a comfortable 4-1 lead through five innings.
It didn't last. Bobby Richardson
led off the inning with a single, Tony Kubek
walked and the Pirates turned to their relief ace who had closed out the Pirates first three wins in the series: Roy Face
. Face couldn't close out this one and when Yogi Berra
launched a one-out, three-run home run, the Yankees had a 5-4 lead.
The Yankees extended their lead to 7-4 in the top of the 8th inning and things weren't looking good in Pittsburgh.
The bottom of the eighth inning started well for the Pirates with three straight singles that cut the lead to 7-5. Relief pitcher Jim Coates
came in and retired the next two hitters. But Roberto Clemente
kept the inning alive with an RBI single to make the score 7-6 with runners on first and third and catcher Hal Smith
, who had just entered the game in the top of the eighth, coming up to bat. Smith responded with a three-run home run to give the Pirates a 9-7 lead with one inning to go.
But the dramatics were far from over. The Yankees cobbled together three singles and an RBI groundout in the top of the ninth inning to tie the score at 9-9.
Which brought Bill Mazeroski
to the plate to lead off the bottom of the ninth inning. He promptly put the second pitch he saw from Ralph Terry
in the left-field bleachers and the Pittsburgh Pirates were World Champions for the first time in 35 years.
A Player won-lost box score for Game 7 follows.
Two results from the above table strike me as most noteworthy. First, while Bill Mazeroski's home run is the most famous hit from this (or arguably any other) World Series game, it was not, in fact, the most valuable hit of the game. That honor belonged to teammate Hal Smith. Mazeroski's home run broke a tie with nobody out (and a pinch hitter and then the top of the Pirates' order coming up). Smith's home run came with two out and the Pirates losing by a run. Still, Mazeroski was certainly one of the stars of the game.
The other thing that is perhaps noteworthy is that the New York Yankees actually amassed more context-neutral player wins in this game than the Pittsburgh Pirates, 1.96 to 1.83. For the game as a whole, the Yankees collected 13 hits, including a double and two home runs. They also turned three double plays on defense. The Pirates, on the other hand, managed only 11 hits, including three home runs, and turned no double plays on defense.
The Pirates, however, did a slightly better job of converting their hits into runs. Somewhat amazingly, the Pirates left only one runner on base for the entire game while the Yankees stranded six baserunners.
The result, in context, was one of the biggest victories in the history of the Pittsburgh Pirates franchise.
Putting it all together, here are leaderboards for the 1960 World Series, in and out of context, as measured by wins over replacement level
If you look at player performance in the 1960 World Series independent of context, the best players in the 1960 World Series were, not surprisingly, mostly New York Yankees:
If, however, you put players' performances into context and tie them to team results, suddenly the list of the best players in the 1960 World Series includes a fair number of Pittsburgh Pirates:
All articles are written so that they pull data directly from the most recent version of the Player won-lost database. Hence, any numbers cited within these articles should automatically incorporate the most recent update to Player won-lost records. In some cases, however, the accompanying text may have been written based on previous versions of Player won-lost records. I apologize if this results in non-sensical text in any cases.
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