The New York Yankees came back from 1-0 and 2-1 deficits to edge the host Cincinnati Reds 3-2 in Game Three of the World Series Friday afternoon before 32,589 at Crosley Field.
Roger Maris, heretofore a non-factor in the Fall Classic, delivered the deciding blow, a leadoff homer in the ninth off Reds starter Bob Purkey to snap a 2-2 tie and send New York to a two games to one series lead.
Injured Mickey Mantle returned to the New York lineup, playing center field. He fielded just one chance, and went 0-for-4 with a pair of strikeouts. While Mantle took some good hacks, he appeared in some pain following last week’s hip surgery.
Struggling for runs, the Yankees knotted the contest 2-2 in the eighth when John Blanchard delivered a pinch-homer with nobody on and two out.
Cincinnati scored first, pushing a run across in the third against Bill Stafford. Leadoff man Elio Chacon laid down a bunt single and went to second on Stafford’s bad throw. With two outs, Chacon raced home on Frank Robinson’s double.
Purkey had allowed only one hit and one walk through the first six innings, using just 46 pitches, but New York burst that bubble in the seventh. Tony Kubek led off with a single up the middle. Maris flied out, and during Mantle’s at-bat, Johnny Edwards permitted a passed ball on a Purkey knuckler, allowing Kubek to scamper to second.
That became important when, after Mantle fanned, Yogi Berra dumped a little pop-fly just out of reach of both Chacon and Robinson, knotting the score. Robinson later said he might have caught it, but Chacon made a full-on dash into short right-center and threw the right fielder off his track.
The Reds wasted no time in regaining the lead. Edwards doubled with one out. Stafford fanned Purkey then intentionally walked Jerry Lynch, who was batting for Chacon. Eddie Kasko slashed a line single to left, bringing in Edwards. Ralph Houk yanked Stafford for Bud Daley at this point.
With just six outs to go, Purkey couldn’t nail down the tent pegs. Blanchard’s homer into the right-field stands evened the score, and Maris’ heroics gave Luis Arroyo, who pitched the final two innings, the victory.
While Maris hadn’t yet gotten a hit in the series, he certainly came up big when needed. He crushed a 2-1 slider well into the bleachers in right. The ball disappeared and with it, much of the Reds’ hopes.
The Yankees’ relief ace did have some tense moments in the ninth. With one out, Leo Cardenas batted for Edwards and lined a double off the auxiliary scoreboard in right-center, just a few feet from the stands. But Arroyo set down Dick Gernert on a routine groundout and got Gus Bell on a hard comebacker.
In a rematch of Game One starters, Whitey Ford toes the rubber for the Yankees this afternoon and be opposed by Jim O’Toole.
Ford has not allowed a run in his last 27 post-season innings. That’s just 22/3 innings short of Babe Ruth’s record.
“PREMIUM” EXPANSION DRAFT ELIGIBLES ANNOUNCED
The Associated Press on Friday learned the identities of the 16 men—two per each NL club—who will be made available to the new expansion Mets and Colt .45s as premium $125,000 choices.
Following their draft of 24 players each either at $50,000 or $75,000 both expansion clubs must select four premium players. Each established team can lose just one player.
Here are the players made available on the “premium list.” Note that they are NOT eligible for the first two rounds of the draft.
All the drafts will take place the day following the conclusion of the World Series, in either New York or Cincinnati.
Cubs: Pitchers Jim Brewer and Barney Schultz.
Reds: Infielder Don Blasingame and either infielder Elio Chacon or outfielder Gus Bell.
Dodgers: Infielder Daryl Spencer and pitcher Turk Farrell.
Braves: Catcher/outfielder Bob Taylor and pitcher Don McMahon.
Phillies: Outfielder Lee Walls and pitcher Dallas Green.
Pirates: Catchers Don Leppert and Hal Smith.
Cardinals: Infielder Alex Grammas and pitcher Bob Miller.
Giants: Pitchers Dick LeMay and Billy O’Dell.