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How Often Did the 1960s Dodgers ‘Steal’ 1-0 Victories?

Originally of 1962, the Los Angeles Dodgers have been poised to turn out to be the premier workforce in baseball’s Nationwide League, simply as their forebears in Brooklyn had been within the years between the top of World Conflict II and the workforce’s transfer to California (1946-57). Having shed of many of the stars from their glory days in Brooklyn, and ensconced themselves in Dodger Stadium, a brand-new ballpark that favored pitching over slugging, the Dodger squads of the early 1960s appeared ideally suited to their information surroundings.

Certainly, over the following 5 years, led by the pitching duo of Sandy Koufax and Don Drysdale (who received 4 Cy Younger Awards between them from 1962-65) and speedster Maury Wills (who captured six straight stolen base titles from 1960-65), the Dodgers captured three Nationwide League pennants, missed a fourth title by a single recreation, and introduced residence two World Sequence championships.

With our tendency to cut back recollections to easy, easily-remembered nuggets, these mid-1960s Dodgers squads at the moment are often recalled because the “Koufax-Drysdale-Wills” Dodgers, nomenclature that displays the favored picture of a weak-hitting workforce which triumphed by scratching out runs with velocity and guile whereas their two predominant beginning pitchers shut down opposing hitters.

Sandy Koufax

Actually this picture relies on actuality. Throughout the five-year interval from 1962-1965, Dodgers pitchers led the Nationwide League in ERA all 5 years, and Dodgers baserunners led the league in stolen bases for 4 straight years (after which completed second the fifth yr), however in whole runs scored the Dodgers offense ranked second, sixth, after which eighth 3 times (in a 10-team league).

Sadly, this bare-bones description obscures that these Dodger groups boasted some superb pitchers aside from Koufax and Drysdale (Johnny Podres, Claude Osteen, reliever Ron Perranoski, and future Corridor of Famer Don Sutton), some bona fide heavy hitters sluggers (Frank Howard and Tommy Davis), and a few advantageous fielders (catcher John Roseboro, first baseman Wes Parker, shortstop Maury Wills, and outfielders Wally Moon and Willie Davis all received Gold Glove Awards throughout their tenures with the Dodgers).

However ask a Dodgers fan from that period to explain the Los Angeles groups of the 1960s, and also you’re more likely to get a response much like the next:

Maury Wills would come up within the first inning, get on base with a stroll, steal second, then someone’d bunt him over to 3rd, and he’d rating on a sacrifice fly — a run with out a hit! In the meantime, Sandy or Large D would shut out the opposite workforce, and we’d win 1-0.

Certainly, Wills himself described a lot the identical state of affairs in his 1991, On the Run:

We had nobody to hit residence runs besides Frank Howard, [and] Tommy [Davis] … was our solely .300 hitter. However we’re successful video games 1-Zero as a result of I’m getting on by an error or a stroll or a fielder’s alternative and I’m stealing the bases and scoring the runs.

However how usually did this state of affairs play out in actual life? What number of instances did the Dodgers win video games by counting on Maury Wills to one way or the other rating a first-inning run even when the workforce couldn’t provide you with a success, after which relying on their pitching workers to make it get up?

Don Drysdale

We examined this query by checking the outcomes of all regular-season Los Angeles Dodgers video games contested throughout the five-year span from 1962 to 1966 (the interval by which Koufax, Drysdale, and Wills all performed collectively in Dodger Stadium) and attempting to determine what number of video games met the next standards:

  • The Dodgers received by a rating of 1-0.
  • The Dodgers’ lone run was scored within the first inning.
  • The Dodgers’ lone run was scored by Maury Wills.
  • The Dodgers’ lone run was scored with out the advantage of a success.
  • The Dodgers’ lone run concerned a number of stolen bases by Maury Wills.

What we discovered was that the info didn’t fairly match the legend. Not one Dodger victory between 1962 and 1966 met all 5 of the standards outlined above, and just one recreation met even 4 of the 5. By no means in these 5 years did the Dodgers win a 1-Zero recreation on a run scored by Maury Wills with out the advantage of a success. Solely as soon as in that timespan did the Dodgers win a 1-Zero recreation by which their single run was produced with out the advantage of a success, and it didn’t contain Maury Wills. And solely as soon as in these 5 years did Maury Wills arrange the lone run in a 1-Zero Dodgers victory by stealing a base.

Following is a breakdown of all 1-Zero Dodger victories from 1962 to 1966, with notations indicating how lots of the 5 standards each met (since they have been all 1-Zero video games, they clearly all met a minimum of the primary criterion):


18 June 1962: Sandy Koufax bested St. Louis Cardinals pitching ace Bob Gibson in a thriller, as Los Angeles received within the backside of the ninth on a one-out, walk-off residence run by Tommy Davis.

Standards met: 1   (1-Zero victory)

12 September 1962: Ed Roebuck picked up a victory over the enlargement Colt .45s in Houston with 5-1/Three innings of shutout reduction, as Frank Howard bombed a fifth-inning homer for the Dodgers’ solely run.

Standards met: 1   (1-Zero victory)

17 April 1963: Bob Miller blanked Chicago for 9 innings at Dodger Stadium however left the sphere with out a victory, as Cub southpaw Dick Ellsworth did the identical to the Dodgers. Ellsworth ended up the loser, although, because the Dodgers pushed throughout a run with two out within the tenth inning on consecutive singles by Lee Partitions, Frank Howard, and Moose Skowron for a walk-off victory.

Standards met: 1   (1-Zero victory)

16 Could 1963: Extra last-minute heroics: Johnny Podres shut out the Pittsburgh Pirates for 9 innings however didn’t emerge because the winner till the Dodgers scratched out a walk-off run with two out within the backside of the ninth on a single by Jim Gilliam, a sacrifice bunt by Ron Pretty, a groundout by Tommy Davis, and a run-scoring single by Johnny Roseboro.

Standards met: 1   (1-Zero victory)

19 Could 1963: The Dodgers tallied their second 1-Zero victory in 4 days as Sandy Koufax two-hit the hapless New York Mets within the first recreation of a Dodger Stadium double-header. The Dodgers scored their solely run with one out within the first inning as Jim Gilliam walked, took third on Ron Pretty’s single, and scored on Tommy Davis’ sacrifice fly.

Standards met: 2   (1-Zero victory, first-inning run)

2 July 1963: Los Angeles topped St. Louis at Dodger Stadium for the primary time in over a yr as Don Drysdale outpitched lefty Curt Simmons. The Dodger run got here within the seventh inning as slugger Frank Howard blooped a single in entrance of the backed-up Cardinal outfield, took second on a groundout by Moose Skowron, and lumbered residence as Ron Pretty dribbled a single up the center.

Standards met: 1   (1-Zero victory)

5 July 1963: For the second time in 1963, the Dodgers received two 1-Zero squeakers in a four-day span as Johnny Podres pitched a two-hit gem towards the Cincinnati Reds at Dodger Stadium. Frank Howard supplied the margin of victory with a seventh-inning homer.

Standards met: 1   (1-Zero victory)

10 July 1963:

Johnny Podres triumphed in his second straight 1-Zero victory, scattering 4 hits towards the Mets on the Polo Grounds. As soon as once more the margin of victory was a solo residence run, this one a sixth-inning shot by Johnny Roseboro.

Standards met: 1   (1-Zero victory)

25 September 1963: With Los Angeles having clinched the Nationwide League pennant with six video games to go within the common season, supervisor Walter Alston rested a few of his regulars for the upcoming World Sequence towards the Yankees, pulling Sandy Koufax after the Dodger ace pitched 5 innings of shutout ball towards the Mets at Dodger Stadium in his ultimate begin of the common season. Bob Miller and Ron Perranoski blanked New York over the ultimate 4 innings, sending hard-luck Met hurler (and former Dodger) Roger Craig to his fifth 1-Zero defeat of the season. The lone Dodger run got here within the first inning when Wally Moon and Tommy Davis singled with two out, after which Moon scooted round to attain from second as a wild pickoff throw by Craig sailed previous first base.

Standards met: 2   (1-Zero victory, first-inning run)

26 April 1964: One of many closest matches we discovered to our goal state of affairs was this early-season 1964 recreation by which Phil Ortega blanked the Braves in Milwaukee on 4 hits for his first complete-game victory within the majors. The Dodgers scored a single first-inning run in what the Los Angeles Instances described as “typical Dodger vogue”: Maury Wills led off the sport with a single, Jim Gilliam walked, Wally Moon moved each runners up with a sacrifice bunt, and Wills got here residence on a sacrifice fly by Frank Howard.

Standards met: 3   (1-Zero victory, first-inning run, run scored by Wills)

22 July 1964: The day after Don Drysdale misplaced a 1-Zero heartbreaker to Houston on an eighth inning solo homer, Sandy Koufax received his 11th straight recreation as he checked the Colt .45s on 4 hits at Dodger Stadium. The Dodgers’ lone run got here within the third inning on doubles by Derrell Griffith and Ron Pretty.

Standards met: 1   (1-Zero victory)

23 August 1964: Phil Ortega claimed his second 1-Zero victory of the 1964 season when he hurled a three-hit shutout towards the Cincinnati Reds in Los Angeles. The Dodgers scored on a second-inning double by Nate Oliver and a single by Dick Tracewski.

Standards met: 1   (1-Zero victory)

11 August 1965: The Dodgers went practically a yr between 1-Zero wins from August 1964 to August 1965, lastly racking up one other one as Don Drysdale blanked the Mets at Dodger Stadium. The Dodgers scored the sport’s solely run within the seventh inning on singles by Maury Wills and Jim Gilliam, adopted by a handed ball charged to New York catcher Chris Cannizzaro.

Standards met: 2   (1-Zero victory, run scored by Wills)

14 August 1965: After a virtually year-long drought, the Dodgers squeezed out two 1-Zero victories within the house of 4 days as Sandy Koufax and Pittsburgh Pirate hurler Don Cardwell each threw goose eggs at their opponents for 9 innings. Sadly for Cardwell, Koufax retired the Bucs with out incident within the high of the 10th, however after the Pirate pitcher acquired two fast outs within the backside of the inning, he walked Sandy Koufax and Wes Parker, and proper fielder Roberto Clemente then dropped Jim Gilliam’s line drive for an error as Koufax got here round to attain the successful run.

Standards: 1   (1-Zero victory)

9 September 1965: In what is perhaps the quintessential Dodgers recreation of the 1960s, Chicago Cub pitcher Bob Hendley threw a whole recreation one-hitter towards Los Angeles at Dodger Stadium … and misplaced, as a result of he had the misfortune to pitch his gem on the identical night that Sandy Koufax famously hurled an ideal recreation (his record-setting fourth no-hitter).

So as to add insult to harm, the lone Dodger hit had nothing to do with the scoring — outfielder “Candy” Lou Johnson drew the one stroll off of Hendley within the fifth inning, was sacrificed to second base by Ron Pretty, stole third, and scooted residence as Cub catcher Chris Krug’s throw sailed into left area. The one hit by both workforce was a bloop double by Johnson within the seventh inning.

Standards met: 2   (1-Zero victory, run scored with out hit)

18 September 1965: Sandy Koufax racked up his third straight 1-Zero victory of 1965 by blanking the Cardinals in St. Louis on 4 hits. The Dodgers managed solely three hits themselves, however they pushed throughout a run within the sixth inning when Don LeJohn walked and gave option to pinch-runner John Kennedy, who took second on Koufax’s bunt and third on Maury Wills’ ground-out, then scored as Wes Parker lined a single to heart.

Standards met: 1   (1-Zero victory)

26 September 1965: The Dodgers pulled right into a first-place tie with the San Francisco Giants with seven video games to go within the 1965 season as Don Drysdale pitched Los Angeles to their ninth straight victory, a 1-Zero blanking of the Cardinals at Dodger Stadium. This was the sport that got here closest to matching our authentic state of affairs, with Large D making a first-inning run following a Maury Wills stolen base get up.

The sport’s solely rating was a barely farcical one: Wills reached safely on a bunt single and was then picked off first base by St. Louis pitcher Ray Sadecki, however sadly for Sadecki, first baseman Invoice White’s throw sailed over second base and into the outfield, permitting Wills to make all of it the way in which round to 3rd, whence he scored as Jim Gilliam lined a single to proper area. Wills was credited with a steal of second base on White’s errant throw, nonetheless, so solely the shortage of a hitless run stored this one from being a five-criteria entry.

Standards met: 4   (1-Zero victory, first-inning run, run scored by Wills, run arrange by a Wills stolen base)

1 June 1966: The Dodgers’ first 1-Zero win of 1966 got here at first of June, as Sandy Koufax blanked the Cardinals in St. Louis. The Dodgers scored their run within the seventh inning when Willie Davis tripled and raced residence as Cardinal outfielder Bobby Tolan threw the ball again to the infield badly and was charged with a run-scoring error.

Standards met: 1   (1-Zero victory)

5 July 1966: Sandy Koufax gave up ten hits, however he nonetheless managed to finest Cincinnati flamethrower Jim Maloney by shutting out the Reds at Dodger Stadium for his 15th win of the season. The Dodger run got here within the second inning on a stroll to Jim Lefebvre, a single by Johnny Roseboro, and one other single by John Kennedy.

Standards met: 1   (1-Zero victory)

6 July 1966: Claude Osteen not solely pitched the Dodgers to a second straight 1-Zero victory over Cincinnati; he drove within the recreation’s solely run himself. After John Kennedy led off the underside of the eighth inning with a double, Osteen failed in two makes an attempt to bunt Kennedy over to 3rd after which swung away and singled to proper area to drive within the successful run.

Standards met: 1   (1-Zero victory)

10 September 1966: The Dodgers pulled inside a half-game of the San Francisco Giants in a decent pennant race as they broke by for a run with two out within the backside of the tenth inning to defeat the Houston Astros, 1-0. Los Angeles put collectively the one run of the sport on Maury Wills’ single, Jim Gilliam’s sacrifice bunt, Willie Davis’ ground-out, and Al Ferrara’s walk-off pinch single.

Standards met: 2   (1-Zero victory, run scored by Wills)

11 September 1966: The Dodgers pulled into first place for good within the 1966 pennant race by sweeping a double-header from Houston, finishing a string of 4 straight shutout wins over the Astros. After Sandy Koufax blanked Houston within the opener by a 4-Zero rating, Joe Moeller, Bob Miller, and Phil Regan mixed to close out the Astros by a 1-Zero rating within the second recreation. John Roseboro’s pinch-hit single drove in Ron Pretty with the successful run within the backside of the seventh inning.

Standards met: 1   (1-Zero victory)

Whatever the outcomes of this little train, our fondness for the nice Los Angeles Dodgers groups of the 1960s stays undiminished. In the long run, all that issues is that these Dodgers squads did win, and never whether or not they did so in exactly the style that standard picture now ascribes to them.

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