The 1962 World Series matched the defending champion New York Yankees against the San Francisco Giants, who had won their first NL pennant since moving from New York in 1958, defeating the Los Angeles Dodgers in a three-game playoff. The Yankees won the Series in 7 games for the 20th championship in team history.
This Series, which was closely matched in every game, is remembered for its appropriately dramatic conclusion. The New Yorkers were up 1-0 in the bottom of the ninth inning of Game 7, with Ralph Terry on the mound trying to get a complete game shutout win.
Matty Alou, batting for Billy O'Dell, reached first on a bunt single. Felipe Alou and Chuck Hiller struck out. Willie Mays doubled into the right field corner, but Roger Maris, whose great defensive skills are often overlooked by the casual historian, snared the bounding ball, whirled and threw a bullet to the cutoff man, forcing Alou to stop at third. So Alou and Mays were on third and second respectively, carrying the potential tying and winning runs. Terry, who had given up Bill Mazeroski's sudden-victory homer in 1960, suddenly found himself in a similar pinch. The Yankees decided to pitch to slugger Willie McCovey instead of walking him. McCovey hit a screaming line drive but it was caught by New York's second baseman Bobby Richardson handing the Yankees their second consecutive World title along with redemption for Terry.
Soon after the Series ended, Peanuts cartoonist and Giants fan Charles M. Schulz drew a comic strip with Charlie Brown sitting glumly with Linus, lamenting in the last panel, "Why couldn't McCovey have hit the ball just three feet higher?" Later, he drew an identical strip, except in the last panel Charlie moaned, "Or why couldn't McCovey have hit the ball just two feet higher?"
Series MVP: Ralph Terry (New York)
- 1962 World Series at Baseball-Reference.com
- Baseball's 25 Greatest Moments: Willie McCovey Lines Out
|Major League Baseball World Series|