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The 1966 World Series matched the Baltimore Orioles against the defending champion Los Angeles Dodgers, with the Orioles sweeping the Series in 4 games to capture the first championship in franchise history. Despite the general consensus that the Orioles were short of pitching when compared to the likes of Don Drysdale and Sandy Koufax, Orioles pitching allowed only two runs in the entire series and ended up with a 0.50 team ERA, the lowest in World Series history.
Series MVP: Frank Robinson (Baltimore)
In the top of the first innning, after Luis Aparicio flies to right, Drysdale walks Russ Snyder, and American League Triple Crown winner Frank Robinson and Brooks Robinson hit back to back homeruns to take an early 3-0 lead. McNally walks Dodger leadoff man Maury Wills, who subesquently steals second. However, the Dodgers fail to score. In the second inning, with Andy Etchebarren on second base, Russ Snyder slaps a base hit past the shortstop and Etchebarren scores to widen the lead 4-0.
However, McNally begins to struggle with his command. In the bottom of the second inning, second baseman Jim LeFebvre tags him for a 400 ft. homerun. First Baseman Wes Parker hits a fair ball down the right foul line, but a fan reaches over the wall and picks the ball out of the dirt, turning a possible triple into a ground-rule double. After he walks Jim Gilliam, Jonny Roseboro hits a flyball to right center, and Orioles Left Fielder Russ Snyder saves at least a run with a lunging catch, and neither baserunners score. Drysdale is pulled in the third and replaced with Joe Moeller, who allows another run in the fourth when Davey Johnson scored from second base when Aparicio hit into a fielder's choice.
With one out in the bottom of the third inning, McNally is replaced by Moe Drabowsky after loading the bases on walks. Drabowsky strikes out Parker and walks Gilliam, forcing in a run before Roseboro fouls out. Drabowsky strikes out 6 consecutive batters in the next two innings, tying a World Series record and setting single game World Series record will 11 overall - 1 in the third inning, 3 in the fourth and fifth innings, one in the seventh and eighth innings, and two in the ninth inning. Orioles win, 5-2, and the Dodgers would not get another runner across the plate.
|W: Moe Drabowsky (1-0) L: Don Drysdale (0-1)|
Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, California - Attendance: 55,947
Game 2 pitted a 20-year-old future Hall of Famer Jim Palmer against Sandy Koufax, whose 1966 season was among his his best with 27 wins, 317 strikeouts, 5 shutouts, and his career best 1.73 ERA. Palmer gets into trouble in the second with two on and two outs, but walks Roseboro and gets Koufax to pop up to second base. Despite the obvious mismatch, Palmer and Koufax traded zeroes on the scoreboard until the top of the fifth inning, when Koufax's defense let him down.
John "Boog" Powell singles, and then Paul Blair hits a routine flyball to center, but Willie Davis loses the ball in the sun and both runners are safe on the error. Etchebarren hits another fly to Center, and Davis bobbles the ball and drops it. Powell scores on the error, and Davis rushes the throw to third base, which is high, and Blair capitalizes on the error, scoring. Luis Aparicio hits a stand-up double, scoring Etchebarren from third and Davis is charged with three errors in this inning alone.
The O's then earned one from Koufax in the sixth as Frank Robinson tripled and Boog knocked him in with a single to right-center. Johnson singles to right and the runners advance on an error by Ron Fairly. Koufax gets out of it after walking Blair intentionally and getting Etchebarren to ground into a double play. Etchebarren would be the final batter that Koufax would face. He was replaced in the seventh by Ron Parranoski, who set the Orioles down 1-2-3. They would get two from him in the eighth, however, on a walk to Frank Robinson, a single by Brooks Robinson, a sacrifice bunt from Boog Powell and a Davey Johnson single off of Parranoski's shins. Parranoski throws the ball away in a desperate play for an out at the first, and Brooks scores on the error. Palmer completes the shutout when Roseboro pops to short. Orioles win, 6-0.
|W: Jim Palmer (1-0) L: Sandy Koufax (0-1)|
The series moves to Baltimore with the Orioles enjoying a 2-0 series lead.
Wally Bunker, plagued with injuries in the regular season retires the first three batters he faces, and pitches a six-hit, complete game gem, while Osteen allows only three hits in seven innings. Unfortunately, one of those hits was a solo homerun from Paul Blair in the fifth, which turned to be the deciding run. The Dodgers' defense woke up after game two's 6-error embarrassment, and turned several excellent plays, most notably first baseman Parker robbing Curt Blefary of a base hit with a spectacular jump to snare his sixth inning line drive. Bunker, without a complete game shutout in the regular season, completes the Orioles' second consecutive shutout, and they win 1-0.
|W: Wally Bunker (1-0) L: Claude Osteen (0-1)|
Memorial Stadium in Baltimore, Maryland - Attendance: 54,458
Starting Pitchers: Dave McNally (0-0), Don Drysdale (0-1)
On the brink of a sweep, Game four is a rematch of the first game, pitting young Dave McNally against veteran Don Drysdale, both of whom struggled in their previous match. However, in this outing, both pitchers excelled as Drysdale and McNally each allowed only four hits. Again, the only run scored was on a solo homerun, this one by Series MVP Frank Robinson. Willie Davis redeems himself from his miserable Game 2 defense by robbing Boog Powell of a homerun in the fourth, but to no avail as Paul Blair does the same to Lefebvre in the eighth, and the Dodgers were shutout for the third consecutive time and for 33 consecutive innings, a World Series record. Orioles win game four, 1-0, and sweep the 1966 World Series.
|W: Dave McNally (1-0) L: Don Drysdale (0-2)|
- The Orioles shut the Dodgers out for a World Series record 33 consecutive innings - from the 4th inning of Game 1 to the end of Game 4.
- Los Angeles' Sandy Koufax announces his retirement after the Series due to a chronic sore elbow.
- The Orioles' team ERA of 0.50 is the lowest in World Series history.
- The Orioles' Moe Drabowsky set a record for relief pitchers in World Series play by recording 11 strikeouts in Game 1, six of them consecutively, tying Hod Eller's six in the scandal-tainted 1919 World Series.
- Jim Palmer, just shy of his 21st birthday, became the youngest pitcher to throw a complete game shutout in the World Series.
|Major League Baseball World Series|