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Article:The 1962 Giants Were Better, but the Yankees Had Kansas City

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by Harold Friend

Jackie Howard was a Giants' fan who grew up in Flushing. He was 10 years old when the Giants won the pennant in 1951, but the Yankees beat them in the World Series. That's when Jackie Howard started his hate affair with the Yankees, which grew more intense during the 1962 World Series.

I Couldn't Watch the Giants

After my team moved, I had to listen to Les Keiter recreate the Giants' game on WINS radio. The only way I could watch them was on Channel 13, which was located in New Jersey, when they played the Phillies or the Cardinals. There was a tremendous market for National League baseball now that the Yankees were the only game in town, and real Giants' or Dodgers' fans would never watch the hated team from the Bronx.

The National League Was Better

The National League was better than the American League. Our league won almost every All-Star Game in the 1950s, and we had the better stars. They had Mantle, who was overrated, Ted Williams, Yogi, Kaline, Jackie Jensen, and the Indians' pitching staff, but we had Willie, Aaron, Musial, Clemente, Snider, Campanella, Spahn, and Robin Roberts.

The Giants Swept the Record-Setting Indians

The Giants swept the Indians in the 1954 World Series, which surprised all the experts because the Indians had won a record-setting 111 games in the weaker American League, but I wasn't fooled. I knew how good Antonelli, Willie, and Dusty Rhodes really were, and no one pointed out that Lemon, Wynn, Garcia and Feller pitched in the American League.

The Giants Beat the Dodgers in a Playoff Series Again

There were some bad seasons after that, but the team started to improve in 1959, which was the second year that they were gone. In 1962, we tied the Dodgers for the pennant, and just like 1951, beat them in the bottom of the ninth inning of the third playoff game to get to the World Series. Instead of a Bobby Thomson home run, Jim Davenport drew a walk off Stan Williams to break a 4-4 tie.

The Yankees Didn't Play Fairly

I was glad the Yankees won the 1962 American League pennant. This time it would be different, but we had to beat more than the Yankees. Hello, Kansas City.

The Yankees never played fairly. Kansas City was their farm team, except Kansas City played in the American League. Need help? Everything's up to date in Kansas City.

An Old Team

The Yankees didn't win the pennant in 1959. Yankees' fans say it was because they had so many injuries and Whitey Ford had a sore arm. That's a bunch of garbage. The Yankees were old.

The Yankees had Hank Bauer in right field in 1959. His best days were behind him. He hit .238 with 9 home runs. Mantle was in center, but he had a bad season, and Norm Siebern, who was in Casey Stengel's doghouse because the sun got in his eyes in the 1958 World Series, was in left. Mantle hit 31 home runs and Siebern hit 11.

Raiding Kansas City

After the 1959 season, they went to their Kansas City cousins and stole Roger Maris, and that cost us the 1962 World Championship. The Giants never steal anything, although San Francisco stole the team.

The Giants Were Better

We were led by Willie going into the '62 Series, who anyone who knows anything about baseball knows was better than Mantle. Yankees' fans always used his injuries as an excuse, but even when he was healthy, he wasn't as good as Willie.

We had Cepeda, McCovey, Marichal, and Perry. They are all in the Hall of Fame. We have more Hall of Famers historically than any other team. Say, hey, Yankees.

Roger Maris won the MVP in 1960, and hit 39 home runs. He led the league in RBIs and slugging. The Yankees would never have gotten him if he had remained in Cleveland because Frank Lane, Cleveland's general manager, hated the Yankees, but the Indians made a bad trade when they sent him to the A's in 1958. Lane should have known that the Yankees would try to get Maris. Instead, Maris got us.

Ralph Terry, Roger Maris, and Luck

In the seventh game of the 1962 Series, Ralph Terry, whom the Yankees got back from Kansas City when he learned how to pitch, was still on the mound in the ninth inning. We were trailing, 1-0, but Matty Alou, pinch hitting for pitcher Billy O'Dell, led off the bottom of the ninth with beautiful drag bunt between the mound and second base for a single.

Terry struck out Felipe Alou and Chuck Hiller, leaving it up to Willie Mays. I knew Willie would come through, and of course, he did. Willie smashed the ball down the right field line for extra bases.

It appeared that Alou would score, but Maris raced toward the line and cut the ball off before it could reach the fence. Alou had to hold up at third. Mays had done his job but Maris beat us with his defense. McCovey then hit the line drive to Bobby Richardson.

If the Yankees didn't play with a stacked deck, the Giants would have been the World Champions. How can a team trade Roger Maris for Hank Bauer, Norm Siebern, Don Larsen, and Marvelous Marv Throneberry? Ask Arnold Johnson and the Kansas City Athletics.

References:

Baseball Reference

Retrosheet


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