VoyForums
[ Show ]
Support VoyForums
[ Shrink ]
VoyForums Announcement: Programming and providing support for this service has been a labor of love since 1997. We are one of the few services online who values our users' privacy, and have never sold your information. We have even fought hard to defend your privacy in legal cases; however, we've done it with almost no financial support -- paying out of pocket to continue providing the service. Due to the issues imposed on us by advertisers, we also stopped hosting most ads on the forums many years ago. We hope you appreciate our efforts.

Show your support by donating any amount. (Note: We are still technically a for-profit company, so your contribution is not tax-deductible.) PayPal Acct: Feedback:

Donate to VoyForums (PayPal):

Login ] [ Contact Forum Admin ] [ Main index ] [ Post a new message ] [ Search | Check update time | Archives: 12345678910 ]
Subject: Don Larsen, who pitched only perfect game in World Series history, dies at 90. ...


Author:
NY Daily News
[ Next Thread | Previous Thread | Next Message | Previous Message ]
Date Posted: Wednesday, January 01, 07:47:22pm
In reply to: Esophageal cancer 's message, "Healthwatch: Baseball's Don Larsen enters hospice" on Tuesday, December 31, 05:02:51pm


Link ...
https://www.nydailynews.com/sports/baseball/yankees/ny-don-larsen-obituary-20200102-i22va4zqobadbe77lmn4hsrfmy-story.html

By his own admission, Don Larsen was a most imperfect fellow and therefore about the unlikeliest man to ever pitch the only perfect game in World Series history. But pitch it he did, on October 8, 1956, a 97-pitch, 2-0 gem in Game 5 that gave the Yankees a 3-2 lead in the Series against the Dodgers and set them up for winning their sixth world championship in eight years under manager Casey Stengel.
Larsen, 90, died Wednesday in hospice in Hayden, Idaho, of esophageal cancer, a party guy to the end who achieved baseball immortality that one sun-splashed autumn afternoon at Yankee Stadium despite an otherwise mediocre 81-91 pitching career with seven different major league teams from 1953-67. As it was, Larsen didn’t even think he was getting the ball that day after having been lifted by Stengel in the second inning of Game 2 of the Series because of control problems. He had given up only one hit in that game and was leading 6-1, but he’d walked four batters and the Yankees went on to lose,13-8. Afterward, Larsen fumed to reporters: “I don’t give a damn if I ever pitch another game for the Yankees or Stengel again! I go out there and break my neck? For what? He had no business taking me out of there! That’s the last time I’ll get to bed early. I’m gonna start enjoying life again.”

Nevertheless, Stengel, who shrugged off Larsen’s diatribe, opted to give the big righthander — whose Yankee teammates dubbed “Gooney Bird” because of his flaky nature — a second chance three days later in Game 5, passing up 18-game winner Johnny Kucks (who went on to pitch the 9-0 Game 7 clincher). Whether it was just hunch on the part of Stengel — who secretly had a fondness for Larsen because of his own penchant for late-night imbibing — the prodigal pitcher vowed to make good for his manager. “I’ll show ‘em all,” he said when Stengel announced the day before Larsen would be starting Game 5. “Don’t be surprised if I pitch a no-hitter too.”

It was an oft-handed boast made jokingly to a handful of reporters, but one that Larsen more than made good on. Reverting to a “no-wind-up” delivery he had fashioned during ’56 season (in which he’d been 11-5 as a starter and long reliever), he baffled the Dodgers all day and out-dueled veteran Sal Maglie, 2-0, striking out seven. About the only hard-hit ball the Dodgers had in the game was Gil Hodges’ one-out fly to deep left center in the fifth inning on which Mickey Mantle made a running, one-hand catch. Indeed, Larsen went to three balls on only one batter — Pee Wee Reese in the first — and when he got veteran pinch hitter Dale Mitchell on a half-swing third strike to end the game, Yankee catcher Yogi Berra rushed out from behind the plate and jumped into his arms in what became an iconic picture.

Yogi Berra, left, Sal Maglie and Don Larsen in Sept. 1956 in the clubhouse after the New York Yankees acquired Maglie was from the Brooklyn Dodgers. (Fred Morgan/New York Daily News)
Daily News Yankee beat writer Joe Trimble, in a lead borrowed from News’ columnist Dick Young, wrote simply:
“The imperfect man pitched a perfect game yesterday” while Shirley Povich of the Washington Post was a bit more elaborate in summing up the improbable turn of events: “The million-to-one shot came in. A month of Sundays hit the calendar, Hell froze over. Don Larsen pitched the first perfect game in World Series history.”

“Hodges’ ball would have probably been a home run in most other parks,” Larsen said later. “Mickey wasn’t the greatest fielder, but he had the speed to out-run most balls that hung in the air like that one did.”

Though, contrary to myth, he had not stayed out late the night prior to the game, Larsen partied big time after it with his pal, Arthur Richman, a sportswriter for the New York Mirror. When Richman called the Copacabana for a reservation for seven he was told they were booked up. However, upon the mention that Larsen was part of the party, the Copa set up a separate table right in front where the group became part of comedian Joe E, Lewis’ show that night.

That winter, Yankee general manager George Weiss sent Larsen a contract calling for a $1,500 raise off his $12,000 salary in ’56. Larsen, furious, sent it back to Weiss with a note: “If you will forget you ever sent me this, I’ll forget I ever got it.” He wound up settling for $16,000 and lasted with the Yankees for three more seasons before being traded to the Kansas City A’s, Dec. 12, 1959, along with outfielders Hank Bauer and Norm Siebern and first baseman Marv Throneberry in the deal that brought Roger Maris to the Bronx.

Larsen, who went to the same Point Lomas high school in San Diego as another future perfect game pitcher for the Yankees (and fellow free spirit), David Wells, was signed originally by the St. Louis Browns, breaking into the majors with a 7-12 record in 1953. The following season, the Browns moved to Baltimore, re-incarnated as the Orioles, and Larsen led the American League losses with a 3-21 mark. That, however, did not deter the Yankees from acquiring him that winter as part of a mammoth 17-player trade which also netted them the Orioles’ ace pitcher, Bob Turley.

Though he never won more than the 11 games in 1956, Larsen bounced around the majors as a reliever until 1967 and got into three more World Series, including 1962 with the San Francisco Giants in which he got the win in relief in Game 4 against the Yankees. Larsen, who was 4-2 with a 2.75 ERA in 10 World Series games, was also a proficient hitter. Often used by Stengel as a pinch hitter or in the No. 8 spot in the lineup when he pitched, Larsen had a .242 lifetime average with 14 homers including a grand slam against the Red Sox in 1956.

Fifty years later at a Yankee Stadium commemoration of his immortal feat, Larsen said: “I knew at the time it was a big deal. I never thought it was still be so important this much time later. If you have to be remembered for one thing, though, I guess that’s a pretty good thing to be remembered for.”

[ Next Thread | Previous Thread | Next Message | Previous Message ]

Replies:
Subject Author Date
DON LARSEN HAS PASSED AWAY ...Rob DurkeeWednesday, January 01, 08:01:51pm


Login ] Create Account Not required to post.
Post a public reply to this message | Go post a new public message
* HTML allowed in marked fields.
Message subject (required):

Name (required):

  E-mail address (optional):

* Type your message here:

Choose Message Icon: [ View Emoticons ]

Notice: Copies of your message may remain on this and other systems on internet. Please be respectful.

[ Contact Forum Admin ]


Forum timezone: GMT-8
VF Version: 3.00b, ConfDB:
Before posting please read our privacy policy.
VoyForums(tm) is a Free Service from Voyager Info-Systems.
Copyright © 1998-2019 Voyager Info-Systems. All Rights Reserved.