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In truth, the baseball fans knew as little about Simchat Torah and hakafot the circles celebrants make dancing with the holy scrolls as the congregants knew about Roberto Clemente and the Pirates. For a few magical moments, though, a sweet incomprehension prevailed and there was a lifting of voices that transcended all differences.

Farewell to the Last Golden Era: The Yankees, the Pirates and the 1960 Baseball Season

Everyone was so happy, blinded by the light of what each group perceived to be a miracle of sorts. And so they rejoiced together, sharing the kind of celebration that is certain to be commonplace at the end of the days. But, inevitably, after a few moments, reality descended on the scene and the two groups began to look at each other more carefully.

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Those shouts of praise to God from the second group were for offering up the Yankees, it turned out, not the words of Torah. The two groups realized there had been a misunderstanding, and after a few awkward moments the dancing slowed. As abruptly, if not as dramatically, as the splitting of the Red Sea in the days of old, the fans and the faithful parted ways.

This column first appeared in The Week. A slightly different version of this column was published Sept.

Gary Rosenblatt. After finishing the regular season with 15 wins in a row, the Yankees showed a sign of what was to come by dropping the opener.

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Yogi Berra set a record by appearing in his 11th World Series , but allowed two steals here. Law returned from an ankle injury to stifle the Yankee bats, except for homers by Roger Maris and Elston Howard. Meanwhile, the Bucs pounded Art Ditmar for three quick runs in the 1st, and Mazeroski took Jim Coates deep in the 4th for insurance. October 6 , at Forbes Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Attendance: 37, Gino Cimoli replaced Bob Skinner in left field for Pittsburgh. The Yankees broke a scoreless tie in the 3rd inning with a pair of runs and took a lead in the 4th on an unearned run.


Friend had 6 strikeouts through 4 innings but Danny Murtaugh gambled in the bottom of the 4th by lifting Friend for a pinch-hitter the seldom-used Gene Baker with the Pirates trailing, , with two runners aboard. The two clubs combined to break the World Series 's record of 30 hits in a game. Attendance: 70, Yankee ace Whitey Ford finally got to start a game and shut out the Pirates, , on 4 hits in Game 3.

The Yankees scored 6 runs in the 1st inning, highlighted by a grand slam home run by Bobby Richardson against Clem Labine , who replaced starter Vinegar Bend Mizell as Murtaugh lifted Mizell after only 5 batters.

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  • After back-to-back "laughers," the Yankees led the series Mickey Mantle , meanwhile, collected four hits and another homer, his 14th World Series dinger, bringing him within one of Babe Ruth 's record. Attendance: 67, Determined to stop the Yankee juggernaut in its tracks, the Pirates came to Yankee Stadium on Sunday, October 9th equipped with their stopper and their closer. Pirates starter Vernon Law and reliever Elroy Face held the Yankees to only 2 runs on 8 hits, as the Bucs won by a score of New York briefly gave the home fans something to cheer about when they loaded the bases in the 1st, but Law recovered to get Yogi Berra to ground into a double play.

    Moose Skowron took Law deep in the 4th for a Yankee lead. The Pirates scored all their runs in the 5th inning. Law exited in the 7th with two on and one out.

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    Roy Face came in and Bob Cerv greeted him with a long fly, almost to the center field wall feet away, before Virdon snared it with a jumping grab. Face got the next seven in a row to wrap up the victory.

    The World Series of 1960: New York Yankees vs Pittsburgh Pirates

    Attendance: 62, With the series now tied at two apiece, Yankee manager Casey Stengel was desperate to avoid a comeback by the underdog Pirates. Stengel had hoped that Pittsburgh would underestimate Ditmar, but it would appear to have been the other way around, as the Pirates won, Hoak took second base on the play.

    Bill Mazeroski then doubled in both runners. Maris homered in the bottom of the inning to close it to , but New York got no closer. Face and starter Harvey Haddix , however, were not the only right-handers shutting down the heavy-hitting Yankees on this day. The "rifle" right arm of right fielder Roberto Clemente also played a pivotal role, forcing New York to go station to station on a pair of 7th-inning singles, thus preventing them from narrowing Pittsburgh's lead at that point to one run.

    Hoak's RBI-single in the 9th gave the Pirates a lead. The Associated Press ran flattering profiles of both Clemente and Face in the next day's papers, and with the Series returning to Pittsburgh, the immediate future looked bright for the "Battlin' Bucs. October 12 , at Forbes Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Attendance: 38, Just as the Pirates had done in Game 4, the Yankees came into enemy territory determined not to lose.

    Whitey Ford returned to the mound for the Pirates, against Bob Friend. The Yankees took a lead in the 2nd inning on a two-out, bases loaded infield single by Ford. Friend ran into worse trouble in the 3rd. The inning began with a hit batter, a double and two singles. After a sacrifice fly, a single and Richardson's RBI triple, 5 runs had scored and the Yankees led, The series was tied October 13 , at Forbes Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

    Bob Skinner , out of action since Game 1 with the thumb injury, returned to left field for the Pirates in Game 7. Those two players got the Pirates off to a quick start when Skinner walked in the 1st inning against Bob Turley and Nelson followed with a two-run home run. Bill Virdon 's two-run single in the 2nd inning gave starter Vern Law a lead. A solo home run by Bill Skowron in the 5th made it But in the top of the 6th inning, with the first two Yankees aboard, manager Danny Murtaugh , who along with third baseman Don Hoak , felt that Law's ailing ankle was affecting his delivery, made the decision to remove his ace in favor of his diminutive but dominant closer.

    Elroy Face had finished all three Buc wins, seemingly toying with New York's power-laden lineup in the last two, allowing just one Bronx Bomber to reach base over five and a third innings of no-hit ball. But before Face would escape this inning, Pittsburgh's lead became a deficit, the big blow being Yogi Berra 's three-run blast. Before escaping this game altogether, leaving for a pinch-hitter in the 8th, Face would yield yet two more tallies, making it , New York, with reliever Bobby Shantz at the top of his game.

    Fortunately for Pittsburgh, this game was far from done. After pinch-hitter Gino Cimoli and Virdon both singled to lead off the bottom of the 8th with Yankee shortstop Tony Kubek being hit in the throat by Virdon's bad-hop hit and having to leave the game , Dick Groat lined a single to left, cutting New York's lead to Next up was Roberto Clemente. Fooled badly, he bounced one weakly between first base and the pitcher's mound. Unfortunately for New York, while Clemente was busting it down to first base, pitcher Jim Coates and first baseman Skowron were getting their wires crossed, both of them going for the ball rather than the bag.

    Farewell to the Last Golden Era: The Yankees, the Pirates and the 1960 Baseball Season

    When the dust settled, Clemente had a hustle hit and the Yankee lead was again slashed, with the score now The Pirates now had two runners on base and back-up catcher Hal Smith at the plate. Smith did what every Bucs fan was hoping for and hit one over the wall, and the Pirates took a lead as the Forbes Field crowd went wild. Bob Friend , an eighteen-game-winner for the pennant-winning Pirates but 0-and-2 in the Series, was called upon in the 9th to try to protect the lead. Although he would get Maris to foul out, Haddix then gave up a key single to Mickey Mantle that scored Richardson and moved Long to third.