I would like to wish all my friends at Was Watching a joyous Tom Tresh Day. So celebrate your Yankees fandom accordingly this holiday. What? Columbus who? Don’t know him. Just where was he on this date in 1962? I know where Tom Tresh was:
Yankee Stadium, Game 5 of the World Series, played before a crowd of over 63,000 (yeah, this was the old old stadium).
The Series was tied up at 2 games apiece between the Yankees and the Giants—and with games 6 and 7 to be played in windy Candlestick Park a win today was seen as critical for the Bombers. Could they pull it off?
The pitching match-ups of aces Ralph Terry (23-12 regular season) and Jack Sanford (24-7) was a rematch of Game 2 when Sanford bested Terry 2-0 on a 3 hit shutout, so runs would probably be at a premium. And, as it turned out, they were.
The day did not start out well for Tresh and the Yankees. The rookie came to bat in the bottom of the 1st with Richardson and Kubek on 1st and 2nd with none out and hit a line shot—right at Sanford, who stuck out his glove , snagged the ball, and flipped it to McCovey to catch Richardson off 1st. Double Play. The Yankees would not score. But the Giants pushed a run across in the 3rd to take a 1-0 lead. That was the score when Tresh came to bat to lead off the 4th inning and promptly doubled. He was moved to 3rd on a ground out and then scampered home on a Sanford wild pitch to tie the game at 1-1. But a Jose Pagan solo shot in the 5th put the Giants back on top 2-1. The Yankees mounted their comeback (of sorts) one inning later. Richardson led off with a single. Tom Tresh laid down a sac bunt (yep #3 hitter sacrifices) to move Richardson to 2nd. Richardson then moved to 3rd on a Mantle ground out and then, with Sanford facing Maris, the Giant ace unleashed a pitch that catcher Tom Haller couldn’t handle. Passed Ball. Game tied again 2-2. And that was the score going into the bottom of the 8th when Tom Tresh came to the plate with Richardson and Kubek on 1st and 2nd again. Only this time Sanford wouldn’t catch the ball hit off Tresh’s bat. Neither would Felipe Alou. It would be caught by some nameless, lucky Yankees fan in the Right Field seats cheering hoarsely as Tresh rounded the bases with a 3 run homer. 5-2 Yankees. What a moment! And as the Giants went on to score a run in their half of the 9th and then went on to beat Whitey Ford in Game 6 it was perhaps a turning point in the Series. Yes Ralph Terry got the win. But the day, October 10th, belonged to Tom Tresh.
You know the rest. Terry and Sanford matched up a 3rd time in Game 7. McCovey’s liner to Richardson in the bottom of the 9th with two outs, the score 1-0, and runners on 2nd and 3rd. And the Yankees are Champions.
I was 7 years old when the Yankees won that World Series.
I would be 22 when they won their next.
Such was my childhood.
Happy Tom Tresh Day to all!