Sunday, August 31, 2014

August 31, 1963: Boyer Makes Musial's 3,000th Game One To Remember

     On August 31, 1963, Ken Boyer made Stan Musial's 3,000th game in the majors a memorable one, as he blasted an 11th inning two run home run that proved to be the difference maker in a Cardinals 7-5 win over the Phillies at Connie Mack Stadium in Philadelphia.

     The two teams battled their asses off in this one, as Boyer sparked a three run inning with a leadoff double in the second. With the help of a walk, an error, and a two run double off the bat of Ruben Amaro in the bottom of that inning the 3-0 lead shrank to 3-2, as the Fightin Phillies shifted the momentum right back to them. Curt Flood took the wind out of their sails in the fourth with a solo shot, and Boyer doubled for the second time, then scored in the sixth to give the Cards a 5-3 edge. At that point it looked like the Cardinals starter Ernie Broglio was locked in, and victory would go to the Cardinals until the hurler served up a game tying home run to Clay Dalrymple with no outs in the ninth. It is just an example how quickly the tables can turn. Back to work.

     Broglio was lifted in the 10th for a pinch hitter, and his 15th win of the campaign would have to come on another day. That pinch hitter wore the number 6 on his back. As it turned out he would not be adding to his totals, as he popped out with a foul ball that landed in the glove of the rightfielder, but the game did have significance for him, because as mentioned before it was his 3,000th major league contest. He would appear in 26 more games before that season came to a close. To date, only eight men have played in 3,000 games.

     While Stan might not have come through during that 10th inning, he had reached another milestone in what is perhaps the most storied career that has ever been written in the City of St. Louis, and Boyer would still make it a very memorable one in the inning that followed. Johnny Klippstein had come on in relief  for the Phillies in the eighth, and he did one helluva job, until he saw it unravel in the 11th. The game winning rally started with an out by Dick Groat, then with two outs, Klippstein served Boyer up a pitch that the third baseman gave a long ride to the roof of the left field pavillion. Bobby Shantz worked his second scoreless inning in the bottom of the frame, and Stan, along with Boyer, and the rest of the boys who wore the Birds on the Bat across their chests left the ballpark winners.

Check out the box score here:

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