Wednesday, July 8, 2015

July 8, 1967: Javier's Inside-The-Park Shot Wins It In Extras

     On July 8, 1967, Julian Javier led the Cardinals to a 6-4 victory over the Phillies with a three run inside-the-park home run in the top of the twelfth inning at Connie Mack Stadium in Philadelphia. It was the fourth hit of the day for the Redbird second baseman, who also knocked in the first run of the day with a double in the third.

     Bob Gibson got the start in this one, and with the help of an Orlando Cepeda two run homer in the sixth was provided with a 3-1 lead. He surrendered a run in the bottom of that frame, but looked like he was going to pick up a complete game winner, until Philadelphia's right fielder Johnny Callison removed an 0 for 5 collar in the bottom of the ninth with a lead off home run to knot it up. Gibby picked up the first two outs in the bottom of the tenth, before handing the ball over to the bullpen. Joe Hoener picked up the last out of that inning, then the first two in the bottom of the eleventh, then handed the ball over to Nelson Briles, who induced Cookie Rojas into a ground out to end the inning. That was the only out Briles would pick up, however, it would be enough to get him a win, as Javier came up with the heroics in the twelfth.

     The table was set for Javier after reliever Dick Hall was victimized by an error that put Lou Brock on base, then he surrendered a single to Eddie Bressoud, who was taking his first at bat of the day after being put into the game as a defensive replacement in the tenth. Then came Hoolie. He laced one into center, then watched it get past Johnny Briggs, as he turned on the jets and flew around the bases before the outfielder could recover.

     The inside the parker looked to slam a nail in the Phillies coffin, however, there were three more outs to go. Ron Willis took the ball in the bottom of the twelfth, and was rocked right out of the game after the first batter he faced, Phil Linz, took him deep to lead off the inning. Willis handed the ball over to Al Jackson, who got the job done, although he did allow a one out single, before turning out the lights in the City of Brotherly Love.

     Javier was not known for hitting home runs. In fact, he was not really known for his bat either. Often referred to as a "light hitter" because of his .257 career average, Javier had quite the year in '67, hitting .281, which is one point shy of his career high that he reached in 1969. Javier hit 78 home runs over 12 years in the big leagues. 14 of those came during that 1967 season, which included the inside-the-park shot on that day in early July. It was the only inside-the-park shot of his career. Javier's time in St. Louis included three pennant winning ballclubs, and two of those pennant winners went onto win the World Series. One of those World Series championships came after he helped the club win 101 games during that '67 campaign.

If you would like to learn more about Julian Javier check out his SABR bio here:

Check out the box score here:

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