Skip to main content
Original Issue


Double trouble confronted LOS ANGELES (4-3) Pitcher Don Drysdale. Three of Don's brood mares were about to foal, and he was scheduled to start against St. Louis, which had won seven straight. Less than two hours later Drysdale was rushing back to his Hidden Hills, Calif. ranch after beating the Cardinals 2-0 on one hit (Curt Flood's infield single on the game's first pitch) and singling himself to start the Dodgers' decisive eighth-inning rally. "I felt the best I had all year," Drysdale said later. "My only thought was that I must not try to overpower the batters, because then I might start to force the ball." Four days later Don stifled Milwaukee with 12 strikeouts and pushed L.A.'s first-place lead to three games. The 6-foot-6 right-hander pitched seven complete games in his first 12 starts and had an 8-3 record. He also had 12 hits in 33 at bats for a .364 average. Lou Johnson and Ron Fairly were Drysdale's principal support. Johnson went 2 for 3, and Fairly doubled home both runs against St. Louis. Against Milwaukee, Johnson had two homers and four RBIs, while Fairly singled home another run. Despite their strong position, the Dodgers were still looking for offensive vigor and reactivated Coach Jim Gilliam. Shortstop Andre Rodgers of PITTSBURGH (7-0 and a 10-game win streak), bitter because Chicago "traded me for a minor leaguer," beat the Cubs twice with a 6-for-9, four-RBI splurge. Recovered from a spring-training injury, Second Baseman Bill Mazeroski tightened what had been an error-prone infield. Roberto Clemente, another convalescent, had four hits in one game against the Mets to lift his average over .300 for the first time. Said Manager Harry Walker, "I never thought we could lose eight straight, and I never thought we could win 10 straight." Pitchers Dick Farrell and Bob Bruce and Outfielder Jim Wynn revived HOUSTON (4-3) after the Astros had lost 15 of 18. Gene Oliver of MILWAUKEE (4-3) feared he might become a "voodoo doll with a baseball in my head" after he was hit twice and knocked down several times. Shrugged Oliver, "I've got to expect it, batting behind Mack Jones and Joe Torre." Jones and Torre each hit three home runs during the week. ST. LOUIS (3-4) suffered a three-day case of claustrophobia, losing three straight under the Dome after winning 8 of 9 outdoors. Bob Gibson's eight-game winning streak was snapped by the Dodgers. "I'm not hopeless yet," said Pitcher Jim O'Toole of CINCINNATI (2-5) after he received several St. Jude (the patron of hopeless cases) medals. Then he allowed three runs and four hits in one-third of an inning to swell his earned run average to 7.15. Cynical PHILADELPHIA (3-4) fans were chanting "Let's Go Mets" as the Phils lost a doubleheader to New York. Dick Stuart was benched again. Frowned Manager Gene Mauch, "I told Stu to sit here and help me manage." Warren Spahn and Frank Lary won for NEW YORK (3-5), but both were rocked in their next starts. George Altman of CHICAGO (2-5) beat his former Met teammates with a two-run homer in the 10th inning. Willie McCovey's clutch hitting and tight fielding picked up SAN FRANCISCO (4-3). Dick Schofield took over at shortstop, fielded and hit well enough to help put Jim Davenport on the bench.

"Never on Sunday" was the DETROIT (5-1) theme for May. The Tigers lost nine games, including four doubleheaders, on Sunday last month. "The Lord knows where we'd be with just a split in those doubleheaders," said Bob Swift, who turned the manager's job back to Charley Dressen on May 31 after, naturally, a Sunday loss. Cleveland Manager Birdie Tebbetts commented that the Tigers "could win the pennant with fine pitching," then saw Hank Aguirre and Mickey Lolich toss successive two-hit shutouts against his Indians. Joe Sparma had a shutout for eight and two-thirds innings before New York's Roger Maris homered. MINNESOTA (5-1) offset spotty pitching during the week with a .311 team batting average, 13 home runs and slick double-play work to move into first place. Jim Grant gave up four homers to the Red Sox, but the Twins hit five and crashed 20 hits to win 17-5. Jerry Kindall sparkled at bat, also in the field. Camilo Pascual was kayoed early once, then came back to shut out the Senators. Coming out of a fearful slump. Dick Radatz struck out 16 batters in six and two-thirds innings over four games to boost BOSTON (3-2). "I've got it back," growled the Monster. Said Carl Yastrzemski, talking about Radatz' earlier difficulties, "If Dick had been right, we'd be in first place or darn close to it right now." Dave Morehead and rookie Jim Lonborg won again. Brooks Robinson of BALTIMORE (4-5), playing with an aluminum splint on his fractured thumb, a protective sponge taped to his bat and a bad shoulder, still beat the Angels with a two-run double the night he returned to the lineup. Ex-Indian Pedro Ramos told CLEVELAND (3-3) writers: "The Indians look good, but Tebbetts'll ruin them—just give him time." Sam McDowell fanned 13 Tigers and led the AL with 84 strikeouts. Pitching Coach Early Wynn was hospitalized with a duodenal ulcer. WASHINGTON (3-5) pitchers had only one complete game (Phil Ortega) all season. After more KANSAS CITY (1-3) losses, a writer quipped: "At this stage of the season there appear to be only four cinch 20-game winners: Bob Gibson, Juan Marichal, Don Drysdale and the Athletics." Opponents learned they could run on the A's rookie Catcher Rene Lachemann. George Brunet of LOS ANGELES (3-5) two-hit Baltimore, but Dean Chance lost his fourth straight. Jim Fregosi and Joe Adcock helped with key hits. NEW YORK (2-4) continued to wallow in eighth place despite the return of Roger Maris. CHICAGO (2-4) lost its firm grip on first place when both the pitchers and hitters faltered in their run to the pennant.