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A Latino Moment, 64 Years Ago

Harvey Haddix gives up HR to Pirates Joe Adcock - Image Credit: MLB

This Day In Baseball History

Today is the anniversary of probably the best pitching performance in Major League Baseball history. 

Pitching for the Pittsburgh Pirates against the Milwaukee Braves at County Stadium was just another start for the veteran left-hander Harvey Haddix. But, it turned out to be more than just another “day at the office.” 

Haddix pitched a 12-inning perfect game against the Braves lineup that included Del Crandall, Joe Adcock, Eddie Mathews and Henry Aaron, who each had 20 or more home runs but lost the game in the 13th inning. 

Harvey Haddix – Image Credit: MLB

A Braves pinch-hitter started the inning by reaching first base on a throwing error by Pirates third baseman, Don Hoak. The next batter was slugger Eddie Mathews (a future Hall of Famer), who hit 512 career home runs, bunted the pinch-hitter to second base. And then, Henry Aaron was walked intentionally putting runners on first and second with Joe Adcock, another power-hitter coming to the plate. 

Adcock quickly launched a “walk-off” home run giving the Braves a 3-0 victory and a loss to Haddix after pitching a masterpiece.

Wrong Score! As Adcock began rounding the bases, Aaron, who thought the game was over, started walking off the field when Adcock passed him. After Aaron “returned” to the field, he touched third and scored ahead of Adcock. The umpires ruled the three runs counted, but National League president Warren Giles overturned the decision the next day, awarding Adcock a double and counting only one run as scoring. 

Ironically, the Braves were accused of stealing signs from Pirates catcher Smoky Burgess. Haddock was only throwing two different pitches that day, a fastball and slider. The Braves would put a white towel over the bullpen fence when a fastball was coming. With only Aaron not paying attention, the remaining lineup, knowing the upcoming pitch, was baffled by Haddix. Amazing!

And the name of the pinch-hitter who scored the only run of the game… Félix Mantilla, a native of Puerto Rico. 

Félix Mantilla – Image Credit: Society for American Baseball Research/MLB

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Julio Pabón

    May 26, 2023 at 10:17 am

    Very interesting and historical article. Thank you for sharing.

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