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Another Latino Moment, July 2, 1963

Juan Marichal and Willie Mays - Image Credit: MLB

Pitch Counts & Hall of Famers

On this date, the Milwaukee Braves faced the Giants at Candlestick Park in San Francisco, in a game that would eventually end in what may have been the greatest pitching performance by opposing hurlers in Major League Baseball history. 

The Braves starting lineup included three All-Stars who later would be enshrined in the Hall of Fame. The Giants, who had four All-Star/Hall of Famers, were locked in on a pitching duel that lasted 16 innings and more than four hours after the first pitch. 

One of the Greatest Pitching Duels Ever between Juan Marichal and Warran Spahn – Image Credit: MLB

The Braves threatened in the fourth inning when Norm Larker was thrown out at home plate for the third out by future Hall of Famer Willie Mays. The Braves threatened again in the seventh inning but were stymied by the Giants pitcher. 

In the ninth inning, Willie McCovey drilled a liner to right field that appeared to be a home run but was ruled foul by first base umpire Chris Pelekjoudas, to the dismay of McCovey. The Giants pitcher was scheduled to bat in that inning and was asked by manager Alvin Dark if he had enough. “A 42-year-old man is still pitching. I can’t come out,” was the response. 

In the 14th inning, the Giants loaded the bases with two outs but catcher Ed Bailey flew out to center field to end the inning. 

The Braves had eight hits, including two each by Frank Boiling, Del Crandall and Denis Menke, who replaced Eddie Matthews at third base. The Giants had nine hits, including two each by Hall of Famer Orlando Cepeda, a native of Puerto Rico and shortstop Ernie Bowman, who was a late inning replacement for José Págan. 

Braves Hall of Famers Henry Aaron and Matthews were held hitless in eight plate appearances while Giants Hall of Famers Mays, Cepeda, and McCovey, were held to four hits in 18 plate appearances. 

Warren Spahn and Vern Bickford – Image Credit: MLB

The game was scoreless until the 16th inning when Mays hit a one out, first pitch home run to left field to beat Hall of Famer Warren Spahn, who would become the game’s winningest left-handed pitcher in MLB history. Spahn threw 201 pitches and Giants ace Juan Marichal, a native of the Dominican Republic, who was 17 years younger than Spahn, threw 227 pitches. 

Pitch counts??? Both Spahn and Marichal pitched their next scheduled start five days later. 

The Giants roster included three Alou brothers: Felipe, Matty and Jesús, who patrolled the outfield together on several occasions.

Trio of Alou Brothers – Image credit: Society for American Baseball Research

Contact Joe Ferrara – Email: jaferrara@outlook.com

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