I mentioned in a story a while back about experiencing my first Major League baseball game at Cleveland Municipal Stadium back in 1965 when I was 10 years old.
Well, today is the anniversary of attending that game 47 years ago. Over the course of time, details become blurred as to what happened, and what might have happened.
If you love baseball, check out the web site baseball-reference.com, and you will be hooked on spending inordinate amounts of time reading about just about anything that concerns professional baseball. This is the web site that I referenced when looking up details about that first game that I attended. It is where you can find the box scores from any game, which was my modus operandi.
I do know that I attended the game with my Dad and two brothers. I do remember that it was part of a promotion called “Grandstand Managers Night.” This was a promotion where a few weeks before the game, you could answer some baseball questions in the local newspaper, and it would enable you to get discounted seats. If I recall, we ended up with great seats in the area behind home plate, just up a little ways.
The anticipation was killing us as we counted down the days before the game. Finally, July 24th arrived, it was a Saturday evening game, and we were on our way.
Our team, the Cleveland Indians, were having a good year. They were 54-39 at the time, and in third place. They were playing the defending American League champion New York Yankees. The Yankees were beginning their 12 year decline, as they stood at 47-50, and in 6th place.
Here are some facts from that game. There were 48,777 people in attendance, which was huge for Cleveland at that time. The Indians starting lineup featured Larry Brown at short, Max Alvis at third, Leon Wagner in left, Rocky Colavito in right, Fred Whitfield at first, Chuck Hinton in center, Joe Azcue behind the plate, Pedro Gonzalez at second, and my hero, “Sudden” Sam Mcdowell on the hill. Not all household names, but they were our heroes none the less.
The Yankees featured the great Mickey Mantle. As well as Tommy Tresh, Bobby Richardson, Elston Howard, Joe Pepitone, and Clete Boyer.
The Indians won 3-0, behind McDowells 5 hit shutout. He notched 10 strikeouts, including Mantle 3 times. Cleveland had RBI’s from Brown, Alvis, and Wagner. “Daddywags” RBI was a long home run over the center field fence in the third inning.
The game lasted 2 hours and 33 minutes, and it was 90 degrees at game time.
Funny thing is, I never noticed the time that elapsed, or how hot it was. It was that much of a magical time with my Dad & brothers.