The 1965 World Series opened in Minneapolis on Wednesday, October 6th. The powerful bats of the Twins could not conquer the National League Champion Los Angeles Dodgers. The final score was 4-2 and the result might have been different if not for a groundball error in the top of the 5th inning.
Wes Parker was safe on the error to lead off the inning. Johnny Roseboro singled him to second. After Don Drysdale flied out for the first out, leadoff hitter Maury Wills walked to load the bases. Jim Gilliam sacrificed to advance the runners and score Parker. Willie Davis followed with a single that scored Roseboro and the fleet-footed Wills from second. Ron Fairly grounded out to end the inning. Despite superb pitching by Jim Grant, three unearned runs scored which gave Los Angeles the lead.
Frank Quilici led off the bottom of the 5th inning with a solo home run, closing the gap to 4-2. In the bottom of the 8th inning, Tony Oliva doubled and was out attempting to score from second on Harmon Killebrew’s single. With eleven hits in the game, the only Twins run came on solo home runs by Quilici and Harmon Killebrew. Ron Fairly banged a solo home run for the Dodgers.
Jim Grant gave up only four hits, but took the loss due to the big error in the 5th inning. Don Drysdale pitched eight innings to get the win and Jim Brewer closed out the 9th inning to get the save.
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’65 LA Dodgers Replay WS Game #1.pdf
The 1965 Los Angeles Dodgers Season Replay has reached the end on Baseball Classics. The Dodgers finished 98-64, one game ahead of their actual season performance. Two primary factors were displayed throughout the 162 game season from opening day to the last out: (1) the pitching was outstanding (2.78 team e.r.a.) and (2) terrible hitting (.248 overall season batting average).
Here is a brief list of the team leaders:
Wins: 25 Sandy Koufax
Earned Run Average: 1.85 Bob Miller
Strikeouts: 303 Sandy Koufax
Games: 62 Bob Miller
Saves: 28 Ron Perranoski
Batting Average: .303 Willie Davis
At Bats: 665 Maury Wills
Hits: 171 Maury Wills
Home Runs: 16 Jim Lefebvre
Runs Batted In: 75 Jim Lefebvre
Walks: 61 Ron Fairly
Strikeouts: 112 Wes Parker
Stolen Bases: 103 Maury Wills
Claude Osteen finished 21-11, 2.96 era and Don Drysdale’s record was 19-15, 2.58 era with 212 strikeouts.
The Giants (95-67) finished in second place, three games behind the Dodgers. It’s on to Metropolitan Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota for the opening game of the 1965 World Series against the Minnesota Twins. Will Dodger pitching dominate the powerful bats of the Twins? Find out in my next blog.
Any team, any season from 1901 – Present
On September 29th, Sandy Koufax won his 25th game of the season beating the Cincinnati Reds 2-1. The victory, with San Francisco losing to the St. Louis Cardinals 8-6 in Candlestick Park, cinched the National Pennant for Los Angeles.
The Dodgers finished the month of September with a 97-62 overall record. The Giants are four games back of the Dodgers and the Reds are a distant third, nine games out. The Dodgers in the replay are two games ahead of the actual season with three games remaining.
Koufax (25-12, 2.27 era) has one more start and could match his actual season victory total of 26 wins. Don Drysdale (19-15, 2.62 era) failed in his final attempt of the season to win his 20th game. Claude Osteen (20-11, 2.95 era) has joined the 20 game winner club and Ron Perranoski has 27 saves. Overall, the team ERA is an outstanding 2.77.
Willie Davis leads the Dodger batters with a .300 average. Jim Lefebvre leads the club with 16 home runs and 75 rbi’s. The overall team batting average is a .248.
Take your place on the top step of the dugout…play baseball classics
The 1965 National League pennant race is entering its last week. The Los Angeles Dodgers remain at the top of the standings with a 95-60 record. The San Francisco Giants (91-64) trail by 4 games, followed by the Cincinnati Reds (88-67) in third.
The Reds are coming into Dodgers Stadium for a critical three-game series. Sandy Koufax (24-11) lost his last two games and his ERA climbed to 2.30. Both Don Drysdale and Claude Osteen failed to reach the 20 game victory mark in their last starts.
Ron Fairly, in a rare pinch-hitting role, slammed a grand-slam homer to give the Dodgers a 8-6 victory against the St. Louis Cardinals in yesterday’s game. Ron Perranoski picked up his 26th save of the season. Willie Davis leads the club with a .306 batting average. Overall, the Dodgers continue to have a lackluster offense with a .248 batting average.
Baseball Classics – any team, any season from 1901-2007
I have been asked numerous times why I replay baseball seasons. Doing research for the 1959 Los Angeles Dodgers season, I found a book by Donald Honig. In his book, 1959: The Year That Was, provided the best answer. From opening leaf of the book, he wrote:
It might almost be said that the most enchanting part of baseball lies not watching it, but in remembering it. No sport lends itself so effortlessly to memory, to conversation; no sport has so graphic an afterlife in its statistics; nor has any been photographed so thoroughly and excitingly.
Beginning with 1901, the year most historians identify as the dawn of baseball’s “modern era,” there has been nearly 90 seasons, with no two remotely alike. The mention of a certain year evokes the memory of a team, the image of a man, or the drama of a moment. For many fans, it is all so vivid that baseball has become for them a long calendar of historical events.
Every season begins the same, with everyone equal on Opening Day, stirring with optimism and anticipation. And every season ends the same way, with surprises and disappointments, among teams and individuals both. No baseball summer has ever been , or can be dull. No baseball summer has ever been forgotten, for every one has been a source of stories and numbers, many of which have become part of our nation’s folklore.
It is the purpose of this series of books to make it happen one more time.
Baseball is the American game. Long after the steroids era has passed, there will still be baseball. Willie Mays, Mickey Mantle, Sandy Koufax, Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig and all of the players of our past will still be playing as long as we continue to remember them. Each replay season, I take my place on the first step of the dugout and look out onto a diamond where the glory days of the past live on.
Through the replays I have developed not only an historical perspective of the game, but an appreciation for the role each player, no matter how small their contribution, has given to make baseball the game that it is and will continue to be.