“DIARY OF A WINNER”
THE CURSE OF
THE BAMBINO, PART 9
September 13, 1986 ... The Yankees rattled 17 hits around the Stadium grounds en route to an 11-6 victory over the first-place Red Sox.
This will be remembered as the day Jim Rice charged into baseball's Jungleland. No one, absolutely NO ONE, wearing a Red Sox uniform dares plunge into the Yankee Stadium stands. Rice did, and he was followed by most of the Red Sox team, including manager John McNamara, Cy Young designee Roger Clemens, helmeted Marc Sullivan and bat-toting LaSchelle Tarver.
It was a scene right out of a Saturday morning wrestling program, and no doubt thousands of beer-drinking, ballgame-watching husbands sat up, startled from near slumber, and yelled, "Honey, come in here get a load of this."
The incident started when Rice caught a Dan Pasqua pop down the left-field line in the eighth inning. Rice barreled into shortstop Spike Owen as he made the catch and Owen crashed into the padded short fence near the line. Owen appeared seriously hurt, but he was able to walk off the field with a bruised chest, neck and shoulder and should be back in a few days.
Rice's hat fell off during the collision, and replays of the scary crash clearly showed a fan with a baseball glove reaching over the rail to snatch Rice's hat. According to McNamara, when Rice attempted to get his hat back, he was cursed by the fan. Rice charged into the stands and his teammates followed. Three arrests were made. The hat-snatcher is from Brooklyn and was issued two summons, one for disorderly conduct and one for trespassing.
Oh yes, the game. Tom Seaver started and gave up nine hits and six runs in four-plus innings. It was Seaver's shortest outing in 15 starts since joining the Red Sox.
Dan Pasqua staked Dennis Rasmussen to a 2-0 lead in the first. After Rickey Henderson reached on Boggs' error, Pasqua got around on a 1-2 pitch and lined it into the porch in right.
Seaver struggled again in the second. Medford's Mike Pagliarulo led with a single to center, took second on a single to center by Wayne Tolleson and scored on a single to left by Henderson. Sammy Stewart went to work in the pen, but Seaver got out of the second without further damage and struck out Dave Winfield to end a harmless third.
Rasmussen retired the first nine Sox in order. Boggs led off the fourth with a sharp single to left and Boston filled the bases with two out. Rice reached on Willie Randolph's error (as the Boss scowled for the network TV audience), then Don Baylor was hit by a 3- 2 pitch. But Dwight Evans struck out on a 2-2 pitch to end the inning, and the Sox were never in the game again.
The Yankees made it 4-0 in the fourth. Randolph hit a one-out single to left, stole second and scored on Tolleson's two-out single to right, one of his four hits. It turned into a rout in the fifth. Seaver got the hook when he gave up two more hits to start the inning. Don Mattingly led with a single to left and Pasqua followed with his third straight hit, a ground-rule double over Rice's head in left.
Stewart replaced Seaver. It was Stewart's first appearance since Sept. 2nd and it showed. The first two batters he faced hit 400-foot shots. Mike Easler greeted Stewart by slamming the first pitch to left-center for a double. Mattingly scored, but Pasqua was held at third. Winfield was next. He worked the count to 3-2, then lined a three- run homer over the fence in straightaway center. It was 8-0.
Pagliarulo and Randolph cracked singles after the homer. New York had six straight hits and Tim Lollar was throwing in the bullpen. Lollar hadn't pitched since Aug. 10, and his last appearance was Aug. 12, when he hit a pinch single against the Royals.
After a double play, Tolleson scored Pagliarulo with a single. It was 9-0, New York had 14 hits, and the fifth inning was not yet over. NBC officials must have been squirming.
The Red Sox erupted with five runs at the start of the sixth. Boggs, Marty Barrett and Bill Buckner led with singles (Buckner's was aided by the sun), and Rice hit a double into the gap in right- center. Yankee manager Lou Piniella came out to talk with Rasmussen. The lefty stayed in the game, and Baylor hit his next pitch into the seats in left for a three-run homer, cutting the lead to 9-5.
Brian Fisher replaced Rasmussen, but the Sox kept hitting. Evans and Tony Armas hit singles to center. Evans took third on Henderson's lethargic error. When Rich Gedman was announced as a pinch hitter for Sullivan, lefty Bob Shirley replaced Fisher. Gedman fouled to third to snap the string of seven straight hits, but Owen scored Evans with a sacrifice fly to left, and it was 9-6.
Lollar came in for the sixth. He was hurt by a walk and a double error by Owen. When Pagliarulo flared a two-out run-scoring single over short, Steve Crawford trotted in from the pen. Randolph shattered his bat but scored Winfield with a bloop single to center off Crawford, and it was 11-6.
Bill Buckner, who knocked in one run, ranks fifth in the American League with 99 RBIs. He has knocked in 13 runs in his last seven games (at least one in each game) and is on the brink of reaching 100 for the third time in his career. Buckner knocked in a career-high 110 last year. He has hit seven homers in his last nine games.