Malzone's 12th inning homer gives
ON THIS DATE (April 19, 1959) ... Frank Malzone came to bat in the last of the 12th inning and the score was tied at 4-4. Against the fastest pitcher in baseball, Ryne Duren, he looked at one pitch, a called ball. Duren's next pitch was a fastball under the letters and Frank drilled it on a line toward the top of the left field fence. It cleared by six inches to give the Sox a 5 to 4 walk-off win.
The homer finished off an afternoon of tense situations, fine pitching and decisive hitting.
In the first inning, Norm Siebern put the Yankees on top with a homer. But in the third inning Sammy White singled, was sacrificed along by Ike Delock, and scored when Don Buddin doubled off the wall. Johnny Kucks, the Yankee starter then picked Buddin off second. It cost a run because Kucks walked Pete Runnels, before Gene Stephens lined a homer into the second row of the right field grandstand, to put the Sox up 3 to 1.
But the Yankees re-tied the game with single runs off Delock in the fifth and sixth innings. In the fifth, Tony Kubek doubled and held second while Bobby Richardson reached safely at first on a fumbled grounder by Don Buddin. The pair advanced when a low pitch-out bounced off Sammy White's shin pads and Kubek scored on Hank Bauer's sacrifice fly. In the sixth, Mickey Mantle drew a walk, advanced on an infield out and scored the tying run on Andy Carey's single.
Dick Gernert regained the lead for the Sox in the seventh inning. He lined a single to center, was sacrificed to second, went to third on a wild pitch unleashed by Tom Sturdivant, and scored on Sammy White's sacrifice fly to put the Sox up 4-3.
Mickey Mantle was safe in the eighth inning on a ground ball that Gernert fumbled near first base. Elston Howard's grounder to Pete Runnels, at second base, took a high hop over his head for a base hit, and Mantle sprinted over to third. Delock got Bill Skowron to hoist a pop-up right to Buddin and then saw Andy Carey loft an easy fly ball to center. Gene Stephens came in and took the ball on the run and threw a bullet, which Sammy White caught three feet up the third baseline, while Mantle hadn't moved an inch. Tony Kubek then flied back out to Stephens and Delock had preserved the Sox one run lead.
The Sox held that lead until the ninth inning. Then as a pinch-hitter, in came Enos Slaughter, who slammed Delock's second pitch into the Red Sox bullpen, and the game went into extra innings. The Sox were held to just a single hit from the fourth inning thru the tenth by the Yankees pitchers.
In the 10th inning, with Leo Kiely on the mound, Buddin atoned for his previous sins, when Elston Howard sent a bounding ball up the middle. Buddin saved it by going to his left and with an outstretched glove, snared the ball and fired to Gernert at first. Skowron singled and Carey's grounder to Buddin resulted in a text book doubleplay.
In the 12th inning, with two down, the Yankees threatened. Skowron and Carey both singled, before Buddin got Kubek on a sharp grounder.