THE CURSE OF
THE BAMBINO, PT 5
GOING NOWHERE" ...
The Sox split with the
Jimmy Piersall's walk-off single
in the 11th inning.
July 4, 1956
... The Red Sox split a doubleheader with the New
York Yankees before the largest crowd of the season, 34,594 fans.
Jimmy Piersall's single in the 11th inning gave the Sox a 7-6
walk-off win in the first game. The Sox lost the second game, 9 to 4.
Ted Williams belted a three run homer to break up a 2-2 tie in the
seventh inning of game number one. Willard Nixon pitched a splendid
game after a shaky first inning, where he gave up two runs, until he
faded in the ninth. Leo Kiely did a great job for two innings to gain
credit for the win.
The Sox won it the hard way, coming back after being two runs down,
in the third inning. The Yankees then wiped out the Sox three run
lead in the ninth inning and tied the game.
Two walks and a single loaded the bases in the first inning for New
York. One run was brought in when Yogi Berra grounded into a force
out and another on a single by Joe Collins.
The Sox tied the game in the third inning. Don Buddin doubled down
the left field line and scored on a base hit by Nixon. A single by
Billy Klaus, a walk to Williams and an infield out brought Nixon
It remained that way until the seventh as Nixon outpitched Johnny
Kucks. With one out, Kucks walked Nixon and Billy Goodman. Klaus
forced Goodman but was safe at first on the throw, negating a
potential doubleplay. That set the stage for Ted's home run that
bounced off the roof of the Sox bullpen, giving the Sox a 5-2 lead.
Nixon had pitched two-hit shutout ball after the first inning, but
with a three run lead, opened the ninth by walking Collins. Irv Noren
and Gil MacDougald followed with singles, to load the bases with
nobody out. At that point, Mike Higgins brought in Ike Delock, who
hit Bill Skowron with a pitch to force home a run. Then with two
outs, Billy Martin put the ball in the screen to put the Yanks on
top, 6 to 5.
In the bottom half of the ninth, Tom Morgan walked Buddin to open the
inning. Tommy Byrne was brought in to face Dick Gernert who hit a
slow roller that was booted by Gerry Coleman at third, giving the Sox
a break. Goodman moved the runners up with a sacrifice bunt, and
Klaus drew a walk to load the bases. Tom Sturdivant was the brought
in to pitch to Jackie Jensen, who dropped a single into short center,
pushing Buddin home with the tying run. Sturdivant then got Mickey
Vernon on a pop up and fanned Piersall to send the game into extra
It was Goodman who started the winning rally in the 11th inning, with
a single to left. Klaus bunted him over to second and after Jensen
struck out, an intentional pass was ordered for Vernon. This brought
up Piersall, who lined a clean single to center, scoring Goodman with
the game winner.
Mel Parnell pitched seven innings, giving up six runs on ten hits in
the nitecap. The Sox wasted two great opportunities against Don
Larsen and they finally knocked him out, but only after the Yankees
had the game put away.