1961 BOSTON RED SOX ...
"A NEW ERA BEGINS WITH YAZ" ...

 

Jack Barry   Ty Cobb   Dazzy Vance   Gary Cooper
Died: Apr 23rd   Died: July 17th   Died: Feb 16th   Died: May 13th
Schoolboy Rowe   Rube Oldring   Weldon Wyckoff   Ernst Hemingway
Died: Jan 8th   Died: Sept 9th   Died: May 8th   Died: July 2nd
Chico Marx   Dummy Hoy   Dag Hmarskjold   Sam Rayburn
Died: Oct 11th   Died: Dec 15th   Died: Sept 18th   Died: Nov 16th
Jim Corsi   Spike Owen   Kevin Romine   Don Mattingly
Born: Sept 9th   Born: April 19th   Born: May 23rd   Born: April 20th
Adam Vinatieri   Andres Gallaraga   Rodney Harrison   Drew Bledsoe
Born: Dec 28th   Born: June 18th   Born: Dec 15th   Born: Feb 14th
Ted Johnson   Antowain Smith   Steve Kaspar   Barry Pederson
Born: Dec 4th   Born: March 14th   Born: Sept 28th   Born: March 13th
Bob Melvin   Wes Gardner   Rick Aguilera   Jeff Russell
Born: Oct 28th   Born: April 28th   Born: Dec 31st   Born: Sept 2nd
Andy Brickley   Doc Rivers   Isiah Thomas   Dan Marino
Born: Aug 9th   Born: Oct 13th   Born: April 30th   Born: Sept 15th
Bruce Matthews   Jeff Hostetler   Boomer Esiason   Ray Bourque
Born: Aug 8th   Born: April 22nd   Born: April 7th   Born: Dec 28th
Craig James   Johnny Rembert   Mark Messier   Steve Young
Born: Jan 2nd   Born: Jan 19th   Born: Jan 18th   Born: Oct 11th
Byron Scott   James Worthy   Brad Faxon   John Kruk
Born: March 28th   Born: Feb 27th   Born: Aug 1st   Born: Feb 9th
Ben Johnson   Steve Kasper   Antoine Carr   Dennis Rodman
Born: Dec 30th   Born: Sept 28th   Born: July 23rd   Born: May 13th
Greg Kite   Barak Obama   Princess Diana   Wayne Gretzky
Born: Aug 5th   Born: Aug 14th   Born: July 1st   Born: Jan 26th
Carl Lewis   Nadia Comaneci   Davey Allison   Reggie White
Born: July 1st   Born: Nov 12th   Born: Feb 25th   Born: Dec 19th
Ray Mancini   Gary Kubiak   George Clooney   Michael J Fox
Born: March 4th   Born: Aug 15th   Born: May 6th   Born: June 9th
             
             

1961 was the year major league baseball expanded for the very first time. The current Washington Senators team moved to Minneapolis and changed their name to the Minnesota Twins. Two new teams were born in 1961, the Los Angeles Angels and a new replacement version of the Washington Senators.

Tom Yawkey and his old cronies and drinking buddies continued to run the Red Sox organization and without Ted Williams, Yawkey lost interest. But Yawkey was the guy his players loved. He overpaid them and had expected little in return on the field.

The Red Sox came into the new decade with nothing to motivate them and were boring, going about their business without purpose. Not only had Ted retired, but also did Sammy White, who decided to pursue a career in bowling. They had finished poorly with them and made no moves now that they was gone.

They were apparently satisfied with what was the poor product, sprinkled in with some new rookies. What young kids they had in their system in the 1950s were too often rushed up to the parent club, would not be welcomed and helped by those veterans, who just wanted to keep their cushy jobs. For the most part they all failed to produce.

And so this was the atmosphere that greeted the rookies of the 1961 team. Those new rookies were Carl Yastrzemski, secondbaseman Chuck Schilling, and also the eventual American League Rookie-of-the-Year, pitcher Don Schwall, who started the second All Star Game for the American League in Boston.

It's very hard to replace a legend and that is precisely the situation 21 year old Carl Yastrzemski found himself in. As the heir to Ted Williams, Yaz stepped into the shoes of a retired hero, and was hyped up by the Boston newspapers all out of proportion.

The pitching was better in 1961. Don Schwall went 15-7 and finished with a 3.22 ERA (2.72 at Fenway). In addition to Schwall, Bill Monbouquette went 14-14, but six of his losses were one-run games, four of them before the end of May.

YAZ, GARY GEIGER, JACKIE JENSEN

Vice President Dick O'Connell, who was achieving his place through hard work and not cronyism, was working hard to build a good farm system. Yaz would go on to become as big an icon to the new generation, as Ted was to the older generation of Red Sox fans in the 1940s and 50s. Just as the turbulent culture of the 1960s emerged, so would a team led by it's new leaders on the field and behind the scenes. Things were going to eventually change, but it wouldn't be an easy task.

Spring training marked the return to the club of Jackie Jensen who spent the previous year dealing with family issues and an abnormal fear of flying. His flying dilemma had grown worse because the American League had a new team in Los Angeles, necessitating the addition of two long round-trip plane rides to meet the new schedule. He made it through the season, but finished with just 13 home runs and 66 RBIs, well off the numbers he had posted annually for so many years. After the season, he retired again, this time for good.

Pumpsie Green had a spectacular spring training, batting .478 and earned the starting job at shortstop.

Opening Day was at Fenway Park on April 11th, and although the Sox lost to the Kansas City Athletics, 5-2, Carl Yastrzemski, after making a hard charge to throw a runner out at the plate in the second inning, then came up and got his first major league hit in his first plate appearance.

In the Los Angeles Angels debut at Fenway on April 15th, Ike Delock shut the new team out, 3-0, yielding only four base hits. Of the three Sox runs, Yaz knocked in two and scored once. Chuck Schilling opened the first inning with a double. Then after a walk to Gary Geiger and a strike out by Vic Wertz, Yaz brought home Schilling with a base hit. Then with two down in the third inning, Yaz tripled off the wall in left-center. He scored on Pete Runnels' double to center. The third run was brought in by Yaz with a sacrifice fly that scored Geiger from third base.

GENE CONLEY

On April 22nd Pumpsie Green knocked out a game winning homer in the 11th inning to top the White Sox, 7 to 6. Down 4-1 at Comiskey Park, the Sox battled back in the ninth inning to go ahead 6 to 4. Runnels started with a two-run homer. Pumpsie doubled and Rip Repulski scored him with the tying run with a single to center. Then Gary Geiger's homer put the Sox out front 6 to 4. But Mike Fornieles allowed the game to go into extra innings, by issuing a walk and a home run to J.C. Martin in the Chicago's ninth.

Eleven years after Gene Conley made his debut in a Boston Braves uniform and two weeks after shedding his World Champion Boston Celtics uniform, Conley appeared for the first time in a Boston Red Sox uniform on April 25th. The new Washington Senators got seven hits off him in eight innings and he left with a 6 to 1 win. (Conley is the only player to have played for three of Boston's major sports teams)

Yaz made another highlight reel play on April 26th against the Senators. Harry Bright hit a liner down the left field line with Willie Tasby at second. As Bright made into second, Tasby turned at third and headed for home, Yaz picked up the ball in the left field corner and threw a 310 ft strike to Russ Nixon, who tagged out Tasby.

The Sox lost to the Tigers in Detroit on April 29th by a score of 9 to 5. But Yaz was immense, knocking out three hits driving in three runs and made two "web-gem" catches.

On May 7th, Chuck Schilling had a great day. At Metropolitan Stadium, Schilling came to bat in the top of the fourth inning. The Twins were leading, 3-2, and the bases were loaded. Schilling knocked out his first major league home run into the left field seats. The grandslam gave the Sox a 6-3 lead. Then, in the top of the eighth inning, with the Sox now leading by just a run, 8-7, Schilling doubled in two more runs and the Sox ended up winning 11 to 9.

Hitting only .130 and despondent, Jackie Jensen left the team in Detroit and took a train to Reno. His wife reportedly burst into tears when she saw her husband’s defeated face. The two drove to Las Vegas to see a noted nightclub hypnotist, Arthur Ellen, as a last resort. He re-joined the Red Sox in Los Angeles on May 8th, and hit his first home run of the year and then singled in the eighth.

The Sox concluded their first trip to Los Angeles, losing two of the three games played with the expansion team. They won the final game on May 10th. Carl Yastrzemski, who had 15 strikeouts thus far and was hitting the ball hard, slugged a 400 ft two-run homer, the second in as many games, and it proved to be the difference in the 3-2 victory. Jensen had two more hits and was now batting .214.

On May 12th in Washington, Bill Monbouquette struck out 17 Senators, breaking the Sox record of 15, set by "Smoky" Joe Wood in 1911. Monbo came within one strikeout of matching the major-league record at the time of 18, held by Bob Feller and Sandy Koufax. He would have had it if Jim Pagliaroni had not dropped a fouled third strike in the eighth inning.

The Sox were slumping as they left Washington, having only scored three runs on 11 hits in their four games. They were shutout for 28 innings. They went 5-10 on their road trip, staring 2 1/2 games out of first and finishing 8 games behind.

On May 16th, the Sox banged out 16 hits and halted their four-game losing streak. Pete Runnels collected three hits and Frank Malzone knocked out his first homer of the year in his first trip to the plate. Jim Pagliaroni's two-run homer in the sixth inning, proved the be the decisive blow, in a game the Sox won 8 to 7 over Cleveland at Fenway. 

Bill Monbouquette (2-4) lost his fourth game to Washington, 2-1, on May 17th giving up only six hits. His 2.11 ERA was leading the American League however.

Against the Detroit the next day, May 18th, Gene Conley pitched a four hit shutout that the Sox won, 1-0. Jackie Jensen rapped out two of the five hits the Sox made, but Don Buddin knocked in Pete Runnels with a slashing base hit down the first base line for the Sox only run. Jensen slammed a run-scoring single with two down in the bottom of the 10th inning in the series finale on May 20th. It provided the Sox with a 4 to 3 win over the Tigers.

DON SCHWALL

Rookie Don Schwall made his first major league start on May 21st, after being called up from the Sox new Triple-A affiliate in Seattle. He scattered six hits against the White Sox and won, 4 to 1, the second game of a doubleheader.

The next day, Sox batters finallly hit for Bill Monbouquette, going the distance and beating the White Sox, 4 to 1. He increased his record to 3 and 4, on seven singles, lowering his ERA to 1.93. It was his fifth complete game in seven starts and in 60 2/3 innings he had allowed only 13 earned runs.

The Sox moved into Yankee Stadium and lost to the Yankees, 3 to 2 on May 24th. It was their 18th one-run game of the 34 games played, and the 10th they had lost. They lost to the Yankees again for the eighth time, in another close game, the next day. The difference was that the '61 Yankees were bombers and the Sox were slappers, who couldn't compete with this powerful team. But the Sox tied an AL record with their ninth consecutive errorless game.

Don Schwall's second start came in Baltimore on May 28th, pitching his first shutout, getting his first hit and his first RBI. The Sox won 5 to 0, highlighted by Frank Malzone's three-run homer.

The Sox returned to Fenway to play four games against the Yankees. In the first game, Ike Delock held down the power-house Yanks, 2 to 1, out-dueling Whitey Ford on May 29th. Delock allowed only five hits, striking out seven and walking nobody. Jackie Jensen homered in the second inning and Mickey Mantle homered in the seventh inning, the only Yankee to make it past first base. In the seventh inning, Ford gave up two walks and a single to Vic Wertz, that brought in the winning run.

In the second game, on May 30th, the Yankees fell one home run short of the major league record for homers in a game. They slammed out seven. Four were hit off Gene Conley by Mantle, Maris, Skowron and Berra. Dave Hillman gave up another homer to Skowron and both Maris and Mantle homered again off Mike Fornieles.

In the third game, Mantle and Maris both homered once again and the Yankees won 7 to 6. Then in the final game, on June 1st, Carl Yastrzemski homered and Wertz hit his first triple in six years to lead the Sox past the Yanks, 7 to 5. The split of the series, left the Sox in seventh place, nine games behind the Yankees.

Don Schwall won his third start against the Orioles on June 2nd, 4-2, thanks to a ninth-inning walk-off homer by Wertz. Schwall had given up only three runs in 26 innings of pitching in the majors. Then, a pinch-hit single in the ninth inning by Joe Ginsberg, beat the Baltimore 6 to 5, at Fenway two nights later, on June 4th. Ginsberg, picked up as a free agent in May, got his first hit since joining the club and it was a game winner.

The Red Sox lost their 23rd game by one run on June 9th. If they had a power hitter, the might have been in the race. But they didn't and also suffered an embarrassment, when the Angels' Ryne Duren struck out seven Sox batters in a row, setting an American League record for consecutive strikeouts.

On June 8th, with the Sox down 4-3 in the bottom of the 11th inning against the Angels, Gary Geiger hit his second triple of the game off the wall in deep center field. It brought in Schilling, who had walked, with the tying run. Unfortunately for the Sox, Geiger might have scored also, because Ken Aspromonte had just gotten the relay about 15 feet behind second base, when Geiger rounded third. But Geiger then ran into the dugout, thinking the game had been won when Schilling scored and was tagged out to end the inning. The game ended in a tie after it was called in the 12th inning, when a thunderstorm soaked the field.

Schwall won his fifth straight major league game by a score of 8-2, over the Minnesota Twins on June 11th. He had allowed only six runs in 42 innings, allowing only two singles thru six innings, until giving up his first home run to Bob Allison in the seventh inning.

The Sox completed an 11-7 homestand finishing the same as when they started it, nine games behind. After losing two games in Detroit, they salvaged the finale on June 14th. Monbouquette silenced the Tigers, 10 to 1. The big blow came off the bat of Vic Wertz, who socked his 10th career grandslam.

JIM PAGLIARONI

Jim Pagliaroni's sixth inning homer gave the Sox a 6 to 5 win over Washington on June 17th. Then, on June 18th, there were two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning and the Red Sox were behind, 12 to 5, in the first game of a doubleheader with the Senators. Don Buddin was on first base, having lined a single to right. Nine batters later, Pagliaroni tied the score with a grandslam home run. Russ Nixon came then up as a pinch-hitter. He lined the ball past the dive of secondbaseman, Chuck Cottier and the Sox had miraculously won the game, 13 to 12.

But that was just the first game of a doubleheader with Washington. The Sox were leading 5 to 4, in the top of the eight inning of the nitecap, when Willie Tasby led off and tied the score with a home run for the Nats.

Fast forward to the 13th inning. It now had been a pitcher's duel between Mike Fornieles and Tom Sturdivant. Fornieles, pitched six innings without letting a runner get past second base. Sturdivant had pitched no-hit ball for six innings. Up comes Pagliaroni again and he smashes a 3-2 pitch from Sturdivant into the left field net for a walk-off, 6-to-5 Sox win.

Schilling had one of his finest nights in Los Angeles on June 20th. He had three successive singles and two walks. He led the team with 35 runs scored, 68 base hits, 14 doubles, 41 walks and had four stolen bases. Yaz did fine as well in the game, knocking in three runs with a single and the unloading a home run, as the Sox outlasted the Angels, 11-8.

Don Buddin had quietly been playing well. The Sox had gone 12-5 while his average climbed from .198 to .273 in the last 13 games, during which he batted .413 with three homers and three triples.

Don Schwall won a game on June 25th in Kansas City, thanks primarily to Mike Fornieles. Fornieles came in during the sixth innings for Schwall, who was laboring. Mike went on to pitch shutout ball, allowing only one infield single. In his last 23 innings, Fornieles had given up only two runs for an ERA over that period of 0.75  The Sox won 7 to 4 and Schwall was 6-1.

19-year-old knuckleballer, Wilbur Wood made his pitching debut for the Sox on June 30th. He pitched the final four innings in a game the Sox were blown out of against the Indians, 10-2, at Fenway. He turned back the Tribe in order for three innings, but gave two runs in another inning of work.

 

Against the Indians, in losing efforts, Carl Yastrzemski knocked out three hits on July 1st and  tripled, doubled and singled in the next game. Yaz was leading the team with 43 RBIs, but only batting .244  Gene Conley led Sox pitchers in homers yielded with 19, but also homered himself and doubled on the July 2nd loss to the Indians.

The week and a half at the start of July, before the first All Star Game break, sealed the fate of the Red Sox. Of the 11 games they played, the Sox only won two and fell to 15 games out of first. Malzone (.234 BA) and Jensen (.257), two of the Sox biggest bats had not been able to produce like they had previously.

 

MIKE FORNIELES

There were again two All Star Games played in 1961. The first was in San Francisco on July 11th and Fornieles was the only player picked from the Red Sox. The game was won in the 10th inning by the National League All Stars, 5 to 4, on a base hit by Roberto Clemente. It wasn't pretty as the All Stars made seven errors to break a record.

Fornieles only lasted 1/3 of an inning. In the seventh inning, with the N.L. leading 2-1,  leadoff hitter George Altman homered off him. After getting Willie Mays to fly out and after giving up a base hit to Frank Robinson, he was taken out.

Yaz remained hot at the plate and in the field. In the game before the All Star break, against the Yankees, he had gone four-for-five. In the game after the break at Fenway, against the Orioles, he walked, singled and was hit by a pitch. The Sox won, 3-2, and a play Yaz made in the left field corner was instrumental in the win. Russ Snyder lofted a ball into the corner and Frank Robinson, who was on first, tried to make it to third. But Yaz threw a strike to Frank Malzone to get him.

On July 16th in Chicago, Yaz scored the winning run in the 12th inning of the second game in a doubleheader, the the Red Sox won, 5 to 3. He had four hits and upped his batting average to .254

Geiger hit a pair of two-run homers in Cleveland on July 18th. The Sox beat the Indians, 9 to 2 and the Sox winningest pitcher, Don Schwall, won his 9th game.

The Red Sox turned the tables on the New York Yankees on July 23rd at Fenway, by scoring two runs in the bottom of the ninth inning, and walked-off with a 5 to 4 victory. In the process, Schwall won his 10th game.

The game had a double climax. The Yankees came from behind in the top of the ninth inning on a two-run homer off the bat of Elston Howard, putting them ahead 4-3.

But Don Buddin started the bottom of the ninth with a base hit to left. Then Yastrzemski moved him up with a sacrifice bunt. Pumpsie Green, pinch-hitting for Schwall came up next. He pumped a curve ball off the scoreboard for a double, that enabled Buddin to romp home with the tying run. Finally, Geiger singled to right and Pumpsie jubilantly came across the plate with the winning run.

The Red Sox hid not have a .300 hitter on the team. There was not one batter who had yet collected his 100th hit and the leading home run hitter only had 15. But the pitching was worse. In the middle of June the pitchers had a 3.87 ERA, now it was 4.59, one of the highest in the American League. They had lost 25 out of their last 32 games and nine of their last ten. They were 20 games out of first place.

But they had Don Schwall and on July 28th, Schwall won his 11th game, by beating the White Sox, 8 to 3. It was his fifth straight win and he seemed to spark his teammates. Pete Runnels had three hits and Don Buddin and Yaz pulled off some great defensive plays.

A seven run lead at Fenway Park can sometimes not be enough. On July 30th, the White Sox clubbed Gene Conley for six runs and added another off Fornieles. By the end of the third inning they had a 7-0 lead.

But the Red Sox fought their way back inch by inch. Pumpsie gave them a kick start with a pinch-hit two run homer. However, the Red Sox still trailed until the last of the ninth inning, when Vic Wertz slammed a 400 ft solo homer to tie the game at 8-8. And with two men out, in the last of the 10th inning, Jensen got a base hit and made a vital steal of second base. Pinch hitter Joe Ginsberg next took a pitch and slapped it off the pitcher's mound, for a base hit that gave the Red Sox a 9 to 8 win.

 

The second All Star Game was held at Fenway Park on July 31st. The American League scored a run in the first inning when Rocky Colavito hit a changeup into the left field net.  And in the sixth, without hitting the ball out of the infield, the National League’s renowned sluggers scored a sixth-inning run that gave them a 1-to-1 tie. 

Don Schwall was the second pitcher for the American League and he pitched a terrific game. He came in to start the fourth inning and gave up a base hit to Maury Wills, got Eddie Mathews on a fly to left, and gave up a hit to Willie Mays. Then he got Orlando Cepeda to pop out and Roberto Clemente on a grounder.

In the fifth inning he had Bill White on third base with only one out. He got John Roseboro on six pitches (three strikes and three foul balls), and then Stan Musial went down swinging.

He was one pitch away from retiring the side in the sixth. He hit Orlando Cepeda with a pitch with two outs and Eddie Mathews on first. But Eddie Kasko and Bill White reached on infield hits, scoring Mathews with the NL's only run.

The game was called at the end of nine innings because of persistent downpour of rain, in a 1 to 1 tie.

 

TED WILLIAMS THROWS OUT THE "FIRST PITCH" AT THE ALL STAR GAME

 

 

Two times in one day, on August 2nd,  Chuck Schilling made the hit that won the game for the Red Sox. In the afternoon game of a twi-light doubleheader with the Los Angeles Angels, Schilling broke a 2-2 tie with an eighth inning single to center that scored Carroll Hardy from second and sent the Sox to a 7-2 triumph. Then in the twilight game, with the score tied at 7-7 in the last of the ninth inning, Schilling poked a home run into the left field nets that gave the Sox an 8-7 victory.

In the final game with the Angels, Don Schwall (12-2) worked his second shutout of the season, a 4 to 0, three-hit win. His sinker allowed three Sox doubleplays.

The Sox won their seventh game of their last nine played on August 5th. Against the A's, Vic Wertz drove home four runs with a triple, double and a single. Don Buddin homered and Carl Yastrzemski knocked home two runs, in the 10-4 victory.

On August 7th, the Sox swept a doubleheader from the Twins by identical 5 to 4 scores. In the first game, Ike Delock and Minnesota's Don Lee dueled to a 4-4 tie until the ninth inning. Mike Fornieles relieved him in the ninth and earned the win with his double off the wall, followed by Yaz's game-winning line drive single to center. Schwall won his 13th in the second game and at Fenway Park his record was 9-0.

Gary Geiger hit an inside-the-park grandslam the next night, on August 8th, only one of three Sox players to do so in Red Sox history. Jensen led off the third inning with a double to right center. Buddin and Pete Runnels were each walked to load the bases. Geiger next smashed the ball down the right field line. It bounced off the wall beyond the foul pole and eluded Bob Allison, ricocheting around and coming to rest in front of the Twins' bullpen. Allison finally caught up to the ball, relayed it to Billy Martin, whose throw was not in time to get the sliding Geiger at the plate. The Sox however, dropped a 6 to 5 decision to the Twins, after blowing a 4-0 lead.

FRANK MALZONE, DON BUDDIN,
PUMPSIE GREEN & PETE RUNNELS

In the series fourth game, the Sox beat the Twins in a 5 to 4 squeaker. Frank Malzone was all smiles, having belted a pair of doubles, knocking in the game-winner and scoring another run. In his last 23 at-bats, he had 10 hits and driven in eight runs.

The Sox swept the five game series with the Twins on August 10th, 3 to 2.  Malzone had another big day. In the second inning, he doubled, went to second on a wild pitch and scored on Jensen's double. Then in the third, Yaz singled, Wertz walked and Malzone doubled down the left field line to score Yaz.

During the home stand, they had won 11 games and lost 4, to give themselves a 38-25 home record. Yet, because the Yankees were so hot, the Sox started their streak, 20 games behind and finished it 21 1/2 games behind. But the road trip that followed produced only one win in the next ten games played, leaving the team 27 games out.

In their only win, which came in Cleveland on August 15th, Gene Conley threw a six-hit shutout, winning 8 to 0. The Sox thumped five homers and the big gun, once again, was Malzone. He knocked out two home runs and chipped in three singles. On August 19th at Briggs Stadium, in Detroit, Malzone homered in the top of the ninth to tie the score, but the Sox would  lose 3-2 in the bottom of the ninth.

A crowd of 19,773 went through the rain and raised between $50,000 and $60,000 for the Jimmy Fund, in welcoming the Braves back to Boston for at least one night.  They booed the Red Sox and cheered the Braves who defeated their once cross-town rivals 4-1, on August 21st.

Jackie Jensen was wielding a hot bat. On homered against the Senators in a 9-4 victory and in the next game, on August 24th, he homered twice. He tied the game in the sixth inning and won the game, 5-4 with a 10th inning walk-off.

But with the Red Sox scheduled now to make a second trip to Los Angeles, Jensen told the Red Sox he could not go, and instead joined the team in Kansas City, their next stop. His off-field struggles about flying were a serious matter. He thought he had beaten it once but it was apparent he hadn't. He played well but like a person with a huge weight on his shoulders.

In Los Angeles, the Sox blasted four homers in a 12 to 6 victory on August 25th. Malzone drove in four runs with two doubles while Pumpsie homered twice. The topper was a grandslam off the bat of Carroll Hardy.

September started with a loss in Minnesota, but on the 2nd Bill Monbouquette (11-12) won his third straight game. But the attention in baseball was the attempt by both Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris to beat the home run record of Babe Ruth. Maris pounded his 52nd and 53rd homers at Yankee Stadium against the Tigers.

The Sox concluded their best road trip of the season with a victory over the Twins, 8 to 6 on September 3rd. Their 6-3 road record was their best of the season and only their second winning trip. Meanwhile, in New York, Mickey Mantle knocked out his 49th and 50th homers of the season. On September 5th, Mantle added number 51 against the Senators.

On September 5th, Roger Maris hit his 54th homer in New York. At Fenway, Schwall won his 14th by a 9 to 4 score over the Indians. It was his 10th win without a loss at home.

Maris hit his 55th just as Vic Wertz was surprisingly sold by the Sox to the Tigers on September 7th. The move came as Detroit opened a series at Fenway Park, losing to the Sox 8 to 4. In the next game, Jim Pagliaroni had 5 RBIs, coming within a triple of hitting for the cycle, leading the Sox to a 9-2 win over the Tigers.

Maris banged out his 56th against the Indians on  September 9th. The next day, Mantle slugged his 53rd and Carl Yastrzemski hit his fourth homer of the season at Fenway, and the first one he ever hit to right field.

Don Schwall won his 15th game in Washington on September 11th, by a 14-4 score. The Sox posted eight runs in the seventh inning, breaking a 4-4 tie, sending 12 men to the plate.

Yaz bombed a walk-off homer into Fenway's center field bleachers in the 10th inning, giving the Sox a 3-2 win over the Orioles on September 15th.

Schwall lost his first game at Fenway, to the Orioles on September 16th. It was accomplished by another rare feat, an error by Chuck Schilling. In Detroit Roger Maris, homerless in his last seven games, hit his 57th home run and the next game he knocked out his 58th.

Monbouquette won a 1-0 thriller against Baltimore, on September 17th, allowing only three hits. The only run came on Pagliaroni's run-scoring double.

Roger Maris added his 59th home run on September 20th in Baltimore. It was the 154th game played by the Yankees. Commisioner Ford Frick had ruled that Babe Ruth's home run record could only be erased if Maris did it within the 154 game time-frame as Ruth did. Meanwhile in Chicago, Chuck Schilling quietly set an American League and tied Jackie Robinson for the fielding record of fewest errors by a secondbaseman, also in the Sox 154th game.

The Yankees came to Fenway to face the Sox for two games. On September 3rd, Maris walked twice and lined out a single. Mantle hit his 54th homer and Whitey Ford won his 25th game, beating Don Schwall, 8 to 3. In the second game, Monbouquette held Maris to a single, and the Yankees to just five hits, beating them 3 to 1.

On September 26th, Maris finally blasted out his 60th homer at Yankee Stadium off Baltimore's Jack Fisher into the right field upper deck. It was the 159th game for the Yankees.

ROGER MARIS

The final series of the season came in New York against the Yankees. In the first game, on September 29th, the Sox lost 2 to 1, with Maris scoring the winning run in the bottom of the ninth inning. He hadn't homered but with the score tied at 1-1, walked to lead off the inning, went to second on a grounder and scored the walk-off run on a single. The loser was Bill Monbouquette who had given up only three runs in his last three games.

The Sox lost the second game, 3 to 1. Schwall was the losing pitcher, but he blanked Roger Maris, who could only manage a single in his last plate appearance, after walking and grounding out two times to Schilling.

And so, the season came down to the final game on October 1st. The Sox lost 1-0 to the Yankees and it was the best game Tracy Stallard had pitched all year. He held the Yanks to five hits in seven innings, striking out five and giving up just a single run on one of the most famous home runs in baseball history. With the count at two balls and no strikes, Roger Maris flicked his powerful wrist and the ball sailed over Lou Clinton's head, settling into the right field grandstand. It was Maris' 61st homer and the most ever hit in one season.

As for the Red Sox of 1961, Carl Yastrzemski's rookie season earned him only a .266 batting average, with 11 home runs and 80 RBIs, only leading the team in doubles and total bases. Gary Geiger led the punchless team with 18 home runs, but only hit .232. An ankle injury hurt Frank Malzone, but he still knocked in 87 RBIs, seven more than Yaz, the next-closest Red Sox hitter. And Pete Runnels continued to produce, batting .317.

Don Schwall (15-7) took the United Press International A.L. Rookie of the Year Award, and won the Baseball Writers Association A.L. Rookie of the Year Award, getting seven of the latter’s 20 votes. Schwall completed 10 of 25 starts, had two shutouts, and had a 3.22 earned run average. He allowed only eight home runs, including five at Fenway, where his ERA was 2.72.

Chuck Schilling's offensive stats at years end were comparable to those of Yaz. He batted .259 with 62 RBIs. His OBP was .340 and he scored 87 runs.  Schilling set the major league record for second basemen by making only eight errors and his .991 fielding average led everyone at that position. The Boston Baseball Writers named him the Sox MVP. It was the first time a rookie had achieved the award.

 

 

 

GAME LOG
  RECORD PLACE GB/GF OPPONENT   SCORE  PITCHER W/L
04/11/1961 0-1 6th -1  Kansas City Athletics L 5-2 Bill Monbouquette 0-1
04/12/1961 0-1 6th -1  Kansas City Athletics pp  
04/13/1961 0-1 6th -1  Kansas City Athletics pp  
04/14/1961 0-1 8th -1 1/2  
04/15/1961 1-1 4th -1/2  Los Angeles Angels W 3-0 Ike Delock 1-0
04/16/1961 1-1 4th -1 1/2  Los Angeles Angels pp  
04/17/1961 2-1 3rd -1  Los Angeles Angels W 3-2 Tom Brewer 1-0
04/18/1961 2-2 5th -2  Minnesota Twins L 3-2 Billy Muffett 0-1
04/19/1961 2-2 5th -2  Minnesota Twins pp  
04/20/1961 2-2 4th -2  
04/21/1961 2-3 6th -2 1/2  at Chicago White Sox L 3-2 Bill Monbouquette 0-2
04/22/1961 3-3 4th -2  at Chicago White Sox W 7-6 Ted Wills 1-0
04/23/1961 4-3 5th -2  at Chicago White Sox W 4-3 Tom Brewer 2-0
4-4 5th -3 L 7-1 Billy Muffett 0-2
04/24/1961 4-4 5th -3 1/2  
04/25/1961 5-4 3rd -3  Washington Senators W 6-1 Gene Conley 1-0
04/26/1961 5-5 5th -3  Washington Senators L 2-1 Bill Monbouquette 0-3
04/27/1961 6-5 4th -2 1/2  at Detroit Tigers W 5-2 Dave Hillman 1-0
04/28/1961 6-5 4th -2  at Detroit Tigers pp  
04/29/1961 6-6 4th -3  at Detroit Tigers L 9-5 Tom Brewer 2-1
04/30/1961 7-6 5th -3  at Cleveland Indians W 4-2 Bill Monbouquette 1-3
7-7 5th -3 L 10-1 Gene Conley 1-1
05/01/1961 7-7 4th -3  
05/02/1961 7-8 6th -4  at Kansas City Athletics L 7-4 Ike Delock 1-1
05/03/1961 7-9 7th -4  at Kansas City Athletics L 9-8 Mike Fornieles 0-1
05/04/1961 7-9 7th -4 1/2  
05/05/1961 7-10 7th -5 1/2  at Minnesota Twins L 5-1 Tom Brewer 2-2
05/06/1961 7-10 7th -6  at Minnesota Twins pp  
05/07/1961 8-10 7th -6 1/2  at Minnesota Twins W 11-9 Mike Fornieles 1-1
05/08/1961 8-11 7th -7  at Los Angeles Angels L 6-5 Gene Conley 1-2
05/09/1961 8-12 8th -7 1/2  at Los Angeles Angels L 8-7 Ted Wills 1-1
05/10/1961 9-12 7th -7 1/2  at Los Angeles Angels W 3-2 Tom Brewer 3-2
05/11/1961 9-12 7th -7  
05/12/1961 10-12 6th -7  at Washington Senators W 2-1 Bill Monbouquette 2-3
05/13/1961 10-13 6th -8  at Washington Senators L 4-0 Gene Conley 1-3
05/14/1961 10-14 7th -8  at Washington Senators L 3-0 Billy Muffett 0-3
10-15 9th -8 L 2-1 Mike Fornieles 1-2
05/15/1961 10-16 9th -9  Cleveland Indians L 13-2 Ted Wills 1-2
05/16/1961 11-16 9th -9  Cleveland Indians W 8-7 Ike Delock 2-1
05/17/1961 11-17 9th -10  Cleveland Indians L 1-0 Bill Monbouquette 2-4
05/18/1961 12-17 9th -9  Detroit Tigers W 1-0 Gene Conley 2-3
05/19/1961 12-17 8th -9  Detroit Tigers pp  
05/20/1961 13-17 7th -8  Detroit Tigers W 4-3 Dave Hillman 2-0
05/21/1961 13-18 8th -9  Chicago White Sox L 6-5 Dave Hillman 2-1
14-18 8th -8 1/2 W 4-1 Don Schwall 1-0
05/22/1961 15-18 6th -8 1/2  Chicago White Sox W 4-1 Bill Monbouquette 3-4
05/23/1961 15-18 7th -9  
05/24/1961 15-19 7th -10  at New York Yankees L 3-2 Chet Nichols 0-1
05/25/1961 15-20 8th -10  at New York Yankees L 6-4 Billy Muffett 0-4
05/26/1961 15-20 8th -10  at Baltimore Orioles pp  
05/27/1961 15-21 8th -9 1/2  at Baltimore Orioles L 5-4 Bill Monbouquette 3-5
05/28/1961 16-21 8th -9 1/2  at Baltimore Orioles W 5-0 Don Schwall 2-0
05/29/1961 17-21 8th -9  New York Yankees W 2-1 Ike Delock 3-1
05/30/1961 17-22 7th -9 1/2  New York Yankees L 12-3 Gene Conley 2-4
05/31/1961 17-23 8th -9 1/2  New York Yankees L 7-6 Billy Muffett 0-5
06/01/1961 18-23 7th -9  New York Yankees W 2-1 Bill Monbouquette 4-5
06/02/1961 19-23 7th -9  Baltimore Orioles W 4-2 Don Schwall 3-0
06/03/1961 19-24 7th -10  Baltimore Orioles L 3-1 Ike Delock 3-2
06/04/1961 20-24 7th -10 1/2  Baltimore Orioles W 6-5 Billy Muffett 1-5
06/05/1961 21-24 7th -10  Kansas City Athletics W 6-2 Mike Fornieles 2-2
21-25 7th -10 L 10-6 Dave Hillman 2-2
06/06/1961 22-25 7th -9  Kansas City Athletics W 5-3 Bill Monbouquette 5-5
06/07/1961 23-25 5th -9  Kansas City Athletics W 6-2 Don Schwall 4-0
06/08/1961 24-25 5th -8 1/2  Los Angeles Angels W 6-5 Ted Wills 2-2
24-25 5th -8 1/2

T

4-4

 
06/09/1961 25-25 5th -8 1/2  Los Angeles Angels W 5-3 Billy Muffett 2-5
25-26 5th -9 L 5-1 Mike Fornieles 2-3
06/10/1961 25-27 6th -9  Los Angeles Angels L 10-5 Bill Monbouquette 5-6
06/11/1961 26-27 6th -9  Minnesota Twins W 8-2 Don Schwall 5-0
26-28 6th -10 L 10-5 Galen Cisco 0-1
06/12/1961 27-28 5th -9  Minnesota Twins W 10-8 Ike Delock 4-2
06/13/1961 27-29 5th -10  at Detroit Tigers L 7-1 Gene Conley 2-5
06/14/1961 27-30 6th -10  at Detroit Tigers L 4-2 Billy Muffett 2-6
06/15/1961 28-30 6th -9  at Detroit Tigers W 10-1 Bill Monbouquette 6-6
06/16/1961 29-30 4th -9  Washington Senators W 14-9 Mike Fornieles 3-3
06/17/1961 30-30 4th -9  Washington Senators W 6-5 Galen Cisco 1-1
06/18/1961 31-30 4th -8  Washington Senators W 13-12 Ted Wills 3-2
32-30 4th -7 1/2 W 6-5 Mike Fornieles 4-3
06/19/1961 32-30 4th -7 1/2  
06/20/1961 33-30 4th -7 1/2  at Los Angeles Angels W 11-8 Bill Monbouquette 7-6
06/21/1961 33-31 4th -8  at Los Angeles Angels L 5-1 Don Schwall 5-1
06/22/1961 34-31 4th -8  at Los Angeles Angels W 3-2 Mike Fornieles 5-3
06/23/1961 35-31 4th -8  at Kansas City Athletics W 5-4 Gene Conley 3-5
06/24/1961 35-32 4th -9  at Kansas City Athletics L 9-3 Ike Delock 4-3
06/25/1961 36-32 4th -9  at Kansas City Athletics W 7-4 Don Schwall 6-1
36-33 4th -9 L 3-2 Billy Muffett 2-7
06/26/1961 36-33 4th -9  
06/27/1961 36-34 5th -9  at Minnesota Twins L 6-5 Mike Fornieles 5-4
36-35 6th -9 L 6-3 Gene Conley 3-6
06/28/1961 37-35 6th -9  at Minnesota Twins W 6-2 Ike Delock 5-3
06/29/1961 38-35 5th -9  at Minnesota Twins W 9-5 Arnold Earley 1-0
06/30/1961 38-36 5th -10  Cleveland Indians L 10-2 Billy Muffett 2-8
07/01/1961 38-37 6th -11  Cleveland Indians L 7-3 Galen Cisco 1-2
07/02/1961 38-38 6th -11  Cleveland Indians L 12-6 Arnold Earley 1-1
07/03/1961 38-39 6th -11 1/2  at Washington Senators L 6-3 Ike Delock 5-4
07/04/1961 38-40 5th -12  at Washington Senators L 7-3 Don Schwall 6-2
07/05/1961 38-41 5th -12  Detroit Tigers L 6-2 Billy Muffett 2-9
39-41 5th -12 W 8-3 Bill Monbouquette 8-6
07/06/1961 39-42 6th -13  Detroit Tigers L 3-0 Galen Cisco 1-3
07/07/1961 39-43 6th -13 1/2  at New York Yankees L 14-3 Gene Conley 3-7
07/08/1961 39-44 6th -14 1/2  at New York Yankees L 8-5 Ike Delock 5-5
07/09/1961 39-45 6th -15 1/2  at New York Yankees L 3-0 Bill Monbouquette 8-7
40-45 6th -15 W 9-6 Don Schwall 7-2
07/10/1961  First All Star Game Break
07/11/1961
07/12/1961
07/13/1961 41-45 6th -14 1/2  Baltimore Orioles W 3-2 Don Schwall 8-2
07/14/1961 41-46 6th -14 1/2  Baltimore Orioles L 7-6 Mike Fornieles 5-5
07/15/1961 42-46 6th -14 1/2  Baltimore Orioles W 2-1 Gene Conley 4-7
07/16/1961 42-47 6th -15 1/2  at Chicago White Sox L 4-3 Arnold Early 1-2
43-47 6th -15 1/2 W 5-3 Dave Hillman 3-2
07/17/1961 43-48 6th -16 1/2  at Chicago White Sox L 4-1 Galen Cisco 1-4
07/18/1961 44-48 6th -16  at Cleveland Indians W 9-2 Don Schwall 9-2
07/19/1961 44-49 6th -16  at Cleveland Indians L 4-1 Gene Conley 4-8
44-50 6th -16 L 9-8 Arnold Early 1-3
07/20/1961 44-51 6th -17  at Cleveland Indians L 12-11 Billy Muffett 2-10
07/21/1961 44-52 6th -17 1/2  New York Yankees L 11-8 Arnold Earley 1-4
07/22/1961 44-53 6th -18 1/2  New York Yankees L 11-9 Gene Conley 4-9
07/23/1961 45-53 6th -18  New York Yankees W 5-4 Don Schwall 10-2
07/24/1961 45-53 6th -18 1/2  
07/25/1961 45-54 6th -19  at Baltimore Orioles L 5-1 Ike Delock 5-6
07/26/1961 45-55 6th -20  at Baltimore Orioles L 5-1 Bill Monbouquette 8-8
45-56 6th -20 1/2 L 9-2 Gene Conley 4-10
07/27/1961 45-57 6th -21 1/2  at Baltimore Orioles L 8-5 Billy Muffett 2-11
07/28/1961 46-57 6th -20 1/2  Chicago White Sox W 8-3 Don Schwall 11-2
07/29/1961 46-57 6th -21  Chicago White Sox pp  
07/30/1961 46-58 6th -20  Chicago White Sox L 4-2 Bill Monbouquette 8-9
47-58 6th -20 W 9-8 Chet Nichols 1-1
07/31/1961  Second All Star Game Break
08/01/1961
08/02/1961 48-58 6th -20  Los Angeles Angels W 7-2 Ike Delock 6-6
49-58 6th -20 W 8-7 Arnold Early 2-4
08/03/1961 50-58 6th -19  Los Angeles Angels W 4-0 Don Schwall 12-2
08/04/1961 50-59 6th -20  Kansas City Athletics L 5-0 Bill Monbouquette 8-10
08/05/1961 51-59 6th -20  Kansas City Athletics W 10-4 Gene Conley 5-10
08/06/1961 52-59 6th -21  Kansas City Athletics W 4-2 Chet Nichols 2-1
52-60 6th -21 L 1-0 Tracy Stallard 0-1
08/07/1961 53-60 6th -21  Minnesota Twins W 5-4 Mike Fornieles 6-5
54-60 6th -20 1/2 W 5-4 Don Schwall 13-2
08/08/1961 54-61 6th -21 1/2  Minnesota Twins L 6-5 Bill Monbouquette 8-11
08/09/1961 55-61 6th -21 1/2  Minnesota Twins W 5-4 Gene Conley 6-10
08/10/1961 56-61 6th -21 1/2  Minnesota Twins W 3-2 Tracy Stallard 1-1
08/11/1961 56-62 6th -22 1/2  at Baltimore Orioles L 6-3 Chet Nichols 2-2
08/12/1961 56-63 6th -22 1/2  at Baltimore Orioles L 8-3 Ike Delock 6-7
08/13/1961 56-64 6th -23  at Baltimore Orioles L 6-5 Mike Fornieles 6-6
08/14/1961 56-64 6th -23  
08/15/1961 57-64 6th -22  at Cleveland Indians W 8-0 Gene Conley 7-10
08/16/1961 57-65 6th -23  at Cleveland Indians L 6-4 Tracy Stallard 1-2
08/17/1961 57-66 6th -23  at Cleveland Indians L 4-3 Mike Fornieles 6-7
08/18/1961 57-67 6th -24  at Detroit Tigers L 5-0 Bill Monbouquette 8-12
08/19/1961 57-68 6th -25  at Detroit Tigers L 3-2 Mike Fornieles 6-8
08/20/1961 57-69 6th -26  at Detroit Tigers L 6-1 Gene Conley 7-11
57-70 6th -27 L 7-6 Tracy Stallard 1-3
08/21/1961 57-70 6th -27  Milwaukee Braves

L

4-1

 
08/22/1961 58-70 6th -26  Washington Senators W 3-2 Mike Fornieles 7-8
08/23/1961 59-70 6th -26  Washington Senators W 9-4 Bill Monbouquette 9-12
08/24/1961 60-70 6th -25  Washington Senators W 5-4 Mike Fornieles 8-8
08/25/1961 61-70 6th -25  at Los Angeles Angels W 12-6 Gene Conley 8-11
08/26/1961 61-71 6th -26  at Los Angeles Angels L 5-2 Tracy Stallard 1-4
08/27/1961 61-72 6th -27  at Los Angeles Angels L 8-3 Don Schwall 13-3
08/28/1961 62-72 6th -26 1/2  at Kansas City Athletics W 4-3 Bill Monbouquette 10-12
08/29/1961 63-72 6th -25 1/2  at Kansas City Athletics W 8-4 Chet Nichols 3-2
08/30/1961 64-72 6th -25 1/2  at Kansas City Athletics W 9-3 Gene Conley 9-11
08/31/1961 64-72 6th -25  
09/01/1961 64-73 6th -26  at Minnesota Twins L 5-1 Don Schwall 13-4
09/02/1961 65-73 6th -26  at Minnesota Twins W 2-1 Bill Monbouquette 11-12
09/03/1961 66-73 6th -26  at Minnesota Twins W 8-6 Tracy Stallard 2-4
09/04/1961 66-74 6th -27 1/2  Cleveland Indians L 7-2 Ike Delock 6-8
09/05/1961 66-75 6th -28 1/2  Cleveland Indians L 9-5 Gene Conley 9-12
09/06/1961 67-75 6th -28 1/2  Cleveland Indians W 9-4 Don Schwall 14-4
09/07/1961 68-75 6th -28 1/2  Detroit Tigers W 8-4 Bill Monbouquette 12-12
09/08/1961 69-75 6th -28 1/2  Detroit Tigers W 9-2 Mike Fornieles 9-8
09/09/1961 69-76 6th -29 1/2  Detroit Tigers L 3-1 Ike Delock 6-9
09/10/1961 70-76 6th -30  Detroit Tigers W 8-7 Gene Conley 10-12
09/11/1961 71-76 6th -29 1/2  at Washington Senators W 14-4 Don Schwall 15-4
09/12/1961 71-77 6th -30 1/2  at Washington Senators L 5-1 Bill Monbouquette 12-13
09/13/1961 71-78 6th -31  at Washington Senators L 4-2 Tracy Stallard 2-5
09/14/1961 71-78 6th -30  
09/15/1961 72-78 6th -29 1/2  Baltimore Orioles W 3-2 Gene Conley 11-12
09/16/1961 72-79 6th -29 1/2  Baltimore Orioles L 5-4 Don Schwall 15-5
09/17/1961 73-79 6th -29 1/2  Baltimore Orioles W 1-0 Bill Monbouquette 13-13
09/18/1961 73-79 6th -29 1/2  
09/19/1961 73-80 6th -30  at Chicago White Sox L 5-1 Tracy Stallard 2-6
09/20/1961 73-81 6th -31  at Chicago White Sox L 3-1 Gene Conley 11-13
09/21/1961 73-81 6th -30 1/2  
09/22/1961 73-81 6th -30 1/2  
09/23/1961 73-82 6th -31 1/2  New York Yankees L 8-3 Don Schwall 15-6
09/24/1961 74-82 6th -30 1/2  New York Yankees W 3-1 Bill Monbouquette 14-13
09/25/1961 74-82 6th -30 1/2  
09/26/1961 74-83 6th -31 1/2  Chicago White Sox L 7-5 Gene Conley 11-14
75-83 6th -31 W 7-5 Billy Muffett 3-11
09/27/1961 76-83 6th -30  Chicago White Sox W 6-4 Galen Cisco 2-4
09/28/1961 76-83 6th -30  
09/29/1961 76-84 6th -31  at New York Yankees L 2-1 Bill Monbouquette 14-14
09/30/1961 76-85 6th -32  at New York Yankees L 3-1 Don Schwall 15-7
10/01/1961 76-86 6th -33  at New York Yankees L 1-0 Tracy Stallard 2-7
 
1961 RED SOX BATTING & PITCHING
 
 

 

 

FINAL 1961 A.L. STANDINGS

 

 

New York Yankees 109 53 -

 

 

Detroit Tigers 101 61 8

 

 

Baltimore Orioles 95 67 14

 

 

Chicago White Sox 86 76 23

 

 

Cleveland Indians 78 83 30 1/2

 

 

BOSTON RED SOX 76 86 33

 

 

Minnesota Twins 70 90 38

 

 

Los Angeles Angels 70 91 38 1/2

 

 

Washington Senators 61 100 47 1/2

 

 

Kansas City Athletics 61 100 47 1/2

 

 

 
1960 RED SOX 1962 RED SOX