Dick Stuart (Trading Card DB)

April 28, 1964: Dick Stuart rallies Red Sox with 11th-inning grand slam

This article was written by Bill Nowlin

Dick Stuart (Trading Card DB)It was early in the 1964 season. The visiting Baltimore Orioles had a record of 5-4 and the Boston Red Sox were 4-6. They played a frigid Tuesday afternoon game at Fenway Park on April 28. It drew only 2,085 paying customers, leaving the park more than 93 percent empty,

The year before, the New York Yankees had finished first in the American League but had been swept by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the World Series. The Orioles came in fourth, 18½ games behind the Yankees, and the Red Sox were seventh in the 10-team league, 28 games back.

The managers were Johnny Pesky for the Red Sox and Hank Bauer for the Orioles. The teams had played two games previously, both in a doubleheader in Baltimore on April 23. It was a low-scoring affair in which the Red Sox won the first game, 3-1, but lost the second, 1-0.

Pesky’s April 28 lineup included two players from a trade the Red Sox had made two years earlier, a four-player deal that brought first baseman Dick Stuart and pitcher Jack Lamabe from the Pittsburgh Pirates in November 1962.1 Stuart, a 31-year-old, 6-foot-4, right-handed slugger, had blasted 42 homers in 1963, more than anyone in the AL but Harmon Killebrew of the Minnesota Twins. Only Jimmie Foxx and Ted Williams had hit more home runs in a season for the Red Sox to that point in franchise history. Stuart’s 118 RBIs had led the AL in ’63.

The 27-year-old Lamabe had pitched almost entirely in relief in his first two major-league seasons – 1962 with the Pirates and 1963 with the Red Sox. Given a chance to start in 1964, he had turned in two outstanding outings, a 4-1 complete-game win against the Chicago White Sox on April 17 and the 3-1 win over the Orioles on April 23. He took the mound against Baltimore two days after pitching an inning of scoreless relief on April 26. 

The Orioles scored against Lamabe in the top of the first inning. Center fielder Jackie Brandt led off with a single and went to third when shortstop Luis Aparicio singled. With first baseman Norm Siebern at the plate, Aparicio stole second.2 Siebern hit a sacrifice fly to center, scoring Brandt and advancing Aparicio to third base. Lamabe stranded Aparicio by striking out left fielder Boog Powell and getting catcher John Orsino to fly to center.

Neither team scored again until the ninth inning.

First-year Baltimore manager Bauer’s starter was 37-year-old Robin Roberts, a seasoned veteran (and eventual Hall of Famer) who’d begun his career with the Philadelphia Phillies back in 1948. Roberts was a seven-time All-Star who had led both leagues in wins each year from 1952 through 1955. Seemingly at the end of the line in Philadelphia, he signed with the Orioles in 1962 and won 24 games with a 3.09 ERA in his first two seasons in Baltimore. The Orioles’ 1-0 win in the April 23 doubleheader was Roberts’ 259th career victory. He had a no-decision in a prior start but came into this game with an ERA of 0.50.

The Red Sox got a couple of runners on in the bottom of the first. Second baseman Chuck Schilling singled to left-center but was caught stealing while shortstop Eddie Bressoud was at bat. Bressoud walked and took second on Roberts’ balk, but fly-ball outs from left fielder Carl Yastrzemski and third baseman Frank Malzone left him there.

Stuart and center fielder Tony Conigliaro – appearing in his 11th big-league game at age 19 – singled in the bottom of the second, but an infield fly and a 5-4-3 double play ended that threat.

Brandt singled in the Orioles third, but Aparicio hit into a double play. Both Orsino and third baseman Brooks Robinson hit two-out singles in the fourth. Conigliaro singled again in the fifth. A force out and then a double play ended that inning. The score remained Baltimore 1, Boston 0.  

In almost every inning, one team or the other got a runner on base. Through the first eight innings, the Orioles had eight base hits – all singles – and the Red Sox had just four – also all singles.

Both starting pitchers worked a full nine innings. In the top of the ninth, the Orioles got to Lamabe again. With one out, Orsino walked. Robinson struck out, but right fielder Sam Bowens singled. Shortstop Jerry Adair singled to right field, giving the O’s a 2-0 lead.

Roberts was three outs from his 289th career complete game. Boston’s first batter in the bottom of the ninth was Dalton Jones, pinch-hitting for Lamabe. Jones singled. One out later, Bressoud singled to left, and Yastrzemski singled off the Green Monster in left, driving in Jones with the first Red Sox run. With runners on first and second, Malzone popped up foul to Siebern.

With two strikes on him, Stuart, a .175 hitter in 40 lifetime at-bats against Roberts before the game, banged out the day’s first extra-base hit, a double high off the wall in left-center. It scored Bressoud – and almost won the game, but Yastrzemski was thrown out trying to score on a “letter perfect” relay, Brandt to Aparicio, and an equally good relay from Aparicio to Orsino.3 “He was out by a yard,” wrote sportswriter Tim Horgan.4 The score was 2-2, though, and the game went into extra innings.

Dick Radatz came in to pitch for the Red Sox in the 10th. He retired the Orioles in order.

Roberts pitched to one batter in the bottom of the 10th. Conigliaro led off with a double that just barely missed being a game-winning homer, “close to the top of the fence in center, about 30 feet to the left of the flagpole.”5 It was Conigliaro’s third hit of the game off Roberts, who was serving in the Army and attending Michigan State University when the rookie center fielder was born in 1945.  

Veteran relief pitcher Stu Miller was summoned in from the Baltimore bullpen. Miller was starting his 12th season in the majors. After right fielder Lou Clinton flied out, catcher Bob Tillman was walked intentionally. Pesky had Dick Williams pinch-hit for Radatz, but Williams hit into a 5-4-3 inning-ending double play.

Earl Wilson was the new Red Sox pitcher in the top of the 11th. He surrendered singles to the first two Baltimore batters – Russ Snyder, who replaced Powell in left in the ninth inning, and Orsino, who laid down a perfectly-placed bunt that rolled toward second base. Robinson executed a successful sacrifice, putting runners on second and third with just one out.

An intentional walk to pinch-hitter Bob Johnson loaded the bases. Against a pulled-in infield, Adair singled between third and short, and two runners scored, with Orsino coming in when Yastrzemski tried to field the ball with his bare hand and couldn’t grab it. Baltimore had a 4-2 lead.

Bob Heffner came in to get the last two outs of the inning, but the Orioles once again led by two runs and needed just three outs for a victory.

Back on the mound in the 12th, Miller walked leadoff batter Schilling. Bressoud then singled hard off the wall in left, Schilling holding at second base. Yastrzemski grounded into a force play at second base, leaving runners on first and third with one out. Miller walked Malzone and the bases were loaded.

Bauer then turned the game over to Dick Hall, to face Stuart. Hall was a veteran as well. In 1959 he and Stuart had briefly been teammates in Pittsburgh. Over the past three seasons with the Orioles, Hall had an earned-run average below 3.00, and he was on his way to the best season of his 16 in the major leagues. In three appearances so far in April, he’d faced 18 batters with just two hits and the one walk.6 He finished ’64 at 9-1, with an ERA of 1.85 in 45 appearances, 28 of them as the closer.

Stuart’s two-base hit off the wall had tied the game in the ninth. He’d need to drive in at least two runs to tie it up again. He fouled off Hall’s first pitch, but swung at the second, a high slider up by the letters, and pounded it out of the park, into the left-field netting. It was the fifth grand slam of Stuart’s career, and the Red Sox had a 6-4 win.7

“That’s it right there,” Stuart exulted. “That’s my big thrill. It’s the first I’ve ever hit ending one with the bases full. What a feeling. Never had one like it.”8

Stuart’s five RBIs in the game matched the total of runs the entire team had scored in the four previous games combined.

He hit 33 home runs in 1964 (ranking fifth in the AL) and drove in 114 runs, second in the league only to Brooks Robinson. The Red Sox finished eighth in the AL; the Orioles were third, two games behind the pennant-winning Yankees.



This article was fact-checked by Mike Huber and copy-edited by Len Levin.



In addition to the sources cited in the Notes, the author consulted Baseball-Reference.com and Retrosheet.org.





1 The Red Sox sent catcher Jim Pagliaroni and pitcher Don Schwall to the Pirates.

2 Aparicio also stole second in the top of the eighth, giving him seven stolen bases in seven attempts during a season that was only 10 games old.

3 Henry McKenna, “Stuart’s Slam Does It, 6-4,” Boston Herald, April 29, 1964: 33, 35.

4 Tim Horgan, “Stuart Takes Yaz Off Hook,” Boston Traveler, April 29, 1964: 41.

5 Roger Birtwell, “Stuart Slam in 11th Crumples O’s, 6-4,” Boston Globe, April 29, 1964: 22.

6 Postgame, Bauer explained, “I wanted a strike thrower. Miller had already put two men on base.” Lou Hatter, “Bosox Beat Birds, 6 to 4, on Stuart’s Grand Slam,” Baltimore Sun, April 29, 1964: 21, 25.

7 Stuart hit two more grand slams in 1964 and nine overall in his 10-season big-league career.

8 Harold Kaese, “Stuart’s Winning Slam: ‘That’s My Big Thrill,’” Boston Globe, April 29, 1964: 1. Stuart added, “I played in both 1961 All-Star Games, and of course with the Pirates in the 1960 World Series. They were great thrills, but this was my greatest individual thrill.” Jim Elliott, “’Top Thrill,’ Says Stuart,” Baltimore Sun, April 29, 1964: 21.

Additional Stats

Boston Red Sox 6
Baltimore Orioles 4
11 innings

Fenway Park
Boston, MA


Box Score + PBP:

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1960s ·