Ryczek: My dream game, Game 7 of the 1962 World Series

From SABR member Bill Ryczek at The National Pastime Museum on February 12, 2015:

In 1962, my first airplane flight was 14 years in the future, and since I lived in Connecticut, it would have been a long drive even if, at the age of nine, I had a license. Further, had I somehow found my way to San Francisco, I would have had a long wait, for the sixth game had been postponed by rain for four consecutive days, the longest series delay since 1911. When the skies finally cleared, the Giants won Game 6, forcing a seventh-game showdown that would feature the third matchup of the series between Giants ace Jack Sanford, a 24-game winner during the regular season, and the Yankees’ Ralph Terry, who’d won 23.

Terry had a World Series legacy, and it was not a happy one. In 1960, he’d surrendered the ninth-inning home run to Pittsburgh’s Bill Mazeroski that won the series for the Pirates. Not only had Terry lost Game 7 that year, he lost Game 4. He also lost Game 2 in 1961 and was knocked out of the box with a big lead in Game 5 of the ’61 series. In 1962, he suffered his fourth straight series loss when he dropped Game 2 to Sanford, before finally gaining a win by beating the Giants’ ace in Game 5. One win, however, did not erase Terry’s reputation as a pitcher who could not win the big game, and while riding the bus to Candlestick Park for Game 7 of the 1962 Series, he heard radio broadcaster Joe Garagiola say that the Giants would win because Terry would choke.

Terry was an intelligent, sensitive young man who’d studied psychology in college. Yet, despite his sensitive nature, he was resilient and emerged emotionally unscathed from the Mazeroski episode. Ralph Branca was never the same after giving up Bobby Thomson’s epic homer, and Mitch Williams was out of baseball shortly after giving up a series winner to Joe Carter, but Ralph Terry bounced back to post a 16–3 record in 1961 and followed with a 23–12 mark the next year, the finest season of his career.

Read the full article here: http://www.thenationalpastimemuseum.com/article/game-7-1962-world-series

Originally published: February 12, 2015. Last Updated: February 12, 2015.