On April 12, 1965 — When is scoring position not scoring position, Part 2. An older and wiser Willie Mays has clearly profited from his July 25, 1958 debacle vis-à-vis the rifle that hangs from the shoulder of Roberto Clemente. “They say that if you don’t get to Bob Veale early, you never will,” writes Giants beat writer Bob Stevens. “The Giants almost did in the 4th and some say third base coach Charlie Fox suffered from a flash of conservatism. Willie had singled into left and was wild-pitched to second. Jim Ray Hart struck out, looking. Willie McCovey popped to second base. Two out. Jesus Alou strung a line drive single into right field, a ball solidly hit. Fox stopped Mays after Willie had gone 15 feet down the third base line toward home. Willie went to his knees as he applied the brakes and had to scramble back on all fours to get back to the bag. Tom Haller struck out. If Fox had opened the gates and let Mays go, and if Willie had made it, the Giants would have won in nine innings. But I think Clemente’s throw would have eaten him up.” As does Mays himself: “The ball was hit too good and Clemente got it at his knees. I just couldn’t take a chance on Clemente’s arm.”

 


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Sources:

Baseball Reference April 12

SABR Games Project

National Pastime April 12

Hall of Fame

Retro Sheet