October 12 is a big day for the St. Louis Cardinals franchise. Of course most fans remember the Cardinals dramatic comeback against the Washington Nationals in 2012 after falling behind 6-0 before the third inning. The Cardinals slowly worked their way back to tighten the score up at 7-5 and going into the ninth inning scored four runs off Nationals closer Drew Storen. Coming off the 2011 season when the Cardinals seemed to never fail to summon a dramatic comeback when needed, this elimination game victory was especially thrilling.
Forty-five years earlier though on October 12, 1967 the Cardinals achieved a different great victory featuring two all-time greats in Bob Gibson and Lou Brock. The Cardinals got out to lead in the top of the third when Curt Flood hit a two-out single to score Dal Maxvill, who led off the inning with a triple. A Roger Maris single sent Flood to third base and wild pitch scored him a few seconds later. Gibson hit a solo homer in the top of the fifth to make the game 3-0 Cardinals. Lou Brock singled later in the inning, stole second base, then stole third base, and scored on Roger Maris sacrifice fly.
Gibson began the game with a leadoff walk, but then sat down twelve Red Sox in a row before allowing a triple to George Scott, who scored on the play after a Cardinals throwing error by Julian Javier. Javier made it up the next half inning when he hit a three-run homer and gave the Cardinals a 7-1 lead.
The score remained 7-1 until the bottom of the eighth inning when Gibson allowed a run after a double, wild pitch, a walk, and then the run-scoring groundout that made the score 7-2.
The score never changed from there, though Brock did his best to make things happen in the top of the ninth. With one out Brock worked a walk and then promptly stole second base for his third stolen base of evening, making him just the third player in history to steal three bases in a World Series game. Two more walks followed, but Orlando Cepeda and Tim McCarver could not bring any more runners across home plate. Gibson had all he needed though. He allowed a lead off single to Carl Yastrzemski, one of only three hits allowed all game, but retired him with a double play off the bat of Ken Harrelson and struck out George Scott for the final out of the game and 7-2 Cardinals and World Series deciding game 7 win. Bob Gibson was named the MVP of the series and Lou Brock set a World Series record for stolen bases with seven.
You can listen to the entire Harray Caray and Pee Wee Reese broadcast here.
¡Viva El Birdos!