The Cardinals scored 2 in the top of the 10th, a rally capped by Enos Slaughter's triple. But Pittsburgh tied it in the bottom half, when Harry Brecheen served up back-to-back HRs by PH Pete Castiglione and 3B Bob Dillinger.
And then it happened: With 2 out and none on, game tied in the 10th, Brecheen intentionally walked Ralph Kiner to face the rookie Gus Bell, a lefty batter. Bell, who had already tripled twice, hit a double that scored Kiner to give the last-place Pirates their 3rd straight win.
The IBB to Kiner was nuts, but to give it some context:
- Kiner had homered twice in the game already, including a 2-run shot in the 8th that put Pittsburgh in front.
- That gave him 42 HRs for the year. He'd finish with 47 for his 5th straight HR crown (a streak he ran to 7) and 4th straight year of 40+ HRs (which only Babe Ruth had done before).
- Kiner was especially deadly in Forbes Field, where he homered in 7.2% of his career PAs, compared to 5.1% in all other parks combined.
-- The starting pitchers were Red Munger (STL) and Murry Dickson (PIT). Pittsburgh had bought Dickson's contract from the Cards the year before, after he allowed a MLB-record 39 HRs. He went 21-16 in '51 (no other Pirate won more than 8 that year), but followed that with a 3-year stretch going 34-60 and leading the NL in losses each year, despite a combined 106 ERA+.
-- Red Munger spent most of his career with STL and was a 3-time All-Star. In 1952, he was traded to Pittsburgh for Bill Werle, the winning pitcher in our featured game.
-- Kiner's 2nd HR came off Cloyd Boyer, the eldest of the 3 Boyer brothers. Clete Boyer, the youngest brother, made his MLB debut on June 5, 1955, as a pinch-runner for Enos Slaughter, and was replaced the next inning by Cloyd, who was then in his last season. That same day, Ken Boyer (also in his debut season) had his first 2-HR game, including a game-tying shot in the 9th that helped defeat the Dodgers, who were running away with the pennant at 36-11.
-- STL teammates Tommy "Rabbit" Glaviano and Bill "Hopalong" Howerton each had a HR and a 3B in the game, the only such game in either player's career.
-- PIT teammates Kiner, Bell and Dillinger each had a WPA over 0.5. There's just one other known game in which 3 teammates topped 0.5 WPA.
-- Bob Dillinger's game-tying HR in the 10th was his first as a Pirate, and the last of his professional career. After this game, Dillinger played another year in the majors and 4 more in the PCL, totaling 640 games, 2,579 PAs and 745 hits -- including the 1953 PCL batting title with 236 hits -- but never had another HR.
-- Stan Musial went 4-4 (plus 2 walks), one of his 67 career 4-hit games. In the live-ball era, only Pete Rose has more 4-hit games (73).
Also appearing in this game:
-- Johnny Berardino, who would go on to play Dr. Steve Hardy on General Hospital for over 30 years.
-- Johnny Hopp, who batted a career-best .339 that year in 397 PAs. Two days after this game, he was sold to the Yankees, who were in a tight 4-way race; his September hitting (including a pinch-hit 9th-inning game-winning grand slam) helped NYY finish 3 games ahead of Detroit (and just 6 ahead of 4th-place Cleveland, who won 92 games). His brother, Harry "Hippity" Hopp, played in the NFL for a few seasons. In 1942, Harry attempted 68 passes, completing 20 to his own team and 13 to the guys in the wrong jerseys.
-- Eddie Miller, who in 1947 hit 61 extra-base hits and 87 RBI for Cincinnati, setting the Reds' shortstop marks that would stand for 49 years until Barry Larkin had 69 XBH and 89 RBI in 1996.
-- Joe Garagiola, one of four catchers ever to make 4 hits in a World Series game. (Take that, Yogi!)
-- Marty Marion, whose 1944 offensive stats are probably the worst of any MVP selection.
-- Al Brazle, the only "Alpha" ever to play in the majors and the NL's Saves leader in 1952-53. Brazle debuted just 3 months shy of his 30th birthday and then missed 2 years to WWII, but still won 97 games in the majors.
-- Red Schoendienst. (As if I need an excuse to drop that name!)
What else can you find in this game?