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A Familiar Story at the Polo Grounds as Dodgers Top Mets, 1-0

July 10, 1963 - Sometimes the Mets are slowly tortured into defeat, but today at the Polo Grounds they were dispatched with one quick knife thrust. While Johnny Podres held them helpless, John Roseboro, his battery mate, lined an eighth-inning home run that barely cleared the right-field wall and gave the Los Angeles Dodgers a 1-0 victory. Dodger left-fielder Tommy Davis, whose first-inning catch and double play throw was an All-Star Game highlight Tuesday, did it again in the ninth today just when Met fans thought Frank Thomas had knocked Podres’ masterpiece off the Polo Grounds wall. Framed against the outfield fence, Davis leaped and made a spectacular over-the-shoulder grab of Thomas’ one-out liner and turned it into a game-saving and game-ending double play. There wasn’t a person — including Tommy Davis — who did not think Thomas’ clout wouldn’t be a two-run homer. “I thought it was gone, but then it started to drop, and I knew I had a chance for it,” Davis said afterward. “I kept watching it, and when my shoulder brushed the wall, I knew I’d have to leap to get it.” Gloving the ball over his right shoulder, Davis bounced off the concrete. Then, while Thomas and pinch-runner Al Jackson tore around the bases, Davis wheeled and fired toward first. The throw was intercepted by Podres between first and second. The pitcher turned and fired it back to Ron Fairly standing on first, and both Jackson and the Mets were out. When was the last time you saw a double play executed between a left-fielder and first baseman with the pitcher as the relay man? And what was Podres doing between first and second anyway? “I was heading for the clubhouse,” Podres laughed. “I thought sure it was the homer that beat me, 2-1. When I saw Tommy had caught it and saw the throw coming in, I grabbed it quick. I almost ran the ball back to first, but when I saw Ronnie there, I tossed it to him.” Today’s result was expected. The Dodgers are leading the National League, and this was their eighth victory in nine games. The Mets reside in the cellar and have lost 11 straight. However, the game was exciting, brilliantly played, and bitterly fought. Carl Willey, New York’s starting pitcher, was every bit as effective as Podres until Roseboro’s drive. Willey had yielded just three singles and one walk to that point. Podres allowed 3 singles over-all and struck out 11. One of his two walks was intentional. He used his fastball more often than usual and seemed faster than ever. Two Mets reached second, none got to third.


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