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Dodgers Top Giants in L.A.

Sept. 1, 1963 - Life can be beautiful at Dodger Stadium when the home team comes up with clutch hitting and pitching. That was the case today when the Dodgers rallied with three runs in the eighth and then fought off the dangerous Giants to score a 5-3 victory and take the tension-packed series, 3-1. Wally Moon’s two-run pinch double and Ron Fairly’s following pinch single did most of the damage in the uproarious eighth, and Johnny Podres came on in the ninth to retire José Pagan, Felipe Alou, and Willie Mays after Ed Bailey and Harvey Kuenn led off the inning with singles. It was Podres’ first relief role since 1961. He’s been bothered by a stiff neck the past several days, and Pete Richert replaced him as today’s starter. Ken Rowe, Ron Perranoski, and Dick Calmus also saw mound action for the Dodgers. The triumph enabled Los Angeles to maintain its six-game lead over St. Louis, and it widened the gap between L.A. and third-place San Francisco to 7½ games. Another jam-packed crowd of 54,263 saw one of the season’s top thrillers. It was the fourth straight game in which the attendance topped 54,000, and the series total was a record 218,948. In the Dodger dressing room, for the first time the players began uncrossing their fingers and admitting they’ve been thinking about something called the World Series. Even super-cautious and ultra-superstitious Walter Alston relaxed a bit. “It was a big one, all right, no doubt about that,” he said. The L.A. skipper quickly caught himself, though. “Don’t forget, we’ve got two more Monday and more after that,” he warned. “They all count. Things are looking pretty good for us now, but you never can tell in this game.” But the skipper didn’t look very concerned as he said it. San Francisco manager Alvin Dark kept his chin up. “We’re not out of it yet,” he commented. “They counted us out last year too, you know.” When Willie Mays doubled in the first inning today, it was the 2,000th hit of his major league career. “Did No. 2,000 feel any different from No. 1?” he was asked. Willie didn’t understand at first. Informed of that statistical fact, Willie rubbed his chin and mumbled, “Well, well, well.” Then he smiled and added: “Yeah, it was a little different from No. 1. No. 1 was a home run off Warren Spahn. Say, maybe I got a chance for No. 3,000. Think so?”


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