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Whitey Ford: “This Club Won’t Quit”

Oct. 3, 1963 - The Yankee clubhouse after today’s loss to Johnny Podres (pictured) and the Dodgers was ominously quiet, but you couldn’t call it a morgue, exactly. There were enough veterans around who had vivid memories of two great Series comebacks after early setbacks. Like in 1956, for instance, when they lost the first two games in Brooklyn’s Ebbets Field and fought back to win in seven. And again in 1958, when they were down 1-3 to the Braves and pulled it out with three straight victories. “We’re not throwing in the towel,” said manager Ralph Houk. “This club won’t quit on itself. We may get beat, but we aren’t quitting.” Pitcher Whitey Ford, who got bombed in game No. 1, said: “We’ll get even out there. We’ve got to. I can’t take that guff all winter.” Ford will face Sandy Koufax again Sunday. Ford said Podres was “as quick as he was in 1955.” Said Tom Tresh: “Podres hasn’t got anywhere near the stuff Koufax has, but what he does have he certainly knows how to use.” A pretty good accolade from a guy who got two of the seven hits Podres gave up. “Podres still is a hell of a pitcher,” said Elston Howard, who also got two hits off Johnny. “He still has great control. You notice he walked only one. I thought Downing pitched very well. He had Wills picked off in the first inning, and we lost him. Then Roger Maris fell down on Willie Davis’s drive. They really shouldn’t have scored on Al in the first.” Downing thought he pitched pretty well, too. “I know I made one bad pitch,” said the rookie southpaw. “That was Skowron’s home run. It was a strike on the outside corner, but I didn’t have too much on the pitch. Otherwise, I thought I pitched all right.” Now the job of checking the Dodgers is up to right-hander Jim Bouton, 22-year-old New Jersey boy who, like Downing, will make his first World Series appearance. Did Jim learn anything from the first two games that the Yankee scouting reports didn’t tell him? “Not a thing,” he said.


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