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World Series Starters Announced

Sept. 30, 1963 - The battle lines for the Gotham games of the World Series — the first two — were drawn officially today when Ralph Houk announced that Whitey Ford and Al Downing will start the pair and Walter Alston said it would be Sandy Koufax, sick or well, Wednesday at Yankee Stadium with Johnny Podres in the second one. The fact that Koufax has a touch of flu, as has reliever Ron Perranoski, didn’t alter the odds, which remained at 7½-5 Yanks for the Series and Whitey over Sandy, 6-5, in the opener. (Pictured below, Yogi Berra, Joe Pepitone, Elston Howard, and Clete Boyer check over the lumber after a new shipment of bats arrived for the series.) “Everybody but Ford and Downing will be in the bullpen both days,” the Yankee manager said. “I never did commit myself on the third-game pitcher.” Houk faced the fact that the Yankee hopes rest with Downing, particularly should Koufax beat Ford. “Downing started 17 times and pitched only three bad games before we clinched. I think that is reason enough to start him,” Houk pointed out. “Besides, left-handers figure better in this park and against the Dodgers. If you pitch a right-hander, you have five left-handed batters in Willie Davis, Fairly, Roseboro, Wills, and Gilliam against you. A southpaw turns Wills and Gilliam [switch-hitters] around. They aren’t as good right-handed. And if Alston platoons, he gives up defense by substituting Skowron for Fairly at first,” he added. Alston’s comments today indicated that he woudl platoon. “My thinking is to use Skowron and Frank Howard against the left-handers they will use,” he said. “Skowron knows Yankee Stadium and has been hitting more sharply in recent games, and Howard hits better against left-handers.” Houk had a ready answer to the question of the Dodgers’ speed. “We’re aware of it and will try to handle it as we have some of the fast men in our league, like Aparicio, Howser, and Wood. You can’t change your pattern of play because of a thing like this. You must play up to your own ability. We have stopped Aparicio, but he has also stolen on us,” he said, referring to Baltimore’s speedy shortstop. “Wills may steal on us too. We’ll try to stop him, but if we don’t, we’ll still play our game.”


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