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Yanks Win Nightcap over Baltimore on Mantle’s Pinch Hit Homer

Aug. 4, 1963 - The New York Yankees split a double-header with the Baltimore Orioles before 39,432 today at Yankee Stadium. First, the Bombers slipped quietly to a 7-2 defeat at the hands of Steve Barber and Dick Hall in the opener. Then, with a dramatic assist from Mickey Mantle, they kept hope alive for 9 innings and rallied for a run in the 10th to win the second game, 11-10. Mantle, appearing for the first time in 61 games, pinch hit for reliever Steve Hamilton in the seventh inning of the finale with the Yanks a run behind after 6 unattractive, walk-filled innings of hit-and-miss baseball. The slugger received the greatest ovation the Bronx has heard this year when he came out of the dugout. “I heard that ovation, and it actually chilled me,” he said afterward. “I was shaking. I could feel the bumps rising on my arms. I told myself, ‘I’ll settle for a single.’” Mantle, idle since June 5 when he broke his foot at Baltimore’s Memorial Stadium, took a strike. Then he blasted a fastball into the left-field stand against George Brunet, the fifth of six Orioles pitchers. “When the ball went out towards left field, I thought the left fielder would catch it. It wasn’t hit down the line, and sometimes they do get them out there. But as soon as I saw the umpire wave his hand that it was a homer, I said to myself, ‘You lucky stiff.’ Lucky, that’s what I was. Afterward, somebody on the bench asked me if I ran well when I went around the bases. Gee, I don’t know how I ran. I don’t even remember running around the bases. I just heard those fans. It sure has been a long time since I had a trip like that.” The homer tied the score at 10-10, and that was where it stood until Yogi Berra knocked in the winning run with a sacrifice fly in the 10th. The victory kept the league-leading Bombers 7½ games ahead of the Chicago White Sox. The Orioles, in third place, are nine games behind.


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