Monday, October 3, 2022

The Strange Case of Osteen Vs. Mays 1960


TRIVIA WINNER: Congrats to Craig McGraw of Middletown, DE, who correctly identified Hoyt Wilhelm as the pitcher who gave up Roger Maris' final home run as a Yankee. It was Wilhelm who halted Maris bid in 1961 to outdo Babe Ruth. The Prize: Starbucks Gift Card.

NEW TRIVIA CONTEST:  By answering the TRIVIA QUESTION CORRECTLY you are automatically entered into a weekly drawing for a Starbucks Gift Card.  Please enter via and please put your mailing address in with the answer so we can send you the gift card in the mail.

ANSWER to the Trivia question in the previous column: Hoyt Wilhelm gave up Roger Maris' final homer as a Yankee in his career.

EDS NOTE; Since we are trying to expand our mailing list and readership we want to build our mailing list. Readers on our email list receive the column each Monday directly into their mailbox. Please help us out by sending your email to We DO NOT SELL your emails.

NOTE; At the top right corner of the side bar you will see a link to daily sports scores. We made an agreement with Baseball 24 in a mutual sharing situation.

NEW TRIVIA QUESTION:  Claude Osteen finished with a career record of 196-195 and had to win his very last game to be above .500. It was a shutout where he pitched 8 scoreless innings before giving way to Goose Gossage to close it out. What team did Osteen beat for his final victory 2-0?

Most fans know of the significance of the career and the history of former Dodger starter Claude Osteen. How he was a big part of mid-1960s Dodger championship teams. Most remember he was a key player in the trade which sent slugger Frank Howard to Washington. Few remember Osteen with his original team; the Cincinnati Reds. Fewer even remember the significance of his very first decision in 1960.

                         (A much later home run by Mays off Osteen.)

Osteen originally came up with the Reds in 1957 and pitched briefly over two seasons but failed to get a win or loss. Then on August 25th, 1960, he would make sort of history. It wasn't something records are made of but it sure likely stood out in Osteen's mind forever. It was future nemesis Willie Mays who gave him that loss and in the most unusual way.

Osteen got the start against Sam Jones of the Giants. He didn't last long, only 1 and 1/3 innings. He breezed through the first getting Jim Davenport, Joe Amalfitano and Mays. Meanwhile the Reds has staked him to a run, leading 1-0.

The second inning started off with a Felipe Alou flyout, but then things began to unravel. He walked both Willie Kirkland and Bob Schmidt after a single to Orlando Cepeda. That loaded the bases with one out. Eddie Bressoud and Sam Jones each hit singles and each drove in one run keeping the bases loaded with the score 2-1 Giants.

Davenport grounded into a force at second scoring a run making it 3-1 and he issued a walk to the pesky Amalfitano to load them up for Mays. Willie did not miss a beat. Mays smacked a ball into right field and as Gus Bell tried vainly to corral it, Willie raced around the bases for an inside-the-park grand slam home run and a 7-1 lead. 

Manager Fred Hutchinson had seen enough. Bill Henry came into relieve Osteen and got Alou to ground out to end the inning, mercifully. The Giants won the game 8-5. He would not get another NL decision until years later with the Dodgers after he was traded to Washington for Dave Sisler following the 1961 season. He found a home there until the trade which sent him to Los Angeles and a brand new lease on life. And....many more encounters with Willie Mays and the Dodger/Giant rivalry.

TRIVIA CONTEST; After reading this column you can enter the weekly trivia contest for a chance to win a Starbucks Gift Card. Enter via the following email. Send 1) your answer to the trivia question at the top of the column, 2) your name, address and email so where we know where to send the card if you win 3) any comment you have on the column. One winner will be selected at random each week based on correct answers with the odds being based on the number of correct entries.  Please cut and paste or enter the following email into your email system.
I've written more than a dozen books including at least two sports books. You can find these at my Amazon page or at my own website Please take a look at the sports books, the western novel series or the "Tattoo Murder," which is a crime book set in Ventura, CA.

Use PayPal to or contact us at the same email for other payment. 

Thank you to those of you who purchased my books after reading this column.

No comments:

Post a Comment