June 28, 1964

Malcom X

elijah muhammad image

Elijah Muhammad

The date was June 28, 1964 – exactly 51 years ago – when Malcolm X gave his founding address at the kickoff rally for the Organization of Afro-American Unity (OAAU) at the Audubon Ballroom in the Washington Heights section of Manhattan.

Three months earlier, in March, disillusioned with the Nation of Islam and its leader Elijah Muhammad, Malcom X left the organization and made a pilgrimage to Mecca. Between that trip to Africa and his return to New York, Malcolm X decided to create the OAAU. The purpose of the OAAU was to fight for the human rights of African Americans and to promote cooperation among Africans and people of African descent in America.

The OAAU pushed for black control in every aspect of the black community.

But just eight months later, Malcolm X would be assassinated by three members of the Nation of Islam.

Sunday Doubleheader

Two lefties were starting the first game of the doubleheader:

  • Chris Short (4-3)
  • Mike Cuellar (0-0)

Short was making his 11th start. Thanks to four complete games, three shutouts, and 1.78 ERA, he was quickly establishing himself as one of the best left-handers in the league.

mike cuellar imageMike Cuellar was a 27-year-old rookie southpaw from Las Villas, Cuba. Filled with determination, he spent seven years working his way up through the minors:

  • Havana (Cuba) Sugar Kings
  • Jersey City Jerseys
  • Indianapolis Indians
  • Syracuse Chiefs
  • Monterrey (Mexico) Sultanes
  • Knoxville Smokies
  • Jacksonville Suns

Cuellar was promoted to the Cardinals on June 15th after going 6-1 with a 1.78 ERA for AAA Jacksonville. Today, he was making his first start in the majors, but he would go on to become a 20-game winner with the Baltimore Orioles four times over the next 10 years:

  1. 23-11 in 1969
  2. 24-8 in 1970
  3. 20-9 in 1971
  4. 22-10 in 1974

bob uecker imageStarting behind the plate for the Cardinals was Bob Uecker. Better known for his Miller Lite commercials and for his role as broadcaster Harry Doyle in Major League, Uecker’s baseball career lasted for six years, he would became the broadcaster for the Milwaukee Brewers in real life after he retired as a player.

He played for the Braves, Cardinals, and Phillies. With the 1964 Cardinals, he would play in 40 games and hit .198.

1964 imageCuellar and Short got through the first inning unscathed.

In the top of the second, Cookie Rojas singled with one out. Gus Triandos doubled and Rojas moved to third.

With runners on second and third and one out, Cuellar walked Bobby Wine intentionally to get to pitcher Chris Short. But Short foiled the strategy by hitting a sacrifice fly to put the Phillies ahead 1-0.

From there, Cuellar and Short traded zeroes through the first five innings.

In the top of the sixth, Danny Cater led off with the single. One out later, Gus Triandos singled and Cater moved to third to put runners on first and third with one out.

Gene Mauch called for the suicide squeeze.

Cater broke with the pitch, Bobby Wine laid down a perfect bunt and Cater scored without a play to put the Phillies ahead 2-0.

Short kept his shutout intact thru the bottom of the sixth.

In the top of the seventh, Tony Taylor led off with a single, moved to second on a bunt by John Herrnstein, and scored when Johnny Callison singled to make it 4-0 Phillies.

The score remained 4-0 thru the bottom of the eighth.

In the top of the ninth, Bobby Wine led off with a ground ball to short that Dick Groat couldn’t handle. After Chris Short sacrificed Wine to second, Tony Taylor walked to put runners on first and second with one out.

John Herrnstein and Johnny Callison sealed the win with back-to-back run-scoring singles to make it 5-0 Phillies.

In the bottom of the ninth, Chris Short (5-4) breezed through the Cards to complete the five-hit, complete-game shutout ─ his fourth shutout in 11 starts ─ dropping his ERA to 1.59 in the process.

Mike Cuellar (0-1) suffered his first loss in the majors.

The Nightcap

It was Ray Culp (4-5) versus Ray Sadecki (7-6) in the nightcap.

Sadecki was making his 12th start. He threw a 3-2 win over the Phillies on May 11th, but his best outing was a six-hit shutout over the Giants on June 9th.

Ray Culp won his last three starts ─ the last one an overpowering one-hitter against the Cubs. Prior to that, he beat the Mets two straight.

1964 image

Ray Sadecki got the Phillies in order in the top of the first.

In the bottom of the first, Lou Brock doubled with one out and scored when Bill White followed with a single to make it 1-0 Cards.

In the top of the second, Richie Allen led off with a double and scored when Danny Cater singled to tie the score 1-1.

From there, Culp and Sadecki threw shutout innings through the top of the fifth.

In the bottom of the fifth, Curt Flood walked. Lou Brock followed with an infield single to put runners on first and second nobody out.

After Bill White struck out for the first out, Ken Boyer was awarded first on catcher’s interference against Clay Dalrymple to load the bases with one out.

Bob Skinner hit a sharp ground ball to first. Roy Sievers fielded the ball and decided to go for two. He threw to second to force Ken Boyer at second for the second out, but Bobby Wine had no chance to double up Skinner at first. Curt Flood scored to make it 2-1 Cards.

On the same play, Lou Brock took a wide turn at third and headed home. Wine fired to the plate and Lou Brock was trapped. Clay Dalrymple chased Brock back toward third and threw the ball toward Richie Allen. But Dalrymple’s throw was off the mark and skidded into foul territory enabling Brock to score and bump the Cards lead to 3-1.

In the bottom of the seventh, Lou Brock, Bill White, hit back-to-back-to-back singles to plate Brock and bump the Cards lead to 4-1.

One out later, Dick Groat singled and White scored to make it 5-1.

In the top of the eighth, Ruben Amaro pinch-hit for Culp and flew out to short right. Tony Taylor walked and Cookie Rojas singled to put runners on first and second with one out. After Johnny Callison fouled out to third for the second out, Richie Allen drove Taylor home with a single to trim the gap to 5-2.

Gene Mauch made a double-switch:

  • Amaro stayed in the game batting ninth and playing leftfield.
  • Jack Baldschun (3-3) came in to pitch, batting fifth.

Baldschun had not enjoyed a good month of June thus far. Despite having a win and a save, he suffered two losses. In all, he pitched 16 innings and compiled a subpar 4.91 ERA for the month.

In the bottom of the eighth, Tim McCarver led off with a single. Ray Sadecki bunted. Baldschun fielded the ball but bounced his throw to first. Sadecki was safe while McCarver advanced to third.

Curt Flood singled and McCarver scored to make it 6-2. When Cookie Rojas fumbled the ball in center, the runners moved up to second and third – and still nobody out.

After Lou Brock struck out for the first out, Bill White hit a two-run single and it was 8-2 Cards.

It was another bad outing for Baldschun ─ three runs on three hits in just one inning of work.

In the top of the ninth, Ray Sadecki (8-6) put two runners on base, but he held the Phillies scoreless to complete the 8-2 victory.

Ray Culp (4-6) was the loser.

The Phillies and Cardinals split the series, but the Cards held a commanding 6-3 lead in the season series.

Pitcher’s Duel in San Fran

Ron Herbel (6-3) – with the help of Billy O’Dell’s first save – bested Don Drysdale (10-7) as the Giants beat the Dodgers 1-0.

The Giants run scored on a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the eighth.

The win for the Giants combined with the split by the Phillies dropped the Phillies ½ game behind the Giants.

The Cards were mired in sixth place, some 8½ games off the pace.

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(Excerpted from 1964 – The Year the Phillies Blew the Pennant by Barry Bowe.)

Written by Barry Bowe
Former sportswriter - first to put Timmy Duncan's name on the sports page.

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