Sunday, October 21, 2012

1968 World Series

Here are the cards highlighting the 1968 World Series (coincidentally won by the Detroit Tigers). After a 4-game sweep in the '66 series, the Fall Classic went the distance for the next 2 seasons.


Several of the story lines during that time were:

1) Tigers' manager Mayo Smith putting centerfielder Mickey Stanley at shortstop, having never played there prior to late September. This kept weak-hitting Ray Oyler OUT of the lineup, while keeping outfielders Willie Horton, Jim Northrup, Al Kaline, and Stanley all IN the lineup.

2) Bob Gibson and his non-existent ERA leading the charge in the Year of the Pitcher.

3) The Tigers' Denny McLain becoming the first 30-game winner in decades.


The key for me was Smith's handling of his starting pitchers. With the 3-man post-season rotation back then, Gibson and McLain started games 1 and 4, with Gibson winning both. Detroit's #2 starter Mickey Lolich won games 2 and 5 against lesser Cardinals' pitching.

Instead of having McLain face Gibson in game 7, Smith brought McLain back on short rest for game 6, where he finally picked up a win against a lesser Cardinals pitcher, as the Tigers blew out the Cardinals by a 13-1 score.

This positioned Lolich for a game 7 match-up with Gibson, which paid off for the Tigers.

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