Juan Marcial Jersey in the Baseball Hall of Fame

The Giants Heartbreaking Loss

Baseball can be very cruel and it has offered up some heartbreaking moments to fans of the losing team. Errors like the $30,000 muff in the 1912 World Series of the ball getting through Buckner’s legs in the 1986 World Series or walk off winners like Edgar Renteria’s single for the Marlins in 1997 or an extra inning game 7 loss to continue a streak after overcoming a 4 run deficit like the Indians did in 2016 vs the Cubs (something that also ended a long streak as well) are all moments that would create absolute heartbreak but I think the 1962 World Series was worse for the San Francisco Giants.

It’s interesting because all of those moment mentioned above feel more famous and some even have a nickname. There’s moments in non World Series play that are also more famous than what happened to the Giants in 1962. I think it’s because what happened to Giants in 1962 wasn’t necessarily one mishap or even involving anything heroic. The reality is the Giants faced one of those game where the luck doesn’t go your way. It happens to every team in baseball at some point in a long season where a loss is had due to ball placement or due to bad hit sequencing but for it to happen in game 7 of the World Series is pretty depressing.

Now, without watching the game (it seems to be unavailable) I can’t tell exactly how unlucky the Giants actually were in this one but in game 7 at home the two starting pitchers, Ralph Terry and Jack Sanford, were pitching quite well. In fact they were scoreless going into the 5th when the Yankees load the bases with no one out. Tony Kubek hits into a ground ball double play and while a run scores it’s the only run of the inning.

Even with a well pitched game a team has to be somewhat hopeful that 1 run can be overcame, especially when it involves escaping such a situation. In the 7th inning Willie Mays hits one hard for what could be a double but Tom Tresh, the Yankees left fielder makes a nice one handed play. The next play Willie McCovey hits a triple that would have tied the game had it not been for the play.

In the 8th the Giants again escape a bases loaded no out situation, this time the Yankees score nothing and while the Giants make no threat in the bottom of the 8th they get to the bottom of the 9th with a chance to tie. After Matty Alou gets on with a bunt single, with 2 outs Willie Mays doubles to right but Alou has to hold up at third (or the Giants choose not to send him, again, without a full broadcast it’s hard to tell what happen) With runners on second and third, slugger Willie McCovey lines one right to second base and…..it’s caught. It’s hit fairly hard and if it’s to the right or to the left the Giants are champions but on this day it’s a line out and the Giants lost the game.

Willie Mays Hall of Fame plaque

There’s so many small things in this game that would absolutely frustrate me in a regular season game but for this to happen in a game 7 is extremely frustrating. Add to it the San Francisco Giants won’t win another World Series until 2010…and don’t even make it back until 1989…and the heartbreak seems more intense and I think the 1962 World Series is the most heartbreaking World Series loss.

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