This Day in Baseball History: May 22nd, 1962

Besides that one magical season, he was still a pretty good player.

On May 22, 1962:

Roger Maris sets a major-league record by being intentionally walked 4 times in a game.

1961 was his magical season. It’s easy to remember — he hit 61 HR in 1961. As a result, he was obviously a very feared hitter in 1962. Coming into the game, he was hitting .301/.374/.528 but only had 7 home runs (well, 7 home runs seems like little after hitting 61 the year before). Either way, the Los Angeles Angels came to town, but they wanted none of Maris. Leading off the second, they let him flyout to center. After Joe Pepitone led off the fourth with a double, the Angels walked Maris (not intentionally) and you wonder if they really wanted to throw to him. In the sixth, Tom Tresh walked and Pepitone singled, but both runners were able to move up when Tresh took third anyway. Maris was walked intentionally. During the eighth, Tresh tripled and was knocked in by a Pepitone double, and with first base open, Maris was intentionally walked again. Because of a 1-1 stalemate, extra innings were needed, and in the tenth, Bobby Richardson was on third with 2 outs and Maris took his free pass. Finally, Pepitone tripled in the 12th, and Maris was walked intentionally for the final time. Didn’t work this time as Elston Howard drove Pepitone in anyway. Interestingly enough, the Yankees were intentionally walked 7 times in the game.

Over the next month and a half, Maris struggled. He finished May on a 6-for-36 slide, and he only hit .202 in June. Maris, however, did recover his power stroke in the next three months, hitting 7 in June, 9 in July, and 7 in August, but he would only hit 2 in September. Peculiar as it seems, September, even without the power, was Maris’ best month average-wise as he hit .289. Being the best in AL, the Yankees went on to the World Series, and as they so often do, they won.

Maris’ career took a downturn after that 1962 season. An underappreciated player who could hit and defend, Maris never really made friends with the New York media or fans, and injuries made the situation worse. By 1967, he was no longer welcome in New York, and they traded him to St. Louis. St. Louis could handle an aging player who could no longer play every day, and he helped them win two pennants in his two seasons, including a World Series in 1967. He would retire and take over a beer distributor for Gussie Busch.

Trivia Time
Barry Bonds became the only major-league player to be intentionally walked four times in a nine-inning game. When was that?

Wednesday’s Answer –> Ron’s right. The home team manager has the right to call a game until he hands over the line-up card to the home plate umpire. Once in the umpire’s hand, it is uleft to the Crew Chief’s discretion.

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2 Responses to “This Day in Baseball History: May 22nd, 1962”

  1. Detroit Michael Says:

    I don’t mean to be picky, but I figured you would want to know if there is a factual error. This Tiger fan remembers clearly that the Cardinals won the World Series in 1967 but not in 1968.

  2. tHeMARksMiTh Says:

    Thanks, Michael. It was a typo. I try to reread these posts before I publish them, but sometimes, mistakes happen. All I ask is that you be forgiving, and I will continue to try to make sure they don’t happen any longer.

    And that’s not being picky. It’s being historically accurate, and I will change that. Thanks again.

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