The 1964 World Series pitted the National League champion St. Louis Cardinals against the American League champion New York Yankees….with the Cardinals prevailing in the best of seven games. St. Louis won their 7th world championship….while the Yankees, who had appeared in 14 of 16 World Series since 1949…..did not play in the Series again until 1976.
The Cardinals’ scouting report indicated that injuries had taken their toll on Mickey Mantle’s defense and that he could be run on….as they acted on this intelligence, taking extra bases repeatedly and scoring from 2nd base on singles in the second and sixth innings. The Cardinals also believed that they should swing early in the count against Whitey Ford….and this strategy also paid off…. as Ray Sadecki, Carl Warwick, and Mike Shannon all drove in runs on the first or second pitches of their at-bats.
The Cardinals struck first in the bottom of the first off Whitey Ford on Ken Boyer’s sacrifice fly after two one-out singles….but Tom Tresh’s two-run home run after a single off Ray Sadecki put the Yankees up 2–1 in the second….then they made it 3–1 when Clete Boyer singled, stole second and scored on Ford’s single. The Cardinals cut the lead to 3–2 in the bottom of the inning when Mike Shannon hit a lead off single….while moving to second on a ground out….and scoring on Sadecki’s single….when Tresh’s RBI double in the fifth after two two-out singles made it 4–2 Yankees….but the Cardinals sent eight men to the plate in the sixth inning….as Shannon’s home run after a single tied the game….then after Tim McCarver doubled, Al Downing relieved Ford and allowed a two-out RBI single to Carl Warwick….and a single to Curt Flood to put the Cardinals up 6–4. The Yankees cut the lead to one in the eighth when Johnny Blanchard doubled and scored on Bobby Richardson’s single off Barney Schultz….but the Cardinals padded their lead in the bottom half after loading the bases off Rollie Sheldon on two walks and an error…. then Flood’s RBI single and Lou Brock’s two-run double off Pete Mikkelsen put them up 9–5. Schultz retired the Yankees in order in the ninth for the save.
Whitey Ford pitched with severe pain and numbness in his arm for much of the 1964 season….and that day he was again in pain and missing with sliders inside. Shannon came up looking for sliders and hit one 500 feet…..and this was the last World Series appearance by Ford….whose shoulder had been injured during the season.
Whitey Ford had pitched in 22 World Series games with the Yankees….while compiling ten victories….and going back to the sweep of the Philadelphia Phillies in 1950….while setting a record which still stands today in 2019….by pitching 332⁄3 consecutive scoreless innings across three different World Series from 1960 to 1962.
This was also the last World Series that matched the Yankees up against the Cardinals….when in the previous four meetings, each team had won twice….with the Yankees winning in 1928 and 1943….and the Cardinals in 1926 and 1942.
This pennant for the Yankees concluded their remarkable run of 15 World Series appearances over 18 years. In total, they won 29 American League championships in the 44-year span from 1921 through 1964.