<ul><li>Coming into 1964, the Yankees were led by Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle, and had won 13 Pennants and 9 World Series since 1949. </li></ul>
<ul><li>Coming into 1964, a new generation of players were beginning to change the way things were run in the past. Bouton pushed the stingy Yankees for a 100% pay raise when he won 21 games in 1963. All of them enjoyed playing up to the media, which was a taboo for Yankees teams of the past. </li></ul>(From left to right) third baseman Clete Boyer, shortstop Tony Kubek, second baseman Bobby Richardson, and first baseman Joe Pepitone
When Gussie Busch purchased the Cardinals, he was surprised to find that running a baseball team was not as easy as running a brewery. The purchase of the Cardinals, however, helped propel Budweiser to the best selling beer in the nation.
When Gussie took over, he was surprised to find that they did not have any black players. While Busch feared a black boycott of his brewery, he also thought it was simply morally wrong to exclude blacks. Hell, we sell beer to everyone . --Gussie Busch
<ul><li>By 1964, the Cardinals were different from most other clubs. The players were more relaxed and were comfortable with integration. While race hung over the rest of the country, friendships transcended racial lines on the Cardinals and the players spent time together off the field. The team bridge game—with Gibson and Groat on the same team—was a mainstay for many years in the clubhouse. </li></ul>
Mickey Mantle had an aura about him as he played the game. He intimidated reporters, but helped bring the rest of the Yankees together. He was well liked and more approachable than Joe DiMaggio, the superstar he was replacing. He felt loved within the clubhouse, and he was never expected to by anything different that who he was.
While Bob Gibson was growing, his brother Josh thought he could play both football and basketball. The Cardinals offered to sign him out of Creighton, but did not want to give him a large bonus so that he would take his time in the minor leagues. While in the minora, his manager Johnny Keane helped bring him along slow and deal with adversity. In 1964, he would play for Keane again in the World Series.
Johnny Keane took over as manager in 1961, and he showed the black players that they were really wanted. Keane, however, was very conservative, and took exception to his players becoming arrogant before they had performed at a high level.
In June of 1961, the Cardinals were struggling. They believed they were just one young outfielder away from contending, as they needed someone to replace Musial who retired the year before. After much scouting, Johnny Keane and Bing Devine decided to trade Broglio to the Cubs for Lou Brock. Most Cardinals players disliked the deal, but Brock grew on them quickly. Lou Brock
Buck O'Neil was the scout who found Brock for the Cubs. His ground covered the entire south, and his job was to find every young black player capable of playing baseball. Prior to being a scout for the Cubs, O'Neil had witnessed the integration that had taken place in baseball. He was a manager of the Kansas City Monarchs, and watched as the team played in a segregated league to a team that was basically a farm for young talent for the MLB. O'Neil believed that Jackie Robinson was the perfect person to break baseball's color barrier because he could handle the scrutiny.
Bill White placed much of the blame for the Cardinals struggles for most of 1964 on himself. He was a power bat playing a power position in the outfield, but a decline of health had sapped his abilities and he was no longer playing up to his potential. Before White was traded to the Cardinals, he was in the Giants farm system and had to play in a league where he not only faced great hatred due to his race, but where he was the only black player.
By the 1960s, as the rest of baseball caught up to their dynasty, the Yankees still failed to realize that the players they coveted—those who kept pushing for excellence after they reached the major leagues—were more often than not African-American. Ellie Howard was the first black player called up by the Yankees. He was under constant scrutiny when he came up, but was perfect to break the Yankee color line because he was capable of keeping his rage within himself.
Al Downing was the first black starting pitcher for the Yankees and was signed by scout Bill Yancey. Downing was a left-hander, and perfectly suited to Yankee Stadium’s dimensions. Being the only black player on the Yankees, Downing felt a pressure to hold himself to high moral standards. I was trying to tell [Downing] what to throw next, and he kept calling me Mr. Berra. --Yogi Berra
Curt Simmons led the Cardinals pitching staff while Gibson and Ray Sadecki were still growing during the 1964 season. Sadecki had been cut by the Phillies and revitalized his career with St. Louis. He thought he had lost his one chance to play in a World Series when he was with the Phillies in 1950 as a rookie. He helped them win the pennant—but then was called into duty in the Korean War. Near the end of his career in ’64, he no longer had a blazing fastball, but kept hitters off balance with a good curveball and changeup.
Camaraderie A certain camaraderie was present everywhere with the ’64 Cardinals. The older players helped the younger players learn how to play the game right, and all relationships transcended racial lines. When the young catcher Tim McCarver came up to the majors, he was extremely frustrated as it was the first time in his life baseball did not come easy too him. Ken Boyer, one of the biggest leaders on the team, helped him deal with the adjustment and made the entire team better.
Bob Gibson was struggling to find his rhythm until late August, when he reeled off five straight complete games to keep the Cardinals in the race. Gibson had an intimidation factor, and possessed a game face that scared the hell out of everyone else. He liked to work quickly, hated being beaten by a lesser hitter but always respected the strengths of others. He used the brush back pitch to protect his teammates and to protect the plate. His games had a speed to them, he went out there with a job to do and he got it done no questions asked.
"What the hell are you doing out here? Get the hell back behind the plate where you belong. The only thing you know about pitching is that you can't hit it." --Bob Gibson to his catcher, Tim McCarver
On September 20 th , the Phillies were 90-60 and 6 ½ games ahead of the rest of the league. They had led the NL by double digits for most of the season, and were ready to coast into the World Series. Then the Phillies deep pitching staff began to drop like flies, and they were forced to start Bunning and Short on two days rest 6 times in the final 2 weeks. In September, the Phillies lost 7 in a row at home. They then went to St. Louis to play a three game set, and the Cardinals thought that they had the look of a dead team. The Cardinals swept and the Phillies had now lost 10 in a row. The Cardinals won the pennant on the last day of the season against the Mets, and the Yankees clinched in Cleveland. The Reds, who were right with the Cardinals as they chased the Phillies, lost their cool towards the end of the season as well. The Phillies World Series program was already designed.
“ After the game, in the Reds' locker room, O'Toole, still furious, went after Cardenas and threw him to the ground. At that point Cardenas grabbed an ice pick and started after O'Toole, but others pulled them apart.” NL Final Standings: 1.0 92-70 Phillies 1.0 92-70 Reds -- 93-69 Cardinals
Gibson pitching to Mickey Mantle The Cardinals took Game 1 of the World Series at Busch Stadium behind Ray Sadecki. The Cardinals were unable to set their rotation after Gibson started the last game of the season on short rest. In the 5 th Inning, with the Yankees leading 4-2, the Cardinals touched up the Yankees Whitey Ford with a homerun by Mike Shannon. The Yankees fought back and took Game 2 against Bob Gibson with rookie Mel Stottlemyre on the mound, and the series shifted back to New York tied 1-1.
Back at Yankee Stadium, Mickey Mantle had some magic left in him as he hit a walk-off homerun in the bottom of the 9 th inning to give the Yankees a 2-1 win in Game 3.
In Game 4, the Cardinals answered Mantle and the Yankees when Ken Boyer hit a grand slam in the top of the 6 th inning, sending the Cardinals to a 4-3 win. Behind a Tim McCarver homerun in the 10th inning of Game 5, the Cardinals sent the series back to St. Louis with a 3-2 series lead.
The Yankees took Game 6 behind homeruns from Maris and Mantle, but the Cardinals won Game 7 behind a complete game from Bob Gibson on two days of rest.
When the Cardinals swept the series against the Yankees, it signaled not only the end of the Maris-Mantle dynasty. The Cardinals won the series not only behind their veterans, but behind young black talent that the Yankees refused to accumulate leading up to 1964. It became apparent that if the Yankees and the entire American league wanted to win, they would have to accept capable black players on their team. They added dimensions that an all-white team could not have, and helped push the Cardinals over the top in ’64.