Juan Marichal and the Duel With Warren Spahn at Candlestick Park on July 2, 1963

The most popular post on this blog has been the one covering the fracas between Marichal and John Roseboro. Rather than let that one event dominate the image of Marichal, I thought I’d do a second post on some of Marichal’s greatness as a pitcher. The S.F. Chronicle wrote that upon joining the Hall of Fame, the Chronicle’s Bob Stevens “said the highlight of his career might have been covering the historic 16-inning pitching duel between Juan Marichal and the Braves’ Warren Spahn, a game eventually decided by a home run off the bat of Willie Mays, Stevens’ choice as the greatest player of all time.

“There were seven future Hall of Famers in that game,” Stevens said. “Mays, Marichal, McCovey, Spahn, Henry Aaron and Eddie Mathews were playing. Gaylord Perry was in the Giants’ dugout, wetting his fingers.”

In another article, Marichal said: “I can still remember (Giants manager) Alvin Dark asking me after the ninth if I wanted to come out. And I told him, ‘I’m 25, that old man is 42. If he’s going back out there, I’m going back out there.’ ”

The Chronicle noted that “as a two- man duel, this one is probably second only to Koufax’s 1965 perfect game. The Cubs’ Bob Hendley lost that game 1-0, allowing one hit and an unearned run. Speaking on FOX Sports Net Bay Area’s recent ‘Stick special, McCovey summed it up this way: “It’s probably the best game ever at Candlestick Park. It’s the best game I’ve ever been in.”

In a third article on great games in the history of Candlestick Park, the Chronicle wrote that in his 1960 big-league debut, “unveiling the high leg-kick that would become his trademark, Marichal dominated the Phils. With his screwball already a devastating pitch, he retired the first 19 batters until Giants shortstop Eddie Bressoud misplayed a grounder with one out in the seventh, ending any thought of a perfect game.  . .

“Pinch-hitter Clay Dalrymple, whose career batting average would wind up .233, singled cleanly with two out in the eighth. Marichal finished with a one-hit shutout, striking out 12 — at least one in every inning but the fourth — and walking none.”

For his career, Marichal had 52 shutouts, 244 complete games in 448 starts, one no-hitter, 15 games pitching more than 9 innings, and two ejections, the Roseboro one in 1965, and one in 1971. And that 1-0 16-inning complete game win over Spahn in 1963.

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Published in: Uncategorized on March 17, 2012 at 12:41 pm  Comments (4)  
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4 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. 16 innings, just two pitchers. That’s just unbelievable. A manager today would have gone through his entire bullpen and a position player or two by the 14th inning.
    I wonder, did they each make their next start on regular rest? If so, I wonder how they each fared?
    Nice post, Bill

  2. One thought that occurs to me looking back on this game is: What’s the absolute farthest a starter could go in today’s MLB? I would guess 11 innings, maybe 12 if he had a perfect game going.

  3. [...] one of the more famous games in baseball history, Arne Christensen asked about the longest outings by starters in the last 50 [...]

  4. A thing worth noting about this game is that the Braves’ one double off Marichal was hit by Spahn, in the top of the 7th. Del Crandall had just been thrown out stealing after getting a single.


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