Don Drysdale wins first World Series game at Dodger Stadium 53 years ago
Don Drysdale christened Dodger Stadium into the postseason world with a brilliant 1 – 0 shutout of the New York Yankees in game three of the 1963 World Series. The first two games of the World Series in 63 had been played in Yankee Stadium with the Yankees only scoring three runs. This time, they couldn’t muster a run.
55,912 came out to see the first World Series game ever played at Dodger Stadium and for many, it may have been the best one ever until game one of 1988. Don Drysdale put up a game score of 89, making it the highest postseason game score in LAD history.
Junior Gilliam scored the first run via a walk and a RBI single by Tommy Davis in the first inning. It was fitting for Tommy Davis to drive in the first World Series run at Dodger Stadium given he had driven in 108 runs at the Stadium since it opened in 1962.
Jim Bouton did his best but that one RBI by Tommy Davis would be all that Don Drysdale would need. Bouton would shut out the Dodgers the rest of the game, but the most LAD of them all kept the Yankees off the board the whole game. Jim Bouton made three world series starts between 1963 and 1964 and only gave up four earned runs in twenty-four innings. He won both his starts in 1964 game three and game six. For a guy more famous for writing Ball Four, he was one heck of a pitcher at the age of 25.
Jim Bouton talked about that game with Rob Neyer. All these years later he felt that the normally good fielding Bobby Richardson should have made the play on the single by Tommy Davis that drove in the only run of the game:
When I saw Tommy Davis with the Pilots, the first thing out of my mouth was, “That wasn’t a hit! That was an error off Richardson’s kneecap.” He had to take two or three steps to his right, and the ball hit off his glove or his knee; if you watch the film, it’s hard to tell which. It was a play that he would usually make.