By Jon Weisman
After lasting only 2 2/3 innings in Game 1 of the 1965 World Series, Don Drysdale was his old self in Game 4.
Even better, the Dodger offense was a punishing crew, too.
Scoring in all but three innings, the Dodgers backed Drysdale’s complete-game, 11-strikeout, 123-pitch effort with a dynamic attack in a 7-2 victory on October 10, 1965 that evened the World Series at two games apiece.
“Six infield hits and two homers is pretty good balance,” a grinning Walter Alston said after the game, according to Frank Finch of the Times.
The Dodgers’ first run off Game 1 winner Mudcat Grant was vintage, kicked off by leadoff hitter Maury Wills chopping one to first baseman Don Mincher in the bottom of the first.
“Wills, Grant and (second baseman) Frank Quilici arrived at first base simultaneously, and Wills knocked down Quilici as they collided head-on and Mincher’s toss was lost in the melee,” wrote Finch.
Wills then stole second, went to third on Willie Davis’ infield single and scored on a Ron Fairly forceout.
In the second inning, Wes Parker bunted his way aboard, stole second, went to third on a wild pitch and scored when a grounder by Johnny Roseboro went through the legs of second baseman Frank Quilici.
Los Angeles would never trail in the game after that. Harmon Killebrew and Tony Oliva hit solo homers off Drysdale, but they were matched by Parker and Lou Johnson blasts.
As it turned out, Drysdale wasn’t confident as he took the mound in Game 4.
“When I got through warming up I didn’t think I had anything at all,” he told Times sports editor Paul Zimmerman. “It took me a couple of innings to get my rhythm on my fastball and one or two more before I had my curveball going where I wanted it.”
Charles Maher of the Times was in on the interview with Twins manager Sam Mele after the game.
“That speed of theirs is really something,” Mele said. “But tomorrow is another day.”
It is also a day on which the Twins will run into Sandy Koufax again.
“I’m working on something for you,” a writer told Mele. “I’m trying to get them to declare another Jewish holiday.”
It’s difficult to remember much that happened 50 years ago, but I do remember I got engaged during the World Series. That is I had my engagement party. I wasn’t anywhere near the team, of course. It took place in Brooklyn.