My First Major League Game: August 13,1957
I have written about seeing my first major league game before but now I have found the boxscore from that game online at baseball-reference.com.
Finding this boxscore was like finding gold since the boxscore reinforced my memories of that game.
I was 12 years old at the time and can remember men bringing brown bags into the stadium that looked like they had bottles in them. It turned out those bottles had alcohol in them.
One of my most vivid memories is watching the players catch fly balls during batting practice just beneath the left field stands where we were sitting.
If only I had known the players better back then it would have been even more special especially seeing Richie Ashburn who would later enter the Baseball Hall of Fame after retiring five years after this game.
The attendance on the night of Tuesday, August 13, 1957 was only 14,129. The game lasted only two hours and twelve minutes.
The Philadelphia Phillies were still in the NL pennant race at the time of this game and were 10 and-a-half games behind the first place Milwaukee Braves.
This game really meant nothing to the Pittsburgh Pirates who were mired in last place and 29 and-a-half games behind the Braves.
Warren Hacker (6-4) started the game for the Phillies while his mound opponent for the Pirates was Bob Friend (8-15).
The Pirates scored first when future Hall of Famer Bill Mazeroski hit a two run homer in the second inning. That was the first major league homer I had ever seen. I can still hear the ball hitting the tin roof over the left field stands where we were sitting 52 years later.
Three years later Mazeroski would hit the game winning homer in the seventh game of the 1957 World Series defeating the New York Yankees. That brought back memories of that August night in 1957 when Mazeroski had hit the home run at Connie Mack Stadium.
Mazeroski would hit a two run double in the top of the seventh inning to make the score 4-0.
Bob Skinner who would later become manager of the Phillies and the San Diego Padres singled in a run in the top of the eighth inning. Hank Foiles also singled in a run that inning that ended the scoring for the game with the Pirates defeating the Phillies 6-0.
Bob Friend hurled a complete game two hit shutout that night to take the win.
One of my memories of the game were that the Phillies fans booed their own players during the game. They had reason to boo considering their hometown team had only two hits in the game.
Three future Hall of Famers played in the game including besides Mazeroski, Roberto Clemente and Richie Ashburn.
1957 was just the third season of Clemente’s major league career and he hit .253 and stole no bases that season in 111 games. His lifetime stats show he had only 83 stolen bases in 18 seasons with 12 being his career high for a season.
Ashburn was not a power hitter by any means having only 29 homers in 15 seasons. He fell 436 hits short of 3000 hits. He played the inaugural 1962 season for the Mets. He retired after that season at the age of 35.
He would go on to become a color analyst for the Phillies in their broadcasting booth before dying 12 years ago.
Granny Hamner and Harry Anderson had the only hits in the game for the Phillies.
The Phillies made three errors in the contest but none of them resulted in runs being scored.
The rest of the season would turn around for the Pirates who were 22-20 the remainder of the season after being 40-72 after the game that night.
On the other hand the season took a turn for the worse as the Phillies who were 59-53 after the game were the worst team in the NL the rest of the season with a 18-24 record.
Since that night I have only seen nine more major league games in the last 52 years.
My last game was on June 10 of this year when I saw the Cubs-Astros game in Houston at Minute Maid Park. It was my first time to see a game since 1991.
The game at Connie Mack Stadium is the game I will remember the most because it was the first one for this 12 year old kid that has followed baseball ever since then.
Boxscore of the game that night:
Note: Baseball-reference.com has boxscores going back till about 1953 for anyone searching for a certain boxscore. The usual disclaimer applies saying that I have no financial interest in Baseball-reference.com.