One of the best things about professional sports is that you never know for sure which side is going to win. Sure there might be favorites, but the unpredictable nature of sport means that the underdog has its day more often than expected. One of the biggest underdog stories in baseball history came in 1960, when the Pittsburgh Pirates managed to overcome the hugely dominant New York Yankee in the World Series.
The New York Yankees were the undoubted favorites going into the World Series with the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Yankees had been building a dynasty-worthy roster and had stars like Roger Maris, Mickey Mantle, and Yogi Berra to count on. The all-star roster of the Yankees was meant to be no match for the Pirates, and at times during the series, that was the case.
On the other side, the Pirates had great players of their own, stars like Roberto Clemente and Dick Groat, who could be superstars on their day. However, they were no match for the Yankees’ firepower, in theory.
If any game was going to sum up the overall 1960 World Series, it might as well be the first. The Pirates were hosting the Yankees at Forbes Field, and they had to battle for every single run. Pittsburgh managed to take the first game 6-4, and every time they won a match in this series, it was going to be hard-fought and resolute. The Yankees, on the other hand, knew they had all the firepower they needed and didn’t worry too much about losing that first game.
Blowing the Pirates out of the water
The Yankees had a lot of talent on the roster, and in game two, they showed how devastating they could be. The New York team took game two in spectacular fashion, winning it 16-3 and casting a lot of doubts on Pittsburgh’s chances.
If the Yankees could play like this in every game, there was no way for the Pirates to compete with them. The Yankees followed up that dramatic win in Pittsburgh with another emphatic victory in New York, winning game three 10-0.
Showing some hustle
It would have been easy for the Pirates to become disheartened after being destroyed in the last two games. However, this team was made of stern stuff, and in game four, they wanted to prove to the Yankees they had more fight than them. Sure the Yankees had the talent, but did they have the desire?
Games four and five were played at Yankees Stadium, and Pittsburgh won them both with scores of 3-2 and 5-2, respectively. The Yankees were on the ropes, but in game six, the franchise fought back and once again sealed an emphatic victory, winning 12-0. It all came down to the final game of the series in Pittsburgh.
Victory, against the odds
In the final game of the series, the Pirates won 10-9 to take an unlikely World Series victory. What made this victory all the more impressive was the fact that the Yankees broke all kinds of records. The box score showed the Yankees outscored the Pirates over the series in runs and hits. The back-and-forth final game was the dramatic conclusion this incredible series and the fans deserved.