On This Date, Oct. 8, 1956…

The defending champion Brooklyn Dodgers – who had finally broken through to beat the Yankees in 1955 – met those same New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium for Game 5 of the 1956 World Series.

The series was tied 2-2 and Sal Maglie was pitching for Brooklyn while Don Larson – who had been lit up earlier in the series by the Dodgers bats – would take the mound for the Yankees.

Just two hours later history was made when Larson capped off the first – and so far only – perfect game in World Series history, propelling the Yankees to a 3-2 series lead and the eventual World Championship.

The man calling balls and strikes on that afternoon 61 years ago was Ralph “Babe” Pinelli. He had announced his intention to retire and the end of the series after 22 years as a National League umpire and this would be the last time he would call a game from behind the plate.

His first game as a home plate umpire came in April of 1935 when he called Babe Ruth out on strikes on two different at-bats during the game. Pinelli left the game the way he came in – with a bang.

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You can read more about this former Pacific Coast League player-umpire who also spent all or part of eight seasons as a Major League baseball player before joining the NL as an ump right here:

Perfection’s Arbiter

 

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