MLB postseason: The ten best playoff MVPs

Stephen Strasburg, Washington Nationals. Mandatory Credit: Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports
Stephen Strasburg, Washington Nationals. Mandatory Credit: Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports /
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Ralph Terry (left) with 1962 Yankee teammate Bobby Richardson at a Yankee old-timer’s day. (Photo by Michael Zagaris/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
Ralph Terry (left) with 1962 Yankee teammate Bobby Richardson at a Yankee old-timer’s day. (Photo by Michael Zagaris/MLB Photos via Getty Images) /

4. Ralph Terry, 1.122, 1962 World Series

Terry may be more famous for having thrown the pitch that Pittsburgh Pirates infielder Bill Mazeroski slammed over the left field wall at Forbes Field in October of 1960 to end that year’s World Series.

From Terry’s standpoint, however, a far happier memory was the pitch he threw to San Francisco Giants star Willie McCovey that ended the 1962 World Series.

Terry had been a vital force all during the Series. He started the second game but lost 2-0 when Giant starter Jack Sanford tossed a shutout. Terry allowed just six hits, but one of them was a McCovey home run in the seventh inning.

Terry came back in Game 5 to even the score with Sanford. He won  their showdown 5-3, allowing eight Giants hits in a complete game performance.

Leading three games to two, Yankee manager Ralph Houk went for the clincher when the rain-interrupted series resumed five days later in New York. He started his ace, Ford. But the Giants beat Ford 5-2, forcing a seventh game with Terry the only reliable Yankee starter.

That game remains one of the classics of all World Series play. Matched a third time against Sanford, Terry held the Giants scoreless and enjoyed a 1-0 lead in the sixth when Bill Skowron singled, advanced to third on another single and a walk, then scored on a double play grounder by Tony Kubek.

From that point through the eighth, Terry held the Giants to just two hits. Matty Alou led off the bottom of the ninth with a bunt single, but two strikeouts later he advanced only as far as third base when Willie Mays doubled to right.

The next batter was McCovey, the same hitter who had homered off Terry a few days before. The slugger slammed Terry’s first pitch deep down the line in right field for what initially appeared to be a Series-winning hit. But it curved foul and crashed into the seats. McCovey also ripped the next pitch … directly into the glove of Bobby Richardson for the Series-ending out.

As Burdette had done five years earlier, Terry was the series’ dominant force. He had thrown 25 innings worth of work, allowing just 17 base hits. In the decisive seventh game, he permitted just four baserunners, all of them on hits.