I Remember ...
Juan Marichal Hall of Fame pitcher, nine-time All-Star
ile this in the “would never happen today” drawer. On July 2, 1963, the Giants and Braves played a 16-inning game in which both pitchers went the distance. The final score: 1-0. The two pitchers: Hall of Famers Juan Marichal and Warren Spahn. Marichal, the winner, says he threw 227 pitches in the game. More important to him than numbers, though, are the memories of taking on Spahn that he shared with Sporting News. After nine innings, the manager, Alvin Dark, wanted to take me out. I begged him to let me stay a few more innings, so he did. In the 14th inning, he really wanted to take me out. I said, “Alvin, do you see that man pitching on the mound?” He said, “Yeah.” I said, “That man is 42 years old. I’m only 25. As long as that man stays on the mound, nobody is going to take me out of here.” He got a little bit upset about what I said. But he let me stay. In the 15th inning, when I came back to the bench, I said, “Alvin, that’s it, I don’t want to pitch any longer.” They called the bullpen and told the pitcher to be ready for the next inning. When Warren got out of the 15th inning, I grabbed my hat and glove and ran to the mound. For a while, I thought there were going to be two pitchers on the mound because the guy from the bullpen was coming in. They had to call him back. I got three outs. Coming back to the bench, I waited for Willie Mays. I said, “Chico”—we used to call everybody Chico—“Alvin Dark is mad at me because I told him I was going to get out of the game.” He said, “Don’t worry, I’m going to win this game for you.”
Today, Marichal, 71, is an analyst for ESPN Deportes. He still remembers well congratulating Mays on a gamewinning home run back in ’63. He was the second batter of that inning. The first pitch, he hit one out. Everybody was so happy. Except for Alvin Dark, because of what I said to him. Until Warren passed away, we were good friends, and we talked about that game all the time. The next day, we were in the tunnel that leads from the visitors clubhouse to the field. I have a photo from there of Warren telling me what to do to prepare for the next game after such a long one. That was very nice of him. — As told to Matt Crossman MARICHAL: ERIC RISBERG / AP; MARICHAL (1963): AP