Wednesday October 6, 1965
The New York Times noted that the pitching match up for Game 1 was the first in World Series history between two commercial musicians. With Sandy Koufax in his St. Paul hotel room observing Yom Kippur, Don Drysdale, one of the members of the Dodgers’ night club troupe, got the start in Game 1 for the Dodgers. The Twins sent 21-game winner Mudcat Grant to the hill, the leader of the Jim Grant Five.
The teams exchanged solo home runs in the second inning. Las Angeles struck first when Ron Fairly took Grant deep to lead off the top half of the second. With two outs in the bottom of the frame, Mincher hit his first World Series home run to tie the game.
With the score still 1-1, the Twins got to Drysdale in a big way in the third inning, essentially putting the first World Series game every played in Minnesota out of reach early. Frank Quilici led off the inning with a double down the left field line. When the Dodgers couldn’t handle Grant’s sacrifice bunt properly, the Twins had two runners on with nobody out. MVP Zoilo Versalles took advantage of the situation by taking Drysdale’s third pitch deep into the left field bleachers for a three-run home run. Later that inning, with two outs and two on, Earl Battey singled home the fourth and fifth Twins runs of the inning. Quilici put a bow on the performance by knocking in the final run with a single of his own.
The Twins’ seventh run represented the end of the game for Don Drysdale, who was only charged with three earned runs. Mudcat Grant went the distance, allowing the Dodgers two runs on 10 hits. His double in the sixth inning also helped the Twins to tack on their eighth run of the game. Maury Wills’ bunt single that scored Jim Lefebvre from third seemed like an after thought in the ninth inning. The next batter was the last of the game, however, as Grant got Jim Gilliam to fly out to left to give the Twins a 1-0 lead in the series.
The only solace for the Dodgers was the fact that Koufax would return for Game 2.