1961 Game 24: Baltimore Orioles (12-11) @ Minnesota Twins (12-11)

Thursday May 11, 1961

Orioles 8, Twins 7

I found this little nugget in the May 24, 1961 edition of The Sporting News:

Richards’ New ‘Wind Shift’ Aids Birds in 8-7 Victory

TWIN CITIES, Minn.- Paul Richards, one of the game’s foremost innovators, came up with something new, May 11, when he introduced the “wind shift” in the Twins’ game with the Orioles.

With a 30-mile-an-hour wind blowing toward left field, the Baltimore Pilot stationed his left fielder, Dick Williams, on the foul line, moved  Center Fielder Jackie Brandt into left-center and left his right fielder, Whitey Herzog, to patrol the rest of the outfield in the sixth inning.

The shift paid off when Williams made a one-handed, shoe-string catch of Earl Battey’s liner that ordinarily would have gone for a double.

The strategy helped the Orioles win, 8-to-7.

Despite winning two out of three in his team’s first trip to Minnesota, Paul Richards was not happy with the park. After the series, Richards suggested that Metropolitan Stadium would make every can-of-corn a potential home run, and went on to suggest that the home run boom would be bad for bsaeball.

No word on what he thought of his own player, Jim Gentile’s success. Gentile hit two home runs in the series and knocked in a total of 12 runs in two games (he only had one plate appearance in game two – the Orioles only loss of the series).

Harmon Killebrew’s streak of consecutive games with an RBI was snapped in the game. He ended with nine games, one short of Lou Gehrig’s record of 10 games in a row with at least one RBI.

Team Name                        G    W    L    T   PCT    GB    RS   RA
Detroit Tigers                  25   18    7    0  .720     -   155   99
New York Yankees                23   14    8    1  .636   2.5   103   89
Baltimore Orioles               25   13   11    1  .542   4.5   124  111
Cleveland Indians               23   12   11    0  .522   5.0    96   87
Minnesota Twins                 24   12   12    0  .500   5.5   113  135
Kansas City Athletics           19    9   10    0  .474   6.0   103  104
Boston Red Sox                  21    9   12    0  .429   7.0    85  101
Los Angeles Angels              22    9   13    0  .409   7.5    90   98
Washington Senators             26   10   16    0  .385   8.5    72  102
Chicago White Sox               22    8   14    0  .364   8.5    97  112

The Angels come to town tomorrow for a three-game series against the Twins. Pitchers for the first game are Pedro Ramos, who will try and rebound from his short start on Tuesday, and Eli Grba.

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