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The Yankees, the Orioles and a sloppy game from 1956

Some games have over 40 runners and still not many runs.

Texas Rangers v New York Yankees Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

At times in the 2017 season, fans often got on the Yankees for lack of success hitting with runners on base. Looking back on the season, that seems really unfair considering how good the offense was.

If fans got frustrated enough to be mad at this year’s Yankee team, fans of the two teams probably weren’t happy about how the game on July 3, 1956 played out.

Having gotten off to a 47-25 start in 1956, the Yankees sent Rip Coleman to the mound for a start against the Orioles. Coleman allowed a two-out single in the top of the first, but got a groundout to erase that.

In the bottom half of the inning, the first two Yankees hitters reached on singles. One of them was Gil McDougald, who was nearly picked off before making it back safely due to an error by Baltimore shortstop Wally Miranda. Despite that let off, the next three hitters went down in order. Errors and stranded runners would be a recurring theme that day.

Coleman allowed another two-out single in the second, but he got out of it again. The Yankees did go on to score three runs in the second inning. The Orioles surrendered five hits, a walk, an error, and a wild pitch in the frame.

The Orioles picked up a third hit in the third inning, but Coleman got a double play to get out of it. Over the course of the next couple innings, the Orioles put on and left four runners on base. The Yankees one upped them, putting five runners on base without bringing home another run.

Coleman was still in for the top of eighth and got a fly out to start the inning. He then allowed a single to Hoot Evers and a walk to George Kell. At that point, Casey Stengel went to the bullpen and brought in Tom Morgan.

Morgan then promptly ended the stranding runners magic trick and allowed a double to Bob Nieman, scoring Evers. However, Morgan then got with the plan and got the next two outs, causing the Orioles to leave two more runners on.

A pinch-hitting Yogi Berra walked in the bottom of the eighth, but the Yankees failed to add to the lead. Tom Sturdivant came in to pitch the ninth, but that went south. He got two out, but also gave up two runs on three hits. The last two hits came with two outs. After managing to keep the Orioles off the board for so long, the tying hits came when they only needed one more out.

Two Yankees walked in the bottom of the ninth, but the Orioles would get out of it and the game would go to extra innings.

With one out in the top of the 10th, Sturdivant allowed a triple to Gus Triandos. After all that, the Yankees were 90 feet away from falling behind. Things then reverted and after an intentional walk, Sturdivant got two outs to get out of the inning.

The game continued into the 12th inning. The Yankees escaped yet another jam in the top half of the inning.

The bottom of the 12th started with Andy Carey grounding out. Norm Siebern followed that with another grounder. However, Orioles’ second baseman Bobby Adams made an error on the play, and Siebern reached. In the next at bat, Berra appeared to pop out in foul territory, only for Wayne Causey to misplay it and keep the at-bat alive. Berra took advantage of the second chance and singled.

The Orioles then opted to issue an intentional walk to load the bases and get to Mickey McDermott. McDermott was a pitcher and coming into that game was hitting .111/.238/.111. Naturally, he singled. Sieberd scored and the game ended 4-3.

Between the two teams, there were a combined 41 hits and walks. They only scored seven runs, and even then the game-winning run was unearned and helped by two errors. The Yankees may have won, but as it was happening, some fans probably weren’t thrilled at the journey there.