Bob Shaw and Gerry Staley combined on a six-hitter as the Chicago White Sox beat the New York Yankees for the fifth straight time on the season, 2-1 before a crowd of 33,744 at Yankee Stadium.
Shaw, a Bronx native, was given the start by manager Al Lopez, who had gotten the surprising White Sox in to first place. New York manager Casey Stengel, plagued by inconsistent pitching, was in an unfamiliar spot, fourth place. Don Larsen got the start for the Yankees.
The Yankees got half of their hits in the game in the second inning, an inning that would prove fateful. Left fielder Norm Siebern singled and third baseman Hector Lopez did the same and Siebern went to third. Shortstop Gil McDougald scored Siebern with a sacrifice fly and Lopez moved up to second on the throw. Second baseman Bobby Richardson singled to left and Lopez tried to score from second but Chicago's Al Smith gunned out Lopez at the plate. Larsen lined out to third to end the inning.
Smith got the White Sox rally started in the fourth. With one out, Smith singled to left. Third baseman Billy Goodman drew a walk. Right fielder Jim McAnany doubled to score Smith and Goodman held at third. Shaw singled to left to score Goodman with the White Sox second and final run.
Larsen bobbed and weaved for eight innings, giving up 10 hits, but never gave up any runs aside from the two in the fourth. Duke Maas pitched a scoreless ninth for the Yankees.
Shaw was sailing along though until the ninth. He retired center fielder Mickey Mantle to lead off the inning, but catcher Yogi Berra singled and Bobby Shantz ran for him. Siebern singled to right and Shantz went to third. Lopez called on his veteran reliever, the 38-year old Staley, who made the long walk in from the visitors bullpen.
The walk to the mound was longer than Staley's stay there. Lopez hit Staley's first pitch to second baseman Nellie Fox who flipped it to shortstop Luis Aparicio and then on to first baseman Earl Torgeson for a double play to end the game.
1959 would be a memorable year on the South Side. The White Sox won their first AL pennant since 1919 with a 94-60 record, although that joy was tempered by the team's loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers in the World Series in six games.
Shaw would have one of his best years with an 18-6 record and a 2.69 ERA. Staley would share bullpen chores with Turk Lown. Staley saved 14 games and Lown saved 15. Staley would later be traded by the White Sox as part of an 8-player deal with Kansas City in 1961 that included Larsen. You can read about that here.
As for the Yankees, they would finish a distant third, 15 games behind the White Sox at 79-75. The Yankees had won every AL pennant from 1947 through 1958 with the exception of 1954, when Cleveland, managed by Lopez, won 111 games to take the flag. Fifteen different pitchers made starts for the Yankees.
But the Yankees wouldn't stay down for long. In the offseason, Larsen, Hank Bauer, Siebern, and Marv Throneberry (the starting first baseman on this day) were traded to Kansas City for Joe DeMaestri, Kent Hadley, and Roger Maris. Maris would win back-to-back MVP awards and the Yankees would win the AL pennant for the next five seasons.
Sources: Retrosheet, Baseball-reference.com, Chicago Tribune