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Rainout Theatre: Phils, Cincinnati — It Ain’t Over Til It’s Over …

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In 1958 and 1959, the Phils and the Cincinnati Reds tangled in a couple of the wilder games in baseball history.  They were not slugfests like some of the  memorable Phils, Chicago Cubs high-scoring games and didn’t have the stakes involved as in the unforgettable Mitch Williams game with the Toronto Blue Jays in the 1993 World Series, but these two games with the Reds have stuck in mind for nearly 50 years.  In the 2 games, there were only 3 homeruns. 

 On June 1, 1958 in Philadelphia, Phillies rookie righthander Ray Semproch started against Brooks Lawrence for Cincinnati.

Some of the memorable names playing for both teams were: for Cincinnati; 2nd baseman Johnny Temple, shortstop Roy McMillan, Jerry Lynch, pitchers Don Newcombe and Joe Nuxhall who pitched in 3 decades and 3rd baseman  Don Hoak who would later play 3rd on the 1960 Pittsburgh Pirates who beat the Yankees in dramatic style in the 7th game of the World Series on Bill Mazeroski’s leadoff, walk-off game winning homer.  Pete “Charlie Hustle” Rose’s career had not yet begun until 1963.

The Phils had their memorable names as well; all-time great centerfield er Ritchie Ashburn, 3rd baseman Willie “puddin’ head” Jones, Hall of Fame pitcher Robin Roberts and more.

The box score for the June 1, 1958 game shows that the Reds jumped on Phils rookie starter Ray Semproch and ran out to 5-1 and 10-3 leads only to see the Phils catch up but eventually lose in the 10th inning by a 12-11 margin.  The box score can be found here.

The box score for the August 3, 1959 where the Phils clobbered Don Newcome and ran out to 8-0 and 11-3 leads only to see these leads evaporate as Cincinnati chipped away at the lead jumping on Phils starter lanky 6′ 8″ Gene Conley as well as the porous Philly bullpen and eventually defeated the Phils by a 15-13 score.  This box score can be found here.

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