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The ’64 Collapse: A Timeline


The ’64 Collapse: A Timeline

Monday, Sept. 21, at Philadelphia Reds 1, Phillies 0. Chico Ruiz steals home in the  sixth inning, with Art Mahaffey on the mound and Frank Robinson  at bat for the lone run. Twice in three games, the Phils  lose because of steals of home. The magic number remains 7. 

Tuesday, Sept. 22, at Philadelphia Reds 9, Phillies 2. Chris Short gives up six runs in just under five innings. That day, World Series tickets go on sale by mail. The next morning, 52,000 requests are delivered to the box office.

Wednesday, Sept. 23, at Philadelphia Reds 6, Phillies 4. Vada Pinson’s three-run homer in a six-run seventh is the difference. The lead in the NL shrinks to 3½ games, with nine left.

Thursday,  Sept. 24, at Philadelphia Braves 5, Phillies 3. Jim Bunning gives up three runs in six innings and takes the loss. The lead is three games.

Friday, Sept. 25, at Philadelphia Braves 7, Phillies 5 (12 innings). The Phils lead 1-0 until the top of the seventh, when Denis Menke reaches base on a catcher’s interference. Two runs in that inning, and one in the eighth, put Milwaukee up 3-1. Johnny Callison ties the game with a two-run homer. Milwaukee scores twice in the 10th, but Richie Allen answers with a two-run inside-the-park homer. The Braves win it in the 12th, but the Phils still lead the Reds by 1½ games and the Cards by two.

Saturday, Sept. 26, at Philadelphia Braves 6, Phillies 4. With the Phils leading 4-3 in the top of the ninth, Rico Carty’s three-run triple off Bobby Shantz hits the right-field chalk line. Callison has a severe case of the flu but refuses to sit out.

Sunday, Sept. 27, at Philadelphia Braves 14, Phillies 8. Still ill, Callison hits three homers, but the Braves tag Bunning for seven runs in three innings. The Phils drop into second place (behind the Reds) for the first time since July 16.

Monday, Sept. 28, at St. Louis Cardinals 5, Phillies 1. Bob Gibson is overpowering and drops the Phils into third place. After the game, the team’s clubhouse remains closed for 20 minutes. 

Tuesday, Sept. 29, at St. Louis Cardinals 4, Phillies 2. Callison, still flu-ridden, didn’t start but gets a pinch-hit single. At first base, he asks for a jacket. He’s unable to zip it up, and St. Louis first baseman Bill White comes to the rescue.

Wednesday, Sept. 30, at St. Louis Cardinals 8, Phillies 5. The Phils fall back to third place again. According to Sports Illustrated, Gene Mauch was spotted sitting alone on a green bench in his bullpen during batting practice.

Thursday, Oct. 1 (open date) The records: Cardinals (92-67), Reds (92-68), Phillies (90-70), Giants (89-70).

Friday, Oct. 2, at Cincinnati  Phillies 4, Reds 3. The Phils end the 10-game skid by scoring all four runs in the eighth inning.

Saturday, Oct. 3 (open date) The Cards and the Reds are tied (92-69); the Phillies are a game back (92-70).

Sunday, Oct. 4, at Cincinnati Phillies 10, Reds 0. Bunning throws a six-hitter, but the Cards beat the Mets 11-5. Former Whiz Kid Curt Simmons starts; Gibson wins his 19th in relief. Future Phillie Tim McCarver slugs two doubles.

Final National League Standings

Cardinals (93-69)
Phillies and Reds (92-70)
Giants (90-72)

Adapted with permission from Larry Shenk’s new book, If These Walls Could Talk
(Triumph Books, 212 pages).