OT: June 24,1962-Yogi finds his own Catch 22

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May 7, 2007
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60 years ago today,two tired teams,the Yankees and the Tigers met in a Sunday single game at Tiger Stadium.The teams had played a day night doubleheader on that Saturday so neither team was ready for what was about to transpire.Yogi had caught the day game with Elston Howard doing the nightcap,leaving either Yogi or Johnny Blanchard for Sunday's game. Manager Ralph Houk placed Blanchard for left field,leaving only Yogi to catch.And so it began.

In stunningly atypical fashion,the Yankees pounded the Yankee killer,Frank Lary,for 6 runs in the top of the first,chasing Lary after he gave up one more run in the second inning.

The Tigers quickly answered,getting 3 runs off of Bob Turley in the first,and another three off of Jim Coates in the third,finally tying the game off of Bill Stafford in the 6th.The battle of the bullpens was about to start for real.

Up in the telecast booth,Phil Rizzuto began complaining about how hungry he was getting,starting a mini-telethon featuring his angry stomach.Food wasn't readily available to the broadcasters in those days as it is today.

Some players,notably among them Mickey Mantle,were taken out before the extra innings.Houk's decision to do so was to prove crucial as night fell in Detroit.Houk could have switched Yogi for Johnny Blanchard in the extras but declined.

The clubhouses began to have more players in them than there were in the dugouts,as noted by Yankee pitcher,Rollie Sheldon.

Finally,in the top of the 22nd inning,then center fielder,Jack Reed,hit his only home run of his career,coming off of Phil Regan,who had started in one of the Saturday games.Jim Bouton,pitching the final 7 innings got the win.

Joe Falls,the official scorer for the game,announced the time of the game at 7 hours exactly.2 years later,he confessed that the time was really 6:59 but he thought then that a 7 hour game would be more readily remembered.The reason for his confession was that the Mets and the Giants had just played a game that went 7:23,a record for a continuous game that has not been bettered.

Yogi was so exhausted that he could not come up with a Yogism,merely saying that he was tired and that he was glad that it ended.

The next day,Whitey Ford pitched a shutout,with a rested Elston Howard behind the dish.