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On This Date in Twins Playoff History: October 11, 1965

It wasn't pretty.

October 11, 1965
World Series, Game Five
Series Tied, 2-2

Twins: Zoilo Versalles (SS), Joe Nossek (CF), Tony Oliva (RF), Harmon Killebrew (3B), Earl Battey (C), Bob Alllison (LF), Don Mincher (1B), Frank Quilici (2B), Jim Kaat (P)

Dodgers: Maury Wills (SS), Jim Gilliam (3B), Willie Davis (CF), Lou Johnson (LF), Ron Fairly (RF), Wes Parker (1B), Dick Tracewski (2B), John Roseboro (C), Sandy Koufax (P)

After the absolute collapse for the Twins that was Game Four, Minnesota was forced to turn around and not just face but beat Sandy Koufax for the second time. He'd lost consecutive decisions just once in 1965, and it certainly wasn't going to be any easier in the World Series.

Judging from the video, a Dodger lefty is seen warming up at about the 2:10 mark. It's either Koufax or Game Three starter Claude Osteen. Either way, watching that video is as good as this game would get for the Twins.

To give you an idea of what kind of a day it was: Koufax didn't allow a hit until Harmon Killebrew singled to lead off the fifth inning. He was quickly erased on a double play, which meant that Koufax wasn't facing more than the minimum until Joe Nossak singled with one out in the seventh.

Jim Kaat, meanwhile, struggled to get outs. The first three batters of the game reached safely, scoring two. Kaat made it through the second but was beat up again in the third, and after the Dodgers scored their fourth run of the game Sam Mele couldn't allow the beating to continue. He went to Dave Boswell, who was just 20 years old at the time, and whose career would be irrevocably changed in the playoffs four years later.

Koufax helped his own cause with the first of two one-run singles in the seventh, giving LA a 7-0 lead. He'd finish the game just two batters over the minimum, dominating the Minnesota hitters from top to bottom, striking out ten, walking one, and giving up just four hits.

After being down two games to none, the Dodgers had won three games on the trot and were headed back to Minnesota just one win from a World Series title.

Also in the 1965 World Series:

  • Game One (Twins 8, Dodgers 2)
  • Game Two (Twins 5, Dodgers 1)
  • Game Three (Dodgers 4, Twins 0)
  • Game Four (Dodgers 7, Twins 2)