Who won game 1 of the 1965 World Series?

The 1965 World Series featured the National League champion Los Angeles Dodgers against the American League champion Minnesota Twins, who had won their first pennant since 1933 when the team was known as the Washington Senators.


  • 1 Background
  • 2 Summary
  • 3 Matchups
    • 3.1 Game 1
    • 3.2 Game 2
    • 3.3 Game 3
    • 3.4 Game 4
    • 3.5 Game 5
    • 3.6 Game 6
    • 3.7 Game 7
  • 4 Series quotes
  • 5 Composite box
  • 6 Notes
  • 7 References
  • 8 External links


Both teams improved from sixth place finishes in 1964; the Twins won the A.L. pennant with relative ease while the Dodgers were locked in a season long five-way battle in the N.L. between themselves, the Giants, Pirates, Reds, and Braves. The Dodgers used a 13-game September winning streak to clinch the pennant on the next to last day of the season over the second place Giants. The Dodgers prevailed in seven games to capture their second title in three years, and their third since moving to Los Angeles in 1958.

This was only the second World Series where both teams were located west of the Mississippi River. The other occurred in 1944 when the St. Louis Browns faced their Sportsman's Park tenants, the St. Louis Cardinals.

This was the first series in which both teams had had losing records the previous year. This has since been repeated two other times, both times also involving the Twins—in 1987 and 1991.

The first time in World Series history that games were played outside the original ten cities in the World Series era.


NL Los Angeles Dodgers (4) vs. AL Minnesota Twins (3)

GameScoreDateLocationAttendance1Los Angeles Dodgers – 2, Minnesota Twins – 8October 6Metropolitan Stadium47,797[1]2Los Angeles Dodgers – 1, Minnesota Twins – 5October 7Metropolitan Stadium48,700[2]3Minnesota Twins – 0, Los Angeles Dodgers – 4October 9Dodger Stadium55,934[3]4Minnesota Twins – 2, Los Angeles Dodgers – 7October 10Dodger Stadium55,920[4]5Minnesota Twins – 0, Los Angeles Dodgers – 7October 11Dodger Stadium55,801[5]6Los Angeles Dodgers – 1, Minnesota Twins – 5October 13Metropolitan Stadium49,578[6]7Los Angeles Dodgers – 2, Minnesota Twins – 0October 14Metropolitan Stadium50,596[7]

The Twins won the first two games of the series against Don Drysdale and Sandy Koufax, but once Claude Osteen shut out the Twins in Game 3, things turned around. The Dodgers proceeded to win the three middle games at Dodger Stadium and Koufax would pitch two shutouts including a three-hitter with ten strikeouts to clinch. Ron Fairly hit two home runs for the Dodgers, both in losing efforts.


Game 1

Wednesday, October 6, 1965 at Metropolitan Stadium in Bloomington, Minnesota

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WP: Mudcat Grant (1–0)  LP: Don Drysdale (0–1)  
HRs:  LAD – Ron Fairly (1)  MIN – Don Mincher (1), Zoilo Versalles (1)

Game 1 was set to be a pitching duel between Dodgers' Don Drysdale and the Twins' Mudcat Grant (21–7, 3.30 ERA on the year). Drysdale was starting because the game fell on Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the year for Jews (the Jewish Day of Atonement). Dodger ace Sandy Koufax, who was Jewish, stated he would not pitch that day.

In the Twins' third inning any thought of a pitchers' duel was put to rest. Going into that inning, it was 1–1. Coming out, it was 7–1. It started with a Frank Quilici double to left field, followed by an error by Jim Lefebvre, allowing the pitcher Grant to reach. Then, shortstop Zoilo Versalles stepped to the plate. He had hit nineteen home runs in the regular season and would later win the AL MVP Award for that year. He crushed a pitch from Drysdale for a three-run home run to make the score, 4–1. However, the Twins' scoring wasn't over. With still no one out, left fielder Sandy Valdespino began things again with a double. After a few outs and baserunners, and a single by Harmon Killebrew, the Twins had two runners again. With three straight singles (Earl Battey, Don Mincher, and Quilici), scoring three unearned runs, the Twins had jumped out to a six-run lead and would never look back, winning the game 8–2.

The Dodgers had gotten their runs on a Ron Fairly homer and a Maury Wills bunt single that scored Lefebvre. Grant received the win while Drysdale took the loss. In the postgame news conference, a reporter jokingly said to Dodger manager Walter Alston, "I bet you wish Drysdale was Jewish too."

Game 2

Thursday, October 7, 1965 at Metropolitan Stadium in Bloomington, Minnesota

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WP: Jim Kaat (1–0)  LP: Sandy Koufax (0–1)  

In Game 2, the Twins again got to a Dodgers ace, this time Sandy Koufax. Also again, the pitcher for Minnesota, this time Jim Kaat shut down the Dodgers offense. This time though, the Twins didn't get their runs until later on. Again though, an error hurt the Dodgers. When Jim Gilliam bobbled the ball at third base, Versalles reached, and ended up scoring on a Tony Oliva double. The Twins went up 2–0 in the series as they prevailed, 5–1 in the game.

Game 3

Saturday, October 9, 1965 at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, California

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WP: Claude Osteen (1–0)  LP: Camilo Pascual (0–1)  

In Game 3, Claude Osteen was the pitcher for the Dodgers. With his team down 2–0 in the series, pressure was put on him to have a good start because no MLB team had ever come back from a 3–0 deficit in a series at that time, and no team did for another 39 years (Red Sox in the 2004 American League Championship Series. He was set to face the Twins' Camilo Pascual who had had a very quality year (9–3, 3.35 ERA). In the first inning, after a double by Versalles, he was caught stealing home to end the inning. In the fourth inning, with the score at 0–0, Johnny Roseboro put two runs on the board for the Dodgers on a two run single. Osteen, who was shutting out the Twins continued to do so inning after inning, while Los Angeles continued to score runs on a Willie Davis single and a Lou Johnson double in the fifth, and then a Wills double in the seventh.

Osteen completed the game by getting backup catcher Jerry Zimmerman to ground into a double play. He allowed only five hits in the contest. He had done what the Dodgers first two aces could not and helped make the series a tight two games to one as the Dodgers won, 4–0.

Game 4

Sunday, October 10, 1965 at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, California

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WP: Don Drysdale (1–1)  LP: Mudcat Grant (1–1)  
HRs:  MIN – Harmon Killebrew (1), Tony Oliva (1)  LAD – Wes Parker (1), Lou Johnson (1)

In Game 4, a rematch of Game 1's pitchers (Drysdale, Grant), this time the Dodgers ace prevailed ending out with game statistics of two runs, both earned on five hits and two walks. He had eleven strike outs in the game, fanning Jimmie Hall and Mincher three times each. The Twins' Grant gave up three runs in the first five innings and then was taken out during the sixth inning, when the Dodgers put three more runs on the board, two credited to Grant, while one went to reliever Al Worthington. After that inning, the Dodgers got one more, on a Johnson home run. The Twins had gotten their two runs on home runs from Killebrew and Oliva. Back in form, Drysdale had evened the series up and the Dodgers won, 7–2.

Game 5

Monday, October 11, 1965 at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, California

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WP: Sandy Koufax (1–1)  LP: Jim Kaat (1–1)  

In Game 5, a mirror image of Game 4, the pitcher for the Twins who had done so well in Game 2, Jim Kaat, did not do as well this time, as the Dodgers won their third straight by shutting out the Twins. Koufax had an excellent start, giving up only four hits, one walk, and striking out ten. After Kaat gave up two runs quickly in the first inning, and then again in the third, Dave Boswell came in to attempt to stop the bleeding. Later, Jim Perry did the same. While both fared better than Kaat, Koufax basically put the game out of reach in the seventh, when he helped himself out with an RBI single to score Fairly. The Dodgers won their third in a row and went up 3–2 in the series. The final score was 7–0.

Game 6

Wednesday, October 13, 1965 at Metropolitan Stadium in Bloomington, Minnesota

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WP: Mudcat Grant (2–1)  LP: Claude Osteen (1–1)  
HRs:  LAD – Ron Fairly (2)  MIN – Bob Allison (1), Mudcat Grant (1)

In Game 6, Osteen did not fare quite as well as he had in his last start. In the fourth inning, Battey reached on an error by Dick Tracewski, yet another fielding blunder made by the Dodgers. This was followed by a Bob Allison two run home run. Meanwhile, Grant for the Twins, was on his game once again. Although Grant pitched very well (1 run, 6 hits, 5 strike outs), he also helped himself, similar to Koufax for L.A. the game before, but this time with a towering three-run home run, after Quilici was intentionally walked to get to Grant. A Fairly home run, his second of the series, put the Dodgers on the board and made the score 5–1, which would end up being the final, as Grant pitched a complete game.

Game 7

Thursday, October 14, 1965 at Metropolitan Stadium in Bloomington, Minnesota

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WP: Sandy Koufax (2–1)  LP: Jim Kaat (1–2)  
HRs:  LAD – Lou Johnson (2)

A series that held many would-be pitching duels featured one final one in Game 7. Dodger manager Walt Alston was torn between starting Drysdale on normal rest or Koufax with only two days' rest. He decided on the left-handed Koufax, figuring if needed he would bring the right-handed Drysdale on in relief, and then go back to his left-handed relief ace Ron Perranoski. The Twins went with Jim Kaat, also starting on two days' rest. Koufax had trouble throwing his curveball for strikes but escaped a couple of early jams, including one in the third inning when Zoilo Versailles had stolen second base with one out but was ruled out due to interference by the batter Joe Nossek. In the fourth inning, Dodger left fielder Lou Johnson told Koufax that he would get him the only run he would need. Johnson promptly stepped to the plate and hit one off the left field foul pole to give the Dodgers a 1–0 lead. Ron Fairly followed with a double and scored on a Wes Parker single.

Knowing Kaat was pitching on two days rest, Minnesota manager Sam Mele had pulled him quickly and brought in reliever Al Worthington. Relievers Worthington, Johnny Klippstein, Jim Merritt, and Jim Perry combined to shut out the Dodgers for the rest of the game. The Twins threatened again in the fifth inning when they had runners on first and second with only one out. Versailles then hit a hard ground ball down the third base line that appeared to be going for a double. This may have ended Koufax's day as Don Drysdale was warming up in the bull pen. But Dodger third baseman Jim Gilliam (who ironically was often replaced that season late in games for defensive reasons) made a diving backhanded stop and stepped on third for a force, then Koufax bore down and got the third out of the inning. Koufax then gave up on throwing his curveball and simply blew the hard hitting Twins away with his fastball. He ended up tossing a three hit shutout, striking out ten in one of the greatest World Series Game 7 pitching performances ever.

Sweet Lou Johnson hit two home runs, including the game winner in the clinching Game 7.

The Twins' loss in Game 7 remains the only World Series game the Twins have lost at home, having later won all their home games in 1987 and 1991.

Series quotes

He did it! Sandy Koufax gets his tenth strikeout, his second consecutive shutout of the Twins; on Monday on a four-hitter, today on a three-hitter. Every pitcher, of course, likes to finish a game with a strikeout. This was, of course, not *a* game. This was the seventh game of the World Series.

Why didn t Sandy Koufax pitch in the World Series?

Jewish fans have long celebrated Sandy Koufax's decision to sit out the first game of the 1965 World Series because it fell on Yom Kippur. But mostly forgotten to history is that the next year, when Koufax stayed away from the ballpark on his scheduled start on the High Holiday, so did the opposing pitcher.

What baseball player refused to play on Yom Kippur?

In 1965, Sandy Koufax refused to pitch in Game One of the World Series because it was Yom Kippur, a Jewish holy day. Instead of Koufax, Don Drysdale pitched for the Los Angeles Dodgers, and he gave up seven runs in 2 2/3 innings.

Who hit a solo home run in Game 7 of the 1965 World Series?

Each pitching on two days' rest, Koufax and the Twins' Jim Kaat went head-to-head in Game 7. Two runs in the third inning on a Lou Johnson solo home run and an RBI single by Wes Parker knocked Kaat out and provided all the offense Koufax would need in going the distance.

What year did Sandy Koufax not play on Yom Kippur?

Also on this day in Dodgers history, Koufax declined to start in Game 1 of the 1965 World Series in observance of Yom Kippur.