Last week, Major League Baseball celebrated the 50th anniversary of the famous 16-inning pitchers’ duel at Candlestick Park between the Milwaukee Braves’ Warren Spahn and the Giants’ Juan Marichal. The game ended when Willie Mays belted a home run and two young brothers came up with what is now a valuable piece of baseball history.
Jim Crilly and his brother Mike responded to a recent story in the San Jose Mercury-News about the July 2, 1963 classic by telling their story. They say the ball has been in their family since the night Mays deposited it in the cheap seats.
At the time, they weren’t thinking it was a valuable heirloom; it was a Willie Mays home run ball and that was enough to treasure.
One was in eighth grade; the other a high school freshman. They took a bus to the ‘Stick, shivering in the cold night air of a 0-0 battle between two future Hall of Famers.
It may be tough to prove without video, but they say they have vivid recollections of the night and have since had it signed by Spahn (now deceased), Marichal and Orlando Cepeda. They’ve even got the next day’s paper, which the family showed off as well. The ball is in the possession of Jim’s son who lives in southern California, according to this story in the Mercury-News.
Read the story, watch the interviews..
....and you can also buy a book about the Spahn-Marichal game on Amazon.com,