Baseball BeatFebruary 09, 2007
Foto Friday #4
By Rich Lederer

Foto Friday #1 (with Follow-Up)

Foto Friday #2

Foto Friday #3

As in the first three contests, name the date, location, and subject in the photo.

Hint: "__________ blanks Giants" is written on the back of the wire photo below.

Good luck!

Don Drysdale Shuts Out Giants 001.jpg


Number 53 is none other than Don Drysdale.

Drysdale shut out the Giants seven times during his career (1956-1969). Five of them were at home, including one with Brooklyn at Ebbetts Field (8/30/57), three with Los Angeles at the Coliseum (9/2/58, 9/6/60, and 9/4/61), and one with L.A. at Dodger Stadium (5/31/68). The two SHO on the road took place at the Polo Grounds (7/1/57) and Candlestick Park (5/8/65). You can actually search for this information using the highly valuable Baseball-Reference's Player Index (PI) tool, which parses the data supplied by Retrosheet.

OK, so how do we know for sure which of the above shutouts is the right one? There are a few clues: the uniform, the ballpark, the sparse crowd, and the time of day.

With respect to the uniform, Drysdale is wearing home white flannels. In case you couldn't tell if the uni was white or gray, the road jerseys read "Dodgers" on the front through 1958 (the first year of playing in the L.A. Coliseum) but with no numbers on the front. The road jerseys displayed "Los Angeles" on the front beginning in 1959 and with the red numbers on the front.

The location is the Los Angeles Coliseum. The background with the high retaining wall and bench seating are the two keys here.

The game was clearly played in the daytime as evidenced by the shadows as well as the sunshades worn by many spectators in the stands. Of the three shutouts Drysdale had vs. the Giants at the Coliseum, only one was during the day and that date was September 6, 1960.

As my Dad noted in his article in the Long Beach Independent, Press-Telegram the following day, "Only 9,753 fans, the smallest home audience since Aug. 27, 1958, watched the Dodgers pull four games in front of the fifth place Giants." Drysdale's two other SHO at the Coliseum vs. the Giants were attended by 22,681 in the 1958 contest and 32,109 in the 1961 tilt.

Other facts gathered from Dad's account of the game:

  • Drysdale's win was his seventh in a row and the fourth shutout of the season.
  • Big D hit a 400-foot, two-run triple in the third when the Dodgers scored five runs while batting around the lineup.
  • Willie Mays made a rare error, dropping a fly ball near the fence in center field off the bat of Wally Moon, opening the door to three unearned runs during that third inning.
  • Maury Wills, who stole his 41st base of the season, was the first National Leaguer to swipe more than 40 bases since Kiki Cuyler stole 43 as a member of the 1929 Chicago Cubs.
  • The Dodgers and Giants played each other six straight: the first three at Candlestick and the final three at the Coliseum, including a twi-night doubleheader on Labor Day Monday and a matinee on Tuesday (which explains the poor attendance in the game in question).

  • Comments

    Well I'm at a serious disadvantage being born well after the events depicted in these pictures, and not even being a Dodgers fan on top of that (shame on me, I know), but that looks like a #53 to me, which would be Don Drysdale.

    Retrosheet only lists 14 of his 49 career shutouts on one easy-to-look-at page, so there are lots of other possibilities, but 3 of those 14 come against the Giants:

    9/4/61 at LA Memorial Coliseum
    8/30/57 at Ebbets Field
    5/8/65 at Candlestick Park

    Unless that's actually a #58, in which case I have no ideas.

    Good luck all.

    July 1/57 Don Drysdale shuts out NY Giants at the Polo Grounds NY

    Game Played on Monday, July 1, 1957 at Polo Grounds


    Thats My guess

    are you guys sure that's not a home uniform?

    Don Drysdale, May 8, 1965, Candlestick park.

    Tuesday, September 6, 1960 - LA Memorial Coliseum - Don Drysdale - That day, he pitched a complete game shutout against the San Francicso Giants. Three hints give this away. First, the jersey color is white, which were the Dodgers home colors. Second, the game appears to be played during the day. Finally, the jersey # is 53, which is obviously the great Drysdale.

    Definitely September 6, 1960. Clues: Twin-D is wearing the home uni with the Dodgers script instead of the Los Angeles script of their away unis of that era. It's a day game and the grandstand wall of the LA Memorial Coliseum was considerably highly than Dodger Stadium's. The seating is also of the bleacher type. The Coliseum was a former Olympic and football venue that did not have box seating. The scant attendance of this game (a mere 9,753) is reflected by the sparseness of the crowd.

    Brett and Larry nailed it. Congratulations.

    An update describing all the details has been added to the post below the photo.

    Thanks everyone. I hoped you enjoyed it.