• Kurtis Tatkenhorst

July 2- Juan Marichal and Warren Spahn Pitching Duel

1963- On this day in Sports History, Juan Marichal and Warren Spahn had one of the best pitching duels in Major League Baseball history. Marichal pitched for the San Francisco Giants against Spahn’s Milwaukee Braves. Each pitcher did not give up a run for 15 innings until Willie Mays hit a home run in the bottom of the 16th inning to win the game for the Giants 1-0. With both pitchers refusing to come out of the game, it turned into one of the best pitching duels baseball will ever see.

Juan Marichal (National Baseball Hall of Fame Library)

On July 2, 1963, the San Francisco Giants hosted the Milwaukee Braves in a game that was sure to be a pitchers duel. Heading into the game, Spahn had a 11-3 record while Marichal was 12-3. Although Spahn (42) was 17 years older than Marichal (25), they both were future Hall-of-Famers who were among the best pitchers in the league and used an exaggerated leg kick to do so.

The game began with the pitchers matching each other inning after inning with neither giving up a run for 15 innings. The pitching counts climbed and the innings went by as both pitchers refused to give up a run or come out of the game. Finally, in the bottom of the 16th inning, Willie Mays hit a solo home run on Spahn to win the game for the Giants 1-0.

Warren Spahn (Associated Press)

Juan Marichal threw 227 pitches to get the win for the Giants. He allowed just 8 hits while striking out 10 as he pitched 16 scoreless innings. Warren Spahn pitched almost just as well as he threw 201 pitches in the loss for the Braves. He threw 15 ⅓ scoreless innings before allowing a home run. Even after throwing so many pitches, both pitchers made their next scheduled start.


The two pitchers even faced some great batters in their historic pitching duel. There were five future Hall of Famers in the batting line up between the two teams. The Braves had Hank Aaron and Eddie Mathews while the Giants had Orlando Cepeda, Willie Mays, and Willie McCovey. Both Juan Marichal and Warren Spahn would also be future Hall-of-Famers as two of the best pitchers in MLB history. Spahn was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1973 and Marichal was inducted in 1982. In all, there were 7 Hall-of-Famers who played in the game that became one of the best pitching duels in MLB history.



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Sources:

Brown, Daniel. “Marichal-Spahn Epic Duel Was 50 Years Ago.” The Mercury News, The Mercury News, 13 Aug. 2016

Kaplan, Jim. “Hall of Fame Matchup.” Baseball Hall of Fame

Milwaukee Braves vs San Francisco Giants July 2, 1963 Box Score. Baseball Almanac


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