It was the year of the St. Louis Cardinals.
After surging from behind to win the National League pennant, the Cards faced the American League champion New York Yankees in the 1964 World Series.
The Cardinals prevailed in seven games. They beat the Yankees 7-5 in the deciding game Oct. 15, 1964, at Busch Stadium.
St. Louis won their seventh world championship, while the Yankees, who had appeared in 14 of 16 World Series since 1949, did not play in the Series again until 1976.
The Series featured the brother-against-brother matchup of Ken Boyer of the Cardinals and Clete Boyer of the Yankees, both of whom started at third base for their respective teams.
In game seven, Bob Gibson pitched his third start in this Series on two days rest. He was tired but deliberately worked fast to hide his fatigue from the Yankees. In the bottom of the fourth the Cardinals scored three times. The Yankees botched a double play when Phil Linz’s throw to first went wide, and Bill White scored. Tim McCarver then scored from third on a double steal. Yankees reliever Al Downing came in for the fifth after Mel Stottlemyre developed shoulder stiffness, and Lou Brock hit his first pitch for a home run. Two more runs made it 6-0.
Mickey Mantle cut the gap in half with a three-run homer in the sixth, adding to his own record for total home runs in the World Series with three. Ken Boyer responded with a home run in the seventh that pushed the lead to 7-3. Bobby Richardson broke a World Series hit record in the seventh with his 13th hit, later tied by Brock in 1968 and Marty Barrett in 1986. Gibson continued to tire, but manager Johnny Keane left him in. Ken Boyer’s brother Clete hit a home run for New York with one out in the ninth, making the score 7-4. Pinch-hitter Johnny Blanchard struck out. Linz homered, pulling New York to within two, 7–5, but the next batter, Richardson, popped up to second baseman Dal Maxvill and the Cardinals won the Series.
Gibson won the Series MVP award for his 2-1 record, 3.00 earned run average, and 27 innings pitched. Jim Bouton, pitching for the Yankees, started two games and won them both, compiling a 1.56 Series ERA. Six years later, he would write the classic baseball memoir, Ball Four. After the series, the Yankees fired manager Yogi Berra and replaced him with the Cardinal manager, Keane, who quit St. Louis due to his differences with Cardinal owner Gussie Busch. Berra would go on to join the New York Mets, the following season and be reunited with Casey Stengel as a player/coach.
The 1964 Cardinals were the only team between 1962 and 1972 to win the World Series when owning home-field advantage.