1954 Hall of Fame Game

The Cincinnati Reds squandered a five-run lead in the top of the ninth inning to drop the 13th Hall of Fame Game 10-9 to the New York Yankees at Doubleday Field on Aug. 9, 1954.

The loss narrowed the gap between the American and National Leagues, with the National League holding a 7-6 advantage in the yearly exhibition match.

Mickey Mantle hit a solo home run in the top of the first inning to get the Yankees on the board first while New York starter Ralph Branca held the Reds scoreless for the first two innings.

The Yankees loaded the bases with no one out in their half of the second inning, but Cincinnati starter Bud Podbielan struck out Branca and forced a double play to escape the inning unscathed.

Down 1-0, Cincinnati exploded for five runs on five hits in the bottom of the third. After Chuck Harmon beat out an infield single, Nino Escalera doubled to left field to put two runners in scoring position. Harmon scored on a Ted Kluszewski ground out, and after Jim Greengrass walked, Wally Post hit a ground rule double over the left field fence to score two. He scored when Andy Seminick singled.

The Reds rallied with two outs for four more runs in the next inning to take a commanding 9-1 lead over New York. After loading the bases on two singles and a walk, Roy McMillan walked to force home Kluszewski. Cincinnati reliever Harry Perkowski doubled to score three more runs for the Reds.

In the top of the seventh, New York began its three-inning long comeback when Bob Cerv singled and advanced to second on a Gerry Coleman groundout. He took third when Willy Miranda singled, then scored on Art Schallock’s double.

The Yankees added two more in the eighth when Cerv hit a two-run homer to score Mantle, who had singled earlier in the inning.

In the ninth, New York completed its nine-run comeback by scoring six runs on five hits. The Reds committed two costly errors in the inning, one of which allowed the tying run to score. The Yankees batted around, and Miranda had two hits in the inning to go 4-for-5 on the day.

Cincinnati threatened in the bottom of the ninth. With two outs, a single and two walks loaded the bases for the Reds, but Yankee reliever Marlin Stuart struck out Escalera to end the game.

While Miranda’s four hits led the Yankee offense, both Mantle and Cerv had three hits and scored three runs apiece. Bobby Adams, Harmon and McMillan each had multi-hit days for the Reds.

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