Former Yankees star remembers '58 Series

By Don Manley
News‑Press.com, November 6, 2010

Bob Turley now a part-time Marco Island resident

What Bob Turley experienced multiple times during the 1950s and early 1960s is baseball's ultimate encounter.

Turley spent eight years pitching for New York Yankee teams that went to seven World Series, winning four of them.

In fact, it was Turley who won the seventh and final game of the 1958 series.

"Winning the seventh game of the World Series is probably one of the greatest thrills you can have," Turley said.

Known as "Bullet Bob" for his blazing fastball, Turley and his wife, Janet, now split their time between Marco Island and Atlanta.

Turley's baseball career was both solid and long-lived.

Turley won 101 games and lost 85, posting a 3.64 ERA and racking up 1,265 strikeouts while pitching for the St. Louis Browns, Baltimore Orioles, the Yankees, the Los Angeles Angels and the Boston Red Sox from 1951 through 1963.

Both he and the Yankees had banner seasons in 1958.

Turley had his best year, winning 21 games and losing just 7.

Cy Young winner
He was the Cy Young Award winner (then awarded to the best pitcher in both leagues) for 1958 and garnered the Hickok Belt as the year's top professional athlete.

That season was topped off by a World Series victory over the Milwaukee Braves.

Turley was named the series' Most Valuable Player after winning two games, losing one and saving another.

History was made during another World Series, when the underdog Pittsburgh Pirates defeated the Yankees in 1960.

A walk-off home run in the ninth inning of the seventh game gave Pittsburgh the crown.

Turley won one game during that series and was the seventh-game starter.

But Yankees manager Casey Stengel removed him from the game in the third inning.

Yankee pitcher Ralph Terry surrendered the walk-off homer to the Pirates' Bill Mazeroski and in doing so, added credence to one of baseball's verities – home runs happen.

"It's just unfortunate for us it happened to be in the bottom of the ninth, in the seventh game of the World Series," Turley said.

Greatest
Turley played for and against some of the sport's greatest players, including Mickey Mantle, Yogi Berra, Bob Feller, Ted Williams, Jackie Robinson and Stan Musial.

After retiring, Turley spent one year as the pitching coach for the Yankees' archrival, the Boston Red Sox.

He then moved on and found success in the business world.

Turley spent 20 years as senior national sales director of Duluth, Ga.-based Primerica Financial Services before retiring in 2001.

It was former Yankee teammate Bill "Moose" Skowron who is responsible for the Turleys' 25 years as Marco Island residents.

Skowron was selling property for the Mackle Brothers, Marco's founders, and Turley flew down for a visit.

The visit ended with Turley buying a condominium in the Summit House, later building a home here.

The couple eventually became longtime residents of Hideaway Beach and recently moved to the Riverbend Apartments.

Golf is Turley's main hobby when on Marco, but he and his wife find much to enjoy on the island.

"We just like the beach and have a lot of great friends there," Turley, 80, said last week from his suburban Atlanta home. "And it's warm in the wintertime."