V is for Victory (for One Team)

Game four of the World Series will feature a match-up of Ryan Vogelsong and Jason Vargas.  It will mark the 39th World Series game with starting pitchers with matching first letters in their last names.  This will be the first World Series contest where both starters have last names beginning with the letter “V”.

The first occurrence of this “matching first letter of last name” phenomena happened in game four of 1920, as the Dodgers Leon Cadore opposed the Indians Stan Coveleski. Jim Kaat faced off against Sandy Koufax three times, the most any pair have met, in the 1965 Series. The last such instance was game five of 2010, when Tim Lincecum faced off against Cliff Lee.

Here is the list of the 38 previous match-ups, in alphabetical order.  The home/road split is 19-19, while the team starting the pitcher alphabetically first holds a 20-18 lead:

YEAR DATE G# VIS LG SCORE HOME LG SCORE LETTER VIS STARTER HOME STARTER
1942 10/01 2 NYA AL 3 SLN NL 4 B Tiny Bonham Johnny Beazley
1943 10/07 3 SLN NL 2 NYA AL 6 B Al Brazle Hank Borowy
1948 10/08 3 BSN NL 0 CLE AL 2 B Vern Bickford Gene Bearden
1949 10/07 3 NYA AL 4 BRO NL 3 B Tommy Byrne Ralph Branca
1967 10/07 3 BOS AL 2 SLN NL 5 B Gary Bell Nelson Briles
1920 10/09 4 BRO NL 1 CLE AL 5 C Leon Cadore Stan Coveleski
1935 10/05 4 DET AL 2 CHN NL 1 C General Crowder Tex Carleton
1943 10/11 5 NYA AL 2 SLN NL 0 C Spud Chandler Mort Cooper
2005 10/22 1 HOU NL 3 CHA AL 5 C Roger Clemens Jose Contreras
1959 10/04 3 CHA AL 1 LAN NL 3 D Dick Donovan Don Drysdale
1983 10/15 4 BAL AL 5 PHI NL 4 D Storm Davis John Denny
1960 10/12 6 NYA AL 12 PIT NL 0 F Whitey Ford Bob Friend
1930 10/01 1 SLN NL 2 PHA AL 5 G Burleigh Grimes Lefty Grove
1931 10/05 3 SLN NL 5 PHA AL 2 G Burleigh Grimes Lefty Grove
1954 10/01 3 NY1 NL 6 CLE AL 2 G Ruben Gomez Mike Garcia
1926 10/10 7 SLN NL 3 NYA AL 2 H Jesse Haines Waite Hoyt
1931 10/07 5 SLN NL 5 PHA AL 1 H Bill Hallahan Waite Hoyt
1937 10/09 4 NYA AL 3 NY1 NL 7 H Bump Hadley Carl Hubbell
1977 10/12 2 LAN NL 6 NYA AL 1 H Burt Hooton Catfish Hunter
1978 10/11 2 NYA AL 3 LAN NL 4 H Catfish Hunter Burt Hooton
1997 10/18 1 CLE AL 4 FLO NL 7 H Orel Hershiser Livan Hernandez
1997 10/23 5 FLO NL 8 CLE AL 7 H Livan Hernandez Orel Hershiser
1965 10/07 2 LAN NL 1 MIN AL 5 K Sandy Koufax Jim Kaat
1965 10/11 5 MIN AL 0 LAN NL 7 K Jim Kaat Sandy Koufax
1965 10/14 7 LAN NL 2 MIN AL 0 K Sandy Koufax Jim Kaat
1954 10/02 4 NY1 NL 7 CLE AL 4 L Don Liddle Bob Lemon
2010 10/27 1 TEX AL 7 SFN NL 11 L Cliff Lee Tim Lincecum
2010 11/01 5 SFN NL 3 TEX AL 1 L Tim Lincecum Cliff Lee
1922 10/07 4 NY1 NL 4 NYA AL 3 M Hugh McQuillan Carl Mays
1924 10/06 3 WS1 AL 4 NY1 NL 6 M Firpo Marberry Hugh McQuillan
1949 10/06 2 BRO NL 1 NYA AL 0 R Preacher Roe Vic Raschi
1950 10/05 2 NYA AL 2 PHI NL 1 R Allie Reynolds Robin Roberts
1923 10/13 4 NYA AL 8 NY1 NL 4 S Bob Shawkey Jack Scott
1957 10/06 4 NYA AL 5 MLN NL 7 S Tom Sturdivant Warren Spahn
1982 10/13 2 MIL AL 4 SLN NL 5 S Don Sutton John Stuper
1982 10/19 6 MIL AL 1 SLN NL 13 S Don Sutton John Stuper
1968 10/05 3 SLN NL 7 DET AL 3 W Ray Washburn Earl Wilson
2004 10/23 1 SLN NL 9 BOS AL 11 W Woody Williams Tim Wakefield
My thanks to Doug Kern for research help with this.
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