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Body of Missing Woman Found in Car Trunk; Dodgers Win in 13th Inning

July 10, 2009 |  8:00 am
July 10, 1959, Times Cover

July 10, 1959: A heatwave sears Southern California as a fire threatens homes in the Linda Vista neighborhood of Pasadena.

July 10, 1959, Killing

More attacks are feared in Vietnam after a bombing kills two American advisors.
An Inglewood police officer putting a ticket on a car that hadn't been moved for two days discovers the partially clothed body of a missing Fresno woman in the trunk. On the front seat is a sweater and a pair of Capri pants, a front tooth and blood.

The victim is identified as Mary Jean Prestridge, 26, the wife of a truck driver and the mother of two children.

Police are looking for a young man seen with Prestridge in Fresno shortly before she vanished. 

Caryl Chessman plans a new legal battle against his death sentence. The court reporter in Chessman's original trial died during the proceedings and court reporters said his notes were illegible. When a reporter was finally found who could transcribe the notes, Chessman discovered that he was an uncle of the prosecutor's wife. Chessman has been in prison since 1948.

July 10, 1959, Sports The Dodgers' games against the Milwaukee Braves are fascinating to study since the teams finished the regular season tied and faced each other in a playoff to decide the 1959 National League champion.

In a typically close game, the Dodgers edged the Braves, 4-3, in 13 innings. The Dodgers moved into second place with the victory, wedged between the first-place Giants and the third-place Braves.

What stood out was how pitching has changed. Milwaukee's Warren Spahn took the loss after pitching 5 2/3 innings in relief of starter Joey Jay.

Spahn was still a top pitcher. He would win 21 games in 1959, the fourth of six consecutive seasons with at least 20 wins. What was he doing coming out of the bullpen?

The Dodgers' relief staff was similarly quiet. Roger Craig was the winning pitcher and he really earned it, pitching the final 11 innings. There's a reference in the story to how few pitches Craig threw, but 11 innings is a lot under any circumstance. Wonder how many pitchers the Dodgers and Braves would use in a similar game today.

And this wasn't a rare case. The next afternoon, Don Drysdale came out of the bullpen to pitch the Dodgers past the Braves in the final game of the series. Drysdale had pitched two scoreless innings the night before, but the game was rained out in the third inning. He was scheduled to pitch the first game of the next series in Cincinnati but was called in when Sandy Koufax struggled. There was no one else? Drysdale pitched six innings.

It's impossible to imagine a current manager juggling such a star pitcher.

-- Keith Thursby