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The Dodgers beat the Yankees in the 1955 World Series

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

Thursday, October 1, 2015, 9:30 AM

The electric tension snaps, and Hoak (left), Podres and Campy converge to whoop up the 2-0 win.Frank Hurley /New York Daily News

(Originally published by the Daily News on October 5, 1955. This story was written by Joe Trimble.)

They wont make Oct. 4 a red-letter day in Brooklyn. They’ll print it in letters of gold form now on because it’s only the greatest date in the history of the batter borough-the day those darling Dodgers finally won the World Series. At exactly 3:45 yesterday afternoon at the Stadium, the Brooks got the third out of a 2-0 victory over the Yankees in the seventh and deciding game.

And when they print calendars over there, they won’t bother with Marylin Monroe’s picture. Not good enough. They’ll have pucker-faced Johnny Podres, the most heroic pitcher in Dodgertown since Dazzy Vance and the only Brooklyn thrower ever to win two games in a Series. It was Podres’ brilliant, crushing pitching which ruined the AL champions, sending them down to their fifth-Series loss in 21.

And who do you suppose knocked in both Brook runs? No one else but Gil Hodges, the battling flop of the ’52 Series.

There were many memorable events bright and tragic on this earth on past fourths of October, but the hallowed pages of history must display yesterday’s momentous triumph above them all.

What kind of a date has is been? Well, on Oct. 4, 1861, the Union forces massed to form the Army of the Potomac; in 1864, the Erie Railroad opened (probably not on time); in 1940, Hitler and Mussolini met at the Brenner Pass and, in 1944, the U.S. Army broke through the German West Wall, Al Smith, the beloved Governor of New York and Presidential Candidate, also died on the latter date.

As far as Brooklyn is concerned, nothing ever could match the events of yesterday, when all the years of frustration and defeat were wiped out in one blazing afternoon. It was the 49th Dodger Series game in eight appearances, and the tightest, most tense and thrilling of them all.

At the finish, when Pee Wee Reese sure-handedly threw out Elston Howard, the big park in the Bronx exploded with Human emotion as the entire Dodger team raced out on the field and danced and drooled in delight around Podres.

While the 62,465 customers were cheering the new champs, the proud Yankees were filing slowly into the losing dressing room; a unique experience for them. Of all, only coaches Frank Crosetti and Bill Dickey and shortstop Phil Rizzuto had ever experienced a loss before. They had it but once, when the cardinals smeared the Yankees four in a rom after losing the 1942 opener.

The Dodgers are in paradise, finally succeeding after numerous Brooklyn teams had tried for decades. The 1916 Flatbushers were knocked off by the Red Sox and the 1920 crew by Cleveland. Then the drought set in and it wasn’t until 1941 that a pennant waved alongside the tree that grew in Brooklyn. But that year they had to play the Yankees, and Mickey Owen muffed a third strike and everything went black in the borough.

Four times since then, they won the NL flag only to find those merciless Yankees on the other side of the field-and the Brooks on the losing end of the payoff. They went down in 1947 in seven games, in 1949 it was five in ’52 seven again and six in ’53.

So the Brooks also went home with their heads hanging and the taunt of “Wait ’til next year!” shattering their eardrums. Now that’s over. Next year came on Oct. 4 this time.

This not alone was the greatest day in Brooklyn’s history. It also brought to a wondrous climax the richest World Series ever. Due to increased admission prices and the maximum number of games, the $ 2,337,515.34 taken in at the box office is an all-time high.

Numerous records were set, but the one the Brooklyn players will remember most was their achievement in winning four of the last five games after dropping the first two. This kind of comeback had never happened in a seven-game Series before.

To do it, they had to get a second superior pitching job from the 23-year-old Podres, their little lefthander, and also they had to whip the Yankee pitcher who had given them the most trouble, 35-year-old Tommy Byrne. Although they got the three hits off the graying southpaw before an error helped cause his removal in the sixth, they put the in exactly the right places.

Roy Campanella, who had gone hitless in 12 times up in the stadium the Series and had a lifetime average of .070 in the big park, crashed a double to left after one out in the fourth. Duke Snider, who went all the way on his bad knee, fanned just before Campy’s hit. Carl Furillo followed with a slow grounder, Rizzuto making a fine play to get him at first as Campy reached third. Gil Godges, with a count of one ball and two strikes, swung at an inside curve. He didn’t get much wood on the ball but it went safely to left field and the Brooks were ahead.

The other safety was lead-off single in the sixth by Reese, the veteran whose vitory appetite was greatest because he had been on the losing side against the Yankees five times. This shortstop lined a hit to left-center and was deprived a double when Bob Cerv made a fine retrieve. Reese eventually scored the insurance run after Bob Grim had taken the mound.

atx;Daily News

Brooklyn Dodgers players celebrate as New York Yankees’ Elston Howard is retired for the last out in the Dodgers’ victory over the New York Yankees in the seventh and deciding game of the World Series.

New York Yankee fans leap to their feet to acclaim Skowron's homer. But the youngster with the slightly long face in the rear seems to be registering a minority opinion. Cheers came easy to Yank fans after past 3 days.Daily News, New York Daily News

New York Yankee fans leap to their feet to acclaim Skowron’s homer. But the youngster with the slightly long face in the rear seems to be registering a minority opinion. Cheers came easy to Yank fans after past 3 days.

Yankees catcher Yogi Berra has a congratulatory pat for winning pitcher Johnny Podres in Dodgers clubhouse during World Series. Podres pitched courageously, especially in eighth inning when he retired Yogi on pop fly and Bauer on strikes with runners on first and third.New York Daily News

Yankees catcher Yogi Berra has a congratulatory pat for winning pitcher Johnny Podres in Dodgers clubhouse during World Series. Podres pitched courageously, especially in eighth inning when he retired Yogi on pop fly and Bauer on strikes with runners on first and third.

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But before the Brooks opened the thin gap, they nearly gave the Yankees a run. Yogi Berra opened the bottom of the fourth with lazy fly to center, a bit to Snider’s right. Junior Gilliam came over from the left, invaded the Duke’s realm, and then they went into Alphonse-Gaston act. The ball tipped off Snider’s glove as he made a last-second grab after realizing Gilliam was letting him take it. That fluke double gave Berra the distinction of being the ninth man ever to hit safely in ever game of a full Length Series. The catcher made 10 hits, topping the batters on both sides.

The Yankee fans screamed for blood after the break. It’s an old axiom that you can’t make a mistake against the Bombers. They break through the opening and kill you. But Podres wouldn’t buckle. He got the next three batters, all strong rightly sluggers. Hank Bauer hit a fly to Furillo, Bill Skowron grounded to Don Zimmer and Cerv popped to Reese in short left. The Dodgers fans screamed: “Pee Wee! Pee Wee!” as he went out and Gilliam came in and the Dodger captain caught it.

The Yankee supporters applauded Gilliam when he came up to bat in the fifth, one guy screaming: “He’s the best man we’ve [email protected]” Junior didn’t get a chance to flub anything else in the outfield because he was moved in to second base after the Brooks got their run in the sixth.

After Reese hit, Snider bunted deftly along the third-base line. Byrne fielded it and threw accurately to first base. Skowron stepped forward to meet the ball taking his foot off the bag and forcing himself to make a tag play. He swiped at the Dodger runner’s back and the ball flew out of his glove for an error.

Walter Alston, winning a World Series in his first try, sensible ordered Campy to sacrifice and he did. Byrne handled this bunt, too. It seemed that the pitcher had a force possibility on Reese at third, Pee Wee not yet having gone into a belly-whop slide. But Byrne thought otherwise and let Reese make it, tossing to first for the out. Casey Stengel ordered an intentional pass to Furillo and then called in Grim, his relief ace who had saved the first game but was battered as starter in the fifth.

Grim’s first batter was Hodges, a tough man with bases filled. Gil took a strike and then drove a long sacrifice fly to center, Reese scoring. Grim walked Hoak, refilling the lanes, but got George Shuba, a pinch-hitter for Zimmer, on a third-out grounder.

Again the sight of a Dodger run on the scoreboard brought a Yankee threat in the bottom of the inning. This developed into a real big one and also produced the greatest fielding play of the Series-a catch by Sandy Amoros, an outfielder who was held lightly as a prospective regular in the spring because of his shabby fielding and thowing.

Podres, who passed only two hit a wild streak and walked Billy Martin on four straight pitches. Alston came out to gibe the youngster a chance to get his breath. With victory so close, he didn’t want the Kid to get hysterical. Johnny threw two bad pitches to McDougald, then got one over, which Gil bunted perfectly for a single, Martin taking second.

Sandy Amoros goes racing into left field corner to make a scintillating, one-hand grab of Yogi Berra's bid for an extra base hit in the sixth inning with two runners on base and nobody out.Frank Hurley /New York Daily News

Sandy Amoros goes racing into left field corner to make a scintillating, one-hand grab of Yogi Berra’s bid for an extra base hit in the sixth inning with two runners on base and nobody out.

Exported.;AP Photo

Dodgers left fielder Sandy Amoros reaches out to catch a hit by Yankee catcher Yogi Berra in the sixth inning of the last game of the 1955 World Series.

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  • Sandy Amoros goes racing into left field corner to make a scintillating, one-hand grab of Yogi Berra's bid for an extra base hit in the sixth inning with two runners on base and nobody out. Ump John Flaherty is right there to make the call. Sandy, who had just gone into the game, said, "I guess I never made a better catch." But that didn't end it. Amoros made a quick recovery, fired to Pee Wee Reese and the shortstop's throw to Gil Hodges, already leaving the bag, retired the sliding Gil McDougald trying to return to first for a big double play. Martin remained on second and died there when Bauer grounded out.
  • Exported.;

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Then came the key play, the one which probably meant the title. Stengel, disdaining a bunt with Berra up, had Yogi swing away. Podres pitched outside and Berra stroked a long, high fly into the left field corner. Amoros, playing him far over toward center, had to run over 100 feet. The ball stayed up a long time, being held by the wind, and Sandy just reached it, gloving it with is right mitt in fair territory.

Martin and McDougald, not believing a catch possible, were on their horses. Billy suddenly reversed himself when almost to third and Gil was past second base before he found out the ball had been held. Amoros gracefully whirled and fired to Reese, who went into short left for the throw. Pee Wee then made another perfect throw to Hodges, just getting McDougald as he slid back. That was the 12th Brooklyn DP, a new Series record.

Bauer then hit a hopper to short and Reese couldn’t get it out of his glove for a frantic portion of a second. When he did, he had to throw a blazer and it just beat the runner, according to first base umpire Frank Dascoli.

Grim was lifted for a pinch-hitter in the seventh, after Howard singled. There were two out, so Stengel sent up his hobbled husky, Mickey Mantle. Podres fooled the Mick with a change-up, Mantal skying the ball to short left where Reese took it, with the Dodger fans again screaming his name.

Podres had a rough time in the eight, when the Yankees got their second runner to third base. Rizzuto led off with a single to left but Martin flied to Furillo, who came in fast for the looper. McDougald then hit a short grounder, which bad-hopped off the left arm of Don Hoak, playing third because Jackie Robinson had a sore Achilles tendon in his right foot. Rizzuto got to third as the fluke hit went into left.

The tension was terrific, with Berra and Bauser coming up. Podres really had it, getting Berra to cut under one of his slow curves. The ball went to Furillo in short right and Carl funned it home, holding The Scooter on third. Then the youngster faced his supreme test in Bauer, who hits lefthanders very well. He took Hank to 2-2 with curves and slow-up pitches, then flung himself off the mound by putting all he could on a shoulder-high fastball which Bauer swung at and missed.

As the Yanks came up, Dodger fans stayed seated. Yankee adherents shouted for a rally.

Skowron cracked a sizzler back at Podres, the hard grounder sticking in his glove web. He was unable to get it out for second or so, and started to run towards first base to make the putout that way. But he was able to pry it loose and make an underhand toss to Hodges. Cerv then hit a high fly, which Amoros took in short left and the Dodgers were one out away from promised land.

Podres went to 2-2 on Howard and then made him swing off stride at the change-up. Reese took one happy step towards the grounder, aimed it for Hodges and, though the toss was a bit low, Gil kept his foot on the base and the Dodgers had finally arrived in paradise.

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