Tag Archives: Brooklyn Dodgers

October 3, 1951 A Day Brooklyn Dodgers Fans Would Love To Forget

The Moment Bobby Thomson Hit His “Shot Heard Round The World”

Bobby Thomson connects, Oct. 3, 1951, catcher is Rube Walker, umpire is Lou Jorda photo: Wide World

Bobby Thomson connects, Oct. 3, 1951, catcher is Rube Walker, umpire is Lou Jorda photo: Wide World

This article is titled “A Day Brooklyn Dodgers Fans Would Love To Forget” but in actuality Brooklyn Dodgers fans are dwindling in number.

You’d have to be at least 60 years old to have any memory of “dem bums” playing at that great ballpark known as Ebbets Field. The team moved to Los Angeles in 1958, breaking everyone in Brooklyn’s hearts.

The day the Dodgers left Brooklyn for smoggy L.A. was a horrible moment, but no moment was as painful for Dodgers fans as the Giants bottom of the ninth inning comeback of a best two out of three playoff series with the Dodgers.

On Wednesday October 3, 1951 one of the most memorable events in all of baseball history occurred. A seen in the photo above, Dodgers fans were devastated when the New York Giants third baseman Bobby Thomson hit a one out, three run home run to left field off of Dodgers pitcher Ralph Branca, to give the Giants a 5-4 miracle win at the Polo Grounds and propel them into the World Series against the Yankees. Continue reading

Joe Collins Second Home Run In Game 1 Of The 1955 World Series

Yankees Win Game 1, But Brooklyn Wins Their Only World Series

Duke Snider Joe Collins home run WS 9 28 1955

The World Series began on September 28, 1955. Yes, they actually used to begin the “fall classic” right after fall began. Yankee first baseman Joe Collins slugged his second home run of the game, a two run shot in the bottom of the sixth, to put the Yankees up 6-3 in a game they would go on to win 6-5. The outfielder in the photograph leaping in vain for the baseball is Dodger centerfielder Duke Snider.

This was also the game where Jackie Robinson stole home, which to this day is still disputed by Yankees catcher Yogi Berra who insists Robinson was out.

As covered previously by stuffnobodycaresabout, this World Series would be the Brooklyn Dodgers moment of glory as they ended up beating the Yankees in seven games.

The Day Brooklyn Will Never Forget – October 4, 1955 The Brooklyn Dodgers Become World Champions

Johnny Podres Shuts Out The Yankees to Win Game 7 of The 1955 World Series

Cover Daily News Oct 5 1955

The Brooklyn Dodgers had appeared in seven World Series previous to 1955. They had lost all of them. But on Tuesday, October 4, 1955, a magical afternoon (yes the World Series was always played in the daytime until 1971) occurred at Yankee Stadium in front of 62,485 fans. Amazingly the game was not sold out.

Johnny Podres, after winning game three of the World Series, was matched up in game seven against Yankee veteran Tommy Byrne. An interesting side note: Byrne rode the IND subway from 59th Street to Yankee Stadium unrecognized by anyone. Podres ended up pitching the game of his life – an eight hit, 2-0 shutout. The Dodgers had finally vanquished the Yankees who had beaten them in five previous World Series.

The Dodgers played without Jackie Robinson who was nursing a strained Achilles tendon. And the Yankees were equally handicapped without Mickey Mantle, who, even though he pinch hit in this game, missed most of the Series with a torn leg muscle. Other Yankees and Dodgers stars like Duke Snider and Hank Bauer played despite being injured.

First pitch of Game 7, 1955 World Series Yankee Stadium. Tommy Byrne throws a strike past Jim Gilliam

The Dodgers scored one run in the fourth when Roy Campanella doubled and a single by Gil Hodges drove him home. The Dodgers added a run in the sixth with Hodges hitting a sacrifice fly to drive in Pee Wee Reese.

Sandy Amoros Catch 10 4 55

The acknowledged defensive play of the game was made by Dodgers left fielder Sandy Amoros.

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1955 World Series The Brooklyn Dodgers Win Game 3

Johnny Podres, The Birthday Boy, Wins A Critical Game 3

This news photograph’s caption reads as follows:

NEW YORK; SEPT. 30 — VICTORY ON HIS BIRTHDAY

Johnny Podres kicks, fires and follows through — with eyes on ground — during third World Series game against New York Yankees at Ebbets Field in Brooklyn today. Johnny celebrated his 23rd birthday with an 8-3 victory over the American League champs. Slender lefty thus put Dodgers back into contention for Series. (AP wirephoto)

The New York Yankees looked like they were on their way to beating their crosstown rivals the Brooklyn Dodgers once again in another World Series. The Yankees had taken the first two games of the 1955 World Series by scores of 6-5 and 4-2.

But then the Dodgers started to turn the tide with an 8-3 win in game three. The complete game victory that Johnny Podres threw was just the beginning of what would end up being an incredible World Series for him. That story in a later post.

The Dodgers would finally defeat the Yankees in seven games, and send long-suffering Brooklyn fans into pandemonium by winning their only world championship.

Billy Martin, Mickey Mantle Prepare For The 1952 World Series

Martin, Mantle Prepare Series Strategy

60 years ago, the World Series started on the first day of October. This year the World Series will begin October 24!

Here is another one of these great baseball news photographs. This one is from UPI dated September 30 1952. The caption reads:

New York: New York Yankee Second Baseman Billy Martin (left), who, because of injuries caused during the recent season has caused manager Casey Stengel to makeup an emergency line-up in case he, Gene Woodling and Gil McDougald could not play in the World Series against the Brooklyn Dodgers, shows outfielder Mickey Mantle the bat he hopes to make talk business against the NL pennant winners. Despite Stengel’s emergency measures, however, Martin, along with McDougald and Woodling said, Sept. 30, that they were fit and ready to go.  The series opens Oct. 1 in Ebbets Field, Brooklyn.

The Yankees would go on to win their fourth consecutive World Series championship, beating the Dodgers four games to three.

Joe DiMaggio’s Comeback 1949

The Yankee Clipper Gets Ready To Return To Play – June 21, 1949

Many who saw Joe DiMaggio play say he was the greatest all-around ballplayer who ever lived. Everything he did seemed effortless. Of course this is a huge exaggeration. Everything DiMaggio did so well required practice, patience and hard work.

When DiMaggio missed the first three months of the 1949 baseball season with a painful heel injury, many fans, players and sportswriters thought he might never play again.

So it was hush-hush when DiMaggio went to an empty Yankee Stadium to test out his heel in a full workout on June 21, 1949.

Things went well and DiMaggio returned to the Yankee line-up on June 28, 1949 at Fenway Park against the Red Sox to start a three game series. He hit a homerun in the first game which the Yankees won by a score of 5-4. The Yankees swept the series and when DiMaggio left Boston, he had hit four homeruns and driven in nine runs.

The impact of his return cannot be understated. In the 76 games DiMaggio played for the remainder of the year, he batted .346, hit 14 homeruns and drove in 67 runs. His on base percentage was the highest of his career, .459. In 329 plate appearances he struck out only 18 times.

The Yankees ended up edging the Red Sox by one game in the final season standings, propelling the Yankees into the World Series against the Brooklyn Dodgers.

DiMaggio would go on to have the worst World Series performance in his storied career, batting just .111. But the Yankees still defeated the Dodgers four games to one, starting their stretch of winning five World Championships in a row.

Walter Alston Managing

Dodgers Manager Goes Through Various Emotions – 1955

2012 marks the 50th anniversary of the Los Angeles Dodgers playing at Dodgers Stadium. For the first fifteen of those years at Chavez Ravine, the manager was Walter Alston who was most notably retained by the Dodgers management on a series of one year contracts throughout his career.

Alston started managing the Dodgers in 1954 when they were still in Brooklyn and retired after the 1976 season at the age of  64. During that time Alston won seven NL pennants and four world championships. 

This news composite photograph shows Alston managing on June 16, 1955 in Brooklyn against the Cincinnati Reds. Alston shouldn’t have worried so much. After the Reds tied the game 4-4 in the top of the ninth, the Dodgers won the game 5-4 in the bottom of the 9th on a Duke Snider solo homerun, his second homer of the game. Clem Labine picked up his 9th win and the attendance was 6,655.

The Brooklyn Dodgers won only one World Series while in Brooklyn.  1955 would see Alston and the Dodgers defeat the hated New York Yankees in seven thrilling World Series games, sending all of Brooklyn into a delirious state of happiness.

Walter Alston was inducted to the Baseball Hall-of Fame in 1983 and died in 1984 at the age of 72.

Jackie Robinson Packs Up And Retires

A Classy Man Calls It A Career – January 7, 1957

55 Years Later- Remembering The December 13, 1956 Trade That Shocked New York

In this January 7, 1957 photograph Jackie Robinson packs up the contents of his locker from Ebbets Field, his home for his entire ten year major league career.

After the 1956 season Jackie Robinson’s legs were gone. He was no longer the player he once was and he knew it. He batted a respectable .275 with ten homers.  But rather than continue playing with eroding skills, Robinson would retire at the age of 37.

One problem: except for his family and future non-baseball employer, Robinson didn’t tell anyone of his decision.

The Trade

The Dodgers shocked everyone including Robinson, with a December 13, 1956 trade to the New York Giants for Dick Littlefield and $35,000 for the Dodger legend.  After the trade announcement, fans of the Dodgers were outraged. Brooklynites believed that Robinson would retire rather than play for the hated crosstown rival Giants. But they did not know Robinson had already decided before the trade that he was retiring.

All Robinson would publicly say was he would “inform the Giants by January 14, if he would play in 1957.”

The reason Robinson couldn’t announce his retirement was because he had signed a contract to write an exclusive article for Look magazine, about his retirement in December which would not hit the newsstands until January 8.

Announcing his retirement on January 7, many Dodger fans were happy Robinson would not be playing for the Giants.  Robinson said he had decided to take a position with Chock full O’Nuts as Vice President of personnel rather than play baseball.

Whether Robinson would have played for the Giants had he not retired is open to speculation.

click to read Robinson’s letter

Robinson’s January 14, 1957 letter to Giants owner Horace Stoneham takes the high road. Robinson says he appreciates being offered the chance to play for the Giants, but he has “decided to devote his full time to business opportunities.”

Vintage Photos – Stealing Home

or Jackie Robinson Makes Stealing Home Look Easy

One of the most famous film highlights of a baseball game is from September 28, Game 1 of the 1955 World Series where the Brooklyn Dodgers star Jackie Robinson stole home against the New York Yankees. The photograph above captures the bang-bang action. The play was incredibly close and you could look at the film 100 times and still not be sure of the outcome. Robinson was called safe by umpire Bill Summers. To this day, Yankees catcher Yogi Berra vehemently Continue reading