1955 World Series

Dodgers Defeat Yankees Finally!!   


To hear the familiar crack of that old-fashioned wooden bat again, click on the poster at left.


For the fifth time in nine years, the 1955 World Series pitted the Brooklyn Dodgers against the New York Yankees in what was known as a "Subway Series." The first four times, in 1947, 1949, 1952 and 1953, the Yankees triumphed over Brooklyn. But in 1955, in seven games, the Dodgers finally won the Series for its first world championship in history ─ the only World Series ever won by the Brooklyn Dodgers.

As we all know, they relocated to Los Angeles after the 1957 season ─ and their beloved ballpark was no more.

For the many Dodger fans in our class, the 1955 Series is a joyous memory and one of the highlights of our jr. high years.  (For the Yankee fans ─ not so much. It marked the end of a long period of Yankee invincibility in World Series play, their first Series loss since 1942, the year most of us were born!)

See reports of the Dodgers' seventh game victory in 1955, below the pictures that follow:


Principal source: Wikipedia


Those readers with roots in Brooklyn will also enjoy our Nathan's page.




                    Hanging the World Champion Pennant at Ebbets Field

                                    Jackie Robinson stealing home


  Campanella chases a pop foul (that hits Yankee owner, Del Webb)                 



From   October 5, 1955


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Yes, there used to be a ballpark right here!




   October 5, 1955



He Beats Yanks Second Time as Team Takes Classic in 8th Try, 4 Games to 3




Single in 4th and Sacrifice Fly in 6th Decide Amoros Catch Thwarts Bombers

By John Drebinger

Brooklyn's long cherished dream finally has come true. The Dodgers have won their first world series championship.



The end of the trail came at the Stadium yesterday. Smokey Alston's Brooks, with Johnny Podres tossing a brilliant shut-out, turned back Casey Stengel's Yankees, 2 to 0, in the seventh and deciding game of the 1955 baseball classic.

This gave the National League champions the series, 4 games to 3 . As the jubilant victors almost smothered their 23-year-old left-handed pitcher from Witherbee, N.Y., a roaring crow of 62,465 joined in sounding off a thunderous ovation. Not even the staunchest American League die-hard could begrudge Brooklyn its finest hour.

Seven times in the past had the Dodgers been thwarted in their efforts to capture baseball's most sought prizethe last five times by these same Bombers.

When the goal finally was achieved the lid blew off in Brooklyn, while experts, poring into the records, agreed nothing quite so spectacular had been accomplished before. For this was the first time a team had won a seven-game world series after losing the first two games.

Victor In Third Game

And Podres, who had vanquished the Yankees in the third game as the series moved to Ebbets Field last Friday, became the first Brooklyn pitcher to win two games in one series.

Tommy Byrne, a seasoned campaigner who was the Yanks' "comeback hero of the year," carried the Bombers' hopes in this dramatic struggle in which victory would have given them their seventeenth series title. But Byrne, whose southpaw giants had turned back the Dodgers in the second encounter, could not quite cope with the youngster pitted against him.

In the fourth inning a two-bagger by Roy Campanella and a single by Gil Hodges gave the Brooks their first run.

In the sixth a costly Yankee error helped fill the bases. It forced the withdrawal of Byrne, though in all he had given only three hits.

Stengel called on his right-handed relief hurler, Bob Grim.

Bob did well enough. But he couldn't prevent Hodges from lifting a long sacrifice fly to center that drove in Pee Wee Reese with the Brooks' second run of the day.

Fortified with this additional tally, Podres then blazed the way through a succession of thrills while a grim band of Dodgers fought with the tenacity of inspired men to hold the advantage to the end.

Fittingly, the final out was a grounder by Elston Howard to Reese, the 36-year-old shortstop and captain of the Flock. Ever since 1941 had the Little Colonel from Kentucky been fighting those Yankees. Five times had he been forced to accept the loser's share.

Many a heart in the vast arena doubtless skipped a beat as Pee Wee scooped up the ball and fired it to first. It was a bit low and wide. But Hodges, the first sacker, reached out and grabbed it inches off the ground. Gil would have stretched halfway across the Bronx for that one.

Thus to the 43-year-old Walter E. Alston of Darrtown, Ohio, goes the distinction of piloting a Dodger team to its first world title. As a player, Smokey had appeared in the majors only long enough to receive one time at bat with the Cardinals. What is more, he ruefully recalls, he struck out.

Dropped back to the minors soon after that, Alston didn't appear in the majors again until he was named manager of the Brooks in 1954.

Yet, in his second year he not only led the Dodgers to an overwhelming triumph for the National League pennant but also attained a prize that had eluded such managerial greats as the late Uncle Wilbert Robinson, Leo Durocher, Burt Shotton and Chuck Dressen.

The Dodgers made their first world series appearance in 1916. They lost to the Boston Red Sox. In 1920 they bowed to the Cleveland Indians. Then in 1941, '47, '49, '52 and '53 they went down before the mighty Bombers.

As for the Yanks the defeat brought to an end a string of world series successes without parallel. Victors in sixteen classics, they suffered only their fifth setback. It was their first defeat under Charles Dillon Stengel, who bagged five in a row from 1949 through 1953.

Giants, Cards Did Trick

Back in 1921 and 1922 the Bombers lost to John McGraw's Giants. Until yesterday the Cardinals had been the only other National League champions to stop them. St. Louis won in 1926 and again in 1942. Since then the Yankees had bagged seven classics until they broke their spell.

Perfect baseball weather again greeted the belligerents as the battle lines were drawn for this final conflict.

The crowd, though smaller than for the three previous Stadium games, contributed $407,549 to the series pool, to help set a world series "gate" total of $2,337,515. This, of course, is apart from the addition revenues derived from radio and television.

As the players took the field there was a final check on the invalids, of whom both sides provided more than a fair share.

Duke Snider was back in the Dodger line-up. Duke had gone out of the sixth game on Monday with a twisted knee when he stepped in a small hole fielding a pop fly in center field.

But Jackie Robinson, who had fought so valiantly for the Brooks in the three straight games they won in Ebbets Field, had to remain on the sidelines. He was suffering from a strained Achilles tendon in his right leg. So Don Hoak played third.

Bauer in Right Field

In the Yankee camp, Hank Bauer, the ex-marine, was in right field again despite a pulled thigh muscle. But Mickey Mantle, a serious loss to the Bombers throughout the series was still out with his painfully torn leg muscle. He did manage to get into the game for one pinch-hit performance. His best was a towering, though harmless, pop fly.

Since the Yanks, who on Monday had squared the series by crushing the left-handed Karl Spooner with a five-run first-inning blast, were again being confronted by a southpaw, Stengel strung along with his right-handed batting power. But defensively this was to prove costly. For it was Bill Skowron, his first-sacker, who made the damaging fielding slip in the sixth.

For three innings Podres and Byrne maintained a scoreless deadlock. Skowron, a right-handed hitter who had stunned the Brooks with his three-run homer into the right-field stands Monday, gave them another mild jolt in the second.


This time he bounced a ground-rule double into the same stands. But
there already were two out and Podres quickly checked this scoring bid.

There again were two out when the Yanks strove to break through
in the third with a threat that had a freakish end. Phil Rizzuto
walked. Incidentally, this was Li'l Phil's fifty-second world series
game, topping by one the record held by Joe DiMaggio.


Behind that pass Billy Martin singled to right, Rizzuto pulling up at second, Gil McDougald then chopped a bouncing ball down the third-base line. Had Hoak fielded it he doubtless would have been unable to make a play anywhere.

But Don didn't get his hands on it. The ball struck Rizzuto at the moment L'il Phil was sliding into third base. McDougald, of course, received credit for a hit, but Rizzuto was declared out for getting hit by a batted ball and the inning was over.

In the fourth the Dodgers broke through for the first run and they did it with their first two hits off Byrne.

The 35-year-old lefty from Wake Forest, N.C., had just fanned Snider for the first out and a moment later Campy was over the plate on Hodges' solid single into left.

In the last of this round Podres had to turn back a serious Yankee threat. A mix-up of signals in the usually smooth operating Dodger outfield had Johnny in a hole.

Yogi Berra lifted an easy fly slightly to the left of center. It appeared to be a simple catch for Snider. But Junior Gilliam, who had started the game in left, also dashed for the ball. As a result the Duke at the last second shied away from the ball and it fell to the ground for a flukey two-bagger.

Work Cut Out for Podres

Since this happened on the first play of the Yankee inning. Podres had his work cut out for him. But he got Bauer on a fly to right. Skowron grounded to Zimmer and Bob Cerv ended it with a pop to Reese.

A single by Reese started the drive against Byrne in the sixth. Ill fortune then overtook Tommy in a hurry. Snider laid down a sacrifice bunt. Byrne fielded it and flipped it to Skowron, who had an easy out at first. But Moose, who had been the big hero on Monday, now became the goat.

Seeking to make the out on Snider by way of a tag, Skowron had the ball knocked out of his hand and the Dodgers had two aboard. Campanella then sacrificed and the runners were on second and third.

Byrne was allowed to remain long enough to give Furillo an intentional pass. Then Tommy gave way to Grim. Bob couldn't keep Hodges from hitting a long fly to center that scored Reese with the second run of the game.

For a moment it looked as if the Dodgers would pile up more since Grim, before steadying unfurled a wild pitch and gave a pass to Hoak to fill the bases a second time.

But here Alston called on Shotgun George Shuba to pinch-hit for Zimmer. George grounded to Skowron to end the round.

However, this maneuver indirectly was to play a prominent part in what followed. For, just as on Monday Stengel's move to replace Skowron by the better-fielding Joe Collins at first had resulted in the nipping of a Dodger threat, something of the sort now worked for Alston.

For with Zimmer out, Gilliam was switched to second base and Sandy Amoros went in as the left fielder. Minutes later Sandy was to make a glittering catch and throw that were to save the Brooks some mighty bad moments.

Martin walked in the last of the sixth and McDougald out-galloped a bunt for a hit to put two on with nobody out. Berra then stroked an outside pitch, the ball sailing down the left-field foul line.

It appeared to be a certain hit. But Amoros, racing at top speed, stuck out his glove and caught the ball in front of the stand. Martin, meanwhile had played it fairly safe and was only a few feet up from second.

But McDougald had gone well down from first, with the result that when Sandy fired the ball to Reese, who in turn relayed it to Hodges at first, McDougald was doubled off the bag by inches. It was a killing play for the Yanks.

Then in the eighth the Bombers made their last bid. Rizzuto, fighting heroically to the last, singled to left. Martin filed out. But McDougald slashed a fierce hopper down the third-base line that struck Hoak on the shoulder and bounded away for a single.

The Yanks again had two on and with the still dangerous Berra and Bauer the next two batters, Podres now turned on his finest pitching of the afternoon. He got Berra on a short pop-up that Furillo snared in right. He then fanned Bauer amid a deafening salvo of cheers.

That about clinched it. For even though Bob Turley tossed two scoreless rounds for the Yanks in the eighth and ninth, Stengel's best stretch of relief pitching in the entire series had come too late and to no purpose.

Podres, who had just turned 28 on Friday when he tripped the Yanks the first time in this series, made short work of the Bombers in the last of the ninth. He allowed eight hits in bagging his second triumph of the series but he was always in command.

This also was only the third time a Brooklyn pitcher had scored a series shutout. Burleigh Grimes did it in 1920 against the Indians and Preacher Roe tossed one against the Yanks in 1949.

Thus an amazing season came to a close for Brooklyn. Earlier in the year those beloved "Bums" had ripped the National League flag race apart by winning twenty-two of their first twenty-four games. It was a runaway pace that enabled them to clinch the flag on Sept. 8 by a margin of seventeen games.

And now the Dodgers are the world champions after as extraordinary a series as has been played. For six days the home team won. The Yanks won the first two games with their left-handed pitchers, Whitey Ford and Byrne, at the Stadium. Then the Brooks tore off three in a row in Brooklyn.

But when Stengel tried to make it again with his two lefties he slipped up. Ford came through to win a second time on Monday to square it at 3-all. But in this final test, Byrne, a tower of strength to the Yanks in their stirring pennant fight, wasn't up to taking the youthful Podres.

Johnny, recovering from a sore arm, which had plagued him in midseason, more than took up the slack caused by the loss of Don Newcombe's services. Far into the night rang shouts of revelry in Flatbush. Brooklyn at long last has won a world series and now let someone suggest moving the Dodgers elsewhere!

National Leaguers, too, were rejoicing. For, coming after the Giants' triumph over the Indians last October, this marks the first time since 1933 and 1934 that the senior loop has been able to put together two successive series winners. In 1933 and 1934 the Giants and Cardinals did it.

The Box Score
                   AB  R  H RBI BB K PO  A
Gilliam, lf, 2b ... 4  0  1  0  1  0  2  0
Reese, ss ......... 4  1  1  0  0  1  2  6
Snider, cf ........ 3  0  0  0  0  2  2  0
Campanella, c ..... 3  1  1  0  0  0  5  0
Furillo, rf ....... 3  0  0  0  1  0  3  0
Hodges, 1b ........ 2  0  1  2  1  0 10  0
Hoak, 3b .......... 3  0  1  0  1  0  1  1
Zimmer, 2b ........ 2  0  0  0  0  1  0  2
a Shuba ........... 1  0  0  0  0  0  0  0
Amoros, lf ........ 0  0  0  0  1  0  2  1
Podres, p ......... 4  0  0  0  0  0  0  1

Total ............ 29  2  5  2  5  4 27 11

                   AB  R  H RBI BB K PO  A
Rizzuto, ss ....... 3  0  1  0  1  0  1  3
Martin, 2b ........ 3  0  1  0  1  0  1  6
McDougald, 3b ..... 4  0  3  0  0  1  1  1
Berra, c .......... 4  0  1  0  0  0  4  1
Bauer, rf ......... 4  0  0  0  0  1  1  0
Skowron, 1b........ 4  0  1  0  0  0 11  1
Cerv, cf .......... 4  0  0  0  0  0  5  0
Howard, lf ........ 4  0  1  0  0  0  2  0
Byrne, p .......... 2  0  0  0  0  2  0  2
Grim, p ........... 0  0  0  0  0  0  1  0
b Mantle .......... 1  0  0  0  0  0  0  0
Turley, p ......... 0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0

Total ............ 33  0  8  0  2  4 27 14

     a Grounded out for Zimmer in sixth.
     b Popped out for Grim in seventh.

Brooklyn .......0 0 0  1 0 1  0 0 02
New York .......0 0 0  0 0 0  0 0 00

               In      H   R  ER  BB   K
Podres W 2-0 ...9      8   0   0   2   4

Byrne L 1-1 ....5 1/3  3   2   1   3   2
Grim ...........1 2/3  1   0   0   1   1
Turley .........2      1   0   0   1   1

     Double playAmoros, Reese and Hodges.
     Left on basesBrooklyn 8, New York 8.
     Two-base hitsSkowron, Campanella, Berra.
     SacrificesSnider, Campanella.
     Sacrifice flyHodges.
     Wild pitch--Grim.
     UmpiresHonochick (A.), plate
              Dascoli (N.), first base
              Summers (A.), second base
              Ballanfant (N.), third base
              Flaherty (A.), left field
              Donatelli (N.), right field
     Time of game2:44.
     Paid attendance63,465

Copyright 1955 The New York Times

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