Golden Baseball Magazine

The Ultimate Game

This series presents the final game of each post-season series that went all the way.
Until 1946, that means World Series Game 7s (none of the best-of-nine World Series went the full length).
1952 - Game 7: New York Yankees @ Brooklyn Dodgers

 


Allie Reynolds

Brooklyn Dodgers P Joe Black 1952
Joe Black

Dodgers P Ben Wade
Ben Wade

Brooklyn Dodgers P Billy Loes
Billy Loes
1952 World Series Program


Casey Stengel and Charlie Dressen at start of Series

Pennant Races

Many pundits forecast a change at the top of the American League after three years of Yankee dominance.

  • Joe DiMaggio had retired after the '51 season. His heir apparent, Mickey Man­tle, had suffered a serious knee injury during the 1951 World Series, and the off-season operation left the Commerce OK youngster limping as spring training started. He would not take over in CF until June 20.
  • So, for the fourth straight year, the writers picked a team other than the Yanks to win the AL pennant. Their '52 darlings were the Cleveland Indians, who had assembled a pitching staff second to none: Bob Lemon, Mike Garcia, and Early Wynn to go with veteran Bob Feller. But after winning 22 games in '51, 33-year­old Bullet Bob slumped to 9-13. Despite 22 victories each by Lemon and Garcia and 23 by Wynn, the Indians' 93 victories fell two games short of the Yankees for the pennant.
  • New York boasted only one 20-game winner, Allie Reynolds, but led the league with an ERA of 3.14 compared to Cleveland's third place 3.32 despite the fact that Stengel started 14 different hurlers. The Indians led the Junior Circuit in runs, 763, with the Yankees next at 727. Mantle hit .311, swatted 23 HRs (second on the team to C Yogi Berra's 30), and drove in 87. Mickey was espe­cially effective the last six weeks of the season when he finally enjoyed full health.

L-R: Eddie Lopat, Yogi Berra, Gene Woodling, Tom Morgan, Allie Reynolds, Casey Stengel,
Phil Rizzuto, Hank Bauer, Vic Raschi, Johnny Mize
The Senior Circuit race was almost a carbon copy of the classic '51 duel that resulted in the New York Giants beating the Dodgers in a three-game playoff.
  • Brooklyn's balanced '52 club led the NL in runs and HRs as well as stolen bases and finished second in ERA to the Phillies. Leading by 10.5 games on August 26, the Dodgers gave their fans deja vu nightmares as the Giants whittled the mar­gin to three games by September 17. But Charlie Dressen's men held on to cop the crown by 4.5 games.
  • Dressen deployed the same eight position players as his ill-fated '51 squad, but he had to adjust his pitching staff after Don Newcombe entered military service. Joe Black, straight from the Negro leagues, primarily filled the void, winning 15 and losing only 4 with a 2.15 ERA. 29-year-old Ben Wade, in his first year with the Bums, contributed 11 victories while rookie Billy Loes added 13.
  • The Dodgers' fourth pennant in 12 seasons pitted them against the same team they faced the previous three times. Surely, Brooklyn fans figured, the fourth time would be the charm against the Bronx Bombers.

L-R: Duke Snider, Jackie Robinson, Pee Wee Reese
The Yankees were favored to win the opener at odds of 7 to 5 and take the Series by 9 to 5.
  • Stengel worried about the condition of Gene Woodling. If the injured LF couldn't play, Irv Noren would replace him. As usual, the Ol' Perfessor wouldn't reveal his batting order until just before the game.
  • Dressen confidently predicted his club would wage a fierce battle. This is no club of jittery rookies. They're all experienced players in top form, well rested and ready to go.
  • The Series would be carried nationwide on both radio and TV. Jack Brickhouse and Al Helfer narrated the game on radio while Yankees' announcer Mel Allen and the voice of the Dodgers, Red Barber, doing the honors on the telecast.
Series Results
  1. Wednesday, October 1 @ Brooklyn: Dodgers 4 Yankees 2
    WP: Joe Black; LP: Allie Reynolds
  2. Thursday, October 2 @ Brooklyn: Yankees 7 Dodgers 1
    WP: Vic Raschi; LP: Carl Erskine
  3. Friday, October 3 @ New York: Dodgers 5 Yankees 3
    WP: Preacher Roe; LP: Eddie Lopat
  4. Saturday, October 4 @ New York: Yankees 2 Dodgers 0
    WP: Reynolds; LP: Black
  5. Sunday, October 5 @ New York: Dodgers 6 Yankees 5 (11 innings)
    WP: Erskine; LP: Johnny Sain
  6. Monday, October 6 @ Brooklyn: Yankees 3 Dodgers 2
    WP: Raschi; LP: Billy Loes


L: Woodling scores in Game One as Campanella chases throw.
R: Reese, Robinson, and Roe celebrate Game 3 victory.


Mize clouts HR in Game 5.


L: Mantle homers to LCF in top of 8th in Game 6
R: In bottom of 8th, Snider's 2nd HR of game ties Babe Ruth's record of 4 HRs in a World Series.

Yankees P Vic Raschi Vic Raschi

Yankees C Ralph Houk
Ralph Houk

Dodgers 1B Gil Hodges
Gil Hodges


Andy Pafko

Personal Note
The coaxial cable brought live TV from the networks to New Orleans in the sum­mer of 1952. So that World Series was the first we could watch.
An 8th grader at St. Raphael School, I begged my mother to let me come home and watch the 7th game. With Dad's agreement, I'm sure, she wrote me a note to bring to Sister Principal. Mom drove to school and picked me up in time to get home and watch the game. She even made me lunch. Heaven!
Never before or after did she approve my skipping school.

Even though it was called a "Subway Series," the Yankees boarded a bus at Yank­ee Stadium each day for the trip to Ebbets Field. Mickey Mantle recalled: ... all the way out Second Avenue the fans were cheering and holding up signs of support. As soon as we crossed the bridge into Brooklyn, and turned onto Flatbush Avenue, it was like entering another world. The faces were flushed and contorted, the fans were screaming and cursing at us.

Game 7: Monday, October 6 @ Brooklyn

Stengel had a chance to tie Joe McCarthy's record of winning four straight World Series (1936-39).

  • The Yankee locker room after Game 6 was their noisiest of the Series. The atmosphere was one of confidence.
  • Staying in character, Casey would not name his starter for the finale while talking to reporters after Game Six. The consensus was that he would call on southpaw Eddie Lopat. The dark horse in the betting for Game 7 was rookie Tom Gorman.
  • The Yankee skipper admitted winning Game 6 had upset his pitching plans. You all knew I intended to come back for the last game with Reynolds [winner of Game 4]. That was the plan only if Vic Raschi had finished today. But Reynolds had entered with two outs in the 8th and the tying run on 2nd and recorded the save. Reynolds was ready, and he did a marvelous job, didn't he? ... If I had held him off for tomorrow, there might never have been a tomorrow. What would I have been savin' him for then - the junior prom? ... Now we have to give 'em the best we got tomorrow. I don't think I'll use Reynolds. Don't think I can. I won't say it'll be Lopat. I just don't know who it will be. I'll have to think about it overnight.
  • Reynolds was mobbed by his teammates in the clubhouse. Casey had me in the bullpen just for such a call and, when it came, I was glad to be able to deliver. I don't know whether I could go as good again tomorrow. I'm a little tired and a bit stiff. But we're in that spot where everything counts, and if I'm called on, I'll give it all I have.
  • Writers asked Lopat how he felt. I'm nervous as all get out. I'm so jittery I'm shaking all over. C Ralph Houk in the next locker added: Their record against left-handers don't mean a thing against Lopat. He's not an ordinary left-hander.

Most of the Dodgers thought they would wrap it up in Game 6 but weren't downcast after failing to do so.

  • Dressen didn't hesitate to name his starter for Game 7. Black will start, of course, and the Preacher will be ready to help out if he is needed - which we hope he won't be. Chuck added: What we need is some hitting from some of our guys who aren't hitting. Cox, Reese, and Snider have been doing most of our hitting, and we have needed only a little more from a couple of other guys to make all the difference.
    Black had caused a minor furor before Game 1 when he disparaged the Yankees to a reporter, There is nothing in that lineup to be scared of.
  • Charlie didn't point a finger at the Dodger who had suffered the worst slump. Gil Hodges had gone 0 for 17 in the first six games, and Dressen had even replaced his 1B with a pinch hitter in the 9th after Hodges struck out three times against Raschi. Read more about Gil's slump ...
    Mantle: A really extraordinary thing happened in that Series. Gil Hodges, the Dodger first baseman, went 0 for 21 and the Brooklyn fans never booed him. It was agonizing to watch. ... He was a midwesterner, but he made his home in Brooklyn and the fans forgave him his failure and kept pulling for him. In the seventh game, ... the fans applauded each time he came to bat.
  • When asked how he felt about the outcome of the Series, Dressen point­ed out that the teams had alternated victories. So if that trend continued, his Dodgers were due to win Game 7.
  • When asked which Yankee hurler he expected to face, Jolly Cholly picked Lopat, with Reynolds in the bullpen.

The next day, 33,195 gathered at Ebbets Field in sunny topcoat weather to see if the Dodgers would finally win a World Series on their sixth try.

  • Lopat warmed up for the Yanks, as expected. Stengel had made up his mind to start Eddie at 11:30 AM after a sleepless night and a fretful morn­ing.
  • Seven of the Dodger starters, counting Black, hit from the right side. One of the lefties, George Shuba, played LF only because Andy Pafko had pulled a muscle two days earlier.
New York Lineup
Gil McDougald 3B
Phil Rizzuto SS
Mickey Mantle CF
Johnny Mize 1B
Yogi Berra C
Gene Woodling LF
Irv Noren RF
Billy Martin 2B
Eddie Lopat P
Brooklyn Lineup
Billy Cox 3B
Pee Wee Reese SS
Duke Snider CF
Jackie Robinson 2B
Roy Campanella C
Gil Hodges 1B
George Shuba LF
Carl Furillo RF
Joe Black P

 

Yankees 3B Gil McDougald
Gil McDougald

Dodgers 3B Billy Cox
Billy Cox

Yankees OF Irv Noren
Irv Noren

Dodgers C Roy Campanella
Roy Campanella

Dodgers OF George Shuba
George Shuba

Dodgers RF Carl Furillo
Carl Furillo



Yankees OF Hank Bauer
Hank Bauer


Johnny Sain

Yankees 1B Joe Collins


Bob Kuzava


Robinson watches his pop up over the mound in the 7th.


Jackie watches Martin race for the pop fly.


Kuzava breathes a sigh of relief as Martin snags the ball.


Tommy Holmes


Bob Morgan


Berra jumps on Kuzava after the last out.

1st inning
  • Gil McDougald, only 3-for-20 in the Series, hit the first pitch to Reese, who came in and threw out the runner at 1B.
    After taking a strike, Phil Rizzuto pushed a bunt down the 1B line but too hard, Hodges grabbing the ball and tagging the Yankee SS who dropped down to avoid the tag and never reached 1B.
    Black threw a low inside curve on 1-2 to fan Mantle swinging.
  • Throwing his usual assortment of curves and screwballs, Lopat struck out Cox, who was tagged out when Berra dropped the ball.
    Berra once described Lopat's pitching like this: When Lopat was pitching, I didn't need my catcher's mitt. A Kleenex did fine. Some days, if he was throwing well, I would need more than one.
    Reese, coming off his first hitless game of the Series but still hitting .360 (9 for 25), hit a bounder to McDougald's left. Gil fielded it easily, but his throw sailed wide and hit Coach Jake Pitler to keep Reese at first. Announcer Barber said it was the first time he had ever seen a coach hit by a thrown ball.
    Snider, the new World Series total bases record-holder who had driven in the last six Brooklyn runs, struck out on a curve.
    Robinson, only 3-for-19, lined hard to LCF, but Woodling made a nice running catch just short of the warning track.
2nd inning
  • Mize, 4-for-12 with three HRs but rumored to be thinking of retirement, drilled a pitch out of the park foul down the RF line before working a full count walk.
    "Larry Berra," as Tex Rickart announced him on the PA, popped to Snider on the first pitch.
    Woodling hit a high fly to Shuba in LCF.
    Irv Noren (3-for-8) went through his elaborate ritual before taking his stance in the left-handed batter's box. Then he hit the first pitch for an easy fly to Furillo.
  • Campanella also went after the first pitch, a screwball, that dribbled off the end of his bat to Lopat, who threw him out.
    The crowd gave Hodges an encouraging round of applause as he stepped to the plate. Gil caught hold of the second pitch and whacked his best hit ball of the Series, but Mantle caught it just short of the warning track in straightaway CF.
    Coming into the Series, the Yankee scouting reports recommended pitching Hodges high and tight. But Berra, having studied Gil in the 1949 World Series and in exhibition games, thought the better approach was to pitch him outside and not come inside until getting two strikes on him. After the Series, Stengel gave his "assistant manager" credit for holding the Dodger 1B hitless.
    "Shotgun" Shuba, whose 8th-inning double brought Reynolds to the hill in Game 6 and thus prevented him from starting today, hit a sharp grounder right over the mound into CF for the first hit of the day.
    Furillo, 4-for-20, took a liking to the first pitch and rapped a bouncer over the 3B bag. McDougald backhanded the ball and threw Carl out.

3rd inning

  • Billy Martin lifted a fly into the wind coming in from CF. Snider loped in and snared it.
    Lopat, considered a good hitting P, bounced to Hodges unassisted.
    McDougald grounded out 5-3
  • Black looked like a good hitter with his wide stance but waved futilely at three straight pitches.
    Cox rapped the first pitch to McDougald, who threw his counterpart out easily.
    Reese, the old pro who joined the Dodgers in 1940, flew to Noren in RCF.
4th inning
  • With the count 2-1, Rizzuto smashed a grounder just inside 3B for a double.
    Rizzuto: Leading off the fourth, I knew they were ready for a bunt. That is what happens when you are a little guy and bunting is the way you keep bread on the table. I faked around a little, but had no intention of bunting. Then I got a great pitch out over the plate and turned on it and doubled down the line. Holy Cow, I thought ... I was thinking how good it felt and how quiet the fans were.
    Mantle bounced the first pitch to Hodges, Rizzuto taking 3B.
    Mize again smashed a hard foul down the RF line before poking an outside pitch between Cox and the line into LF for his sixth RBI of the Series to give the Yanks a 1-0 lead. Red Barber opined that the worst blow the Giants ever dealt their enemies from Brooklyn was dealing Mize to the Yankees.
    Berra grounded to Robinson's left. Jackie whirled and threw to Reese who re­layed to Hodges for a 4-6-3 DP.
    Yankees 1 Dodgers 0
  • Snider got his tenth hit of the Series, a single to RF.
    Robinson dragged a bunt down the 3B line that Lopat fielded but held onto as Jackie streaked across 1B.
    Stengel walked out to talk to his P as Reynolds got up the bullpen down the LF line.
    Suspecting a bunt, Lopat wanted McDougald to play in, but Gil ignored him. Sure enough, Campanella squared around and dropped a bunt down the 3B line. Eddie hurried over almost to the 3B line to grab the ball and throw to Martin covering 1B but too late.
    Stengel returned to the mound, stalled for time, then motioned for The Chief. Barber wondered if Reynolds had had sufficient warmup time.
    Rizzuto: This was the third time the Chief would pitch in seven days. You had to worry, but you also knew mother hen Turner was in the loop ...
    If Hodges were going to break out of his slump, this would be an ideal time to do so with the bases loaded and none out. The Yankees played the infield halfway. Gil smacked a 2-0 pitch on a line to Woodling in LF to drive home Snider with the tying run. When the throw in got away from Reynolds, Robinson moved to 3B. That caused Reynolds to pitch from the stretch lest Jackie steal home.
    With Shuba, 3-for-8 in the Series, facing the righty, Dodger fans expected to take the lead. But Reynolds struck him out on a 2-2 letup.
    Pitching carefully to Furillo with the P up next, Reynolds induced a full count grounder that bounded off McDougald's chest. With Campanella running with the pitch, Gil recovered and threw to 1B to retire the side.
    Yankees 1 Dodgers 1

5th inning

  • Woodling, in his unusual stance with his feet close together, drilled an 0-1 de­livery over the screen in RF. It was NY's ninth roundtripper in the Series to tie their own record set in 1928.
    Robinson came to the mound to talk to Black as Roe and Erskine started warming in the bullpen down the RF line.
    Noren hit a high pop that Cox caught basket style.
    Martin lined the first pitch on several hops to Snider for a single.
    After bunting foul with one strike, Reynolds swung hard but hit a squeegie to Robinson who tossed to Hodges as Martin took 2B.
    McDougald, with his pronounced open stance in which he faced the P and held the bat parallel to the ground, worked the count full before grounding to Robin­son, who took the ball near the 2B bag and threw to Hodges.
    Yankees 2 Dodgers 1
  • Mel Allen took over the TV microphone for the rest of the fray.
    Despite showing signs of laboring in the top of the inning, Black hit for himself and took a called third strike.
    Cox launched a 1-1 fastball off the RCF wall for a double.
    Reese started 0-2 before smacking a 3-2 pitch into LF for an RBI single. Pee Wee continued to 2B on Woodling's wide throw to the plate. The scorer chalked up the Yankees' third error of the afternoon.
    Rizzuto: The game was getting as tight as a drum. When it happens you can do nothing about it, I mean the tight feeling. You can take deep breaths but don't let them see you. The beset thing you can do is tell yourself, you have been here before and you got over the hump, so you can do it again. If you have been in a war, you can tell yourself, this isn't all that important. No matter what you do, when the game is tied in the sixth inning of the seventh game, you are going to be tight. ... I wished we were playing Yankee Stadium so we could feel the crowd.
    That caused Vic Raschi to start warming up.
    Snider grounded toward Martin. With Mize ranging to his right to try to snag it, Reynolds took the throw for the out as Reese moved to 3B.
    Next up was Robinson.
    Jackie brought extra determination to the plate against Reynolds. Cleveland's Larry Doby, the first black player in the AL, told Robinson that Allie liked to knock down black players.
    Robinson tried a bunt on 2-0 but dragged it foul down the 3B line. Jack smashed the next pitch on a line right at McDougald, who made a leaping catch.
    When Reynolds reached the dugout, he slammed his glove onto the bench.
    Yankees 2 Dodgers 2

6th inning

  • Rizzuto picked on the first pitch and smacked a low liner that Reese grabbed at his shoe tops one step to his right.
    Black fell into a 3-0 hole against Mantle, then threw an automatic strike. Then Mickey poleaxed the next delivery over the scoreboard in RF to put his team back ahead. The clout gave the Yankees the all-time Series record of ten HRs.
    Mantle: Black threw me a slider, I think, and I got all of it. The ball soared high and deep, over the scoreboard in RF and landing on the other side of Bedford Avenue. Eyeball measurements spotted the homer at 450 feet. .. The homer was my second in two games, and I knew this one might decide the game and the Series. I tried not to show how excited I was. I kept my head down, but I think that was the fastest I ever ran around the bases. An inning later, I singled in the final run. ... I was still thirteen days shy of my twenty-first birthday and my heart was almost orbiting the earth.
    Mize lined a single to Furillo who threw to 1B to try to beat the lumbering run­ner, but Hodges took the throw far off the bag.
    With Black clearly faltering and three lefthanded hitters coming up, Dressen brought in Preacher Roe. The Ebbets Field crowd gave Black a strong round of applause as he walked to the 1B dugout. Meanwhile, Loes, the Game 6 starter, joined Erskine in the pen.
    Loes had lost Game 6 in part because he lost a ground ball in the sun. In the 7th, with runners on 1st and 2nd, Raschi hit a high bounding ball toward the mound. Late afternoon sunlight flooding into Ebbets Field through arches in the grandstand on the 3B side blinded Loes. The ball struck his knee and skipped past Hodges into RF. The runner on 2B scored. The same sunlight would affect Game 7 as well.
    Berra struck out on a 3-2 pitch.
    Woodling hit a ground single up the middle, Mize stopping at 2B.
    A righthanded batter, Hank Bauer, hit for Noren. If not for Hodges' sad plight, Bauer's 1-for-17 ineptitude would have been the talk of the town. Hank hit a chop toward 3B. Cox, trying to time the short hop, missed the ball for an error. Reese backed up the play and kept it in the infield to keep a run from scoring.
    With the bases loaded, Martin had a chance to open a commanding lead. But Billy flied to CF.
    Yankees 3 Dodgers 2
  • Bauer stayed in the lineup in RF just in time to snag Campanella's line single on the first hop.
    Righty Vic Raschi and southpaw Bob Kuzava jumped up in the bullpen.
    Hodges smacked the first pitch on the ground to Rizzuto who started a 6-4-3 DP.
    Raschi once said of the Yankee SS: My best pitch is anything the batter grounds, lines, or pops in the direction of Rizzuto.
    Shuba also picked on the initial delivery and bounced out on one hop to Martin.
    So Reynolds retired the side on just four pitches.
    Raschi continued to throw between innings. Johnny Sain joined him as the top of the 7th began.
7th inning
  • C Ralph Houk came in from the bullpen to bat for Reynolds. Ralph hit the second pitch straight to Cox, who bobbled but threw in time to 1B.
    McDougald served the 2-2 pitch just over Robinson's head for a single.
    Erskine and Loes resumed tossing in the Brooklyn pen.
    Rizzuto dropped a bunt down the 3B line, but Cox gobbled it up and fired in time to 1B. Phil was credited with a sacrifice to send McDougald to 2B.
    As Stengel often said, "right-handed Mantle is hitting for left-handed Mantle." Mickey liked the first offering and drove a line drive into LCF for a single to drive in McDougald.
    Mize lofted another foul fly down the RF line, but this time Furillo had room to snag it in the Dodger bullpen.
    Yankees 4 Dodgers 2
  • Joe Collins replaced Mize at 1B, and Raschi toed the slab to start the inning, with Sain and now Ray Scarborough throwing in the bullpen. Stengel had to be worried how much Vic had in his tank after pitching 7 2/3 tough innings the day before. Allen told the TV audience that Raschi had never been very effective in relief.
    Furillo walked on five pitches.
    Kuzava replaced Scraborough in the bullpen.
    Lefthanded hitting Rocky Nelson stepped in for Roe and popped to SS.
    Cox worked a full count, then singled on a line to RF. Despite running with the pitch, Furillo had to stop at 2B as Bauer, playing shallow, hurried the ball in.
    Not sharp, Raschi fell behind Reese 3-1, which brought Stengel to the mound for some words of encouragement. Raschi fired a strike, then finished the base on balls.
    Casey called for southpaw Bob Kuzava to face Snider, the Dodgers' leading hitter in the Series, with the bases loaded and one out.
    Kuzava, the 29-year-old, 6'2" 200-pounder from Wyandotte MI whose name reminded veteran writer Red Smith of "some kind of melon," had started 12 of his 26 appearances in 1952, compiling an 8-8 record. The Yankee manager probably recalled how Bob got the final three outs in the last game of the '51 Series. Coming in with the bases loaded and none out and a 4-1 lead, he got two fly balls that scored runs, then retired pinch-hitter Sal Yvars on a line drive that a sliding Bauer caught in RF. That had been Kuzava's only appearance in the '51 Fall Classic.
    Now Kuzava faced a similar challenge in his only trip to the mound in the '52 series. He later recalled: I knew Snider a little bit from the International League, and good as he was, I never had trouble with him.
    A called strike, a ball, a check swing foul - Stengel couldn't keep still on the bench, up and down, up and down. The tension mounted even higher with two more balls for a 3-2 count. Snider swung at a rising fastball and popped to McDougald.
    Would Stengel change to a righthander to face Robinson? Kuzava himself assumed his manager would replace him with Sain, a righthander who had bat­tled Jackie many times in the NL. Casey took a few steps toward the mound, then sat back down. His gut told him to stick with Kuzava.
    Even C Berra was testy, arguing the call that made the count 2-1. Jackie hit two straight fouls, ratcheting up the suspense even more. Then Robinson reached out for a curve and hit a little popup over the mound that the wind blew back toward the plate. Kuzava could have made the catch with ease, but this was the major leagues. Pitchers don't go after pop flies. Instead, he called "Joe, Joe" to get Collins to take it. But the 1B had lost the ball in the glare pouring through the openings behind the 3B stands. With the runner on 3B already across the plate and the one from 2B on his way home, it looked for a moment that the ball would drop and give the Dodgers the lead and perhaps the Series. That's when Martin, seeing what was going on, charged in from 2B, his cap flying off, to grab the ball at knee level just behind the mound .
    Showing the best stuff of any Yankee hurler of the afternoon with his fastball really hopping as Berra said after the game, Kuzava had wiggled out of the jam to keep the score 4-2.
    After making the catch, Martin tossed the ball behind him toward the pitcher's mound and continued running toward the 3B dugout. But he realized he didn't have his cap. When he turned back to retrieve it, his teammates surrounded him. I didn't think it was that big a deal until everyone started slapping me on the back, he said.
    It was the greatest clutch catch I had ever seen, said his good buddy Mantle. Everybody froze except Billy.
    Rizzuto recalled the play this way: Jackie hit a high, wind-blown fly and Joe Collins lost it in the sun. It was the first baseman's ball. Kuzava was blocking my chance, if I had one, to catch the ball. All of a sudden Martin dashed in, running like a guy trying to keep something from falling off a truck, and caught the ball. It was not a run you would like to see over and over in your mind like DiMaggio's, but he made the catch and saved our bacon. You don't give the other team four outs in the last of the seventh, in the seventh game.
    In the press box, Yankees GM George Weiss, unaware of the problems the glare and wind caused on Robinson's flare, thought Martin had called off the others in order to make the play himself. Little show off, he mumbled.

8th inning

  • To the hill came Erskine, the hero of Game 5 when he pitched all 11 innings of the 6-5 victory on his fifth wedding anniversary.
    Berra swung at the first pitch and popped to Furillo in short RF near the line.
    Woodling lined a 2-1 pitch to Hodges, who didn't have to move.
    Bauer had the green light on a 3-0 delivery but fouled the ball back. Then he walked.
    Martin hit the first pitch on a line to Snider in CF.
  • Kuzava returned to face Campanella and struck him out swinging to tie a record for most Ks by a team in the World Series - 48.
    With Hodges at bat, home plate umpire Larry Goetz warned someone in the Dodger dugout. Then, as the beefing persisted, Goetz kicked P Ralph Branca out of the game.
    Afterwards, Roe said, It wasn't Branca who hollered at Goetz. It was Rocky Nelson. So Branca gets tossed out for saying nothing. Branca admitted he had yelled at Goetz previously, but verified Roe's statement that he had been absolutely silent at the time the NL ump chased him.
    With perhaps his last chance to break his hitless streak, Hodges grounded to McDougald, whose throw to 1B pulled Collins off the bag. Error #4 for McDou­gald in the Series to tie the record and #4 for the Yankees on the afternoon.
    Righthanded batter Andy Pafko batted for Shuba. With another full count on a batter, Pafko swung and tipped the ball into Berra's miss to erase the old strikeout mark of the '45 Cubs.
    Furillo brought a roar from the crowd with a line drive to LF, but Woodling took it in right in front of the warning track.
9th inning
  • Tommy Holmes took over in LF since Pafko's injured leg hampered his mobility.
    Kuzava hit for himself as Erskine began his second inning. Bob made Carl work, running the count to 2-2 and fouling off a pitch before hitting an easy bounder to Robinson.
    McDougald singled up the middle to give him the same number of hits as errors, two.
    Wary of a steal or a hit-and-run, Erskine threw to first several times. Finally, Rizzuto fouled out to Cox.
    A moderate round of applause greeted Mantle. Allen said, Regardless of the outcome of the Series, this young man's name will be emblazoned among the stars. Mantle spanked a grounder that Hodges, playing in to hold the runner, grabbed to his right and stepped on the bag to retire the side.
  • Bob Morgan, a righty, batted for Erskine. Cox and Reese would follow. Morgan hit a fly to Woodling in LF.
    Cox stepped in seeking his third hit of the day. Instead, he hit an 0-2 curve to Martin who threw to 1B for the easy out.
    Reese came up looking to prolong the inning and bring Snider to the plate. Stengel yelled to his boys to watch out for the bunt. Kuzava gave the Brooklyn fans some hope with two straight balls before popping a fast one down the middle. Reese stepped out to slow down the big lefty. A curve caught the inside corner to even the count. A foul back kept Pee Wee alive. Another foul as the ball hit the handle of the bat. Finally, Reese flied to LF to end the two hour, 54 minute game and clinch the Yankees' fourth straight championship.
    Yankees 4 Dodgers 2

Berra jumped on Kuzava's back as the Yankees mobbed the lefthander. Gladys Goodding, the Dodgers organist, began a medley of tunes that included "Blues in the Night," "What Can I Say, Dear, After I Say I'm Sorry?", "This Nearly Was Mine," "You Got Me Cryin' Again, "Deep Purple," and "What a Difference a Day Makes."

Postgame
  • Dressen came to the Yankee locker room to congratulate Stengel & Company. The two residents of Oakland CA hugged several times for the benefit of pho­tographers. Charlie to Stengel: I'm glad for you to get what you got. Stengel re­plied, I want you to hear what I just been saying about you and your team. I can't say anything against the club that we beat. You could execute your plays, and you mixed 'em up. We won by just that (holding his forefinger and thumb a half inch apart). Them Brooklyns is tough in this little park, but I knew we would win today. My men pay good ball on the road.
  • Never at a loss for words, the Yankee skipper continued his analysis of the game. Our first pitcher (Lopat), he did real good, but they crossed us up on a couple of bunts. Why even that catcher (Campanella) bunted good and executed it good and he can't run fast. Then our next pitcher (Reynolds) pitched real good, but he got a little tired, and so did our next one (Raschi), and that fella (Kuzava) came in there and really took me out of a jam. That boy hadn't been pitching hardly any all season, but he really went in there and threw hard. Someone yelled, This change your mind about retiring? Old Case shot back, I'm not thinking about retiring. Referring to win­ning Games 6 and 7 at Ebbets Field: There's nothing wrong with us on the road. Can't win at home. Guess maybe our field's too smooth.
    On Martin's bailout catch in the 7th: People wondered why I wanted that kid from Berkeley (CA, Billy's hometown). Look at that Robinson pop fly, that's why. It isn't even his ball but that 140-pound fresh kid on second comes tearin' in after the ball. If that kid doesn't make the catch, we blow the World Series right there. My feller at first base is asleep, and my feller behind the plate, I don't know what he's doing. I'm watching, but I can't swallow because my heart is in my throat.
  • Stengel found Kuzava with his shirt off, tossed his arms around the P, and gave forth a typical Stengel grin as the flash bulbs popped. Bob said he was lucky that Snider popped out with the bases loaded in the 7th. I fed him a fast one straight down the middle on the 3 and 2 pitch. I was lucky that he got just a piece of the ball.
  • Dressen: So we didn't make it. We came close, but close doesn't count. Casey told me that nobody ever had beaten a tougher club. He said that our guys could bunt, hit-and-run, field and do everything. But what the heck, we couldn't get that one hit, that one fly ball, or that one base on balls that would have made all the difference. Asked who the Yankee MVP was, Charlie replied, I'd say that Allie Reynolds was the one guy who made the most difference ... The guy pitched four times in seven games, didn't he? He didn't have as much today as before, but he had enough to get out of that big one - the fourth - when we had the bases filled and nobody out when Allie came in. We got only one run out of that when anybody might have thought we could break the game wide open. He added: That Kuzava was burning his fast ball in there. He was very quick. But both Reynolds and Raschi were far below their effect­iveness of previous games. We knew we would get to them if they stayed in.
  • Snider, whose four HRs tied Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig for most in a series: I wish I could have just teed off on another one - especially in the seventh when the bases were full. But I've never been on a winner, and I wonder if I ever will.
  • Robinson's eyes were damp, and his chin hung low. He didn't try to hide his bitter disappointment. They didn't miss Joe DiMaggio. It was that Mantle, that Mickey Mantle killed us. If it hadn't been for him, I think this would have been a very dif­ferent series. We came so close. We had so many opportunities. Mantle tied Reese and Snider with 10 hits, including a double, triple, and two HRs, and equalled Duke five runs scored.
    Mantle: After the (seventh) game, Jackie Robinson came into our clubhouse and shook my hand. He said, "You're a helluva ballplayer and you've got a great future." I thought that was a classy gesture, one I wasn't then capable of making. I was a bad loser. What meant even more was what Jackie told the press: "Mantle beat us. He was the difference between the two teams. They didn't miss DiMaggio."
  • A few feet away, Black said, It gnaws at you. It tears you inside. We got so many men on base. We kept saying to ourselves, "This is it," and then there was that letdown. It would have been better if we had had our brains knocked out, lost 10-0. We would have felt better about it.
  • Hodges was informed that he was the first player ever to go through a seven­game series without a hit - 0 for 21. I hit a few of 'em pretty good, but I couldn't seem to hit one safely.
  • Dodger president Walter O'Malley told reporters, No party tonight. He had hoped to host a party to end all victory parties if his club had emerged victorious.
  • Commissioner Ford Frick, who admitted he attended despite felling bad only be­cause it was Game 7, said, This was the greatest World Series I have ever seen. No one disagreed with him.

Stengel, Kuzava (?), Rizzuto, Martin, Mantle, and Berra


L: Mantle, Kuzava, and Woodling rejoice
The Series grossed $1,622,753, $500,003.38 of which went the players' pool..

References: The World Series, David S. Neft & Richard M. Cohen (1990)
The Seventh Game, Barry Levenson (2004) | Stengel: His Life and Times, Robert Creamer (1984)
The Era 1947-1957: When the Yankees, the Giants, and the Dodgers Ruled the World, Roger Kahn (1993)
Billy Martin: Baseball's Flawed Genius, Bill Pennington (2015)
All My Octobers: My Memories of 12 World Series When the Yankees Ruled Baseball,
Mickey Mantle with Mickey Herskowitz (1994)
The October Twelve: Five Years of Yankee Glory 1949-53, Phil Rizzuto with Tom Horton (1994)
Yogi Berra: Eternal Yankee, Allen Barra (2009)
Next in this series: 1955 Brooklyn @ New York