1956 - Game 7: New York Yankees @ Brooklyn Dodgers
Peter Golenbock described what happened on the Yankee bus after the Game 6 loss. Billy Martin, in a foul mood, went up to the front and sat down beside Stengel. Most of the Yankees were deeply annoyed by Slaughter's fielding in left, but no one had the audacity to complain to Stengel. Except Martin. "If you're going to keep playing that National League bobo out there," Billy said, "we're going to blow this series." Stengel asked Martin who he would play. "You better put Elston [Howard] out there," Billy said, "and you better get Skowron's ass back on first base." (Slaughter had also lost a ball in the sun earlier in Game 6.)
A writer who had overheard the conversation cornered Martin afterward. "You think you know the Old Man that well?" he asked the Yankee second-baseman. Martin said, "I'll pick the lineup for you for tomorrow." Martin's lineup included Howard in left and Skowron at first.
Berra later told writer Roger Kahn why he thought he hit well in the '56 World Series. I was hitting good. The thing just happened. Why does it happen? Who knows? I don't feel different in a Series. I don't bat different. I don't do nothing different. It just happened."
In his conversation with Kahn, Newcombe also couldn't put his finger on why he didn't come through in key games. Before the game, my wife kissed me, like she always does. She said, "Good luck at the ball park" like she always does. In the game, I don't know, I guess I tried too hard, but there have been been games I tried like hell and I pitched good."
Yankee coach Frank Crosetti defended Newk. Hell, no, he replied when Kahn asked him if the Dodger P choked. It wasn't Newk's fault that Berra hit him. I thought he had good stuff when I watched him warm up before the last game. When the game started, I thought we'd never get a foul off him. The Yankees were just good, but the writers wouldn't give credit so they said Newcombe choked. And then all over the country people read it, and they fall for it. They believe it about Newcombe. What a crime. It's a damn shame.
1956 World Champion New York Yankees
References: It's Good to Be Alive, Roy Campanella (1959)
Dynasty: The New York Yankees 1949-1964, Peter Golenbock (1975)
Bums: An Oral History of the Brooklyn Dodgers, Peter Golenbock (1984)
Slick: My Life In and Around Baseball, Whitey Ford with Phil Pepe (1987)
The World Series, David S. Neft & Richard M. Cohen (1990)
All My Octobers: My Memories of 12 World Series When the Yankees Ruled Baseball,
Mickey Mantle with Mickey Herskowitz (1994)
The Seventh Game, Barry Levenson (2004)
Yogi Berra: Eternal Yankee, Allen Barra (2009)
Next in this series: 1957 Milwaukee @ New York
Other Articles in this Series
1934: Cardinals @ Tigers