Pivotal World Series Moments
Pitchers' Duel #1
1949 World Series Game 1: Brooklyn Dodgers @ New York Yankees
Dodger P Don Newcombe was a worrier. He nearly fainted when told during the 1949 season that he was being promoted from the Montreal Royals to Brooklyn. The 23-year-old righthanded fireballer helped the Dodgers win the National League pennant by compi­ling a 17-8 record with a 3.17 ERA. He won the National League Rookie of the Year award.
Newk had a habit of getting the jitters in late innings when someone got on base. Either C Roy Campanella or 2B Jackie Robinson would often called timeout and stride to the mound to comfort the big man with a very large fast ball.
Both pennant races went down to the last day with the Dodgers edging the Cardinals by one game and the Yankees beating the Red Sox Saturday and Sunday to win the Ame­rican League by a game.
Shotton Goes with Newcombe
Brooklyn General Manager Branch Rickey liked his team's chances in the Series. "This is the best big league squad I've ever been associated with, either at St. Louis or in Brook­lyn." Statistics backed up his boast. The Dodgers led the National League in hits, batting average, home runs, and runs scored.
Brooklyn Manager Burt Shotton vacillated between Newcombe and veteran southpaw Preacher Roe before deciding on the rookie for his Game 1 starter. First-year Yankee manager Casey Stengel announced the day before that he would start Allie Reynolds (17-6), a righthanded fireballer like Newcombe.
Stengel blasted Shotton in the press for his hesitancy in naming a starting pitcher. "I don't know whether they're trying some trick stuff. I was told today it was the custom to supply league headquarters with the starting line-up and pitcher by noon. ... If they want to get coy, I can do the same thing."

Don Newcombe and Allie Reynolds before Game 1
66,224 saw a classic pitching duel reminiscent of World Series games in the Dead Ball Era 40 years earlier.
Both Reynolds, "sun-tanned Oklahoman of Cherokee ancestry," and Newcombe, "giant Negro right-hander" (as John Drebinger described them in his New York Times article) were on the top of their game.
Brooklyn 3B Spider Jorgensen smacked a double to deep left-center field with one out in the 1st, but Reynolds struck out CF Duke Snider and retired Jackie Robinson on a flyball.
In the top of the 2nd, Reynolds got into trouble by walking LF Gene Hermanski and RF Carl Furillo. Figuring runs would be hard to come by, Shotton twice gave 1B Gil Hodges the bunt sign, but both tries went foul. Then he bounced into a 1-4-3 double play. With Hermanski on third, C Roy Campanella flew out to end the threat.
The Dodgers threatened again in the fifth when 2B Jerry Coleman booted an easy grounder with one out, and Campanella walked. But Newcombe struck out, and SS Pee Wee Reese grounded out.
Yankee Clipper Thwarts Dodgers
Joe DiMaggio kept the game scoreless with a spectacular running catch in the top of the 6th off the bat of Robinson with a runner on first.
Meanwhile, Newcombe retired the Yankees in order in the 4th, 5th (on three strike­outs), and 7th. Reynolds was his main nemesis with two hits, which equaled the total of the other eight Yanks combined.
Stengel Sticks with Reynolds
Stengel faced a crucial decision in the bottom of the 8th. After RF Cliff Mapes stuck out, Coleman doubled down the right field line. That brought up Reynolds.
Casey said afterward: "I was faced with my only problem of the game. We had a run on second with one out, and the eighth inning is always the spot to yank a pitcher. And Rey­nolds was coming up. But he had been hitting good and pitching good ball, really turning on the juice. It was a spot to have to debate taking out a pitcher, although I've done it all season and gave them a pretty good pitcher named Joe Page. I had Bobby Brown and that big guy, (Johnny) Mize, ready as pinch-hitters. I had Freddie Sanford warming up in the bullpen. But you couldn't take Reynolds out. Not the way he was going."
Reynolds was caught looking at strike three, and then Rizzuto flied to center to end the threat.
Still strong, Reynolds set down Robinson, Hermanski, and Furillo in the top of the 9th.
Entering the bottom of the 9th of the scoreless game, Newcombe had allowed just four hits with no walks and 11 strikeouts. The first batter was 1B Tommy Henrich, whose slate showed a groundout, pop out, and fly out.
Yankees announcer Mel Allen had dubbed Henrich "Old Reliable" because of Tommy's ability to deliver key hits in crucial situations. Henrich provided a steadying influence on the Yankees during Stengel's first year when most of the players were loyal to Bucky Har­ris, who was fired after the disappointing 1948 season. Some derisively called their new manager "Casey Stinkle." Henrich, the consummate professional, kept their eyes on the prize–the American League pennant.
Henrich suffered a back injury in late August that some feared would end the 36-year-old's career. But he was back in the lineup three weeks later to contribute to the stretch run.
Newk Throws One Curve Too Many
Newcombe started Henrich with two curve balls, one outside and one low, to make it 2-and-0, definitely a hitter's count. When Newk came back with another curve, this one up in the strike zone, Tommy swatted it into the right-field stands to abruptly end the game. Yankees 1 Dodgers 0
As Henrich rounded the bases, Dodgers announcer Red Barber, calling the game for Mutual radio nationwide, said, "Look at him grin, big as a slice of watermelon. Wow! ... They call him Old Reliable, and they are not joking."

L: Henrich and Reynolds rejoice. R: Casey Stengel
It was the first walk-off home run in World Series history, and Newcombe became the first Black hurler to pitch a complete World Series game.
Stengel was beside himself with joy. "Looks like he (Newcombe) made that 2-and-0 pitch too good, too good. He leaned over a little too far. How that Henrich hit it. What a blast. The touch of the master. Just what we needed to match that wonderful pitching of Reynolds.
"There's a game pitcher for you despite what anybody says. When he goes after you, he really pours it on."
John Drebinger, "Yankees Triumph Over Dodgers, 1-0, on Henrich Homer," New York Times, October 6, 1949
"The New Newcombe," Charles Dexter, Baseball Digest September 1955
Dynasty: The New York Yankees 1949-1964, Peter Golenbock (1975)
"October 5, 1949: Allie Reynolds two-hitter, Tommy Henrich home run give a 1-0 win in World Series opener," by Steven C. Weiner. https://sabr.org/gamesproj/game/october-5-1949-allie-reynolds-two-hitter-tommy-henrich-home-run-give-yankees-a-1-0-win-in-game-1/#_edn7