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 Sevens (none of the best-of-nine World Series went the full length).
1956 - Game 7: New York Yankees @ Brooklyn Dodgers


L-R: Yogi Berra, Whitey Ford,
Mickey Mantle

Hank Bauer and Bill Skowron

Randy Jackson

Roy Campanella kisses Sal Maglie after the latter's no-hitter

President Eisenhower throws out
first pitch at Game 1

Don Larsen throws the first pitch of his perfect game.

Berra Exults with Larsen after Don's perfect game

Game 5 Highlights

Game 6 heroes Clem Labine and Jackie Robinson

Pennant Races

The defending AL champion Yankees spent only one day of the 1956 season out of first place.

  • The Bombers scored the most runs in the circuit and allowed the fewest on their way to 98 wins
  • Veteran Whitey Ford led the staff with 19 victories. As usual, the Yankees found an unknown or two who contributed, in this case Johnny Kucks and rookie Tom Sturdivant with 18 and 16 wins respectively.
  • 24-year-old CF Mickey Mantle had a Year of Years. .353 BA, 52 HR, and 130 RBI gave him the Triple Crown. He also led the Junior Circuit in runs (132) and slugging percentage (.705).
    Mickey recalled the reasons for his banner year in 1956. My injuries were less serious than they had been in other years and I had gotten smarter as a hitter. Luck accounted for the first and tie - I was twenty-six - had taken care of the second. I was more aware of the strike zone. I laid off the bad pitches and struck out less often. I covered the plate better, adjusting to inside pitches and taking the outside ones the other way. I still turned my temper on myself, but I didn't blow up as much. I resorted less to punching walls and kicking water coolers.
  • Steady C Yogi Berra contributed 105 RBI and 30 HRs. 1B Bill Skowron and RF Hank Bauer knocked home 90 and 84 respectively.
  • When unsentimental GM George Weiss released 38-year-old Phil Rizzuto after 31 games, Stengel moved Gil McDougald to SS, and the team didn't miss a beat.
1956 Brooklyn Dodgers

The Dodgers defended their NL championship just barely, clinching on the last day over the Milwaukee Braves.
  • Walt Alston's club, starting to show its age, dropped off offensively but not defensively from the '55 juggernaut.
    1955: Runs/game 5.6; Runs against/game 4.2
    1956: Runs/game 4.7; Runs against/game 3.9
  • The only change in the lineup came at 3B, where Randy Jackson played a lot in place of 37-year-old Jackie Robinson, whose creaky knees would cause him to retire before the '57 season.
  • CF Duke Snider led the Senior Circuit in HR (43), walks (99), and slugging % (.598). 1B Gil Hodges clouted 32 four-baggers and finished second to Sni­der's 101 RBI on the club with 87. However, hand woes cut C Roy Campanella's output drastically: BA down almost a hundred points from .318 in '55 to .219, HRs 32 to 20, and RBI 107 to 73.
    Roy recalled: I was plenty worried when the 1956 season came around. The numbness in my left hand had begun to return. It pained, too, when I gripped the bat. ... One afternoon in June, we were playing the Cubs and I tried to pick a man off first. Instead, I hit the batter's bat and broke my throwing hand. My right thumb was double its normal size and the fourth and fifth fingers were broke. The left hand was nearly as bad. ... I hit twenty home runs that year, practically with no hands.
  • Don Newcombe again led the moundsmen with 27 wins against only 7 loss­es to win both the NL MVP and the first-ever Cy Young Award, which was given to just one pitcher across both leagues. No one else on the staff won even half as many as Big Newk. Sal Maglie and Carl Erskine copped 13 each while Roger Craig took 12, and starter-reliever Clem Labine gained 10 along with 19 saves. Johnny Podres, the hero of the '55 World Series, missed the entire season in the navy.
    The acquisition of the 39-year-old Maglie from Cleveland May 15 be­came an essential factor in holding off the young upstarts from Mil­waukee. Alston put the hated nemesis from the Giants into the start­ing rotation in July, and "The Barber" responded by winning 13 games, including two in the final week, one of which was a no-hitter against the Phillies.

Ho hum. The World Series pitted the Yankees against the Dodgers for the seventh time overall and the fourth time in five years.

  • The oddmakers established the Yankees as 6-5 favorites, in part because their staff was more rested after the Dodgers went to the wire before clinch­ing their pennant.
  • However, the Brooklyn bullpen was rated more highly. Bob Grim, NY's top reliever, had just come back after being sidelined for almost two months with a sore arm.
  • The question with the unknown answer was, "How much would the Dodgers benefit from entering the Fall Classic as the defending champions for the first time?"
Series Results
  1. Wednesday, October 3 @ Brooklyn: Dodgers 6 Yankees 3
    WP: Sal Maglie; LP: Whitey Ford
  2. Friday, October 5 @ Brooklyn: Dodgers 13 Yankees 8
    WP: Don Bessent; LP: Tom Morgan
  3. Saturday, October 6 @ New York: Yankees 5 Dodgers 3
    WP: Ford; LP: Roger Craig
  4. Sunday, October 7 @ New York: Yankees 6 Dodgers 3
    WP: Tom Sturdivant; LP: Carl Erskine
  5. Monday, October 8 @ New York: Yankees 2 Dodgers 0
    WP: Don Larsen; LP: Maglie
  6. Tuesday, October 9 @ Brooklyn: Dodgers 1 Yankees 0 (10 innings)
    WP: Clem Labine; LP: Bob Turley

After the clubs split four non-descript games, Game Five produced the most unlikely performance in World Series history.

  • Don Larsen, who sported a 30-40 career record and had lasted only 1 2/3 innings as the starter in Game Two, pitched a perfect game.
  • Using a no-windup delivery to help his control and with little sleep after a night on the town according to teammate Bob Cerv, Larsen went to three balls on only one batter.
  • The effort overshadowed the excellent outing of Maglie, who allowed only five hits himself in the 2-0 defeat.
    Dodger 3B coach Billy Herman didn't give even one sign during the perfect game. When Reese worked the count to 3-1 in the first inning, Herman let him hit away. After that, Larsen never got behind in the count and, of course, no one reached base.

With their backs to the wall, the Dodgers returned to the friendly confines of Ebbets Field.

  • Reluctant to use Newcombe after his poor performance in Game Two (6 runs in 1 2/3 innings), Alston chose Labine, who responded with ten innings of shutout ball.
  • Bob Turley matched Clem until Robinson's single plated Junior Gilliam with Brooklyn's first run in 19 innings.
  • Yankee LF Enos Slaughter, a 40-year-old NL retread in his second stint with the club, misjudged Robinson's liner, breaking in a step only to have the ball fly over his head.
    P Tommy Byrne years later: Odd as it may seem, I think Don's perfect game may actually have hurt us a little bit. It was such an emotional thing with everyone jumping and yelling and congratulating Don that it seemed like we had just won the World Series. And some of us may have forgotten that we hadn't won anything yet.
    Game 6 winner Labine echoed those sentiments from the other side. I'm not going to say that their hitters were distracted, especially because it was about the best game I ever pitched. But considering that a win for them would have wrapped up the Series, they did seem a little off.
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.

Johnny Kucks

Don Newcombe

Game 7: Wednesday, October 10 @ Brooklyn

Stengel stayed up all night trying to decide on a starter.

  • Ford, who had won Game 3, was available on three days rest, but Casey didn't want to start the lefty in Ebbets Field after his poor performance in Game 1 there (five runs in three innings).
    Ford knew another reason why he wouldn't be chosen for the final game. Everybody was speculating again on who Casey was going to start in the final game. I knew it wasn't going to be me for two reasons - my record in Ebbets Field and the fact that I had warmed up for four innings during Larsen's (perfect) game.
  • Berra suggested Kucks, a sinker-baller who would make the Dodgers hit the ball on the ground in their bandbox. Johnny had appeared briefly in relief in Games 1 and 2. He had lost his spot in the starting rotation because he hadn't won since September 3.
  • Another possibility was Game 4 winner Sturdivant. But when Casey asked Tom about starting, the rookie advised that a fresh Kucks would fare better. Stengel lost sleep deciding whom to start in what might be the last game of his Yankee tenure if he lost.
  • Kucks didn't find out he was the choice until he saw the lineup posted in the clubhouse at Ebbets Field before the game.
    Before the game, Martin approached Skowron, who had not played since Game 1. This is where we separate the men from the boys, Moose. Skowron had been angry because Stengel had played the more experienced Joe Collins at 1B most of the Series.
  • The Yankees hoped to break their six game losing streak at Ebbets Field.
    McDougald: It was now clear to us what was on the line in that seventh game. It has been three years since we had won a championship, and we were on the verge of losing our second straight World Series to our biggest rivals, right there in New York. If we'd lost that game - and I hate to say this - but the memory of Don's perfect game would have stuck in some of our throats, I'm sure. At least, it would have in mine.

Meanwhile, Alston went with the obvious choice.

  • By taking a chance on Labine in Game 6, Walt now had his ace, Newcombe, rested and ready.
  • However, the 6'4" 220 lb righthander from Madison NJ had yet to win a post­season game.
    • He lost Game 1 of the 1949 World Series 1-0 on Tommy Henrich's HR in the bottom of the 9th. He also lost Game 4 as the Yankees touched him for five hits and three runs in 3 2/3 innings.
    • In the fateful Game 3 of the 1951 NL playoff with the Giants, Don took a 4-1 lead into the 9th only to have reliever Ralph Branca surrender the "Shot Heard 'Round the World," Bobby Thomson's three-run pennant-winning HR.
    • Newk was charged with the loss in Game 1 of the '55 Series after an 8­hit, 6-run outing over 5 2/3 innings. Alston didn't pitch him again in the Series, instead turning to Johnny Podres for Game 7.
    • And now he had surrendered six runs in 1 2/3 in Game 2 although the Dodgers rallied to take a 13-8 win. Don wasn't around for the victory because he showered and departed Ebbets Field immediately after be­ing taken out. When a parking lot attendant jeered at him, Don took a swing at him according to a complaint lodged by the attendant.
  • Don hardly slept the night before Game 7. Even a sleeping pill didn't help.
  • Dodger captain Pee Wee Reese told the big righthander before the game, I don't care what you do today. We wouldn't be here without you.
33,782 took their seats on a beautiful fall day in anticipation of a seventh game in keeping with those of 1952 and 1955. They would be sadly disappointed.
New York Lineup
Hank Bauer RF
Billy Martin 2B
Mickey Mantle CF
Yogi Berra C
Bill Skowron 1B
Elston Howard LF
Gil McDougald SS
Andy Carey 3B
Johnny Kucks P
Brooklyn Lineup
Junior Gilliam 2B
Pee Wee Reese SS
Duke Snider CF
Jackie Robinson 3B
Gil Hodges 1B
Sandy Amoros LF
Carl Furillo RF
Roy Campanella C
Don Newcombe P

Billy Martin

Bill Skowron

Junior Gilliam

Pee Wee Rees

Duke Snider

Elston Howard

Don Bessent

Gil McDougald

Andy Carey

Roger Craig

Ed Roebuck

Gil Hodges

Yankees congratulate Kucks as a fan grabs his cap.

1st inning
  • Campanella said afterward that I don't think I ever saw Newk have more stuff. He had control and speed. With the biggest windup in the majors, Don seemed to leap at the batters as he threw.
    Bauer singled to LF. He had now hit safely in every game of the Series.
    Hank's streak would reach a record 17 games in the years to come.
    Martin struck out, Bauer stealing 2B on the pitch.
    Newcombe busted a pitch past Mantle to strike him out.
    Berra, who hit a grand slam off Newcombe in Game 2, hit an 0-2 pitch for a HR. Don tried to waste it but didn't get it high enough.
    Campy said it was chin high. He told Newk, When you waste a ball on Yogi, throw it low.
    Berra's mother Paulina was in a hospital in St. Louis after having her leg amputated because of diabetes. Yogi had called before Game 6 and promised to hit a homer for her. He failed to keep his promise in that game. But the next day, as he rounded 3B, he thought, That's for you, Mom. Later he would say, It was a day late, but I was sure she didn't mind.
    McDougald on the HR: M heart just soared. Suddenly I just knew that we were going to win.
    Skowron stuck out.
    Yankees 2 Dodgers 0
  • Kucks had been nervous warming up. It didn't help his confidence as he took the hill to see Ford and Sturdivant warming up in the bullpen.
    Johnny thought, Boy, big guy, they sure got faith in you. (Stengel had Kucks warming up as Bob Turley began Game 6 the day before.)
    Gilliam grounded to 1B.
    Showing his famous "good eye," Reese walked.
    Snider hit the first pitch into LF to put runners at first and second. Sten­gel was on the top step of the dugout, ready to pull his young hurler. But he backed off.
    With a chance to answer the Yankees with at least one run, Robinson hit a 2-2 pitch right back to Kucks, who started a 1-4-3 DP.
    No one would have guessed that Brooklyn would not get two men on base at the same time again.
2nd inning
  • Howard had yet to play in the Series because of strep throat that had hospitalized him. Elston, who hit a HR off Newcombe in the '55 Series, grounded to Reese, who fielded the ball in the hole and threw to Hod­ges for the out.
    Next was McDougald, only 2-for-17 in the first six games. He rapped a liner toward RF but Gilliam broke to his left and speared it.
    Carey (3-for-16) worked a full count base on balls.
    Kucks hit a grounder that deflected off Newcombe to Reese, who stepped on 2B to retire the side.
  • After a shaky first, Kucks settled down and had his sinker working.
    Hod­ges, whose 8 RBI tied a Series record (that would soon be broken), bounced a 3-2 pitch to Carey who threw him out.
    Amoros hit the first pitch to Martin's left, and Billy threw out the speedy runner.
    Furillo (5-for-27) also grounded to 2B.

3rd inning

  • Now 9-for-27, Bauer, trying to take advantage of Newcombe's follow through that left him off balance, pushed a bunt too hard past the mound to Gilliam, who threw him out.
    hit a sharp single to the left of Reese.
    Raring back and firing his fast ball, Newk again fanned Mantle.
    just missed striking out when Campanella dropped his 1-2 foul tip. After fouling off another delivery, Yogi took a pitch just above the knees and clouted it over the RF wall between the scoreboard and the foul pole.
    As Yogi rounded the bases, knowing that Newcombe was devasta­ted, he yelled, It was a good pitch, Newk. That made HRs in three straight ABs for Berra against Newcombe.
    Tommy Byrne, recalling Berra's second HR years later, said that it took the starch right out of them. They were tough guys - Jackie, Pee Wee, Gil, Campy, and the rest. But you could see the let down in their faces when Yogi hit that second ball off Newk. They knew it just wasn't going to be their day.
    Skowron popped to Gilliam in short CF.
    Yankees 4 Dodgers 0
  • Campanella bounced a curve ball to Martin.
    Some boos greeted Newcombe as he strode to the dish. The good-hit­ting left-handed batting P hit a dribbler in front of the plate to go down 1-3.
    Gilliam sliced a 2-2 pitch to Howard in LF for the first fly ball out off Kucks.

4th inning

  • Howard sliced a curve ball for a wind-aided HR over the scoreboard in RCF. The clout gave the Yankees a World Series record of 10 HRs.
    With Don Bessent jumping up in the bullpen, Alston walked to the mound and, after talking a while, removed Newcombe. Many boos ac­companied Don to the dugout.
    Bessent, who got the victory in Game 2 with seven good innings, retired McDougald on a little popup to Gilliam.
    Carey hit a grounder to Reese's left that bounced off his glove for an error.
    Kucks bunted Carey to 2B, 3-4.
    Batting for the third time in four innings, Bauer grounded out to 2B.
    Yankees 5 Dodgers 0
    As he did in Game 2, Newcombe hit the showers and left the park. Cogni­zant of what happened after Game 2, Don's friend Mil­ton Gross, a writer for the New York Post, and a city patrolman walk­ed with him to the parking area. When the officer noticed no one in the lot, he went back inside. If there had been someone around, I would have gone to the car with him. All he said to me was "Thanks."
    It's tough, Newk, said a man standing in the parking lot, but you can't win them all.
    I'm sorry, pop,
    Don muttered to his dad.
    I'm sorry.
    What have you got to be sorry for?
    said James Newcombe.
  • Reese drew a four-pitch walk. That brought Berra to the hill to talk to Kucks.
    Snider chopped the first delivery to Skowron who threw to McDougald for the force on Reese.
    Robinson bunted the first pitch but popped it up to Kucks who took it on the run just outside the 3B foul line.
    With the count 2-2, Hodges lined a low one-hopper to Martin who threw to first.

5th inning

  • Martin grounded out 5-3.
    Mantle, after whiffing twice against Newcombe, lined a double off the LF wall, missing a HR by just a few feetbauer.
    Alston wisely ordered an intentional walk for Berra.
    Gilliam back-pedaled to take Skowron's popup.
    Howard hit the first pitch hard to Hodges, who threw to Reese to force Berra at 2B.
  • Amoros poked a fly to Howard in LF.
    Carey moved to his left to snare Furillo's grounder and get the out at 1B.
    Mixing his pitches masterfully, Kucks induced Campanella to hit yet ano­ther grounder, this one to McDougald.

6th inning

  • McDougald, the only regular on either team who had not scored a run in the Series, lined a single to LF.
    Carey hit a slow grounder past the mound that Reese fielded. Hodges scooped up the low throw as McDougald took 2B.
    Kucks went down swinging.
    Bauer popped the first pitch to Hodges in foul territory.
  • Batting for Bessent, Dale Mitchell grounded out 6-3.
    Gilliam hit the first pitch, a low liner to Martin.
    Reese popped to his opposite number, McDougald.
7th inning
  • Roger Craig took over the pitching.
    Martin lined a single into LCF.
    Mantle walked on a 3-1 pitch.
    The first pitch to Berra escaped Campanella, advancing the runners. That gave Alston the opportunity to walk Berra again.
    As Skowron strode to the plate, he heard Stengel's whistle sum­moning him back to the dugout. Moose figured he'd be replaced by a pinch hitter, but Campanella told him not to worry. He's not going to take you out. Skowron disagreed. He is too. When Moose reached the dugout, Stengel told him to hit the ball to RF to stay out of the double play. When Bill returned to the batter's box, Campy said, I told you he wasn't taking you out, Moose.
    The strategy of walking Berra had worked in the 5th but not this time. Craig's first pitch came in over the outside corner. Skowron pulled the ball over the LF wall for the Yankees' second grand slam of the Series and the sixth in the history of the Fall Classic.
    When Moose crossed the plate, the smiling C said, See, Moose. You played, and you hit a home run.

    Skowron's grand slam
    Howard doubled high off the RCF wall.
    That knocked out Craig and brought in Ed Roebuck.
    McDougald popped to Hodges for the first out of the inning.
    Carey was called out but had to be touched by Campanella, who drop­ped the pitch.
    Kucks made Roebuck work, running the count to 3-2 before rolling to Reese.
    Yankees 9 Dodgers 0
  • Snider, with the only hit off Kucks, popped to 3B.
    Robinson drew a walk to break the string of ten straight Brooklynites retired.
    Hodges socked a 2-2 pitch to McDougald who threw to Skowron to double up Robinson on a close play.

8th inning

  • Bauer flew to CF.
    Martin fanned.
    So did Mantle.
  • Amoros grounded to 1B.
    Furillo got the first Dodger hit since the first inning with a single to CF.
    Campanella popped to 3B.
    Rube Walker, batting for Roebuck, grounded out 4-3.
9th inning
  • Carl Erskine made his second appearance on the mound in the Series.
    Berra made solid connection again but lined the ball right to Gillliam.
    Skowron grounded to SS.
    Ditto Howard.
  • Gilliam dribbled one down the 1B line. Skowron tried to keep his foot on the bag while fielding the ball. He groped frantically before finally seizing it for the out.
    Reese tried to bunt his way on but popped to Berra.
    Snider smashed a liner right back at Kucks' head. Johnny threw his arm up in self defense, and the ball caromed off the arm into CF for Duke's second hit of the day.
    Robinson struck out, but Yogi muffed the ball, which rolled toward the Yankee dugout. Berra scrambled after it and almost threw it into RF, but Skowron stretched and grabbed it for the final out.
    The strikeout turned out to be Jackie's last AB. His knees killing him, he retired before the 1957 season at age 37.
The Yankees ended the World Series with five straight complete games, something that never happened during the regular season. The Dod­gers scored but one run in their last 28 innings.

While the crowd exited, organist Gladys Goodding played "Auld Lang Syne." It turned out to be a better choice than she thought since the Dod­gers never played another World Series game at Ebbets Field.

Alston congratulates Stengel.

Stengel and Berra

Dan Topping and George Weiss

Buzzie Bavasi


Yankee Clubhouse

  • Stengel: We won because the pitchers who failed us last year produced this time. We won because, after we got down to the last day, we didn't have to take any men out of the line-up. We won because we made a great comeback.
    Casey explained why he inserted Skowron and Howard into the lineup. The young feller is fresher than the old feller. You gotta use Skowron, but when you do that, you're doin' things you don't wanna do which is hit to right. When you take Collins out, he's the only man which came close to hitting a home run yes­terday, having hit high off the scoreboard.
    Writers asked the Yankee skipper about his future. Well, as you fellows know, my contract was for two years, and it ends this year. I'm not talking about next year yet, but I'll let you in on a secret. I'm not worried about where I'll be next spring.
  • Co-owners Del Webb and Dan Topping and GM George Weiss were among the first to elbow their way through the throng of newsmen and photogra­phers to shake Casey's hand. Weiss said, We haven't talked about it yet, but I feel sure Casey will be back in 1957. Topping added: The job is his as long as he wants it. I feel sure Casey wll be back.
  • Berra said Kucks had remarkable control of his sinker. Yogi also revealed that he hit his two HRs for his mother Pauline, in a St. Louis hospital after having a leg removed. I talked to Mom Monday night. She asked me to hit a home run yesterday. I tried my darnedest, but I couldn't do it. So I got two to­day. Someone asked the Yankee backstop if he knew that the HRs gave him the record for RBI for a single series - 10, beating Lou Gehrig's 9 in 1928. Gosh, is that right? Naw, I didn't know it. Why I'm right proud of that.
    Remembering that Berra came to the Dodgers' clubhouse after the last game of the '55 World Series to offer his congratulations, Robinson returned the favor. Putting his arm around Yogi, Jackie told reporters, This guy is a great competitor. He's one of the greatest clutch hitters who ever lived.
  • Kucks: I was nervous until I was helped out of that first-inning jam by that double play. After that, I was loose. I never once shook off a sign from Berra. I never have, anyway. ... I knew Casey had a bunch of guys in the bullpen ready to come in. So I just kept pumping them in there all the way. After we got that 4-0 lead ... I was able to relax a little, but I didn't want to take any chances. Casey and [pitching coach] Jim Turner kept telling me to keep the ball low. Today I did. Johnny said his wife and a brother-in-law were in the stands. My dad [a retired meat packing foreman] wasn't here. He's 64, and I was afraid he'd get too excited.
  • Off by himself in a corner of the room, Ford commented on the Brooklyn fans' treatment of Newcombe. It's great that we won, but I feel sorry for Don New­combe. It was awful the way the fans booed him. Why? Why should they boo a fellow who did so much for the Dodgers this year? If it hadn't been for New­combe, they wouldn't even have been in the Series. It was awful. They have accused Don of being a choke-up pitcher. That's unfair. He won 27 games, and no one could do that and be a choke-up. Even today, he pitched well. He was overpowering our guys, and only because he made a couple of mistakes while pitching to Yogi did he get into trouble. He deserved better treatment from the fans. Those who booed should be ashamed.
    Stengel sought out Martin, who had urged him to start Skowron and Howard, both of whom hit round-trippers. You're a smart little bastard, aren't you? said Casey. The two men ugged each other warmly.
Dodgers Clubhouse
  • Alston summarized the game with a wry grin. They beat the hell out of us. Then he got serious. This was a tough season for the boys, and they gave all they had. We took this thing down to the limit, and then we were beaten by a good club. I'm proud of my players. They won the pennant under a lot of injury handicaps, and I can't fault anybody.
    On his Cy Young winner: I don't think I ever saw Newk have more stuff when he was getting them out. It looked like he either struck 'em out, or they hit it out of the park. I had talked to him before the game and told him we had been hurt by fellows who had two strikes on them. There were two strikes and no balls against Yogi Berra when he hit his first homer. There were two strikes and one ball against Yogi when he hit the second homer.
  • Campanella bristled under questioning about Newcombe. He's a great pitch­er. When a guy wins 27 games, he's got to have something, don't he? That big boy's all right. All this stuff about him not winning the big ones - well, that ain't fair to him.
  • In a touch of irony, Robinson, who drove in the winning run the day before, became Kucks' only strikeout victim to end the game. I didn't mind so much that they beat us, but I hated to be beaten that way. I'd rather it had been close, and that we had had a chance.
  • GM Buzzie Bavasi was not pleased with Newcombe for leaving right after he was removed from the game. He went home, and I don't like it. I think the other players would have liked him to stick around to show them he at least cared whether we won or lost.
The Series netted each Yankee $8,715 and each Dodger $6,934.
Having been spoiled by the '55 championship and with their ace pitching Game 7 against a youngster who hadn't won a game in a month, Brooklyn fans were enraged by Newcombe's performance and turned on him with a vengeance. Don would never again win more than 13 games in a season in his ML career. After he went 18-31 the next two and a half seasons, the Dodgers traded him to Cincinnati where he won 24 games in parts of three seasons before finish­ing with Cleveland in 1960.
Branded as someone who "couldn't win the big one," Newcombe started drinking in the offseason after the '56 Series. Years later, he recalled: I went over to New Jersey and crawled into a shell and stayed there. ... I played golf, and I got drunk. Gained a lot of weight. "The hell with it." That was where my head went. Instead of being a confident baseball player, here I was ... the best pitcher in baseball ... ready to come back the next year and be great, what did I do? Came back in '57 and had a lousy year. Lousy. Because I didn't give a damn. And I think it helped destroy my baseball career. That winter after the 1956 World Series, I went to Japan [on the prearranged tour with the team], and I screwed up over there. I drank the whole time I was over there. I got in trouble with the owner, ... the manager, ... my wife - everybody. Because of the way I was treated in the press, because somebody felt I was scared in not being able to win a World Series game.
Interestingly, Kucks, on top of the baseball world as the '56 season ended, won only 20 more games in the four remaining years of his ML career, 30 less than Newk won after 1956. Johnny turned out to be a One Year Wonder.
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