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Yankees Win the 1947 World Series

Yankees Win the 1947 World Series


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1947 World Series

The 1947 World Series matched the New York Yankees against the Brooklyn Dodgers, with the Yankees winning the Series in 7 games for their first title since 1943, and the 11th championship in team history. Yankees manager Bucky Harris won the Series for the first time since managing the Washington Senators to their only title in 1924.

At the direction of Commissioner Happy Chandler, six umpires were used in the Series for the first time. In Series from 1918 through 1946, four umpires were used in the infield, with two alternates available for emergencies however, no alternate had ever been needed, and Chandler believed they would be better used to make calls along the outfield lines. However, not until 1964 would the additional two umpires rotate into the infield during the course of the Series.

In Game 4, The Cookie Game, Yankee pitcher Bill Bevens was one out away from pitching a no-hitter, when Brooklyn's Cookie Lavagetto lined a base hit in the 9th inning, bringing home 2 runs for a miraculous 3-2 victory for the Dodgers.

This was the first World Series to be shown on television. Coverage was limited to New York City and surrounding environs. It was also the first World Series involving a nonwhite player, as Jackie Robinson had racially integrated Major League Baseball at the beginning of the 1947 season.


Henrich’s Heroics: A look at the first walk-off homer in World Series history

Baseball offers us few things as thrilling as a walk-off win. While all victories may count the same, walk-off wins come with a certain drama that makes them sweeter and more satisfying than the rest. When the climactic, game-winning hit comes courtesy of the long ball, it only adds to the excitement.

Interestingly, there were no walk-off home runs during the first 45 World Series (1903-1948). During that stretch there were several walk-off base hits in the Fall Classic. In 1939, Yankee catcher Bill Dickey ended Game 1 of the World Series by smacking an RBI single to centerfield. Earl McNeely of the Senators (1924), Bing Miller of the Athletics (1929), and Goose Goslin of the Tigers (1935) also ended World Series games by delivering walk-off base hits.

Nevertheless, the first walk-off home run in World Series history proved to be elusive. Elusive, that is, until Tommy Henrich accomplished the feat in Game 1 of the 1949 Fall Classic.


Gionfriddo robs DiMaggio of an extra-base hit in Game 6 of 1947 World Series

On baseball’s biggest stage, an unlikely star stole the spotlight.

On Oct. 5, 1947, a reserve Brooklyn Dodgers outfielder made one of the greatest catches in World Series history.

In the bottom of the sixth inning of Game 6 of the 1947 World Series, the New York Yankees were down 8-5 to the Dodgers. Dodgers’ manager Burt Shotton replaced left fielder Eddie Miksis with 5-foot-6 Al Gionfriddo, a defensive specialist.

With Joe Hatten on the mound for the Dodgers Allie Clark lined out, Snuffy Stirnweiss walked, Tommy Henrich hit a foul fly ball that was caught and then Yogi Berra singled to left field, advancing Stirnweiss to second base.

In front of a crowd of 74,065 fans at Yankee Stadium, with two men on base and two outs, Yankees’ center fielder Joe DiMaggio was up to bat. The Yankee Clipper sent a blast headed toward the Dodger bullpen. Gionfriddo sprinted deep into left-center field, hoping to deprive DiMaggio of an almost certain home run.

Al Gionfriddo's game-saving catch in the sixth inning of Game 6 of the 1947 World Series marked one of the few times that Joe DiMaggio, who was robbed by Gionfriddo on the play, displayed emotion on the diamond. (National Baseball Hall of Fame)


Matchups

Game 1

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Brooklyn 1 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 3 6 0
New York 0 0 0 0 5 0 0 0 X 5 4 0

Game 2

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Brooklyn 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 1 3 9 2
New York 1 0 1 1 2 1 4 0 X 10 15 1

Game 3

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
New York 0 0 2 2 2 1 1 0 0 8 13 0
Brooklyn 0 6 1 2 0 0 0 0 X 9 13 1

Game 4

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
New York 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 2 8 1
Brooklyn 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 2 3 1 3

Baseball lore: The Cookie Game

Game 4 of the 1947 World Series has become known as The Cookie Game due to a ninth inning, game-winning hit by Cookie Lavagetto. The Yankees entered the game leading the series two games to one and looking to take one step closer to the series title. Bill Bevens, the Yankee starter, had pitched 8-2/3 innings of a no-hitter, a feat never before accomplished in a World Series game, and his team was ahead 2–1. Bevens got Bruce Edwards to fly out, and then walked Carl Furillo. Spider Jorgensen fouled out. Al Gionfriddo pinch-ran for Furillo. Pete Reiser was pinch-batting for pitcher Hugh Casey when Gionfriddo stole second base. Reiser was then intentionally walked. This was criticized in hindsight for two reasons. One was the old axiom of never intentionally putting the winning run on base. The other is that Reiser was playing injured, and the odds of getting him out seemed reasonable. In any case, Eddie Miksis pinch-ran for Reiser. Eddie Stanky was due up, but Cookie Lavagetto was sent up to pinch-hit. On a 1–0 fastball, Lavagetto lined to right field. The ball ricocheted off of the right field barrier with a peculiar bounce and hit Yankee right fielder Tommy Henrich in the shoulder, as Gionfriddo and Miksis raced around to score. The play ended the no-hitter and won the game for the Dodgers.

Red Barber, the Dodgers radio announcer made the call. Prior to the play call, he commented on the fact that Stanky had broken up Ewell Blackwell's attempt at a second consecutive no-hitter, on June 22 of that season. In the background noise during that comment, the P.A. announcer can be heard saying that Miksis is running for Reiser:

Wait a minute. Stanky is being called back from the plate and Lavagetto goes up to hit. Gionfriddo walks off second. Miksis off first. They're both ready to go on anything. Two men out, last of the ninth. the pitch. swung on, there's a drive hit out toward the right field corner. Henrich is going back. He can't get it! It's off the wall for a base hit! Here comes the tying run, and here comes the winning run!

Although the hit prevented the Dodgers from being down three games to one and may have provided a momentum swing, the Yankees went on to triumph in the series by winning the deciding seventh game. The hit proved to be the last of Cookie's career.

Game 5

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
New York 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 2 5 0
Brooklyn 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 4 1

Game 6

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Brooklyn 2 0 2 0 0 4 0 0 0 8 12 1
New York 0 0 4 1 0 0 0 0 1 6 15 2

The Dodgers won Game 6 to force a seventh and deciding game. The game is probably best remembered for a catch that has been replayed countless times.

In the top of the sixth, the Dodgers had scored four runs to take an 8–5 lead. In the last of the sixth, Al Gionfriddo was sent to left field as a defensive replacement for Eddie Miksis, and Joe Hatten came in to pitch. With two on and two outs, Joe DiMaggio came to bat representing the potential tying run. The voice of broadcaster Red Barber often accompanies the film footage of this play:

Swung on, belted. it's a long one. back for it Gionfriddo. back-back-back. he-e-e. makes a one-handed catch against the bullpen! Oh, Doctor!

This may have been a re-creation, but it was done with gusto by Barber, and his "back-back-back" expression has been copied by many announcers, especially Chris Berman of ESPN. It is worth pointing out that most announcers tend to describe the ball itself as going "back-back-back", whereas in Barber's call it was the outfielder who was going "back-back-back".

The final segment of that clip usually shows the normally cool-and-calm DiMaggio kicking dirt around second base in frustration.

It has often been pointed out that three of the 1947 Series' prominent figures, Gionfriddo, Lavagetto and Bevens, finished their playing careers in this Series. Gionfriddo, in fact, did not play in Game 7, and his famous catch of DiMaggio's drive was his only put-out in this game. So Gionfriddo's famous catch was his final put-out in his major league career.

Game 7

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Brooklyn 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 7 0
New York 0 1 0 2 0 1 1 0 X 5 7 0


5 biggest game-turning plays in WS history

How monumental was the bizarre play that ended Game 4 of the 2020 World Series on Saturday night? We’re not exaggerating when we say it was literally one of the most pivotal game-turning plays in the history of the Fall Classic.

We can say that by looking at Win Probability Added, which looks at the context of each moment in a game -- score, inning, outs, runners on base, etc. -- and allows you to see how likely it is that a team in that situation goes on to win, by looking back at similar situations throughout baseball history.

When Brett Phillips stepped to the plate, down by one run with runners on first and second base and two outs, the Rays had a 19% chance to win. That’s based on the history of comebacks in that situation -- which is to say, it happens slightly less than once in five times. (If you’d like to adjust lower for the fact that Phillips is not an accomplished hitter, feel free to, but WPA is looking back to tell us what’s happened in that situation across many years and teams, not trying to account for the specific players in that moment.)

Obviously, after Randy Arozarena scored the winning run, the win expectancy was up to 100%, which is a sizable leap of more than 80 percentage points.

Here are the top five biggest game-turning plays in World Series history. Of note: The top three on this list are the only games in the history of the Fall Classic in which a team went from trailing to winning on a walk-off with two outs in the ninth inning … and the Dodgers were involved in all three of them, as well as four of the five plays on this list.

1. Kirk Gibson, 1988 Game 1, walk-off HR (+87% Win Probability Added)
Final score: Dodgers 5, A’s 4 (box score)
Series result: Dodgers in five

This is one of the most famous plays in baseball history, and for good reason. A hobbled Gibson came off the bench to pinch-hit for the Dodgers in the bottom of the ninth, with two outs and a runner on second. That’s a combination that ends in a win only 13% of the time, and it may have actually been even less because Gibson was injured and Dennis Eckersley was dominant that season.

As every baseball fan knows without even having to look it up, Gibson launched a 3-2 backdoor slider into the right-field bleachers, boosting the Dodgers to a Game 1 win and eventually a World Series title. And as every baseball fan also knows: that’s still their most recent ring.


1947 World Series

The 1947 season is remembered not for the performance of any particular team, but that of an individual named Jackie Robinson. The Brooklyn Dodger's newest prospect became the first black player to break baseball's color barrier and the rookie infielder brought the Negro leagues' electrifying style of play to the majors. Although he was still subject to resistance among the ignorant, Robinson quickly became baseball's top drawing card and a symbol of hope to millions of Americans. Jackie made quite a first impression with a .297 batting average, twelve home runs and a league-leading twenty-nine stolen bases in his first season.

The defending World Champion St. Louis Cardinals gave the Dodgers the best challenge in the National League pennant race, but ended up five games behind Brooklyn. Number 42 wasn't the only standout in Dodger blue as the "Bums from Brooklyn" also got solid production from its outfield. Pete Reiser totaled a .309 avg. in one-hundred ten games, Carl Furillo hit .295 with eighty-eight runs batted in and Dixie Walker tallied .306 and added ninety-four runs batted in. On the mound, Ralph Branca finished with a 21-12 record, Joe Hatten went 17-8 and Hugh Casey nailed down ten victories in relief.

The '47 Yankees, rallied down the stretch with a nineteen-game winning streak that began in late June and went on to win the American League pennant by a twelve-game margin. Despite lacking the usual "Bronx Bombers" mystique (with no player attaining one hundred runs batted in) and only one, Joe DiMaggio, reaching the twenty-homer level, the Yanks managed to counter the missing offense with great pitching. Allie Reynolds won nineteen games in his first season with the club (after being obtained from Cleveland), Spud Chandler led the league with a 2.46 ERA, rookie Spec Shea and ace reliever Joe Page both had fourteen wins and two new acquisitions and Bobo Newsom and Vic Raschi each won seven games.

Shea drew the start for Game 1 and got the Yankees off to a strong start with a 5-3 opening victory despite a great four-inning effort by the Dodger's Ralph Branca that imploded in the fifth. Reynolds maintained the Yanks momentum in Game 2 with a 10-3 triumph that featured a fifteen-hit rally by the Bronx Bombers. Leftfielder Johnny Lindell led the charge with two RBIs in each of the first two games. Back at Ebbet's Field, the Dodgers struck back with a crucial 9-8 win thanks to a six-run, second inning in which Brooklyn got two-run doubles from Eddie Stanky and pinch-hitter Carl Furillo. The Yankees almost came back after "Joe D" hit a two-run blast in the fifth, Tommy Henrich doubled home a Yankee run in the sixth and Yogi Berra added his own homer in the seventh. Unfortunately, it was too little - too late and the Dodgers held on for the victory.

Manager Bucky Harris chose Bill Bevens (winner of only seven-of-twenty decisions in '47) for Game 4 and the unlikely hero pitched one of the most amazing 9 2/3 innings in World Series history. Although he permitted a fifth inning run (on two walks, a sacrifice and a ground ball), he entered the ninth with a no-hitter and a 2-1 lead. Bruce Edwards started the Dodgers' half of the inning by flying out, and Furillo drew a walk. Then Spider Jorgensen fouled out, bringing Bevens within one out of the first no-hitter in World Series history. Reserve outfielder Al Gionfriddo was sent in to run for Furillo and Pete Reiser came in as a pinch-hitter for reliever Hugh Casey. Gionfriddo proceeded to steal second and Reiser was walked intentionally, despite the fact he represented the potential winning run. To add yet another change, Eddie Miksis was sent in to run for Reiser, who was bothered by a recurring leg injury. Eddie Stanky was the next in the line-up, but Burt Shotton, (who had stepped in as Dodgers' manager after Leo Durocher was suspended) replaced him with veteran Cookie Lavagetto. The "Chess like" strategy of Shotton's multiple player moves proved brilliant as Lavagetto walloped Bevens' second pitch and Gionfriddo and Miksis sped home ending the potential no-hitter and evening the Series at two games apiece.

Down, but far from out, the perennial American League Champions responded in true Yankees fashion by "shaking it off " and answering the call with a 2-1 tie-breaker on a Spec Shea four-hitter. Surprisingly, Brooklyn jumped to a 4-0 lead in Game 6 at Yankee Stadium, but fell behind 5-4, and then regained the lead with a four-run, sixth capped off by Pee Wee Reese's two-run single. Then, with two on and two out in the bottom of the sixth, Joe DiMaggio made a valiant effort to tie the game with a rocket launched toward the leftfield bullpen. Just as it appeared the ball might drop over the fence, Gionfriddo (inserted into the game as the Yankees came to bat) made a phenomenal glove-hand catch near the 415-foot mark sealing the victory.

Once again, Brooklyn had come from behind to tie the Series forcing a Game 7. Things appeared to go their way at the start of the Series finale when Brooklyn seized a 2-0 lead and drove Shea from the mound in the second. The rally was short lived though as the Yankees scored a run in the second, two in the fourth and had tremendous relief pitching from Joe Page. The Yankees ace went on to throw five scoreless innings while allowing only one hit in the 5-2, Series ending triumph. For several standouts including Lavagetto, Gionfriddo and Bevens, it would be not only their last World Series, but also their last Major League games.

"Belted (by Joe DiMaggio)! It's a long one, deep into left center. Back goes (Al) Gionfriddo, back, back, back, back. He makes a one-handed catch in front of the bullpen! Oooooh, doctor!" - Announcer Red Barber in Game 5 of the 1947 World Series


The craziest finishes in World Series history

World Series games are already great, but some are just on another level in terms of excitement and crazy endings. One of the incredible things about the sport is that there are almost an uncountable number of ways that a game could end -- something that distinguishes it from most other sports. And when an unlikely finish coincides with a World Series game, on the biggest stage, with a championship on the line? That’s baseball.

There have been five World Series games to end on a walk-off involving an error. There have been just three World Series games where a team won on a walk-off when trailing and down to its final out. World Series Game 4 in 2020 added to both of those lists at once.

It was just the latest installment of crazy finishes in World Series history. Here’s a look at 21 of those games.

Brett Phillips plates one, gaffes plate another
Game 4, 2020
Final score: Rays 8, Dodgers 7

The Rays trailed, 7-6, headed to the bottom of the ninth, on the verge of trailing 3-1 in the series to the Dodgers and seeing particularly steep odds to a series victory. Yoshi Tsutsugo struck out to start the inning, and after a Kevin Kiermaier single, Joey Wendle lined out for the second out. That brought this postseason’s breakout star, Randy Arozarena, to the plate. He worked a walk, bringing a player with a quite different postseason resume to the plate, in Brett Phillips. Phillips hadn’t recorded a hit in any game since Sept. 25, back in the regular season.

But this is the postseason, where seemingly anything is possible. And that’s exactly what happened in his at-bat against Jansen. In a 1-2 count, Phillips laced a single to right field, and that’s where it got wacky. Chris Taylor went to field the ball and it went off his glove for an error, as Kiermaier scored. He then went to throw it with Arozarena rounding the bases from first. Arozarena tumbled between third and home, but recovered and kept running -- scoring safely with the ball getting away from Will Smith for a missed-catch error.

It’s the most recent of five World Series games to end on a walk-off involving an error, and of just three walk-off wins in the World Series where a team was down to its final out and trailing.

Astros outlast Dodgers
Game 5, 2017
Final score: Astros 13, Dodgers 12 (10)

This game took 5 hours and 17 minutes to decide, as these teams bludgeoned each other back and forth, trying to gain control in a series that was tied 2-2. The Astros took a three-run lead into the top of the ninth, but Yasiel Puig’s two-run homer and Chris Taylor’s two-out RBI singled tied the score. It remained that way until the bottom of the 10th, when Kenley Jansen retired the first two batters before hitting Brian McCann and walking George Springer. That brought up Alex Bregman, who lined a single to left-center, sending home pinch-runner Derek Fisher, who narrowly beat the throw to send Minute Maid Park into an exhausted frenzy.

Cubs finally end their drought
Game 7, 2016
Final score: Cubs 8, Indians 7 (10)

With two outs in the bottom of the eighth, it looked like the Cubs were going to cruise in clinching their first championship since 1908. Not so fast. With two outs and nobody on, the Indians rallied for three runs, the last two on Rajai Davis’ game-tying two-run shot off Aroldis Chapman. A brief rain delay prior to extra innings allowed the Cubs to collect themselves -- with an assist from Jason Heyward’s rousing speech -- and they scored twice in the top of the 10th, on hits by Ben Zobrist and Miguel Montero. But Cleveland still would not go down quietly, rallying with two outs and nobody on against Carl Edwards Jr. Davis’ RBI single made it a one-run game again, but Mike Montgomery came in and retired little-used bench player Michael Martinez for the final out.

KC comes up 90 feet short
Game 7, 2014
Final score: Giants 3, Royals 2

Veteran starters Tim Hudson (Giants) and Jeremy Guthrie (Royals) both exited early, and San Francisco grabbed a 3-2 advantage on Mike Morse’s RBI single off Kelvin Herrera in the top of the fourth. In the bottom of the fifth, who strode out of the Giants’ bullpen? It was none other than Madison Bumgarner, just three days after the lefty threw a shutout in Game 5. Bumgarner shut the Royals down, but the Giants could not find any insurance, keeping it a one-run game in the bottom of the ninth. With two outs, Alex Gordon’s single to center got past Gregor Blanco and to the wall, and for a moment, it seemed as though Gordon might come all the way around to tie the game. But the Royals held him at third, and Bumgarner retired Salvador Perez to strand him 90 feet away and seal the Giants’ third championship in five years.

Middlebrooks in the middle of a wild walk-off

Final Score: Cardinals 5, Red Sox 4

The Cardinals and Red Sox were tied at 4 in the bottom of the ninth inning at Busch Stadium, when Yadier Molina blooped a single into right-center field with one out. Allen Craig followed with a double to get the winning run to third. With Boston’s infield in, Dustin Pedroia made a diving snag of Jon Jay’s ground ball, and threw home to get Molina.

Red Sox catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia then quickly threw to third to try and get Craig, who was headed there from second. But the throw was wide and went into foul territory. Craig got up to head home but was tripped up by third baseman Will Middlebrooks. The throw into the plate was in time to get Craig, but he was ruled safe due to obstruction by Middlebrooks, and St. Louis won, 5-4.

Freese cements his hometown legend
Game 6, 2011
Final score: Cardinals 10, Rangers 9 (11)

In one of the greatest World Series games ever played, the Cardinals and Rangers went back and forth in a dramatic slugfest that featured two instances in which Texas was one strike away from winning the first World Series title in franchise history. In the bottom of the ninth, with St. Louis trailing, 7-5, David Freese -- who went to high school about 30 miles from Busch Stadium -- came to the plate with runners at first and second. On a 1-2 fastball from Rangers closer Neftali Feliz, Freese lined a game-tying triple off the right-field wall.

The Rangers re-took the lead in the top of the 10th on a Josh Hamilton two-run homer. But the Cardinals staged another comeback, capped off by a Lance Berkman game-tying single when St. Louis was again down to its final strike. In the bottom of the 11th, Freese delivered a solo home run to center field to force a Game 7, which St. Louis also won, 6-2.

Podsednik becomes an unlikely hero
Game 2, 2005
Final score: White Sox 7, Astros 6

Scott Podsednik hit exactly zero home runs in 507 regular-season at-bats for the White Sox in 2005. So when he came to the plate with one out in the bottom of the ninth of a 6-6 game against the Astros, no one was expecting he’d end the game by himself, especially against Houston’s closer, Brad Lidge, who saved 42 games in the regular season and yielded only five homers over 70 2/3 innings.

But Podsednik belted a 2-1 pitch from Lidge over the wall in right-center field to lift Chicago to a 7-6 win and a 2-0 World Series lead. The White Sox went on to sweep the Astros for the franchise’s first World Series title in 88 years.

The broken-bat single heard ’round the world
Game 7, 2001
Final score: D-backs 3, Yankees 2

Yankees legend Mariano Rivera, the all-time saves leader, was known for his cutter -- opposing batters knew it was coming and still couldn’t hit it, or if they did, it usually meant a broken bat. In the bottom of the ninth inning of Game 7 of the 2001 World Series, the D-backs and Yankees were tied, 2-2, and Arizona had the bases loaded and one out for Luis Gonzalez. Rivera’s cutter bore in on Gonzalez and resulted in a broken-bat pop-up. But with the infield drawn in, the ball landed in shallow center field and the D-backs were World Series champions.

Marlins walk off for a title
Game 7, 1997
Final score: Marlins 3, Indians 2 (11)

It would be hard to create more drama than this. The Marlins trailed Game 7 by a run entering the bottom of the ninth, but Craig Counsell’s sacrifice fly off Jose Mesa sent everyone to extra innings with a championship on the line. The Marlins stranded two runners in the 10th, but with the game still tied in the 11th, loaded the bases with one out on a single, an error and an intentional walk. Cleveland managed to get a forceout at home for the second out, leaving things in the hands of Edgar Rentería. The 21-year-old was up to the moment, sending a soft line drive just over the glove of pitcher Charles Nagy and into center field for the walk-off hit.

Carter’s iconic moment
Game 6, 1993
Final score: Blue Jays 8, Phillies 6

The Blue Jays, leading the series 3-2, led Game 6 by a 5-1 margin before things got hairy in the seventh. Lenny Dykstra’s three-run homer jumpstarted a five-run inning, and Philadelphia took a 6-5 lead into the bottom of the ninth, looking to force Game 7. In came Mitch Williams, who walked Rickey Henderson, and one out later, gave up a single to Paul Molitor. That brought up Joe Carter, who lined a walk-off three shot over the left-field wall at the ballpark then known as SkyDome. The World Series was over, as Carter took his jubilant tour around the bases.

Morris makes his mark
Game 7, 1991
Final score: Twins 1, Braves 0 (10)

In one of the greatest duels in baseball history, the Braves’ John Smoltz and the Twins’ Jack Morris matched zeroes at the Metrodome. Smoltz came out after 7 1/3 innings, but the veteran Morris just kept on going. Both teams escaped bases-loaded, one-out jams in the eighth via double plays, and the action proceeded into extras. Morris mowed down the Braves to complete his 10th inning of scoreless ball, and in the bottom of the frame, the Twins got the winning run to third with one out. Two intentional walks later, Gene Larkin got the job done with a deep drive to left field that dropped for a walk-off hit.

‘The impossible has happened’ -- Hobbled Gibson homers
Game 1, 1988
Final score: Dodgers 5, Athletics 4

There are a handful of home runs that stand out as the most famous in baseball history -- there’s Babe Ruth’s alleged “called shot” in the 1932 World Series, the “Shot Heard ‘Round the World’ by Bobby Thomson in 1951, and Carlton Fisk’s game-winner in the 1975 Series. But another homer on that short list is Kirk Gibson’s miraculous shot in Game 1 of the 1988 World Series that capped a stunning Dodgers victory over the heavily favored Athletics.

Gibson was the club’s best hitter and the driving force behind its Cinderella season. But he hurt both knees in the NLCS against the Mets, and wasn’t even announced on the field before Game 1 of the World Series at Dodger Stadium. By the ninth inning, Los Angeles was trailing, 4-3, and the best closer in the game, Dennis Eckersley, was intent on nailing down Game 1. With a runner on and two outs, Gibson surprisingly hobbled to the plate, clearly unable to use his legs to try and drive the ball against Eckersely. But Gibson launched a 3-2 slider over the wall in right field to lift the Dodgers to victory. Los Angeles went on to win the Series in five games.

The ball gets through Buckner
Game 6, 1986
Final score: Mets 6, Red Sox 5 (10)

When you think bizarre World Series endings, this one is at the top of the list. With the Red Sox one out away from winning their first title in 68 years, Mets catcher Gary Carter lined a single to left field in the bottom of the 10th inning at Shea Stadium to keep New York alive. That sparked a rally -- with the Mets trailing, 5-3, pinch-hitter Kevin Mitchell also singled, and that was followed by a Ray Knight single to drive in Carter and make it 5-4.

Boston reliever Calvin Schiraldi was then replaced by Bob Stanley. But Stanley uncorked a wild pitch with Mookie Wilson at the plate, enabling Mitchell to score the tying run. Then came one of the most infamous plays in Major League history -- Wilson hit a ground ball along the first-base line that went between the legs of Bill Buckner as Knight crossed home plate with the winning run. The Mets won Game 7 and the Series, extending Boston’s title drought. After losing in such heartbreaking fashion in the 68th year of their drought, the Red Sox finally won it all in 2004, which was year number 86.

Denkinger calls Orta safe at first
Game 6, 1985
Final score: Royals 2, Cardinals 1

Game 6 of the 1985 World Series between the Cardinals and Royals was a tremendous pitchers duel through seven innings, with Danny Cox and Charlie Leibrandt matching each other zero for zero on the scoreboard. In the eighth, St. Louis finally broke through on Brian Harper’s RBI single to give the Cardinals a 1-0 lead with six outs remaining between them and a World Series championship.

Jorge Orta led off the bottom of the ninth for Kansas City against Cardinals reliever Todd Worrell. Orta hit a ground ball wide of first base, where first baseman Jack Clark fielded it and tossed to Worrell covering. Worrell beat Orta to the bag and received the throw, but first-base umpire Don Denkinger called Orta safe. A replay showed Worrell indeed got the out. But there was no replay review back then, and the call stood. Four batters later, Dane Iorg delivered a bases-loaded single to lift the Royals to a 2-1 walk-off victory to force Game 7. Game 7 was an 11-0 Kansas City rout for the title.

Fisk waves it fair
Game 6, 1975
Final score: Red Sox 7, Reds 6 (12)

The Red Sox, fighting to stay alive in the series, trailed 6-3 with two outs in the bottom of the eighth inning when Bernie Carbo tied things up with a pinch-hit homer. It looked as though Boston was going to walk things off in the following frame, but a bases-loaded, no-out situation fizzled, with Reds left fielder George Foster throwing out the walk-off run at home on a fly ball down the line. The drama only built from there. In the top of the 12th, Boston’s Rick Wise wriggled out of trouble, setting the stage for Carlton Fisk to lead off with a deep drive down the left-field line, toward the Green Monster. With Fisk using some body language to urge the ball fair, it stayed inside the foul pole to send everyone home.

Martin’s walk-off bunt
Game 4, 1969
Final score: Mets 2, Orioles 1 (10)

With the Mets leading the series 2-1 entering Game 4, the team appeared to be in position for a 1-0 victory heading to the top of the ninth. Future Hall of Famer Tom Seaver took the mound, having kept Baltimore off the board so far, but after a flyout to start the inning, he allowed two straight singles. The next batter was Brooks Robinson, who hit a sacrifice fly to score Frank Robinson, who had hit the first of the singles. Seavor got Elrod Hendricks to line out for the third out, and the game headed to the bottom of the ninth, tied at 1. After the Mets failed to score, Seaver took the mound again for the 10th, and this time did not allow a run.

Jerry Grote led off the bottom of the 10th with a double, then the Orioles issued an intentional walk to Al Weis to bring Seaver’s spot in the order up. J.C. Martin stepped in as a pinch-hitter and bunted. New pitcher Pete Richert fielded it and threw to first, but the throw bounced off Martin and into right field, and Rod Gaspar, who had pinch-ran for Grote, scored. Richert was charged with an error, and the Mets took a 3-1 lead in the series, which they’d clinch in the following game.

Yanks hold off Giants -- barely
Game 7, 1962
Final score: Yankees 1, Giants 0

The only run in this game scored on a double play in the fifth inning, but the Giants kept the heat on the Yankees and pitcher Ralph Terry. In the seventh, Willie McCovey tripled with two outs, but Terry struck out Orlando Cepeda to escape. In the ninth, Matty Alou’s leadoff bunt single gave San Francisco a shot. Terry struck out the next two batters, but Willie Mays cracked a double to right field that could have scored Alou, if not for Roger Maris getting the ball back in quickly. Alou held at third, and McCovey stepped up with the tying and walk-off runs in scoring position. The menacing left-handed batter ripped a line drive that could easily have won the World Series for the Giants -- but it went right to second baseman Bobby Richardson for the out.

Mazeroski’s blast wins it all for Pirates
Game 7, 1960
Final score: Pirates 10, Yankees 9

In a Series in which the powerhouse Yankees outscored the Pirates, 55-27, you’d think -- assuming you knew nothing about the outcome -- that New York won its ninth title in 14 years. But while the Pirates’ three losses were blowouts, their four wins were by a combined margin of seven runs. That included an epic Game 7 at Forbes Field, in which Bill Mazeroski connected for the first World Series-winning walk-off home run in baseball history in the bottom of the ninth off Yankees right-hander Ralph Terry. The only other time a World Series has ended on a home run was in 1993, when Blue Jays slugger Joe Carter homered to beat the Phillies in Game 6.

One out from a no-no, Yanks get beat
Game 4, 1947
Final score: Dodgers 3, Yankees 2

Bill Bevins was throwing one of the strangest no-hitters in baseball history, and it was in Game 4 of the 1947 World Series. The Yankees right-hander hadn’t yielded a hit through 8 2/3 innings, but he had walked 10 batters, walking a tightrope all game until he was one out from throwing the first no-no in Fall Classic history. With New York leading Brooklyn, 2-1, Blevins surrendered a walk-off two-run double to Cookie Lavagetto for the only Dodgers hit of the game. While Brooklyn won Game 4, the Yankees ultimately prevailed in seven games.

Ruth caught stealing to end Series
Game 7, 1926
Final score: Cardinals 3, Yankees 2

When you hear the name Babe Ruth and the words “World Series,” the immediate thoughts that come to mind probably involve majestic home runs -- maybe even a called shot. Not in 1926, when in Game 7, Ruth inexplicably tried to steal second base against the Cardinals after walking with two outs in the ninth inning. With New York trailing, 3-2, Ruth represented the tying run with Bob Meusel, who had driven in 134 runs the year before, at the plate. But Ruth took off, and St. Louis catcher Bob O’Farrell threw out the Sultan of Swat to end the Series.

Moran’s bunt, Bush’s error
Game 3, 1914
Final score: Braves 5, Athletics 4 (12)

The Boston Braves had a 2-0 series lead entering Game 3, and the game was tight throughout. The Braves tied it at 2 in the bottom of the fourth, and that score stood until the 10th -- when the Philadelphia A’s scored two in the top of the inning, but the Braves tied it back up again in the bottom. After a scoreless 11th inning and top of the 12th, Hank Gowdy led off the bottom of the inning with a double and was replaced by pinch-runner Les Mann. The A’s then intentionally walked Larry Gilbert to bring up Herbie Moran. Moran bunted to A’s pitcher Bullet Joe Bush, and threw the ball away in an attempt to throw to third, and Mann scored. The next day, the Braves completed the first sweep in World Series history.

Snodgrass' Game 8 gaffe opens the door
Game 8, 1912
Final score: Red Sox 3, Giants 2

The winner-take-all Game 8 of the 1912 Fall Classic was played at Fenway Park in its inaugural season. The game went to extra innings tied 1-1, with legend Christy Mathewson pitching a gem for the Giants. When Fred Merkle knocked a go-ahead single off Smoky Joe Wood in the top of the 10th, it looked like the Giants would clinch the first World Series championship in franchise history. But with Mathewson trying to close out the series, an error by center fielder Fred Snodgrass opened the door for a Red Sox comeback. Pinch-hitter Clyde Engle lifted a routine fly ball toward Snodgrass in center leading off the bottom of the 10th, only for Snodgrass to drop the ball and allow Engle to reach second. He nearly redeemed himself on the very next play with a sensational catch to rob Harry Hooper of a game-tying extra-base hit … only for Tris Speaker to come through with a game-tying single, and Larry Gardner to win it for the Sox with a World Series-ending walk-off sac fly.


World Series Classics 17 DVD Set

1943 World Series DVD: (Cardinals vs Yankees) Yankees win series in 5 games. War time depleted rosters featured: Spud Chandler, Bill Dickey, Joe Gordon and Stan Musial introduced by Babe Ruth. This is the first ever highlight film of the World Series. USA, 1943, B&W, 21 minutes.

1945 World Series DVD: (Chicago Cubs vs Detroit Tigers) Last appearance by the Chicago Cubs in the World Series. Tigers won the Series in 7 games. Featuring Hank Greenberg, Hal Newhauser, Virgil Trucks, Stan Hack, Hank Borowy and Phil Caverretta. USA, 1945, B&W, 26 minutes.

1947 World Series DVD: (New York Yankees vs Brooklyn Dodgers) Jackie Robinson played for the first racially mixed team in World Series history. Other players included Yogi Berra and Joe DiMaggio. The Yankees won the series in 7 games. This film also features the Chicago White Sox playing an exhibition game at Hines VA Hospital and the 1947 All Star Game at Wrigley Field. Legends Babe Ruth and Bill Veeck can be seen in the audience. USA, 1947, B&W, 37 Minutes.

1948 World Series DVD: (Cleveland Indians vs Boston Braves) First World Series to be televised on a nationwide network. Featuring: Lou Boudreau, Larry Doby, Bob Feller, Satchel Paige and Warren Spahn. The Indians won the series in 6 games. USA, 1948, B&W, 38 Minutes.

1949 World Series DVD: (New York Yankees vs Brooklyn Dodgers) First World Series finished under artificial lights. Featuring: Jackie Robinson, Yogi Berra and Joe DiMaggio. The Yankees won the series in 5 games. USA, 1949, B&W 37 Minutes.

1950 World Series DVD: (New York Yankees vs. Philadelphia Phillies) Featuring: Yogi Berra, Joe DiMaggio, Whitey Ford, Richie Ashburn and Robin Roberts. Yankees won the series in 4 games. USA, 1950, B&W, 31 minutes.

1951 World Series DVD: (New York Yankees vs. New York Giants) Featuring: Joe DiMaggio,Yogi Berra, Mickey Mantle, Monte Irvin, Bobby Thomson and Willie Mays. Yankees won the series in 6 games. Bonus Material: New York Giants beat the Brooklyn Dodgers in a 3 game playoff, includes dramatic Bobby Thomson 9th inning home run. USA, 1951, B&W, 35 minutes.

1952 World Series DVD: (New York Yankees vs Brooklyn Dodgers) Yankees win 4th straight World Series in 7 games. Featuring: Yogi Berra, Mickey Mantle, Phil Rizzuto, Billy Martin, Duke Snider, Jackie Robinson and Ray Campanella. USA, 1952, B&W, 31 minutes.

1953 World Series DVD: (New York Yankees vs Brooklyn Dodgers) Featured Yogi Berra, Whitey Ford, Mickey Mantle, Jackie Robinson. The Yankees won the series in 6 games. USA, 1953, B&W 37 minutes.

1954 World Series DVD: (New York Giants vs Cleveland Indians) Giants win series 4 straight. Featuring: Willie Mays and his amazing Game 1 catch, Dusty Rhodes, Hoyt Wilhelm, Vic Wirtz and Larry Doby. USA, 1954, B&W, 35 minutes.

1955 World Series DVD: (New York Yankees vs. Brooklyn Dodgers.) Featuring: Duke Snider, Roy Campanella, Jackie Robinson, Yogi Berra, Mickey Mantle and Whitey Ford. Brooklyn Dodgers won the series in 7 games. First and only World Series win for the Brooklyn Dodgers. USA, 1955, B&W, 40 minutes.

1956 World Series DVD: (New York Yankees vs.Brooklyn Dodgers) Featuring Don Larsen,Yogi Berra, Mickey Mantle, Duke Snider and Roy Campanella. Notes: President Eisenhower throws out first ball in Game 1 and Don Larsen tosses a perfect game in Game 5. Yankees won the series in 7 games. USA, 1956, B&W, 40 minutes.

1957 World Series DVD: (New York Yankees vs Milwaukee Braves) First time since 1948 that a team from New York did not win the World Series. Featured Hank Aaron, Yogi Berra, Whitey Ford, Mickey Mantle. The Braves won the series in 7 games. USA, 1957, B&W, 43 Minutes.

1959 World Series DVD: (Los Angeles Dodgers vs Chicago White Sox) First World Series games ever played on the West Coast. Featuring: Sandy Koufax, Don Drysdale, Ted Kluszewski and Luis Aparicio. The Dodgers won the series in 6 games. USA, 1959, Color, 32 Minutes.

1960 World Series DVD: (Pittsburgh Pirates vs New York Yankees) Featuring Hall of Famers: Roberto Clemente, Bill Mazeroski, Casey Stengel(mgr.), Yogi Berra, Whitey Ford, Mickey Mantle. The Pirates won the series in 7 games. USA, 1960, Color, 38 minutes.

1961 World Series DVD: (Cincinnati Reds vs New York Yankees) Featuring: Mickey Mantle, Roger Maris, Whitey Ford, Yogi Berra, Frank Robinson and Vada Pinson. Yankees win series in 5 games. USA, 1961, Color, 36 minutes

1964 World Series DVD: (Yankees vs Cardinals) Featuring: Mickey Mantle, Roger Maris, Jim Bouton, Bob Gibson, Lou Brock and Tim McCarver. Cardinals win series in 7 games. Narrated by Harry Carry. USA, 1964, Color, 40 minutes.


When Jackie Robinson and Dan Bankhead became the first African-Americans to play in World Series

Dan Bankhead receives spikes from Jackie Robinson, October 5, 1947. Bettman/Getty Images

Seventy years ago, Jackie Robinson and Dan Bankhead became the first African-Americans to play in a World Series. The pair did so in 1947, during their rookie seasons, as the Brooklyn Dodgers faced the New York Yankees.

Robinson brought an end to the ban on black players in Major League Baseball when he joined the Dodgers, while Bankhead was brought onto the team later as the first black pitcher in the majors.

Seventy years after Bankhead and Robinson broke the color barrier in the World Series, the Los Angeles Dodgers will play in the Fall Classic again. And just like in 1947, the Dodgers organization is at the forefront of history, as manager Dave Roberts is the first skipper of Asian descent and the fourth of African-American heritage (his mother is Japanese-American and his father is black) to manage his team to the World Series.

In this special edition of Remember Whensday, we look back at Robinson&rsquos and Bankhead&rsquos rise to the majors and the historic 1947 World Series.

During the Dodgers-Yankees seven-game series, Robinson had 27 at-bats. He finished with seven hits (including two doubles), three RBIs, three runs, two walks and four strikeouts. Bankhead did not pitch in the series, but the Dodgers used him as a pinch runner.

Other than Game 2, which the Yankees won 10-3, every other contest was decided by three or fewer runs, including Game 7.

The Yankees won the deciding game 5-2 on Oct. 6, 1947. The Dodgers took a 2-0 lead on a double from Spider Jorgensen in the second inning. The Yankees scored five unanswered runs to win the championship.

Robinson was gradually brought up to the majors via the minor league Montreal Royals. He finished the 1947 regular season with 12 home runs, 29 stolen bases, 48 RBIs and MLB&rsquos Rookie of the Year award.

Bankhead, born in Empire, Alabama, was the son of a former Cotton Belt League baseball player and coal miner. When Bankhead turned 19, he began his Negro Leagues career playing for the Chicago American Giants. He came back to his home state and played for the Birmingham (Alabama) Black Barons, where he went through a host of positions before settling on pitcher.

Bankhead had breakout performances in two Negro Leagues All-Star Games, one of which was played in Chicago&rsquos Comiskey Park in July 1947, where he was spotted by two Brooklyn scouts.

Dodgers president Branch Rickey decided to watch Bankhead for himself, traveled to Memphis and eventually bought his Red Sox contract for $15,000. Rickey&rsquos team was in the midst of a heated pennant race and needed pitching, which made the prospect of seeing Bankhead all the more tantalizing. Bankhead was inserted into the lineup hastily, compared with Robinson&rsquos gradual introduction to the majors.

&ldquoBankhead has a great future as a pitcher in the major leagues,&rdquo Rickey told The New York Times. &ldquoI don&rsquot know how soon.&rdquo He explained that Bankhead &ldquomay be a little bit nervous &mdash I&rsquom afraid he will be.&rdquo

&ldquoI know this boy has the physical equipment to help this club. The only question is whether he will be able to withstand the tremendous pressure under which he will work. His problem is greater than Robinson&rsquos &mdash all eyes are on the pitcher.&rdquo

Bankhead and Robinson would be roommates when the team traveled for games and formed a friendship that The New York Times reported involved a &ldquojovial argument&rdquo that concluded with Bankhead informing Robinson, &ldquoNot only are you wrong, Robinson, but you are loud wrong!&rdquo

On Aug. 26, 1947, against the Pirates, Bankhead made his debut, and it was rough. His first pitch hit Pirates batter Wally Westlake on the elbow, and Bankhead gave up a homer. He pitched three innings, allowing eight runs and 10 hits. He also homered in his first major league at-bat.

&ldquoI was scared as hell,&rdquo Bankhead said in Crossing the Line: Black Major Leaguers. &ldquoWhen I stepped on the mound, I was perspiring all over and tight as a drum.&rdquo

What&rsquos 🔥 Right Now

Years later, former Negro Leagues star Buck O&rsquoNeil explained Bankhead&rsquos nervousness:

As Joe Posnanski records in &ldquoThe Soul of Baseball&rdquo (HarperCollins, 2007), O&rsquoNeil once said: &ldquoSee, here&rsquos what I always heard. Dan was scared to death that he was going to hit a white boy with a pitch. He thought there might be some sort of riot if he did it.&rdquo

O&rsquoNeil went on: &ldquoDan was always from Alabama, you know what I mean? He heard all those people calling him names, making those threats, and he was scared. He&rsquod seen black men get lynched.&rdquo

Bankhead was sent to the minors after the 1947 season for two seasons. He returned to the Dodgers in 1950 for a season and a half before eventually leaving the league and playing 15 years in the Mexican League.


Watch the video: 1960 World Series Game 7 - New York Yankees at Pittsburgh Pirates (May 2022).