York City Baseball Madness
YORK - The scene in New York City back in the era of the "Subway
Series" – the 1940s and 1950s - always comes back in black and
white, always comes back with a rush of noise.
many who lived through that time, the images still tarry in memory. It was
a time when World Series tickets were being printed each season for one,
two or all three New York City baseball teams. It was a time when the look
and the style of the teams and their players – and the numbers on their
uniforms, their nicknames - were as familiar to fans as their own
telephone number or address.
1956 World Series matchup between the Dodgers of Brooklyn and their hated
rivals, the New York Yankees, was a matter of revenge for the Bronx
Bombers and their fans. The year before the Bums had finally broken
through and beaten the Yanks in the World Series.
first two games of the 1956 Fall Classic were played in Brooklyn.
President Dwight D. Eisenhower attended the first game. Looking strange in
a Dodger uniform, long time Giant pitcher Sal Maglie struck out 10 batters
and spaced nine hits. Brooklyn won the game, 6-3. Whitey Ford took the
loss for the Yankees as Dodger fans crowed: "Even a good lefty like
Ford gets 'rooned' at Ebbets Field."
at Ebbets Field" headlined the NEW YORK DAILY NEWS the next day after
the Dodgers won again, 13-8. Casey Stengel pitched Don Larsen, Johnny
Kucks, Tom Morgan, Bob Turley and Mickey McDermott - to no avail.
three shifted to Yankee Stadium. Whitey Ford came back from his first game
defeat and went the distance in the 6-3 Yankee triumph.
series was tied as the Yanks won the fourth game, 6-2. Hank Bauer belted
his first World Series home run in the seventh inning off a 20-year-old
making his first Fall Classic appearance. His name was Don Drysdale.
were 64,619 in attendance at Game Five at Yankee Stadium. They stayed
through all nine innings, witnesses to one of the great moments in sports
history - Don Larsen's pitching of the only perfect game in all the years
of the World Series.
had the misfortune to be the opposing pitcher the day Larsen was touched
by destiny. Maglie yielded but five hits, one of them a home run to Mickey
Mantle and another was a run- scoring single to Bauer. For years
afterwards, Maglie insisted: "I don't want to talk about it. I don't
want to think about it. I just want to forget it."
teams returned to Ebbets Field for Game Six. Again the Yankees pitched a
no-windup hurler, Bob Turley. And again the zeroes went up on the
scoreboard. But this time they went up for both teams. At the end of nine
innings, the game was scoreless. The Dodgers had managed just three hits
off the man known as "Bullet Bob." The Yankees had collected
just four hits off Clem Labine.
the bottom of the 10th inning, Junior Gilliam Walked. Most of the 32,224
iron-lunged zealots at Ebbets Field were screaming for Yankee blood.
Snider was walked intentionally after Gilliam moved to second base on a
sacrifice. Jackie Robinson came up and drove an inside pitch to left field
over the glove of a leaping Enos Slaughter. The ball smacked against the
outfield wall. The Dodgers won the game, 1-0.
pitched the greatest game I ever pitched in my life," Turley said,
"and I got beat."
seven was no contest. It was all Yankees.
Berra blasted a two-run homer and then another. The shots knocked out
Dodger right-hander Don Newcombe, the 1956 National League Most Valuable
Players and Cy Young award winner. Elston Howard whacked a fourth-inning
home run for the Yankees. Bill Skowron rapped a grand slammer for the
Yanks in the seventh. Allowing just three hits, Johnny Kucks coasted to
his 9-0 win over the Dodgers.
one knew it back then but that seventh game was the final game of the
final Subway Series World Series between the Brooklyn Dodgers and the New
the 1957 season the Dodgers and the New York Giants moved to California,
leaving the Yankees with center stage in the Big Apple. Some Dodger and
Giant fans switched their allegiance to the hated Yankees. Others became
fans of the San Francisco Giants or Los Angeles Dodges. Still others
waited for the return of National Baseball to New York City and became Met
will be other Subway Series, but none will never quite equal those series
from New York City baseball's last golden age.
Frommer is the author of the classic "New York City Baseball
1947-1957: The Last Golden Age.
# # #
You can reach
Harvey Frommer at:
About the Author:
Harvey Frommer is in his 38th year of writing books.
A noted oral historian and sports journalist, the author of 42 sports
books including the classics: "New York City Baseball,1947-1957" and
"Shoeless Joe and Ragtime Baseball," his acclaimed REMEMBERING YANKEE
STADIUM was published in 2008 and his REMEMBERING FENWAY PARK: AN ORAL
AND NARRATIVE HISTORY OF THE HOME OF RED SOX NATION was published to
acclaim in 2011. The prolific Frommer is at work on When It Was
Just a Game, An Oral History on Super Bowel One.
His work has appeared in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times,
Washington Post, New York Daily News, Newsday, USA Today, Men's Heath,
The Sporting News, among other publications.
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Frommer along with his wife, Myrna Katz Frommer are the authors of
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