For a twelve-year period, the World Series of baseball was largely a New York affair. From 1947 to 1958, at least one New York team was in the World Series every year but one. The only exception was the 1948 matchup between the Cleveland Indians and the Boston Braves. During this golden era of New York baseball, both World Series teams came from all five New York boroughs a staggering seven times. The New York Giants faced the New York Yankees in the 1951 World Series losing four games to two. The Brooklyn Dodgers faced the Yankees six times. The Yankees took five of those. This is the story of the series that won “Dem Bums of Brooklyn.”
The 1955 game was the fifth recent meeting of its kind between the Yankees and the Dodgers. The Yankees had dashed Brooklyn’s hopes in the past four previous meetings. Flatbush Avenue residents braced for more of the same. Game 1 was played at Yankee Stadium and did nothing to allay Brooklyite’s fears. Despite a successful home robbery by Jackie Robinson, the Yankees prevailed against Don Newcombe and the Dodgers 6-5. Yogi vigorously argued for the home safe decision. In fact, you will still discuss the call today whenever someone brings it up. The second game brought more misery to the borough of Brooklyn. Left-hander Tommy Byrne handed the Dodgers a complete 4-2 loss.
Things seemed terribly familiar when the Series went to Ebbets Field. But a young Johnny Podres pitched the Bums to their first victory in the Series of 55. Brooklyn comfortably won 8-3. The Dodgers opened long ball for Game 4. Gil Hodges, Roy Campanella and Duke Snider each hit home runs for match series. Snider hit two home runs in Game 5 to give the Dodgers a game sweep from Ebbets Field.
The Dodgers were sitting in the bird’s seat back at Yankee Stadium. But Whitey Ford got the Yankees back on track in Game 6 with a masterful four-hitter in which he gave up just one run. A decisive seventh game would include a left-handed showdown between Tommy Byrne and 23-year-old Johnny Podres. Podres pitched the final game of the 1955 World Series with all the confidence in the world. More than 62,000 fans watched him shut out the Bronx Bombers 2-0. The Yankees had threatened in the sixth. With two runners on base, Berra hit a stinging drive into the left-field corner. Defensive replacement Sandy Amoros ran to the corner and made one of the most spectacular and important catches in the entire World Series game. From that point on, the Yankees never threatened and Brooklyn finally had the World Series Championship.
Suffering Brooklyn fans took to the streets to celebrate. The shop owners gave away their products. Spontaneous parades broke out throughout the municipality. Brooklyn turned into a big block party. The Brooklyn Dodgers would play just one more World Series before moving to Los Angeles. The Yankees would take revenge a year later in the 1956 Series. But in 1955 the Brooklyn Dodgers had their golden moment. They were World Series champions. It was the best time in Brooklyn since they opened that bridge in 1883.