November 17, 2008
by William Szczepanek
Johnny Podres, a pitcher with a 9-10 record in 1955, became a hero by being the only pitcher to ever win a final World Series game for Brooklyn. Podres became the “Yankee Killer”. His best year was 1961 when he won 18 while losing 3. He led the National League in shutouts in 1957 with 6.
But, his most memorable year was 1955 when he and the “Boys of Summer” tamed the Yankees in game three and when he was summoned to go up against the Yankees in game seven. Podres responded by shutting down the Yankees 2-0 and was named the Most Valuable Player of the 1955 World Series.
In 1955 it was White Collar, Corporate Pinstriped (Yankees) vs. Blue Collar (Dodgers) in the time following The Great Depression and two wars. In 1955 baseball was a different game than it is now. The players were different than now and the fans lived differently than most people do now. The society of the time was reflected in the game and the game was a manifestation of society, much the same as is the case now, though the perception is quite different. Watch the video, watch the players, watch the fans and then compare them to today. It is possible to learn from history to prevent making the same mistakes, but the solutions to the problems are often quite different.
Johnny Podres passed away this year in January. His stats can be viewed at baseball-reference.com.