1958 World Series — Braves and Yankees


By Ron Griffitts

Contributing Columnist

In October 1958, the defending World Series champion Milwaukee Braves (92-62) managed by Fred Haney with general manager John Quinn met the New York Yankees (92-62-1) managed by Casey Stengel along with general manager George Weiss.

The Braves were led on offense by Hank Aaron (30 HR, 95 RBI,.326 BA, 109 RS, 196 H), Ed Mathews (31 HR, 97 RS), Wes Covington (24 HR, .330 BA), Frank Torre, the older brother of Joe Torre, (.309 BA), Joe Adcock (19 HR) and catcher Del Crandall (18 HR).

Their pitching staff was anchored by Warren Spahn 22-11, Lew Burdette 20-10, Bob Rush 10-6, Carl Willey 9-7, Juan Pizarro 6-4 and Joey Jay 7-5, who two years later would be a star for the Cincinnati Reds. In the bullpen they had Don McMahan 7-2 with 8 saves and Gene Conley who also played pro basketball for the Boston Celtics in the 1958-59 season with three saves.

The Yankees, who were appearing in their eighth World Series in the decade of the 1950’s, were led by Mickey Mantle (42 HR, 97 RBI, .304 BA, 127 RS, 18 SB), catcher Yogi Berra (22 HR. 90 RBI), Norm Siebern (.300 BA), Elston Howard (.314 BA) and 42 year old reserve outfielder Enos Slaughter (.304 BA).

The New York pitching staff was led by right-hander Bob Turley 21-7, 2.97 ERA, lefthander Whitey Ford 14-7, 2.01 ERA, Don Larsen 9-6, Duke Maas 7-3 and Ryne Duren 6-4, 2.02 ERA in the bullpen.

Game one was in County Stadium in Milwaukee with two of the greatest left-handed pitchers of their day facing each other in Whitey Ford and Warren Spahn. It was a close game and tied after nine innings, 3-3. But, Bill Bruton singled in Joe Adcock for the winning run in the bottom of the tenth off of Ryne Duren with the Braves getting the win 4-3 and a 1-0 lead in the series. Spahn pitched all ten innings for the Braves.

Bill Skowron and Hank Bauer each had home runs for the Yankees.

The Braves continued their momentum from game one in game two as a home run by Bill Bruton and a three-run homer by starter Lew Burdette helped Milwaukee coast to a 13-4 win and a 2-0 series lead.

Mickey Mantle added two home runs and Hank Bauer had one for the Yankees as the teams switched to the original Yankee Stadium in the Bronx section of New York City for game three.

In game three, the Yankees regrouped behind starter Don Larson who pitched the only perfect game in World Series history in 1956 and pitched seven scoreless innings to combine with Ryne Duren for a 4-0 New York win.

Hank Bauer contributed a two-run home run for the Yankees.

Game four was the second of three consecutive shutouts, this time by 37 year-old Warren Spahn who held the Yankees to only two hits for a 3-0 win and a 3-1 series lead.

Game five featured a five hit complete game shutout by the Yankee’s Bob Turley for a 7-0 win. Helped by a Gil McDougald home run, New York pulled within one game of the Braves 3-2.

For game six the teams traveled back to Milwaukee where Warren Spahn made his third series start, having already pitched a ten inning and nine inning complete game for two wins.

He was also sharp in this game as he only allowed two runs through nine innings but the score was tied and he went to the tenth inning for the second time in the series.

This time he gave up a home run to Gil McDougald to lead off the inning, got the next two batters out, but gave up two singles and was replaced by Don McMahon who gave up a single to Bill Skowron scoring Yogi Berra with the second run of the inning and Yankees lead 4-2.

The Braves got one run back on a Hank Aaron RBI in the bottom of the inning but the Yankees won 4-3 to tie the series at three games each.

Game seven was another close game as it was tied 2-2 going into the eighth inning until New York broke the game open with a three-run Bill Skowron home run and behind Bob Turley, who had a save the day before, came in to pitch six and two thirds innings in relief. The Yankees won the game 6-2 and their 18th World Series title and sixth in the 1950’s.

Hank Bauer got the World Series MVP. While the Yankees were back in 1960 against the Pittsburgh Pirates, the Braves did not return until 1991 when they were the Atlanta Braves.

For Warren Spahn it was the last World Series appearance of his 21 year long career in which he won 20 games or more 12 times. He finished with 363 wins, which is the most ever by a left-hander and the most for a pitcher in the modern era which is considered the time after 1920.

Statistics for this article are from baseball-reference.com.

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