1953 World Series — New York Yankees and Brooklyn Dodgers


Ron Griffitts

Contributing Columnist

In fall 1953, the defending champion New York Yankees managed by Casey Stengel and with general manger George Weiss met the Brooklyn Dodgers (105-49-1) managed by Chuck Dressen and general manager Buzzie Bavasi in the 51st World Series.

The Yankees were led on offense by Yogi Berra (27 HR, 108 RBI, .296 BA), Gene Woodling (.306 BA), Hank Bauer (.304 BA) and twenty-one year old Mickey Mantle (21 HR, 92 RBI, .295 BA, 105 RS).

Their pitching staff had as starters Whitey Ford (18-6), Vic Raschi (13-6), Eddie Lopat (16-4, 2.42 ERA), Jim McDonald (9-7), and Allie Reynolds (13-7 with 13 saves).

The Dodger offense was led by catcher Roy Campanella the NL MVP (41 HR, 142 RBI, .312 BA, 103 RS), Gil Hodges (31 HR, 122 RBI, .302 BA, 101 RS), Jim Gilliam (124 RS), Pee Wee Reese (108 RS), Duke Snider (42 HR, 126 RBI, .336 BA, 132 RS), Jackie Robinson (95 RBI, .329 BA, 109 RS) and NL batting champion Carl Furillo (21 HR, 92 RBI, .344 BA).

Brooklyn’s pitching staff was headed by Carl Erskine (20-6), Russ Meyer (15-5), Billy Loes (14-8), Preacher Roe (11-3) and Johnny Podres (9-4) with Clem Labine (11-6, 2.77 ERA) with 7 saves in the bullpen.

Game one was in Yankee Stadium in the Bronx borough of New York City with the veteran Allie Reynolds facing young curveballer Carl Erskine. The Yankees got off to a fast start and scored four runs in the first inning with a three-run Billy Martin triple being the big play.

Brooklyn battled back with the help of home runs by Gil Hodges, Jim Gilliam and George Shuba to tie the score in the top of the seventh but a Joe Collins home run put the Bronx Bombers ahead in the bottom of the inning and they went on to a 9-5 win to take the first game of the series.

Johnny Sain got the win in relief for New York as he had been obtained in a trade with the Braves for young right-hander Lew Burdette who in later years would star in World Series play.

In game two, the Dodgers led 2-1 after six innings but a Billy Martin solo home run in the seventh inning off of Preacher Roe tied the game. A two-run drive by Mickey Mantle in the eighth was all Eddie Lopat needed as the Yankees take a 2-0 lead in the series with a 4-2 win.

For game three, the teams switched to Ebbets Field in Brooklyn where Vic Raschi started for the Yankees and Carl Erskine for the Dodgers. Both pitched complete games and were stingy on allowing runs. With the score tied 2-2 in the bottom of the eighth, Roy Campanella homered for a 3-2 Dodger lead and they went on to win to close the gap between them and the Yankees, 2-1.

Erskine struck out a record fourteen Yankees in that win.

Continuing their momentum from game three, Brooklyn scored three first inning runs on an RBI single by Jackie Robinson and a two-run double by Duke Snider and the Dodgers go on to a 7-3 win to tie up the series at two games each.

Duke Snider had three hits and four RBI’s including a home run and Gil McDougald added a solo home run for the Bronx Bombers.

In game five, still in Brooklyn, the Yankee bats erupted for home runs from Mickey Mantle, Gene Woodling, Billy Martin and Gil McDougald for an 11-7 win to pull ahead of Brooklyn 3-2 in the series.

Billy Cox and Jim Gilliam added home runs for the Dodgers.

For game six, the teams moved across town back to Yankee Stadium and the Yankees built a 3-1 lead going into the top of the ninth inning.

Carl Furillo tied the score with a home run off of Allie Reynolds with Duke Snider on base and the game went to the bottom of the ninth.

The Yankees weren’t done yet as Dodger reliever Clem Labine walked the leadoff batter, Hank Bauer, and three batters later he scored on a Billy Martin single for a 4-3 New York win and World Series victory.

Had they had a series MVP award, Billy Martin would probably have won it as he had 12 hits in 24 at bats for a .500 batting average. He was scrappy and competitive as a player and later in his career as a manager.

Both teams were back in 1955 for a rematch.

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

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