The 2014 baseball season belongs
to history as do so many others. Now as we move into winter, itís time
for hot stove news and talk and reflection. Flashbacks are a way of
life. So come, let us celebrate a special time in New York City Baseball
The World Series competition for
the New York Yankees in 1951 was the Giants of New York. Leo Durocherís
team had a storybook season, chasing, catching and then conquering their
hated rival Brooklyn Dodgers in a one-game play-off on Bobby Thomson's
"Shot Heard 'Round the World."
EDDIE LOPAT: All the reporters
told us to watch out. "The Giants are hot," they said. "They beat the
Dodgers coming out of nowhere." We didn't believe what anybody told us
or what they printed in the newspapers. The other teams had to beat us
on the field. That was where it counted.
MONTE IRVIN: We were still on a
high after beating the Dodgers in 1951 in that playoff game when we went
up against the Yankees in the World Series. Without a chance to rest, we
reported to the Stadium the next day. I got four straight hits and also
stole home in the first inning.
My last time up, Yogi Berra said:
"Monte, I don't know what to throw you. You have been hitting high balls
and low balls and curve balls. I'm gonna have you get a fastball right
down the middle."
I really didn't believe Yogi. But
sure enough Reynolds threw me a fastball right down the middle. I hit a
line drive. The ball was caught. I really wanted that hit. No one had
ever gone five for five in the World Series.
Fielding the first black outfield
in World Series history - Hank Thompson, Monte Irvin and Willie Mays -
the Giants defeated Allie Reynolds and the Yankees 5-1 with Dave Koslo
going the distance for the win.
STEVE SWIRSKY: I was ten years
old and a Yankee fan. My dad didn't have a lot of money but he came
home one day with two tickets for the second '51 World Series game.
I remember everything about that
day - the smells, the walking around to the little shops, my dad digging
deep to buy a cap and a hot dog for me. It almost glowed in my heart
'cause I used to listen to the Yankee games on the radio from all over
the country even though there were times I could barely hear it.
We sat down the left field line
underneath the overhang - 20 rows back. In those days poles held up the
overhang. My seat had an obstructed view. But you know how some women
are about little boys. A woman switched seats with me so I could see.
It was Willie Mays who hit the fly ball that Mantle, playing right
field, chased. Mantle was not the superstar that he was going to be, but
there was a big hush when he went down. It seemed like the world
The 19-year-old Mantle, attempting
to avoid a collision with Joe DiMaggio, twisted his ankle in the fifth
inning on a sprinkler-head cover protruding from the outfield grass. He
lay there, motionless. His right knee had snapped and was he was lost to
the Yankees for the rest of the series.
No matter - the Yankees were
loaded with talent and though the Giants had momentum, it was another
world championship for Stengel's guys on October 10, 1951 as Vic Raschi
bested Dave Koslo, 4-3 before 61,711. That was the last World Series
game Joe DiMaggio ever played in.
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