by Harold Friend
The 1952 World Series is usually remembered for Billy Martin's great catch of a Jackie Robinson pop fly with the bases loaded and two outs in the seventh inning of the seventh game. The catch saved the Series for the Yankees, but the 1952 World Series was memorable in many other ways.
Joe Black Started and Finished Game 1
Rookie right hander Joe Black started Game1 at Ebbets Field against Yankees' ace Allie Reynolds. Brooklyn beat Reynolds 4-2 on home runs by PeeWee Reese, Jackie Robinson, and Duke Snider. Joe Black pitched a complete game.
Vic Raschi Started and Finished Game2
The Yankees tied the Series the next day behind the three hit pitching of Vic Raschi, who went the distance. The Yankees kayoed Carl Erskine with a five run sixth inning. Mickey Mantle, who finished his career with 536 home runs, led off the inning with a bunt single.
No Travel Days
The teams moved to Yankee Stadium for the next three games. There was no travel day. Two crafty left handers, Brooklyn's Preacher Roe and the Yankees' Steady Eddie Lopat, dueled each other pitch for pitch, and despite home runs by Yogi Berra and Johnny Mize, Brooklyn prevailed as Roe went the distance.
Game 4 Starters On Two Days Rest
In what might seem unbelievable to 21st century fans, Joe Black started against Allie Reynolds in Game 4, each on two days rest. Reynolds had pitched 244 1/3 innings during the season, winning 20 games. Black was Brooklyn's top relief pitcher, and had made only two starts, both near the end of the season. Shades of Jim Konstanty. Reynolds shut out Brooklyn, 2-0, as he went the distance.
Brooklyn won the fifth game, 6-5 in 11 innings. Carl Erskine started for Brooklyn against Ewell "The Whip" Blackwell. Johnny Sain took over for Blackwell in the sixth inning and was the losing pitcher when Duke Snider doubled home Billy Cox in the top of the eleventh. Erskine retired the Yankees in order in the bottom of the eleventh for the complete game victory.
Reynolds Saves Game 6
Back at Ebbets Field for Game 6, Raschi, on three days rest, which was normal, nursed a 3-1 lead into the eighth inning, when Brooklyn rallied. Duke Snider hit a one-out home run to bring Brooklyn with a run. It was the Duke's fourth home run of the Series.
Raschi retired the dangerous Jackie Robinson on a fly ball to left for the second out, but George "Shotgun" Shuba doubled. Raschi was taken out. Who came in? Game 4 winner Allie Reynolds, that's who. The Super Chief struck out Roy Campanella to end the threat, and closed out Brooklyn with a scoreless ninth inning.
No Game 7 Starting Pitcher for the Yankees?
Yankees' manager Casey Stengel didn't have a pitcher for the deciding seventh game.
"You all knew I intended to come back for the last game with Reynolds. That was the plan only if Raschi had finished today. He could have finished too. He didn't lose his stuff, and he didn't tire. But when they got that close in the eighth inning with the tying run on second, you couldn't take any chances. I had to come in with the best I've got. You come in there with your best, don't you? That's what I did. And we won.
"Now we have to give 'em the best we got tomorrow. I don't think I'll use Reynolds. I just don't know who it will be."
Brooklyn Ate Up Lefties
Stengel was hesitant to start Lopat because Brooklyn was lethal against left-handers, but since Steady Eddie has three days rest, he was nominated." When asked how he felt, Eddie was forthright. "I'm nervous as all get out. I'm so jittery, I'm shaking all over."
Reserve catcher Ralph Houk knew Eddie Lopat. "Their record against left-handers don't mean a thing against Lopat. He's not an ordinary left hander."
Reynolds Wins in Relief
Stengel used his three best pitchers -- Lopat started, Reynolds entered in the fourth inning and was given the win , Raschi pitched briefly in the seventh, and unheralded Bob Kuzava saved the game with 2 2/3 scoreless innings.
Raschi and Reynolds had pitched the day before, and with his appearance in the seventh game, Reynolds had now started the first game, came back to start the fourth game on two days rest, saved the sixth game, and won the seventh game.
There is no doubt that today's players are the best in the history of the game.
By JAMES P. DAWSON. (1952, October 7). ' We'll Give Them Our Best Today,' Says Stengel, Seeking Fourth Series in Row :YANK PLANS UPSET FOR DECIDING GAME Use of Reynolds in Relief Puts Stengel in Quandary Over Starting Pitcher LOPAT AND GORMAN READY But Manager Will Not Make Choice Until Today -- Irv Noren to Open in Right . New York Times (1857-Current File),35. Retrieved November 23, 2009, from ProQuest Historical Newspapers The New York Times (1851 - 2006). (Document ID: 84263117).
By JOHN DREBINGER. (1952, October 8). YANKS TAKE SERIES, DEFEATING DODGERS IN 7TH CONTEST, 4-2 :Stengel Ties Managerial Mark as Team Gains Fourth Title in Row, 4 Games to 3 MANTLE HOMER DECISIVE Kuzava Checks Brooklyn and Saves Reynolds' 2d Victory -- Black, Lopat Routed As the Yanks Captured the Deciding Game and Retained Their Championship YANKS TAKE SERIES, DOWN DODGERS, 4-2. New York Times (1857-Current file),1. Retrieved November 23, 2009, from ProQuest Historical Newspapers The New York Times (1851 - 2006). (Document ID: 84587776).