1954 World Series

The 1954 World Series matched the National League champion New York Giants against the American League champion Cleveland Indians. The Giants swept the Series in four games to win their first championship since 1933, defeating the heavily favored Indians, who had won an AL-record 111 games in the regular season (a record since broken by the 1998 New York Yankees with 114 and again by the 2001 Seattle Mariners with 116, tying the 1906 Chicago Cubs for the most wins in a season). The Series is perhaps best-remembered for "The Catch", a sensational running catch made by Giants center fielder Willie Mays in Game 1, snaring a long drive by Vic Wertz near the outfield wall with his back to the infield. It is also remembered for utility player Dusty Rhodes' clutch hitting in three of the four games, including his pinch walk-off "Chinese home run" that won Game 1, barely clearing the 258-foot (79 m) right-field fence at the Polo Grounds. Giants manager Leo Durocher, who had managed teams to three National League championships, won his only World Series title as a manager. The Giants, who would move west to become the San Francisco Giants, would not win a World Series again until the 2010 season.

This was the first time that the Indians had been swept in a World Series and the first time that the Giants had swept an opponent in four games (their 1922 World Series sweep included a controversial tie game). Game 2 was the last World Series and playoff game at the Polo Grounds, and Game 4 was the last World Series and playoff game at Cleveland Stadium. The Indians would be kept out of the World Series until 1995, a year after Jacobs Field opened.

1954 World Series
The Catch
Team (Wins) Manager(s) Season
New York Giants (4) Leo Durocher 97–57, .630, GA: 5
Cleveland Indians (0) Al López 111–43, .721, GA: 8
DatesSeptember 29 – October 2
UmpiresAl Barlick (NL), Charlie Berry (AL), Jocko Conlan (NL), Johnny Stevens (AL), Lon Warneke (NL: outfield only), Larry Napp (AL: outfield only)
Hall of FamersUmpires: Al Barlick, Jocko Conlan
Giants: Leo Durocher (mgr.), Monte Irvin, Willie Mays, Hoyt Wilhelm.
Indians: Al López (mgr.), Larry Doby, Bob Lemon, Early Wynn, Hal Newhouser, Bob Feller.
Broadcast
TelevisionNBC
TV announcersJack Brickhouse and Russ Hodges
RadioMutual
Radio announcersAl Helfer and Jimmy Dudley
World Series

Background

The Indians, by winning the American League pennant, kept the Yankees from having a chance to win their sixth straight series. The last time the Yankees had been absent from the World Series was 1948, when the Indians defeated the Boston Braves to win the championship. This was also the only World Series from 1949 to 1958 in which the Yankees did not participate.

The Indians easily won the 1954 pennant on the strength of the American League's top pitching staff, leading the AL in team ERA at 2.72 and complete games with 77. Pitchers Early Wynn (23–11, 2.73 ERA) and Bob Lemon (23–7, 2.72 ERA) were in top form, with solid contributions from Mike Garcia (19–8, 2.64) and Art Houtterman (15–7, 3.35). Bob Feller, at age 35, could only make 19 starts, and finished at 13–3. Cleveland also had potent hitting, leading the AL in home runs (156) and finishing second in runs scored (746), although the team managed just 30 stolen bases in 63 attempts. Bobby Ávila led the offense with 112 runs and a .341 batting average, while Larry Doby (.272, 32 HRs, 126 RBIs) and Al Rosen (.300, 24 HRs, 102 RBIs) provided the power. Catcher Jim Hegan made only four errors in 134 games and threw out 44% of would-be base stealers.[1]

The Giants entered the World Series with a top-flight pitching staff as well, with Johnny Antonelli (21–7, 2.30 ERA), Rubén Gómez (17–9, 2.88) and 37-year-old Sal "The Barber" Maglie (14–6, 3.26). The Giants relied more heavily on relief pitching with Hoyt Wilhelm (12–7, 2.10, 7 saves) and Marv Grissom (10–7, 2.35, 19 saves) rounding out a staff that led the NL in team ERA at 3.09 and shutouts with 17. Manager Leo Durocher used a solid, consistent lineup with all of his starters, except for the catching position, playing in at least 135 games. Willie Mays (.345, 41 HRs 110 RBIs) led an offense that also featured Don Meuller (.342), Alvin Dark (.293, 98 runs), Hank Thompson (26 HRs, 86 RBIs) and pinch-hitter extraordinaire Dusty Rhodes (.341).[2]

Summary

NL New York Giants (4) vs. AL Cleveland Indians (0)

Game Date Score Location Time Attendance 
1 September 29 Cleveland Indians – 2, New York Giants – 5 (10 innings) Polo Grounds 3:11 52,751[3] 
2 September 30 Cleveland Indians – 1, New York Giants – 3 Polo Grounds 2:50 49,099[4] 
3 October 1 New York Giants – 6, Cleveland Indians – 2 Cleveland Stadium 2:28 71,555[5] 
4 October 2 New York Giants – 7, Cleveland Indians – 4 Cleveland Stadium 2:52 78,102[6]

Matchups

Game 1

Wednesday, September 29, 1954 1:00 pm (ET) at Polo Grounds in Manhattan, New York
Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 R H E
Cleveland 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 8 0
New York 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 5 9 3
WP: Marv Grissom (1–0)   LP: Bob Lemon (0–1)
Home runs:
CLE: None
NYG: Dusty Rhodes (1)
Notes: Ceremonial first pitch: Jim Barbieri[7]

Cleveland got on the board right away against Sal Maglie. Leadoff man Al Smith was hit by a pitch, Bobby Ávila singled and Vic Wertz brought home both with a triple to right. Don Liddle and Marv Grissom held them scoreless for the rest of the game. Bob Lemon gave two back in the third on singles by Whitey Lockman and Alvin Dark, an RBI groundout by Don Mueller, a walk to Willie Mays and a Hank Thompson RBI single. Mays saved the day in the eighth after leadoff singles by Larry Doby and Al Rosen led to starting pitcher Maglie being lifted for Liddle. Wertz's drive to deep center field would have scored both if not for Mays' memorable catch. Lemon went all the way for Cleveland, losing it in the 10th when Dusty Rhodes, pinch-hitting for Monte Irvin with two Giants on base, hit a walk-off home run.

Game 2

1954 World Series game two.jpeg
Dusty Rhodes of the New York Giants rounds first base after hitting a home run during the seventh inning of the second game of the 1954 World Series.
Thursday, September 30, 1954 1:00 pm (ET) at Polo Grounds in Manhattan, New York
Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Cleveland 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 8 0
New York 0 0 0 0 2 0 1 0 X 3 4 0
WP: Johnny Antonelli (1–0)   LP: Early Wynn (0–1)
Home runs:
CLE: Al Smith (1)
NYG: Dusty Rhodes (2)

Once again, the visitors started quickly but could not hold their lead. Al Smith's leadoff home run off Johnny Antonelli put Cleveland up 1–0. Early Wynn preserved that lead, pitching four perfect innings, but in the fifth inning, Willie Mays walked and Hank Thompson singled, and Dusty Rhodes, again pinch-hitting for Monte Irvin, delivered an RBI single. Antonelli gave himself the go-ahead run by scoring Thompson on a groundout. New York had just four hits, but Rhodes padded the Giants' lead with a home run leading off the seventh. Their other hit came in the sixth on an Alvin Dark leadoff single. Antonelli walked six but struck out nine, pitching a complete game to give the Giants a 2–0 series lead. This would be the last postseason game at the Polo Grounds.

Game 3

Friday, October 1, 1954 1:00 pm (ET) at Cleveland Stadium in Cleveland, Ohio
Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
New York 1 0 3 0 1 1 0 0 0 6 10 1
Cleveland 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 2 4 2
WP: Ruben Gomez (1–0)   LP: Mike Garcia (0–1)   Sv: Hoyt Wilhelm (1)
Home runs:
NYG: None
CLE: Vic Wertz (1)

A huge crowd of 71,555 hoped to see Cleveland get its first win, but things did not go well for the home team. The Indians trailed 1–0 quickly when Whitey Lockman singled, took second on a groundout and scored on a hit by Willie Mays. The run was scored as unearned because of an error by shortstop George Strickland. With the bases loaded in the third, pinch hitter Dusty Rhodes hit a two-run single. An error by pitcher Mike Garcia on Davey Williams' bunt attempt gave the Giants another run to make it 4–0. The Giants added to their lead on RBI singles by Wes Westrum off of Art Houtteman in the fifth and by Mays off of Ray Narleski in the sixth. Ruben Gomez gave up just four hits and two runs (a Vic Wertz home run in the seventh and an error by shortstop Alvin Dark on a grounder by Al Smith), with knuckleballer Hoyt Wilhelm mopping up for the save.

Game 4

Saturday, October 2, 1954 1:00 pm (ET) at Cleveland Stadium in Cleveland, Ohio
Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
New York 0 2 1 0 4 0 0 0 0 7 10 3
Cleveland 0 0 0 0 3 0 1 0 0 4 6 2
WP: Don Liddle (1–0)   LP: Bob Lemon (0–2)   Sv: Johnny Antonelli (1)
Home runs:
NYG: None
CLE: Hank Majeski (1)

Cleveland's slim comeback chances took a beating as the Indians fell hopelessly behind, 7–0. The scoring started on a pair of Cleveland errors in the second inning. An RBI double by Mays in the third scored another run. The Giants' four-run fifth inning broke the game wide open. Starter Bob Lemon loaded the bases and was pulled for Hal Newhouser, who faced just two batters, giving up a walk to Thompson and two-run single to Irvin. The Giants added another run in the inning on Wes Westrum's sacrifice fly against Ray Narleski. A brief glimmer of hope for the home team came in the bottom of the fifth with a couple of Giants errors and a Hank Majeski three-run pinch-hit home run, but except for a meaningless RBI single by Rudy Regalado in the seventh off starter Don Liddle, the Indians got nothing more as Hoyt Wilhelm and Game 2 starter Johnny Antonelli came on in relief and the Giants completed a four-game sweep.

Composite box

1954 World Series (4–0): New York Giants (N.L.) over Cleveland Indians (A.L.)

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 R H E
New York Giants 1 2 6 0 7 1 1 0 0 3 21 33 7
Cleveland Indians 3 0 0 0 3 0 2 1 0 0 9 26 4
Total attendance: 251,507   Average attendance: 62,877
Winning player's share: $11,148   Losing player's share: $6,713[8]

Records

  • Hank Thompson set a World Series record for bases on balls received during a four-game series with 7 and Bob Lemon set a World Series record for bases on balls given up during a four-game series with 8.

Notes

  1. ^ "1954 Cleveland Indians Team". Baseball-Reference. Retrieved October 21, 2011.
  2. ^ "1954 New York Giants Team". Baseball-Reference. Retrieved October 21, 2011.
  3. ^ "1954 World Series Game 1 – Cleveland Indians vs. New York Giants". Retrosheet. Retrieved September 13, 2009.
  4. ^ "1954 World Series Game 2 – Cleveland Indians vs. New York Giants". Retrosheet. Retrieved September 13, 2009.
  5. ^ "1954 World Series Game 3 – New York Giants vs. Cleveland Indians". Retrosheet. Retrieved September 13, 2009.
  6. ^ "1954 World Series Game 4 – New York Giants vs. Cleveland Indians". Retrosheet. Retrieved September 13, 2009.
  7. ^ "Little Leaguer Throws Out First Pitch". The Marion Star. Marion, Ohio. September 30, 1954. p. 19. Retrieved August 25, 2018 – via newspapers.com.
  8. ^ "World Series Gate Receipts and Player Shares". Baseball Almanac. Retrieved June 14, 2009.

See also

References

  • Cohen, Richard M.; Neft, David S. (1990). The World Series: Complete Play-By-Play of Every Game, 1903–1989. New York: St. Martin's Press. pp. 250–253. ISBN 0-312-03960-3.
  • Hano, Arnold (2004). A Day in the Bleachers. Cambridge: Da Capo Press. ISBN 0-306-81322-X. The author, who later wrote Mays' biography, described sitting in the left-center field bleachers at the Polo Grounds for Game 1. An entire chapter was devoted to "The Catch".
  • Reichler, Joseph (1982). The Baseball Encyclopedia (5th ed.). Macmillan Publishing. p. 2162. ISBN 0-02-579010-2.

External links

1954 Cleveland Indians season

The 1954 Cleveland Indians advanced to the World Series for the first time in six years. It was the team's third American League championship in franchise history. The Indians' 111-43 record is the all-time record for winning percentage by an American League team (.721), as this was before 162 games were played in a season.

For more than 60 years, Cleveland had been the only team in Major League Baseball to have compiled two different 11-game winning streaks within the same season, until the Toronto Blue Jays were able to accomplish the rare feat during the 2015 regular season.However, their great regular-season record would not be enough to win the World Series, as the Indians lost in four games to the New York Giants, after which the Indians would not return to the Fall Classic until 1995.

1954 Major League Baseball season

The 1954 Major League Baseball season was contested from April 13 to October 2, 1954. For the second consecutive season, a MLB franchise relocated, as the St. Louis Browns moved to Baltimore and became the Baltimore Orioles, who played their home games at Memorial Stadium.

1954 New York Giants (MLB) season

The 1954 New York Giants season was the franchise's 72nd season. The Giants won the National League pennant with a record of 97 wins and 57 losses and then defeated the Cleveland Indians in the World Series. It was the team's final World Series championship until 2010.

Cleveland Stadium

Cleveland Stadium, commonly known as Municipal Stadium or Lakefront Stadium, was a multi-purpose stadium located in Cleveland, Ohio. It was one of the early multi-purpose stadiums, built to accommodate both baseball and football. The stadium opened in 1931 and is best known as the long-time home of the Cleveland Indians of Major League Baseball, from 1932 to 1993, and the Cleveland Browns of the National Football League (NFL), from 1946 to 1995, in addition to hosting other teams, sports, and being a regular concert venue. The stadium was a four-time host of the Major League Baseball All-Star Game, one of the host venues of the 1948 and 1954 World Series, and the site of the original Dawg Pound, Red Right 88, and The Drive.

Through most of its tenure as a baseball facility, the stadium was the largest in Major League Baseball by seating capacity, seating over 78,000 initially and over 74,000 in its final years. It was superseded only by the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum from 1958 to 1961, while it was the temporary home of the Los Angeles Dodgers, and by Mile High Stadium in 1993, the temporary home of the expansion Colorado Rockies. For football, the stadium seated approximately 80,000 people, ranking as one of the larger seating capacities in the NFL.

Former Browns owner Art Modell took over control of the stadium from the city in the 1970s and while his organization made improvements to the facility, it continued to decline. The Indians played their final game at the stadium in October 1993 and moved to Jacobs Field the following season. Although plans were announced to renovate the stadium for use by the Browns, in 1995 Modell announced his intentions to move the team to Baltimore citing the state of Cleveland Stadium as a major factor. The Browns played their final game at the stadium in December 1995. As part of an agreement between Modell, the city of Cleveland, and the NFL, the Browns were officially deactivated for three seasons and the city was required to construct a new stadium on the Cleveland Stadium site. Cleveland Stadium was demolished in 1996 to make way for FirstEnergy Stadium, which opened in 1999. Much of the debris from the demolition was placed in Lake Erie to create an artificial reef.

Davey Williams

David Carlous Williams (November 2, 1927 – August 17, 2009) Williams graduated from Sunset High School in Dallas, Texas in 1945. He was an All-Star second baseman who played his entire career for the New York Giants of the National League. Listed at 5 ft 10 in (1.78 m), 160 lb., Williams batted and threw right-handed. He was born in Dallas, Texas.

Williams entered the majors with the Giants in 1949, playing for them in part of that season and from 1951 through 1955. His most productive season came in 1952, when he posted career-numbers in home runs (13), runs (70), RBI (48) and extrabases (42), while hitting a .254 batting average in 138 games. In 1953, he hit a career-high .297, earned a selection on the NL All-Star team, and was a member of the 1954 World Series champions.

In a six-season career, Williams was a .252 hitter (450-for-1785) with 32 home runs and 163 RBI in 517 games, including 235 runs, 163 RBI, 61 doubles, 10 triples and six stolen bases. A good contact, free swinger hitter, he collected 164 walks and 144 strikeouts in 1993 appearances at the plate. At second base, he recorded a .978 fielding percentage (52 errors in 2323 chances).

Williams's playing career was cut short when he was never able to fully recover after injuring his back in a collision with Jackie Robinson of the Brooklyn Dodgers, as Williams covered first base on Robinson bunt. Robinson later said that his intended target on the play had actually been Giant pitcher Sal Maglie. Maglie had angered the Dodgers by throwing several pitches high and inside on Dodger hitters, so Robinson had bunted specifically looking for the opportunity to crash into Maglie on the play. However, Maglie didn't cover first base as Robinson had expected, so instead, it was Williams who took the brunt of Robinson's charge.

Following his playing career, Williams coached for the Giants in the 1956 and 1957 seasons.

Williams died in his home town of Dallas, Texas, at the age of 81.

Don Liddle

Donald Eugene Liddle (May 25, 1925 – June 5, 2000) was an American left-handed pitcher in professional baseball who played four seasons in the Major Leagues for the Milwaukee Braves, New York Giants and St. Louis Cardinals from 1953 through 1956. Born in Mount Carmel, Illinois, he batted left-handed, stood 5 feet 10 inches (1.78 m) tall and weighed 165 pounds (75 kg).

Liddle is most remembered as the man who, in Game 1 of the 1954 World Series, threw the pitch to Vic Wertz that resulted in The Catch — Giant center fielder Willie Mays' historic back-to-home-plate, over-the-shoulder grab of Wertz' long drive with two men on base in the deepest part of center field at the Giants' home field, the Polo Grounds. Had the ball fallen safely, the opposition Cleveland Indians would have taken the lead 4–2 late in the game. But Mays' catch preserved a 2–2 tie, the Giants won the game in extra innings, and swept the Series in four straight contests.

Wertz was the only batter Liddle faced that day. Reportedly, he commented after the game was over in the locker room, "Well, I got my man", joking about his good fortune and Mays' athletic performance. Liddle later started and won the decisive Game 4 in Cleveland, pitching 6​2⁄3 innings and giving up only one earned run.

Earlier in 1954, Liddle was part of a pivotal, five-player trade, coming to the Giants with fellow left-handed pitcher Johnny Antonelli from the Braves in exchange for 1951 playoff hero Bobby Thomson. Antonelli won 21 games for the 1954 Giants, leading them to the National League pennant, and topped the Senior Circuit in earned run average.

Liddle appeared in 117 Major League games played, 54 as a starting pitcher. In 427​2⁄3 innings, he gave up 397 hits and 203 bases on balls, striking out 198. He retired from baseball after the 1957 season, which he spent in minor league baseball.

Liddle died, aged 75, in his hometown of Mount Carmel, Illinois.

Dusty Rhodes (outfielder)

James Lamar "Dusty" Rhodes (May 13, 1927 – June 17, 2009) was an American professional baseball player, an outfielder and pinch hitter whose otherwise unremarkable seven-year Major League Baseball career was dramatically highlighted by his starring role for the champion New York Giants during the 1954 season and that year's World Series.

Foster Castleman

Foster Ephraim Castleman (born January 1, 1931) is an American former professional baseball player. The native of Nashville, Tennessee, appeared in 268 games played over all or part of five seasons in Major League Baseball, from 1954 to 1958, for the New York Giants and Baltimore Orioles, mostly as a third baseman or shortstop. He threw and batted right-handed and was listed at 6 feet (1.8 m) tall and 175 pounds (79 kg).

Castleman's professional career extended from 1949 through 1960, with the 1951–52 seasons missed due to military service. He was called up to the Giants during their 1954 World Series championship season on August 4 and, in his debut, he bounced into a double play as a pinch hitter off Paul Minner of the Chicago Cubs. In limited service the rest of the way, starting one game at third base, he collected three hits, all singles, and one run batted in. He did not play in the 1954 World Series. In 1955, Castleman made the Giants' roster out of spring training and hit his first two Major League home runs on May 4–5, but he got into only 15 games and was sent back to the Triple-A Minneapolis Millers in late May.

Castleman's first full year in MLB was 1956. He succeeded Hank Thompson as the Giants' regular third baseman, hit 14 home runs (tied for third on the club) and started 97 games at the hot corner. But he batted only .226, and lost his starting job in 1957 when he batted only .162 and was sent back to Minneapolis in mid-June. Over the winter, the Giants moved to San Francisco, but Castleman never appeared for them in their new home. In March 1958, his contract was sold to the Orioles and he spent the entire season on Baltimore's roster as a reserve infielder, starting 64 games at shortstop, second only to Willy Miranda. Again, he struggled offensively, hitting only .170 in 98 games and 223 plate appearances. He finished his professional career at the Triple-A level in 1959–60.

As a big leaguer, Castleman collected 136 total hits, with 24 doubles and three triples to accompany his 20 home runs. He batted .205.

Freddie Fitzsimmons

Frederick Landis Fitzsimmons (July 28, 1901 – November 18, 1979) was an American professional baseball right-handed pitcher, manager, and coach, who played in Major League Baseball (MLB) from 1925 to 1943 with the New York Giants and Brooklyn Dodgers. Nicknamed "Fat Freddie" (he carried as much as 205 pounds (93 kg) on his 5 feet 11 inches (1.80 m) frame), and known for his mastery of the knuckle curve, Fitzsimmons' 217 wins were the third most by a National League (NL) right-hander in the period from 1920 to 1955, trailing only Burleigh Grimes and Paul Derringer. In 1940 he set an NL record, which stood until 1959, with a single-season winning percentage of .889 (16–2). He was an agile fielder in spite of his heavy build, holding the major league record for career double plays (79) from 1938 to 1964, and tying another record by leading the league in putouts four times; he ranked eighth in NL history in putouts (237) and ninth in fielding percentage (.977) when his career ended.

Born in Mishawaka, Indiana, Fitzsimmons broke in with the Giants in August 1925, posting a 6–3 record over the rest of the year. After seasons of 14 and 17 wins, he earned a career-high 20 victories in 1928, a year which saw the arrival of teammate Carl Hubbell; until Fitzsimmons' departure in 1937, the two formed a formidable left-right combination at the heart of the Giants' staff. In 1930 he led the NL in winning percentage for the first time with a 19–7 record (.731), and an 18–11 season followed in 1931. In 1933, the first full season after Bill Terry took over from John McGraw as manager, he won 16 games with a 2.90 earned run average as the Giants won the NL pennant; in the 1933 World Series against the Washington Senators, he suffered a 4–0 defeat in Game 3, though it was New York's only loss as they captured their first title since 1922.

Fitzsimmons had another 18-win season in 1934, and led the NL in putouts for the fourth time, tying Grover Cleveland Alexander's major league mark. However, his career then began to plateau. He had years of 4–8 and 10–7 in 1935 and 1936, with the Giants winning the NL pennant again the latter year; he led the NL in shutouts in 1935, blanking opponents in all 4 of his victories. His troubles returned in the 1936 World Series against the New York Yankees; he lost Game 3 by a 2–1 score, and was bombarded in the final Game 6 loss, leaving in the fourth inning while trailing 5–2. After a 6–10 start in 1937, he was traded to the Dodgers in June for reliever Tom Baker, who made only 15 appearances for the Giants. Brooklyn shortstop Leo Durocher praised his new teammate's competitiveness, saying, "I wish we had nine guys like Fitz. We'd never lose." Though his record in 1938–1939 totaled only 18–17, in 1938 he tied Grimes' mark of 74 career double plays, passing him the following year; Warren Spahn broke his record in 1964. He came back in 1940 with a 16–2 campaign, finishing fifth in the MVP voting. His .889 winning percentage broke the NL record of .842 (16–3) shared by Tom L. Hughes (1916 Boston Braves) and Emil Yde (1924 Pittsburgh Pirates), and stood until Roy Face posted an 18–1 mark (.947) with the 1959 Pirates.

Fitzsimmons made only 12 starts in 1941, going 6–1 as the Dodgers won their first pennant since 1920. He almost earned his long-elusive World Series victory against the Yankees, holding them to four hits through seven innings in Game 3. But he was forced to leave with a 0–0 score after being struck in the kneecap by a line drive hit by Marius Russo, which caromed into Pee Wee Reese's glove to end the inning. His replacement surrendered two runs in the eighth, and New York triumphed 2–1.

Following his knee injury, Fitzsimmons made only one start in 1942 and served as a coach on player-manager Durocher's staff. He then returned to the active list and made nine appearances for the 1943 Dodgers before Brooklyn released him July 27. The following day, the tail-ending Philadelphia Phillies tabbed him as their manager, replacing Bucky Harris and ending Fitzsimmons' playing career. He compiled a 217–146 (.598) record with an ERA of 3.51 and 870 strikeouts in 513 games and 3,223​2⁄3 innings pitched.

Fitzsimmons was a better than average hitting pitcher in his career. He compiled a .200 average (231–1155) with 112 runs, 103 RBI and 14 home runs. In 1930, 1931, and 1932 as a member of the New York Giants, he drove in 13, 18, and 10 runs respectively. In four World Series appearances, he batted .375 (3–8).

He managed the Phillies through the middle of the 1945 season, compiling only 105 wins against 181 losses (.367). In 1943 and 1944, he also served as general manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers in the All-America Football Conference. After World War II, Fitzsimmons became a coach with the Boston Braves (1948), Giants (1949–1955), Chicago Cubs (1957–1959; 1966), and Kansas City Athletics (1960). He also managed in minor league baseball. On Durocher's Giants staff, Fitzsimmons finally earned a championship as a coach for the 1954 World Series team.

Bob Lemon broke the major league mark shared by Fitzsimmons by leading the American League in putouts five times between 1948 and 1954; Greg Maddux eventually broke the NL record.

Fitzsimmons died of a heart attack at age 78 in Yucca Valley, California. He was buried at Montecito Memorial Park, in Colton, California.

Hal Naragon

Harold Richard Naragon (born October 1, 1928) is a former catcher in Major League Baseball who played for the Cleveland Indians (1951; 1954–59) and Washington Senators/Minnesota Twins (1959–62). He batted left-handed and threw right-handed, and was listed as 6 feet (1.8 m) tall and 160 pounds (73 kg). Naragon was born in Zanesville, Ohio and graduated from Barberton (Ohio) High School.

In his 10-season MLB career, Naragon was a .266 hitter, with 262 hits, 27 doubles, 11 triples, six home runs and 87 RBI in 424 games played. His most productive season came in 1959, when he posted career-highs in games (85) and hits (57) while dividing his playing time with Cleveland and Washington. He also caught one inning for the Indians in Game 3 of the 1954 World Series against the New York Giants. He spent much of his career backing up starting catchers Jim Hegan and Earl Battey.

Following his playing career, Naragon was the bullpen coach for the Minnesota Twins and Detroit Tigers from 1963–69. He was closely associated with pitching coach Johnny Sain, and was a member of the 1965 American League champion Twins and the 1968 world champion Tigers.

History of the New York Giants (baseball)

The San Francisco Giants of Major League Baseball originated in New York City as the New York Gothams in 1883 and were known as the New York Giants from 1885 until the team relocated to San Francisco after the 1957 season. During most of their 75 seasons in New York City, the Giants played home games at various incarnations of the Polo Grounds in Upper Manhattan.

Numerous inductees of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, New York played for the New York Giants, including John McGraw, Mel Ott, Bill Terry, Willie Mays, Monte Irvin, and Travis Jackson. During the club's tenure in New York, it won five of the franchise's eight World Series wins and 17 of its 23 National League pennants. Famous moments in the Giants' New York history include the 1922 World Series, in which the Giants swept the Yankees in four games, Bobby Thomson's 1951 home run known as the "Shot Heard 'Round the World", and the defensive feat by Willie Mays during the first game of the 1954 World Series known as "the Catch".

The Giants had intense rivalries with their fellow New York teams the New York Yankees and the Brooklyn Dodgers, facing the Yankees in six World Series and playing the league rival Dodgers multiple times per season. Games between any two of these three teams were known collectively as the Subway Series. The Dodgers-Giants rivalry continues, as both teams moved to the West Coast in California after the 1957 season, with the Dodgers relocating to Los Angeles. The New York Giants of the National Football League are named after the team.

Johnny Antonelli

John August Antonelli (born April 12, 1930) is an American retired professional baseball player, a former left-handed starting pitcher who played for the Boston and Milwaukee Braves, New York and San Francisco Giants, and Cleveland Indians between 1948 and 1961. Noted at the outset of his pro career as the recipient of the biggest bonus in baseball history when he signed with the Braves for $52,000 in 1948, he later became a six-time National League All-Star, a two-time 20-game-winner, and the leader of the 1954 world champion Giants' pitching staff. He batted left-handed, stood 6 feet 1 inch (1.85 m) tall and weighed 185 pounds (84 kg).

Lew Fonseca

Lewis Albert Fonseca (January 21, 1899 – November 26, 1989) was an American first, second baseman and manager in Major League Baseball for the Cincinnati Reds, Philadelphia Phillies, Cleveland Indians, and Chicago White Sox over a 12-year career. While not a power hitter, he hit for average and was a good contact hitter for most of his career. He topped the .300 mark six times, with his best season coming in 1929 with the Indians, when he hit .369 to win the American League batting title, after coming off a 1928 season in which he broke his leg. His success was short-lived, however, as he broke his arm in 1930, and a torn ligament in his leg prematurely ended his playing career.

In a 12-year major league career, Fonseca posted a .316 batting average (1075-3404), scoring 518 runs, hitting 31 home runs, and compiling 485 RBI in 937 games played. His on-base percentage was .355 and slugging percentage was .432. His career fielding percentage was .983.

Fonseca is perhaps best known as one of the first men to use film in analyzing baseball games and finding flaws in players. It is said that his interest with cameras began while shooting Slide, Kelly, Slide in 1927. As manager of the Chicago White Sox, he used film extensively. After retiring from playing the game, he was director of promotions for both leagues. Fonseca worked on World Series highlight films from their inception in 1943 through 1969, as an editor and director, and narrated the World Series films from 1949-'53 and 1955-'58 (Jack Brickhouse narrated the 1954 World Series film.) Television sportscaster Bob Costas wrote of Fonseca's narration: "[his] vocal stylings were somewhat less than mellifluous, but still endlessly entertaining." Fonseca was batting coach for the Chicago Cubs for many years, until quite late in life. His daughter Carolynn was a talented actress who worked mostly out of Rome, Italy.Fonseca died in Ely, Iowa at age 90, one month after the Loma Prieta earthquake hit near his birthplace of Oakland, California.

List of San Francisco Giants seasons

The San Francisco Giants are a professional baseball team based in San Francisco, California. They have been a member of the National League (NL), as a part of Major League Baseball, since the team's inception in 1883. They joined the NL West following the establishment of divisions within the league in 1969. The Giants played 75 seasons in New York City, New York, as the New York Gothams and New York Giants, spending the majority of their seasons at the Polo Grounds in Upper Manhattan. The Giants relocated to San Francisco in 1958, briefly playing at Seals Stadium. After sharing Candlestick Park for 29 years with the San Francisco 49ers National Football League team, the Giants moved to their current home, Oracle Park, in 2000. From October 1, 2010 through June 16, 2017, the Giants recorded a National League-record 530 consecutive sellouts.The Giants are one of the most successful teams in Major League Baseball history, having won more games than any other team and having the second highest winning percentage. Their eight World Series titles are tied for fourth-most in baseball, while their 23 pennants are the most in the National League, and second-most overall. Their first title came in 1905 against the Philadelphia Athletics, where they won the series 4–1. They claimed four consecutive National League pennants between 1921 and 1924, going on to beat cross-town team the New York Yankees in the World Series on two of those occasions. Their fourth title came in 1933 as they beat the Washington Senators in five games. The 1951 season saw the Giants beat their rivals the Brooklyn Dodgers in a three-game playoff for the National League pennant. The Giants won the series 2–1 on a walk-off home run by Bobby Thomson in game 3, a moment remembered as the Shot Heard 'Round the World. They went on to lose in the World Series to the Yankees. A 4–0 series sweep of the Cleveland Indians in the 1954 World Series earned the Giants their fifth title.

Until 2010, the Giants were without a title since relocation to San Francisco — at the time this was the third-longest World Series winning drought in the league. They have made it to the World Series on six occasions following the move, but were on the losing side each of the first three times. Among those was the 1989 World Series, when the "Bay Bridge Series", being contested against neighboring team the Oakland Athletics, was interrupted by the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake; the series was postponed for ten days, and the Giants were eventually swept by the A's. The club ended its title-winning drought in 2010, as they beat the Texas Rangers 4–1 to bring the Commissioner's Trophy to San Francisco for the first time in the city's history. The Giants won their second title in San Francisco in 2012, sweeping the Detroit Tigers, and won again for the third time in five years in 2014, defeating the Kansas City Royals in seven games.

Little League World Series

The Little League Baseball World Series is an annual baseball tournament in the eastern United States for children (typically boys) aged 10 to 12 years old. Originally called the National Little League Tournament, it was later renamed for the World Series in Major League Baseball. The Series was first held 72 years ago in 1947 and is held every August in South Williamsport, Pennsylvania. (Although the postal address of the organization is in Williamsport, the Series itself is played at Howard J. Lamade Stadium and Volunteer Stadium at the Little League headquarters complex in South Williamsport.)

Initially, only teams from the United States competed in the Series, but it has since become a worldwide tournament. The tournament has gained popular renown, especially in the United States, where games from the Series and even from regional tournaments are broadcast on ESPN. The United States collectively as a country has won a plurality of the series, although from 1969 to 1991 teams from Taiwan dominated the series, winning in 15 out of those 23 years. Taiwan's dominance during those years has been attributed to a national effort to combat its perceived diplomatic isolation around the world. From 2010 to the present, teams from Tokyo, Japan, have similarly dominated the series, winning five of the last nine matchups.

While the Little League Baseball World Series is frequently referred to as just the Little League World Series, it is actually one of twelve tournaments sponsored by Little League International, in twelve different locations. Each of them brings community teams from different Little League International regions around the world together in baseball (five age divisions), girls' softball (four age divisions), and boys' softball (three divisions). The tournament structure described here is that used for the Little League Baseball World Series. The structure used for the other World Series is similar, but with different regions.

Rudy Regalado

Rudolph Valentino Regalado (May 21, 1930 – February 12, 2018) was a Major League Baseball player. He was an infielder for the Cleveland Indians from 1954 to 1956, and played in the 1954 World Series.He was born in Los Angeles, California and was of Mexican descent. He died in 2018.

Regalado also played three seasons in the Venezuelan League, winning a batting title with a .366 average while playing for Pampero in the 1958-59 tournament.

The Catch (baseball)

The Catch refers to a defensive play made by New York Giants center fielder Willie Mays on a ball hit by Cleveland Indians batter Vic Wertz on September 29, 1954, during Game 1 of the 1954 World Series at the Polo Grounds in Upper Manhattan, New York City.

Vic Wertz

Victor Woodrow Wertz (February 9, 1925 – July 7, 1983) was an American professional baseball first baseman and outfielder. He had a seventeen-year Major League Baseball (MLB) career from 1947 to 1963. He played for the Detroit Tigers, St. Louis Browns, Baltimore Orioles, Cleveland Indians, Boston Red Sox, and Minnesota Twins; all teams within the American League.

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