Johnny Podres

John Joseph Podres (September 30, 1932 – January 13, 2008) was an American left-handed pitcher in Major League Baseball who spent most of his career with the Brooklyn / Los Angeles Dodgers. He is perhaps best remembered for being named the Most Valuable Player of the 1955 World Series, pitching a shutout in Game 7 against the New York Yankees to help the Brooklyn Dodgers win their only World Series title before the team moved to Los Angeles after the 1957 season. He led the National League in earned run average and shutouts in 1957, and in winning percentage in 1961. He was of Lithuanian-Polish descent.[1][2]

Johnny Podres
Johnny Podres - Los Angeles Dodgers - 1961
Podres with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1961
Born: September 30, 1932
Witherbee, New York
Died: January 13, 2008 (aged 75)
Glens Falls, New York
Batted: Left Threw: Left
MLB debut
April 7, 1953, for the Brooklyn Dodgers
Last MLB appearance
June 21, 1969, for the San Diego Padres
MLB statistics
Win–loss record148–116
Earned run average3.68
Career highlights and awards

Major league career

Podres helped the Dodgers win World Series championships in 1955, 1959, 1963 and 1965, although he did not actually pitch in the 1965 World Series.[3][4] In the 1955 series, after the Dodgers lost the first two games to the New York Yankees, Podres pitched a complete game, seven-hit victory on his 23rd birthday in Game 3. In the climactic Game 7, Podres pitched a 2–0 shutout to bring Brooklyn its only World Series championship. Podres was given the first-ever World Series MVP Award by Sport magazine and presented with a red two-seater Corvette. Later he was honored as the Sportsman of the Year by Sports Illustrated magazine.

In his 15-season career, Podres compiled a 148–116 record with 1435 strikeouts, a 3.68 ERA, and 24 shutouts in 440 games. He was at his best in the World Series, losing his first Series game (in 1953), then winning four straight decisions over the next decade. In six Series games, he allowed only 29 hits in 38⅓ innings, with a 2.11 ERA.


Johnny Podres HOF bronze sculpture 2014
Bronze sculpture of Podres at the Baseball Hall of Fame

When his playing career ended after stints with the Detroit Tigers and San Diego Padres, Podres served as the pitching coach for the Padres, Boston Red Sox, Minnesota Twins and Philadelphia Phillies for 23 seasons between 1973 and 1996. Among the pitchers he worked with were Frank Viola and Curt Schilling.[5]

In 2002, Johnny Podres was inducted into the National Polish-American Sports Hall of Fame.[6]

He later settled in Queensbury, New York and died at age 75 in Glens Falls, New York, after being hospitalized for heart and kidney ailments and a leg infection.[5] Podres was survived by his wife of 41 years, the former Joni Taylor of Ice Follies fame, and his two sons, Joe and John Jr. He is interred at Saints Peter and Paul Cemetery in Moriah, New York, which is in the Adirondack Park.

See also


  1. ^ "Lithuanian-American Johnny Podres (1932-2008): US baseball's 'most valuable player' in 1955". Retrieved November 11, 2016.
  2. ^ "Johnny Podres Baseball Stats by Baseball Almanac". Retrieved November 11, 2016.
  3. ^ "Johnny Podres dead at 75". New York: Daily News. January 14, 2008. Retrieved 2011-05-17.
  4. ^ "Lefty Podres, who clinched Brooklyn's only Series title, dies at 75". ESPN. Retrieved 2011-05-17.
  5. ^ a b Goldstein, Richard (January 14, 2008). "Johnny Podres, Series Star, Dies at 75". The New York Times. p. A22.
  6. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-09-28. Retrieved 2013-10-02.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)

External links

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Lew Burdette
National League ERA Champion
Succeeded by
Stu Miller
Sporting positions
Preceded by
Don Drysdale
Los Angeles Dodgers Opening Day
starting pitcher

Succeeded by
Don Drysdale
Preceded by
Roger Craig
San Diego Padres pitching coach
Succeeded by
Bill Posedel
Preceded by
Al Jackson
Boston Red Sox pitching coach
Succeeded by
Lee Stange
Preceded by
Camilo Pascual
Minnesota Twins pitching coach
Succeeded by
Dick Such
Preceded by
Darold Knowles
Philadelphia Phillies pitching coach
Succeeded by
Galen Cisco
1953 Brooklyn Dodgers season

The 1953 Brooklyn Dodgers repeated as National League champions by posting a 105–49 record, as of 2017, it is the best winning percentage in team history. However, the Dodgers again failed to win the World Series, losing in six games to the New York Yankees.

1955 Brooklyn Dodgers season

In 1955, the Brooklyn Dodgers finally fulfilled the promise of many previous Dodger teams. Although the club had won several pennants in the past, and had won as many as 105 games in 1953, it had never won a World Series. This team finished 13.5 games ahead in the National League pennant race, leading the league in both runs scored and fewest runs allowed. In the 1955 World Series, they finally beat their crosstown rivals, the New York Yankees. It was the Dodgers first and only World Series championship won while located in Brooklyn.

1955 Major League Baseball season

The 1955 Major League Baseball season was contested from April 11 to October 4, 1955. It featured 16 teams, eight in the National League and eight in the American League, with each team playing a 154-game schedule. In the World Series the Brooklyn Dodgers defeated the New York Yankees 4 games to 3. For the third consecutive season, a franchise changed homes as the Philadelphia Athletics moved to Kansas City and played their home games at Municipal Stadium.

1955 World Series

The 1955 World Series matched the Brooklyn Dodgers against the New York Yankees, with the Dodgers winning the Series in seven games to capture their first championship in franchise history. It would be the only Series the Dodgers won while based in Brooklyn, as the team relocated to Los Angeles after the 1957 season. This was the fifth time in nine years that the Yankees and the Dodgers met in the World Series, with the Yankees having won in 1947, 1949, 1952, and 1953; the Yankees would also win in the 1956 rematch.

This Series also marked the end of a long period of invulnerability for the Yankees in World Series. It was the Yankees' first loss in a World Series since 1942 and only their second since 1926. While the Yankees were 15–2 in Series appearances during that time, they would lose again in 1957, 1960, 1963, and 1964, for a record of 4–5 in World Series over the next decade.

1958 Los Angeles Dodgers season

The Los Angeles Dodgers took the field before 78,672 fans at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on April 18, 1958, to usher in the beginning of the team's new life in Los Angeles. It was a rough season, as the Dodgers finished 21 games in back of the pennant-winning Milwaukee Braves in the National League standings, but it was the beginning of the second phase for the team. Vin Scully and company moved to KTTV (television) and KMPC (radio) from that year onward, and the Dodgers became one of the first teams that commenced Spanish language radio broadcasts for Latinos, with KWKW as the first station to offer a Spanish-language service.

1958 Major League Baseball All-Star Game

The 1958 Major League Baseball All-Star Game was the 25th playing of the midsummer classic between the all-stars of the American League (AL) and National League (NL), the two leagues comprising Major League Baseball. The game was held on July 8, 1958, at Memorial Stadium in Baltimore, Maryland, the home of the Baltimore Orioles of the American League.

This was the first Major League Baseball All-Star Game without an extra base hit.For this Diamond Jubilee game, the opening pitch was made by U.S. Vice President Richard Nixon, who was to become President 10 years later. The attendance was 48,829. The game was broadcast on the NBC television and radio networks.

The first hit of the game was by legendary center fielder Willie Mays. The last scoring came in the sixth inning when the American League team took the lead after an error by third baseman Frank Thomas led to a single by Gil McDougald. Early Wynn was the winning pitcher as the American League scored a 4-3 victory.

Several players were named to the team but did not get into the game. These included Billy Pierce, Tony Kubek, Harvey Kuenn, Sherm Lollar, Rocky Bridges, Ryne Duren, Whitey Ford, and Elston Howard for the American League. For the National League team, Johnny Antonelli, Richie Ashburn, George Crowe, Eddie Mathews, Don McMahon, Walt Moryn, Johnny Podres, Bob Purkey, and Bob Schmidt were on the roster but did not play.

The next All-Star Game to be played in Baltimore was in 1993; that edition was aired on both CBS TV and radio, and played in Oriole Park at Camden Yards, with a special commemoration of this game's 35th anniversary.

1959 Los Angeles Dodgers season

The 1959 Los Angeles Dodgers finished in a first-place tie with the Milwaukee Braves, with each club going 86–68. The Dodgers won the pennant as they swept the Braves in a best-of-three playoff series. They went on to defeat the Chicago White Sox in the 1959 World Series in just their second season since leaving Brooklyn. The Dodgers led all 16 Major League Baseball clubs in home attendance, drawing 2,071,045 fans to Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.

1960 Los Angeles Dodgers season

The 1960 Los Angeles Dodgers finished the season at 82–72, in fourth place in the National League race, 13 games behind the NL and World Champion Pittsburgh Pirates.

1962 Los Angeles Dodgers season

The 1962 Los Angeles Dodgers season was the fifth for the team in Southern California, and the 73rd for the franchise in the National League. After spending the previous four seasons at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, they began the season by opening Dodger Stadium, the team's new ballpark. The stadium opened on April 10 with a game against the Cincinnati Reds. The Dodgers proceeded to win a Los Angeles record 102 games and tied the San Francisco Giants for first place in the National League. The Giants won the ensuing playoff series two games to one.

1962 Major League Baseball All-Star Game (second game)

The second 1962 Major League Baseball All-Star Game was the 33rd playing of Major League Baseball's annual midsummer exhibition game. The game took place at Wrigley Field in Chicago, Illinois, home of the National League's Chicago Cubs. The American League emerged triumphant as they finally broke out of a five-game slump with nine runs. The nine runs equaled their total for the previous five games. The AL also racked ten hits. Their victory kept the National League from tying the All-Star series at 16–16. The AL also had home runs by Pete Runnels, Leon Wagner and Rocky Colavito. A highlight of the game was the first presentation of the Arch Ward Trophy to the MVPs of each All-Star Game. It was first presented in 1962 as a tribute to Arch Ward, the man who founded the All-Star Game in 1933. That first presentation went to Leon Wagner of the Los Angeles Angels (second game MVP) and to Maury Wills of the Los Angeles Dodgers (first game MVP), because two Midsummer Classics were played.

1963 World Series

The 1963 World Series matched the two-time defending champion New York Yankees against the Los Angeles Dodgers, with the Dodgers sweeping the Series in four games to capture their second title in five years, and their third in franchise history. Starting pitchers Sandy Koufax, Don Drysdale, and Johnny Podres, and ace reliever Ron Perranoski combined to give up only four runs in four games. The dominance of the Dodgers pitchers was so complete that at no point in any of the four games did the Yankees have the lead. New York was held to a .171 team batting average, the lowest ever for the Yankees in the post-season.

This was the first time that the New York Yankees were swept in a World Series in four games (the 1922 World Series had one tie).

Of the Los Angeles Dodgers four World Series championships since the opening of Dodger Stadium, this was the only one won at Dodger Stadium. Also, of the six championships from the Dodgers franchise, it remains the only one won at home.

This series was also the first meeting between teams from New York City and Los Angeles for a major professional sports championship. Seven more such meetings have followed with three more times each in the World Series and the NBA Finals, and the 2014 Stanley Cup Final.

1966 Los Angeles Dodgers season

The 1966 Los Angeles Dodgers won the National League championship with a 95–67 record (1½ games over the San Francisco Giants), but were swept by the Baltimore Orioles in the World Series.

Dick Murphy (baseball)

Richard Lee Murphy (born October 25, 1931 at Cincinnati) is a retired American professional baseball player who played for three seasons (1954; 1957–1958) and had a six-game trial with the 1954 Cincinnati Redlegs of Major League Baseball. He threw and batted left-handed, stood 5 feet 11 inches (1.80 m) tall and weighed 170 pounds (77 kg).

Murphy attended Ohio University where he was an All-American as an outfielder. He signed with his hometown Redlegs on June 12, 1954, and made his Major League debut the following day against the Brooklyn Dodgers at Crosley Field. In his only MLB plate appearance, he pinch hit for Cincinnati relief pitcher Jackie Collum against Brooklyn lefthander Johnny Podres and struck out. After a short tenure in minor league baseball, Murphy returned to the Redlegs that September and served as a pinch runner in five more games, scoring his only Major League run in his last appearance on September 13. He then spent two seasons in military service before resuming his minor league career in the Redleg farm system in 1957 and 1958. He retired after the latter campaign with a .192 career batting average and four home runs.

Eddie Watt

Eddie Dean Watt (born April 4, 1941 in Lamoni, Iowa) is a former Major League Baseball relief pitcher. The 5 ft 10 in (1.78 m), 197 lb (89 kg) right-hander was signed by the Baltimore Orioles as an amateur free agent on September 5, 1961. He played for the Orioles (1966–1973), Philadelphia Phillies (1974), and Chicago Cubs (1975).

Watt started just 13 out of the 411 games he appeared in, all during his rookie season. He was 2–5 as a starter and 7–2 with 4 saves as a reliever for the 1966 World Series Champion Orioles. He did not appear in any of the four World Series games against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Jim Palmer, Wally Bunker, and Dave McNally all pitched complete games, and the team needed only one relief appearance, provided in record fashion by Moe Drabowsky.In 1969 the Orioles won the American League pennant and were upset in the World Series by the New York Mets. Watt contributed to Baltimore's 109–53 regular season record with a career-high 16 saves and a career-low 1.65 earned run average in 71 innings.

Watt was an important part of Baltimore's 1970 Championship season though it was not one of his best seasons statistically. He won 7 games and saved 12 with a 3.25 ERA in 53 appearances. He was the losing pitcher in the Orioles' 6–5 defeat to the Cincinnati Reds in Game 4 of the 1970 World Series. With the Orioles leading 5–3, he entered the contest in relief of Jim Palmer, who had allowed a walk to Tony Pérez and a single to Johnny Bench to open the top of the eighth inning. Watt surrendered a three-run homer to Lee May, the first batter he faced. The Orioles eventually won the Series, but the loss prevented them from sweeping the Reds in four straight games.

He was consistently effective during seven seasons of pitching exclusively in relief for Baltimore. From 1967 to 1973 he averaged 46 appearances, 67 innings, and 10 saves with an ERA of 2.40.

On December 7, 1973 Watt was purchased by the Philadelphia Phillies for an estimated $70,000. In 1974 he appeared in 42 games for the Phils, going 1–1 with 6 saves and a 3.99 ERA. He was released by Philadelphia just before Opening Day in 1975, and he hooked on briefly with the Chicago Cubs, making his last major league appearance on June 14, 1975. He spent most of the season with the Wichita Aeros of the American Association.

Career totals include a record of 38–36 in 411 games pitched, 13 games started, 1 complete game, 240 games finished, 80 saves, and an ERA of 2.91. In 659.2 innings he gave up just 37 home runs, an average of about one per 18 innings, and had a very low WHIP of 1.188. He had a batting average of .190 in 100 at bats with 3 home runs, hit against Johnny Podres, Frank Kreutzer, and Sam McDowell.

Jim McAnany

James McAnany (September 4, 1936 – December 16, 2015) was an American professional baseball player. Primarily a right fielder, he played all or part of five seasons in Major League Baseball, from 1958 until 1962, for the Chicago White Sox and Chicago Cubs. He was in the White Sox starting lineup for three of the six games in the 1959 World Series.

The 1959 pennant-winning season was by far his best in the majors. It included 210 of his 241 career at-bats, as McAnany, a contact hitter with little power, batted .276 for the White Sox with no home runs but just 26 strikeouts.

A native of Los Angeles, he attended Loyola High School and the University of Southern California there. He made his professional debut in 1955 with the Waterloo White Hawks.

Called up to the majors in late 1958, McAnany made his MLB debut on September 19, 1958 in Kansas City, pinch-hitting for White Sox pitcher Early Wynn in the fifth inning. He struck out against Ralph Terry and ended up a hitless 0-for-13 for the '58 season. He then had his breakout season in 1959, becoming an integral part of a Sox team that captured the American League pennant for the first time since 1919.

After the Sox won Game 1 of the World Series with the Los Angeles Dodgers 11-0, McAnany started in right field for Game 2 against Dodger left-handed pitcher Johnny Podres. He went 0-for-3 as the Sox, after taking a 2-0 lead, lost the game 4-3.

In baseball's 1960 expansion draft, the new Los Angeles Angels franchise claimed McAnany with the 49th pick. He was then traded on April 1, 1961 to the Chicago Cubs in exchange for Lou Johnson. He had 16 at-bats as a Cub before retiring.

McAnany was mentioned in Jane Leavy's 2010 book The Last Boy: Mickey Mantle. In it is a story in which McAnany was hit by a Mickey Mantle line drive during the 1959 season and stated, "I think I have a hole in my chest."According to a Chicago Tribune column of Oct. 21, 2005 by Mike Downey, McAnany, employed by an insurance agency in Southern California, returned to Chicago to participate in a "Turn Back the Clock" weekend sponsored by the White Sox in June 2005 when the Los Angeles Dodgers played at Comiskey Park for the first time since the '59 World Series. Four months later, the White Sox would return to the World Series for the first time in 46 years.

McAnany died December 16, 2015.

Jimmie Coker

Jimmie Goodwin Coker (March 28, 1936 – October 29, 1991), was an American professional baseball catcher, who played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Philadelphia Phillies (1958, 1960–1962), San Francisco Giants (1963), and Cincinnati Reds (1964–1967).

A native of Holly Hill, South Carolina, Coker was the son of David and Leola Coker. He played football and basketball for Furman University in Greenville, South Carolina, before signing as an amateur free agent in February 1955, with the Phillies. Coker spent all or parts of nine years in the National League (NL).Coker made his big league debut, at age 22, on September 11, 1958, as the Phillies’ starting catcher, batting eighth, in Philadelphia’s 4-3 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers, at Connie Mack Stadium. In his second at-bat of the game, in the fifth inning, he singled for his first career hit, off Johnny Podres.During most of the 1962 season Coker served in the U.S. Military. After playing four seasons with the Phillies, his contract was purchased by the Baltimore Orioles, who a month later traded him to the Giants. Coker played one season with the Giants. In August 1964, the Reds purchased his contract from the Milwaukee Braves, where he played parts of his last four seasons. Coker made his last MLB start, on August 26, 1967; two days later Baseball Hall of Famer Johnny Bench made his Reds' debut.In all, Coker played in 233 games, had 592 at bats, 137 hits, 16 home runs, 70 runs batted in, and a .231 batting average.After baseball, Coker was a rancher in Texas, where he was on the board of directors of the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association, in Throckmorton, Texas, where he died from a heart attack, on October 29, 1991, at age 55.

Ron Perranoski

Ronald Peter Perranoski (born April 1, 1936) is a former left-handed Major League Baseball relief pitcher, having played from 1961 through 1973.

In 1963, Perranoski won 16 of 19 relief decisions for the Los Angeles Dodgers, who would go on to win that year's World Series in four consecutive games over the New York Yankees. He appeared in Game Two of that Series and earned a save in relief of Johnny Podres.

Perranoski grew up in Fair Lawn, New Jersey, where he attended Fair Lawn High School.Perranoski attended Michigan State University, where he was a teammate and friend of Dick Radatz, who also would become a standout reliever in the 1960s. After his playing career ended, Perranoski was the Dodgers' minor league pitching coordinator (1973–80), then the MLB pitching coach for Los Angeles for 14 seasons (1981–94). He joined the San Francisco Giants as minor league pitching coordinator in 1995, was promoted to bench coach in 1997 and then to pitching coach in 1998-99. He has been a special assistant to general manager Brian Sabean since 2000.

In 1983, Perranoski was inducted into the National Polish-American Sports Hall of Fame.In 1965, Perranoski co-starred in an episode of the television series Branded (Coward Step Aside, S1, Ep 7) with former Brooklyn Dodger and series star Chuck Connors.

Sport (US magazine)

SPORT was an American sports magazine. Launched in September 1946 by New York-based publisher Macfadden Publications, SPORT pioneered the generous use of color photography – it carried eight full-color plates in its first edition.

SPORT predated the launch of Sports Illustrated by eight years, and is remembered for bringing several editorial innovations to the genre, as well as creating, in 1955, the SPORT Magazine Award. The SPORT Award, given initially to the outstanding player in baseball's World Series (Johnny Podres of the Brooklyn Dodgers was the inaugural winner), was later expanded to include the pre-eminent post-season performers in the other three major North American team sports. What made SPORT the most distinctive from Sports Illustrated, however, was that it was a monthly magazine as opposed to SI's weekly distribution.

SPORT was published continually between its launch and August 2000, when its then-owner, British publisher EMAP PLC, made the decision to close the money-losing title. As of 2016, the photo archive of SPORT, which represents one of the most significant collections of 20th-century sports photography in North America, is housed in Canada in Toronto, Ontario and Vancouver, British Columbia at The SPORT Gallery.

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