Monday, October 20, 2008

Mickmas Day: 1952 World Series Game 7

video
from the baseball almanac
In an unusual, but indisputable move Casey Stengel started Eddie Lopat against Game 1 winner and Game 4 loser, Joe Black. The veteran, bothered by shoulder problems, had won only ten games for the Yanks in '52 (after going 21-9 in '51), but it mattered little as the Yankees dominated the seventh inning thanks to Mantle and Gene Woodling who both added homers for the 4-2 lead. Brooklyn almost took the lead after loading the bases when Furillo reached first on balls, Billy Cox singled and Pee Wee Reese walked as well. Anticipating a disaster, Bob Kuzava was summoned from the bullpen. The lefthander came up huge and got Snider to fly out to third bringing up Jackie Robinson. With the count at 3-2, Robinson snapped a textbook pop-up towards the mound. Kuzava seemed confused on the location and Joe Collins, the man in position to make the play, lost sight of the ball. All the while, Dodger runners were tearing up the baselines with two crossing the plate and another rounding third. Billy Martin, who was caught in the middle at second quickly sized up the situation and made a miracle catch inches from the ground.
The phenomenal grab not only ended the chances of a Dodger comeback, but also inevitably sealed the Series victory for the defending champions. Despite their best efforts, "the Bums from Brooklyn" lived up to their nickname, as Kuzava remained in control the rest of the way. The loss was especially devastating after winning Games 1, 3 and 5 and the 4-2 triumph enabled Stengel to match Joe McCarthy's mark of managing a club to four consecutive World Series titles.

Billy Martin talks about his catch

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