Brooklyn’s Got a Winning Team

Editors Note: We're blogging through We Didn't Start the Fire by Billy Joel.

In 1955, the Brooklyn Dodgers were desperate to beat the Yankees in the World Series. The Yankees had beaten the Dodgers in the Series 5 times within the past 15 years - in 1941, 1947, 1949, 1952, and 1953. Yankees winning the World Series wasn’t strange - 8 of those 15 Series had been won by the Bronx Bombers, including 5 straight from 1949-1953, which is a record to this day.

1955 was the career years for many of the Dodgers. Roy Campanella won the MVP and Duke Snider finished second in the voting. Don Newcombe won 20 games and Gil Hodges hit 27 homers at age 31. The entire team won 13 more games than the second-place Milwaukee Braves.

The Yankees had Mickey Mantle, Yogi Berra, and Hank Bauer stabilizing their lineup, and future Hall of Famer Whitey Ford in their rotation. The team won 96 games, 3 more than the second place Indians.

The Yankees won the first two games, 6-5 and 4-2. The Dodgers took the next three games, 8-3, 8-5, and 5-3. The Dodgers were on the brink of their first championship against the Yankees in their history, but the Yankees won game six, 5-1, setting up game seven for the title.

The starting pitching matchup had game two winner Tommy Byrne for the Yankees against game three winner Johnny Podres for the Dodgers. The Dodgers scored first in the top of the fourth on a Hodges single. The 1-0 score stayed that way until the top of the sixth, when the Dodgers took advantage of an error by Yankees first baseman Bill Skowron and ended up scoring a second run on a sacrifice fly.

In the bottom of the sixth, the Yankees put two runners on with nobody out, with future Hall of Famer Yogi Berra at the plate. Berra drove the ball down the left field line, which looked like a sure two-run double, until backup outfielder Sandy Amoros came charging over and somehow snagged the line drive, and turned it into a double play. This killed the Yankee’s rally, and they couldn’t score, and the Dodgers held the Bombers off the board, winning game seven 2-0 and the 1955 World Series, 4-3.

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