The 1951 World Series,
in retrospect, seems almost like an afterthought, as the New York Giants
reached the Fall Classic only after a stirring three-game playoff series
with the Brooklyn Dodgers, climaxed by Bobby Thomson's legendary "Shot Heard
'Round the World."
The Series opened in the Bronx, but the Giants cruised 5-1 behind the
complete-game pitching of Dave Koslo and second baseman Alvin Dark's three-run
homer in the sixth. The Yankees bounced back with a 3-1 victory in Game
2, though right fielder Mickey Mantle suffered a knee injury, which ended
For Game 3, the World Series made the short trip across
the Harlem River to the Polo Grounds, longtime home of the Giants. And
the home club went up 6-0 in the fifth inning, Whitey Lockman's three-run
homer the big blow. The Yankees scored single runs in the eighth and ninth,
but it wasn't nearly enough as the Giants grabbed a 2-1 Series lead with
a 6-2 decision. The Bombers evened things up with a 5-2 victory in Game
4. Allie Reynolds went the distance for the victors, scattering eight
hits and four walks, and Joe DiMaggio blasted a two-run homer in the fifth.
The Yankee Clipper knocked in three more runs in Game 5, as the American
Leaguers pounded five Giant hurlers for a dozen hits and 13 runs. Meanwhile,
Yankee starter Eddie Lopat permitted only five Giant hits, cruising to
the 13-1 win.
Back in Yankee Stadium for Game 6, the Yankees grabbed a 4-1 edge in
the sixth inning when Hank Bauer tripled to deep left field with two outs
and the bases loaded. The score remained 4-1 until the ninth, when the
Giants loaded the bases with nobody out. Bob Kuzava trotted in from the
bullpen and gave up a pair of long fly balls, both of which scored runners
from third base. With two outs, pinch-hitter Sal Yvars sent a low liner
to right field. Bauer charged in and caught the ball just inches from
the ground, ending the Series in dramatic fashion.