Johnny Podres gave Brooklyn its one and only World Series victory.
A borough-wide celebration more boisterous than those of VE-Day and VJ-Day combined erupted in Brooklyn, which hailed him as their savior. It was the most celebrated victory in the history of the World Series. It has yet to be matched.
No other pitcher had won a World Series final game for Brooklyn. No other pitcher would ever do it again. No other ballplayer had ever replaced such low civic self-esteem with such unparalleled joy. Two years before the Dodgers moved to Los Angeles, Johnny Podres dispatched the Bums from Brooklyn.
Podres, the Most Valuable Player of that Series, and the 1955 Sportsman of the Year, became a pivotal pitching figure for the Dodgers on the West Coast, showing young stars such as Sandy
Koufax, Don Drysdale and Don Sutton that it was actually possible to envision World Series victory. Because Johnny Podres broke the ice and melted a major league inferiority complex, the Dodgers would win again and again. Podres won the Los Angeles Dodgers' first game (against the hated San Francisco Giants), pitched the first game at Dodger Stadium, and knew every Dodger hurler from Dazzy Vance to Pedro Martinez.
Johnny Podres Day
Johnny Podres Day, this year, is Sunday, September 1.
The following is an excerpt from an article published August 27, 2013 on the Saratogian.com website.
Paul Post does an excellent job summarizing some of Johnny’s background as well as providing more details regarding the weekend festivities.
The entire piece can be read by clicking the link at the end of this column.
“Podres Day is part of Port Henry’s two-day Labor Day Weekend celebration that starts Saturday with “Champ Day” honoring Lake Champlain’s mythical sea monster. Sunday’s focus shifts to Podres and includes a parade along with a variety of food, craft vendors and live music.
However, the highlight is the world’s largest collection of Podres memorabilia, which belongs to Pat Salerno Jr., a long-time friend, admirer and fan of the Dodger hero. Podres gave many items to Salerno including caps, spikes and more than 20-game worn jerseys, some from All-Star and World Series games, including his belt from the 1955 Series when his Game 7, 2-0 shutout of the Yankees gave Brooklyn its first and only World Championship.
In addition, Salerno recently obtained some rare eight-millimeter color footage of the parade that Podres’ hometown threw for him right after that Series. “The highlight is Johnny in his 1955 World Series home jersey, pitching to his father at home right before the parade,” Salerno said. “That’s priceless.”
Salerno makes his collection, including several videos of Podres in action, free of charge for viewing at a downtown Main Street storefront in Port Henry.”
Read Mr. Post’s entire article on Saratogian.com