Giants defeat Indians
4 games to 0
|Game||Date||Winning Team||Losing Team|
|1||Sep. 29||NYG 5||CLE 2|
|2||Sep. 30||NYG 3||CLE 1|
|3||Oct. 1||NYG 6||CLE 2|
|4||Oct. 2||NYG 7||CLE 4|
Managers: Leo Durocher, NYG; Al Lopez, CLE
The Indians entered the World Series as prohibitive favorites after winning 111 regular-season games, an American League record.
In the top of the first, Game 1, Vic Wertz gave the Indians a 2-0 lead with a two-run triple off the right-field wall. The Giants tied the game with two in the third, and the score was still 2-2 when Wertz -- already 3-for-3 on the day -- batted in the top of the eighth, with runners on first and second and nobody out. Wertz drove the first offering from reliever Don Liddle -- summoned from the bullpen specifically to face Wertz -- on a high parabola to deep, deep center field. But center field went on forever in the Polo Grounds, and Willie Mays made a spectacular over-the-shoulder catch which remains the most famous in World Series history. Larry Doby did advance from second to third base on the play, but reliever Marv Grissom came in to retire the next two hitters, thus preserving the tie. And in the bottom of the 10th, pinch-hitter Dusty Rhodes ended the game with a three-run homer, which just cleared the fence down the right-field line.
Indians leftfielder Al Smith led off Game 2 with a homer ... but that was the last Cleveland run, as Johnny Antonelli scattered seven hits and six walks the rest of the way. Meanwhile, Dusty Rhodes put the Giants on top with an RBI single in the bottom of the fifth, and he added a solo homer in the seventh to account for two of New York's three runs.
The World Series moved to Cleveland for Game 3, but the Tribe couldn't turn the tide. The Giants led 6-0 after six frames, and held on for the 6-2 decision behind 7 1/3 strong innings from starter Preston Gomez and 1 2/3 innings of perfect relief from knuckleballing reliever Hoyt Wilhelm.
The Giants took control of Game 4 with four runs in the fifth inning, on Hank Thompson's bases-loaded walk, Monte Irvin's two-run single and West Westrum's sacrifice fly. Pinch-hitter Hank Majeski nearly halved New York's 7-0 lead with a three-run homer in the bottom of the fifth, but the Tribe could score only once more, making the final Giants 7, Indians 4.
Improbably, the winningest team in American League history had been swept, and the Giants were World Series Champions for the first time since 1933.