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Thoughts on Game 1 of the 1954 World Series

September 29, 2015

It was sixty one years ago today that the World Series opened at the Polo Grounds in New York between the New York Giants and the heavily favored Cleveland Indians, winners of 111 games that season. Now if the World Series goes six or more games, they will play on or past Election Day.

The Giants, as recounted in Arnold Hano’s great book, “A Day in the Bleachers,” won that game one and shocked the baseball world by sweeping the Indians in four straight games.

Dusty Rhodes won game one with a pinch home run while Willie Mays made his famous over the shoulder catch and great throw in the eighth inning.

Vic Wertz, who was robbed of an extra base hit by Mays on the aforementioned catch, had 4 hits in the game. I recall Howard Cosell’s touching tribute to Wertz, recalling that great individual game but the fact it hurt Vic so much that it was in defeat, on his “Speaking of Sports” show, when Wertz passed away.

Supposedly after the great catch by Mays on Wertz’s drive, the Giants pitcher Don Liddle, who faced just one batter (Wertz) in the game, said “I got my man out.”

The levity being Wertz hit the “bleep/ bleep” out of the ball, only for it to be run down by Mays, whose throw which kept Larry Doby from scoring,  being perhaps more amazing than the famed catch.

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