Wednesday, February 10, 2010

#387 Johnny Podres

#387 Johnny Podres
With this card, we move from a parcel of cards from Max to...another parcel of cards from Max! This one is pretty star-studded; when a World Series hero is one of the lesser cards, you know you've got a special group. For about the 50th time, I offer my sincere thanks to Max.

Fun facts about Johnny Podres:

-Hailing from Witherbee, NY, Johnny signed with the Dodgers in 1951.

-Wasted no time in reaching the major leagues, putting up a 9-4 record as a rookie swingman in 1953. The 20-year-old even started Game Five in the World Series against the Yankees, but was knocked out in the third inning and took the loss.

-Became a household name during the 1955 World Series, going the distance in both of his starts and allowing just two earned runs to Yankee hitters. He twirled a Game 7 shutout to bring home Brooklyn's first world championship and was named Series MVP.

-Truly established himself in 1957 after missing the previous season for military service. That year, he led the National League with a 2.66 ERA, 1.08 WHIP, and six shutouts despite a ho-hum 12-9 record.

-In a seven-year span from 1957-1963, Podres won at least a dozen games each year (peaking with an 18-5 mark in 1961) and was a three-time All-Star.

-Had a couple near-miss games, retiring the first 20 Phillies batters on July 2, 1962 before tiring in the seventh inning (he won 5-1) and pitching eight hitless innings against Houston on August 4, 1963 before Johnny Temple led off the ninth with a single (he won 4-0).

-Pitched for three World Series champion Dodger teams in all, also winning rings in 1959 and 1963 and picking up a win in each of those Fall Classics to run his career postseason record to 4-1 with a 2.11 ERA.

-Late in his career, he shifted back to a primary bullpen role with the Dodgers, Tigers, and (fittingly) Padres. Hung up his spikes in 1969, his fifteenth big league season. In all, he was 148-116 with a 3.68 ERA.

-Spent thirteen years as a pitching coach for the Padres, Red Sox, Twins, and Phillies. Curt Schilling credited Johnny with impacting his life both on and off the field.

-Podres settled in Glens Falls, NY after his baseball career ended. He died in early 2008 at age 75 after battling heart, leg, and kidney ailments.
#387 Johnny Podres (back)


  1. Hey there. Just came across your blog -- great stuff! I'll be following. Podres was a good guy, too; I met him once.

  2. Great card. Great Dodger player. Great guy who sent you the card.

  3. Dan - Thanks! That's a great story.

    Night Owl - Agreed on all three counts.

  4. When Podres was pitching coach for the Phillies, they briefly had on the roster Sid Fernandez. Wonder if anyone got an autograph, photo or both from two lefties who played a big part in winning World Series Game Sevens for a New York team...

  5. for the 50th time, you are very welcome.