An Illustrated Life
by Dick Johnson and Glenn Stout
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In the National League, the Brooklyn Dodgers fought a different kind of pennant race, edging St. Louis in the final week to finish 100-54 and win their first pennant since 1920, creating the first all-New York World Series since 1937.
The Dodgers were a powerful club, paced by hard-hitting first baseman Dolf Camilli, who led the NL in home runs and RBI, and an outfield of Joe Medwick, Dixie Walker, and Pete Reiser, all of whom hit over .300, with Reiser's .343 best in the NL. Their pitching was paced by Kirby Higbe and Whitlow Wyatt, each of whom won 22 games.
Still, the Yankees were 2-to-1 favorites, a betting line that seemed appropriate when New York beat Brooklyn 3-2 before a record crowd of 68,540 fans at Yankee Stadium on October 1 in game one. DiMaggio went hitless, but was robbed by Joe Medwick of a home run in the fourth, as Medwick leaned far over the left-field fence to catch DiMaggio's drive. Joe Gordon was the Yankee hitting star with a home run and two RBI, and Red Ruffing pitched a complete game.
Brooklyn evened the series the next day, winning 3-2 behind Whit Wyatt. DiMaggio again went hitless. He seemed to be embarking on another streak, one somewhat less impressive.
Game three in Brooklyn was scoreless through seven innings. DiMaggio finally came through in the second with a single but was left stranded. Both the Yankees' Marius Russo and the Dodgers' Freddie Fitzsimmons pitched magnificently.
In the Yankee seventh, Russo drove Fitzsimmons from the game with a line drive off the pitcher's left leg that was caught by Pee Wee Reese for the third out. Hugh Casey took over for Brooklyn in the eighth.
Johnny Sturm flied out to center before Red Rolfe singled to right. Henrich then reached on an infield hit when Casey neglected to cover the bag. DiMaggio stepped up with two on.
Casey's gaff proved costly. DiMaggio worked the count to 3 and 2, then drove a single to center, scoring Rolfe. Keller singled home Henrich and the Yankees led 2-0. Brooklyn managed to score once in the bottom of the inning, but Russo held on to put the Yankees up two games to one.
From DiMaggio: An Illustrated Life by Dick Johnson and Glenn Stout.
text Copyright © 1995 by Glenn Stout. Reprinted with permission.