Saturday, April 3, 2010

PTWSW #48: The 1951 New York Yankees

Manager: Casey Stengel
Record: 98-56
Ballpark: Yankee Stadium
Owner: Dan Topping and Del Webb
GM: George Weiss
Coaches: Frankie Crosetti, Bill Dickey, Tommy Henrich, Jim Turner

Future Hall of Famers: Yogi Berra, Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle, Johnny Mize, Phil Rizzuto

All-Stars: Yogi Berra, Joe DiMaggio, Ed Lopat, Phil Rizzuto

Team Leaders, Batting

Gil McDougald, .306
OBP: Gil McDougald, .396
SLG: Yogi Berra, .492
OPS: Gil McDougald, .884
2B: Gil McDougald, 23
3B: Gene Woodling, 8
HR: Yogi Berra, 27
RBI: Yogi Berra, 88
BB: Gene Woodling, 62
SB: Phil Rizzuto, 18

Team Leaders, Pitching

Ed Lopat, Vic Raschi, 21
SO: Vic Raschi, 164 (AL leader)
ERA: Ed Lopat, 2.91
IP: Vic Raschi, 258.1
CG: Ed Lopat, 20
SHO: Allie Reynolds, 7 (AL leader)
K/BB: Vic Raschi, 1.59
SV: Allie Reynolds, 7


Oldest Player:
Johnny Mize (b. January 7, 1913)

Youngest Player: Mickey Mantle (b. October 20, 1931)

First to Leave Us: Clint Courtney (d. June 16, 1975)

Last Survivor: Three are still living as of May 21, 2017: Bobby Brown, Art Schallock, and Charlie Silvera.

First in Majors: Johnny Mize (debut April 16, 1936)

Last in Majors: Mickey Mantle (final game September 28, 1968)

First to Play For the Franchise: Joe DiMaggio (May 3, 1936)

Last to Play For the Franchise: Mickey Mantle (September 28, 1968)

Pre-union Team: The 1946 Browns (Tom Ferrick, Jack Kramer, Bob Muncrief, Fred Sanford) and 1946 Indians (Tom Ferrick, Bob Kuzava, Allie Reynolds, Gene Woodling) each had four.

Reunion Team: The 1952 Senators had five: Tom Ferrick, Jackie Jensen, Bob Porterfield, Spec Shea and Archie Wilson.


Yogi Berra, AL MVP
Gil McDougald, AL Rookie of the Year
Allie Reynolds, no-hitters on July 12 and September 28

Season Summary

After two straight World Series titles things looked pretty rosy for the Yankees. They were the deepest team in the league, and promising youngsters Mickey Mantle and Gil McDougald were joining the lineup. Their primary weapon was offense. They led the league in runs per game and OPS+, tied the Indians for the home run lead and finished second only to the White Sox in stolen bases (with a much better success rate). On run prevention they were pretty darn good too, allowing the second-fewest runs per game, having one of the better team ERA+'s and leading in strikeout-to-walk ratio. Their DER was the AL's third-best.

The first half of the season saw a tight four-team race between the Yankees, White Sox, Red Sox, and Indians. The White Sox dropped out with a late-July slump, and in early August the Red Sox had a slump of their own which secured their spot in third place, though they remained within striking distance for the rest of the season. That left the Indians as the Yankees' main challenger. The two teams went back and forth until Cleveland ran out of steam in September. The Indians lost 10 of their last 14 games while the Yankees kept surging, and New York clinched on September 28 by sweeping Boston in a doubleheader.

The Yankees' World Series opponent was the New York Giants, who'd mounted an unlikely September comeback to tie the Dodgers for first place, then beaten Dem Bums in a best-of-three series to decide the pennant. Bobby Thomson's three-run homer in the final game of the playoff lifted the Giants to victory, and they were still riding that momentum when they faced the Yankees. After three games the National Leaguers led the Series 2 to 1, but a rainout delayed Game 4 an extra day. The Yankees seemed to regroup after that, winning the next two behind brilliant pitching performances by Allie Reynolds and Ed Lopat. The Giants, trailing by three runs in the ninth inning of Game 6, loaded the bases with nobody out, but could only push two across the plate. Right fielder Hank Bauer (filling in for an injured Mantle), made a sliding catch of Sal Yvars' line drive for the final out, giving the Yanks their third straight World Championship.

It was the final World Series for Yankee legend Joe DiMaggio, who officially announced his retirement that December. Young Mantle would be shifted to center field as the Yankee Clipper's direct successor.


Baseball Reference
Baseball Almanac
Google News Archives

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