The Yankees found themselves
in the World Series for the third time in four years, but the
youthful Phillies -- known popularly as the "Whiz Kids" -- reached postseason
play by virtue of their first National League pennant since 1915. What's
more, the Phils had to beat the Brooklyn Dodgers on the final day of the
season to capture the flag.
Phillies Manager Eddie Sawyer defied convention in Game 1, assigning
the start to Jim Konstanty, who had worked only in relief during the season
(and would be named National League MVP thanks to a 16-7 record and a
2.66 ERA). Konstanty pitched well, allowing just four hits and a single
run over eight innings. But Yankees starter Vic Raschi was even better,
allowing only two hits and a walk to beat the Phils, 1-0. New York third
baseman Bobb Brown scored the contest's only run, doubling in the fourth,
then advancing homeward on a pair of long fly balls.
Game 2 resulted in yet another tough loss for the underdog Phillies.
Phillies ace Robin Roberts and New York's Allie Reynolds both bent but
neither broke, and after nine innings the teams were deadlocked at a run
apiece. In the top of the 10th, Joe DiMaggio led off with a long homer
into the upper left-field stands. The Phillies got the potential tying
runner to second base in the bottom of the inning, but he remained there
and the Yankees traveled back to New York with a commanding Series lead.
The scenery changed for Game 3, the result didn't: another heart-breaking
loss for the Phillies. They led 2-1 until the bottom of the eighth, when
shortstop Granny Hamner's fumble allowed the tying run to score. And then
in the bottom of the ninth, the Yankees strung together three straight
singles with two outs, climaxed by Jerry Coleman's liner to left-center,
which plated Gene Woodling with the game-winning run.
The Bronx Bombers grabbed a 2-0 lead in the first inning of Game 4,
then tallied three more in the sixth. Yankees starter Whitey Ford carried
a shutout into the ninth, but the Phillies scored a pair of unearned runs,
and got the tying run to the plate with two outs. Allie Reynolds was summoned
from the bullpen, and he struck out pinch-hitter Stan Lopata to finish
New York's four-game sweep.