New York’s quirky history of three-game series gets another chapter

3 months ago 26

The archetypal clip a three-game playoff bid visited New York City, determination were 31,437 witnesses who believed, to their past breath, that they were astir to spot a miracle, close determination connected Flatbush Avenue.

This was Oct. 3, 1946. For the archetypal clip since the World Series had been invented backmost successful 1903, the National League pennant contention ended successful a flat-footed tie. The Dodgers had seized arsenic heavy arsenic a 7 ½-game pb but the heavily-favored Cardinals – pennant winners successful 3 of the 4 years shot had played done World War II – had stormed back, assuming archetypal spot for overmuch of September earlier Brooklyn caught them connected the season’s next-to-last day. After 154 games, some Brooklyn and St. Louis had 96-58 records.

The solution? A best-of-three playoff, the victor to look the Red Sox, who’d cruised to the American League emblem by 12 games implicit Detroit and 17 implicit the Yankees, winning 104 games. Game 1 successful St. Louis went to the Cardinals, Howie Pollet going the region successful a 4-2 win. As the bid shifted to Brooklyn, Dodgers fans searched for omens.

They thought they got 1 erstwhile the Cardinals’ bid broke down 40 miles extracurricular of Philadelphia, allowing the Dodgers to get location hours earlier the Cards would settee into their hotel.

Leo Durocher, the Dodgers manager since 1939, who’d guided them to archetypal spot successful 1941, was inactive the skipper, though determination was huffy speculation successful each 7 New York dailies that helium was astir to power jobs. The Yankees had dismissed Bill Dickey and were looking for a caller boss. Durocher seemed a apt candidate.

“No,” the Lip insisted earlier Game 2. “I’ll beryllium a Dodger until the time I die.”

Leo Durocher, with the acheronian  jacket, manager   of the Brooklyn Dodgers, watches his shortstop Arky Vaughn taking swings successful  the batting cage, earlier  a National League crippled  successful  1948. (Photo by Mark Rucker/Transcendental Graphics, Getty Images)Leo Durocher, with the acheronian jacket, manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers, watches his shortstop Arky Vaughn taking swings successful the batting cage.Transcendental Graphics, Getty Images

Oct. 3 soon became an unofficial vacation successful the borough of churches. This was conscionable earlier the ascent of a existent Brooklyn NL dynasty; the locals inactive lone expected October shot erstwhile each decennary oregon two. The oddsmakers inactive favored the Cards but Durocher scoffed astatine that.

“Our backs person been to the walls each year,” helium said. “We are astatine our precise champion erstwhile our backs are to the walls.”

Except, soon, those walls crashed successful connected the Dodgers. The Brooks took a little 1-0 pb successful the bottommost of the archetypal with an RBI azygous by Ed Stevens and by 1 relationship “the precise instauration of Ebbets Field seemed to beryllium successful questions arsenic the Flock roared.”

But the Cards scored doubly successful the second, and by the past of the ninth they led 8-1. Ebbets Field had yet been silenced. Few of the 31,437 had left, much retired of a consciousness of work than belief. Except a comic happening happened: the Dodgers refused to fto their play dice easily.

Augie Galan doubled. Dixie Walker flied retired but past Stevens tripled and Carl Furillo singled, and it was 8-3, and the radical begane to stir. A chaotic transportation sent Furillo to second, and past Cardinals pitcher Murry Dickson walked Pee Wee Reese. Harry Brecheen came successful to regenerate Dickson but it didn’t look to matter: Bruce Edward singled successful a run, making it 8-4, and erstwhile pinch-hitter Cookie Lavagetto drew  a locomotion the bases were loaded successful the tyingt tally was astatine the sheet with inactive but 1 out.

The assemblage “screamed for a miracle,” sportswriter Dick Young would constitute the adjacent morning.

Alas, determination would beryllium none. Brecheen caught Eddie Stanky looking, past pinch-hitter Howie Schultz went down swinging. Young would write: “the Brooks, who had made the Cards ‘sweat it out’ each play long, went down whaling distant with an illustration of the celebrated Flatbush effort that has go fable the federation over.”

You whitethorn person heard of the different 3 times a three-game bid was conducted successful New York: that was 1951, and it ended astatine the Polo Grounds with Bobby Thomson hitting the astir celebrated location tally successful shot history.

Back successful 2020, the pandemic accrued the playoff tract to 16 and reduced each first-round bid to best-of-threes, and portion the Yankees swept the Indians, some games were played successful Cleveland.

Best-of-threes are an anomaly and portion they whitethorn beryllium preferable to the all-or-nothing, one-and-done play-in format the wild-card circular has featured since 2012, they are inactive quirky capable to beryllium virtually unpredictable. Seventy-six years aft the archetypal clip a best-of-three visited New York, different 1 began Friday nighttime astatine CitiField, Mets vs. Padres.

Locals tin lone anticipation the Mets walk their clip whaling away, and not screaming for a miracle.