Monday, January 14, 2008

Johnny Podres, 1932-2008

"Millennium," yes; "pandemonium"!
Roy Campanella leaps high. Dodgerdom

crowned, had Johnny Podres on the mound.


- Marianne Moore, "Hometown Piece for Messrs Alston and Reese"

I've told before how and why the Brooklyn Dodgers became my first love in baseball, and that 1955 was my first remembered and defining World Series. So it's with particular sorrow that I read that Johnny Podres, winner of game seven of that Series, and of the Dodgers' first championship, and that over the hated Yankees, died today at seventy-five.

I'm glad, however, to see that Johnny's fellow pitcher from the '55 team, Don Newcombe, still lives, along with teammate Tommy Lasorda and former Dodger GM Buzzie Bavasi.

Update: Arch, in a comment on my parallel post in WikiFray, says Bob Gibson is for him what Podres was for me. I couldn't find a poem about Gibson, but I did find another blog with a link to an MP3 of my favorite baseball writer, Roger Angell, talking about Gibson. Anyway, Arch, I've got to admit: Gibson was simply the greatest pitcher of his era, and probably one of the five or so best of all time. Oh, yeah, and as I've said before, if I had to pick a team purely on aesthetics, the Cards would be my choice.