Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Collection: Johnny Podres Fleer Greats

With today being the 50th Anniversary of Dodger Stadium and the team commemorating the first Dodgers club to play there, I though it would only be appropriate to highlight a card from my collection that features a starter from that team. Here is a 2004 Fleer Greats card of former 1955 World Series hero and 1962 starting pitcher Johnny Podres.

By this time, Podres had already solidified his place in Dodgers history. He was instrumental in the Dodgers first and only title in Brooklyn and in Los Angeles' first championship in 1959. In 1962 he recorded a career high 178 strike outs over 255 innings with a 3.81 ERA, but couldn't get that last win for the pennant- although that wasn't his fault.

The Giants and Dodgers had tied for 1st place at the end of the 162 game season, so a 3 game playoff was put together. The Giants took the first game at home, then the Dodgers tied it up the next day in Los Angeles. In the final and deciding game (game 165 of the season) Podres started on the mound and pitched a good 5 innings. He held the Giants off and kept the Dodgers close. Ed Roebuck came in to relieve and pitched 3 strong innings while the Dodger took the lead, 4 to 2, going into the 9th inning. From there the wheels fell off. Roebuck and the rest of the Dodgers relief staff couldn't throw a strike and the rest is history. The Giants won the pennant by winning in dramatic fashion, 6 to 4.

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