After just missing National
League pennants in 1950 and '51, the Dodgers captured the '52 flag with
4 ½ games to spare. Meanwhile, the Yankees advanced to the World Series
championship for the fourth year in a row.
The Series opened at Brooklyn's Ebbets Field, and the Dodgers took a
4-2 victory behind the complete-game pitching of Joe Black, a rookie who'd
started only twice during the regular season. Duke Snider hit a two-run
homer for the Dodgers, and double-play partners Pee Wee Reese and Jackie
Robinson chipped in with solo shots. In Game 2, Billy Martin and Vic Raschi
paced the Yankees to a 7-1 decision, Martin smacking a three-run homer
and Raschi allowing just three hits while going the distance.
The Dodgers owned a slim 3-2 lead after eight innings of Game 3 at Yankee
Stadium, then tallied another pair of runs when Reese and Robinson were
able to score on Yogi Berra's passed ball in the top of the ninth. Those
runs proved important when Yankee pinch-hitter Johnny Mize homered into
the left-field stands in the bottom of the frame, making the final score
5-3, Brooklyn. Game 4 was all Allie Reynolds, as the Yankee ace tossed
a four-hit shutout to beat Joe Black, 2-0.
The Dodgers led 4-0 in Game 5, a three-run rally in the fifth capped
by Duke Snider's two-run homer to right center. But the Yankees came back
with five runs in the bottom of the fifth, the last three coming on Mize's
three-run home run, his third round-tripper in as many games. The Dodgers
tied the game at five with a run in the seventh, and it was still 5-5
after nine innings. In the top of the 11th, Snider knocked in his fourth
run of the game, and Brooklyn starter Carl Erskine retired the Yanks in
order to end the game.
Snider, enjoying an amazing Series, smashed a pair of solo homers off
Game 6 starter Vic Raschi, but Snider's teammates weren't as effective.
Raschi collected a 3-2 win with some relief help from Allie Reynolds.
For the Yanks, Yogi Berra and Mickey Mantle both homered, and Raschi helped
himself with an RBI single.
That forced a decisive Game 7, and the Yanks owned a 4-2 lead in the
seventh. But Raschi, working in relief, allowed a single and two walks
to load the bases with one out. Bob Kuzava replaced Raschi, and retired
Snider on a pop to third. Jackie Robinson then lifted a short pop to the
right side of the infield, but first baseman Joe Collins lost the ball
in the sun. At the last instant, second baseman Billy Martin rushed over
and made the catch, saving at least one run. Kuzava made quick work of
the Dodgers in the eighth and ninth, preserving New York's 4-2 triumph.
For Kuzava, it was his second Series-clinching save in 12 months.