Today we celebrate the Happy Baseball Birthday of 1955 World Series hero Johnny Podres.
John Joseph Podres was born on September 30, 1932, in Witherbee, New York, and attended high school at local Minerville HS in Witherbee.
In 1951, at the age of 19, Johnny signed as a amatuer free agent with the Brooklyn Dodgers, and made his big league debut with Brooklyn on April 17, 1953.
In 15 big league seasons Johnny Podres compiled a 148-116 record, with a ERA of 3.68, for the Dodgers, Detroit Tigers, and San Diego Padres.
Johnny pitched in 2,265 innings, striking out 1,435 batters, walking 743 batters in 440 big league games.
Podres led the NL in ERA in 1957, at 2.66.
Johnny was a National League All-Star for the Dodgers in 1958, '60, '62.
Johnny won at at least 12 games for the Dodgers between 1957 and 1963... 12, 13, 14, 14, 18, 15, and 14.
His best regular season was in 1961, when Johnny won 18 games, losing just five games in 255 innings pitched, leading the NL in winning percentage, at .783%.
In the 1955 World Series Johnny Podres became part of Brooklyn Dodgers lore and big league baseball history.
The Brooklyn Dodgers won their one and only World Series in 1955, and it was because of the pitching of Series MVP Johnny Podres.
Podres went 2-0 against the New York Yankees, including a complete game 2-0 shutout win in Game 7 at old Yankee Stadium in the Bronx.
Podres pitched 18 innings against the Yankees, allowing just 3 runs, 2 earned, striking out 10.
For his performance Podres became the first ever WS MVP, given out in 1955 by Sport Magazine.
Later that year Podres was also named Sports IlIllustrated Sportsman of the Year.
Johnny won three more WS titles with the Dodgers, all of them in Los Angeles, in 1959, '63, and '65.
After his big league career Johnny became a big league pitching coach, working for the Padres, Red Sox, Twins, and Phillies.
Johnny Podres passed away on January 13, 2008, in Glens Falls, New York, at the age of 75.
Today we remember Johnny Podres and say Happy Baseball Birthday Johnny!