The 1959 Word Series matched the Los Angeles Dodgers with the Chicago White Sox. The Dodgers, who had moved to Los Angeles from Brooklyn the year before had won 88 and lost 66 and had trailed the Milwaukee Braves by one game on September 22nd before ending the season tied with them. The Dodgers beat the Braves two in a row in a Playoff to earn their shot at the Series.
The White Sox, who finished 94-60, had led the American League since July 29th and finished in first, five games ahead of the Cleveland Indians, to punch their ticket for the Series.
The Series opened in Chicago’s Comiskey Park, on October 1, with a crowd of 48,013 on hand. The White Sox, behind a seven inning, six hit shutout performance by 38 year old, veteran Early Wynn, won Game number one easily 11-0. Wynn would be named that Year’s Cy Young Award winner, with a 22-10 record. The Sox got to the Dodger’s Roger Craig for five runs in 2 1/3 innings and the game was over. The big hits for Chicago were two, two-run, homers by first baseman Ted Kluszewski in the third and fourth innings.
Kluszewski, 34 years old, was traded from the Pittsburgh Pirates to Chicago on August 25th and had hit only four homers in 91 games between the two in the regular season. Ironically, his two regular season homers for the Sox had also come in one game, on September 7th, against the Kansas City Athletics and were also two run shots.
After six innings of Game number two, the next day, the White Sox led the Dodgers and Johnny Podres 2-1. With two out in the top of the seventh, Chuck Essegian, batting for Podres, homered to left, off Sox starter Bob Shaw, to tie the score at 2 all. Shaw then walked Junior Gilliam and Charlie Neal homered deep over the center field fence and the Dodgers were up 4-2.
Larry Sherry replaced Podres on the mound for the Dodgers to start the last of the seventh. Sherry, a 23-year-old rookie, had started five games in July for the Dodgers and moved to the bullpen in August. From August 2nd until the end of the season, he went 6-0 and had three saves, with a 1.61 ERA.
He got the Sox in order in the seventh, getting Luis Aparicio on a pop out, Nellie Fox on a grounder to first and throwing out Jim Landis on a bunt attempt. Chicago’s Turk Lown got the Dodgers in order in the top of the eighth and the game went to the last of the eighth, still 4-2.
Kluszewski led off the inning with a single to center off Sherry and catcher Sherm Lollar beat out a grounder to put runners on first and second with no outs. Al Smith then doubled to deep left center, scoring Earl Torgeson, who had run for Kluszewski but the relay from left fielder Wally Moon to short stop Maury Wills to Johnny Roseboro cut down Lollar, with the tying run, at the plate. Sherry then struck out pinch hitter Billy Goodman and got Jim Rivera to foul out to keep the score at 4-3.
Lown held the Dodgers scoreless in the top of the ninth despite a single and stolen base by Gilliam and the game went to the last of the ninth, still 4-3.
Sherry got Norm Cash to ground out to Gil Hodges at first, Aparicio grounded out to Wills at short and Fox bounced to Charlie Neal at second and the Dodgers had tied the Series at one game apiece. Podres got the win, the third of his career, and Sherry got his first post season save.
The teams moved to Los Angeles for Game 3 at the Los Angeles Coliseum, the temporary home of the Dodgers. A crowd of 92,394, the largest crowd ever to see a baseball game at the time was treated to a pitchers duel between the Dodgers’ Don Drysdale and the White Sox’ Dick Donovan.
After six innings, the score was still 0-0 and both starting pitchers were still in the game. Despite giving up two out singles to Aparicio and Fox, Drysdale held the Sox scoreless in the top of the seventh.
In the Dodgers’ half, Neal got a single to left with one out and went to second when Moon grounded to second. Donovan then walked Larker and first baseman Gil Hodges, loading the base with two out. Chicago Manager Al Lopez brought in Jerry Staley to replaced Donovan on the mound.
Dodger Manager Walter Alston countered, sending Carl Furillo up to hit for center fielder Don Demeter and he grounded a single up the middle, scoring Neal and Larker and putting the Dodgers up 2-0. Staley got Roseboro to line out for the third out, ending the inning.
Drysdale gave up singles to Kluszewski and Lollar to start the eighth and Sherry came in to relieve him. He hit Billy Goodman, the first batter he faced, with a pitch and the bases were loaded with no outs. Sherry then got Al Smith to ground into a 6-4-3 double play with Kluszewski scoring to make it 2-1 and then got Jim Rivera on a pop foul to Roseboro to end the rally with just the one run scoring.
The Dodgers added a run in their half of the eighth when Maury Wills hit a leadoff single to right and Sherry sacrificed him to second with a bunt. Wills scored on Neal’s double and the game went to the ninth with the Dodgers up 3-1.
Sherry struck out Cash and Aparicio but gave up a single to Nellie Fox to bring the potential tying run to the plate in the person of Jim Landis. Sherry struck him out, his third strikeout of the inning and the Dodgers had their second win and Sherry his second save.
For the second day in a row, the largest crowd in baseball history, 92,650, turned out to see Game 4. Wynn started, for Chicago, against Roger Craig for Los Angeles.
The Dodgers got to Wynn in the last of the fourth when, with two out, Moon, Larker, Hodges and Demeter singled in succession, scoring two runs. With Roseboro at the plate, Hodges scored the third run on a passed ball and Roseboro then singled to right, scoring Demeter and making it 4-0. Lown replaced Wynn and got out of the inning.
It stayed 4-0 until the top of the seventh. With one out, Craig, who had shut out the Sox on six hits to that point, gave up a single to Landis and Aparicio sacrificed him to second. Fox then beat out a roller to second with Landis moving to third. Kluszewski singled to right to score Landis and Lollar blasted a homer to left to tie the game at 4-4. Craig finally struck out Goodman to end the inning.
Staley got the Dodgers in order in the last of the seventh and, for the third game in a row, Sherry came on in relief to start the eighth. Despite walking the pitcher, Staley, he held the White Sox scoreless on three ground balls.
Hodges led off the Dodger eighth with a home run putting the Dodgers up 5-4 and Sherry got Aparicio, Fox and Kluszewski in order in the top of the ninth to give the Dodgers their third victory in four games and earn the win.
In three games, in four days, Sherry had pitched seven innings, giving up just one run on four hits and earned a win and two saves.
The next day, in front of the largest crowd ever, 92,706, Sandy Koufax started for the Dodgers against Chicago’s Bob Shaw. The only run of the game was scored in the Chicago fourth. Fox and Landis had led off the inning with back to back singles and Fox scored from third when Lollar hit into a double play. The 1-0 victory kept the Sox in the Series, trailing three games to two and the Series returned to Chicago.
The scene shifted back to Chicago with a crowd of 47,653 on hand for Game 6. Early Wynn started for the White Sox and Johnny Podres for the Dodgers.
The Dodgers got to Wynn in the third on a two-run homer by the great Duke Snyder, playing in his sixth and last World Series. In the Dodger fourth, Larker led off with a single and Demeter ran for him. Roseboro sacrificed him to second and Wills drove him in with a single to center. The pitcher, Podres, then doubled to center to score Wills and Donovan relieved Wynn for Chicago. He walked Gilliam and gave up a double to Neal scoring two more. Moon then homered to left center making it 8-0 before Lown came on for Chicago and got out of the inning.
With one out in the Chicago fourth, Podres hit Landis with a pitch and walked Lollar before giving up a long homer to right by Kluszewski. After he walked Al Smith, Sherry replaced him and gave up a single to Bubba Phillips and a walk to Torgeson before getting out of the inning with no further scoring and the score 8-3.
He held the White Sox scoreless on three more hits through the eighth and Chuck Essegian added another run for Los Angeles with a homer in the top of the ninth to make it 9-3.
In the last of the ninth, Sherry got Goodman, Cash and Aparicio in order and the Dodgers had won the Series in six games and Sherry had his second win to go with his two saves. The Series had drawn a total of420,784 fan to the ball parks, an average of 70,131 per game.
Larry Sherry, who had pitched in all four Dodger wins, in seven days, a total of 12 2/3 innings, giving up just one run on eight hits, saving two games and winning two games, was named Most Valuable Player of the Series.
Sherry won 53 and lost 44 games in an 11-year career with the Dodgers, Tigers, Astros and Angels. The 1959 World Series was the only time he pitched in the post season and he made the most of it.