The 1950 World Series was the 47th World Series between the American and National Leagues for the championship of Major League Baseball. The Philadelphia Phillies as 1950 champions of the National League and the New York Yankees, as 1950 American League champions, competed to win a best-of-seven game series.
The Series began on Wednesday, October 4, and concluded Saturday, October 7. The Phillies had home field advantage for the Series, meaning no more than three games would be played at the Yankees' home ballpark, Yankee Stadium. The Yankees won their 13th championship in their 48-year history, taking the Series in a four-game sweep. The final game in the Series resulted in the New York Yankees winning, 5–2 over Philadelphia. It was the only game in the Series decided by more than one run. The 1950 World Series title would be the second of a record five straight titles for the New York Yankees (1949–1953). The two teams would not again meet in the Series for 59 years.
This was also the last all-white World Series as neither club had integrated in 1950. It was also the last World Series where television coverage was pooled between the four major networks of the day: that season, the Mutual Broadcasting System, who had long been the radio home for the World Series, purchased the TV rights despite not (and indeed, never) having a television network. They would eventually sell on the rights to NBC, beginning a long relationship with the sport.
The Phillies, a particularly young team which came to be known as the "Whiz Kids", had won the National League pennant in dramatic fashion on the final day of the season to garner their second pennant—their first in 35 years. But writing in the New York Times on October 3, 1950, John Drebinger picked the Yankees to win the Series in five games: "The Stengelers simply have too much over-all pitching. They have the long range power. They posses [sic] rare defensive skill, and they have the poise and experience gained through the past four years which brought them two world championships and three pennants." Odds makers made the Yankees 2–5 favorites to win the Series.
Curt Simmons, a 17-game winner for the Phillies in 1950, had been called to military duty in September and was unavailable for this Series. Simmons was stationed at Camp Atterbury and requested and was granted a leave on October 4 to attend the Series. The Phillies chose not to request that Commissioner Chandler rule Simmons eligible for the Series but Simmons chose to attend to support the team. Simmons' place on the Series roster was taken by pitcher Jocko Thompson. Phillies ace Robin Roberts didn't start Game 1 because he had had three starts in five days including the pennant winner on the final day of the regular season—played October 1, 1950 (three days before Game 1).
AL New York Yankees (4) vs. NL Philadelphia Phillies (0)
Because his #1 starter, Robin Roberts, had just pitched in three of the last five games of the frantic 1950 pennant race, Phils manager Eddie Sawyer surprised the world by naming his bullpen ace, Jim Konstanty, to open on the mound for Philadelphia, opposing 21-game winner Vic Raschi of the Yankees. Konstanty was outstanding, allowing just four hits and a run in eight innings, but Raschi was tougher, shutting out the Phils on only two hits en route to a 1–0 victory in the opener. This marked the third consecutive year that the World Series opened with a 1–0 game, and the third consecutive year a two-hitter was thrown in the opening game of the World Series.
In what would be the last postseason game ever played in Shibe Park, 20-game winner Robin Roberts and Allie Reynolds both pitched outstanding baseball for nine innings, as strong pitching and stout defense again prevailed in the Series. Gene Woodling drove in Jerry Coleman for a Yankee run in the second, and Richie Ashburn tallied Mike Goliat in the fifth, forcing a 1–1 tie which held up through nine full innings. This set the stage for Joe DiMaggio, leading off the tenth inning for the Yankees. With one swing, DiMaggio smashed a home run to left field to provide the difference in a 2–1 extra-inning win for the Yankees as the Series shifted to New York.
DiMaggio had a hand in holding the Phillies at bay long enough to get his key at-bat. Leading off the sixth inning, Del Ennis hit a deep fly to center, but DiMaggio made a spectacular over-the-shoulder running catch, near the 400-foot (120 m) marker at the base of the scoreboard in right-center. This play is far less well-known but was similar-looking to the famous Willie Mays catch in the 1954 World Series. DiMaggio made this play on the road, although in a ballpark which he played in during the regular season (Shibe Park was also the home of the Philadelphia A's). Because there was nobody on when the ball was hit, he was not in a hurry to get the ball back to the infield (Mays' famous 1954 catch was deeper, with two runners on base and nobody out when the ball was hit).
Phils lefty Ken Heintzelman started the third game against Yankee stalwart Eddie Lopat. Heintzelman continued the Phils' great pitching, carrying a 2–1 lead into the eighth inning, when he lost control and walked the bases loaded. Konstanty relieved him and got Bobby Brown to ground to shortstop Granny Hamner, but Hamner misplayed the ball to allow the tying run to score. Russ Meyer came on for the Phillies in the last of the ninth. After retiring the first two batters, Meyer allowed consecutive singles to set the stage for Jerry Coleman, who drove in the winning run with a base hit to give the Yankees a 3–2 win.
In attendance at the game was Grover Cleveland Alexander, who had led the Phillies to their previous pennant in 1915. It was his first World Series game in twenty years. Ill from the effects of long term alcohol abuse, Alexander was generally ignored. He would be dead less than a month later on November 4, 1950, at age 63.
Phillies starter Bob Miller matched up against rookie Whitey Ford, making his first World Series appearance, as the Yankees tried to wrap up the Series in four straight. New York scored two runs in the first inning, and with the help of Yogi Berra's homer, three more in the sixth to take a commanding 5–0 lead. With a 5–0 shutout, the first two Phils reached base in the ninth, before Ford got the next two out. Andy Seminick then flied to left, but left fielder Gene Woodling dropped what looked like the Series-ending out, allowing two runs to score. Mike Goliat kept the inning going with a hit, and Stengel removed Ford to bring in Allie Reynolds. Reynolds struck out pinch-hitter Stan Lopata, giving the Yanks a 5–2 win and the World Series victory.
1950 World Series (4–0): New York Yankees (A.L.) over Philadelphia Phillies (N.L.)During the Series, the New York Yankees pitching rotation only allowed three (3) earned runs and finished the Fall Classic with a combined 0.73 ERA. The other pitching staffs with a combined World Series ERA less than 1.00: