The 1952 World Series featured the 3-time defending champions New York Yankees beating the Brooklyn Dodgers in seven games. The Yankees won their 4th consecutive title—tying the mark they set between 1936 and 1939 under manager Joe McCarthy, and Casey Stengel became the second manager in Major League history with 4 consecutive World Series championships. This was the Yankees' 15th World Series championship win, and the 3rd time they defeated the Dodgers in 6 years.
In Game 7, the Yankees' second baseman Billy Martin made a game-saving catch. Also, the home run hit by Mickey Mantle during the 8th inning of Game 6 was significant because it was the first of his record 18 career World Series home runs.
The NBC telecasts of Games 6 and 7 are believed to be the oldest surviving television broadcasts of the World Series, as they were preserved via kinescope by sponsor Gillette.
AL New York Yankees (4) vs. NL Brooklyn Dodgers (3)
In 1952 the Dodgers, led by manager Chuck Dressen, paced the NL in runs scored (775), home runs (153) and stolen bases (90). Duke Snider, Jackie Robinson and George Shuba batted over .300, while Roy Campanella (97) and Gil Hodges (102) paced the team in RBIs. The Dodgers had no dominant pitchers with Carl Erskine (206.2) the lone pitcher with over 200 innings and rookie Joe Black leading the team with 15 wins. Manager Dressen used 14 starting pitchers on the year, but as a unit, the pitchers combined to finish second in the NL in team ERA. Defensively, the Dodgers led the NL with a .982 fielding percentage, and Campanella gunned down 29 of 52 (56%) would-be base stealers.
The Yankees, led by the effusive Casey Stengel, recovered from the retirement of Joe DiMaggio, and the loss of Bobby Brown, Joe Coleman and Tom Morgan to the service. The Yankees matched the Dodgers in hitting as they finished first or second in the AL in runs scored, home runs, batting average, and slugging percentage. Mickey Mantle had a breakout season leading the Yankees in batting (.311), and slugging (.530). Yogi Berra led the Yanks in runs (97), HRs (30) and RBIs (98). The Yankees had a pitching staff that led the AL in ERA (3.14). Allie Reynolds led the team with 20 wins and led the league with 2.08 ERA. Casey Stengel rotated his pitchers all year with seven having at least 12 starts, but none working more than 35 games. Defensive standout Phil Rizzuto led AL shortstops with 458 assists and made only 19 errors.
Joe Black became the first black pitcher win a World Series game. His support came from three Dodger home runs, by Jackie Robinson in the second, Duke Snider in the sixth and Pee Wee Reese with two out in the eighth, after the Yankees had come within 3-2 on a Gene Woodling triple and Hank Bauer sac fly in the top of the eighth.
Vic Raschi's complete-game three-hitter and nine strikeouts dominated this game. He was behind 1–0 after a Roy Campanella RBI single in the third, but the Yankees tied it when Mickey Mantle doubled, took second on a groundout and scored on a Yogi Berra sacrifice fly. A five-run Yankee sixth broke it open, including a two-run Billy Martin homer off reliever Billy Loes.
Twice with Andy Pafko at bat, Jackie Robinson's speed and baserunning skill paid off for Brooklyn. With the game 2-1 in the eighth, Robinson tagged and scored on Pafko's fly to left. In the ninth, he and Pee Wee Reese pulled a double steal, then both scored—Robinson from second base—on a passed ball.
The score was 1-0 in the eighth, a Johnny Mize home run being the difference, when Dodgers reliever Johnny Rutherford came into the game. The first batter he faced was Mickey Mantle, who tripled to deep left-center, then kept coming home when the throw to third got away. Both sides got just four hits in the contest, a pitching duel between Allie Reynolds and Joe Black.
Carl Erskine pitched all 11 innings for Brooklyn, closing it out by retiring future Hall of Famers Mickey Mantle, Johnny Mize and Yogi Berra 1-2-3 in the 11th. A five-run fifth was nearly Erskine's undoing, Mize's three-run homer rallying the Yankees after they fell behind 4-0. In the top of the 11th, Billy Cox got his third hit of the game, moved up on a Pee Wee Reese hit and scored on Duke Snider's double off reliever Johnny Sain for what turned out to be the winning run.
In Game 6, with a 3–2 Series lead and the final two at Ebbets Field, the Dodgers looked to chase away the demons of 1951. Billy Loes (13–8) faced Vic Raschi (16–6). Dodger Manager Chuck Dressen made a curious lineup change with George Shuba batting fifth, replacing Andy Pafko. Dressen placed Roy Campanella in the sixth spot and left Gil Hodges to bat seventh.
In the Dodger half of the first inning, with Duke Snider on second and Jackie Robinson on first, Shuba grounded out to Billy Martin to end the inning. In the Yankee fourth Yogi Berra reached second base when Pee Wee Reese uncorked a wild throw on a double-play attempt, but the Yankees could not capitalize. In the fifth inning the Dodgers turned a remarkable double play. Yankee Irv Noren led off with a single, followed by a Vic Raschi bunt. Gil Hodges picked up the bunt, turned and fired to Reese at second, who in lightning succession fired to Robinson covering first just in time to retire Raschi. In the Dodger sixth, Snider sent Raschi's first pitch over the 40 feet (12 m) of screen in back of right field and onto Bedford Ave for 1–0 lead. In the top of the seventh, Yogi Berra matched Snider blast with one of his own, again onto Bedford Avenue. Gene Woodling followed with a single and Dodger pitcher Billy Loes balked him to second. Raschi then made up for his bunt-turned-double-play by getting a hit, literally off Loes. The ball ricocheted off Loes and into right field bringing Woodling home for a 2–1 lead. In another curious move Dressen allowed pitcher Billy Loes to hit for himself in the seventh. Loes singled and promptly stole second. But Raschi struck out Billy Cox to end the inning. Mantle led off the Yankee eighth inning with the first of his 18 World Series home runs. Mantle's shot set a record for home runs by one team and for both teams in a single Series at 13. Snider continued the home run fest by launching another shot in the bottom of the eighth. Jackie Robinson then sent left fielder Gene Woodling to the wall for an out and Shuba doubled to send Raschi to the showers. Allie Reynolds relieved and quickly ended the Dodger eighth. Reynolds, known as "The Chief" again made quick work of the Dodgers in the ninth including striking out Rocky Nelson, who had pinch hit for Hodges, preserving the 3–2 win.
Game 7 pitted Joe Black (15–4) vs Eddie Lopat (10–5). Black, who came out of the Negro Leagues and was not even on the Dodgers spring training roster, had already pitched a complete game win in Game 1 of the Series, pitched seven innings in a 2–0 loss in Game 4 and would be starting his third game in seven days. At that time there were no days off between games as both teams played in New York. For the Yankees, Billy Martin continued his solid play. Martin sat on the bench for most of the season's first two months and took over second base duties when Casey Stengel moved Gil McDougald from second to third base to replace military bound Bobby Brown.
Phil Rizzuto led off the Yankee fourth with a double and Johnny Mize singled him home for a 1–0 lead. In the Dodger fourth, a single by Snider followed by two consecutive sacrifice attempts by Robinson and Campanella, intended to move runners over, loaded the bases instead. Allie Reynolds replaced Lopat and retired Hodges with a fly to left that scored Snider. Reynolds struck out Shuba, then induced Furillo to ground out, leaving Robinson at third and the game tied 1–1. In the fifth inning, Gene Woodling homered for the Yanks, and the Dodgers' Billy Cox doubled followed by a Pee Wee Reese single kept the game tied at 2–2. Mickey Mantle demonstrated his penchant for coming up big in World Series play with a home run in the sixth inning and RBI single in the seventh to give the Bronx Bombers a 4–2 lead. The Brooklyn boys loaded the bases again in the seventh, when Vic Raschi walked Furillo, Cox singled and Reese walked. Stengel called on Bob Kuzava who retired Snider, setting the stage for Billy Martin. With two out and the runners moving, Jackie Robinson popped-up to the right of the mound. Kuzava hesitated looking to his fielders. Martin charged hard from his position deep at second and caught the ball off his shoetops, to end the inning and save a run. Kuzava then quickly put the Dodgers down in the eighth and ninth to give the Yankees their fourth consecutive World Championship.
1952 World Series (4–3): New York Yankees (A.L.) over Brooklyn Dodgers (N.L.)