This was the first year New Yorkers had only one local team to root for; both the Giants and the Dodgers were now playing their home games more than 3,000 miles (4,800 km) away (in San Francisco and Los Angeles respectively). Both returnees to the Series had no problems repeating as league champions during the regular season. Milwaukee coasted to an eight-game lead over the Pittsburgh Pirates in the National League and the Yanks bested the Chicago White Sox by ten games in the American. With no pennant race in either league, managers Casey Stengel of the Yankees and Fred Haney of the Braves could rest their aces in preparation for an exciting repeat of the 1957 World Series. Both teams would meet again in the 1996 World Series—by that time, the Braves had moved to Atlanta.
Of note, the 1958 World Series was also the first World Series filmed in color.
AL New York Yankees (4) vs. NL Milwaukee Braves (3)
Casey Stengel called on 14-game winner Whitey Ford (14–7, 2.01) to start Game 1 although teammate Bob Turley had a better regular season record at 21–7, the experienced, perennial winning southpaw had five post-season victories under his belt. Fred Haney countered with a lefty of his own, 22-game winner Warren Spahn.
Bill "Moose" Skowron started the scoring with a solo home run in the top of the fourth inning but the Braves came storming back with two of their own in the bottom of the frame. Hank Aaron walked and quickly took second on a Yogi Berra passed ball. Joe Adcock grounded out to third for the first out. Aaron held second but advanced to third on Wes Covington's groundout to second for the second out. Then three straight singles; Del Crandall to left scoring Aaron, Andy Pafko to center, and Warren Spahn to left-center scoring Crandall, put the Braves up by one. Red Schoendienst would strike out to end the inning but the Braves were up early 2–1.
In the top of the fifth, Spahn retired Tony Kubek on a flyout to left but walked the opposing pitcher, Ford. Lead-off hitter, Hank Bauer then deposited a Spahn fastball into the left-field bleachers to give the Yankees a slim 3–2 lead. Milwaukee would tie the game in the eighth on an Eddie Mathews walk, an Aaron double, and a tying sac-fly by Wes Covington on a deep flyout to Mickey Mantle in left-center.
With no runs tallied in the ninth, extra-innings were played with the Yankees going down 1–2–3 with Spahn still on the hill for the Braves. Ryne Duren, who came into the game to pitch the eighth inning, took his turn at-bat in the tenth and grounded out to the pitcher, Spahn. Aaron started the bottom of the tenth by striking out and was barely thrown out at first base by Yogi Berra on a dropped third strike. Adcock followed with a clean single to center but Covington made the second out on a flyout to left. Crandall then singled up the middle sending Adcock to second base. Bill Bruton, who came into the game pinch-hitting for Pafko in the ninth, lined a single into right-center scoring Adcock with the game-winning run.
Looking to go up two games in the Series, manager Fred Haney wisely sent Lew Burdette (20–10, 2.91), who won three games in the 1957 World Series, to the mound for the Braves while the Yankees went with righty Bob Turley (21–7, 2.91), who won twenty games for the only time in his career during the regular season.
Burdette started shaky giving up a lead-off single to Hank Bauer. Eddie Mathews fielded a grounder by Gil McDougald but threw wide to first setting up runners on second and third. Mickey Mantle was then intentionally walked loading the bases for cleanup hitter Elston Howard. But Howard would groundout forcing Mantle at second while Bauer came in from third scoring the game's first run. Burdette calmed down enough to get the next batter, Yogi Berra, to ground into an inning ending 4–6–3 double-play; Red Schoendienst, to Johnny Logan, to Frank Torre.
A shakier Bob Turley would last only a third of an inning as the Braves lit up the scoreboard with seven (7) first inning runs sparked by a lead-off Bill Bruton home run who hit just three (3) in the season. The inning continued with Schoendienst doubling to right while Eddie Mathews watched a third strike go by for the first out. Hank Aaron walked and dependable Wes Covington singled home a run to right-center. Mid-season pickup Duke Maas relieved Turley to get Frank Torre to fly to right for the second out. Catcher Del Crandall walked loading the bases with Johnny Logan keeping up the onslaught with a two-run scoring single. With the score already 4–1, pitcher Burdette helped his own cause with a three-run homer that left-fielder Elston Howard thought he had a bead on only to crash into the fence. Burdette was just the sixth pitcher (to date) with a World Series home run. Norm Siebern was summoned to take over for Howard and Johnny Kucks came in to pitch to try to stop the bleeding. The tenth batter of the inning, Bruton, lined to short but the damage was done as the Braves were staked to a 7–1 lead.
The Braves added to their lead in the second inning on another Covington single this time scoring Eddie Mathews. Things would quiet down a little; Mickey Mantle's solo shot, over the center-field fence, in the fourth was the only other scoring until the seventh when the Braves would score twice more and then thrice more in the eighth. The Yankees would find some life in the top of the ninth scoring three runs off a tiring Burdette. Hank Bauer led off with a home run followed by a Gil McDougald single to left and then Mantle's second homer of the game, into the left-center field bleachers made it 13–5. Burdette showed some tenacity by retiring Berra, Bill Skowron, and Bobby Richardson, in order, for the win and a 2–0 series lead.
Arriving at the Bronx for Games 3 through 5, the Yankees found themselves at home in hopes of their first Series win. Milwaukee should have saved some runs from Game 2 as they were shut down on a finely pitched game by Don Larsen with a little help from reliever Ryne Duren.
The Yankees needed this win to stay within striking distance of the semmingly run-away Braves. Hank Bauer drove in all the Yankees' runs going 3 for 4 with four runs batted in and scoring once. Bauer singled in Norm Siebern and Gil McDougald in the fifth, to extend his Series hitting streak to seventeen games, and then in the seventh hit a 400-foot (120 m), two-run homer into the left-field stands. Larsen went seven innings on a six-hitter, striking out eight with three walks. Duren closed the game for his first save, pitching two scoreless innings with three walks and a strikeout. Bob Rush pitched well for the Braves but his loss helped the Yanks get back into the Series.
Warren Spahn was at his much-needed best, winning Game 4, 3–0, on a two-hit shutout over Yankee ace Whitey Ford. Yankee left-fielder, Norm Siebern (playing for the injured Elston Howard), had trouble fielding with the afternoon sun blazing, losing fly balls in the sixth and eighth innings accounting for two Milwaukee runs.
It was a much-heralded pitching duel until the top of the sixth when Red Schoendienst led off tripling into deep left-center the ball slicing between "The Mick" in center and Siebern in left. Tony Kubek, who had 28 errors during the season, let a Johnny Logan grounder slip through his legs for an error letting in the game's first run. In the seventh, Spahn blooped a single scoring Andy Pafko who had just doubled to right. In the eighth, Johnny Logan was credited with a ground-rule double when Siebern lost a flyball in the sun. Eddie Mathews followed with another double scoring Logan with the game's final run. Up three games to one, the Milwaukee Braves were on the cusp of back-to-back championships, but the indomitable New Yorkers would show that they had some fight left in them.
Game 2 starters, loser Bob Turley and winner Lew Burdette, returned with quite different results. Good-luck charm Elston Howard also returned to take his rightful spot in left-field for ineffective Norm Siebern.
The game did not start out very promising for the Yankees as the first six batters were retired without much fanfare. The Braves didn't fare much better as a walk and a single by Schoendienst in the third was all they could muster. Second baseman Gil McDougald would open up the scoring in the bottom of the third with a home run into the screen next to the left-field foul pole. Turley kept cruising retiring the side in order in the fourth and fifth until his Yankee teammates opened the floodgates with a six-run sixth. Burdette could only get one out in the inning giving up five earned runs before being relieved by Juan Pizarro.
Hank Bauer would lead off with a single to left. After Jerry Lumpe struck out bunting a third strike foul, Mickey Mantle singled to left-center advancing Bauer to third. Yogi Berra doubled into the right-field corner scoring Bauer, Mantle stopping at third. Howard was intentionally passed loading the bases but Moose Skowron kept the rally going with a short single to right scoring just Mantle. Pizzaro relieved Burdette, who was responsible for all baserunners, and was greeted with a two-run scoring double into the Milwaukee bullpen by Gil McDougald. With runners on second and third, Tony Kubek struck out but had to be thrown out by Del Crandall at first. Turley stayed in the game to hit and delivered a single to left scoring the sixth run, Skowron, and the seventh, McDougald. Hank Bauer was the third strikeout victim in the inning but six runs had crossed the plate. The Braves would put runners on in the seventh, eighth, and ninth innings but would fail to score giving the Yanks a 7–0 victory although Milwaukee still led 3–2 in the Series.
Milwaukee, back at home, still needed one win to sew up their second consecutive championship. Two future Hall-Of-Famers, Whitey Ford and Warren Spahn, started for New York and Milwaukee.
Top of the first, two quick outs by Spahn, and then the man who would be the Series top hitter, Hank Bauer, stepped to the plate. Hank, who would hit .323, with four HRs and eight RBIs, would hit his fourth homer into the left-field bleachers to give the Yanks an early 1–0 lead. The Braves would answer with a run of their own in the bottom of the inning on a Red Schoendienst single, a sacrifice bunt by Johnny Logan, and a run-scoring single to left by Hank Aaron. Spahn settled in and retired the Yankees without a hit in the second.
Pitching on only two-days rest, Ford quickly withered in the bottom of the second. After striking out Del Crandall, Wes Covington singled to center on a trap by center fielder Mickey Mantle. Andy Pafko singled to right advancing Covington to third. Spahn singled to right-center scoring Covington for a 2–1 lead. An exhausted Ford walked Schoendienst loading the bases and Casey Stengel had seen enough, motioning to the bullpen for reliever Art Ditmar. Ditmar faced one batter, Logan, who flied out to Elston Howard who in turn threw home with a perfect throw to Yogi Berra, doubling up Pafko trying to score on the sac-fly. The RBI single by Spahn would be the last run scored against Ford in the World Series for 33 2/3 innings.
Milwaukee held on to the lead until the top of the sixth inning when the Yankees tied the score on a defensive replacement miscue. Bill Bruton had entered the game to play center for Pafko. After Mantle singled just over the reach of shortstop Johnny Logan's glove; Elston Howard followed with single to center but Bruton fumbled the ball allowing Mantle to reach third on the error. The great bad-ball hitting Berra hit a sacrifice fly to center, Mantle scoring after the catch, to tie the game at two apiece.
Warren Spahn was still on the mound for the Braves going into the tenth despite throwing 290 regular season innings and another 19 in the post-season. Gil McDougald, who was having a fine series himself, led off the tenth hitting a Spahn fastball over the left-field fence. Bauer almost went back-to-back but Bruton made the catch in deep center. Mantle grounded to second for the second out but Howard and Berra followed with singles setting up runners on first and third. Haney called on Don McMahon to replace Spahn. Moose Skowron struck a single to right scoring Howard and a two-run lead. Pitcher Ryne Duren stayed in the game to hit but struck out to end the inning.
The Braves made some noise in the bottom of the tenth but it wasn't enough to overcome the Yankee lead. Logan, on first after a walk and with two outs, went to second on the defensive team's indifference (not a stolen base). The ever-dependable Aaron singled to left, scoring Logan, and the Braves were within one run of tying the game. Joe Adcock then singled sending Aaron to third. Bob Turley came in to relieve Duren and Felix Mantilla pinch-ran for Adcock. With two outs, two on, Frank Torre, pinch-hitting for Del Crandall, lined-out to McDougald at the very edge of the outfield grass to end the game and Milwaukee's chance to win the game and the Series.
Trying to beat fantastic odds and come back from a 3–1 deficit, Yankee manager Casey Stengel again chose Don Larsen to start Game 7. Larsen had only lasted 2 1⁄3 innings starting Game 7 in the 1957 World Series and once again lasted 2 1⁄3 innings in 1958. Lew Burdette, who pitched a complete game win in Game 2 but gave up six runs in a Game 5 loss, would start for Milwaukee.
The Yankees failed to score in the first while the Braves tallied a single run on some lack of control by Larsen. Red Schoendienst led off with a single to left, Bill Bruton walked and Frank Torre sacrificed up both runners, Jerry Lumpe to Gil McDougald, who was covering first base. Hank Aaron walked loading the bases; things looking pretty good for the Braves thus far. Wes Covington grounded out to first but Schoendienst scored on the play. Eddie Mathews took an intentional pass but Del Crandall struck out ending the threat.
The Yankees had a wake-up call and came out "swinging" in the second inning. Clean-up hitter Yogi Berra led off with a walk. Slow-footed but hustling Elston Howard laid down a sacrifice and, incredibly, was called safe on a poorly tossed throw by Torre to pitcher Burdette. Jerry Lumpe grounded again to Torre, who again threw too high to Burdette for another error, loading the bases. The left-handed hitting Torre got the start in place of veteran right-hander Joe Adcock who may have been more sure-handed in the field. The next batter, Bill Skowron, forced Lumpe at second, scoring Berra and moving Howard to third. Tony Kubek lifted a sacrifice fly to left, scoring Howard giving the Yankees a 2–1 lead which would hold up until the bottom of the sixth.
Two singles in the bottom of the third brought Stengel out to replace Larsen with a short-rested Bob Turley. The stocky right-hander would escape a bases-loaded situation and pitch superb ball the rest of the way. As it was in Game 6, the score was tied 2–2 after six innings of play when, with two outs, Del Crandall homered into the left-field stands giving the Braves fans a reason to cheer and promise of another championship.
But that hope would fade as the Yankees came to bat in the top of the eighth inning. With tiring Lew Burdette looking for another complete-game victory, the "Bronx Bombers" started an improbable two-out rally. After a Gil McDougald flyout and Mickey Mantle looking at a third called strike, Yogi Berra stepped to the plate and doubled off the wall in the right-field corner. Howard followed with a run-scoring single to center. Andy Carey singled past the glove of Eddie Mathews. William Joseph (Moose) Skowron would then deliver the crushing blow with a three-run homer into the left-field bleachers and cap an incredible, storybook comeback. The Milwaukee Braves would not, could not recover, giving the New York Yankees their eighteenth World Championship.
Hank Bauer (a nine-Series veteran) led with most runs scored (six), most hits (ten), most home runs (four) and most runs batted in (eight). He also topped the Yankees sluggers with a .323 average. Despite less-than-stellar stats in his first four Classics (seven for fifty-seven with a .123 avg.), he combined for eighteen hits, six home runs, fourteen RBIs and a .290 average against the Braves in '57 and '58. Turley became the first relief pitcher to be named World Series MVP, going 2–1 with a save.
(Neft and Cohen 270–273)
1958 World Series (4–3): New York Yankees (A.L.) over Milwaukee Braves (N.L.)Eddie Mathews struck out eleven times, a World Series record that Wayne Garrett would tie in the 1973 World Series. The co-records would stand until the 1980 World Series, when Willie Wilson of the Kansas City Royals struck out twelve times.
The Braves, as a team, struck out 56 times, a new World Series record. In addition to Mathews' 11 strikeouts, Del Crandall also struck out 10 times, making it the first time two different players from the same team struck out 10 or more times in a single World Series.
This was Casey Stengel's seventh world championship, which tied him with Joe McCarthy for the most World Series won. It would also be Stengel's last.
The 3–1 deficit overcome by the New York Yankees was the first ever in a best-of-seven by an American League team. The only other instance was by the National League's Pittsburgh Pirates in the 1925 World Series.