Johnny Podres was born on Friday, September 30, 1932, in Witherbee, New York. Podres was 20 years old when he broke into the big leagues on April 17, 1953, with the Brooklyn Dodgers. His biographical data, year-by-year hitting stats, fielding stats, pitching stats (where applicable), career totals, uniform numbers, salary data and miscellaneous items-of-interest are presented by Baseball Almanac on this comprehensive Johnny Podres baseball stats page.
"He was one in a million. I have said this many times: I've had many good pitchers on my teams during my career, including the best in the business in Sandy Koufax , and I am sure that all these pitchers will agree that if a club had to win one game, it would be (Johnny) Podres that would get the call." - Brooklyn Dodgers General Manager Buzzie Bavasi (Ken Gurnick, 01/14/2008, 'Dodgers greats mourn Podres' passing', Source )
Johnny Podres Autograph on a 1991 Topps Archives Baseball Card (#263 | Checklist )
Johnny Podres Pitching Stats
Johnny Podres Hitting Stats
Johnny Podres Fielding Stats
Johnny Podres Miscellaneous Stats
|Baserunning Statistics||Other Positions||Common Hitting Ratios||Common Pitching Ratios|
Johnny Podres Miscellaneous Items of Interest
|Team [Click for Roster]||Uniform Numbers||Salary||All-Star||World Series|
|1953 Brooklyn Dodgers||45||Undetermined||-||Stats|
|1954 Brooklyn Dodgers||45||Undetermined||-||-|
|1955 Brooklyn Dodgers||45||Undetermined||-||Stats|
|1957 Brooklyn Dodgers||45||Undetermined||-||-|
|1958 Los Angeles Dodgers||22||Undetermined||Stats||-|
|1959 Los Angeles Dodgers||22||$20,000.00||-||Stats|
|1960 Los Angeles Dodgers||22||$22,000.00||Stats||-|
|1961 Los Angeles Dodgers||22||$25,000.00||-||-|
|1962 Los Angeles Dodgers||22||$30,000.00||Stats||-|
|1963 Los Angeles Dodgers||22||$38,000.00||-||Stats|
|1964 Los Angeles Dodgers||22||$42,000.00||-||-|
|1965 Los Angeles Dodgers||22||$35,000.00||-||-|
|1966 Los Angeles Dodgers||22||$30,000.00||-||-|
|1966 Detroit Tigers||22||" "||-||-|
|1967 Detroit Tigers||22||$28,000.00||-||-|
|1969 San Diego Padres||45||$25,000.00||-||-|
|Johnny Podres Stats by Baseball Almanac|
Did you know that Johnny Podres, who started and threw two complete game victories in the 1955 World Series ( Game 3 - when Brooklyn was down 0-2 & Game 7 - Series tied 3-3 and game played in Yankee Stadium / pictured below), won the first ever World Series Most Valuable Player Award ever given to any player?
Johnny Podres | New York Daily News | January 13, 2008 | Photoshop by Baseball Almanac
On August 8, 2002, Johnny Podres - the last ERA Champion for the Brooklyn Dodgers (2.66 in 1958) - was inducted into the National Polish-American Sports Hall of Fame ( link ). The awards banquet featured this wonderful brief biography written by Dan Ewald:
Bold and Brash
Johnny Podres was a bold, brash left-handed pitcher who complemented a sneaky fastball and wicked curve with just the right pinch of confidence to make him one of the most memorable starters in Brooklyn and Los Angeles Dodgers history.
When he was 70-years-old he still flashed that engaging, carefree demeanor that sparked him to World Series immortality.
"That's just the way I am," Podres modestly explained. "I never took myself too seriously and wound up with a pretty good career. I had a lot of fun."
"Pretty good" is an understatement. In 1955, when the Brooklyn Dodgers defeated the New York Yankees for their first World Championship, Podres was superb. In that classic World Series, Podres posted a pair of complete game victories, including a 2-0 gem in the historic seventh game.
"A lot of people wondered why Walter Alston ( Dodger manager ) started me in that seventh game," Podres recalled. "I was pretty young and didn't have a great season. But I guess things worked out alright."
Podres jumped out of the gate quickly in '55 with a 7-2 record by June. Suddenly, he was struck by injuries and wasn't even sure if he would make the World Series roster.
A shoulder injury landed him on the disabled list. After coming back, he suffered another injury when the grounds crew at Ebbets Field accidentally crashed the batting cage into his ribs during pre-game practice. He finished the season with a 9-10 mark.
"They (Dodgers) weren't even sure I would be on the Series' roster," Podres recalled. "But I had a good outing against Pittsburgh late in the season to make it."
And when he got the opportunity, Podres certainly made the most of it.
In Game 3 at Brooklyn on Sept. 30, 1955, Podres celebrated his 23rd birthday with an 8-3 victory to set the stage for his Game 7 masterpiece.
"After I won Game 3, Alston told me that if there is a Game 7, I would be his starter," Podres said. "That gave me a lot of confidence."
Coupled with his natural supply of self-assuredness, Podres proved to be too much to handle-even for the powerful Yankees who always saved their best games for October.
In the final game, Podres scattered five hits for a 2-0 shutout over a stunned crowd at Yankee Stadium as the "Bums from Brooklyn" finally got their chance to celebrate.
"I have to thank Whitey Ford ," Podres cracked. "He beat us in Game 6 to give me a shot at history."
While Podres will forever be remembered for his 1955 World Series dramatics, he distinguished himself consistently over a 15-year major league career.
Born in Witherbee, New York, where he grew up rooting for the Dodgers, Podres broke in with Brooklyn in 1953 when he was only 20. In 33 starts, he posted a 9-4 record. Except for 1956 when he served in the Navy, Podres pitched in the major leagues through the 1969 season.
Upon returning from the Navy, Podres picked up right where he had left off. In 1957, he posted a 12-9 record and led the National League with a 2.66 ERA and six shutouts.
He won at least 13 games in each of the next six seasons. In 1961, in just the Dodgers fourth season in Los Angeles, Podres posted an 18-5 mark and led the league in winning percentage at .783.
He was traded to the Detroit Tigers during the 1966 season. He made 21 starts and had a 3-l record in 1967 when the Tigers took the American League pennant race to the final day of the season.
"By the time I got to the Tigers, I was over the hill," Podres admitted. "But I enjoyed my time there. We lived in Royal Oak and I enjoyed going to the race track in Hazel Park."
Podres also is happy-and quite proud- about being elected to the Polish Sports Hall of Fame.
"A lot of people don't even know I'm Polish," he said. "They think I'm Spanish, but I'm Polish and Lithuanian. This is quite an honor and I'm proud to be part of an organization that has so many distinguished athletes."
Podres finished his career with a 148-116 record and 3.67 ERA. He appeared in four World Series and posted a 4-1 record and sizzling 2.11 ERA.
Podres always will be remembered for his dramatics in the 1955 World Series. But his career record proves he was far more than a "one-season wonder."
So does his induction into the National Polish Sports Hall of Fame.
Johnny Podres | 1970 Fleer (#52) | Baseball Almanac Collection
Johnny Podres was a four-time All-Star ( 1958 , 1960 , 1960 , 1962 ) who also won four World Series rings ( 1955 , 1959 , 1963 , 1965 ) and led the National League in shutouts in 1957 (6) and win-loss percentage in 1961 (.783).