World Series Timeline (1951-75)

ESPN illustration

Intro | 1903-25 | 1926-50 | 1951-75 | 1976-2000 | 2001-15

New York (AL) 4, New York (NL) 2

Why the Yankees won: Lefty Eddie Lopat spun two complete-game gems (Games 2 and 5) and allowed one earned run in 18 innings.

Why the Giants lost: After taking a 2-1 series lead, they dropped the final three games due to subpar starting pitching; Sal Maglie, Larry Jansen and Dave Koslo had a 8.36 ERA in 14 innings.

Memorable moment: With the tying run on second in Game 6, Yankees right fielder Hank Bauer made a spectacular sliding catch on Sal Yvars' sinking liner to end the game and the Series.

Key stat: 10. It was the 10th and final World Series for Joe DiMaggio, who then retired from baseball at age 36.

New York (AL) 4, Brooklyn (NL) 3

Why the Yankees won: Mickey Mantle (.345, 1.061 OPS) had a great Fall Classic, but 39-year-old Johnny Mize, who'd hit only four HRs in 78 games, was 6-for-15 (.400) with three home runs.

Why the Dodgers lost: They returned to Ebbets Field with a 3-2 lead, but several failed offensive chances over the final two games led to their demise.

Memorable moment: With the bases loaded late in Game 7, Yankees second baseman Billy Martin hustled to catch Jackie Robinson's infield popup only inches off the ground to preserve a 4-2 lead.

Key stat: 21. The number of at-bats for the Dodgers' Gil Hodges, who went hitless for the Series.

New York (AL) 4, Brooklyn (NL) 2

Why the Yankees won: Billy Martin, later known as a mercurial Hall of Fame manager, finished with a then-record 12 hits, eight RBIs and a 1.478 OPS.

Why the Dodgers lost: With the series tied 2-2 and the two teams evenly matched, the third inning in Game 5 proved critical for the Dodgers; Gil Hodges' two-out error opened the floodgates for the Yankees, who scored five runs and took control of the series.

Memorable moment: In Game 6, Martin put his final stamp on the series with his 12th hit, a walk-off RBI single to clinch the Yankees' fifth consecutive title.

Key stat: 2. The number of times the Dodgers' Carl Erskine (who had 14 K's) hit Yogi Berra with pitches in Game 3.

New York (NL) 4, Cleveland (AL) 0

Why the Giants won: Pinch-hitter Dusty Rhodes almost single-handedly punched out the Indians -- a three-run walk-off HR in Game 1; a solo HR and RBI single in Game 2; and a two-run single in Game 3.

Why the Indians lost: The players who'd led them to a 111-win season floundered, including Larry Doby (2-for-16), Al Rosen (3-for-12), Bobby Avila (2-for-15) and ace Bob Lemon (0-2, 6.75 ERA).

Memorable moment: "The Catch." In Game 1, Willie Mays' over-the-shoulder catch on Vic Wertz's long fly ball at the Polo Grounds is one of the iconic moments in WS history.

Key stat: 7. The number of walks for the Giants' Hank Thompson, a record for a four-game series.

Brooklyn (NL) 4, New York (AL) 3

MVP: Johnny Podres

Why the Dodgers won: Left-hander Johnny Podres became the first-ever WS MVP with two complete-game victories, including a Game 7 shutout.

Why the Yankees lost: After taking a 2-0 lead at home, they lost all three games at Ebbets Field behind poor efforts from starters Bob Turley, Don Larsen and Bob Grim (combined 10.33 ERA).

Memorable moment: In Game 7, Sandy Amoros robbed Yogi Berra with a game-saving catch down the left-field line, starting a double play that killed the Yankees' best chance.

Key stat: 4. The number of home runs hit by Duke Snider. He is the only player to hit four in two separate Fall Classics.

New York (AL) 4, Brooklyn (NL) 3

MVP: Don Larsen

Why the Yankees won: They clubbed 12 home runs, getting three apiece from Yogi Berra (10 RBIs, 1.248 OPS) and Mickey Mantle (1.067 OPS).

Why the Dodgers lost: They copied the Yankees' script from 1955, winning the first two at home and dropping the next three on the road. Yankees HRs, led by Enos Slaughter's three-run shot in Game 3, proved fatal.

Memorable moment: Don Larsen's perfect game in Game 5 still stands as the greatest game ever pitched.

Key stat: 5. The number of complete games thrown consecutively by Yankees pitches (Games 3-7).

Milwaukee (NL) 4, New York (AL) 3

MVP: Lew Burdette

Why the Braves won: Lew Burdette tossed three complete-game victories (Games 2, 5 and 7), two on shutouts, the last one on two days' rest.

Why the Yankees lost: They lost three of the last four, two on shutouts; plus, Mickey Mantle hurt his right shoulder and didn't start Games 5 and 6.

Memorable moment: In the 10th inning of Game 4, pinch-hitter Nippy Jones argued successfully that Tommy Byrne's pitch hit him on the foot by pointing to the shoe polish on the ball. The Braves then scored three runs to win the game.

Key stat: .393. Hank Aaron's batting average; he had 11 hits, including three HRs and a triple, and seven RBIs.

New York (AL) 4, Milwaukee (NL) 3

MVP: Bob Turley

Why the Yankees won: After his Game 5 shutout, Bob Turley pitched in relief in Games 6 & 7 to get two wins and a save in three straight elimination games.

Why the Braves lost: Neither of their big boppers, Hank Aaron or Eddie Mathews, hit a home run.

Memorable moment: In the third inning of Game 7 with two on, Casey Stengel brought in Turley on no rest (and just two days after his CG shutout) to pitch the rest of the game for the win.

Key stat: 0. The total runs scored by the losing teams in New York, as Don Larsen (with closer Ryne Duren) and Turley bookended Warren Spahn's shutout for Milwaukee.

Los Angeles (NL) 4, Chicago (AL) 2

MVP: Larry Sherry

Why the Dodgers won: Larry Sherry was brilliant in high-pressure relief, figuring in the decision in all four victories with two wins and a pair of saves.

Why the White Sox lost: Manager Al Lopez didn't start Sox veteran Billy Pierce at all but started 39-year-old ace Early Wynn on short rest in Game 6. Wynn took the loss.

Memorable moment: The first pitch of Game 3 marked the start of the first Series game to be played west of St. Louis.

Key stat: 2. Chuck Essegian hit just one homer for the Dodgers in '59 but hit two as a pinch-hitter to set a WS record.

Pittsburgh (NL) 4, New York (AL) 3

MVP: Bobby Richardson

Why the Pirates won: They won all the close games, so the margin in the routs didn't matter.

Why the Yankees lost: Whitey Ford didn't start Game 1 for the only time in his last nine WS. Casey Stengel tabbed him for Games 3 & 6; he threw two shutouts instead of starting three times.

Memorable moment: Bill Mazeroski's walkoff HR in Game 7, the first time a HR ended a World Series.

Key stat: 3/38 vs. 24/17, the RS/RA splits in the Pirates three losses and four wins.

New York (AL) 4, Cincinnati (NL) 1

MVP: Whitey Ford

Why the Yankees won: With Mickey Mantle hurting and Roger Maris drained by his 61 HR season, Whitey Ford and the rest of the team picked them up.

Why the Braves lost: They couldn't hang with the Yankees' lineup-wide depth and power, and they couldn't touch Whitey Ford.

Memorable moment: In the top of the ninth in Game 3, Maris hit his lone HR of the series, but it snapped a tie game and ended the Reds' chance to make the series last.

Key stat: 32. The new WS record for consecutive scoreless innings, set by Ford (including 1960), which surpassed Babe Ruth's mark.

New York (AL) 4, San Francisco (NL) 3

MVP: Ralph Terry

Why the Yankees won: Rain delays that affects Games 5-7 allowed them to start their best starters, Whitey Ford and Ralph Terry, six times combined.

Why the Giants lost: Willie Mays, Orlando Cepeda and Felipe Alou had combined for 109 homers during the season but hit none in the WS.

Memorable moment: In the bottom of the ninth of Game 7, Terry completed his shutout when he got Willie McCovey to line out with two runners on.

Key stat: 20. The title gave the Yankees their 20th WS win in 40 years.

Los Angeles (NL) 4, New York (AL) 0

MVP: Sandy Koufax

Why the Dodgers won: Two-fisted ace action, as Sandy Koufax was dominant in Games 1 & 4 while Don Drysdale pitched a three-hit shutout in Game 3.

Why the Yankees lost: Can't win if you don't score, and the Yankees' four runs were the lowest team mark since the A's three in 1905.

Memorable moment: In the bottom of the seventh and Game 4 tied 1-1, L.A.'s Jim Gilliam grounded to third but 1B Joe Pepitone lost the throw in a sea of white shirts; Gilliam sped to third and scored on a sacrifice fly.

Key stat: 15. The WS-record number of strikeouts Koufax dished out to the Yankees in Game 1.

St. Louis (NL) 4, New York (AL) 3

MVP: Bob Gibson

Why the Cardinals won: Bob Gibson launched his World Series legend by throwing a 10-inning CG in Game 5, then starting and winning Game 7 on two days' rest.

Why the Yankees lost: Age and defense. Whitey Ford's shoulder couldn't hold up after taking a beating in Game 1, and Mickey Mantle and Bobby Richardson had lost critical steps afield.

Memorable moment: With the bases loaded in the sixth inning of Game 4, Ken Boyer anticipated a high Al Downing changeup and hit a grand slam to help even the series..

Key stat: 18. Mickey Mantle's career WS home run total; he hit three in the series, including a walk-off shot in Game 3.

Los Angeles (NL) 4, Minnesota (AL) 3

MVP: Sandy Koufax

Why the Dodgers won: Shutouts from Claude Osteen in Game 3 and Sandy Koufax in Game 5 gave manager Walter Alston a choice for Game 7: Don Drysdale, or Koufax on two days' rest? He picked Koufax, getting another shutout.

Why the Twins lost: Beating Drysdale & Koufax in the first two games wasn't going to last, and not starting Jim Perry didn't help.

Memorable moment: Koufax refused to pitch Game 1 as a matter of faith; it was Yom Kippur.

Key stat: 0.38. Koufax's ERA after three starts in the series. He posted two shutouts and struck out 29 in 24 innings.

Baltimore (AL) 4, Los Angeles (NL) 0

MVP: Frank Robinson

Why the Orioles won: With Jim Palmer, Wally Bunker and Dave McNally throwing three straight shutouts, it's hard to lose.

Why the Dodgers lost: Running into three straight shutouts in the high-mound era was tough, but six errors in Game 2 added embarrassment to a sense of frustration.

Memorable moment: Dodgers center fielder Willie Davis committed three errors in the fifth inning of Game 2, undermining Sandy Koufax.

Key stat: .192, the Dodgers' team-wide slugging percentage as they eked out a mere two runs in the series.

St. Louis (NL) 4, Boston (AL) 3

MVP: Bob Gibson

Why the Cardinals won: Bob Gibson started three games and completed and won all three, striking out 26 in his 27 innings.

Why the Red Sox lost: Using ace Jim Lonborg on the last day of the regular season to help clinch pushed him back to Game 2. He won his first two starts, but having to pitch Game 7 on short rest, Lonborg couldn't match Gibson.

Memorable moment: Facing elimination in Game 5, Elston Howard delivered a bases-loaded RBI single in the top of the ninth with a second run coming home on Roger Maris' overthrow of home.

Key stat: 14. The number of hits Gibson gave up while pitching his three complete games.

Detroit (AL) 4, St. Louis (NL) 3

MVP: Mickey Lolich

Why the Tigers won: After Denny McLain lost twice to Bob Gibson (Games 1 and 4) and Mickey Lolich threw CG wins (Games 2 and 5), manager Mayo Smith started McLain and Lolich on two days' rest in Games 6 and 7.

Why the Cardinals lost: Timing. Leading 3-1, the Cards faced Lolich twice and McLain once in the last three games, and lost all three.

Memorable moment: Down 3-2 in Game 5, Al Kaline singled in two runs in the seventh to give Detroit the lead; they never trailed in any inning of the series again.

Key stat: 68. The number of big league innings Mickey Stanley had played at shortstop before Mayo Smith made Stanley his everyday SS in the World Series.

New York (NL) 4, Baltimore (AL) 1

MVP: Donn Clendenon

Why the Mets won: Their young pitching talent (particularly, Cy Young winner Tom Seaver, lefty Jerry Koosman) showed it was ready for prime time. Nolan Ryan, then 22, pitched in middle relief.

Why the Orioles lost: The O's veteran lineup was shut down by the Mets' pitching, and was outhomered by the lightly regarded Mets lineup, 6-3.

Memorable moment: In Game 5, Dave McNally bounced a pitch to the Mets' Cleon Jones; Mets manager Gil Hodges pointed to shoe polish on the ball, and Jones went to first base. Donn Clendenon followed with his third Series HR.

Key stat: .430. The Orioles' OPS in the series; they hit just four extra-base hits and scored just nine runs in the series.

Baltimore (AL) 4, Cincinnati (NL) 1

MVP: Brooks Robinson

Why the Orioles won: After losing to the Mets in '69, Brooks Robinson wasn't going to be denied, hitting the game-winning HR in the opener, then putting on a show on defense in Game 3.

Why the Reds lost: 20-game winner Jim Merritt was sore-armed, leaving Cincinnati short of starting pitching to hang with the O's.

Memorable moment: In the first of several great plays in Game 3, Robinson's speared Tony Perez's grounder, stepped on third, then fired to first to complete the DP and squelch a scoring threat in the first inning.

Key stat: .509. The Orioles' slugging percentage in the series as they mashed 10 homers off the Reds.

Pittsburgh (NL) 4, Baltimore (AL) 3

MVP: Roberto Clemente

Why the Pirates won: Swingman Nelson Briles' shutout in a Game 5 spot start let the Pirates get past Dock Ellis' injury and leave Steve Blass lined up for his Game 7 gem.

Why the Orioles lost: They outscored the Bucs by a run, but the last four games involved three one-run games and a shutout. Boog Powell and Davey Johnson got shut down as well.

Memorable moment: First pitch, Game 4, starting the first night game in World Series history.

Key stat: 14. Roberto Clemente's World Series hitting streak; he hit safely in every game of the 1960 and '71 Series.

Oakland (AL) 4, Cincinnati (NL) 3

MVP: Gene Tenace

Why the A's won: Gene Tenace's breakout batting, plus manager Dick Williams' using his four starters and Rollie Fingers to pitch all but three innings in the series, kept the Big Red Machine in check.

Why the Reds lost: Joe Morgan (.125) and Pete Rose (.214) were quiet, and wasted opportunities killed them in Games 3 and 4.

Memorable moment: With the tying run on and no outs in the ninth inning in Game 2, A's left fielder Joe Rudi made a leaping, back-handed catch against the fence on a ball hammered by Denis Menke to save the game.

Key stat: 4. The number of HRs hit for backup catcher Gene Tenace to tie what was then a WS record.

Oakland (AL) 4, New York (NL) 3

MVP: Reggie Jackson

Why the A's won: Manager Dick Williams used his 'pen well, and Reggie Jackson's timely hitting got his Mr. October rep going.

Why the Mets lost: In Game 6, Tom Seaver lost a Game 6 matchup with Catfish Hunter to tie the series, and Jon Matlack allowed the A's first two HRs of the series to lose Game 7.

Memorable moment: After Mike Andrews made two errors in the 12th to help lose Game 2, owner Charlie Finley tried taking him off the roster; commissioner Bowie Kuhn stepped in, reinstating Andrews.

Key stat: 13 2/3. The innings pitched by A's closer Rollie Fingers, who appeared in six games.

Oakland (AL) 4, Los Angeles (NL) 1

MVP: Rollie Fingers

Why the A's won: Rollie Fingers was used aggressively, pitching 4 1/3 innings in Game 1 for the win, and saving all of the A's other wins, making the A's the only non-Yankees team to win three consecutive WS.

Why the Dodgers lost: Mistakes, including a Ron Cey error in Game 1, Joe Ferguson's in Game 2, and Andy Messersmith's wild pickoff throw in Game 3; the A's turned these slips into runs.

Memorable moment: In the ninth in Game 1, Game 3 starter Catfish Hunter relieved Rollie Fingers and struck out Ferguson with the tying run on.

Key stat: 3-2. The score of four of the five games, perfectly capturing the kind of series it was.

Cincinnati (NL) 4, Boston (AL) 3

MVP: Pete Rose

Why the Reds won: Rose, Joe Morgan and Ken Griffey got on base all series long, and Sparky Anderson used good relief combinations to compensate for a mediocre rotation.

Why the Red Sox lost: They didn't have much pitching depth and lost both games not started by Luis Tiant or Bill Lee.

Memorable moment: In what might be the greatest WS ever, Carlton Fisk waving his walk-off homer fair in the bottom of the 12th in Game 6 is one of the most famous plays in baseball history.

Key stat: .370. Rose's batting average in the series with 10 hits; plus, he drew five walks.