October 5, 2011

Memories of one of my early heroes: Johnny Podres (Sept. 30, 1932 — Jan. 13, 2008)

If, like me, you were a BROOKLYN Dodgers fan, Johnny Podres is one of your heroes. He led the team to its only Brookyn World Series title. In 1955 in the seventh game, played at Yankee Stadium, he shut out the Bronx Bombers, 2-0. He also won game three, on his 23rd birthday.

The photo was taken during spring training in 1980 while Podres was the Minnesota Twins' pitching coach. A few years later, when he was pitching coach for the Philadelphia Phillies, I saw him in the bullpen working with his starting pitcher prior to a game in San Diego. I was taking a pre-game stroll around the ballpark when I spied the old left hander. When I got close enough for him to hear me, "I yelled, Johnny, thank you for 1955."

He heard me and looked into the stands. Johnny Podres, caught my eye, smiled and replied, "Two-zip." And then he went back to work.

The baseball card is a 1955 Topps.

1 comment:

Tom Owens said...

Great memory, Frank! It proves that you don't have to do or say a lot to make a difference. Also, this dispels the theory of, "Don't baseball heroes get tired of being remembered?"

Nice work!
Tom Owens