Tuesday, January 15, 2008

RIP: Johnny Podres, Don Cardwell

The baseball world lost two pitchers over the last day who were part of two important championship teams in New York baseball history: Johnny Podres of the 1955 Brooklyn Dodgers (pictured) and Don Cardwell of the 1969 New York Mets.

Johnny Podres will forever be remembered in baseball history as the pitcher who won Game 7 of the 1955 World Series, beating the Yankees, 2-0, and setting off wild celebrations as the borough of Brooklyn had its first and only championship. Podres, who was from upstate New York, was just in his third year with the Dodgers, and won just 9 games in 1955, but mowed down the Yankees and Tommy Byrne (who ironically just died last month) in that deciding game.

Podres went on to have a decent career, as he won 148 games with the Dodgers (in Brooklyn and LA), Tigers and Padres from 1953-69. He also went on to have a distinguished career as a pitching coach with the Red Sox, Twins and Phillies. He was the coach on the 1993 Phillies team that won the pennant, and Curt Schilling, over at his blog, 38Pitches.com, has a nice post about how Podres helped him with his career. My father got to know him a bit when he worked at the Phillies minor league camp in Florida earlier in this decade, and said he was a nice man to talk about baseball with. He was 75 years old.

Don Cardwell was a valuable member of the 1969 Mets, and he was a Bronson Arroyo-type of pitcher for the team that year. He started 21 games and also pitched out of the pen. He won 8 games, with a good 3.01 ERA, and was a terrific hitter for a pitcher as well. Cardwell, from North Carolina, was a journeyman who pitched for many teams, such as the Phillies, Cubs, Pirates, Mets and Braves from 1957-70. His career highlight was pitching a no-hitter for the Cubs in 1960. He was 72 years old.

Seeing the passing of another member of the 1969 Mets makes me feel that much older, as it is a team I remember with such warmth and fondness from my early youth.

My sympathies to the families of both Johnny Podres and Don Cardwell.


Michael Leggett said...

Curt Schilling has Johnny Podres Coverage on 38Pitches.com;

Quite Well-Written Tribute, I will say

Michael Leggett said...

In my belief, the 1969 Mets, 1955 Dodgers & 2004 Red Sox, are my Gold Standards for World Series Teams:

I do get arguments from the '86 Mets Fans on that, but the '69 Team had no scandal

The Omnipotent Q said...

The 1969 Mets team will always be the most beloved team in its history, no matter what great team comes after it.

Michael Leggett said...

I knew of No one on the 1969 Mets, who had Major Skirmishes with The Law:

That can't be said for the 1986 Mets, who caused $25K damage on the plane coming home to start the 1986 World Series+the number of them dabbling in Cocaine & some now with Police Records;

I was @ the 1986 Mets Celebration in August, '06 & Mets Fans of The '86 Variety, saluted that Crazy Time & "The Cocaine Era". Those Fans LOVED Darryl Strawberry. My Era still remembers Tommie Agee;

Many of those '86 Fans, now call "The Toilet" home.

Suldog said...

Always tough to lose heroes from our younger days, Q.

The Omnipotent Q said...

Sure is, Suldog. Time continues to be the ultimate thief.