1932 - 2008
The world has lost a true legend of the game. Johnny Podres passed away yesterday while in the hospital where he was being treated for several conditions. He was 75 years old.
Mr. Podres pitched across a span of 16 years. The vast majority of his playing career was spent with the Dodgers (both in Brooklyn and Los Angeles), but he also pitched for two seasons for the Detroit Tigers before pitching in his final year for the San Diego Padres during their inaugural 1969 season. He is best known for his performance against the New York Yankees in the 1955 World Series which brought the Dodgers their first World Series Championship, which was the only championship the team would ever win while they were in Brooklyn. He pitched two complete games during the series, including a shutout in Game 7 and was named the World Series MVP in the first year that the award existed.
Following his retirement after the 1969 season, Mr. Podres began his coaching career. Over a 23 year period that spanned from 1973 to 1996, he was the pitching coach for the Padres, Red Sox, Twins and Phillies. It was at his last coaching stop that I first became aware of Johnny Podres because he was the pitching coach for the 1993 NL Champion Philadelphia Phillies. This autographed card is from the 5x7 team set that was sold at the ballpark during the strike-shortened 1994 season.