The 1947 season is remembered not for the performance of any particular team, but that of an individual named Jackie Robinson. The Brooklyn Dodger's newest prospect became the first black player to break baseball's color barrier and the rookie infielder brought the Negro leagues' electrifying style of play to the majors. Although he was still subject to resistance among the ignorant, Robinson quickly became baseball's top drawing card and a symbol of hope to millions of Americans. Jackie made quite a first impression with a .297 batting average, twelve home runs and a league-leading twenty-nine stolen bases in his first season.
The defending World Champion St. Louis Cardinals gave the Dodgers the best challenge in the National League pennant race, but ended up five games behind Brooklyn. Number 42 wasn't the only standout in Dodger blue as the "Bums from Brooklyn" also got solid production from its outfield. Pete Reiser totaled a .309 avg. in one-hundred ten games, Carl Furillo hit .295 with eighty-eight runs batted in and Dixie Walker tallied .306 and added ninety-four runs batted in. On the mound, Ralph Branca finished with a 21-12 record, Joe Hatten went 17-8 and Hugh Casey nailed down ten victories in relief.
The '47 Yankees, rallied down the stretch with a nineteen-game winning streak that began in late June and went on to win the American League pennant by a twelve-game margin. Despite lacking the usual "Bronx Bombers" mystique (with no player attaining one hundred runs batted in) and only one, Joe DiMaggio, reaching the twenty-homer level, the Yanks managed to counter the missing offense with great pitching. Allie Reynolds won nineteen games in his first season with the club (after being obtained from Cleveland), Spud Chandler led the league with a 2.46 ERA, rookie Spec Shea and ace reliever Joe Page both had fourteen wins and two new acquisitions and Bobo Newsom and Vic Raschi each won seven games.
Shea drew the start for Game 1 and got the Yanke...