Pete Reiser, Hugh Casey,
Pee Wee Reese, and Dixie
Walker surround Cookie
Lavagetto after his game-
winning hit in Game Four.
Before the 1947 season began, the Yankees hired Dodgers coach Charlie Dressen away from Brooklyn. The incident precipitated such public animosity between the two clubs that Commissioner Happy Chandler was forced to intervene. Among the accusations were several that smacked of gambling. In the end Chandler suspended Dressen for thirty days and Brooklyn manager Leo Durocher for the season for “consorting” with gamblers. Each team was fined $2,000. Fittingly, the two teams were to meet seven months later for a drama-filled sevengame World Series. With the favored Yankees leading two games to one, the clubs met for Game Four at Brooklyn’s Ebbets Field. The thriller provided a storybook finish with tragic overtones.
New York started Bill Bevens, a mediocre 7–13 right-hander who was a few weeks shy of his thirtyfirst birthday. Bevens experienced a lot of bad luck throughout the regular season, in part the residue of his seventy-seven walks in only 165 innings. Rookie Harry Taylor, who had a promising season aborted due to an elbow injury in August, got the call for the Dodgers.
The Yankees wasted no time jumping on Taylor. The first two batters, George Stirnweiss and Tommy Henrich, both singled, and Yogi Berra reached first on an error. Another walk, to Joe DiMaggio, forced in a New York run and sent Taylor to an early shower. Hal Gregg assumed the pitching duties for Brooklyn and got a pop-up and a double