The 1954 World Series matched the National League champion New York Giants against the American League champion Cleveland Indians….as the Giants swept the Series in four games to win their first championship since 1933….by defeating the heavily favored Indians….who had won an AL-record 111 games in the regular season….for it has since been broken by the 1998 New York Yankees with 114….and again by the 2001 Seattle Mariners with 116….which ties the 1906 Chicago Cubs for the most wins ever.
The Series is perhaps best-remembered for “The Catch”….which was a sensational running catch made by Giants center fielder Willie Mays in Game 1…..snaring a long drive by Indians Vic Wertz near the outfield wall with his back to the infield. It is also remembered for utility player Dusty Rhodes’ clutch hitting in three of the four games….including his walk-off hit for Monte Irvin that won Game 1….which is probably the best-known hit to be described as a “Chinese home run”…..since it barely cleared the 258-foot (79 m) right-field fence at the Polo Grounds.
Giants manager Leo Durocher, who had managed teams to three National League championships….won his first and only World Series title in his managerial career. The Giants, who would move west to become the San Francisco Giants, would not win a World Series again until the 2010 season.