1954 World Series champion Giants
1954 New York Giants
As the San Francisco Giants celebrate their World Series title, SI.com looks back to 1954, the last time the Giants were champions. At the time, the franchise was located in New York and played its home games at the Polo Grounds. Here is a look at the squad.
The team was led by Willie Mays, who won the 1951 Rookie of the Year Award. He missed most of the 1952 season and all of the 1953 season serving in the Army. Upon returning in 1954, Mays batted .345 with 41 home runs and was named National League MVP.
Willie Mays, Dave Williams, Billy Gardner Whitey Lockman, Monte Irvin, and Al Dark
Other key members of the 1954 squad included Williams (2B), Gardner (3B), Lockman (1B), Irvin (LF) and Dark (SS). The team finished in first place in the National League with a 97-57 record.
Johnny Antonelli and Dusty Rhodes
The team's ace was Johnny Antonelli, who finished the season with a 21-7 record and 2.30 ERA. Rhodes was a key contributor off the bench, smacking 15 home runs and 50 RBIs.
Willie Mays and Leo Durocher
The team was managed by Leo Durocher, a baseball lifer who won two World Series titles as a player (Yankees, 1928; Cardinals, 1934) before becoming a manager.
Hoyt Wilhelm won his only World Series with the Giants. The knuckleball specialist finished the season with a 12-4 record and 2.10 ERA.
World Series Program
The Giants faced the Indians in the World Series. Cleveland, which posted the best American League record of all time (111-43), was heavily favored.
Bobby Avila and Willie Mays
While Willie Mays led the Giants, Cleveland was led by Bobby Avila, who led the AL in hitting with a .341 average. It was only the third time in World Series history that the top batters in each league faced off against each other.
In Game 1, Mays made one of the most memorable catches in baseball history. It occurred in the eighth inning of Game 1, with two runners on in a 2-2 game. Indians first baseman Vic Wertz hit a long drive to deep center that would've driven in both runners, but Mays tracked the ball down on the warning track and made a unforgettable over-the-shoulder grab. The Giants would go on to win the game in the 10th inning.
The Giants kept the momentum in Game 2, assisted by Dusty Rhodes' seventh inning home run to give the Giants a 3-1 lead
NY Daily News
After losing Game 3, the Giants came back to win game 4 and capture the World Series title.
Willie Mays and Dusty Rhodes
Willie Mays and Dusty Rhodes, two of the World Series heroes, share a moment after the game.
Monte Irvin and Willie Mays
After the Series ended, Willie Mays and Monte Irvin opened Wilmont Liquors, located on Pennsylvania Avenue in Brooklyn.
On opening day 1955, Alvin Dark and Whitey Lockman unfurled the Giants National League pennant before a game against the Brooklyn Dodgers.