A sign will be unveiled June 9 at the south entrance to Port Henry honoring Johnny Podres, the 1955 World Series Most Valuable Player and native son.
A ceremony is planned to dedicate a Johnny Podres tribute in the town of Moriah.
A 4 x 8 feet sign will be unveiled Saturday, June 9, at 11 a.m. on Route 9n/22 south of the village of Port Henry in memory of Podres, the 1955 World Series Most Valuable Player and native son.
“It’s absolutely a show piece,” said Pat Salerno Jr., who has led the campaign to honor Podres. “It’s all in Dodger blue with the Dodger logo. It’s really impressive.”
Podres, who died in 2008, grew up on Lamos Place in Witherbee. He graduated from Mineville High School in 1950 before joining the Brooklyn Dodgers. After a long career as a pitcher and later as a pitching coach, Podres retired to Queensbury.
Podres’ wife, Joan, other family members and local officials are expected to take part in the June 9 dedication.
The sign depicts Podres in his 1955 Dodger uniform. It’s designed to be similar to a baseball card. Willie Grant made the sign.
A community campaign raised $3,200 for the sign. Salerno got the project started by selling his own collection of baseball cards during last summer’s inaugural Johnny Podres Day. A dinner, gift basket party and raffle also raised money.
The sign cost $2,000, so Salerno is now making plans for a second sign in the community.
Podres did the unthinkable — he led the Brooklyn Dodgers past the New York Yankees for their one and only World Series championship.
The Witherbee native was named the 1955 World Series Most Valuable Player after winning two games, including the decisive seventh game, 2-0. He was also Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year that season.
Podres ended a legendary sports drought. The Dodgers had lost the World Series to their cross-town rival Yankees five straight times. The day after the final game the New York Post published a full-page photo of the Dodger ace with the headline: PODRES! (Need We Say More?).
As the story goes, Podres told his teammates to get him just one run and the Dodgers would win Game 7. They got him two, and the franchise celebrated its first and only championship while playing in Brooklyn.
The celebration in Brooklyn following the World Series victory was said to be greater than at the end of World War II. Moriah celebrated, too. Shortly after winning the World Series, Podres returned home for a huge parade and celebration.
Podres pitched 15 years in the major leagues with the Dodgers, Padres and Tigers, posting a 148-116 record with 3.67 earned run average. The southpaw appeared in three All-Star Games and was 4-1 in World Series play (1953, 1955, 1959 and 1963) with a 2.11 ERA.
Podres also served as a pitching coach when he was older, helping develop Frank Viola when he was with the Minnesota Twins and Cy Young winner and three-time World Series champion Curt Schilling when he was on the Philadelphia Phillies staff.
In 2005 Podres was grand marshall of the Moriah Labor Day parade as the community celebrated the 50th anniversary of him being named World Series MVP.
Podres was in the news earlier this season when Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Aaron Harang broke his club record for consecutive strikeouts by whiffing nine San Diego Padres in a row. Podres set that record with eight straight Ks July 2, 1962, against the Philadelphia Phillies.