Gionfriddo catch helps Dodgers jolt Joe, Yanks

Updated: October 17, 2005, 4:28 PM ET
By Larry Schwartz | Special to

Oct. 5, 1947

Little left-fielder Al Gionfriddo is the big man for Brooklyn when he robs one of the game's giants, Joe DiMaggio, of a game-tying three-run homer in Game 6 of the World Series.

Having scored four runs in the sixth to take an 8-5 lead, Dodgers manager Burt Shotton inserts Gionfriddo for defense in the bottom of the inning at Yankee Stadium. With two Yankees on base and two outs, DiMaggio clocks a pitch from lefty Joe Hatten. Gionfriddo races back and a step or so short of the visitors' bullpen, leaps and makes a spectacular catch of the 415-foot drive in front of the low railing. "The ball hit my glove and a split second later I hit the gate," says Gionfriddo. "It certainly would have gone into the bullpen alley for a home run if I hadn't got it."

As DiMaggio approaches second base, he kicks the dirt in disgust, one of the rare times the Yankee Clipper shows emotion on the diamond.

The Dodgers go on to post an 8-6 victory, tying the Series at three games each. It is the last game Gionfriddo will ever play in the majors. The next day, the Yankees will win, 5-2, to take the Series.