April 21, 1955: Dodgers flex their dominance in record-setting victory

This article was written by Luis A. Blandón Jr.

Black did not survive the year, pitching in six games in relief. On June 9 he was sold to the Cincinnati Redlegs.33 Black noted, “I just couldn’t get anybody out.”34

Immediately at game’s end, O’Malley said he would give “suitable mementos” to each of the 3,872 fans who showed up at Ebbets Field to watch the club set its record.”35 Each fan who “showed loyalty” could claim their reward by mailing their ticket stubs to the Dodgers’ offices at 215 Montague Street, Brooklyn, 1.36

The Phillies finished the season fourth 77-77, 21½ games behind the Dodgers. A decent second half helped Smith to finish second in the NL Manager of the Year voting behind Alston.37

The streak ended in the next evening at home when the Giants beat the Dodgers, 5-4. The Dodgers ended the month 14-2 and in first place with a 4½-game lead, never relinquishing the top spot since the third game of the season on April 15. Finishing the season 98-55 with second-place Milwaukee 13½ games behind, Brooklyn defeated the Yankees in seven games for their first World Series title. O’Malley was ebullient: “We kind of like that title, world champions.”38



In addition to the sources cited in the Notes, the author consulted,, and



1 “The Weather Throughout the Nation,” New York Times, April 21, 1955: 59.

2 Philip Lowry, Green Cathedrals: The Ultimate Celebrations of All 273 Major League and Negro League Ballparks Past and Present (Reading, Massachusetts: Addison-Wesley Publishing Company, 1993).

3 Michael Beschloss, “The Tangled Hunt That Led to Los Angeles,” New York Times, July 15, 2015: SP4.

4 Michael D’Antonio, Forever Blue: The True Story of Walter O’Malley, Baseball’s Most Controversial Owner, and the Dodgers of Brooklyn and Los Angeles (New York: Riverhead Books. 2009), 178.

5 Tom Meany, “Baseball’s Answer to TV,” Collier’s, September 27, 1952: 60-63.

6 Ed Wilks (Associated Press), “Unbeaten Bums Shell Roberts and Phillies for 14-4 Conquest,” Alabama Journal (Montgomery), April 22, 1955: 20.

7 Diamond Dust: Jint Series Tix Available,” New York Daily News, April 22, 1955: 71.

8 Diamond Dust: Jint Series Tix Available.”

9 The Phillies’ general manager from 1954 to end of the 1958 season.

10 Stan Baumgartner, “Smith, a Middle-of-the-Roader on First Spin, Phillie Finds,” The Sporting News, October 27, 1954: 15.

11 Associated Press, “Phils’ Pilot Not Sold on Dodgers,” Des Moines Tribune, April 21, 1955: 39.

12 Diamond Dust: Jint Series Tix Available.” Ashburn won the first of his two National League batting championships in 1955 with a .338 average

13 With a 2-0 record, Roberts was on the way to a sixth consecutive season of 20 wins or more. Roberts ended the 1955 season with a 23-14 record and a 3.28 ERA in 38 starts and 305 innings pitched. It was his last 20-win season.

14, Accessed February 16, 2020.

15 Ed Wilks (Associated Press), “Brooklyn Takes Number Nine, Faces Robin Roberts Today,” Clarksville (Tennessee) Leaf-Chronicle, April 21, 1955: 6.

16 “Diamond Dust: Jint Series Tix Available.”

17 Roscoe McGowen, “Unbeaten Dodgers Break Record With No. 10,” New York Times, April 22, 1955: 29.

18 D’Antonio, 177.

19 McGowen.

20 McGowen.

21 Associated Press, “Record Set in 14-4 Rout of Roberts,” Washington Post and Times Herald, April 22, 1955: 63.

22 McGowan. A myth has taken hold that Willie Jones’s nickname came from a Rudy Vallee song “Puddin’ Head Jones.” See:

23 McGowen.

24 Stan Baumgartner, “Brooks Win 10th in Row for Mark, 17 Hits Jolt Phillies, Roberts 14-4,” Philadelphia Inquirer, April 22, 1955: 43.

25 Associated Press, “Record Set in 14-4 Rout of Roberts.”

26 McGowen. Baumgartner.

27 McGowen.

28 McGowen.

29 Joe Reichler (Associated Press), “Brooks See Good Reasons for Streak,” Mount Vernon (Illinois) Register-News, April 22, 1955: 8.

30 Reichler.

31 Ed Wilks, Associated Press, “Unbeaten Bums Shell Roberts and Phillies for 14-4 Conquest.”

32 Dana Mozley, “Brooks Bag 10 in a Row to Set Record,” New York Daily News, April 22, 1955: 80.

33 The Cincinnati Redlegs sent outfielder Bob Borkowski to the Dodgers on June 14, 1955, as part of the deal.

34 Roscoe McGowen, “Dodgers Sent Black to Redlegs for Cash and Unidentified Player,” New York Times, June 10, 1955: 18.

35 United Press, “Dodgers Faithful to Be Rewarded,” Akron Beacon Journal, April 22, 1955: 40. The attendance figure in the account was incorrect. The correct figure is 3,874.

36 McGowen, “Unbeaten Dodgers Break Record With No.10.

37 Joe Reichler, “Higgins, Alston Picked As 1955’s Top Managers,” Hackensack (New Jersey) Record. November 15, 1955: 31.

38 Beschloss.

Additional Stats

Brooklyn Dodgers 14
Philadelphia Phillies 4

Ebbets Field 
Brooklyn, NY


Box Score + PBP:

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