Though blessed with neither an overpowering lineup nor a dominant pitching staff, the Yankees captured their eighth pennant in nine years under manager Casey Stengel in 1957, finishing first in the American League with a record of 98-56. The Chicago White Sox placed a distant second, eight games back in the standings.
Possessing outstanding team balance, New York placed nine players on the A.L. All-Star Team, leading the junior circuit in both runs scored (723) and team ERA (3.00). With Whitey Ford missing more than a month of the season due to arm problems, Tom Sturdivant led the team with 16 victories. He also finished second in the league with a 2.54 ERA. Although no one else on the club won more than 13 games, teammates Bobby Shantz and Bob Turley joined Sturdivant at the top of the league rankings in ERA. Shantz led the league with a mark of 2.45, while Turley finished fourth with a mark of 2.71. Meanwhile, Bob Grim did an outstanding job coming out of the bullpen, winning 12 games, posting a 2.63 ERA, and leading the league with 19 saves.
Yogi Berra had another solid season on offense, hitting 24 home runs and driving in 82 runs. Bill Skowron hit 17 homers and placed second on the club with 88 runs batted in and a .304 batting average. Gil McDougald batted .289 and scored 87 runs, while Tony Kubek’s .297 batting average and tremendous versatility earned him A.L. Rookie of the Year honors. Once again, though, Mickey Mantle served as the driving force behind New York’s successful pennant run. Mantle finished among the league leaders with 34 home runs, 94 runs batted in, 315 total bases, a .365 batting average, a .515 on-base percentage, and a .665 slugging percentage. He also topped the circuit with 121 runs scored and 146 bases on balls, en route to earning his second straight A.L. MVP Award.
Meanwhile, after finishing just one game behind the pennant-winning Dodgers the previous year, the Braves claimed their first National League title since moving to the city of Milwaukee four years earlier. Milwaukee finished the regular season with a record of 95-59, eight games ahead of the second-place St. Louis Cardinals.
The Braves also had a considerable amount of team balance, topping the senior circuit with 772 runs scored, while also finishing second with a team ERA of 3.47. Milwaukee had a “Big Three” at the top of the rotation second to none. Warren Spahn earned Cy Young honors and a fifth-place finish in the N.L. MVP voting by compiling a 2.69 ERA and leading the league with 21 victories and 18 complete games. Bob Buhl finished 18-7 with a 2.74 ERA. Lew Burdette placed third on the team with 17 victories.
The powerful tandem of Eddie Mathews and Hank Aaron led the Braves on offense. Mathews earned an eighth-place finish in the MVP balloting by batting .292 and placing among the league leaders with 32 home runs, 94 runs batted in, 109 runs scored, a .387 on-base percentage, and a .540 slugging percentage. Aaron was named the league’s Most Valuable Player for topping the circuit with 44 home runs, 132 runs batted in, 118 runs scored, and 369 total bases, and finishing among the leaders with a .322 batting average, 198 hits, and a .600 slugging percentage.
The World Series began at Yankee Stadium on October 2nd, with Whitey Ford out-dueling Warren Spahn. New York prevailed by a score of 3-1, with Ford throwing a complete-game five-hitter. Bobby Shantz faced Lew Burdette in Game Two, with both pitchers allowing single runs in the second and third innings. The Braves scored twice more in the top of the fourth, but Burdette shut out the Yankees the rest of the way, evening the Series with a 4-2 complete-game victory.
The Yankees exploded for 12 runs against six Braves pitchers when the Series shifted to Milwaukee for Game Three. Milwaukee native Tony Kubek homered twice for the Yankees, who took a 2-1 lead in the Series with a 12-3 win.
However, the Braves rebounded to take the next two contests at home. Warren Spahn took a 4-1 lead into the top of the ninth inning of Game Four, but Elston Howard tied the score with a two-out, three-run homer. Hank Bauer tripled in the go-ahead run for New York in the top of the 10th inning, but Milwaukee pushed across the tying run in the bottom of the frame, before Eddie Mathews followed with a game-winning two-run homer. Hank Aaron and Frank Torre also hit home runs for Milwaukee during the 7-5 victory.
Whitey Ford and Lew Burdette then engaged in a classic pitchers’ duel in Game Five, with the Milwaukee hurler finally emerging victorious by a score of 1-0.
Bob Turley took the mound for New York when the Series returned to Yankee Stadium for Game Six, and he evened the Fall Classic with a complete-game 3-2 victory. Yogi Berra hit a two-run homer for the Yankees, and Hank Bauer delivered the game-winning blow with a solo blast in the bottom of the seventh inning.
Milwaukee manager Fred Haney elected to bypass a fully-rested Warren Spahn for Game Seven, choosing instead to start Lew Burdette on only two days’ rest. Haney’s gamble paid off as Burdette extended his consecutive scoreless innings streak to 24 by shutting out the Yankees 5-0. Burdette earned Series MVP honors for his extraordinary performance.
Meanwhile, Milwaukee also came out on top in the battle of the superstars. Hank Aaron finished the Fall Classic with three homers, seven runs batted in, five runs scored, and a .393 batting average. Mickey Mantle hit one home run, knocked in two runs, scored three others, and batted .263.