The Obit For Johnny Podres

The New York Post, Wednesday, January 16th, 2008

Podres, Johnny

Published in the Post-Star on 1/16/2008.

QUEENSBURY Johnny Podres, 75, passed away on Sunday, Jan. 13, 2008, at Glens Falls Hospital.

Born on Sept. 30, 1932, in Witherbee, he was the son of Joseph and Anna (Glebus) Podres. Johnny was most notably known for his accomplishments within the field of baseball.

His career began in the small town of Witherbee where he grew up. At the age of 17 Johnny's talent was discovered by a scout while playing ball for Mineville School during his senior year. After graduation Johnny went on to briefly play in the minor leagues in both Montreal and Hazard, Ky.

In 1953 he joined the Brooklyn Dodgers. In 1955 was one of Johnny's most memorable moments as he led the Brooklyn Dodgers to their first World Championship. Johnny pitched in two of these games including the 7th game, which was a 2-hit shutout. This ultimately led the Dodgers to defeat the Yankees. His performance was recognized as he was honored with the title Most Valuable Player of the 1955 World Series. It was during this year that Johnny was also recognized as Sports Illustrated's Sportsman of the Year.

Overall Johnny played for the Brooklyn and Los Angeles Dodgers for a total of 15 years. He also played for the Detroit Tigers and the San Diego Padres. Johnny was known as a big-game pitcher as he had a 4-1 record and 2.11 ERA in four World Series that he played.

In 1969 at the age of 36, Johnny retired from pitching. At that time he entered his career as a pitching coach. During that time he coached for the Boston Red Sox, Minnesota Twins, and the Philadelphia Phillies.

A few of the many honors Johnny received over the course of his lifetime include being inducted to the following: Brooklyn Dodger Baseball Hall of Fame in 1985, Polish-American Sports Hall of Fame, Captial District Baseball Hall of Fame, Glens Falls Baseball Hall of Fame, and Lake Placid Hall of Fame. In 2001 Johnny also received New York's Greatest Sports Moment Award for the Brooklyn Dodgers World Series Championship. Johnny was recently featured in HBO's Sports of the 20th Century.

In his free time Johnny enjoyed hunting in the North Country. He spent many hours bass fishing on Lincoln Pond and ice fishing in his shanty on Lake Champlain with his family and friends. Johnny also loved horse racing and proudly watched his son John race their horses at the harness track We know he will be cheering him on from above.

Johnny was predeceased by his father, Joseph, his mother, Anna, brother, James Podres, and sister, Mary Guilfoil. Survivors include his wife, Joni of 41 years; son, Joe and his wife, Tricia, son, John Jr.; brother, Tom (Jan), and brother, Walter; nieces and nephews include: Kevin Guilfoil (Sue and their children, Lauren and Emma), Jennifer Barber (Josh and their son, Benjamin), Melissa Rajeski (Rob) and James Podres. Many thanks go out to the doctors and nurses who provided excellent care during Johnny's illness. Special thanks to Dr. Mihindu, Dr. Novatia, Dr. Monn, Dr. Morrissey, Dr. Gray, Dr. Byrne, Dr. Daoui, Dr. Yarzee, Dr. Mehta, Dr. Miles. An additional thanks to Rechelle from Warren County Health Services.

On Thursday, Jan. 17, family and friends may pay their respects to Johnny from 11 a.m. to noon at St. Patrick's Church in Port Henry. Immediately following, a funeral service will be celebrated. In the spring burial will be held at St. Peter and Paul Cemetery in Moriah at the family's convenience.

Family and friends are invited and may call from 4 to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 16, at the Singleton-Healy Funeral Home, 407 Bay Road, in Queensbury. Those who wish may send a remembrance in Johnny's name to the Town of Moriah Youth Commission to benefit the Little League programs, 38 Parkplace Suite 2, Port Henry, NY 12974.