DON LIDDLE was born in Mount Carmel, Illinois on May 25, 1925. Don grew up in Mount Carmel and after playing Minor League Baseball was called up to the Milwaukee Braves in 1953. In 1954 he was traded to the New York Giants where he won 9 and lost 4 while helping them win the National League Championship. Three of those 9 wins were complete game shutouts. How many of today's pitchers go 3 complete games in a year, let alone pitching 3 shutouts? Don also won the 4th game of the '54 World Series as the Giants swept the Cleveland Indians in four straight games.
This page was last updated on: November 19, 2020
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MCHS Class of 1954
He was traded to the St. Louis Cardinals in 1956 and retired in 1957 returning home to Mount Carmel. After leaving baseball, Don worked at the local Elks Club, owned a service station, sold insurance and then worked for Snap-On Tools for 22 years, 18 of those as a supervisor. Don passed away June 5, 2000 of cancer. He will forever be remembered as one of Mount Carmel's Sports Legends.
Every baseball fan knows and remembers the catch Willie Mays made of the fly ball hit by Vic Wertz deep into center field of the Polo Grounds in the 8th inning of the first game of the '54 World Series. In fact, it has forever since been known simply as "The Catch". Some know it was Don Liddle, the little lefthander from Mount Carmel, IL who threw that pitch. And some remember a story about what Liddle said after that catch, but probably never heard the true story. Here is the way it was according to Don Liddle, the man who said it. It's the top of the 8th, Cleveland has a man on first and second, no one out and the score tied 2 - 2. Giants Manager, Leo Durocher, decides to bring in Liddle to relieve Sal Maglie and pitch to Vic Wertz. We all know that Wertz hit Liddle's first pitch 460 feet deep into center field and Willie Mays caught it over-the-shoulder on a dead run with his back to the infield. Leo then relieved Liddle with Marv Grissom. According to the "popular" story, as Don was leaving the mound he said to Grissom, "Well, I got my man."
THIS PARK DEDICATED 1954 TO DON LIDDLE
OF MT. CARMEL.
MAJOR LEAGUE PITCHER 1953 - 1957
PITCHED IN 2 GAMES 1954 WORLD SERIES FOR N. Y. GIANTS. WON 4TH & DECIDING GAME.
"HE KNEW HOW TO PITCH - THAT WAS HIS SECRET"
MANAGER LEO DUROCHER
The plaque to the left reads as follows
The press and concession stand at the Fourth Street Ball Park. It was built in 1954 with the help of several local service organizations. The plaque pictured above can be seen in this picture near the center of this end of the stand.
Looking over the third base dugout into left and center field.
Here's the way Don himself tells it. At that point the score was still tied, still two men on base and only one out. Not the time or place to be making jokes. After the game had been won by a Dusty Rhodes home run and everyone was in the club house is when the remark was made. Leo, Willie and Don were together next to the lockers. They were laughing and talking about the game when Liddle said to Leo, "Well, I got my man." It was a joke because it was only May's great catch that allowed Wertz to be retired. Everyone laughed and thought it was funny. Leo started spreading it around and later it was turned around that Don had made the remark coming off the mound to Grissom. Now you know.
Autographed picture from Phil Stallings collection