THE SUMMER OF .406 AND "THE STREAK" ...
Ted Sparks the Sox to a 7-6 walk-off win

April 15, 1941 ... Ted Williams limped off the bench in the twilight at Fenway Park and delivered the pinch-hit single that suddenly fired the Red Sox into a three run last of the ninth inning rally and a 7 to 6 triumph over the Washington Nationals in the opener of another Red Sox baseball season. And assorted 17,500 fans had resigned themselves to a 6 to 4 defeat for the home team and was starting to file toward the exits a few minutes before 6 PM when Williams sauntered out of the Red Sox dugout and took his place in the batter circle behind Frankie Pytlak, who was to open the last chance for the Sox.

The customers stopped in their tracks for the opportunity at least to see the glamour boy of the Red Sox, chipped ankle bone and all, take his cut. The Senators were leading 6 to 4 because they had pounded Jack Wilson, the starting Red Sox pitcher, fiercely for the first six innings. Leading many assault was none other then the ex-Red Sox players, Rick Ferrell and Doc Cramer. All of which would have made an inaugural setback the more painful to take.

But manager Bucky Harris' punch to turn the trick with a third former Red Sox player failed to work. It was Danny MacFayden, who was destined to walk the winning Sox run across as the climax to a typical Fenway Park finish.

Sid Hudson, the freshman phenom of last year, with 17 wins, including three over the Sox, was the Washington pitcher when the hectic last of the ninth began. He was the Washington starter and loomed as a courageous manager. Although staggering all the way, the only previous runs he had yielded, came when the Sox guns boomed spasmodically.

Manager Joe Cronin hit a home run in the second inning and Bobby Doerr followed with a home run in the fourth, after Cronin and drawn Hudson's first base on balls. Then in the sixth inning, Jimmie Foxx and bombed a 420 foot triple off the centerfield wall, scoring on a long fly ball from Cronin.

It was another extra base hit that started Hudson's demise in the ninth. Pytlak slapped a double off the left centerfield wall that landed inches above Cramer's reach and caromed freely. Up came Williams as a pinch-hitter. The first pitch to him went into the dirt allowing Pytlak to scamper over to third-base. The next one was down the middle and Ted rifled it safely into right field on a line drive to score the runner. Tommy Carey came in to run for the limping Williams as the crowd and the Sox sensed a kill.

Dom DiMaggio moved Carey over to second with a perfect sacrifice and Lou Finney came up next. After working a 3-2 count, Lou slammed a liner that nearly took off Hudson's glove as it caromed into centerfield to bring in Carey with the tying score.

That was the end for Hudson and in came MacFayden, who had been warming up on and off since the seventh inning. Pete Fox was the first batter to face him and after working the count full he punched a perfect hit behind the runner into right field as Finney raced over to third standing up.

With only a fly ball necessary to score the winning run, manager Harris ordered Jimmie Foxx to be intentionally walked to load the bases. Now, MacFayden couldn't find the plate and five pitchers later Cronin was strolling down to first where he met Earl Johnson and embraced him. Johnson had pitched shutout ball over the last two innings to get credit for the opening day victory.

 

F   E   N   W   A   Y     P   A   R   K

 

 

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

 

R

H

E

 
 

WASHINGTON SENATORS

0

1

0

2

0

3

0

0

0

 

 

0

3

0

 
 

BOSTON RED SOX

0

1

0

2

0

1

0

0

3

 

 

7

13

1

 

 

W-Earl Johnson (1-0)
L-Sid Hudson (0-1)
Attendance - 17,500

 2B-Lewis (Wash), Archie (Wash), Ferrell (2)(Wash),
 Case (Wash), Wilson (Bost), Pytlak (Bost)

 3B-Foxx (Bost)

 HR-Cronin (Bost), Doerr (Bost)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AB

R

H

AVG

 

 

Dom DiMaggio cf 5 1 0 .111

 

 

Lou Finney rf 4 0 0 .250

 

 

Pete Fox lf 7 0 3 .333

 

 

Jimmie Foxx 1b 3 1 1 .286

 

 

Joe Cronin ss 4 3 3 .571

 

 

Bobby Doerr 2b 5 1 2 .500

 

 

Jim Tabor 3b 5 1 1 .111

 

 

Frankie Pytlak c 4 1 3 .625

 

 

Charlie Wagner p 2 0 0 .000

 

 

Oscar Judd p 0 0 0 .000

 

 

Ted Williams ph 1 0 0 .500

 

 

Tex Hughson p 0 0 0 .000

 

 

Odell Hale ph 1 0 0 .000

 

 

Mickey Harris p 1 0 0 .000

 

               
    IP H ER BB SO  

 

Charlie Wagner 7.2 13 6 7 3

 

 

Oscar Judd 0.1 0 0 0 0

 

 

Tex Hughson 1 2 0 0 1

 

 

Mickey Harris 3 1 0 0 2

 

 

 

 

       

 

 

 

1916 AMERICAN LEAGUE STANDINGS

 

 

BOSTON RED SOX

1

0

-

 

 

Chicago White Sox

1 0 -

 

 

Philadelphia Athletics

1 0 -

 

 

New York Yankees

1 1 1/2

 

 

St. Louis Browns

0 0 1/2

 

 

Detroit Tigers

0 0 1/2

 

 

Cleveland Indians

0 1 1

 

 

Washington Senators

0 2 1 1/2