STAN SPENCE

THE SUMMER OF .406 AND "THE STREAK" ...
Spence's pinch homer brings the Sox back

May 21, 1941 ... Stan Spence was the big noise in the opening game of a short series with the St. Louis Browns at Fenway Park. Going to bat for Les Fleming in the seventh inning, when the Red Sox were trailing 5 to 3, Spence came through with a home run into the visiting team bullpen in right center field. Johnny Peacock was on first at the time, so the home run was good for two runs which tied the ballgame. Before the inning was completed a walk to Lou Finney and singles by Ted Williams and Jimmie Foxx put the Sox out in front, 6 to 5.

The Browns had scored four home runs against starting pitcher Mike Ryba, before he was taken out in the fifth inning. Johnny Lucadello was the first batter to face Ryba and the second ball pitched to him, he took into the right field grandstand. In the second inning with Cullenbine on first, Harland Clift took one over the centerfield wall, making it 3 to 1 in favor of St. Louis. He nearly repeated the performance in the fourth but this time the ball struck the speakers on the top of the left-field wall and dropped back into the field of play. The Browns claimed it was a home run but the ground rules say that the runner could only have three bases. In the fifth inning, Rick Ferrell took the first pitch he saw for another home run and then Johnny Allen, the pitcher, knocked out the fourth round tripper off Ryba. That made the score 5 to 3 in the Browns favor.

Considering the way he was hit, Ryba was lucky. The seven hits against him in 5 1/3 innings included, not only the four home runs, but a triple and two singles. All in all the Browns could only score 5 runs. Bill Fleming came into pitch for the Red Sox and stopped the home run barrage, but the Sox had a rocky road to travel to come back. The hitting of Ted Williams, who had three singles and a double in five times up was a prime factor in the outcome. Doubles and a single by Skeeter Newsome, and one of Lou Finney's base hits, along with a single by Jimmy Foxx, also made big contributions. But it was the home run by Stan Spence in the eighth-inning that was the payoff.

The Red Sox scored a run in the first inning when Dom DiMaggio walked and was forced at second. He later scored on the double by Williams. Another run came in the second on a double by Newsome and Ryba's base hit. Still another run came in the fourth on a double from the bat of Odell Hale, Skeeter's sacrifice and a long fly ball by Peacock.

After that pitcher Johnny Allen tightened up for the Browns and it was nothing doing for the Red Sox until the rally in the seventh inning. A single by Peacock, the home run by Spence, a base on balls to Finney and a single by Foxx netted the Sox three runs and it 6 to 5 lead. Allen then was taken out of the game and Bob Harris came into pitch and put down the rally.

In the eighth-inning the Browns tied up the game 6 to 6 on a single by Roy Cullinbine, a walk and a single by Rick Ferrell through shortstop. But in the bottom of the eighth a single off the bat of Skeeter Newsome, a sacrifice by Peacock and another by pinch-hitter Dick Newsome, put runners on second and third. Then a long fly ball off the bat of DiMaggio to center, scored Skeeter after the catch. Finney followed with a base hit to left and the Sox had an 8 to 6 lead that stood up for the rest of the game.

 

F   E   N   W   A   Y     P   A   R   K

 

 

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

 

R

H

E

 
 

ST. LOUIS BROWNS

1

2

0

0

2

0

0

1

0

 

 

6

13

0

 
 

BOSTON RED SOX

1

1

0

1

0

0

3

2

x

 

 

8

13

0

 

 

W-Dick Newsome (3-2)
L-Bob Harris (2-4)
Attendance - 3500

 2B-Williams (Bost), Newsome (Bost), Hale (Bost),
 Peacock (Bost), Estalella (StL)

 3B-Clift (StL)

 HR-Spence (Bost), Lucadella (StL), Clift (StL),
 Ferrell (StL), Allen (StL)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AB

R

H

AVG

 

 

Dom DiMaggio cf 4 0 0 .345

 

 

Lou Finney rf 4 2 2 .203

 

 

Ted Williams lf 5 0 4 .369

 

 

Jimmie Foxx 1b 4 0 1 .288

 

 

Joe Cronin ss 3 0 0 .350

 

 

Odell Hale 3b 4 1 1 .125

 

 

Skeeter Newsome 2b 3 2 2 .333

 

 

Johnny Peacock c 3 2 1 .279

 

 

Mike Ryba p 2 0 1 .286

 

 

Bill Fleming p 0 0 0 .250

 

 

Stan Spence ph 1 1 1 .243

 

 

Dick Newsome p 0 0 0 .200

 

               
    IP H ER BB SO  

 

Mike Ryba 4.1 7 5 1 2

 

 

Bill Fleming 2.2 3 0 0 0

 

 

Dick Newsome 2 3 1 2 1

 

 

 

 

       

 

 

 

1941 AMERICAN LEAGUE STANDINGS

 

 

Cleveland Indians

24 12 -

 

 

Chicago White Sox

18 12 3

 

 

BOSTON RED SOX

15

14

5 1/2

 

 

New York Yankees

18 17 5 1/2

 

 

Detroit Tigers

16 16 6

 

 

Philadelphia Athletics

14 18 8

 

 

Washington Senators

14 20 9

 

 

St. Louis Browns

10 20 11