THE SUMMER OF .406 AND "THE STREAK" ...
Dick Newsome & Ted bomb the Bombers
7, 1941 ... The Red Sox handed the
pace-setting New York Yankees a 9 to 5 trouncing in the deciding game
of this three-game set, before 11,593 joyous fans at Fenway Park. It
was the first series setback for New York since the middle of June
when they lost two of three to the White Sox. Lefty Gomez was the
loser, suffering only his fourth loss of the year and ending an eight
game winning streak. The highlights provided for the Red Sox were the
pitching of Dick Newsome and the hitting of Ted Williams.
pitched eight hit ball en route to made good his third attempt for his 13th win
of the season. He rounded out a nice feat of having now conquered every team in
the American League at least once. Meanwhile, Ted the Kid gave further proof of
his batting greatness by pacing the 12-hit Red Sox attack. The willowy
left-hander slapped out his 22nd home run of the year his first time up, and
added a pair of singles, which sparked three run rallys by the Red Sox in the
sixth and seventh innings.
The sixth inning was the turning point of the affair, when with the score
knotted at three apiece, Williams led off with a hot single to right. A snap
throw by Tommy Henrich tried to nail him after he made the turn, but
firstbaseman Johnny Sturm was caught by surprise and was too off balance to make
a tag. Then Jim Tabor hit an easy ground ball to Joe Gordon, who bobbled it, for
one of three Yankee errors, to put runners on first and second. After Jimmie
Foxx flew out to Joe DiMaggio, Bobby Doerr slapped a grounder down third that
was very close to line. Red Rolfe fielded it in a manner that indicated he
thought it was foul, and threw easily to second. Tabor slid in easily ahead of
the throw and while Gordon argued with the umpire, the decision that it was fair
Right on the heels of this argument came another dispute when Frankie Pytlak
slammed another grounder at Rolfe, who made a sensational stop and throw, only
to have the umpire call this one foul. It didn't matter because Frankie
eventually popped out. Then came the big break of the inning, when Newsome
topped a slow roller toward third and beat it out by a whisker, much to the
chagrin of Gomez who covered plenty of ground to field the ball and unleashed is
best throw to first. Williams scored and an instant later two more runs came
across when Dom DiMaggio, attempting to hold back on an inside 3-2 pitch,
accidentally connected, and the ball dribbled between first and second into
right field, to make it 6-3.
Skipper Joe Cronin started Gomez on his way out in the seventh, with another
infield hit which Lefty fielded and threw high to first. Ted followed with a
single and Tabor with a double, which nearly ripped off Rolfe's glove. That was
it for Gomez and in came Tiny Bonham. Double-X greeted him with a towering fly
which Joe D. took against the left centerfield wall, but deep enough to score
Ted. Bobby Doerr knocked out a clean single to count Tabor with the ninth and
final Red Sox run of the game.
The Yankees had initially scored two runs in the first inning on successive
doubles by Sturm and Rolfe, followed by long flies from Henrich and Joe
DiMaggio. The Sox came back in the second when Ted led off with his 22nd homer,
landing a dozen rows up in the right-field grandstand extension.
Another Yankee fielding lapse helped the Sox take the lead with two runs in
the fourth. Pete Fox ignited this inning with a single, that nearly cleared the
left-field wall. Cronin sent him around to third with a well-placed single to
right, before Ted bounced out to first baseman Sturm, who started to throw the
ball home, but forgot to step on first, finally firing high to second. That
lapse allowed Fox to score and Cronin was on second with Ted on first. Tabor
brought home the skipper with a clean shot to center and it looked like the Red
Sox were in business went Foxx was walked. Doerr however lifted a fly ball to
Charlie Keller and Pytlak rolled into a twin killing. But the Sox were up 3 to
The Yankees then tied it up in the fifth on singles by Gomez and Sturm, a
force out and an infield hit by Henrich. Newsome ultimately loaded the bases
with an intentional walk to Joe DiMaggio and then uncorked a wild pitch,
allowing the Yanks to knot the score at three each. He then proceeded to strike
out Keller on three pitches and the Sox were on their way.
The Yankees added a meaningless run in the seventh on a triple by Rolfe, a
walk to Henrich and a groundout by Joe D. DiMaggio had three RBI for the day
without making a hit.