THE CURSE OF THE BAMBINO, PART 2 ...
A POWERFUL RED SOX TEAM FAILS
IN THE WORLD SERIES ...
The Sox sweep, highlighted by two great
efforts by Bobby Doerr
May 30, 1946 ... With some of the most spectacular bits of grand larceny, the Red Sox held up the Washington Senators and stole two games from them at Fenway Park. While Mickey Vernon
stood transfixed and holding the ball at the end of a frustrated doubleplay, Bobby Doerr scored all the way from second to give the Sox an uphill, last of the ninth 6 to 5 win in the opener.
With Bobby contributing eight putouts and as many assists first 16 chances, he featured some sensational defense that crushed all of Washington's hopes, the Sox winning the second game 7 to 2, Mickey Harris' eighth triumph in nine tries.
For 7 1/2 innings of the first game the crowd was ready to resign the Sox as a latest victim to of the red-hot Senators. Winners of 11 of the last 15, the Nats build up a 5 to 1 lead going into the last of the eighth-inning. Their celebrated knuckleballer, Roger Wolff had tired but was still
well in front in the seventh inning.
Suddenly the Sox scored twice and were now only 5 to 4 behind. Johnny Pesky started by singling off Mickey Vernon's shin. Ted Williams followed with a line single to right sending Pesky scooting to third. Here Bobby Doerr slapped Sid Hudson's next pitch into left for a single that tied it at
Paul Campbell, who had come into play first base, tried to bunt the boys along, but Hudson forced Ted at third with catlike quickness. Then Dom DiMaggio hit a possible double-play grounder just to the left of second. Cecil Travis tossed to Jerry Priddy forcing Campbell, but Priddy's throw to
first drew Vernon off the bag. Bobby Doerr who was off at the crack of the bat, never hesitated at third. He kept on going and slid across the plate as Vernon made a couple of bewildered attempts to throw the ball to get him at home but realized he didn't stand a chance. When Mickey saw that
he was too late threw the ball at the ground in disgust.
THE WINNING RUN
What little hope Washington retained, was completely buried by the defensive of play of Doerr and Williams in the sixth inning of the aftermath. The Sox entered with a 5 to 2 lead and Ted had just belted a homer half a dozen rows up into the centerfield seats above the 420 foot sign. Mickey
Harris, who had a perfect day at bat with two singles, a walk, and a sacrifice was aboard at the time.
In the sixth inning Ted Williams made an electrifying shoestring catch off Mickey Vernon's blooper, and almost threw out Billy Hitchcock at first base. In the same inning Bobby Doerr made a nifty stop on Jeff Heath's hot ground ball ending the inning. Bobby lost his chance to join Jimmy
Dykes in the record books on the first play of the second game. Buddy Lewis sent a grounder that bounded off Bobby's chest for an error. As it was Doerr equaled the modern National League record shared by Miller Huggins in 1911, Jimmy Partridge in 1927 and Frankie Frisch in 1930, but this
was the American League and Dykes still holds top honors.
Since Fenway Park added the bullpens in left field in 1940 to help Ted Williams hit home runs it seems that the bullpens have helped ordinary hitters even more than Williams. Williams has hit five home runs in Boston this season. Three have landed in the visiting bullpen, one when 12 rows
over the Boston bullpen, and the one hit today went into the centerfield bleachers six rows deep. Since Fenway Park has changed, Williams has hit 49 home runs in the bullpens, 21 of which would have been homers in the former large layout. Thus changing Fenway Park is given Williams some 28
additional home runs.