THE CURSE OF THE BAMBINO, PART 2 ...
A POWERFUL RED SOX TEAM FAILS
IN THE WORLD SERIES ....
Bill Zuber holds off the A's in a close one
August 31, 1946 ... Bill Zuber, making one of his infrequent mound appearances, also batted in the winning runs as the Red Sox setback the Philadelphia Athletics before 16,000 paid customers
at Fenway Park. It was a rare day, as Ted Williams broke out with one of his indifferent exhibitions, which brought forth the largest and loudest round of boos heard here in many years.
It happened in the sixth inning with the Red Sox holding onto a 3 to 2 lead. In the third inning Williams had propelled a terrific drive into the teeth of a gripping wind which Elmer Valo grabbed in front of the Red Sox bullpen. When he came up in the sixth inning, the sometimes vulgar and
frequent remark from the left-field wolves left Ted in a disgusted mood. He slapped at the first pitch by Dick Fowler in a feeble attempt at pushing a ball between the packed defense. The ball rolled slowly towards Pete Suder, playing behind second base. Ted started to run, took three quick
strides, and stopped in his tracks. He loafed halfway down the first, and when he saw Suder come up with the ball, he went straight for the dugout rather than run out the hit. After a lecture from manager Joe Cronin, Ted got over his peeve, making a great catch and a fine throw that almost
resulted in a doubleplay.
The game itself was a tense affair. The Athletics made a run in the second inning on Sam Chapman's double off the wall and George McQuinn's single to score him. The Red Sox countered with three runs in the bottom half of the second inning when Bobby Doerr received the first of the three base
on balls that Fowler handed out during the game. Rudy York's left field single sent Doerr to second base. Mike Higgins chopped a Texas leaguer thru short to fill the bases and Hal Wagner slashed a hard bounder down to McQuinn at first base. George tried to turn it into a double play by
firing to Pete Suder at second, but the throw was high. Suder had it in his glove, but the ball popped out as Doerr scored and McQuinn was charged with an error. Then Bill Zuber came through with the hit that enabled him to win his fourth game of the year. It was a single to center that
scored both York and Higgins, giving him a 3 to 1 lead.
The Athletics scored one more in the third inning and the Red Sox added one in the eighth on Leon Culberson's home run. Bob Klinger relieved Zuber in the ninth inning after Sam Chapman sizzled a line drive past Bill's ear. As usual, Klinger took command and retired the rest of the batters,
preserving Zuber's victory.
When it comes to playing efficient baseball nobody can beat Johnny Pesky. Pesky was on the spot behind second base to take Barney McCoskey's smash and start a doubleplay that killed a Philadelphia challenge in the fifth-inning. Johnny also went ahead of Williams in the three-man batting race
with two hits out of four trips to the plate. His average went up to .339, while Ted's dropped to .335