THE BEST SEASON IN BOSTON'S BASEBALL HISTORY

BOBBY STURGEON, BILLY SOUTHWORTH,
 & SIBBI SISTI

BOSTON BRAVES ...
SPAHN & SAIN and PRAY FOR RAIN ...

The Braves rally for four
ninth inning runs in a walk-off win

July 31, 1948 ... A base clearing triple by the almost forgotten Sibbi Sisti, in the ninth-inning at Braves Field, kept the Braves 5 1/2 games in front of the National League pennant contenders, in one of their greatest uphill struggles of the season. Sisti hit a vicious line drive to the extreme corner of right-center field, driving home three runs and giving the Braves a 7 to 6 walkoff win over the Cardinals, sending 31,841 happy customers out of the tepee in celebration.

As the Braves came to bat in the finale, they trailed the Cardinals by three runs in a sizzling seesaw battle, 6 to 3. To start it off, Bob Elliott drew his 90th walk of the year against southpaw, Ken Johnson, the third of four Cardinals pitchers thrown into the skirmish. Left-hander, Jeff Heath, was due to hit, but playing the percentages, manager Billy Southworth yanked him in favor of Al Lyons. Lyons had been rushed in from Milwaukee a few weeks ago, but for relief pitching purposes. After Johnson had thrown two balls, he was taken out in favor of Jim Hearn, a right-hander. Hearn ended up walking Lyons and that made the next hitter Clint Conaster, the tying run. He had already scored one run and driven in another, and once more he came through by lashing a wicked single to right to load the bases.

There were none out, and the bottom of the Braves batting order was scheduled to hit. Phil Masi came up and only popped the ball to second base on the first pitch. Now, with one out, Bobby Sturgeon came to bat and dropped a single into left-center, that brought Elliott home with the fourth Braves run.

Bobby Hogue, who had pitched the ninth-inning, was the next hitter, and the only one left for Southworth to use was Sibbi Sisti. Sibbi had not been in a game since June 18th, suffering from appendicitis, been operated upon for a sinus condition and had been nursing a lame leg. Plagued with these injuries and illness, Sibbi had a .183 batting average, having only driven across five runs.

So up to the plate he came and he fouled off the first pitch. Then he took a ball and on the next pitch, a Hearn fastball, and slammed it in the hole between Stan Musial and Terry Moore. All the baserunners were on the move and Lyons scored easily from third, Conaster breezed home with the tying run from second, and Sturgeon was running as fast as he can toward the plate. Bobby scored without any trouble and the game belonged to the Braves.

Billy Southworth was the first one to run over to first base and grab Sisti and give him a hug. Then a flock of Braves came storming out of the dugout to surround him. The game proved to be the most dramatic one for the Tribe this season.

The Braves had started off with a two run lead, which Warren Spahn couldn't hold. A two-run home run by Stan Musial, his 24th of the year, a Whitey Kurowski double, a sacrifice from Enos Slaughter, and a fly ball, put the Cardinals ahead 3 to 2. The Braves were next able to tie it up in the fifth when Conaster drove home Torgeson.

But once more Spahn failed to hold the game. Musial opened up the sixth with a triple and scored on a single by Slaughter, before Red Barrett was called on and pitched brilliant relief ball. Unfortunately the redhead was the victim of two unearned runs in the eighth, that gave St. Louis the 6 to 3 lead going into the dramatic ninth.

 

 
  B R A V E S   F I E L D 

 

 

 

 
 

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

 

R H E  
 

ST. LOUIS CARDINALS

 

0

0

0

3

0

1

0

2

0

 

 

6

8

0

 
 

BOSTON BRAVES

 

0

1

1

0

1

0

0

0

4

 

 

7

14

1

 

 

 

W

BOBBY HOGUE (6-2)

 

2B

 

DUSAK (StL), KUROWSKI (StL)

 

L

JIM HEARN (5-5)

 

 

S

   

3B

  MUSIAL (StL), SISTI (BOST)
 

 

 

 

   

ATTENDANCE: 31,841

 

HR

 

MUSIAL (StL)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AB

R

H

AVG

 

 

Tommy Holmes rf 5 0 3 .321  

 

Alvin Dark ss 5 1 3 .329  

 

Mike McCormick lf 1 0 0 .273  

 

Earl Torgeson ph/1b 3 1 1 .253  

 

Bob Elliott 3b 3 1 1 .287  

 

Frank McCormick 1b 1 0 0 .202  

 

Jeff Heath ph/lf 2 0 0 .307  

 

Al Lyons ph 0 1 0 .000  

 

Clint Conaster cf 4 2 3 .283  

 

Phil Masi c 5 0 0 .241  

 

Connie Ryan 2b 2 0 0 .213  

 

Jim Russell ph 0 0 0 .267  

 

Bobby Sturgeon pr/2b 1 1 1 .276  

 

Warren Spahn p 2 0 1 .212  

 

Red Barrett p 1 0 0 .130  

 

Bill Salkeld ph 1 0 0 .283  

 

Bobby Hogue p 0 0 0 .071  

 

Sibby Sisti ph 1 0 1 .198  
               
    IP H ER BB SO  

 

Warren Spahn 5.1 7 4 1 5  

 

Red Barrett 2.2 1 0 2 0  
  Bobby Hogue 1 0 0 1 0  

 

 

         

 

 

 

1948 NATIONAL LEAGUE STANDINGS

 

 

BOSTON BRAVES

56 38 -

 

 

New York Giants 50 43 5 1/2

 

 

Brooklyn Dodgers 48 43 6 1/2

 

 

St. Louis Cardinals 47 45 8

 

 

Pittsburgh Pirates 46 45 8 1/2

 

 

Philadelphia Phillies 48 49 9 1/2

 

 

Cincinnati Reds 41 55 16

 

 

Chicago Cubs 39 57 18