SPAHN & SAIN and PRAY FOR RAIN ...
The fans boo the Braves,
but cheer for the Babe
August 16, 1948
... A spontaneous tribute to the memory of
Babe Ruth was paid by some 30,000 spectators at Braves Field before
the start of the Braves and Dodgers game. Before Braves publicist,
Billy Sullivan, had finished his announcement that the Babe had lost
his battle with cancer, they huge crowd sensed what had happened and
were up on their feet automatically. The movement started from the
grandstand and swept out into the right-field pavilion and jury box.
Before umpires gathered around home plate and the players stood at
attention on the top of the steps of their respective dugouts.
The Braves then dropped the deciding contest of their five-game series to the
Dodgers, 6 to 2, and saw their lead dwindle to two games over their opponents.
For seven innings it was a terrific ballgame, but then manager Billy Southworth
removed Warren Spahn for a pinch-hitter. The Dodgers enjoyed the serves from the
relief corps and drilled Bobby Hogue and Clyde Shoun for four eighth inning
tallies, turning the tight ballgame into a rout.
Spahn had pitched superior ball over his rival Joe Hatten, but sloppy defense
enabled the Dodgers to score a pair of runs in the fourth inning and overcome
the one run lead Spahn was given in the second. The Braves gave Hatten a good
shellacking. They smashed out nine hits, including three doubles, but they
couldn't cash in when the Braves' runners on base were begging for a chance to
The first run of the Braves was scored on Phil Masi's double and Sibbi
Sisti's single in the second inning. They finished their scoring in the
eighth-inning on singles by Tommy Holmes, Mike McCormick and Bob Elliott to give
them their second run. But with two on and only one out, both Frank McCormick
and Masi popped out weakly to Gil Hodges at first base to kill a potential
rally. The huge gathering of fans let their feelings be shown in the
eighth-inning as a booed Southworth and the relief pitchers in the wild is vocal
display of dissatisfaction, shown this year.
The Dodgers scored twice in the second inning and after Spahn was taken out
for a pinch-hitter in the seventh, Hogue was the first Braves hurler to pitch in
the eighth. He was clubbed for a triple, a double and a single for two runs
before Shoun came it. A double and a single off Shoun produced another run and
the final score came after Clint Conaster and made a brilliant running catch in
right-center off Billy Cox. By then the ballgame was gone.
On July 3rd, the Dodgers were in last place, 10 1/2 games out. Since then,
they have won 31 and lost 12, to move within two games of the Braves. During the
five-game series here, they had stolen nine bases perfectly.
The best pitcher for the Braves over this home stand has been Nelson Potter,
and last night he informed manager Billy Southworth that he had a sore back, and
he may miss his next start. Eddie Stanky reports that he is not going to start
working out until he gets the official okay from his doctor. If he gets
permission he will start his workouts with the Red Sox at Fenway Park next week.