THE BEST SEASON IN BOSTON'S BASEBALL HISTORY

WRIGLEY FIELD

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

Amidst chaos, the Cubs sweep
a doubleheader from the Braves

August 26, 1948 ... Amid a scene of wild disorder, the Cubs twice smashed the Braves by scores of 5 to 1 and 5 to 2, cutting their lead in the National League race down to three games. An umpire's decision provoked a demonstration and almost cost the Cubs the second game by a forfeit, after a crowd of 27,316 fans rioted and threw hats, bottles and thousands of paper containers out onto the field.

It was quite an afternoon, as the Cubs won the first game easily, but when they came to bat in the third inning of the second game, trailing 1 to 0, a rally was started after two were out and ended with the umpires dodging everything being thrown in their direction.

Emil Verban singled and then stole second base. Hal Jeffcoat walked and Phil Cavarretta hit a line drive into left field. The ball sailed over Jeff Heath's head and bounced into the ivy on the left-field wall. Heath looked for the ball but couldn't find it, and started rubbing his hands against the vines in an effort to locate it. Suddenly, the ball was seen rolling away from him, but apparently he didn't see it. Verban and Jeffcoat scored as Cavarretta was rounding second. He finally saw the ball and threw it to Alvin Dark, who relayed to the plate, but Cavarretta slid in safely.

Umpire Bill Stewart, who was stationed at third-base, ordered Cavarretta back to second base and Jeffcoat the third, ruling that it was a ground rule double because the ball was lost in the vines. Immediately manager Charlie Grimm, Cavarretta and several others charged after Stewart. Grimm was furious and a few containers were thrown at the umpire. When he refused to change his decision, hats and more containers were thrown on the field. Stewart was about to lose his composure, with Grimm still ranting, when catcher Bob Scheffing came running out from the Cubs bullpen. Scheffing calmed things down and Grimm headed back over to the third-base coaching box. It was later learned that the Cubs manager believe that the ball was never caught up in the vines, but was at Heath's feet all the time. Scheffing, who was much closer to the play, told his manager that the ball was indeed lost and only came out when he's shook them.

Order was somewhat restored when it was announced that the game would be forfeited unless it went on. But Stewart continued to be bothered by more abuse from the Cubs dugout. He gestured toward some players and started over there. Umpire Jocko Conlan followed him and was promptly hit in the stomach by an object. He ordered the public address announcer to make another announcement. Stewart and a police officer, who was guarding the Cubs dugout, exchanged a few hot words also and Conlan then mixed it up verbally with a fan in the box seats.

By this time, practically all the field between the foul lines was covered with debris. Play went on however, and Vern Bickford pitched to Andy Pafko as Cavarretta and Jeffcoat went back to their bases. Pafko was intentionally walked to load them up. Peanuts Lowrey was the next batter and refused to step into the box. Conlan charged toward him and ordered him to take his place at bat. Lowrey took the first pitch and slammed a tremendous triple to centerfield against the ivy, with the ball rolling toward right-center.

It was then Billy Southworth turn to make his voice heard when the inning ended. He demanded that the field be cleared before his team would continue playing. Finally some of the workers carrying boxes, headed for the outfield with another group of 50 or more youngsters cleared the infield of debris.

The Cubs had scored four runs and were leading 4 to 1 when everything was cleaned up. After that third inning, the Cubs scored in the sixth inning off relief pitcher Bobby Hogue. Pafko knocked out his 20th home run of the year into the centerfield seats.

The Braves had jumped out to a 1 to 0 lead in the second inning on singles to Frank McCormick and Phil Masi, along with a walk to Sibbi Sisti that loaded the bases. Bickford got an infield hit that scored McCormick. They got their second run in the eighth-inning, when Mike McCormick and Bob Elliott singled, both advancing on a groundout and Mike scoring on a sacrifice fly by Frank.

Bill Voiselle lost the first game to the Cubs, 5 to 1. It was his first loss against them in five starts. After they drove him from the box in the fifth inning, leading 3 to 0, Al Lyons came in and allowed single runs in the sixth and seventh. The Braves scored in the seventh inning as Dark walked, Elliott singled and Tommy Holmes lined a base hit to centerfield for the Braves only run.

Back home, with the temperature and 118 at Braves Field, as Eddie Stanky went about an hour and a half with a work out. He used to group of boys as fielders and played pepper with them.

 

at Wrigley Field (Chicago) ...

R

H

E

BOSTON BRAVES

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

0

 

1

9

0

CHICAGO CUBS

0

0

0

2

1

1

1

0

x

 

5

14

0

W-Doyle Lade (2-3)
L-Bill Voiselle (13-11)
Attendance 27,316


2B-Holmes (Bost), Verban (Chi)
 

 

Game #2 ...

R

H

E

BOSTON BRAVES

0

1

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

 

2

10

0

CHICAGO CUBS

0

0

4

0

0

1

0

0

x

 

5

6

0

W-Hank Borowy (4-5)
L-Vern Bickford (7-5)


2B-Cavaretta (Chi)
3B-Lowery (Chi)
HR-Pafko (Chi)
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

GAME #1

 

AB

R

H

AVG

 

 

Tommy Holmes rf 5 1 2 .324  

 

Alvin Dark ss 4 0 0 .329  

 

Earl Torgeson ph 4 0 0 .246  

 

Bob Elliott 3b 4 0 3 .291  

 

Jeff Heath lf 4 0 1 .307  

 

Clint Conaster cf 4 0 1 .284  

 

Bill Salkeld c 3 0 1 .265  

 

Sibby Sisti 2b 2 0 1 .244  

 

Bill Voiselle p 2 0 0 .106  

 

Al Lyons p 1 0 0 .000  

 

Mike McCormick ph 1 0 0 .300  

 

Johnny Antonelli p 0 0 0 .000  
               
    IP H ER BB SO  

 

Bill Voiselle 5 10 4 1 2  

 

Al Lyons 2 4 1 1 2  

 

Johnny Antonelli 1 0 0 0 0  

 

 

         

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

GAME #2

 

AB

R

H

AVG

 

 

Tommy Holmes rf 5 0 2 .324  

 

Alvin Dark ss 4 0 0 .326  

 

Mike McCormick lf 4 1 1 .299  

 

Bob Elliott 3b 4 0 1 .291  

 

Jeff Heath lf 4 0 0 .303  

 

Frank McCormick 1b 4 1 2 .234  

 

Phil Masi c 4 0 2 .244  

 

Sibby Sisti 2b 2 0 0 .240  

 

Vern Bickford p 1 0 1 .156  

 

Bobby Hogue p 1 0 0 .053  
  Earl Torgeson ph 1 0 1 .249  
  Red Barrett p 0 0 0 .200  
  Bill Salkeld ph 1 0 0 .263  

 

             
    IP H ER BB SO  

 

Vern Bickford 2.2 3 4 3 2  
  Bobby Hogue 3.1 2 1 0 3  

 

Red Barrett 2 1 0 0 0  

 

 

         

 

 

 

1948 NATIONAL LEAGUE STANDINGS

 

 

BOSTON BRAVES

68 51 -

 

 

St. Louis Cardinals 65 53 2 1/2

 

 

Brooklyn Dodgers 62 51 3

 

 

Pittsburgh Pirates 61 52 4

 

 

New York Giants 60 55 6

 

 

Philadelphia Phillies 52 65 15

 

 

Cincinnati Reds 50 68 17 1/2

 

 

Chicago Cubs 48 70 19 1/2