FRANK McCORMICK &
SPAHN & SAIN and PRAY FOR RAIN ...
Frank McCormick's HR leads the
Braves to a win
August 31, 1948 ... The
staggering Braves came out of a lethargic batting slump somewhat, and
moved back into the pennant picture by beating the Reds, 3 to 1,
before 15,000 fans at Crosley Field. Frank McCormick's two run homer
in the sixth, along with great pitching from Red Barrett, finds the
Braves trailing the Dodgers, who lost twice, by two percentage
Another defeat was staring the Braves right in the face until Frank sent one
of Ken Peterson's curves far over the fence in left. More Braves' runners were
again stranded in scoring position during four of the first five innings. The
Braves had two out in the first when Mike McCormick doubled to left and Elliott
walked. Frank McCormick lined one at Hank Sauer who made a nice catch to end
that threat. Then in the third, Dark singled and made it to third on Mike
McCormick's liner through the box. Another scoring chance faded as Elliott
rolled out to first.
Clint Conaster, hitless in 21 consecutive times at bat, finally broke out of
his slump by driving a long single off the left-field wall in the seventh. That
was it for Peterson and Harry Gumbert came into pitch. Phil Masi greeted him by
taking his first pitch and lining it into right, sending Conaster to second.
Sibbi Sisti came through with this second of three singles during the game, to
score Conaster and send Masi to third. Barrett twice tried to squeeze Phil home,
but ended up striking out, while Masi was picked off third.
Frank McCormick reached safely on Hatton's error in the fourth, and Conaster
flew out to Sauer. Masi hit what should've been a doubleplay ball, but Claude
Corbett threw wildly past first base. Masi took off for second, only to be
thrown out when Lamanno took the ball off the wall close to the dugout and threw
him out to Virgil Stallcup.
Barrett threw a home run ball to Grady Hatton to start the scoring in the
second inning. Two more times Barrett was in danger, but Alvin Dark made two
sensational catches, while on the dead run, to keep his pitcher out of trouble.
His second grab came in the ninth-inning off Ted Kluszewski. Hatton had singled
with one out and Klu sliced a soft liner toward left. Dark turned at the crack
of the bat and caught up the ball, catching it in the webbing of his glove, in a
desperate last moment lunge.
Peterson who started in place of Ewell Blackwell, nursing a sore arm, finally
saw his luck run out after he started the sixth by handing Mike McCormick a base
on balls. Bob Elliott tried to lay down a bunt and popped it up behind the
plate. Frank then cracked Peterson's first pitch for his third home run of the
year putting the Braves out front for good, 3 to 1.