THE BEST SEASON IN BOSTON'S BASEBALL HISTORY

JEFF HEATH BREAKS HIS ANKLE

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

The Braves win but lose Jeff Heath

September 29, 1948 ... Jeff Heath, the Braves top slugger, fractured his leg on the slide into home and was carried off the field on a stretcher. The accident occurred in the sixth inning of the game in Brooklyn that the Braves won 4 to 3.

Heath had tried to score from second base on a single by Bill Salkeld. The Braves were leading 3 to 0 at the time, there were two outs and coach Johnny Cooney was in the third-base coach's box. Heath seemed to be making up his mind whether to slide or not, and at the last moment, made a halfhearted slide toward the infield portion of the plate, as Ray Campanella was reaching for the ball. The throw from Gene Hermanski arrived well ahead of Heath, but the spikes on Jeff's left shoe appeared to catch in the hard clay and twisted his ankle back.

Heath rolled around on his back in pain, holding his left leg, as umpires, players and ushers rushed to his aid. Duffy Lewis, the Braves road secretary, was one of the first on the scene, hopping over the box seat wall near the Braves dugout. Dr. Dominic Rossi assisted in carrying Jeff to the Dodgers' locker room. Dr Herbert Fette, a bone specialist, was called at Swedish Hospital, in Brooklyn, to handle the situation.

Obviously Heath is done with baseball for the year and will remain in Swedish Hospital for two or three days. He has batted .320, hit 20 home runs with a 77 RBIs. It is believed that Marv Rickert will be called up from the Milwaukee farm club to take his place. The parallel between the 1914 and 1948 Braves continued as it was remembered that Red Smith broke his ankle on a slide into third base, in Brooklyn, just before the start of the 1914 World Series.

The Braves won the game and the injury to Heath completely overshadowed a great exhibition by Johnny Sain, who ran into trouble late in the game, but managed to chalk up his 23rd victory and 28th complete game of the season. The Braves knocked out the fast balling Rex Barney for the fourth time this year. He proved no problem at all to Tommy Holmes, who went three for four. The game was won by Sibbi Sisti, who took over again for Eddie Stanky, at second, in the Dodgers seventh inning.

Sibbi came to bat in the ninth-inning, with the game tied 3 to 3, against Harry Taylor and had Phil Masi, who was pinch running for Salkeld, on second base. He was down two strikes and one ball, when he belted a hard single over second base to score the go-ahead winning run.

The injury to Heath opened a display of resentment by Red Sox players, who made a joke about his injury. It seems the Braves had expressed a desire to play the Cleveland Indians in the World Series rather than the Red Sox. Therefore Sox players had no sympathy and told newspaper reporters as such. It started last Sunday when the Braves clinched the pennant and in their clubhouse celebration they all said they were hoping to play Cleveland. It wasn't because they dislike the Red Sox, but playing Cleveland would mean at least $2000 for each player because of the bigger ballpark and the larger attendance.

 

at Ebbets Field (Brooklyn) ...

R

H

E

BOSTON BRAVES

1

0

0

0

2

0

0

0

1

 

4

10

2

BROOKLYN DODGERS

0

0

0

0

0

0

2

1

0

 

3

7

1

W-Johnny Sain (23-15)
L-Harry Taylor (2-7)
Attendance 6524


2B-Heath (Bost), Campanella (Bkn)
3B-Holmes (Bost), Snider (Bkn)
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AB

R

H

AVG

 

 

Tommy Holmes rf 4 1 3 .322  

 

Alvin Dark ss 4 0 0 .320  

 

Earl Torgeson 1b 3 0 1 .251  

 

Bob Elliott 3b 4 0 0 .284  

 

Jeff Heath lf 3 0 1 .319  

 

Clint Conaster cf 1 0 0 .274  

 

Bill Salkeld c 3 0 1 .249  

 

Phil Masi pr/c 0 1 0 .254  

 

Mike McCormick cf/lf 4 1 1 .304  

 

Eddie Stanky 2b 3 1 1 .326  

 

Sibby Sisti 2b 1 0 1 .245  

 

Johnny Sain p 2 0 1 .211  
               
    IP H ER BB SO  
  Johnny Sain 9 7 2 2 5  

 

 

         

 

 

 

1948 NATIONAL LEAGUE STANDINGS

 

 

(*) BOSTON BRAVES

88 61 -

 

 

Brooklyn Dodgers 83 68 6

 

 

Pittsburgh Pirates 82 68 6 1/2

 

 

St. Louis Cardinals 81 68 7

 

 

New York Giants 77 74 12

 

 

Philadelphia Phillies 65 87 24 1/2

 

 

Cincinnati Reds 63 87 25 1/2

 

 

Chicago Cubs 62 88 26 1/2

 

 

(*) Clinched National League Pennant