SPAHN & SAIN and PRAY FOR RAIN ...
WORLD SERIES, GAME #3
Gene Bearden blanks the Braves hitters
October 8, 1948
... Gene Bearden, who pitched the Cleveland
Indians into the World Series, today put his club within two games of
winning it. Four days after he put down the Red Sox in the American
League showdown, he blinded the Boston Braves with a dipping
knuckleball at Municipal Stadium in Cleveland. He shut the Braves
out, 2 to 0, before 70,306 Cleveland fans, giving his team a 2 to 1
edge in the series.
The sturdy rookie, a wounded Navy veteran of
the Pacific, has an aluminum plate in his skull and aluminum pins in his right
knee for his mementos of the second world war. Bearden was a one-man show,
shutting out the Braves on 85 pitches and he scored the first run for his team.
He got two of the five Indians hits, his first being a double in the third
inning, and the other knocking out his rival, Vern Bickford, in the fourth
The Braves equaled the Indians hit production but only got theirs one at a
time, while the Indians bunched theirs together. The Indians kept the Braves
from scoring and one of the reasons was Bearden forcing them to hit into
Cleveland's first run was scored because of the inability of the Braves to
complete a doubleplay. With one gone in the third inning, Bearden slashed the
hardest drive of the day into the right-field corner. Tommy Holmes started back
for it, but then had to stop and play the carom off the short outfield fence.
Bearden stopped at second and then Bickford walked Dale Mitchell. On Bickford's
second pitch, Larry Doby hit a routine doubleplay ball to Eddie Stanky who
tossed it over to Dark, who was over ended by Mitchell in breaking up the play.
Dark's throw was high and wide to Frank McCormick on first base, sailing
untouched into the Cleveland dugout. Bearden walked home and Doby was awarded
In the fourth inning, Bickford drove a nail into his own team's coffin when
he walked Ken Keltner to start the inning. He struck out Walt Judnich, and then
Eddie Robinson rifled his first pitch into left field. Keltner held up at
second, but didn't stay there long when Jim Hegan, swung on the first pitch he
saw, and drove it into center to score his teammate. Bearden went after
Bickford's first pitch also and slugged it into left field. Robinson was held up
at third and Southworth came out of the Braves dugout, waving in Bill Voiselle
from the bullpen. Voiselle disposed of Dale Mitchell on a foul pop up to Bob
Elliott and then Larry Doby grounded out to first base to end the inning.
Voiselle pitched shutout ball after that but the Braves could not crack
Bearden. The Braves didn't cash in on their few opportunities against him. It
was still scoreless when the Braves came to bat in the third inning and Eddie
Stanky rifled a single to right. He moved to second on Bickford's sacrifice, but
then Bearden got Holmes to bounce one back to him, and Dark to hit a line drive
to right-center field that Judnich was able to haul down.
In the sixth inning with two outs, Dark hit a double that bounced off the
concrete wall, a foot or so from being a home run. Mike McCormick lofted a fly
into short left center that caused Doby to come running in and shortstop Lou
Boudreau to backup. Then Joe Gordon came out of nowhere from second base to grab
it for the out.
The Braves had few scoring chances as Ken Keltner started one doubleplay and
Bearden started another. Eddie Stanky was the only Braves player to reach third
base during the whole game. Bearden struck out four and registered six putouts
with his glove.