BOSTON RED SOX
CURSE OF THE BAMBINO, PART 3
SUBWAY SERIES DISAPPEARS ...
Johnny Pesky provides a walk-off chiller
April 17, 1948 ... Johnny
Pesky came up with a line drive single over the head of Mike
McCormick in right field, with one out and the bases loaded. The hit
enabled pinch runner, Neill Sheridan, to trot across the plate with
the run that gave the Red Sox the city championship, by a score of 2
to 1 over the Braves.
There were 16,343 sets of teeth chattering as Pesky came to bat. Pneumonia
was about to replace pennant fever as the common ailment among the chilled
customers as Johnny Beazley fired two balls to Pesky in the ninth-inning. Then
manager Joe McCarthy sent out Sheridan to run for Matt Batts on third-base. He
wanted some speed on the base paths, but it actually wasn't needed. Beazley
tried to fire a ball past Pesky, but Johnny pulled the pitch with everything he
had, as a shot over McCormick's head, easily allowing Sheridan to score the
winning walkoff run.
Mickey Harris and Earl Johnson shared the pitching honors for the Red Sox,
with Beazley following Bill Voiselle to the mound for the Tribe. Voiselle and
Harris were the two starting pitchers and both permitted one run. The Sox were
first the score when Dominic DiMaggio lashed a double between Danny Litwhiler
and Clint Conaster in left-center. He moved to third on Pesky's infield out.
With Ted Williams at bat, Voiselle uncorked a wild pitch that allowed DiMaggio
to score the first run.
The Braves tied it against Harris in the sixth inning. Mike McCormick played
the wind perfectly and sliced a drive into right-center for a two bagger. Earl
Torgeson was being played to pull the ball to right, so Torgy crossed up the
defense and hit one down close to the left-field foul line. Williams sprinted as
fast as he could toward the line and as he neared the ball he stretched is far
as his arms could with the ball flicking off his glove fingertips. Ted crashed
into the wall as the ball rolled away from him for a two base hit and McCormick
scored the tying run.
The game looked like it would not go into extra innings as Beazley had
pitched three scoreless frames and looked like the prewar ace that helped hurl
the Cardinals to a world's championship. Sam Mele open the ninth banging the
ball off the wall in left for a double. Beazley then hit Matt Batts to put him
on first. Billy Hitchcock came up and batted for Earl Johnson. His orders were
to bunt, but Beazley threw two bad pitches to make the count 2-0. That caused a
sudden change in Sox strategy. As the Braves infield moved in, Hitchcock popped
a short fly that the secondbaseman, who if he was playing in his normal
position, could have caught, but it eluded Connie Ryan for a base hit to fill
the bases. Dom DiMaggio, who would already collected three hits, rolled one to
Torgeson who rifled the ball home and wiped out Mele. Then Pesky sent the
customers home just as they were on the verge of frostbite.
The victory was the third in a row for the Sox over the Braves this spring
and clinched the championship of Commonwealth Avenue.