BOSTON RED SOX
CURSE OF THE BAMBINO, PART 3
SUBWAY SERIES DISAPPEARS ...
Red Sox in the finale
April 18, 1948 ... It
took the Braves' southpaw master, Warren Spahn, to beat the Red Sox
and promising rookies Mickey McDermott and Windy McCall, in a 3 to 2
victory before 26,663 at Fenway Park. The win spared a fourth
straight beating in the "City Series", which the Sox won three games
Spahn was magnificent and he had to be that way in order to
hold, for six innings, the one run edge acquired in the third where the Tribe
scored three runs and the Sox scored two. While Spahn was allowing safe hits
over the complete game, five were given up by McDermott and three by his running
mate McCall. These boys could not have been placed under greater pressure and
they came through in fine fashion.
Spahn's performance was all the more remarkable as in four innings, not
counting the two run third inning, the first Red Sox batter delivered a hit each
time. Dominic DiMaggio led off with a single in the first, Bobby Doerr a double
in the second, McCall a single in the seventh, and Wally Moses a double to start
the ninth. DiMaggio was stranded at third, Doerr moved no further than the
second base, while McCall never got off first. Moses died on third following Babe
Martin's perfect sacrifice with nobody out. After McDermott, he fanned Connie
Ryan with two men aboard and repeated that against Phil Masi in the second
inning. This happened after the Braves and scored all their runs, one of which
McDermott forced across the plate with a pass to Torgeson when the bases were
loaded. McCall was helped by a Stephens to Doerr to Spence twin killing after
Mike McCormick's opening base hit in the sixth, and in the eighth, with the
bases full, he fanned Spahn.
Because the Sox had already won the series, genuine prestige was at stake and
it there was honor in losing, as well as winning. It was Spahn himself, who
started the Braves important three-run inning. He opened the third with a clean
hit to left, Sibbi Sisti waited for a pass, and the bases were loaded when Jim
Russell laid down a bunt which no one could play as a trickled toward third
base. Torgeson was next and was patient enough to receive a pass that forced
Spahn in from third. Following the initial run scored by the tribe, Bob Elliott
lined to Doerr the first out. Then Danny Litwhiler came through with a two run
single to left field after which Doerr had tossed out McCormick and then Masi
was struck out, swinging.
MGR JOE McCARTHY & WINDY MCCALL
It was Spahn's turn for trouble in the Sox' half of the inning. DiMaggio was
leading off again and again hit safely, this time for a double. Johnny Pesky's
long fly was captured by Jim Russell in center, but Spahn passed Ted Williams
and when Stan Spence singled to right, DiMaggio breezed home and Williams raced
to third. Vern Stephens next bounded a grounder to Bob Elliott, for which there
was no possible play except the first, so Williams scored. Spahn proceeded to
walk Doerr, after which Jake Jones hit for Sam Mele and was fanned.
There was no scoring after this and during the remainder of the contest the
Sox got a runner past first base only once. That was in the ninth-inning when
Wally Moses opened with a double that went for nothing. After Wally moved to
third on Martin sacrifice, Spahn grabbed pinch-hitter Billy Hitchcock's ground
ball and following a pass to DiMaggio, the game ended with Pesky hitting a fly
ball to McCormick in right.
The the Braves also had chances. Doubleplays in the fifth and sixth innings
respectively, started by Stephens and McCall, ended with zeros on the
scoreboard. And in the eighth, following McCall's stellar play on Elliott,
Litwhiler singled to center and McCormick got a life when Stephens bumped into
Pesky just as he was about to pull in Frank McCormick's fly ball. But again
there was no scoring as Masi popped to Spence and it was after walking Buddy
Ryan filling the bases, that McCall put over a third strike on Spahn for the
final out of the inning.
Before the game the Red Sox announced that both McDermott and McCall,
properties of the Louisville Colonels, had been signed to Red Sox contracts, as
their preseason work had been very impressive.