THE BEST SEASON IN BOSTON'S BASEBALL HISTORY


 

BOSTON RED SOX ...
THE CURSE OF THE BAMBINO, PART 3
A
SUBWAY SERIES DISAPPEARS ...
Warren Spahn beats the
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 to two.

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.

MICKEY McDERMOTT,
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.

 

F   E   N   W   A   Y     P   A   R   K

 

 

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

 

R

H

E

 
 

BOSTON BRAVES

0

0

3

0

0

0

0

0

0

 

 

3

7

1

 
 

BOSTON RED SOX

0

0

2

0

0

0

0

0

0

 

 

2

7

2

 

 

 W-Warren Spahn
L-Mickey McDermott
Attendance - 26,663

 2B-Moses (Sox), Doerr (Sox), DiMaggio (Sox)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BRAVES

 

AB

R

H

RBI

 

 

Sibbi Sisti ss 4 1 0 0  

 

Jim Russell cf 4 1 2 0  

 

Earl Torgeson 1b 4 0 1 1  

 

Bob Elliott 3b 3 0 1 0  

 

Danny Litwhiler lf 4 0 2 2  

 

Alvin Dark pr 0 0 0 0  

 

Clint Conaster lf 0 0 0 0  

 

Mike McCormick rf 4 0 0 0  

 

Phil Masi c 3 0 0 0  

 

Connie Ryan 2b 2 0 0 0  

 

Warren Spahn p 4 1 1 0  
               
    IP H ER BB SO  
  Warren Spahn 8 7 2 3 2  

 

 

         

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RED SOX

 

AB

R

H

RBI

 

 

Dom DiMaggio cf 4 1 3 0  

 

Johnny Pesky 3b 4 0 0 0  

 

Ted Williams lf 3 1 0 0  

 

Stan Spence 1b 4 0 1 1  

 

Vern Stephens ss 4 0 0 1  

 

Bobby Doerr 2b 3 0 1 0  

 

Sam Mele rf 1 0 0 0  

 

Jake Jones ph 1 0 0 0  

 

Wally Moses rf 2 0 1 0  

 

Birdie Tebbetts c 2 0 0 0  

 

Babe Martin c 1 0 0 0  

 

Mickey McDermott p 2 0 0 0  

 

Windy McCall p 1 0 1 0  

 

Billy Hitchcock ph 1 0 0 0  
               
    IP H ER BB SO  
  Mickey McDermott 5 5 3 4 4  
  Windy McCall 4 2 0 2 2