THE BEST SEASON IN BOSTON'S BASEBALL HISTORY

WILLIAMS, STEPHENS
& DiMAGGIO

BOSTON RED SOX ...
THE CURSE OF THE BAMBINO, PART 3
A
SUBWAY SERIES DISAPPEARS ...
Ted's throw and Stephens' walk-off homer
win the game for the Sox

May 5, 1948 ... The Red Sox stepped above the .500 mark for the first time this season as they beat the Detroit Tigers by a 4 to 3 score in the 11th inning at Fenway Park. It was Vern Stephens' home run that sent 11,434 frigid fans home satisfied. The shortstop's home run climaxed an eventful afternoon. There were three balks, a game-tying pinch-hit, six Red Sox doubleplays, moments of indecision by umpires and a mighty throw to the plate by Ted Williams.

Stephens may not have come the bat, had not Ted Williams thrown a strike from left-field after taking a fly ball from Hoot Evers and doubling up Johnny Lipon, trying to score from third, at the plate in the 10th inning. The fans were more excited about Ted's throw then the home run belted by Stephens to win the game.

After five scoreless innings, the Tigers were the first to break out offensively. With one out in the sixth, Lipon singled to center, Eddie Mayo flied out to Sam Mele, and then George Kell, who had gone three for four, singled to right, sending Lipon to third. Singles by Eddie Mierkowicz and Evers followed to score two more runs, but Evers was then cut down at second base on a throw by Williams to Bobby Doerr. But the Tigers had grabbed a 2 to 0 lead.

Mel Parnell, aided by three infield doubleplays, had faced only 17 men in five innings up to this time. Trucks had been even better, facing only 16 and striking out four, but he ran into trouble in the bottom of the sixth. Birdie Tebbetts cracked a single to center and after Parnell struck out, Trucks balked to send Tebbetts to second. It was costly as Johnny Pesky followed with a clean single to score Tebbetts.

The Tigers picked up their final run in the eighth and Parnell was the guilty party. Trucks, down two strikes and no balls, found a pitch to his liking for a clean single to left. Lipon then laid down a sacrifice bunt, but Johnny Pesky came in fast with a speedy throw to Stephens for the attempted force out at second. But Stephens threw the relay to Doerr in an attempted double up Lipon. The attempt failed, and with all eyes on the approaching hitter, Eddie Mayo, Bobby Doerr hid the ball in his glove, while Parnell made the mistake of standing either on, or just inches to the rear of the pitching rubber.

Umpire Johnny Stevens called a balk on Parnell and sent Lipon to second base. Tebbetts led the Sox charge of dissent, claiming that the batter had stepped out of the box and that Stevens himself and called time. The rhubarb increased in fury as manager Joe McCarthy called in umpires Bill Summers and Red Jones. Lipon was sent back to first and out came Detroit manager Steve O'Neill, who claimed that time out or no timeout, Parnell was illegally on the mound without the ball, and so Lipon indeed was sent to second base for a balk.

Then Parnell moved in the direction of the plate, check his stride and pivoted to pick Lipon off second base, for another balk. Lipon cantered over to third and then scored when Mayo flied deep out to Dominic DiMaggio, to give the Tigers a 3 to 1 lead.

Now came the bottom of the ninth-inning and manager O'Neill decided to get Trucks out of the game after Pesky and Williams clipped him with successive hits to open the inning. In came Dizzy Trout. Vern Stephens bunted and Williams was erased at second as Pesky made it over to third. Trout next attempted to pick Pesky off but his throw went by thirdbaseman George Kell, allowing Pesky to scamper home and Stephens to advance to second. Stan Spence was sent up to hit for Jake Jones and immediately got ahead of Trout on a two ball and no strike count. He then laced a clean blow over short to score Stephens with the tying run.

In the 10th, Ellis Kinder, who was now on the mound walked the leadoff batter Johnny Lipon. Eddie Mayo singled and then Kell bunted one directly at Spence. He decided to forgo the play at third and tried to get Mayo at second unsuccessfully, and all were safe. Kinder buckled down to strike out Mierkowicz and Evers hit one to Williams in deep left field. Ted had to move to his left and in a few paces, but he sized up the situation perfectly and threw a strike that erased Lipon, who was trying to score the go-ahead run from third.

Then came the 11th and the frozen spectators were resigned to a lengthy afternoon. But not so for Vern Stephens. He clipped one of Trout's serves on a line that went just inches above the left-field wall into the netting. A line drive that gave the Red Sox their fourth straight victory.

 

F   E   N   W   A   Y     P   A   R   K

 

 

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

 

R

H

E

 
 

DETROIT TIGERS

0

0

0

0

0

2

0

1

0

0

0

 

3

11

1

 
 

BOSTON RED SOX

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

0

2

0

1

 

4

8

1

 

 

W-Ellis Kinder (1-0)
L-Dizzy Trout (1-2)
Attendance - 11,434

 HR-Stephens (Bost)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AB

R

H

AVG

 

 

Dom DiMaggio cf 5 0 0 .170  

 

Johnny Pesky 3b 5 1 2 .232  

 

Ted Williams lf 5 0 1 .396  

 

Vern Stephens ss 5 2 2 .255  

 

Bobby Doerr 2b 4 0 0 .231  

 

Jake Jones 1b 3 0 0 .208  

 

Stan Spence ph/1b 1 0 1 .222  

 

Sam Mele rf 4 0 0 .196  

 

Birdie Tebbetts c 4 1 2 .244  

 

Mel Parnell p 2 0 0 .000  

 

Harry Dorish p 0 0 0 .500  

 

Billy Goodman ph 0 0 0 .000  

 

Ellis Kinder p 0 0 0 .000  
               
    IP H ER BB SO  
  Mel Parnell 7.2 10 3 3 0  
  Harry Dorish 0.1 0 0 1 0  
  Ellis Kinder 3 1 0 3 1  

 

 

         

 

 

 

1948 AMERICAN LEAGUE STANDINGS

 

 

Philadelphia Athletics 9 5 -

 

 

New York Yankees 8 5 1/2

 

 

Cleveland Indians 6 4 1

 

 

BOSTON RED SOX 7 7 2

 

 

Washington Senators 7 7 2

 

 

St. Louis Browns 5 6 2 1/2

 

 

Detroit Tigers 7 9 3

 

 

Chicago White Sox 3 9 5