THE BEST SEASON IN BOSTON'S BASEBALL HISTORY

BOSTON RED SOX ...
THE CURSE OF THE BAMBINO, PART 3
A
DREAM SUBWAY SERIES DISAPPEARS ...
ONLY A PLAYOFF GAME AWAY ...

The Indians win a see-saw
battle in the 11th inning

July 31, 1948 ... A pair of hits in the 11th inning, manufactured the run that gave the Cleveland Indians a 10 to 9 victory over the Red Sox in a thriller at the big Stadium in Cleveland. Veteran Joe Gordon was the one who struck the winning blow. He singled over Bobby Doerr's head to score rookie catcher Joe Tipton, with a tally that decided the game, one where the lead changed hands numerous times, was tied twice and required 3 1/2 hours to play.

This dingdong battle, which kept the crowd in an uproar from start to finish, saw 27 hits, 14 by the Sox and 13 by the Indians. Home runs were hit by Vern Stephens for the Red Sox and Ken Keltner and Jim Hegan for the Indians. 31 players, 18 of them Indians, saw action before it was over. Each club used four pitchers with Steve Gromek picking up the win and Mel Parnell getting tagged with the loss.

Joe Dobson and Bob Feller were the starting pitchers. Feller held a 2 to 1 advantage going into the sixth and it was apparent he couldn't finish. He was continually behind the batters and finally blew up when he yielded three hits, a walk, and hit Dobson on the right wrist, with the bases loaded. That forced in the tying run and Dom DiMaggio sent him to the showers with a two run double to left, giving the Sox a 4 to 2 lead.

After giving up two runs on two hits and a walk in the first inning, Dobson faced only 12 men over the next three innings, yielding only a single base hit. But in the Indians half of the sixth, he gave up the two runs that tied the game, 4 to 4. In the Boston seventh, Ted Williams was walked and Vern Stephens lined a double to left-center that put Ted on third. Bobby Doerr was intentionally walked and then Ed Kleiman, who had relieved Feller, walked Stan Spence bringing in Williams with the go-ahead 5 to 4 run.

Earl Johnson came in to relieve Dobson, who would been lifted for a pinch-hitter the previous inning, and he gave up a single to Lou Boudreau. Then Jim Hegan put the Indians back out in front with a home run, making it 6 to 5.

In the Red Sox eighth, Kleiman started off by walking DiMaggio and gave up a single to Johnny Pesky, bringing in Russ Christopher, who gave up the lead on a three run homer to Vern Stephens, 8 to 6, Red Sox. But with one away in Cleveland's half of the inning, Dom DiMaggio misjudged a line drive from Dale Mitchell, that went over his head to the fence for a triple. Ken Keltner stepped to the plate, having stroked his 24th homer of the year off starter Joe Dobson, previously. Facing Earl Johnson, he lashed a hot grounder down the third-base line which took a funny hop over Pesky's head, into left field, allowing Mitchell to score, making it 8 to 7, Indians.

In the ninth-inning, a perfect squeeze bunt by DiMaggio, scored Billy Goodman to again give the Red Sox a two run margin, 9 to 7. Unfortunately the Sox pitchers were unable to hold the lead. Manager Lou Boudreau sent out three straight pinch hitters in the bottom of the ninth. Thurman Tucker doubled and Hal Peck reached on a walk from Earl Caldwell, who had been brought in to pitch for the Sox. That was it for Caldwell and Joe McCarthy decided to bring in Mel Parnell, who got the third pinch-hitter, Johnny Berardino, but Allie Clarke brought home Tucker with a single and sent Peck to third. Dale Mitchell then hit a slow bounder to Bobby Doerr and that brought Peck home with the tying run.

And so it went into extra innings tied up at 9 to 9 setting up the walkoff win for Cleveland. Tipton, who would replaced Jim Hegan behind the plate, opened up with a single to center and was sacrificed to second by Gromek. After Dale Mitchell flied out, Ken Keltner was purposely walked to bring up Joe Gordon. The previous time this situation happened, Parnell struck out Gordon to end a ninth-inning rally, but this time the veteran whacked the game-winning single into right-center.

It was a big victory for the Indians, as it not only ended the Red Sox string of eight straight victories over them, but put them back in the thick of the pennant race, only two games behind the Sox. For Boston it was costly because with Philadelphia winning in Detroit, their lead was sliced to have to game over the A's.

 

at Municipal Stadium (Cleveland) ...

R

H

E

BOSTON RED SOX

1

0

0

0

0

3

1

3

1

0

0

 

9

14

0

CLEVELAND INDIANS

2

0

0

0

0

2

2

1

2

0

1

 

10

13

0

W-Steve Gromek (5-2)
L-Mel Parnell (7-6)
Attendance 26,165


2B-DiMaggio (Bost), Stephens (Bost), Goodman (Bost),
Tucker (Clev)
3B-Mitchell (Clev)
HR-Stephens (Bost), Keltner (Clev), Hegan (Clev)
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AB

R

H

AVG

 

 

Dom DiMaggio cf 5 2 2 .272  

 

Johnny Pesky 3b 6 1 2 .281  

 

Ted Williams lf 4 1 1 .388  

 

Vern Stephens ss 5 1 2 .292  

 

Bobby Doerr 2b 5 1 1 .292  

 

Stan Spence rf 4 1 1 .206  

 

Billy Goodman 1b 5 1 2 .315  

 

Birdie Tebbetts c 4 1 1 .278  

 

Joe Dobson p 1 0 0 .224  

 

Wally Moses ph 1 0 0 .225  

 

Earl Johnson p 0 0 0 .105  

 

Earl Caldwell p 1 0 1 .167  

 

Mel Parnell p 1 0 1 .098  
               
    IP H ER BB SO  

 

Joe Dobson 6 4 4 2 7  

 

Earl Johnson 1.1 4 3 0 0  

 

Earl Caldwell 0.2 2 2 1 0  

 

Mel Parnell 2.2 3 1 3 1  

 

 

         

 

 

 

1948 AMERICAN LEAGUE STANDINGS

 

 

BOSTON RED SOX 57 38 -

 

 

Philadelphia Athletics 59 40 1/2

 

 

New York Yankees 54 39 2

 

 

Cleveland Indians 53 38 2

 

 

Detroit Tigers 46 48 10 1/2

 

 

Washington Senators 40 53 16

 

 

St. Louis Browns 34 55 20

 

 

Chicago White Sox 31 62 25