THE BEST SEASON IN BOSTON'S BASEBALL HISTORY

VERN STEPHENS HOMERS

BOSTON RED SOX ...
THE CURSE OF THE BAMBINO, PART 3
A
SUBWAY SERIES DISAPPEARS ...
Vern Stephens' HR ties the game
and Spence's HR wins it,
as the Sox sweep Washington

August 20, 1948 ... On the wings of Vern Stephens' 24th home run, with two aboard and two outs, in the ninth-inning of the opening game, the Red Sox caught fire at Fenway Park. They pulled out a 5 to 4, 10 inning victory on Stan Spence's walkoff home run and then overwhelmed the Washington Senators, 10 to 4, in the second game. The Red Sox, with five home run blasts, therefore took second place back from the Athletics, who lost their game to the Yankees.

The first game ended with the Sox emerging from the very brink of defeat, and was a personal triumph for Stephens and Spence, but it was proper justice for Mel Parnell in escaping defeat, and a heartbreaker for Ray Scarborough, the Senators' pitcher, who was but one batter away from a well-deserved 4 to 1 victory.

Scarborough had left ten men on base and had erased pinch hitting Wally Moses and Dom DiMaggio in the home half of the 9th inning. Then things started to happen. Johnny Pesky doubled to the base of the scoreboard in left-center and Ted Williams drew his 90th walk of the season. Up came Vern Stephens and he took Scarborough's first pitch high and far over the left-field net for the home run that tied the game.

Scarborough then retired Bobby Doerr to end the inning, but he was back on the mound before he could catch his breath. Earl Johnson came on to pitch the 10th inning and threw just six pitches to retire three men. Spence led off Sox half of the 10th, and looked at a strike, then fouled off the pitch and then took a ball, before connecting with the next one for the walkoff home run into the visitors bullpen.

The Red Sox first run was scored when DiMaggio doubled and Pesky singled in the seventh. It was the first breakthrough on the effective pitching from Scarborough. Right from the beginning, Parnell appeared insufficiently warmed up, but only one run of the two scored by Washington was earned. He then settled down to pitch brilliant baseball, allowing the Nats hardly anything until Junior Wooten singled to open the ninth. He faced only 25 men in that seventh inning stretch.

Jack Kramer got his 14th win in the second game. DiMaggio did his part to erase a 2-0, Senators lead when he clouted a grand slam home run into left field screen, highlighting a seven run second inning. Seven base on balls in that inning blew the game wide open. Both Spence and Kramer walked to start, surrounding a hit by Billy Goodman to load the bases, before DiMaggio connected with his seventh home run of the year. Then Harrist walked Pesky, Williams and Stephens, to reload the bases. Bobby Doerr came through with a single that scored Pesky and Williams, making it 6-2. Harrist then walked Bobby Doerr and that was it for him. Walt Masterson came in and the first thing he did was throw a wild pitch that allowed Stephens to score and advanced the other two runners. He then walked Billy Goodman, but got Birdie Tebbetts on a fly ball to end the embarrassing inning.

Williams and Doerr followed with home runs in the fifth inning. Williams hit his home run into the runway in right field, separating the grandstand from the bleachers. Doerr sent his into the screen in left. He had a double and a single, in addition to running his errorless streak to 60 games. For Jack Kramer, it was his first victory over Washington this year.

 

F   E   N   W   A   Y     P   A   R   K

 

Game #1

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

 

R

H

E

 
 

WASHINGTON SENATORS

3

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

 

4

5

0

 
 

BOSTON RED SOX

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

3

1

 

5

11

2

 

 

W-Earl Johnson (6-2)
L-Ray Scarborough (11-7)
Attendance - 15,865

 2B-Stephens (Bost), Batts (Bost), Williams (Bost),
 DiMaggio (Bost), Pesky (Bost)

 HR-Stephens (Bost), Spence (Bost)

 

 

F   E   N   W   A   Y     P   A   R   K

 

Game #2

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

 

R

H

E

 
 

WASHINGTON SENATORS

1

1

0

0

0

1

1

0

0

 

 

4

9

1

 
 

BOSTON RED SOX

0

7

0

1

2

0

0

0

x

 

 

10

9

2

 

 

W-Jack Kramer (14-4)
L-Earl Harrist (4-6)

 2B-Christman (Wash)

 HR-DiMaggio (Bost), Williams (Bost), Doerr (Bost)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

GAME #1

 

AB

R

H

AVG

 

 

Dom DiMaggio cf 5 1 2 .266  

 

Johnny Pesky 3b 5 1 3 .293  

 

Ted Williams lf 3 1 1 .383  

 

Vern Stephens ss 5 1 2 .284  

 

Bobby Doerr 2b 4 0 0 .280  

 

Stan Spence rf 5 1 2 .225  

 

Billy Goodman 1b 4 0 0 .294  

 

Matt Batts c 3 0 1 .333  

 

Mel Parnell p 3 0 0 .151  

 

Wally Moses ph 1 0 0 .321  

 

Earl Johnson p 0 0 0 .087  
               
    IP H ER BB SO  

 

Mel Parnell 9 5 2 6 2  
  Earl Johnson 1 0 0 0 1  

 

 

         

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

GAME #2

 

AB

R

H

AVG

 

 

Dom DiMaggio cf 4 1 1 .265  

 

Johnny Pesky 3b 4 1 0 .290  

 

Ted Williams lf 3 2 2 .385  

 

Vern Stephens ss 4 1 0 .282  

 

Bobby Doerr 2b 5 1 3 .283  

 

Stan Spence rf 2 2 0 .223  

 

Billy Goodman 1b 4 1 2 .297  

 

Birdie Tebbetts c 4 0 1 .284  

 

Jack Kramer p 3 1 0 .123  
               
    IP H ER BB SO  
  Jack Kramer 9 9 3 0 5  

 

 

         

 

 

 

1948 AMERICAN LEAGUE STANDINGS

 

 

Cleveland Indians 70 42 -

 

 

BOSTON RED SOX 68 46 3

 

 

Philadelphia Athletics 68 47 3 1/2

 

 

New York Yankees 65 46 4 1/2

 

 

Detroit Tigers 53 56 15 1/2

 

 

St. Louis Browns 44 66 25

 

 

Washington Senators 44 70 27

 

 

Chicago White Sox 36 75 33 1/2