VERN STEPHENS HOMERS
BOSTON RED SOX ...
CURSE OF THE BAMBINO, PART 3
SUBWAY SERIES DISAPPEARS ...
Vern Stephens' HR ties the game
and Spence's HR
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
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
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.