THE BEST SEASON IN BOSTON'S BASEBALL HISTORY

JOE DiMAGGIO HITS
A GRAND SLAM WINNER

BOSTON RED SOX ...
THE CURSE OF THE BAMBINO, PART 3
A
SUBWAY SERIES DISAPPEARS ...
Joe DiMaggio wins for the Yanks
in the 10th with a grand slam

September 10, 1948 ... Joltin' Joe DiMaggio gave the Yankees a temporary reprieve, when he belted a grand slam home run in the 10th inning and ended a nine game Red Sox winning streak, before 27,329 frenzied spectators at Fenway Park. As darkness was closing in and rain was threatening, Joe D. broke up a tense battle with a tremendous smash into the centerfield bleachers. It helped the Yankees reduce the Red Sox lead the American League to 2 1/2 games.

For the third straight afternoon the Red Sox waged exciting rallies to wipe out a seemingly safe Yankee lead. They trailed 2 to 0 and 6 to 2 and had a potential winning run on second base with two outs in the ninth, when Earl Caldwell, the fourth of five Red Sox pitchers, struck out.

Manager Joe McCarthy had been calling all the winning shots during the latest winning streak. This time he gambled with Caldwell, who we brought in to pitch in the top half of the ninth after Earl Johnson had been removed for a pinch-hitter. Caldwell open the 10th by walking Gus Niarhos. Then he hit Spec Shea with a pitch. It looked like he was going to pieces as the Yankees sent up Charlie Keller to hit for Snuffy Stirnweiss. Earl regained his control to strikeout Keller but lost it again when he walked Tommy Henrich to load the bases. He struck out Hank Bauer and had two strikes on DiMaggio. On the next pitch Joe lined an inside ball foul over the left-field screen only a foot inside the foul pole. He then threw him two balls and the next pitch was a high outside curve. Joe took a liking to it as it floated up to the plate and swung at it to win the ballgame. Out in centerfield, younger brother Dom started back, turned around and watched the ball soar over his head into the left side section of the concrete bleachers. It landed about seven rows up and bounced back onto the playing field as all three base runners circled home and formed the reception committee for his older brother.

The Yankees had gotten a two run jump on Red Sox starter Jack Kramer, in the first inning on a Stirnweiss infield hit and a home run by Henrich that struck the screen in front of the bleachers and fell into the Sox bullpen. The Sox got one back in their half of the first when Dom DiMaggio beat out an infield hit and when Phil Rizzuto threw the ball into the Sox dugout, he was awarded second base. He took third as Johnny Pesky rolled out and scored when Ted Williams dribbled one down to Rizzuto for the second out.

Dom started the Sox third inning with a clean single to left. Pesky then flew out to Hank Bauer in left and Bauer tried to double off Dom at first. His throw struck a photographer in the runway outside the Red Sox dugout and Dom went over to third. He scored the tying run when Ted Williams doubled to center on a drive that Joe DiMaggio just missed making a miraculous shoestring catch on.

Singles by Stirnweiss, Henrich, Joe D. and Bobby Brown's sacrifice fly put the Yankees ahead 4 to 2 in the fifth inning. They made it 6 to 2 in the sixth as Kramer was finally taken out. Niarhos doubled off the left-field wall and scored on a single by Vic Raschi. Raschi took second when Dom's throw bounced away from Billy Hitchcock, and moved to third on Stirnweiss' sacrifice bunt. He scored on Henrich's high bouncer to second.

For five innings it looked like Raschi might get his first major league victory over the Sox. With any kind of break, he might have had a shutout going into the last of the sixth. Then the Sox finally caught up with him. Raschi was not sharp and the Sox batters were looking over pitches and getting ahead of the count. When he was forced to come in with a good pitch, they would hit it hard. That strategy paid off in the sixth. Wally Moses started with a single and Billy Goodman walked on a three and two pitch. Tebbetts singled to left to load the bases and Hitchcock lined a single to right that scored two runs. Stan Spence was then sent up to bat for Dave Ferriss, who had come in to relieve Kramer. Spence lined a single to right on the first pitch and scored Tebbetts, sending Hitchcock over to third. That ended Raschi's day and in came Spec Shea. Shea put an end to the uprising and got Dom DiMaggio to hit a grounder back to him. He trapped Hitchcock between third and home and then tagged him out. He then erased Pesky, but Ted Williams hit a smash that Henrich made a great backhanded stop on, just off the ground. That ended the rally, but the Sox cut the lead down to 6 to 5.

The Sox finally tied it up in the eighth-inning when Jake Jones batted for Earl Johnson and drew a walk. Dom belted one to left on which Bauer almost made a wonderful catch, but it bounced off his glove for a double, moving Jones over to third. Sam Mele was brought in to run for Jones and he scored the tying run on Pesky's long fly to right, that sent the game into overtime.

The over throw from Hank Bauer, who tried to double up Dom DiMaggio at first base, hit photographer Dave Wurzel during the third inning. The ball bounced onto the playing field and Yankee catcher Gus Niarhos grabbed the ball and threw out DiMaggio as he tried to get to second base. Home plate umpire Bill McKinley waived Dom out and manager Joe McCarthy led the charge in a protest. Apparently McKinley didn't see the ball hit Wurzel, which would have meant the ball was dead. But third base umpire Ed Rommell did see what happened and overruled McKinley, ordering DiMaggio to move over to third. On overthrows, a runners permitted one base besides the one he is trying to reach, if the ball goes off the playing field. As a result, general manager Joe Cronin called the dugout and ordered all the photographers off the field.

Joe DiMaggio's grand slam was his second of the season. The Yankees have seven as a club when Tommy Henrich delivered four times to equal and all time record. It was DiMaggio's 34th home run of the year and gave him 134 RBIs, well ahead of runner up Vern Stephens (122 RBI, 27HRs) in both these departments.

The best catch of the day was made by Wally Moses who robbed Henrich of a home run in the third inning. Moses went into the stands in right field, to grab a tremendous drive over the little wall. Billy Goodman extended his hitting streak to 13 games.

The Cleveland Indians kept pace with the Red Sox by beating the Detroit Tigers 10 to 1. Gene Bearden went the distance for Cleveland, allowing six hits and one run. Joe Gordon hit his 25th home run in the sixth inning.. Both Ken Keltner and manager Lou Boudreau went three for four to lead the Indians. The Indians remain 3 1/2 games behind the Red Sox and one game behind the Yankees.

 

F   E   N   W   A   Y     P   A   R   K

 

 

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

 

R

H

E

 
 

NEW YORK YANKEES

2

0

0

0

2

2

0

0

0

5

 

11

14

3

 
 

BOSTON RED SOX

1

0

1

0

0

3

0

1

0

0

 

6

15

2

 

 

 W-Spec Shea (9-10)
L-Earl Caldwell (2-6)
Attendance - 27,329

 2B-Rizzuto (NY), Niarhos (NY), Bauer (NY)

 HR-Henrich (NY), Niarhos (NY)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AB

R

H

AVG

 

 

Dom DiMaggio cf 3 1 1 .278  

 

Johnny Pesky 3b 4 2 1 .284  

 

Ted Williams lf 5 1 2 .366  

 

Vern Stephens ss 2 1 1 .283  

 

Wally Moses rf 3 1 1 .246  

 

Bobby Doerr ph 1 0 0 .290  

 

Sam Mele rf 0 0 0 .229  

 

Billy Goodman 1b 2 1 1 .315  

 

Birdie Tebbetts c 3 1 0 .280  

 

Billy Hitchcock 2b 4 0 2 .296  

 

Ellis Kinder p 2 1 0 .102  
               
    IP H ER BB SO  

 

Ellis Kinder 9 8 2 1 3  

 

 

         

 

 

 

1948 AMERICAN LEAGUE STANDINGS

 

 

BOSTON RED SOX 84 48 -

 

 

New York Yankees 81 52 3 1/2

 

 

Cleveland Indians 80 53 4 1/2

 

 

Philadelphia Athletics 76 59 9 1/2

 

 

Detroit Tigers 62 66 20

 

 

St. Louis Browns 52 77 30 1/2

 

 

Washington Senators 49 85 36

 

 

Chicago White Sox 44 88 40