DOM & JOE DiMAGGIO
THE CURSE OF
THE BAMBINO, PART 3
SUBWAY SERIES DISAPPEARS ...
The Sox win, the Indians lose,
they're all tied up
October 3, 1948
... While the Red Sox were belting Yankees
into submission by a score of 10 to 5, before 31,354 crazy fans at
Fenway Park, the Detroit Tigers handed the Indians a 7 to 1 setback.
Thus, there is a tie for first place with identical 96-58 season
records. Never in the 48 year history of the American League, have
two teams finished in a tie at the conclusion of the 154 game
schedule until today.
Two games behind, with only four left to
play, the Red Sox won all four, while Cleveland split the rest of their
schedule, making a playoff necessary. Power was the weapon the Sox employed to
battle their way to a victory. They staged two uproarious innings to clinch the
win. They hammered four Yankee pitchers to the tune of 15 hits and 24 bases.
Joe DiMaggio, playing with a sore
leg could have sat out this meaningless game. It meant nothing to the
Yankees, but he wanted to beat his brother and the rival Red Sox. This was
not a meaningless game to him. He started things off for the Yankees,
staking them to an early lead by doubling in Tommy Henrich in the first inning,
to give the Yankees putting them up 1 to 0. They built that up
into a 2 to 0 advantage in the next inning. A base on balls put Sox starter, Joe
Dobson, in trouble when he passed Hank Bauer. Singles by Charlie Slivera and
Snuffy Stirnweiss then brought Bauer home.
For two innings Yankee starter, Bob Porterfield, was almost untouchable.
Billy Goodman singled off his glove for the only base hit he allowed. But a
five-run explosion knocked out Porterfield in the third inning. Dom DiMaggio
lined a sharp drive into right field for a base hit to start it off. Then Ted
Williams stepped back from an inside pitch and sliced one into left field for a
double. Dom sprinted around the bases and scored easily with the first Red Sox
run. Vern Stephens then came up and bounced a single off the glove of Bobby
Brown into short left field, that held Williams up at third. Now Bobby Doerr
took a shot a Porterfield and it was a hot shot liner to right-center. Yogi
Berra came close to grabbing it with a backhanded stab, but the ball broke
through him and rolled out to the edge of the Sox bullpen. Williams walked home
and Stephens, with a burst the speed, raced all the way to the plate. He slid
underneath Charlie Slivera and put the Sox out in front 3 to 2. Porterfield then
walked Stan Spence and Billy Goodman lined a single to right that scored Doerr
and let Spence scamper over to third. That was it for Porterfield and in came
Vic Raschi. He got Birdie Tebbetts to hit a grounder to short, forcing Goodman
at second, but on the play Spence was able to score and make it 5 to 2. From
there the Red Sox didn't look back, but the Yankees made it tough.
Dobson couldn't keep the three run lead and had to be relieved in the fifth
when the Yankees pulled up to within one run. Phil Rizzuto opened up with a base
hit and after Tommy Henrich flied out, Brown doubled down the left-field line to
put Rizzuto on third. Then Joe DiMaggio blasted a one and one serve over the
left-field fence for two runs, making it 5 to 4. Earl Johnson came in during
this emergency and got pinch-hitter Johnny Lindell to hit into a doubleplay. But
the game was by no means over.
Up only a run, the Sox caught fire again in their half of the sixth. Dom
DiMaggio furnished the spark. Raschi's first serve to Dom was taken for a ride
into left field screen for his ninth homer of the year. The Sox ended up scoring
four runs before the inning was over. Johnny Pesky beat out a bunt and after Ted
popped out to Brown, Vern Stephens came to the plate and unloaded on a fastball
for his 29th home run. When Bobby Doerr followed with a single, Allie Reynolds
came in to pitch for New York. Billy Goodman singled off him and brought Doerr
home with the inning's fourth run, and the Sox were comfortably out in front 10
But the Yankees didn't fold. In the top of the seventh they loaded the bases
on Johnson. Now Dave Ferriss was called on. He came out of nowhere, and halted
the Yankee attack over the final 2 2/3 innings to help keep the Sox alive.
While this was going on at Fenway, in Cleveland it was a different story. It
was in the third inning here, and the Red Sox had been two runs behind, scored
three times and had two runners on base with one out. Billy Goodman was at bat
when the crowd started to scream. Everyone thought the crowd was trying to work
on Porterfield and shake his poise. But there was a different sort of note in
the crowd's voice. There were portable radios in the stands and the customers
had just heard about the third inning in Cleveland. The Tigers had a run home
and the bases were filled with one out. Then came another flash. Dick Wakefield
had doubled off Bob Feller past Ken Keltner at third and it brought the crowd to
their feet screaming and cheering. Meanwhile, Billy Goodman singled, to drive in
the Red Sox fourth run.
Bob Feller had failed in one of his biggest moments of the season. He was
driven from the box and his opponent, Hal Newhowser hurled a brilliant, five
hit, 7 to 1 over the Indians that sent them back here. At 9 PM, the Indians were
in low spirits, left Cleveland and will arrive here at 10 AM for a quick
breakfast and an unexpected return to Fenway Park.