TEBBETTS, PARNELL & STEPHENS
THE CURSE OF
THE BAMBINO, PART 4
FALLING SHORT AT THE END AGAIN
Vern Stephens victimizes Gumpert
for the second time in a week
May 17, 1949 ... Randy
Gumpert of the Chicago White Sox, for the second time in a week,
threw Vern Stephens a pitch he liked and the ball was hit out of the
ballpark. This time it was into the left-field net in the
eighth-inning, with a man aboard, to give Mel Parnell his fifth
victory, 4 to 3, before 11,352 fans at Fenway Park.
It was the
third time in six games that Stephens had hit a home run to give Parnell the
win. But manager of the White Sox, Jack Onslow, was also victimized to a great
extent, by the overzealous hustle of his team. Gordon Goldsberry, his first
baseman, was cut down during a White Sox rally in the eighth inning, trying to
get to third base on Luke Appling's single to center.
The White Sox had already scored two runs in the inning, to take a 3 to 2
lead. The inning started when Frank Baker was walked by Parnell. Don Wheeler
then singled to center as Baker moved over to second. Gumpert sacrificed them up
one base and Jerry Scala lined a single to right that scored Wheeler. Gumpert
moved to second and then went over to third, when Goldsberry forced Scala at
second. That brought up Appling who lined a single to center and Dom DiMaggio
cut down Goldsberry at third, as he was trying to take the extra base. That
ended the rally.
In the fourth inning, the White Sox aggression cost them another time.
Appling was on second and Gus Zernial was on first. Appling decided he would try
to steal third and Johnny Pesky almost fell asleep waiting him to get there.
Gumpert pitched great ball himself over the first six innings, allowing only
two hits. One was a double by Parnell in the third and another was a two base
smash by Al Zarilla.
But in the seventh, down 1-0, Zarilla doubled again. This time Billy
Hitchcock lined a single to left that scored him with the tying run. Hitch went
to second on the throw to the plate. Birdie Tebbetts dented the wall on
Gumpert's first pitch, for a double, giving the Red Sox a 2 to 1 lead.
The White Sox jumped ahead in the eighth on a walk in three singles. It was
there that Goldsberry got a taste of Dom's throwing arm.
Down 3 to 2, the Red Sox came up in the eighth and after Pesky had flied out,
Ted Williams lined a double off the left centerfield wall. A moment later
Gumpert served up a curveball to Vern Stephens and the Red Sox were out in front
to stay, 4 to 3.