& MGR. JOE McCARTHY
THE CURSE OF
THE BAMBINO, PART 4
FALLING SHORT AT THE END AGAIN
McDermott's major league
debut leads in a doubleheader sweep
of the White Sox
June 17, 1949 ... For
the second time in five days, the Chicago White Sox helped the Red
Sox break their losing streak. After a long pair battles, the Sox won
a day and evening doubleheader, 4 to 3 and 10 to 8.
afternoon game, the Red Sox shook off their first inning jitters to help Joe
Dobson get his fifth win of the year. Vern Stephens drove home the winning run
in the ninth-inning, but Birdie Tebbetts' hitting and good throwing arm, led the
Red Sox in the contest.
In the first inning the Red Sox continued their habit of letting the visitors
score the first time. Dave Philley doubled to right and advanced to third when
Al Zarilla bobbled the ball. Charlie Kress walked, but was caught stealing by
Tebbetts. Walks to Metkovich and Michaels loaded the bases and Bud Souchock
tripled them all in, and the White Sox were up 3 to 0.
In the fourth inning, Stephens walked, Zarilla doubled him in and Tebbetts
knocked in Zarilla with a single to right for two runs. But the Red Sox were
still behind 3 to 2. Bobby Doerr's base hit, an infield out, that moved him to
second and a single to left by Tebbetts, tied up the game in the eighth-inning.
With one out in the ninth-inning, Johnny Pesky slid into first base to beat a
close play. Howie Judson walked Ted Williams and Stephens drilled a single just
inside the foul line in left, to drive in Pesky with the walkoff run and a 4 to
Although he required the assistance of Tex Hughson and Walt Masterson in the
evening game, rookie Mickey McDermott won his first major-league game, before
31,446 fans. He pitched three-hit ball for seven innings, but wildness and a
fielding miscue permitted five White Sox runs, putting a huge lead by the Red
Sox in danger. McDermott walked nine, hit one batter, and struck out four.
Home runs by Ted Williams, Vern Stephens and Matt Batts enabled McDermott to
win his first game. He was rushed up from Louisville over the weekend to help
the Red Sox faltering pitching staff.
In the first inning, McDermott gave the customers something to shout about.
He set down the White Sox in order and for the first time since they been back
home, the Red Sox didn't find themselves losing when they came to bat in the
But McDermott showed signs of wildness. He walked George Metkovich to start
the second inning and then walked Charlie Kress and Floyd Baker. In the meantime
Metkovich scored on a single by Don Wheeler and Kress scored when Mickey walked
Fred Hancock, giving Chicago a 2 to 0 lead.
That lead was wiped out in the Red Sox half of the third inning. Billy
Hitchcock doubled to start it off and Pesky singled, sending Billy over to
third. Then Ted hit one of his longest drives into the right-field bleachers,
landing just by the exit ramp, putting the Red Sox out front, 3 to 2.
Stephens followed Williams with a single to left, but Bobby Doerr erased him
by hitting in to a doubleplay. Then Zarilla doubled and scored on Tommy
O'Brien's base hit. Batts followed by lifting one into the left-field net for
the sixth Red Sox run.
The Sox added two more runs in the fourth. Following a walk to Williams,
Stephens lined one over the wall in left-center. It gave Vern the major league
lead in home runs with 16 to Ted's 15. A double by O'Brien, a single by Batts
and a walk to McDermott put up two more runs in the fifth that were scored when
Hitchcock hit into a doubleplay and Pesky singled through second into right
The White Sox whittled at the 10 to 2 lead in the sixth, by scoring three
runs. When Wheeler singled and McDermott walked Baker in the eighth, he was
retired in favor of Hughson. He left the mound to a standing ovation from the
Fenway fans. Hughson got out of the jam, by retiring the next three batters.
Then in the ninth-inning Hughson got into trouble by walking Michaels to
start the inning. He went to second on a passed ball and scored on a single by
Metkovich. Kress singled to right to score Michaels, and Wheeler singled up the
middle to count Metkovich. After Baker singled to load the bases, Masterson came
into the game and after getting a fly ball out, walked Luke Appling to score
another run. He ended the game by getting Philley to ground out.
The defense of play of the day came by Bobby Doerr. To cap a brilliant
performance in the field, Doerr ran into right field for a great over the
shoulder catch on a little blooper by Fred Hancock in the night game.