THE CURSE OF
THE BAMBINO, PART 4
FALLING SHORT AT THE END AGAIN
Vern Stephen's wins this game with a
12th inning walk-off grand slam
August 13, 1949 ... Vern
Stephens clouted his 30th home run of the year, a grand slam in the
bottom of the 12th, giving the Red Sox a walkoff 5 to 1 thriller over
the Washington Senators at Fenway Park.
It carried Ellis Kinder to his 14th victory the year and kept the Red Sox 4
1/2 games behind the New York Yankees. Kinder had pitched 11 scoreless innings,
escaping one jam after another. He had allowed Washington a run in the first
inning on four consecutive singles. It was Kinder's fourth consecutive victory,
and his 10th of his last 11 decisions.
Mickey Harris, who went to Washington in the Walt Masterson deal, was chased
in the sixth inning when the Red Sox tied the game. A single to Ted Williams and
a walk to Bobby Doerr, preceded a line drive base hit to right-field by Al
Zarilla, that scored Williams.
Joe Haynes came in in the seventh inning and kept the Red Sox from scoring
until the 12th, when Haynes walked Kinder at the start of the inning. Kinder was
sacrificed over by Dom DiMaggio and Johnny Pesky rolled a softy down to Sam
Dente, the shortstop. In his anxiety to get Kinder at second, he fumbled the
ball and Pesky was safe. Everybody in the ballpark knew that Washington manager,
Joe Kuhel, would intentionally walk Ted Williams and he did.
Rain had held up the game for 35 minutes at the start and a raw drizzle was
still descending when Vern Stephens came to bat. Haynes first pitch was down the
middle and Stephens hit a well stroked drive that soared into the net in left
Stephens blast put him one ahead of Williams in the American League home run
derby and ten ahead of him in the RBI contest, with 125. Williams, who scored
ahead of Stephens, waited at the plate and gave him a pat on the butt while the
The Red Sox have won 16 out of 20 games at home. During the stretch they
picked up three full games on the Yankees. The victory kept he Red Sox in second
place, a full game ahead of the Cleveland Indians. The Senators have now lost 26
of their last 30 games.