TEBBETTS TAGS HENRICH AT HOME
THE CURSE OF
THE BAMBINO, PART 4
FALLING SHORT AT THE END AGAIN
The Red Sox catch the Yankees
and tie them for first place
September 25, 1949
... The long and stumbling chase of the New
York Yankees since the start of the season, finally stopped on game
#148, when the Red Sox caught them in a 4 to 1 victory. The Sox, who
were 11 games behind on July 4th, came all the way back to tie the
Yankees for first place at 93-55. Mel Parnell pitched a four hitter,
to earn his 25th win of the season.
In the first inning, the Red Sox loaded the bases with nobody out, but
couldn't score off Allie Reynolds. Dom DiMaggio lined a single to left and
scooted over to third when Johnny Pesky bounced a double over Billy Johnson's
head into left field. Ted Williams was given an intentional pass to load the
bases, but Vern Stephens popped out to Phil Rizzuto. Bobby Doerr finally slapped
the ball back to Reynolds, who got out of trouble by starting a fast doubleplay
with a throw to the plate.
A great throw by Al Zarilla in right field, and an equally brilliant tag at
home by Birdie Tebbetts, was something to cheer about in the Yankee half of the
second inning. Tommy Henrich started it with a line drive double down the
right-field line, that was only fair by inches and he advanced to third on
Johnson's grounder to Doerr. Johnny Lindell then hit a fairly deep fly ball to
right. Zarilla moved back, tapped his glove, and broke in for the ball. Henrich
took off for home and Zarilla threw toward the plate. The cagey Tebbetts tried
to lure Henrich into thinking that a play would not be possible, standing about
two feet behind the plate with his hand on his hips. With Henrich about to slide
across, Tebbetts moved forward, caught the ball and reached back to tag Henrich.
The tag and his slide were a split second apart and umpire Joe Paparella, tore
off his mask and lifted his hand for the out sign.
SILVERA GETS CARRIED OFF
Parnell had a hand and setting up a pair of runs in the Red Sox second
inning. After Zarilla had popped out, Billy Goodman got the first of his three
singles. Tebbetts flew deep to Bauer in right, for the second out. Parnell, a
notorious first ball hitter, smashed a fastball from Reynolds into centerfield
for a base hit. DiMaggio was up next and one of his foul balls struck catcher
Charley Silvera and knocked him unconscious. He had to be carried off the field
but was fine after the game.
Reynolds went on to walk DiMaggio and his wildness carried on for three
pitches against Pesky. When he grooved the next pitch to Johnny, he drilled it
to left-field for a base hit that scored two runs.
Both Parnell and Reynolds coasted along until the fifth inning. In the
Yankees half, they reached Parnell for three straight singles and one run after
one out. Another great play saved Parnell from further trouble when Reynolds hit
a ball to Pesky, who threw over to Bobby Doerr at second to snuff out Jerry
Coleman. Coleman tried to take out Doerr, but Bobby's throw to Goodman was
accurate, just as a split second before he was knocked to the ground.
Then to give Parnell a little insurance, Ted Williams slammed his 43rd home
run in the seventh inning after Pesky had singled for his third hit, with two
men out, making it 4 to 1. Parnell gave up a walk to Johnny Mize in the eighth,
but after that Yankees went out in order in the ninth-inning.