spits and gets fined ...
ON THIS DATE (August 7, 1956) ... Ted Williams drew a game-winning base on balls, quickly followed by the heaviest fine in major league history for a spitting tantrum, in a game where the Red Sox edged the Yankees, 1-0, in 11 innings.
General Manager Joe Cronin's levy of a $5000 penalty on Ted was matched only once before, when Miller Huggins fined Babe Ruth for the same amount in 1926.
With the bases loaded and nobody out in the 11th inning, Williams walked to force in the winning run. As the game-ending walk was issued, Ted tossed his bat some 40 feet into the air in a gesture of contempt, both at the pitcher who robbed him of a chance to hit, and at the crowd.
Two Yankee errors touched off the fateful inning and a walk to Billy Klaus had loaded the bases. It spelled the end for Don Larsen who had pitched a great game, giving up only four singles. Tommy Byrne had been brought in to pitch to Ted and couldn't get the job done. He walked Williams on a 3-2 pitch, to force in pinch-runner Billy Consolo with the winning run.
Yankee thirdbaseman, Andy Carey had booted Nixon's grounder to start the inning. Billy Consolo came in to run and Billy Goodman tried to bunt him over, but Bill Skowron threw the ball into center field, trying to get the runner. Klaus walked, bringing in Byrne.
The game went into extra innings due to two brilliant doubleplays by Don Buddin, that rescued Nixon in the eighth and ninth innings. The Sox missed a golden opportunity to put it away in the 10th inning. Jackie Jensen, who had collected three of the Sox four hits, opened with a double high off the wall. It just missed being a home run. Jimmy Piersall laid down a bunt, but Larsen was able to throw out Jensen at third. He then got Sammy White on a ground out and struck out pinch-hitter, Dick Gernert to end the threat.
Ted had put on quite the demonstration. In the top of the 11th, he dropped a routine fly ball, hit to him by Mickey Mantle for a two-base error, and was booed by the crowd. On the very next play, however, Yogi Berra hit a smash into left center. Ted sprinted over, jumped up against the scoreboard, and with his outstretched glove, snared the liner. The boos turned immediately into cheers.
As he ran off the field, Ted was quite annoyed and spat three times at the crowd. He first carefully aimed at the fans behind the dugout and then turned toward the press box and spat at them. When he got into the dugout, he grabbed his glove, waved toward the fans between third base and the Yankee dugout, and spit at them.
Willard Nixon had tossed a seven hitter in getting the win, his 10th lifetime against New York. He has only lost to the Yankees five times.