Dom DiMaggio leads the Red Sox to force
a one game playoff with the Indians

DOM & JOE DIMAGGIO

ON THIS DATE (October 3, 1948) ... While the Red Sox were belting Yankees into submission by a score of 10 to 5, before 31,354 crazy fans at Fenway Park, the Detroit Tigers handed the Indians a 7 to 1 setback. Thus, there is a tie for first place with identical 96-58 season records. Never in the 48 year history of the American League, have two teams finished in a tie at the conclusion of the 154 game schedule until today.

Two games behind, with only four left to play, the Red Sox won all four, while Cleveland split the rest of their schedule, making a playoff necessary. Power was the weapon the Sox employed to battle their way to a victory. They staged two uproarious innings to clinch the win. They hammered four Yankee pitchers to the tune of 15 hits and 24 bases.

Joe DiMaggio, playing with a sore leg could have sat out this meaningless game.  It meant nothing to the Yankees.  But he wanted to beat his brother and the rival Red Sox.  This was not a meaningless game to him.  He started things off for the Yankees, staking them to an early lead by doubling in Tommy Henrich in the first inning, to give the Yankees a one run lead. They built that up into a 2 to 0 advantage in the next inning. Again a base on balls put Sox starter, Joe Dobson, in trouble when he passed Hank Bauer. Singles by Charlie Slivera and Snuffy Stirnweiss then brought Bauer home.

For two innings Yankee starter, Bob Porterfield, was almost untouchable. Billy Goodman singled off his glove for the only base hit he allowed. But a five-run explosion knocked out Porterfield in the third inning. Dom DiMaggio lined a sharp drive into right field for a base hit to start it off. Then Ted Williams stepped back from an inside pitch and sliced one into left field for a double. Dom sprinted around the bases and scored easily with the first Red Sox run. Vern Stephens then came up and bounced a single off the glove of Bobby Brown into short left field, that held Williams up at third. Now Bobby Doerr took a shot a Porterfield and it was a hot shot liner to right-center. Yogi Berra came close to grabbing it with a backhanded stab, but the ball broke through him and rolled out to the edge of the Sox bullpen. Williams walked home and Stephens, with a burst the speed, raced all the way to the plate. He slid underneath Charlie Silvera and put the Sox out in front 3 to 2. Porterfield then walked Stan Spence and Billy Goodman lined a single to right that scored Doerr and let Spence scamper over to third. That was it for Porterfield and in came Vic Raschi. He got Birdie Tebbetts to hit a grounder to short, forcing Goodman at second, but on the play Spence was able to score and make it 5 to 2. From there the Red Sox didn't look back, but the Yankees made it tough.

Dobson couldn't keep the three run lead and had to be relieved in the fifth when the Yankees pulled up to within one run. Phil Rizzuto opened up with a base hit and after Tommy Henrich flied out, Brown double down the left-field line to put Rizzuto on third. Then Joe DiMaggio blasted a one and one serve over the left-field fence for two runs, making it 5 to 4. Earl Johnson came in during this emergency and got pinch-hitter Johnny Lindell to hit into a doubleplay. But the game was by no means over.

JOE DiMAGGIO

Up only a run, the Sox caught fire again in their half of the sixth. Dom DiMaggio furnished the spark. Raschi's first serve to Dom was taken for a ride into left field screen for his ninth homer of the year. The Sox ended up scoring four runs before the inning was over. Johnny Pesky beat out a bunt and after Ted popped out to Brown, Vern Stephens came to the plate and unloaded on a fastball for his 29th home run. When Bobby Doerr followed with a single, Allie Reynolds came in to pitch for New York. Billy Goodman singled off him and brought Doerr home with the inning's fourth run, and the Sox were comfortably out in front 10 to 4.

But the Yankees didn't fold. In the top of the seventh they loaded the bases on Johnson. Now Dave Ferriss was called on. He came out of nowhere, and halted the Yankee attack over the final 2 2/3 innings to help keep the Sox alive.

While this was going on at Fenway, in Cleveland it was a different story. It was in the third inning here, and the Red Sox had been two runs behind, scored three times and had two runners on base with one out. Billy Goodman was at bat when the crowd started to scream. Everyone thought the crowd was trying to work on Porterfield and shake his poise. But there was a different sort of note in the crowd's voice. There were portable radios in the stands and the customers had just heard about the third inning in Cleveland. The Tigers had a run home and the bases were filled with one out. Then came another flash. Dick Wakefield had doubled off Bob Feller past Ken Keltner at third and it brought the crowd to their feet screaming and cheering. Meanwhile, Billy Goodman singled, to drive in the Red Sox fourth run.

Bob Feller had failed in one of his biggest moments of the season. He was driven from the box and his opponent, Hal Newhowser hurled a brilliant, five hit, 7 to 1 over the Indians that sent them back here. At 9 PM, the Indians were in low spirits, left Cleveland and will arrive here at 10 AM for a quick breakfast and an unexpected return to Fenway Park.

 

F   E   N   W   A   Y     P   A   R   K

 

 

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

 

R

H

E

 
 

NEW YORK YANKEES

1

1

0

0

2

0

1

0

0

 

 

5

11

0

 
 

BOSTON RED SOX

0

0

5

0

0

4

1

0

x

 

 

10

15

0

 

 

W-Earl Johnson (10-4)
L-Bob Porterfield (5-3)
Attendance - 31,304

 

2B-J.DiMaggio (NY), Brown (NY),
Williams (2)(Bost), Doerr (Bost), Ferriss (Bost)

HR-D.DiMaggio (Bost), Stephens (Bost)