1950 October


1st  In Robin Roberts’ third start in 5 days, Dick Sisler’s dramatic homerun off Don Newcombe in the 10th clinches the pennant 4–1 for the Whiz Kids. It is the Phillies’ first pennant in 35 years. In the play that sets the stage for Sisler’s heroics, CF Richie Ashburn, playing shallow, throws out Dodger runner Cal Abrams at the plate in the bottom of the 9th. Abrams will later say, “I think they should have held me at 3rd,” while Dodgers’ skipper Burt Shotton, commenting on having Duke Snider hitting away, “I should have bunted. If you don’t believe me, look in the newspapers.” Brooklyn’s only score comes when Pee Wee Reese hits a drive into the screen over the wall in right field. The ball falls on top of the wall and bounces up and down long enough for Reese to leg out an inside-the-park HR. Roberts wins his 20th, the first 20-game winner for the Phils since Pete Alexander in 1917.

Gus Zernial of the White Sox hits one homer in a 4-3 first-game win over the visiting Browns. He adds three more in the nightcap, a 10-6 loss, to tie an AL record for a twinbill and set a club record with 29 homers, 10 of which came against St. Louis. Zeke Bonura held the Sox homer record with 27, set in 1934, and tied by Kuhel in 1940. Zernial also sets the AL mark for homers in October. Bill Wight bests Ned Garver in the opener, going hitless while doing it and ending the year with 61 hitless at bats, an AL record. For a while he will hold the ML record until Bob Buhl tops him in the NL.

Ted Williams has 4 hits to lead the Red Sox to a 7–3, win over the Series-bound Yankees. Williams has three RBIs to finish with 97 in 89 games. With many regulars sitting out, rookie Ernie Nevel gives up 4 runs in three innings to take the loss. Lou Burdette gives up a run in the 4th before Lopat and Eddie (not Whitey yet) Ford also appear. Buddy Rosar’s two-run homer, off Ford, completes Boston’s scoring. Harry Taylor goes the distance for his 2nd win. Goodman, who hasn’t played since pinch hitting twice in a twinbill loss to Washington 4 days ago, wins the AL batting title with a .354 average. The Sox have the solace of leading the majors in scoring for the third straight year: the next AL team to do that will be the Red Sox of 2003-05. They also set a ML record for OBP with a startling .385.

2nd  Dom DiMaggio of the Red Sox is the AL leader in steals with 15, the lowest figure ever recorded and a reflection of the emphasis on heavy hitting throughout the season. The younger DiMag made his contribution there as well, batting a career-high .328, tying for the lead with 11 triples, and leading the AL with 131 runs. His brother Joe led with a .585 slugging percentage despite his August slump. For the second straight year, two Red Sox tie for the top spot in RBIs, as Vern Stephens and Walt Dropo drive in 144 apiece. Last year, Stephens tied with Williams for the lead at 159. Dropo drives in his 144 in just 136 games, the first player to top 100 with more ribbies than games played.

3rd  Baseball rules that Phils lefty Curt Simmons cannot play in the WS despite his being on furlough from the Army.

4th  Relief ace Jim Konstanty of the Phils starts and loses to Vic Raschi and the Yankees in Philadelphia 1–0 in Game 1 of the WS. Bobby Brown doubles and comes around on 2 long flies to score the lone run.

The Columbus Clippers (AA) win the Little World Series 4 games to 1 with a 6–3 victory over the Baltimore Orioles (IL).

5th  Allie Reynolds and the Yankees win again over ace Robin Roberts 2–1 in 10 innings in Philadelphia. Joe DiMaggio’s leadoff HR in the 10th inning is the game winner.

6th  Tom Ferrick and the Yanks go up 3 games to none, with a 3–2 win over Russ Meyer and the Phils at Yankee Stadium.

7th  Whitey Ford wins his first WS game, 5–2, over Bob Miller at the Stadium. The 4-game sweep gives the Yankees their 13th World Championship. Infielder Jerry Coleman is named the MVP of the Series.

9th  Yankees manager Casey Stengel signs a 2-year pact estimated at between $65,000 and $80,000 a year.

10th  The Chicago White Sox hire Seattle Rainiers (PCL) manager Paul Richards as their manager for 1951 ushering in the era of the “Go Go” Sox. Chicago, which stole an ML-low 19 bases in 1950, will top the majors next year with 99.

With Hodges their first baseman for the next decade, the Dodgers trade two minor league first basemen, Dee Fondy and Chuck Connors, to the Cubs for veteran catcher Hank Edwards and cash. Edwards will be waived to the Reds on July 21, while Fondy will win the first base job with Chicago. Connor will end up with LA (PCL) and soon start his movie career.

11th  Oakland (PCL) trades Ray Noble, Artie Wilson and Al Gettel to the New York Giants for Bert Haas, Joe Lafata, Bill Ayers, Wes Bailey and $125,000. Wilson is a former PCL and Negro League batting champion who was a mentor to Willie Mays.

16th  The Brooklyn Dodgers fail to renew Branch Rickey’s contract as president.

Manager Eddie Dyer is out after 5 seasons with the St. Louis Cardinals. He will return to off-season oil and real estate businesses in Houston.

18th  Connie Mack retires after an amazing 50 years as the manager of the Philadelphia Athletics. Jimmy Dykes replaces him. Mack maintains his position as president of the club.

26th  The Baseball Writers of America select Yankee SS Phil Rizzuto as the AL MVP. Billy Goodman is a distant second.

Branch Rickey resigns as president of the Brooklyn Dodgers and Walter O’Malley succeeds him. Rickey sells his 25 percent interest in the club for a reported $1.05 million.