1948 September

1st The host Braves split a pair with the Reds, as Johnny Vander Meer bests Warren Spahn, 3–1 in the opener. Glenn Elliott, just up from the AAA Brewers, is awarded the victory in the 11–1 nitecap, even though he pitches just 3 innings. Elliott collides with Ted Kluszewski while running to 1B and is injured after pitching his only innings of 1948. Reliever Clyde Shoun throws the last 6 innings.

2nd Commissioner Happy Chandler fines the Pirates $2,000 for violating the NL bonus rule. Pittsburgh signed M. L. Lynch as a scout while offering his son Danny a $6,000-a-year contract. Chandler interprets this as an attempt to influence the young second baseman’s decision. Danny Lynch is declared a free agent and signs with the Cubs.

3rd Jeff Heath hits a 2-run HR in the 4th inning and the Braves hold on to beat the Phillies 3–1. Johnny Sain allows just three hits in winning his 17th. With the Dodgers dropping a doubleheader to the Giants, 7–5 and 6–3, the Braves move back into 1st place.

Joe Dobson allows 4 hits and outpitches young Carl Scheib to give the Red Sox a 2–0 win over the A’s.

The Yankees move a half-game in back of the Red Sox with a sweep of the Senators, 6–2 and 5–2. Joe DiMaggio, who started the day tied with Stephens at 118 RBIs leads the way by knocking in 7 runs. Joe has a pair of homers into opener, and a 3-run inside-the-park homer in the nitecap.

At Spartanburg, the host Peaches (Tri-State League) cream Ashville, 30–6. The offense is led by 3B Len Cross who sets 4 league records going 7-for-7 with 4 home runs, 19 total bases, 12 RBIs, and 6 runs. Only one of his home runs is a solo shot as 9 of his 12 RBIs came on home runs.

4th Phils vet Schoolboy Rowe outpitches Bill Voiselle to beat the Braves, 4–3. In the nitecap Vern Bickford drives in two runs and pitches the Braves to an 8–1 win.

In a Northern League game, Ken Vangilder, pitching for St. Cloud, tosses a 10-inning no-hitter against Superior. Vangilder strikes out 12, walks four while only two of the putouts are by the outfield. He wins, 1–0.

5th The Braves Red Barrett allows 5 hits in beating the Phils, 5–1. Frank McCormick drives in three runs.

DiMaggio hits his 4th homer of the series to help the Yanks top the Senators, 5–3. With the score deadlocked at 3-3 in the 6th, Joe D ducks out of the way of a Sid Hudson brushback pitch and the ball hits his bat, dropping into RF for a double to start the 2-run rally.

Ted Williams collects 4 hits as the Red Sox top the A’s, 4–3 in 10 innings. The Sox and Yankees have each won 19 of their last 22 games.

Amarillo (West Texas-New Mexico League) OF Bob Crues hits 2 HRs against Lubbock to give him 69 for the season, tying Joe Hauser’s 1933 mark at Minneapolis. He sets an organized baseball record with 254 RBI in 140 games, hits a record 8 grand slams, while hitting .404.

6th The Pirates sweep two from the Cardinals, winning 2–1 and 4–1, and the two teams combine for just 2 strikeouts in the doubleheader, a major league record. The two also turn 13 double plays, 8 by Pittsburgh, to tie a ML mark for a twinbill. Pittsburgh turns a record tying 6 DPs in the lidlifter to back Chesnes 12th win as Kiner belts a 2-run homer, his 38th, for all the scoring. The two teams turn 13 double plays, a NL record. 2B Danny Murtaugh is in 5 of the DPs in game 1 equaling the mark first set by Detroit’s Charley O’Leary, July 23, 1905. Murtaugh’s hit streak is stopped at 23 games.

The Boston Braves increase its lead to 4 games as Warren Spahn lasts 14 innings to beat Da Bums, 2–1. Spahn twice picks off Jackie Robinson in his 5-hitter. In the 7-inning nitecap, Johnny Sain wins, 4–0. Salkeld and McCormick bat out of turn 3 times in game 2 and not till the latter’s single in the 5th is the irregularity noticed. The umps then rule he’s out of turn and he loses his hit; Salkeld’s 2 earlier hits stand. The crowd of 40,000 pushes the Braves attendance over the 1.3 million mark, a new high. Spahn and Sain will start 11 of the next 16 games.

After 2,423 times at bat, Cubs catcher Dutch Verban finally connects for his only major league home run. Dutch goes deep against Johnny Vander Meer in the first of two games, but that’s all the Cubs’ scoring, as the Reds win, 3–1. Dutch McCall takes the loss and serves up Hank Sauer’s 30th HR, tying a Reds’ club record. The Cubs win the 2nd game in eight innings, 6–2, as Bob Rush defeats Herm Wehmeier. Roy Smalley hits a 3-run HR.

At Philadelphia, the Giants sweep a pair from the Phils, winning 4–3 in 13 innings and 3–0 in 7 innings. In the nitecap the Phils manage just one hit in the first 6 innings but garner 10 walks off Curt Simmons walks 2 more batters in the 7th, and gives up 3 hits before exiting. No one in the NL has ever walked that many in that few innings. Clint Hartung is the winner.

In the twinbill split between the Tigers and the Browns the 2 teams set an AL mark by using 37 players in game 2, an 11–10 St. Louis win. Ted Gray wins the opener, 8–1.

At Chicago, the struggling Indians split a Labor Day DH with the White Sox, losing 3–1 before winning 1–0 in 7 innings. Bob Feller throws the shutout halted by darkness. The Tribe now trails the Yanks by 3 games and the Red Sox by 4 ½ games.

8th At Boston the Red Sox turn back the Yankees, 10–6, to lead by 3 games in the loss column. The Indians blow a 7–3 lead against the Tigers, but hold on to win, 8–7, in the 11th. Doby, with 4 hits, scores the winning run. The loss goes to Art Houtteman (2-16) who gives up the unearned run. Houtteman will finish with an ERA of 4.66, just slightly above the AL average of 4.28.

9th Hard-throwing Rex Barney of the Brooklyn Dodgers survives a one-hour rain delay plus showers in the 6th, 8th, and 9th innings and hurls a no-hitter, beating the New York Giants and Monte Kennedy, 2–0. It is Barney’s 10th win in 2 months, and keeps the 3rd-place Dodgers 31⁄2 games behind the NL-leading Braves.

The Braves are rained out in Philadelphia.

The Red Sox whip the Yankees, 9–4, scoring 8 runs in the 3rd. Williams (.367) has 2 hits to regain the AL lead over Boudreau.

10th The visiting Yankees whip first-place Boston, 11–6, on Joe DiMaggio’s 10th inning grand slam, off sidearmer Earl Caldwell. Each DiMaggios has 3 hits, but Joe has 5 RBIs. Boston’s lead is cut to 2 ½ games over New York, with Cleveland 3 ½ back of Boston after beating Detroit, 10–1, behind Gene Bearden.

The Braves are rained out again.

11th The Braves sweep a pair from the Phils, winning 3–1 and 13–2. Johnny Sain wins the opener over Schoolboy Rowe, with Bob Elliott providing the offense with a 3-run homer. Spahn wins the nitecap, hitting his first ML homer, off Charles Bicknell. Robin Roberts is the losing pitcher. Both Boston teams now lead their leagues by three games.

Ralph Kiner, benched by a stomach disorder, poles an 8th inning pinch grand slam to give the Pirates a 13–12 win over Chicago at Wrigley. It is the Bucco belter’s 39th homer. Pafko has a homer and 2 doubles, good for 5 ribbies, to pace the Bruins, while the Bucs Dixie Walker goes 4-for-4 with 2 walks. Elmer Riddle earns a save while his brother Johnny subs behind the plate. This is the last appearance for Johnny Riddle, who debuted in 1930. He appeared in just 98 games in his ML career.

Behind Steve Gromek and Bob Lemon, the Indians sweep two from the Browns, 4–1 and 9–1. Lemon wins his 20th, the first AL hurler to reach the mark. Cleveland now trails the Yanks by a half-game and the Red Sox by 3 ½.

New York hands the Senators their 11th straight loss, winning 6–3 behind Allie Reynolds.

The Red Sox maintain their pace with a sweep of the A’s, winning a day-night twinbill, 9–1 and 2–1. Denny Galehouse and Mel Parnell toss complete games.

12th The Phils almost derail the Braves express, stopping the league leaders, 6–4 in the first of two, then succumbing 2–1 in 13 innings in the nitecap. The Braves make 14 hits in the opener off Dutch Leonard, but the Phils total 13 hits, including Del Ennis’ 26th homer. Both teams score a run in the 3rd of the nitecap, but the Braves tally one in the 13th to win. Al Dark opens with a single, and races to 3B on Earl Torgeson’s sac bunt. Two intentional walks loads the bases, and Bill Salkeld’s sac fly brings Dark home. Del Ennis opens the Phils 10th with a triple, but Nels Potter relieves Bickford and intentionally passes two before striking out Miller and Seminick. Don Padgett then grounds out.

The second-place Pirates creep to within 3 games of the Braves by jolting the Cubs, 7–3. 40-year-old Rip Sewell (11-3) continues his mastery of the Bruins beating them for the 7th time this year and the 33rd of his career. Cubs pitchers help by handing out 14 walks.

At Fenway, the A’s score 6 runs in the 9th to defeat the first-place Red Sox, 10–4. Carl Scheib, 21, is the winner over Joe Dobson, notching his 13th win. The A’s are the only team so far this year with four pitchers with 13 or more wins.

The Indians stretch their winning streak to seven games as Sam Zoldak wins his 3rd in five days. The Tribe beat the Browns, 6–4, then settle for a 3–3 thirteen-inning tie. Karl Drews walks 8 in less than 4 innings to take the loss for the Browns. The Browns chase Satchel Paige in the 5th, but Zoldak nails down the win. Cleveland is in 3rdplace by 2 ½ games behind New York and Boston.

13th In a 3–2 loss, Cleveland P Don Black (2–2) suffers a cerebral hemorrhage while at bat in the 2nd inning against the Browns. Black’s life will hang in the balance for a week. He recovers, but his pitching days are over. Keltner sets a team mark with 10 assists at 3B.

14th Johnny Sain wins his 20th game of the year, beating the Cubs 10–3. It is the 3rd year in a row the Boston Braves ace has won 20 games. The Braves now lead the NL by 5 games. As noted by Dixie Tourangeau, the Boston Post runs a poem this Tuesday by sports editor Gerry Hern:

First we’ll use Spahn, then we’ll use Sain,

Then an off day, followed by rain.

Back will come Spahn, followed by Sain.

And followed, we hope, by two days of rain.

The poem will shortened in the public memory to “Spahn and Sain and pray for rain.”

At Cleveland, the Yankees edge the Indians, 6-5, to stay two games behind Boston, the AL leader. The Indians drop to 4 games back. For the second game in a row, Charlie Keller hits a pinch homer for New York, tying a ML record.

15th  Warren Spahn stops the Cubs, 5–2, and the Braves will have the day off tomorrow.

The White Sox score 10 runs in the 7th, 4 on a grand slam by Taffy Wright, to knock out the Red Sox, 17–10. Ted Williams, with 5 hits, leads the Red Sox, now just a game and a half ahead of New York.

16th In Detroit, Joe DiMaggio cracks his 300th homer, off Freddie Hutchinson, becoming just the 8th player to hit 300. It’s New York’s only score as they lose, 2–1. The Yankees take the nitecap, 8–4, with Joe Page the winner in relief.

Larry Doby’s grand slam in the 1st inning enables Cleveland to beat Washington, 6–3, and extends the capital crew’s losing streak to 16 games. Doby extends his hit streak to 21 games.

At St. Louis, Cliff Fannin allows 4 Boston hits through 8 innings and hangs on to beat the leading Red Sox and Mel Parnell, 3–1.

The Dodgers shrug off a first inning grand slam by Hank Sauer, off Ralph Branca, and a 4th inning solo shot by pitcher Ken Burkhart, his first ML homer, and beat the visiting Reds, 12-6. Marv Rackley has 4 singles and Jackie Robinson and Carl Furillo combine for 7 RBIs.

In Springfield, the Athletics pummel a team of Illinois amateurs, 19–3. The A’s use a new battery—P Hal Schaker and catcher Earl Brucker, a $30,000 bonus baby.

17th Six Braves, including winning pitcher Johnny Sain, drive in runs to beating the 2nd-place Pirates, 6–2. For Sain, it is his 5th win of the month and 21st of the year.

The Red Sox beat the Browns, 9–3, to hang on to first place. Bobby Doerr handles 10 chances to set a ML record of 396 consecutive chances without an error. Doerr, who returned to the lineup 2 days ago, adds a 3-run homer. Boston picks up a half game on New York, losers to Detroit.

Cleveland beats the Senators, 4–1, as Feller takes over the AL lead with 11 strikeouts.

The Phillies beat the Cubs, 6-3, pinning the loss on rookie Dutch McCall (1-13), his club-record 13th consecutive defeat. Granny Hamner hammers a 3-run homer in the 5th off Dutch and one out later, Del Ennis homers. Dutch will win his next three decisions but will be back in the minors next year.

18th Pitching with just 2 days rest, Spahn allows just 1 hit—a Johnny Hopp bounce single—through 8 innings in besting the Bucs Fritz Ostermueller, 2–1. Spahn and Bob Elliott score the runs, the latter coming home on Frank McCormick’s triple. The Bucs bunch 3 hits in the 9th for a score.

Scranton pitcher Maury McDermott tosses an 8–0 no-hitter over Utica in the Eastern League playoffs. Maury K’s 18 Blue Sox.

19th Red Barrett and Clyde Shoun combine to give the first-place Braves a 4–2 win over the Reds. Boston has 12 hits, including a homer by Bob Elliott. Eddie Stanky makes his first appearance since breaking an ankle in a collision on July 8th and pinch hits a single in the 7th. The Braves, who will be rained out tomorrow, now lead the Cards and Dodgers by six games, with the Pirates in 4th place, 8 games back.

After 18 straight losses, the 7th place Senators finally win, topping last place Chicago, 10–7 and 8–6. It is just the second time this year the Senators have reached double digits in scoring, matching last year’s futility. Leading 7-3 after 3 innings in game 2, Forrest Thompson (5-10) is lifted for relief help. When the game is called after 6 innings because of rain, Thompson is given the win, despite going 3 innings. He is the last pitcher to throw a 3-inning win in a weather-shortened game (as noted by Frank Vaccaro). After 1950, 3-inning wins in weather-shortened games are disallowed, notes Vaccaro.

For their doubleheader with the A’s, the Indians draw 75.382 to break the all-time attendance record of 2,265,512, set by the Yankees last year. The Indians don’t disappoint, sweeping the two, 5–3 and 2–0. Doby wins the opener with a 2-run homer in the bottom of the 9th, and Gromek scatters 3 hits in the nitecap. The Indians move into 2ndplace ahead of New York, winners of 1 out of 2 in St. Louis.

At Detroit, Ted Williams homers in the 9th to draw the Red Sox even with the Tigers at 3–3. But Detroit wins in the 12th on pitcher Stubby Overmire’s broken bat single, his only hit of the year. Detroit repeats in the nitecap, winning 8–6 in 8 innings as Dick Wakefield hits his 2nd homer of the day. The 2 losses leaves Boston a half-game ahead of Cleveland and one ahead of New York.

20th In the AL, the top three teams win: Cleveland beats the visiting A’s, 6-3, behind Bearden’s 16th win of the year: he’ll win 20. Boston tops the Tigers, 7-2, at Detroit, and the Yankees hold off the Browns, 8-7, in St. Louis as second baseman Joe Gordon participates in a record-tying 5 double plays. He did it also on August 5. The Sox lead the AL with Cleveland a half game back and the Yankees a game out.

21st In New York, Johnny Schmitz wins, 3–2, in a doubleheader nitecap against the Giants when Andy Pafko crashes a dramatic three-run HR in the bottom of the 9th, off Red Webb. The win snaps a 10-game Cub losing streak. The Giants manage just two hits off Schmitz, one by Webb; batters will hit just .215 against him, the best in the NL. New York takes the opener, 3-2, as Larry Jansen registers the win.

The Braves sweep a pair from the host Cards, winning 11–3 and 4–0. Sain wins the opener, knocking in two runs and scoring a pair himself. Sain will lead the NL in sacrifice hits with 16, the only pitcher ever to do so. Vern Bickford tosses a 4-hitter in the nitecap.

After all three contenders won yesterday, the Red Sox repeat with a 10–2 win over the Tigers. Mel Parnell scatters 11 hits. Boston is a game ahead of the idle Indians and 1½ ahead of the idle Yankees.

22nd In Cleveland, 76,772 fans go wild as Bob Feller tops the Red Sox 5–2 to move Cleveland into a tie for 1st place with Boston. Ken Keltner’s 3-run HR is the margin of victory. Bill Veeck, who switched the single game from an afternoon to night game, and announces that the Indians’ share of the gate will go to ailing Don Black. The Indians and Red Sox are now tied for 1st with the Yankees just a half-game back.

The Cards slow the Braves, winning, 8–2, the first loss by Boston in 9 games. Stan Musial is a one-man wrecking crew, going 5-for-5 with a double and his 38th homer of the year as Warren Spahn takes the loss. Al Brazle is the winner. Enos Slaughter has his nose broken by a line drive off the bat of teammate Nippy Jones.

At the Polo Grounds, the Cubs and Giants play their second straight doubleheader and Chicago sweeps, winning 3-2 and 11-7. Dutch McCall emerges the winner in game 2, his first victory after a franchise-record 13 straight losses. Dutch will win his next two starts as well.

23rd In Chicago, the last place White Sox, behind thirty-year-old journeyman Frank Papish (2–8) stop the Yankees, 4–2, and defeat ace Eddie Lopat. The Sox and Indians are idle.

In Detroit, Connie Mack sends 34-year-old Wally Holborow to the mound and he almost pulls it off, giving up 16 hits and losing to the Tigers, 8-7. Sam Vico wins it on a 2-run triple in the 9th. A tired Holborow knocks in three runs but blows a 7-2 lead. His only other ML win was his first start, in 1945, with the Senators. Holborow will make one more appearance before being released and returning to semi-pro baseball.

24th The Red Sox knock out Vic Raschi in the 4th inning and Ted Williams drives in three runs with a double and a bases-loaded walk. The pass is not record as an intentional walk with the bases loaded, but David Kaiser in his book Epic Season notes, “Technically it wasn’t intentional but everyone in the park seems to have understood what he was doing.” Bill Nowlin notes (Day by Day with the Red Sox) that The New York Times account of the game says, “Page solved the problem by walking Williams to force in one. Perhaps it was the smartest move he could made for Stephens ended the round with a foul pop up to Henrich.” But the Yankees whip the Red Sox, 9–6, scoring two gift runs when Ellis Kinder forgets to cover first base. Meanwhile, Cleveland snaps its seven game win streak when Detroit beats them, 4–3, behind Freddie Hutchinson’s 7-hitter. New York, Boston and Cleveland are now tied for 1st place in the AL with identical 91-56 records.

In Chicago, AL president Will Harridge tosses a coin and then announces the schedule should there be a three-way tie at the end of the season, just seven games away.

25th Boston’s Jack Kramer scatters seven hits and the Sox beat up on Allie Reynolds, sending the Chief to the showers in the 4th inning. The Red Sox win, 7–2.

Behind Gene Bearden’s 17th win, the Indians top the Tigers, 9–3.

The Giants Sheldon Jones allows 12 hits, including a homer by Jeff Heath, but still beats the Braves, 3–2. Jones drives in two runs with two hits to beat Sain. Heath has hit a home run in every NL park this season, something he did in the AL in 1946 and 1947 with the Browns. He is the first player to do it in both leagues: Mize will join him in 1952.

26th The Braves (87-60) clinch the NL flag by defeating the Giants 3–2 behind Bob Elliott’s three-run homer. They have six games to play, with an unplayed game against the Reds. Brooklyn (82-67) is six game back and the Cards (81-67) trail by 6 ½, each with six to play. The Braves will finish 61⁄2 games ahead of the Dodgers, but two days before the season is over the Braves will lose their best hitter, OF Jeff Heath, who breaks an ankle sliding home against Brooklyn. The broken ankle effectively ends his career, though he plays briefly next year for Boston and in 1950 for Seattle (PCL).

Bob Feller allows five hits and outduels Newhouser to give the Indians a 41 win over Detroit before 57,888 Tiger fans. Feller wins his 6th straight with the help of a two-run homer by Joe Gordon. Cleveland moves into first place this Sunday night after the Yankees top the Red Sox.

The Yankees Tommy Henrich reaches Mel Parnell for a two-run homer in the 1st inning and Joe DiMaggio adds another pair in the 4th inning on a single. Tommy Byrne stops the Red Sox to give New York a 6–2 win. But Gus Niarhos, NY’s starting catcher since early August, breaks his finger and is out for the year.

28th In Cleveland, 60,405 fans are on hand for “Joe Early Night.” Early, a night watchman, had written Bill Veeck asking why the average fan is never celebrated and Veeck took advantage of the promotional opportunity. The first 20,000 female fans at the stadium receive a Princess Aloha orchid flown in overnight from Hawaii, while Early receives a host of gifts including a convertible, appliances, easy chair, and a cocker spaniel. The Indians then take advantage of the White Sox, winning 11–0, behind Gene Bearden’s 18th win. Dale Mitchell hits his 4th homer of the year, and Allie Clark has a homer and three singles With the Yankees and Red Sox losing, the Indians now lead by two games with four to play. The Tribe have now won 17 of their last 20.

In Philadelphia, the A’s Carl Scheib outpitches Vic Raschi to beat the Yankees, 5–2. The 4th place A’s will finish the season at 84–70 and become the first AL team to finish above .500 and score fewer runs (724 to 735) than their opponents. The 1987 Twins will be the next and only AL team to do it. In the NL, the 1930 Pirates were the first team to accomplish the feat.

Meanwhile, at Fenway, the Red Sox lose, 4–2, as Washington’s ace Ray Scarborough (14–8) allows six hits. Because of injuries, Scarborough has won just one game in a month. After striking out in the 3rd, Williams answers the Fenway Boo Birds by letting his bat fly towards the end of the Boston dugout. In the 5th, Williams raises both index fingers after catching a fly.

Hank Arft’s 8th inning homer—the 32nd given up by Detroit’s Fred Hutchinson this year–enables the Browns to win, 5–3. Fred Sanford (12-20) wins despite giving up homers to rookie Johnny Groth and Hutchinson.

The Phils switch “bonus kids” Hugh Radcliffe (a $40,000 signee), Stan Hollmig ($25,000), and Rudy Rufer ($10,000) to Toronto, thus exposing them to the draft.

The Brooklyn football Dodgers ask waivers on Pepper Martin, because of a leg injury. The former major league star had been signed as a place kicker.

29th On two days rest, Bob Feller gives up ten hits and strikes out just three, but the Indians stop the White Sox, 5–2. Joe Gordon hits his 32nd homer and Ken Keltner hits his 31st to keep the Indians two games ahead.

The race stays tight as rookie righty Bob Porterfield gives New York a 4–2 win over the A’s. Fellow Rookie Hank Bauer belts his first major league homer, a three run shot off Dick Fowler.

Johnny Sain picks up his 23rd victory in the Braves 4–3 win over the Dodgers, but Boston loses star Jeff Heath, who snaps a bone 2 inches above the ankle sliding home. He is hitting .319 with 20 homers and will miss the Series. By special permission of commissioner Happy Chandler, the Braves add Marv Rickert as Heath’s replacement on the WS roster. Rickert spent the 1948 season at Milwaukee hitting .302 with 27 HRs.

Ellis Kinder gives the Red Sox a 5-1 win over the Senators. The Fenway fans also react to the news from Brooklyn that Braves star Jeff Heath had broken his ankle at home plate. The Red Sox players are less sympathetic since Heath, in a radio interview, said he hoped the Indians, not the Red Sox, won the AL pennant because their larger stadium would mean a bigger paycheck.

Detroit’s Hal Newhouser stops the Browns, 4–0, for his 20th win of the year.

30th The idle Indians watch their lead shaved to 1 ½ games as both the Red Sox and Yankees win. Mel Parnell stops the Senators, 7–3, for his 15th victory; In the rain at Shibe Park, the Yankees edge the A’s, 9–7. Vic Raschi pitches the 9th for a save.

St. Louis sinks the Pirates faint pennant hopes by sweeping two games, winning 6-1 and 4-1. Harry Brecheen wins his 20th in the nitecap, with the loss going to 41-year-old Fritz Ostermueller, making his final ML appearance. He ends his career at 114-115. The loss drops the Bucs to 4th place.

The Cardinals release Joe Medwick. It’s the 6th and last time the future Hall of Famer will be released.