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  • I am in the process of reading two outstanding books: [1]BURYING THE BLACKSOX by Gene Carney, and[2] EDDIE COLLINS by Rick Hunh.

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    • I am halfway thru CRAZY '08 by Cait Murphy

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      • Currently reading Baseball and Other Matters in 1941. Excellent book, well written. I enjoy Robert Creamer's writting. Recently finished The Teammates by David Halberstam. Brilliant book about the life long relationship between Red Sox players Ted Williams, Dom DiMaggio, Bobby Doerr and Johnny Pesky. This has become one of my all-time favorite baseball books. Recently read two Brooklyn Dodger related books, Pray for Gil Hodges by Thomas Oliphant and Wait Till Next Year by Doris Kearns Goodwin. They were ok, but basically memoirs of the authors youth growing up with the Dodger teams of the 40's and 50's. I think I've had my fill of the romantic notion of the Brooklyn Dodgers of that era. Was in Mesa recently and thought I would read Sweet Lou and the Cubs by George Castle. Pretty boring read and poorly written and edited. Did get a small amount of insight into the operation of the Cubs but would have to be a diehard Cubs fan to like this one.
        Hack Wilson - He was built like a beer keg and was not unfamiliar with its contents.

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        • A few months back, my mother brought me a baseball book that my father had bought, probably a few years before we lost him in Jan 2003. It is titled When The Boys Came back - Baseball and 1946. My father turned 18 in June 1945 and was in the service just a few months, mainly playing ball on a San Diego Navy base team. I think he eventually signed his first minor league contract in 1946 or 1947 and played on the 1948 Stockton Ports, which for many years had the minor league record of 26 straight victories and has been ranked as one of the best 100 minor league teams of all time.

          I have learned some amazing things. Of course we all know that many servicemen returned from WW II and the quality of play returned to higher levels.

          Here are a few notes:

          Bob Feller no-hit the Yankees in Yankee Stadium in one of his first starts since being away at war many years.

          The Red Sox started out 50-20, equaling the 1927 Yankees win % of .714.

          The Mexican League was formed and many players were contacted offering high salaries, and a few jumped.

          The Cardinals, pennant winners in 1942, 1943, 1944 had Musial and Slaughter and Kurowski return from the war, but had sold or traded in recent times Mort Cooper, Walker Cooper, Johnny Mize and Johnny Hopp ... all-stars all, then had 3 key players including Max Lanier jump to the Mexican League in the middle of the season. That they won the pennant minus all these players is amazing.

          Joe McCarthy, who some consider the greatest manager of all time, and had managed the Yankees since 1931, was fired by the Yankees in May after falling appx. 9 games behind the Red Sox

          Jackie Robinson made his pro debut with the Montreal Royals and amazed fans by going 4 x 4 in his second game with at least 1 HR and amazing base running including steals and base advancement with daring running and also spectacular fielding

          The Dodgers were led by Leo Durocher's brilliant managing and not much else to open a nice lead in the NL. Eddie Stanky had led the league in walks and runs scored in 1945 and was way ahead of that pace for 1946. Pete Reiser commented that he felt he could catch any ball that was hit and often tried to, resulting in many crashes into fences etc. which ruined a potentially great career.

          The beginnings of a player union were started when labor leader Robert Murphy formed the American Baseball Guild. The Pirates, at home in a strong union town, nearly went on strike as the beginnings of the labor movement.

          Ted Williams was coached on how to hit Rip Sewell's eephus pitch by moving forward in the box and in the 8th inning of the All Star Game, leading about 11-0, and already having had 3 hits including a home run, he moved so far ahead in the box on a 1-2 count vs. Sewell that he was way outside the batter's box and smashed another tremendous home run. As he was rounding second he passed Cardinal SS Marty Marion and said "don't you wish you could hit them that far kid?"

          1946 saw Bill Veeck take over as Indians owner and with the team out of the pennant race, he encouraged Bob Feller to go for a new single season strikeout record py pitching extra games in relief as well as his regular starts. Feller finished with 24 wins, a (believed) record of 348 strikeouts, a no-hitter, 2 one-hitters and 10 shutouts. His 371 innings pitched would be the most for the next 25 years and was generally regarded as the greatest comeback of the stars who went away to war.

          The owners, with the threat of the Mexican League and the pending new players Guild, agreed to make modifications to how they treated the players including having for the first time a minimum salary, to start paying them for spring training, to end the "10 day" termination clause, in which a team could release any player at any time and be obligated to only pay him 10 days of severance. The players for many years called the spring training money "Murphy money" after the labor leader who tried to organize them and won these few items.

          Player manager Lou Boudreau began using against Ted Williams the Boudreau Shift. Boudreau came up with the idea after an early season game in which Boudreau went 5x5 with a HR and 4 2B, but lost because Williams went like 4x4 with 3 HR. Williams refused to go to left field for easy hits, which caused the beat writers to call him stubborn and selfish. Other teams began employing the shift and Williams had a few on field temper tantrum type acts when batted balls that would otherwise have been normal hits became outs, sometimes on spectacular plays, by players who were weirdly aligned in the Boudreau shift. His mood became worse with the constant attention and grilling in the press and his average and power
          dropped moderately the second half of the season. His teammates hardly spoke to him except newly aqcuired Rudy York who challenged and spoke harshly to Williams about his attitude. When the Red SOx finally clinched the pennant after a mini-losing streak, the team hastily put together a victory party. Williams refused to attend and the party was short and not particularly sweet.

          In Montreal, Jackie Robinson ended the season as batting champ and led the league in runs scored and was voted the equivalent of the Gold Glove and the Montreal team took the flag by 19.5 games and won the junior World Series. Leo Durocher asked Branch Rickey for Robinson and/or others down the stretch to help the Dodgers in their pennant race with the Cardinals, but Rickey refused.

          The Dodgers and Cardinals finished the season in a tie for the pennant. This was the first time ever in baseball history a playoff would be needed to determine the champ. The Cards won Game 1 in STL and led 8-1 in the 9th of Game 2 when the Dodgers scored 3 times and had the bases full with the tieing run at the plate but the rally died and The Cards won the playoff 2- 0 and took the pennant.

          TBC
          Last edited by 9RoyHobbsRF; 05-06-2009, 05:36 PM.
          1. The more I learn, the more convinced I am that many players are over-rated due to inflated stats from offensive home parks (and eras)
          2. Strat-O-Matic Baseball Player, Collector and Hobbyist since 1969, visit my strat site: http://forums.delphiforums.com/GamersParadise
          3. My table top gaming blog: http://cary333.blogspot.com/

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          • Very interesting and eventful series.

            First, because the for the first time ever the World Series was delayed while one league had a playoff to determine their champion, the Red Sox decided to "stay sharp" by playing 3 practice games against a team of AL players including Joe Dimaggio, Hank Greenberg and Hal Newhouser.

            Oddsmakers were making the Sox 4-1 favorites and much of the debate was if they could sweep the Cardinals.

            The Red Sox ran into bad luck when Ted Williams was hit on the elbow with a pitch in the first practice game. He quickly went to the whirlpool as the elbow was twice its normal size. Bad luck continued as Williams caught a fall chest cold. And a writer in Boston who had it out for Williams took this opportune time to break a story that Yawkey was willing to trade Williams to anyone in the league and that the Yankees had offered Joe D and the Tigers had offered Newhouser. This publicity tore into Williams confidence and concentration. And it was partially true, early in the season Yawkey and Yankees owner MacPhail were out drinking together and both were disgruntled with their stars and actually agreed to the deal. But Yawkey woke up with the next morning with thoughts of one Red Sox owner trading Babe Ruth to the Yankees and what a disaster that had been and called off the deal. Nevertheless Williams had to think about being traded and playing in New York and Yankee Stadium and he hated both.

            Game 1 saw a close game. In one inning Enos Slaughter ripped a triple and when the relay throw was dropped he started to race for home but was stopped by the third base coach. When the next batter made an out to end the inning, Slaughter was mad at himself and the coach. The Cards had a run scoring chance in the eighth in an effort to break a 1-1 tie when Garagiola hit a long drive with Kurowski trying to score, Red Sox 3B Higgins "bumped" Kurowski as he rounded third, which slowed him up but did not prevent him from scoring. However, Pesky relayed the ball to catch Garagiola trying for a 2B and the third out was recorded before Kurowski crossed the plate. Two umpires saw what happened and awarded Kurowski's run to count. A big rhubarb followed, but the run stayed. The Cards were one out from winning the game when the Red Sox scored to tie the game. A Rudy York extra inning home run won the game for the Red Sox. The Red Sox and their fans were very happy as they beat the Cards with Ted Williams contributing nothing, and had won a crucial Game 1 on the road. Slaughter told himself if a similar situation comes up during the series, he would not stop at third.

            Game 2 saw Harry "The Cat" Brecheen shut out the Red Sox and hold Williams at bay by pitching him inside. His nickname "The Cat" came from opposing players in that he was a tremendous agile fielder off the mound and was like a fifth infielder. Those who bet that the Sox would sweep had lost their bet.

            Game 3 saw Sox 25 game winner Dave Ferris shut out the Cards for a 2- 1 series lead. By the way, manager Joe Cronin coached third base for the Sox, which is just about unheard of today. Game 4 saw the Cards clobber the Sox 12-3 with rookie Joe Garagiola getting 4 hits.

            Pivotal Game 5 saw the Red Sox win 6-3. The Cards had ace Howie Pollet quit after 10 pitches ending his season and Slaughter was hit on the elbow with a pitch by Dobson and it looked like he was out for the series as well. Boston's championship seemed assured. Brecheen evened the series at 3-3 with another win in Game six, this time a 4-1 Cards victory. Brecheen held Williams to 1-3 with a walk, and both times Williams got on base, Brecheen got the red hot Rudy York to hit into a double play. The Red Sox were shocked to see Slaughter and his battered elbow in the lineup. He had not missed an inning all year but finally came out in the late stages of game 6 because of the pain in his arm.

            Game seven pitted Dave Ferris vs. Murray Dickson. Williams hit two long hard drives his first two at bats against Dickson but both were made into outs, one a very nice running catch by Terry Moore. The Cards took a 3-1 lead into the top of the 8th. Russell and Metkovich, both pinch hitters, opened the 8th with hits for the Sox. There were runners on 2nd and third with no outs and Harry Brecheen was summoned from the bullpen, although he pitched a complete game just 2 days prior. Brecheen said his arm felt heavy and was killing him. Moses, hitting .454 in the Series came up but a close pitch was called strike three, Moses never once swinging at a pitch. Pesky then hit a shallow fly to medium right, but Cronin, with Dimaggio, Williams, York and Doerr coming up, decided to hold the runner. The Red Sox did not know the condition of Slaughter's arm, but by most accounts his relay throw to Musial was surprisingly strong and Russell would have been out had he tried to score. DiMaggio ran the count to 3-1 and guessed Brecheen would come after him with a screwball, which is what happened. Dimaggio laced it for a scorching hit and he suddenly thought he could go for a 3B and get into that favorable base. 2 runs tied the score but as Dimaggio raced around first he tore a hamstring and barely made it to second base. A long delay of 20 minutes ensued and Culberson was sent in to pinch run for Dimaggio. When play ensued, Williams hit a foul that openerd catcher Garagiola's finger and another 8-10 minute delay came about. With the game and series on the line, Williams finally hit a weak infield pop-up.

            Manager Cronin elected to bring in Bob Klinger in the bottom of the 8th. Klinger with a heavy sinker and a 2.37 ERA during the regular season had been the Sox best reliever, but Klinger had to take time off at the end of the season to attend to an ailing son, and this was his first appearace in almost 4 weeks. He had not pitched since Sept. 19 and this was Oct. 15, (not even in the three practice games). Around the batting cage before game 6, Klinger had teased old friend Harry Walker that he knew how to get Walker out even if the other Red Sox pitchers didnt (Walker hit .412 in the series). Slaughter greeted Klinger with a single but a failed bunt by Kurowski and a Rice fly out made it two quick outs. Up came Harry Walker who was having a great series after a down year. He had tried to power the ball but ended up with a .237 batting average and his brother Dixie Walker told him he better learn to drive the ball to the opposite field if he wanted to stay in the majors and Harry began doing that very late in the season

            On a 2-1 count he did it again driving the ball over the SS head. Slaughter had been running on the pitch and headed for third, Culberson, who replaced the very good fielding DiMaggio in the field after DiMaggio's hamstring injury in the top of the inning, bobbled the ball and then threw a loft throw to relay man Pesky. Slaughter rounded third and raced for home (remember what happened in Game 1) and Pesky looked and saw Slaughter about 15 feet from home but threw anyway. It is generally agreed that Pesky did hesitate slighlty, but much more important was the weak lob relay throw by Culbertson. Most observers felt that
            DiMaggio would have had a chance to get Slaughter at third, let alone not allow him to score at home. But in the final analysis, the author along with many think that instead of blaming Pesky or Culberson, or DiMaggio's injury, the real story was a daring play by Slaughter and he should get credit.

            The Red Sox hopes to tie the game in the 9th got off to a promising start with 2 singles. But a poor bunt by Higgins nailed Doerr at second leaving runners on first and third with 1 out. Roy Partee then fouled out to Musial leaving the Red Sox with one last chance.

            Pinch hitter McBride hit a squibbling ground ball to Schoendienst but the ball took a funny hop and caromed off his shoulder. As Higgins raced for second, Schoendiest tried to grab the ball. Higgins had already started his slide when Schoendiest shoveled the ball backhanded to Marion, getting the force and ending the game and the series.

            Schoendiest was asked what it felt like getting that bad hop and the youngster replied: "when you play the ball right, you should never get a bad hop".

            Sounds like a future manager.
            Last edited by 9RoyHobbsRF; 05-06-2009, 05:37 PM.
            1. The more I learn, the more convinced I am that many players are over-rated due to inflated stats from offensive home parks (and eras)
            2. Strat-O-Matic Baseball Player, Collector and Hobbyist since 1969, visit my strat site: http://forums.delphiforums.com/GamersParadise
            3. My table top gaming blog: http://cary333.blogspot.com/

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            • I have literally just read the cover and the back flap as I begin The Iowa Baseball Confederacy by W. P. Kinsella. Been a while since my last baseball book. We'll see how it turns out.
              "Any pitcher who throws at a batter and deliberately tries to hit him is a communist."

              - Alvin Dark

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              • My dad sent me a copy of My Life in Baseball by Ty Cobb.

                Damn, that guy was a basard!!!
                "Smith corks it into right, down the line. It may go...........Go crazy folks! Go crazy! Jack Buck

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                • Originally posted by JRH11 View Post
                  My dad sent me a copy of My Life in Baseball by Ty Cobb.

                  Damn, that guy was a basard!!!
                  If Mr. Cobb was around today, he'd die.

                  The movie was pretty accurate
                  sigpicMan, do I *HATE* the Yankees!!!!!!

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                  • Originally posted by SDL View Post
                    If Mr. Cobb was around today, he'd die.

                    The movie was pretty accurate
                    I assume you mean the Tommy Lee Jones Movie? I found it very entertaining.
                    "Smith corks it into right, down the line. It may go...........Go crazy folks! Go crazy! Jack Buck

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                    • Originally posted by JRH11 View Post
                      I assume you mean the Tommy Lee Jones Movie? I found it very entertaining.
                      You are correct, sir!
                      sigpicMan, do I *HATE* the Yankees!!!!!!

                      Comment


                      • SDL - Sorry I haven't run into on the Fever before. With that many posts obviously you've been around a while, but we must not frequent the same forums. Although not a Red Sox fan, I just want to say I think your signature line is GREAT!! :supe::applaud:

                        Guess no matter what other team you root for, as long as you hate the Yankees there is some common ground.
                        You see, you spend a good deal of your life gripping a baseball and in the end it turns out that it was the other way around all the time. J. Bouton

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                        • Currently reading Terry Pluto's The Curse of Rocky Colavito. Entertaining and captures much of the experience I had as a kid growing up in the late 70s/early 80s and watching one horrible Indians team after another break my heart.

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                          • I'm just started reading David Block's "Baseball Before We Knew It: A Search For The Roots of The Game". Book is pretty enlightening thus far, but I'm only through the first chapter.

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                            • I finished The Universal Baseball Association Inc., J. Henry Waugh, Prop. by Robert Coover. Loved it. Coover is a hell of a writer.
                              "Any pitcher who throws at a batter and deliberately tries to hit him is a communist."

                              - Alvin Dark

                              Comment


                              • Miracle Ball

                                I have just finished reading Miracle Ball, which is an account of a two-year search for the home-run ball hit by Bobby Thomson in the final game of the 1951 NL playoff.
                                It's outstanding. It reads as more of a mystery than the other books written on the Dodgers-Giants playoff race and series. It has a nice ebb and flow to it, as the author tries to uncover a 55 year-old mystery.
                                The subject matter has always fascinated me. And this is a completely new perspective on the most historic (in my eyes) game in baseball history. Others may like game 6 of the 1975 or 1986 World Series, or game 7 of the 1960 World Series. But there is such a magical atmosphere regarding this game. And the search back and forth across the country for the missing ball does nothing to dispel that magic.
                                I cannot recommend this book enough.
                                I hope you like it.

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