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did gionfriddo get a raw deal ?

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  • #16
    gionfriddo's catch

    i wonder if the fan's out there can settle a discussion some friends and i had the other day. it was about whether or not dimaggio's drive in the 1947 series would have been a home run had gionfriddo not been able to get back in time to make the catch. i say that after catching the ball his momentum carried him a few steps toward the bullpen fence.others say because the barrier was so low it would have cleared it. any thoughts?

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    • #17
      Going by my memory, I'd say no HR. But, I might say differently if I could see the video again.

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      • #18
        We have a thread on Al in which I raised this issue. I will bring it back up top again. I'm very keen to get further insight on this.

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        • #19
          Originally posted by jayzeeg View Post
          i wonder if the fan's out there can settle a discussion some friends and i had the other day. it was about whether or not dimaggio's drive in the 1947 series would have been a home run had gionfriddo not been able to get back in time to make the catch. i say that after catching the ball his momentum carried him a few steps toward the bullpen fence.others say because the barrier was so low it would have cleared it. any thoughts?

          According to one eye witness (Red Barber) it would have been a home run.
          Listen for yourself...



          http://www.thedeadballera.com/AudioPageGionfriddo.html

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          • #20
            I intend to consult with the man who runs Rare Sports Films to see if the newsreel footage I found on line (go to the 1:58 mark) differs from what's in his DVD.

            The ball looks clearly short of the fence in this clip...but I think there's something to the idea that it might not be real live footage.

            http://www.spokane7.com/blogs/movies...sp?postID=6961

            The angle seems off. Plus, the descriptions I've read from Al himself say that he hit the fence hard, but it sure doesn't look like it here. And what's the ump doing drifting out into left center? He'd have had to run like Al did too.

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            • #21
              I'd like to respond to a few of the posts, if that's ok.

              As to Gionfriddo's bitterness toward Rickey, that's understandable, but not limited to the one executive. Many executives back then kept players in the minors because they could--not just due to the control teams had, but because the majors were slightly more than half as large as today and the minors were so widespread. A lot of people had almost exclusively minor league careers, long-term. Also, he may have run into the kind of thing that George Shuba talked about in "The Boys of Summer": he had a great year for average and Rickey said he needed to show power; the next year he had power and Rickey told him his average dropped too much. Many of them were in a no-win situation.

              On the umpire moving out to left-center, that was the first series with six umpires on the field, so I'm not sure which umpire it would have been. But one of the things veteran umpires have said is that some younger ones suffer from "false hustle"--they run to show they're on top of the play, but to call a play right, you need the correct angle and to stop and get your bearings. For what that's worth.

              On Shotton and Stock in 1950, Stock unquestionably took the fall when Cal Abrams was thrown out at the plate. Maybe he deserved it--that's been debated. In Shotton's case, it wasn't so much the loss as his close friendship with Rickey. After the big ownership fight in which O'Malley tried to hose Rickey and instead took a hosing, he never would have kept Shotton unless he had won the World Series, and even then he probably would have forced him out.

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              • #22
                Originally posted by Michael Green View Post
                On the umpire moving out to left-center, that was the first series with six umpires on the field, so I'm not sure which umpire it would have been. But one of the things veteran umpires have said is that some younger ones suffer from "false hustle"--they run to show they're on top of the play, but to call a play right, you need the correct angle and to stop and get your bearings. For what that's worth.
                That ump's name was Jim Boyer, Michael. The point I tried to make (not as clearly as I could have) is that in the clip, the umpire seems to be ambling into the frame...he doesn't look like he's hustling at all, which I think he'd have needed to do. It speaks to the idea that the clip might possibly have been staged.

                I've actually written a good bit more on this topic but want to keep it under my hat for now, especially until I hear anything more on the visual evidence itself.

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                • #23
                  Thanks, VI. I figured it was Boyer coming from LF. It's hard to know with those photos--the photographers shooting up into the guys' nostrils in those days were indeed right there on the field. Times have changed!

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                  • #24
                    All about Al

                    His bio is now live on the SABR BioProject site:

                    http://bioproj.sabr.org/bioproj.cfm?...=2413&pid=5156

                    To return to dodger dynamo's original question, I think the main reason Al never made it back was too many good players for too few spots in the Brooklyn outfield.

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