Shattering or equalling half-a-dozen All-Star slugging records, grim, determined and unshaven Ted Williams of the Red Sox led the American League to the most lopsided triumph of the 13-game series at flag-bedecked Fenway Park yesterday. The final score: Americans 12, Nationals 0.
The incomparable Ted belted two homers and two singles and drew a walk for a perfect day at bat.
A capacity crowd of 34,906 paid a record sum of $111,338.75 to see the game in which the greatest batter of these times led the attack which outclassed Manager Cholly Grimm and his National Leaguers, and Steve O’Neil’s strong-arm boys lived up to their advance notices.
In widening the junior league’s margin to 9-4 in the series, Bob Feller, Hal Newhouser and Jack Kramer pitched a 3-hit masterpiece. Feller allowed two, Newhouser one and Kramer non for their respective three-inning stints. This twirling trio fanned 10 men among them and Kramer issued the only walk as they surpassed the National League’s 1940 shutout in St. Louis.
Newhouser and Kramer contributed a single apiece to the 14-blow barrage that equalled the safety record set by the A.L.’s 1934 edition in its 9-7 win at the Polo Grounds. Feller did not got to bat, but his three strikeouts in yesterday’s game increased his total for four All-Star games to 12, a record for “Golden Games.”
King Kong Keller set the batting pace. Following a walk to Williams in the first inning, the Yankee muscle man propelled another ill-fated Claude Passeau pitch into National League (visiting) bullpen. It was King Kong’s first All-Star round-tripper and teamed up with Williams’ later wallops to mark the first time that any side had smashed three for the circuit in a single contest. The trio of socks also produced a 12-9 A.L. edge in homers for the Series.
Jolting Joe Gordon almost made it four. He missed clearing the left center field fence with his two-run double off 6 ft. 5 in. Ewell Blackwell in the seventh. Rounding out the A.L. train-bearers for Ted was Junior Stephens whose blooper double with the bases loaded vs. Kirby Higbe in the fifth really removed the affair from the contest class. Ex-Mexican Leaguer Vern also collected a scratch single later off Rip Sewell’s “eephus” ball.
Williams was fractious before the game about the unfavorable things New York writers have been printing about him recently. We knew he was going to do well. We admit now we couldn’t have conceived the performance he was about to give.
Sets 4-run record
He scored the first of his four runs (one All-Star record) in front of Keller’s clout in the first inning. Deprived of a chance to duplicate his demobilization of Passeau in the ninth inning at Detroit in 1941, Ted took it out on Kirby Higbe.
Up for the second time to start the fourth, Ted lashed a Higbe curve half a dozen rows up in the dead center field seats to make it 3-0 for his side.
The score was 5-0 following Stephen’s duckaway double and Higbe was still operating when the Kid came up again in the fifth. He lashed Dodger Kirby’s first serve -- a knuckler -- into right field a few feet in front of the in-racing Dixie Walker for a run-producing single. That safety ended Higbe’s tenure.
With two out and nobody aboard in the seventh, Williams ignited another two-run burst by singling off Phil Cavarretta’s handcuffed glove.
Came the eighth and Sewell was the fourth N.L. flinger. He had yielded one run on singles by Snuffy Stirnweiss and Kramer (off the wall) followed by Sam Chapman’s long fly. He then had introduced his “eephus” ball for the first time. Stephens had blooped it past Cavarretta and to the overracing Gustine for a single.
Sewell then tossed the “eephus” ball to Ted, who fouled it into the third base seats. Ripper slipped past a fast one for strike two. He followed with an “eephus” way outside. He came once again and too often.
Pictures show the Kid actually stepped out front of the batter’s box in his readiness. He times it right into the waiting hands of Mickey Harris in the American League (home) bullpen.
More records for Ted
With that unprecedented stroke which was the first homer in history off Sewell’s invested delivery, Ted crashed the record books a few more times. He took the lead in All-Star homers with a total of three. He equalled Arky Vaughn’s 1941 showing of two four-masters in a single engagement.
Ted’s five RBI’s constituted another mark and his total of nine for All-Star appearances gives him the overall lead in that sphere. His four hits, which tied Joe Medwick’s two doubles and two singles in the 1937 fray at Washington, also gave the Kid a .500 (7 for 14) All-Star average. That shares Charley Gehringer’s mark in the All-Star books.
Sewell’s smart use of his lazy eephus toss just about saved the day for the beleaguered National Leaguers. It really took the stigma off an inept performance. Other than Rip’s show business, the only thing the Ford Frick entries had to cheer about was Marty Marion.