Plastered upon the wall to the left of center field at Fenway Park is an advertising mural which exclaims about the virtues of avoiding “5 o’clock shadow.”
But the shadow which fell like a dark, dismal night upon the Cardinals of St Louis yesterday enveloped them at precisely 1:43 p.m. of a bright, blue and brisk day.
For it was then that the not inconsiderable bulk of Rudy York powered a baseball directly over this advertisement for a three-run homer in the first inning of the third game of the World Series.
With David Meadow Ferriss, imperturbable pitcher, taking it up from there, the Red Sox then progressed with sure and steady steps to a 4-0 victory, a 2-1 edge in games, in the first World Series contest played at Boston in 28 hungry seasons. Ferriss was superb. He yielded five singles, one triple, fanned a grim, dangerous Enos Slaughter in the ninth to save his shutout.
Back on the green pastures in the Fenway, back where they had won 61 games and lost 16 this season, the sunset hose again donned the mantle of greatness which they’d discarded in their fitful Sunday-Monday exhibitions at St. Louis.
Thus, today in the fourth game, if the weather man favors the event (and reports are that he will), the tall Texan, Cecil Hughson, will fling his darting pitches for the Red Sox against big George Munger, fiery fast Cardinal, who was, as late as August, wearing Uncle Sam’s G.I. wardrobe in the occupation of Germany.
It was the muscular Indian, York, who homered in the 10th inning at St. Louis on Monday to send the Cards dourly to their dressing quarters.
Yesterday he fell upon them like a ton of bituminous at the outset. The ball which he hit struck the Cardinals right over the heart although it lodged in the fish nets many yards away.
It was a 3-and-3 pitch by Murry Dickson. There were two out. Johnny Pesky, loose and shifty this day instead of tight and jittery as he was in enemy territory, had singled along the left field foul line. Dominic DiMaggio had dribbled the ball to Stan Musial at first and was tagged out.
So the Cards passed the tall menace, Ted Williams, while the 34,5000 clients, winners of the big ticket “sweepstakes” hooted their derisive hoots at Manager Eddie Dyer of the Cards.
Now the Cardinal strategy is open for inspection. Will it backfire? In Sportsmen’s Park, St. Louis, they’d pitched to Williams and intentionally passed Rudy York, who was now stalking to the plate, looking as large as a barn.
Dickson, chunky right-hander, pitched to York with the caution of a man handling an atom bomb. Rudy fouled the first pitch up to the press section. He looked at a ball. Then another. He swung savagely at another -- missed, as the partisans drew anxious breaths and said, “Oooooooh.” It was a knuckler. The next pitch was outside. York disdained it.
So, 3-and-2. Dickson’s arm came up, back, and lashed out. It first a curve ball. York lunged into it. It sounded like the crack of doom; it was for the Cardinals. The ball sped as if fired from a rocket mount. No cloud-perforating home run, this! It was a line drive which took off into space, hit the rim of the wall in left center and spurted into the nets beyond.
Pesky was streaking for the plate by then. Williams, intent on his running, didn’t even see what had happened. As he rushed around third base Manager Joe Cronin slowed him down. Ted pounded the plate, said to the awaiting Pesky, “Where’d it go?” John said, “Over everything!” They waited there for the Indian from Georgia.
Cards just sit -- and suffer
The Cards sat, transfixed upon the bench. Dyer pulled fitfully at the visor of his cap. Shoulders slumped, spirits dropped lower. Nobody said anything. They just sat and suffered … glum.
Dickson, strangely enough, picked up the pieces and pitched superb baseball until he was removed for a pinch hitter in the eighth inning. He yielded three scattered singles and a double by Dom DiMaggio in the next six innings.
One of the hits was by Williams, who finally bunted a ball to left to outwit the Cardinals’ baseball version of the old Notre Dame football shift to right. The crowd cracked its delight. The Kid wasn’t self-satisfied. He’d rather really pop one.
The Red Sox got the fourth and final run way down in the eighth inning. Ted Wilks, another chunky Cards pitcher, and right handed, was being employed then.
Cards make first error
Williams had lined a ball viciously to right field, at Enos Slaughter, for the first out. York then got his second hit, a single to left center -- well stroked. Cap’n Bobby Doerr took two called strikes. Then Wilks got a little careless and Doerr hit one of his patented doubles off the wall high in left center. York held up at third.
Mike Higgins hit unintentionally to the mound. He was pulling away from an inside pitch. It his his bat, bounded harmlessly to Wilks, who threw home out, first taking the precaution to see that York and Doerr moved not.
Two out. Flawless baseball, afield, had prevailed to this point. Now the Cards erred for the first time on defense. Hal Wagner fouled off three pitches, took two outside for balls, then hit on the ground to Red Schoendienst at second. Easy ball, too easy. Red juggled it, threw too late to get Wagner at first base. York had rumbled to the plate with the fourth and final Red Sox run.
That was the scoring. The remainder of this ball game belonged -- lock, stock and barrel -- to large Dave Ferriss. Boo Ferriss. A nickname, that is. Nobody would care to booh this big boy from Mississippi. All heart, and brains … crafty as a witch doctor. Ferriss pitched a masterpiece out there, fourth World Series shutout in history by a Sox hurler.