A citizen with a trumpet in the sun-bathed bleachers yesterday at Fenway Park arose to salute the Red Sox with “Irish Eyes are Smiling,” and up stepped Joseph Gordon Dobson, who is Irish and Scotch, to lead the Bostonese out of the darkness and into the Promised Land at St. Louis on Sunday.
Practically nobody at all suspected the square-jawed Dobson, the No. 4 pitcher for the Red Sox this season, would ever start a Series game. Mickey Harris would pitch this day, they said, when the Bostonese had their backs pressed firmly to the wall.
The Red Sox “Rinky Dinks,” the reserves, rose up to take charge of this critical moment of the Series. Cap’n Bobby Doerr bedridden with a migraine headache, was out. Don Gutteridge was in -- in with two hits. Leon Culberson made his first starting appearance of the Series, bulged the nets in left field with a home run to open the sixth and break the Cards’ back. Roy Partee did the catching, handed Dobson, the man with balloon pants, like he was reading his mind.
But it was Dobson who found the shiny white new ball under his glove in the locker yesterday noon. It was Dobson who walked out into the bright sunlight of the ball park to pitch the Red Sox to a 6-3 victory and a 3-to-2 lead in the games and set up Sunday’s super game at St. Louis as a Dave Ferriss-Car Breechen duel which may live forever in Series history.
Dobson did it. Four hits, including Stan Musial’s blazing double, he allowed. The forgotten man sent eight Cardinals grouching back to the dugout, victims of strikeouts.
He earned, did this big man with curly hair, a clear shutout, but once again the home forces staggered afield, and this staggering accounted for the Cards’ three runs.
John Pesky, who was ablaze at bat with three hits, was befuddled afield. It was his boot of Joe Garagiola’s hot ground ball to short with two away which set up the enemy’s first run in the second inning.
John parked squarely in front of the ball, and it squirted through him and raced on twinking stitches out between Williams and DiMaggio for a two-base foozle.
Harry Walker then doubled to left and the run came home.
Dobson waded through them with his powerful right handed throws for eight innings. Over that stretch, while a congregation of 35,982 patrons burst into spasms of applause each time he marched sturdily off the mound, only six Cards reached base. Two of ‘em got there on errors, one when he was hit by a pitched ball.
He was Enos Slaughter, the man who personally had murdered the Red Sox on Thursday afternoon. Dobson hit him on the left elbow in the fourth inning, just as Ted Williams had been nicked 10 days ago by Mickey Haefner of the Senators. Slaughter may play no more in this Series.
Enos left the contest in the eighth, finally, but he was no menace out there yesterday, and there were no shuddering sighs through the far reaches of the grandstand because of him. He was feeding docilely out of Dobson’s brawny right hand. He dribbled out to the infield once, popped to Williams later.
Anyway, Big Joe, a farmer boy with cheeks of tan, had a 601 lead as he charged down to the ninth and that run was as sour as a green blueberry.
Far from frisky start
Joe got himself off to a far from frisky start in the ninth by passing Musial, being very cautious … and losing his man. This was Joe’s first and only pass of the contest. That’s how he was firing that pertater out there yesterday.
But it was a little storm cloud, gathering darkness as the inning progressed. Joe struck out Erv Dusak, the substitute left fielder for the Cards, and parishioners bellowed in great glee.
One out. Kurowski on hand. Whitey smacked a puny, under-nourished bouncer to the right of Pesky. It might have instigated a double play and ended the inning. It was good for one killing, at least. But John had the great misfortune to come up with his second boot of the game, his fourth of the Series, and there was Musial on second, grinning like a cat, and Kurowski on first.
But John had the great misfortune to come up with his second boot of the game, his fourth of the Series, and there was Musial on second, grinning like a cat, and Kurowski on first.
Very rapidly there were upon third and second, for Joe Garagiola rolled out to York at first base.
Now Harry Walker, tall, gracefully swift kid brother of the famous Dixie, only Cardinal to get two blows, smashed an honest single into right field and two runs were in,
Three runs all told. All of ‘em unearned. That is to say, brother Joe Dobson unwound and gave ‘em Hail Columbia all the way.
The Cards, very chipper as a result of their 12-3 burying detail which they’d sent into Fenway Park Thursday, brushed off their illustrious left-handed pitcher, Howard Pollet. He looks like something out of Hollywood, and his curve is even more handsome than he.
Singles on first pitch
But Pollet didn’t escape the first inning. The Sox had him down, rolling him on the turf, before he could get anybody out. Doerr didn’t start, of course. So Don Gutteridge, an old Cardinal himself, opener the game by greeting Pollet’s first pitch with a vicious swing, and singled a hot one through Musial at first.
Pesky, who harvested three blows, then maced Pollet’s second pitch to right field for another single.
Manager Eddie Dyer, his face alive with worry wrinkles, rushed out to the mount to act as chairman of a conference. The result, Pollet remained among the contestants. This looked like agile cerebral gymnastics when he teased Dom into forcing Gutteridge at third on a bouncer to Kurowski.
It didn’t look so hot a jiffy later, though, when Ted Williams whammed a screaming line single into right field -- his one hit of the game -- to send Pesky dashing home from second ahead of Slaughter’s so-so throw.
Pollet now made the lonesome walk toward the first base stands and disappeared, a forlorn and solitary figure, in to the gloomy cavern of the grandstand.
Alva Brazle, a tall, loose, lean character of Huckleberry Finn type, pitched from there to the eighth. Alva sat on a keg of dynamite every moment of the journey.
Cluberson takes a hand
In the first five innings the Red Sox had 11 men on base and salvaged only two runs. Roy Partee’s solid single to center and Dobson’s sacrifice, which was tardily played to second base, and Gutteridge’s single got the second run -- in the second.
Yeh, Brazle was perched on a dynamite keg like a man smoking a cigar, all the way to the sixth. He was having more narrow escapes than some of those Dogpatch citizens on Sadie Hawkins Day.
And then Leon Culberson, who is from Rome, Ga., and always does as Romans do, took the issue into his own hands.
He was the first Bostonian to bat in the sixth. He looked at one slanting Brazle offering and did not see much virtue to it. It was a ball. He looked at the next, and fell in love with it. He pounded it high and far up into the haddock nets about 25 feet from the left-field foul pole.
The ol’ Rinky Dinks were really rolling, eh?
So it was 3-1 into the last of the seventh, where the Yawkey A.C. removed all lingering doubt with a three-run uprising, paced by the bespectacled Dominick DiMaggio, who opened the inning with an authoritative double to left on Brazle’s first pitch.
My, how the patrons howled when the Kid came up, looking very cross indeed, having grounded out in the third and having swung and completely missed three Brazle pitches in the fifth with two on, nobody out.
The Kid looked grim, but Brazle did it again -- struck him out on a 2-2 pitch, an inside curve ball.