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The Eleven Walk Inning: September 11, 1949

by Harvey Frommer

It was Sunday at Yankee Stadium. The New York Yankees matched up against the Washington Senators, the two wildest pitching staffs in the major leagues. The New Yorkers had surrendered 5.27 free passes per nine innings; Washington, 4.99.

Game one of the doubleheader played that eleventh day of September saw the Senator pitchers out-do themselves in bestowing walks. The Yankees were given 17 free passes, including 11 in the third inning, a record surpassing the previous high of 8.

The frenetic fifty-minute, bottom of the third inning saw 18 Yankees bat. Four Yankees were walked twice in the inning - another major league record. (The parenthetical number indicates walks yielded by Senator pitchers).

(1) Phil Rizzuto walked. (2) Cliff Mapes walked. A Bobby Brown double scored Rizzuto and Mapes. Eddie Yost threw a Joe DiMaggio ground ball off the Yankee Clipper's shoulder into right field. Brown scored. Yogi Berra doubled to center. DiMaggio scored. Washington pitcher Paul Calvert was removed from the game. (3) Charlie Keller was walked by relief pitcher Dick Welterroth.

The bases were loaded when (4) Joe Collins walked. Yogi Berra scored when (5) Jerry Coleman walked. An Allie Reynolds' single drove in two more runs. Washington left fielder Bud Stewart and shortstop Sam Dente ran into each other. Both had to leave the game. Stewart was carried off on a stretcher. Jerry Coleman was trapped off second and tagged out in a rundown. Reynolds moved to second. A Rizzuto single to left sent Reynolds to third. For the second time in the inning, (6) Mapes walked. The bases were loaded. Welteroth was removed from the game. Julio Gonzalez replaced him.

Reynolds scored when (7) Brown walked. DiMaggio made the second out by flying out to Clyde Vollmer in left, scoring Rizzuto. Mapes to third. (8) Berra walked re-loading the bases. (9) Keller also walked, forcing home Mapes. (10) Collins walked scoring Brown. Buzz Dozier replaced Gonzalez. (11) Coleman walked, forcing home Berra. Reynolds popped out to first.

It was wild all right - and many more records for wildness (read: bases on balls) could have been broken if not for the presence of Washington's Buzz Dozier, a hurler who plied his trade wearing sun glasses. He pitched the final five innings and walked only four Yankees.

Incidentally, the final score was Yanks 20 and Senators 5.

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