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The Bevens' No-Hitter Lost: October 3, 1947

by Harvey Frommer

The World Series 1947 Game Four starter for the Yankees before 33,443 frenzied fans at Ebbets Field was an unlikely choice - Bill Bevens. The 31-year-old right-hander had lost 13 of 20 decisions during the regular season.

His record could have been a lot better had he not walked 77 in 165 innings. His luck was a lot better in the World Series start - or so it seemed.

Going into the ninth inning, Bevens had a 2-1 lead. Much more important - he was pitching a no-hitter. Sure he was tired, he had thrown a lot of pitches, going deep in the count with quite a few batters.

Brooklyn catcher Bruce Edwards hit a high fly ball for the first out in the 9th. Then Bevens, laboring, walked Carl Furillo. It was his ninth walk of the game. Spider Jorgensen fouled out, weakly. Just one more out and the first World Series no-hitter was sealed.

Then, in Dodger broadcaster Red Barber's phrase, "the wheels were turning. Speedy pinch-runner Al Gionfriddo came in for Furillo. A gimpy "Pistol Pete" Reiser hit for relief pitcher, Hugh Casey. With the count 3-1 on Reiser, Gionfriddo stole second base. Bevens intentionally walked Reiser, his tenth walk of the game. Eddie Miksis came in to run for Reiser. The Dodgers now had two very fast runners on base.

Eddie Stanky, headed for the plate, but Dodger manager Burt Shotton pulled him and sent in veteran Harry Arthur "Cookie" Lavagetto as a pinch-hitter.

Pitch number 136 from Bevens was a swing and a miss by Lavagetto. The next pitch, one pitch too many, was slightly off the plate. Lavagetto was late on it.

"The pitch was right out there and I got hold of it good," said Lavagetto. Line drive toward the right field wall. Tommy Henrich, in front of the scoreboard in right-centerfield, watched as the ball struck high, near the center of the Gem Razorblade sign. It bounced around and Henrich finally picked it up, turned, threw.

"I ran down to first base," Lavagetto said, "and turned and saw the two runs scoring and that's all there was to it."

"Friends," Red Barber said, "they're killin' Lavagetto... his own teammates... they're beatin' him to pieces and it's taking a police escort to get Lavagetto away from the Dodgers!"

The two-out double not only broke up the Bill Bevens' no-hitter; it also pinned the loss on the Yankee hurler and tied the series at two games each. Ironically, goat Bevens and hero Lavagetto would never again wear a major league uniform after the 1947 World Series.

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