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Baseball Analysis  John Holway



By John B Holway

There ain't many old fogeys alive, by cracky, who can remember the first Red Sox-Cardinals Series back in '46. I always said I'd tell my grandchildren about it, so gather ‘round, kids.

Old grandpa was 16, a freshman in Iowa, and hitch-hiked down to St Louis and bought a $3 standing room ticket behind home. Tom Yawkey, the Red Sox owner, and I were the only two people west of the Mississipi river cheering for Boston.

The Sox were losing 2-1 in the ninth, and Tommy McBride, a good wartime player who was 0-for-4 so far, hit a grounder just out of reach of third baseman Whitey Kurowski. Marty Marion, a beanpole shortstop, also missed it by inches; it just skipped between the two gloves, and the tying run scored.

Then in the tenth, Rudy York, a big Indian first baseman, slammed one to the last row of the bleachers to win it for Boston.

I was the only one in the whole park yelling. It’s still the greatest thrill I ever had in baseball.

That night I slept in the railroad station, and a cop would come by every hour or so and wake me up. The next day I stood in line for a bleacher ticket for $1.20, and the Red Sox lost 4-1.

The next weekend a buddy and I hitch-hiked back to St Louis for game 6, which the Sox also lost.

They had a day off before game seven, and Don wanted to get back to school, didnt want to sleep in the RR station, and probably we didnt have enuf money for two more days. So I missed game seven, when Johnny Pesky supposedly “held” the ball while the Cards’ Enos Slaughter scored the winning run. (He really didn't; the game film proves that.) I've been kicking myself ever since that I missed it. That's a lot of kicking.

So all you grandchildren pop into bed, and next time I'll tell you how Great Grandma and me went to the seventh game of the 1967 Red Sox-Cardinal Series.

John B Holway's next two books are TED, the Kid, and Blackball Tales.

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