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March 02, 1999

When the Boys Came Home...
a 1946 Baseball Season Replay

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This is a replay of a dramatic season in baseball history. The return of veteran players from the horrors of war, a challenge from the south in Jorge Pasquel's Mexican League, and the first attempt to unionize the players since the turn of the century. This replay was inspired, in part, to my participation in the Legends Baseball League and my reading of "When the Boys Came Back", by book.jpg (4623 bytes)Frederick Turner and published by Henry Holt Publishers in 1996.

This replay is done by using Baseball for Windows 4.0 by Miller Associates, Inc. For those of you familiar with the game, I imported the teams from BJE and am using the "Warring '40's" schedule disk from Miller. Cookie Lopez II is the micromanager, and all trades and transactions take place on the actual dates. Beginning June 1 of the replay, actual lineups are used. Therefore, AIM is set on Fatigue Only.

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Harry Breechen is carried off the field by catcher Del Rice and SS Marty Marion (#1). 2B Red Schoendienst and Stan Musial (#6) join the celebration from the right.

St. Louis, October 13 – The St. Louis Cardinals defeated the Boston Red Sox, 9-3, to win their third World’s Championship in five years. St. Louis took care of matters early with nine runs in the first four innings off Mickey Harris and Jim Bagby. Harris now carries the burden of being a three-time loser in this Series, suffering two hard luck losses last weekend at Sportsman’s Park.

     But there was not anything hard luck about this outing. The Cardinals had Harris on the ropes at the opening bell. Red Schoendienst opened the game with a single to center, and Terry Moore followed, with Schoendienst running, with a single to left center. Facing Musial, Harris came inside hoping to jam the slugger into a double play. Instead, the ball hit Musial on the forearm, and the Sox portsider had the bases jammed with no one out. Harris did induce Kurowski to ground to Bobby Doerr who turned the double play, but Schoendienst scored the game’s first run. Harris also hit Slaughter by coming too far inside to the left hander, and loaded the bases again by walking Erv Dusak. Boston and Harris escaped further damage as Marion lofted a fly ball along the left field foul line that Williams garnered in.

     Boston immediately countered with a run of their own as Doerr doubled into the right field gap, and Game 4 goat, Mike Higgins, singled him home to tie the game. In the bottom of the second, Harris retired the bottom of the Cardinal lineup – Del Rice and Harry Breechen. As the top of the order came around, Harris’ troubles returned. Schoendienst singled under Doerr’s glove. Moore singled to center, and the speedy Schoendienst beat Dom DiMaggio’s throw to third. Musial drew a base on balls to load the bases again with two outs. Harris again got a grounder ball from Kurowski, but it was of the seeing-eye variety that darted between Doerr and 1B Rudy York. Schoendienst and Moore scored easily on the play. Enos Slaughter ended the day for Harris with a single over Pesky’s head. Musial trotted home for a 4-1 Cardinal lead. Boston manager summoned longman Jim Bagby to relieve Harris. Making his first appearance of the Series, Bagby (7-5; 4.60 ERA) struck out Dusak to end the inning.

     In the Redbird third, Bagby’s rust began to reveal itself. Del Rice singled with one out, and Bagby issued free passes to the pitcher Breechen and Schoendienst to load the bases again. Bagby was able to escape this situation this time with a lazy fly out of the bat of Moore and a ground out by Musial. But, the tone was set in the first three innings. Despite being down three runs, a deficit that Boston’s lineup could overcome with one swing, the Cardinals had the Sox on the defensive. Boston became too occupied in trying to keep St. Louis off the scoreboard. In the fourth, it all came down around Joe Cronin’s club.

     Whitey Kurowski led off the inning with a walk. Slaughter singled to right, but Kurowski was held at second. Bagby walked Dusak to again load the bases for the fourth time this game. Cronin visited Bagby, but stayed with the right hander in hopes of getting Marion to hit the ball on the ground. Marion instead his deep fly to right that allowed Kurowski and Slaughter to tag. St. Louis now led 5-1, and lefty Earl Johnson and righty Bob Klinger began warming in the Sox bullpen. Cronin again stayed with Bagby hoping to get a grounder to double up the slow-footed and weak-hitting catcher Del Rice. Cronin noted in his post-game interview that Rice was 4th on the club by grounded into 9 double plays in only 152 at-bats. Cronin also defended his use of Bagby as the right-hander was 4-1 with only a 1.71 ERA in ten relief appearances. The post-game rationalization was needed as Rice countered Cronin’s strategy and dreams of Red Sox alike with a sharp single into the left center field gap scoring Slaughter. Then with the infield in, Breechen also singled to left. Williams raced over to field as Dusak rounded third. Williams’ throw was on the mark, but Dusak collided and knocked the ball loose from Roy Partee. Partee was given an error on the play, and the 35,768 patrons at Sportsman's Park erupted in joy knowing that a World’s Championship was in their grasp. Cronin called for relief ace Bob Klinger who surrendered a two run double to Red Schoendienst for a 9-1 advantage.

     Breechen was able to hold the dejected Sox scoreless until the ninth when a Del Rice error opened the door for two late runs. Breechen struck out Leon Culberson swinging for the final out, and his teammates carried the lefthander off the field. Up in the radio broadcast booth, young announcer Harry Caray shouted over the din of the crowd, "The Cardinals win the Series! The Cardinals win the Series!" And through it all, manager Eddie Dyer was a picture of ecstasy as his Cardinal club shocked the experts with their pitching, daring baserunning, and clutch hitting to take the 1946 World Series from the Boston Red Sox in six games. See Boxscores of the World Series games.

. See previous World Series game stories.


Final Standing of the Clubs

Boston   14-9 13-9 17-5 16-6 15-7 16-5 14-8 105 49 .682 - L1 7-3
Detroit 9-14   15-7 13-8 13-9 19-3 12-10 15-7 96 58 .623 9 W4 8-2
NewYork 9-13 7-15   11-11 12-10 15-7 12-10 17-5 83 71 .539 22 W3 6-4
Washington 5-17 8-13 11-11   9-14 13-9 15-7 14-8 75 79 .487 30 W1 5-5
Chicago 6-16 9-13 10-12 14-9   6-16 12-10 16-6 73 82 .471 32 W1 8-2
Cleveland 7-15 3-19 7-15 9-13 16-6   15-7 12-10 69 85 .448 36 L5 3-7
St.Louis 5-16 10-12 10-12 7-15 10-12 7-15   13-9 62 91 .405 42 L1 2-8
Philadelphia 8-14 7-15 5-17 8-14 6-16 10-12 9-13   53 101 .344 52 L6 2-8
St.Louis   17-5 8-14 9-13 15-7 16-6 17-5 18-4 100 54 .649 - L1 6-4
Brooklyn 5-17   12-10 11-11 16-6 16-6 17-5 14-8 91 63 .591 9 W1 7-3
Chicago 14-8 10-12   10-12 9-13 11-11 16-6 17-5 87 67 .565 13 W1 7-3
Boston 13-9 11-11 12-10   12-10 10-12 17-5 10-12 85 69 .552 15 L1 7-3
Cincinnati 7-15 6-16 13-9 10-12   13-9 9-13 12-10 70 84 .455 30 L2 4-6
NewYork 6-16 6-16 11-11 12-10 9-13   10-12 13-9 67 87 .435 33 L1 1-9
Philadelphia 5-17 5-17 6-16 5-17 13-9 12-10   12-10 58 96 .377 42 W1 5-5
Pittsburgh 4-18 8-14 5-17 12-10 10-12 9-13 10-12   58 96 .377 42 W2 4-6
  • 9/30 - Bob Feller's All-Stars defeat Satchel Paige's All-Stars, 3-1 at Forbes Field.
  • 9/30 - Atlanta Crackers defeat Memphis Chicks, 4-3 for Southern League championship. Crackers will face the Dallas Rebels, Texas League champs, in the Dixie Series.
  • 9/30 - St. Louis Browns release 1B Babe Dahlgren.
  • 9/30 - Billy Herman traded by Boston Braves to Pittsburgh Pirates in exchange for Bob Elliott, IF (Whitey) Weitelmann, OF Stanley Weitzel, and P Elmer Singleton. Herman is named new manager, replacing Frankie Frisch who resigned after seven years at the post.
  • 9/29 - Newark Eagles beat Kansas City Monarchs, 3-2 for Negro League World Series. John Davis doubled home Larry Doby and Monte Irvin for the win.
  • 9/26 - Pete Reiser fractures his left leg trying to beat a pickoff throw back to first base by Phillies P Charley Schanz.
  • 9/23 - Bill McKechnie resigns as manager of Cincinnati Reds, but he will stay with club through the next series with St. Louis.
  • 9/20 - Yankees release P Red Ruffing, who missed most of season with a broken kneecap.
  • 9/19 - Yankees recall C Lawrence (Yogi) Berra, IF Bobby Brown, OF Frank Colman, and P Vic Raschi from Newark of the International League.
  • 9/19 - Boston Braves purchase P Dick Mulligan from Phillies for waiver price.
  • 9/19 - Philadelphia Phillies draw 1 million fans for first time in franchise history. Phillies offered an automobile to the millionth fan. As a result, a new Shibe Park record of 40,007 attended today's game vs. Cincinnati.
  • 9/15 - Cleveland Indians purchase P Bob Kuzava from Scranton-Wilkes Barre.