by Harold Friend
It was an unforgettable game that has almost been forgotten. Floyd "Bill" Bevens started Game 4 of the 1947 World Series for the New Yankees at Ebbets Field against Brooklyn's rookie sensation, Harry Taylor, but there is more to the story. Taylor went 10-5 during the season, but he had torn a tendon in his pitching elbow. He still started for Brooklyn.
Brooklyn Scores Without a Hit
The Yankees led, 2-0, but Brooklyn scored in the fifth inning to cut the Yankees' margin in half. Spider Jorgensen led off by drawing a base on balls. Hal Gregg, who had relieved Harry Taylor in the first inning when the Yankees scored their first run and threatened to blow the game open, also walked. Since this was 1947, lead off batter Eddie Stanky sacrificed the runners to second and third. PeeWee Reese hit a ground ball to his counterpart at shortstop. Phil Rizzuto nipped Gregg, who attempted to advance to third base, but Jorgensen scored.
Going to the ninth inning, the only Brooklyn batters to have reached base walked.
One More Out
Catcher Bruce Edwards led off the ninth by hitting a deep drive to left that Johnny Lindell caught in front of the stands. Bevens issued his ninth walk of the game to Carl Furillo, putting the potential tying run on first. Bevens got Spider Jorgensen on a foul pop up to first. Brooklyn was down to its final out.
Al Gionfriddo ran for Furillo and manager Shotton sent in Pete Reiser to bat for relief pitcher Hugh Casey. Reiser was limping badly on a swollen ankle he had injured the day before. On a 2-1 pitch, Gionfriddo stole second. The pitch was ball three. It was here that controversy was created.
Yankees' manager Bucky Harris ordered ball four. A cardinal rule of baseball used to be that the potential winning run is never put on. Eddie Miksis ran for Reiser, and Cookie Lavagetto batted for Eddie Stanky.
Bevens' Last Pitch
The rest is history. Lavagetto swung and missed Bevens' first delivery, but he connected on the second pitch, sending a drive to deep right field. Tommy Henrich could only watch as the ball hit the wall. Tommy finally managed to fire the ball into first baseman George McQuinn, whose relay was too late to get Miksis, who scored the winning run.
So Many Pitches
It is not known how many pitches Bevens made, but it is unimaginable that a pitcher who gives up 10 walks would remain in the game in 2009, despite the fact that he had not yielded a hit. It might occur during the season, but not in the World Series.
Two Hours and Twenty Minutes
The game took only two hours and twenty minutes, despite the walks and many Yankees' threats. The Yankees had many opportunities to score more runs, but they were only two for eleven with runners in scoring position, and hit into two key double plays.
The pitch to Cookie Lavagetto was the last that Bill Bevens would ever make in the major leagues. He had been 7-13 in 1947, and was sent to the minors for the 1948 season. He never pitched in another major league game.
By JOHN DREBINGER. (1947, October 4). DODGERS' ONLY HIT BEATS YANKEES, 3-2, WITH 2 OUT IN NINTH :Lavagetto's Pinch Double Bats in 2 Runs, Evens Series and Spoils Bevens' No-Hitter 10 WALKS HELP BROOKLYN Casey Wins in Relief Second Day in Row With Lone Pitch Resulting in Double Play Highlights in the Battle at Ebbets Field Yesterday That Evened the World Series. New York Times (1857-Current file),p. 1. Retrieved September 30, 2009, from ProQuest Historical Newspapers The New York Times (1851 - 2006). (Document ID: 87555760).