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Random Game Callback, April 22, 1942
2006-04-22 03:59
by Bob Timmermann
World War II was now an unavoidable fact for Americans, but for major league baseball, its effects had not been felt too strongly yet as most of the biggest stars were able to play the 1942 season. And for the Boston Red Sox, that meant that players like Ted Williams, Bobby Doerr, Johnny Pesky, and Dominic DiMaggio were around to help Boston pound Washington 13-4 before 5500 (3500 paid and 2000 soldiers) at Griffith Stadium.

Canadian righthander Oscar Judd started for Boston and was staked to an 8-0 lead after three innings as the Red Sox pounded Washington starter Early Wynn (in the first full season of a long Hall of Fame career) and reliever Alex Carrasquel (uncle of Chico Carrasquel). Wynn lasted just 2/3 of an inning.

DiMaggio had four hits in six at bats for Boston and Doerr went 2 for 5 with a double and an inside-the-park home run. The Red Sox had 17 hits for the afternoon and even got a stolen base from cleanup hitter Tony Lupien. Why Lupien, who hit three home runs in 1942, was batting cleanup remains a question whose answer is known only to Boston manager Joe Cronin.

Washington's lineup in 1942 was the usual collection of guys cobbled together on the cheap by Washington owner Clark Griffith. First baseman Mickey Vernon was playing his first full year of his wildly inconsistent career. Left fielder George Case was one of the few players left proficient in stolen bases and stole safely 44 out of 50 attempts in 1942. Manager Bucky Harris started Al Evans behind the plate this day instead of regular starter Jake Early preventing a battery that would have been very early: Early Wynn and Jake Early.

The 1942 Red Sox would finish 93-59, the most wins of any Red Sox team since 1915. But the Yankees were still nine games better. A 14-17 July ended the Red Sox pennant chances as the Yankees went 21-9 in July. And even though Williams won the Triple Crown with a .356 average, 36 home runs and 137 RBI, he didn't win the MVP. Instead the award went to New York second baseman Joe Gordon.

Sources: Washington Post, Retrosheet, Baseball-reference.

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