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May we be of assistance?
2008-05-10 06:00
by Bob Timmermann

56 years ago today, the Boston Red Sox tied a major league record for assists in one inning? It happened in the fifth inning of a game against the Yankees in New York? How many assists were there?


The answer: 10. According to the account of the inning in the May 21, 1952 Sporting News, here's how the inning played out.

  • Hank Bauer led off with a homer.
  • Phil Rizzuto walked.
  • Irv Noren was hit by a pitch.
  • Yogi Berra singled. Rizzuto went to third, but Noren went too far to second and was caught in a rundown with Rizzuto being tagged out at the plate trying to sneak in. That play went from right fielder Faye Throneberry to first baseman Billy Goodman to shortstop Jimmy Piersall to catcher Gus Niarhos to third baseman Vern Stephens to Niarhos. So that was 9-3-6-2-5-2. Five assists. Noren ended up at third and Berra at second.
  • Gene Woodling grounded to Piersall and Noren was thrown out at the plate, 6-2, with Berra moving up to third. One assist on the play, six overall.
  • Gil McDougald grounded to Piersall and threw the ball past Goodman at first and Berra scored with Woodling moving to third. That play was an E6.
  • Johnny Hopp came up to bat and McDougald tried to steal second on Boston pitcher Mickey McDermott (he had a cameo on Friday). McDermott threw the ball to THIRD where Woodling had broken off the bag. Woodling was eventually retired 1-2-1-5-2-6-1. Four assists on the play (you can only score one assist per player on each play), ten overall.

The Yankees won the game 18-3.

The Sporting News Complete Baseball Record Book also states that Cleveland had 10 assists in the first inning of a game against Philadelphia on August 17, 1921, however I can't find any details of that game.


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