1948 World Series recap

Indians defeat Braves, 4 games to 2

September 27th, 2022

For the first time in American League history, two teams finished the season tied, but the Indians advanced to the World Series with a one-game playoff victory over the Red Sox, thus preventing an all-Boston Fall Classic.

Indians ace Bob Feller, finally getting a chance to pitch in October after 13 seasons, performed brilliantly in the opener -- but not brilliantly enough. Feller permitted just two hits, but one of them was Tommy Holmes' RBI single in the bottom of the eighth. Meanwhile, Feller's mound opponent Johnny Sain didn't allow any runs, and just four hits on the way to a 1-0 gem. Cleveland's Bob Lemon evened the score in Game 2, however, pitching his way to a complete-game, 4-1 decision.

Rookie knuckleballer Gene Bearden, whose playoff victory over the Red Sox was his 20th regular-season victory, tossed a five-hit shutout in Game 3. The Indians managed only five hits themselves, but scored two runs to capture the victory. Game 4 witnessed more solid pitching, with Cleveland's Steve Gromek out-duelling Boston's Sain for a narrow 2-1 decision. Feller once again aimed for his first Series victory in Game 5, and once again Rapid Robert fell short. The Braves totaled 11 runs, and Warren Spahn picked up the 11-5 victory with 5 2/3 innings of scoreless relief.

Back at Fenway Park for Game 6, the Indians boasted a 4-1 lead after seven-and-a-half innings. In the bottom of the eighth, the Braves loaded the bases against starter Bob Lemon, and there was just one out. Indians player-manager Lou Boudreau summoned Bearden from the bullpen. Bearden allowed a sacrifice fly and an RBI double, but escaped the inning with a 4-3 lead. In the ninth, Bearden held the Braves again, thus clinching Cleveland's first World Series since 1920.

Managers: Lou Boudreau, CLE; Billy Southworth, BOS

Notes: Larry Doby, the Indians centerfielder, batted .318 with seven hits, including a homer and two RBI, in his first Series appearance.