The Sad Sack Browns of St Louis came into this day in last place in the American League, and they would leave the Nation’s Capital in worst shape than they arrived in losing 7-6 in a thriller against the Senators.
The Senators would win on a bases loaded squeeze bunt by Sam Dente scoring Sherry Robertson in front of a crowd of 6,884. And for the minuscule crowd, the chaos leading up to that event was a treat for all.
The game started off with both squads trading a run in the opening frame. In the top of the third inning, the Browns second baseman Jerry Priddy singled home teammate Stan Spence to give the visitors an early 2-1 lead. The score would stay that way until the seventh when the game took a fun turn. The Senators would tie it up with a wild pitch by Browns pitcher Red Embree. But St Louis would promptly take the lead back in the eighth inning on a Jack Graham single for a 3-2 score. In bottom of that frame, the Senators with a three-run rally capped by a Gil Coan two-run single, charged back for a 5-3 lead. And sure enough, in the ninth, they would lose that lead when the Browns responded with their own three-run inning and a 6-5 lead.
But before the Washington fans could feel any disappointment in the unfortunate turn of events, their Senators answered quickly when the Browns left fielder Roy Sievers misplayed a line drive hit by Bud Stewart, who was able to circle the bases for an inside-the-park home run to tie the game at 6-6. The following batter Robertson bunted to the third base side for a single and then two walks issued by Browns relief pitcher Al Papai loaded the bases with one out for Dente, who sent the sparse crowd home happy with a squeeze bunt scoring Robertson for maybe the most exciting win on a still young season.
The Browns misery would continue through 1949 finishing the season with 101 losses and a seventh place finish. Ironically enough, it was the Senators, which after this win would improve to 17-15 on the season and eight games ahead of the 9-22 Browns, who would finish last with a 50-104 record. On June 21st the Senators record stood at 29-29 and in sixth place, from there they would finish the season with a 21-75 record that sent them freefalling into last place of the American League. A position both teams over the years grew too familiar with.
Thanks to my friend Jay Gauthreaux for digging up this wonder photo and it’s view of Griffith Stadium.