Paige Shuts Out Chicago For Second Time; Indians 1, White Sox 0
Vince Guerrieri | On 08, Feb 2016
August 20, 1948
There are those who derided Bill Veeck’s signing of Satchel Paige from the Negro Leagues as nothing more than a publicity stunt.
And while fans are coming out in droves to see Satch pitch for the Tribe, the ageless wonder has proven to be more than effective as a spot starter.
Paige got one run of support from the Indians offense, but it was all he needed as he threw a three-hitter against the White Sox at Municipal Stadium. The Indians won 1-0, their eighth win in a row and their eighth straight against the Pale Hose. A crowd of 78,382 – a major league record for a night game – witnessed Paige’s second start in Cleveland.
With the win, the Indians are now three games up on the second-place Red Sox, who swept a twin bill from the Senators. The Athletics are half of a game below Boston, and the Yankees are four and a half games back of the Indians.
Paige, who gave up two singles and a double and had no runners get past second, improves to 5-1. Bill Wight gave up one run on eight scattered hits, but took the loss to drop to 7-14.
After the game, a reporter suggested Paige as a Rookie of the Year candidate – an honor he might have to wrest from teammate Gene Bearden. Satch smiled and said, “You might be right, but 22 years is a long time to be a rookie.”
The pitchers traded goose eggs until the home half of the fourth inning. After Allie Clark flied out to left to start the inning, player-manager Lou Boudreau singled to right field. Eddie Robinson popped out to second, but Boudreau advanced to third on a single to left by Ken Keltner. Boudreau then scored on a single to center field by Larry Doby, advancing Keltner to third, but Johnny Berardino grounded into a fielder’s choice, and Doby was forced out at second to end the inning.
It appeared the Indians would add on in the fifth. After Jim Hegan and Paige struck out, Dale Mitchell singled, Clark drew a walk and Boudreau singled to load the bases. But Eddie Robinson lined out to right to snuff out any further rally.
The game is the fourth straight shutout by the Tribe, giving them a total of 39 consecutive scoreless innings. Of those, two shutouts were pitched by Paige, today in Cleveland and last week against the White Sox at Comiskey Park. All told, Satch has thrown 20 scoreless innings.
A crowd of 65,000 was expected the day before the game, but the capacity crowd – which included 400 Ohio mayors – put the Indians at nearly 1.9 million attendance for the season. If this pace continues, there’s no reason to believe the Indians can’t draw a major-league record of 2.5 million fans this year.
Paige himself is responsible for 200,000 in attendance, drawing capacity crowds at Comiskey and Griffith Stadium in Washington in addition to the start in Cleveland, causing the lanky right-hander to suggest he should work on percentage.
Tomorrow afternoon, the Indians will look to take another game against the last-place White Sox when ace Bob Lemon (16-10, 2.90) takes the mound on the shore of Lake Erie looking for his league-leading 17th win. Chicago will counter with Randy Gumpert (1-2, 3.72), who was supposed to start today’s game, but manager Ted Lyons juggled his rotation.
Photo: Cleveland Memory Project