Feller Washed Out Again as Williams Declares Tribe Favorite

June 9, 1948

The Cleveland Indians and Boston Red Sox game scheduled for Wednesday afternoon was cancelled due to rain and cold weather. Mostly due to the cool weather, the game became the third time in a week that Bob Feller’s scheduled start was altered.

“There is a mental condition involved,” Feller said. “Like in Philadelphia last Monday. I was going to pitch with two days of rest and I primed myself for it. I was ready to go and I felt good but when the ball game was called off I sort of had a letdown feeling. The same thing happened today. Now I’ve got to mentally condition myself for the game tomorrow.”

Feller will pitch tomorrow on six days of rest. He hasn’t pitched since last Friday night in Washington after being rained out the day before on his regularly scheduled day. He then was slated to pitch Monday in Philadelphia, but was washed out and pushed back to Wednesday. Indians manager Lou Boudreau thought Gene Bearden’s knuckleball would be better against the Red Sox at night. Today is the third time rain has interfered with Feller in a week.

Instead of facing Jack Kramer, he’ll now be opposed by Red Sox ace Joe Dobson (6-4, 2.98). The right-hander has won one game and lost one game against the Tribe this season. He’s gone the distance in both games, throwing nine innings on May 21 and ten innings on May 9.

Meanwhile, the leaders of the American League received a heavy endorsement from Red Sox slugger Ted Williams.

“Maybe it’s just the way they’ve looked against us,” Williams said this morning. “I think the Cleveland Indians should win the pennant. They’ve been getting better pitching than anybody else and they’re hitting better than the rest of us.”

The Red Sox and Yankees were assumed to be the preseason favorites. New York won the World Series a year ago and Boston has new manager Joe McCarthy. Williams is currently leading both major leagues in hitting with an average of .384. Williams thinks the Tribe is the favorite, as long as Boudreau remains healthy.

“If nothing happens to Boudreau, the Indians should win it,” Williams said.

Williams, who is often frustrated by Boudreau’s unique defensive shift to get him out, jokes that he could slow the star shortstop down.

“I know how you can stop Boudreau,” he said with a grin. “Pitch him low and away and then put seven guys in right field.”

Boudreau spent the rain day receiving heat treatment for his injured left shoulder, which he admitted would not have kept him out of the game today. The Indians and Boudreau were concerned that the shoulder could tighten up after last night and force him out of the lineup. He has responded well to treatment and expects to be able to play tomorrow afternoon when the skies clear.

Meanwhile, Jim Hegan will not be available for possibly the remainder of the road trip. He left the team this afternoon, returning to Cleveland to attend to his ailing wife. Mrs. Hegan is currently in Mount Sinai Hospital in a “serious” condition according to Dr. J.L. Bubis. Hegan flew from Boston to Toledo and headed to Cleveland. It’s unlikely that he will rejoin the team before they return home next Tuesday.

Photo: TheGuardian.com

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