McGee: Bevens, Lavagetto, and the almost World Series no-hitter

From SABR member Bob McGee at The National Pastime Museum on March 26, 2015:

One baseball game across the ages? 1947 World Series, Game 4.

Here’s the pageant: postwar New York City. Almost everyone is home now after cycling out of the military in ’45 and ’46, back from Anzio and Monte Cassino, back from Guadalcanal and Corregidor, out of the B-17s and 24s, off the PT boats and destroyers. Out of the subs.

Leo Durocher had the year off as Bums manager, suspended, thanks to either card games with George Raft, baiting umpires, cuffing a fan, diddling Laraine Day, all of the above, or some combination thereof. Only Commissioner Happy Chandler knew for sure.

A nickel could get you a ride on the rollicking old subway cars with cane seats and leather straps to Brooklyn’s Prospect Park station. Shortly after emerging, a short walk would leave you in front of the ballpark’s main entrance, the Rotunda, brooded over by an iron marquee and a majestic façade of brick pilasters and ornament separating rows of Federal-style, small-pane windows. Atop the setback, in caps below the ballpark’s crown declared: EBBETS FIELD.

Welcome to the center of the universe. Inside, it’s the Yankees and the Dodgers, following up on their Fall Classic meeting in ’41. The Dodgers were playing in their second World Series since their October appearance in 1920; the Yankees, their 13th. After making quick work of the Dodgers in ’41, four games to one, the Yankees were leading in this matchup, two games to one.

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Originally published: March 26, 2015. Last Updated: March 26, 2015.