Pivotal World Series Plays
Bartell Holds the Ball
1940 World Series Game 7: Detroit Tigers @ Cincinnati Reds
On a sunny but chilly Tuesday at Crosley Field, a disappointing crowd of 26,854 watched two right-handers, Cincinnati's Paul Derringer and Detroit's Bobo Newsom, mow down the hitters.
The only run in the first six and a half innings scored in the Tigers' third. C Billy Sullivan singled off 1B Frank McCormick's glove and was sacrified to second by Newsom. SS Dick Bartell popped to his counterpart, Billy Myers. After CF Barney McCoskey walked, 2B Charlie Gehringer hit a hard smash to 3B Bill Werber, who knocked the ball down. Although he had no chance to get Charlie, Bill threw into the dirt in front of McCormick. Sullivan scored, and McCosky raced to third as the ball deflected 10' off Frank. The play was scored a single for Gehringer and E5. The Tigers couldn't have asked for a better batter with run­ners on first and third than LF Hank Greenberg. But Derringer bore down and, after falling behind 3-0, whiffed Hank on a 3-2 pitch, Paul's 23rd of the inning and 43rd of the game.
Tigers P Bobo Newsom
L-R: Paul Derringer, Bobo Newsom, Charlie Gehringer, Hank Greenburg
Pitching his heart out in memory of his father, who died of a heart attack the morning after watching his son win Game One, Newsom held the Reds to four hits in the first six inn­ings, with no runner reaching third. But after the crowd stood up for the 7th inning stretch, they didn't sit down.
CF Frank McCormick crashed a double off the left field wall. That started Alton Benton and Tommy Bridges warming for the Tigers. LF Jimmy Ripple became the third straight batter (counting Goodman to end the 6th) to go for the first pitch, which he smashed high off the screen in front of the right field bleachers. The drive just missed being a homer, and RF Bruce Campbell failed in a desperate stab for the catch. But he picked up the ball and threw in to Bartell right away. Dick admitted later that he assumed McCormick would easily score from second, but, with his back to the runner, he didn't realize that Frank had waited to see whether the drive would be caught. Many observers, including some of Bar­tell's teammates, thought he had a good chance to nail McCormick at the plate if he had thrown promptly and accurately. Gehringer yelled, "Home, home, home!" but the shortstop couldn't hear him over the cheering crowd. When Bartell whirled with the throw from Campbell, he saw that McCormick had just rounded third, but he still held the ball as Frank scored the tying run. (Shades of the 1919 World Series, but no one ever accused Bartell of throwing the Series by holding the ball.)
Reds 1B Frank McCormickReds OF Jimmy Ripple
L-R: Frank McCormick, Jimmy Ripple, Dick Bartell, Jimmie Wilson
Detroit manager Del Baker stayed with Newsom, whose scoreless innings streak ended at 16, even though the Reds had hit him hard the last two innings. The next batter, C Jimmie Wilson was 2-for-2, but Reds skipper Bill McKechnie gave the bunt sign, and Jimmy executed perfectly to send Ripple to third as 3B Pinky Higgins threw to Gehrin­ger covering first.
The stands rocked with cheers as Ernie Lombardi hobbled on his injured ankle to bat for SS Eddie Joost. The cheers turned to boos as Newsom walked Schnozz intentionally. The Tigers knew that, even on one leg, Ernie could hit the ball a country mile. Lonnie Frey ran for Lombardi.
The Reds tried to execute a suicide squeeze on the first pitch, but Myers bunted foul. Ex­pecting another try, Newsom threw three straight pitchouts. Then Billy hit a fly to the center field fence. Ripple scored easily after McCosky's catch, Frey holding first. With a lead now, Derringer hit again and rapped to Higgins, who threw to Gehringer for the force on Frey.
Gehringer led off the top of the 8th with a single but went no further. Then Derringer set down the Tigers in order in the 9th to seal the 2-1 victory and Cincinnati's first World Series championship since the "tainted" one in 1919.
Newsom was keenly disappointed and broke down on reaching the dressing room. "It was the hardest game I ever wanted to win," he said with tears in his eyes. "I felt great. Naturally, I didn't feel as good as I should have. I pitched this game for my dad. I hope he knows what I accomplished. I knew in my heart he wanted me to win. This was the one I wanted to win most. It was a tough one to lose, but Derringer pitched a swell game and deserves a lot of credit. It's coming to him." As Bobo and Sullivan were being photo­graphed, the catcher said softly: "Bobo, your dad would have liked this one."
Jimmy Ripple had come to Cincinnati from Brooklyn August 23 and hit .307 and drove in 20 runs in 32 games with the Reds. Despite the fact that his double was the key hit in the winning rally in the 7th, the ball club voted him only a half share of the World Series money. A fan wrote Jimmy a note. "I see where the Reds voted you in for only a half share in the Series. You surely have earned more, so I am enclosing my $10 to help make it up."