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The Year (1948)

How long would the Braves wait patiently under Billy Southworth for a pennant? 1948 was the year. The Braves finished in first with a record of 91-62, 6 & 1/2 games ahead.

The reward came to “Spahn and Sain and pray for rain.” It was a long draught. Not since 1914 had they come in first. And, it was almost an all-Boston World Series.

Warren Spahn and Johnny Sain (1947)

Warren Spahn and Johnny Sain were a VERY good combination in 1947 as the best pitchers around. Of course, they played for the Braves. The tied for second in victories. The had 21 each. That was just one behind Cincinnati’s Ewell Blackwell. He is well known for one of the more amazing things in baseball. Unfortunately it was against the Braves that season. He delivered a no hitter against us in June.

Spahn won his first eight games that season. Not a bad start. He also managed to lead the league with seven shutouts. He became the second Brave in the 20th century to lead the league in ERA. He had a fairly “decent” 2.33

Born in Havana (1917)

Johnny Sain was born in Havana. It was 1917. OK, it wasn’t Cuba. But today in baseball that wouldn’t be unheard of. It was Arkansas. He is best known for teaming up with Warren Spahn on the Boston Braves. He was with the Braves from 1946 to 1951.

Here are a couple of quick highlights:

  • Born September 25, 1917 in Havana, Arkansas.
  • Died November 7, 2006.
  • A right handed pitcher.
  • MVP in 1948 in the Braves’ pennant winning season. He led the NL in wins, complete games and innings pitched.
  • He later became one the top pitching coaches in the majors.
  • Pitched for 11 years. He won 136 games. He lost 116. His combined ERA was 3.49.
  • His best years were after World War II. He won 100 games for the Braves.
  • He was traded to the New York Yankees (Boo Hiss!!!) in 1951.

Probably too bad much of his good stuff is lost against the backdrop of Warren Spahn but he was great.

14 straight games (1947)

1947 was quite a season for the Boston Braves. They had barely seen first in 30 years. They ended in third place. For the second straight season, they set an attendance record.

On August 20, 1947, two fans won cars. The attendance that day went over 1,000,000. The final attendance that year was 1,277,361. They were becoming the talk of baseball.

One of the more amazing things that season was that the great pitcher, Johnny Sain, was also one of the best hitters. At one point he hit safely in 14 straight games. He batted a respectable .346 for the season. Billy Southworth was helping to move the Braves ahead.

Sain / Spahn poem (1948)

It is Labor Day in 1948. The Braves are on a pennant drive. The swept a Labor Day doubleheader. Spahn threw a complete 14 inning win in the opener. Sain, not to be outdone, threw a shutout in the second game. After two days off, it rained. Spahn won the next day. Sain won the day after that. Three days later what happened? Spahn won again. Sain won the next day.

So they take a day off. They both come back for a doubleheader. They both win. They went, 8-0 in twelve days.

Don’t you just love baseball. And so, they inspired this poem.

First we’ll use Spahn
then we’ll use Sain.
Then an off day
followed by rain.
Back will come Spahn
followed by Sain.
And followed
we hope
by two days of rain.

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