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The 1948 Project – Meet the Senators
Pitching should be a strong suit for Washington in 1948. With Early Wynn, Walt Masterson, Sid Hudson and Milton “Mickey” Haefner, the Nats will be tough. Masterson compiled a 1947 streak of 34 scoreless innings while finishing with a 12-18 record. He will share the #1 spot with Early Wynn, the 17 game winner. Sid Hudson and Mickey Haefner combined for 16 victories. Either Ray Scarborough or Milo Candini, who has looking great in spring training will be the fifth starter. Tom Ferrick and Forrest Thompson, drafted from Atlanta where he won 16, will be in the bullpen. Marino Pieretti also will be kept for relief work. The club might also use two young right-handers. They are Dick Weik, from Chattanooga with a 2-1 record, or Dick Welteroth was advanced from Bridgeport, after a 6-9 season. Ramon Garcia, a Joe Cambria “find” from Cuba, is getting a close look. In his only start he held the Athletics to one hit over a five inning stretch. But the team lacks punch and fielding finesse to win consistently.
Slowly the Senators are disintegrating as the older players drip out or are sold. Since last season they have lost Cecil Travis, Buddy Lewis, Jerry Priddy and Stan Spence. Travis just didn’t have it anymore because of wartime injuries. Lewis quit to run an auto agency; Spence was sold to the Red Sox, and Priddy to the Browns.
Mickey Vernon is the first baseman. He is a good hitter, even though he dropped from league leading batter in 1946 to .265 last summer. Second base belongs to Al Kozar, a former Boston farmhand who came to Washington with outfielder Leon Culberson in the Spence deal last December. Kozar batted .339 on the Red Sox’ New Orleans Club last year. In early April he collected three straight hits of Hal Newhouser in an exhibition game. “Our scouts didn’t get a single ‘if’ or ‘but’ on him,” says Kuhel, hopefully. Manager Joe Kuhel will mix and match John Sullivan, who batted .256 in 49 games in 1947, but is an erratic fielder, with the slick fielding Mark Christman. Eddie Yost, a .238 batter last year is anchoring the hot corner. Clarence Difani and Ed Lyons will be the reserves.
Gil Coan, the highly-touted rookie of a few seasons back, has the left field job if he can hit within 50 points of his .340 average at Chattanooga last year. Sherry Robertson, a converted infielder, goes to right. During the spring he was the club’s best hitter despite a .233 mark in 1947. Tom McBride, Larry Drake and Earl Wooten are the other outfielders. McBride was with the club last year. Drake hit .340 for Sherman, Texas, and Wooten batted .293 for Chattanooga.
Leon Culberson sprained his foot early in the training season and will be the varsity center fielder.
The 1948 Project
The 1948 Project
Did The Tribe Win Last Night is a wonderful website that covers everything about the Cleveland Indians baseball club. Starting September 22, 2013 they are going to start winter project where they are retelling of the Cleveland Indians 1948 World Series Season.