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The 1948 Project – Whisper’s from Washington 7 May 1948
Too much Lemon for Washington’s taste. Bob Lemon, the converted infielder/outfielder shut out Washington on just four hits while striking out eleven men. Lemon helped win his own game in the third inning with a ringing double to center field. The crowd was meager, the rain keeping many fans home. Maybe it was the weather conditions, because Mickey had problems controlling his knuckle ball. Haefner had problems in the first inning. He walked Lou Boudreau with two outs, Eddie Robinson followed with a single. But Haefner killed the rally by getting Joe Gordon to strike out. The Indians were able to two runs in the third. The big play was a single to right by Lou Boudreau. The Indians added two more runs to their score in the fifth, thanks in part to a home run by Allie Clark. Manager Joe Kuhel had seen enough and sent Marino Pieretti to the mound in the sixth. Cleveland went on to win by a score of 8-0. Bob Lemon celebrating his third win of the season. In the other dugout, Milton Haefner took his second straight defeat and fifth loss in six starts in stride.
Player Profile – Milton Haefner
Haefner was born in Lenzburg, Illinois. He was a late bloomer and didn’t play his first professional game until he was 25. He first pitched for the 1938 Tallahassee Club in the Georgia-Florida League, winning 15 games. A year later the 26 year old was with Deland in the Florida League, another D League. He was 24-9. This led to his signing with Minneapolis, a well run team under the competent leadership of Tom Sheehan. It was the break Haefner had been looking for; in Minneapolis he had the teaching and time to refine his skills.
Finally in February 1943, Mickey Haefner was traded to Washington for Ray Hoffman, and outfielder and two pitchers. That year in training camp Haefner was an avid student of Dutch Leonard, who taught him all the secrets of his knuckleball specialty. Mickey has been a workhorse for the Senators and now his in his sixth year with the club. But at 35 there are some doubts about his continued effectiveness.
Mickey is a rarity, a left handed knuckle ball tosser. But as former Manager Ossie Bluege is quick to point out, “Micky isn’t entirely dependent upon the dipsy-do.” With Milwaukee he was fined $15 for using abusive language with an umpire. Haefner does not get much press and is said to be quiet but he has a fighting spirit, well known since his days with the Millers. On 15 April 1948, the Senators turn down a deal to send Mickey Haefner to the Phillies for shortstop Jack Albright. His name might still be on the trading block.
The 1948 Project
The 1948 Project will be a winter long project Karen and Kevin Flynn will be running in conjunction with a bigger project the folks over at DidTheTribeWinLastNight.com are running this winter.
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.