by Joe Dittmar
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TEAM DRAWS 11 WALKS IN ONE INNING;
FOUR TEAMMATES DRAW TWO WALKS APIECE IN ONE INNING
Washington Senators (5) at New York Yankees (20)
Sunday, September 11, 1949, Yankee Stadium
In 1949, when the Senators and Yankees locked horns, fans witnessed the two wildest pitching staffs in the major leagues. The New York squad was the most generous, issuing 5.27 free passes per nine innings; Washington conferred 4.99. In the first game of a doubleheader this day, however, it was the Senators who excelled in charitable contributions by bestowing 17 bases-on-balls on their hosts, including 11 in one inning for a new major league mark. (The previous record had been "only" eight.) Four different Yankees collected two free tickets in the frame for another major league mark. The 17 total walks in a single game donated by the Senator staff also narrowly missed the all-time mark of 18 (see 5-09-16 & 5-20-48). The Senators were well on their way to obliterating the mark of 18 walks when they had issued 13 after only three innings. But Washington's Buzz Dozier, who shocked the huge crowd by laboring behind sun glasses, belied his appearances and restored some sense of stability to the fray by walking only four Yankees over the final five frames.
The bizarre fifty-minute, home-team half of the third saw 18 Yankees appear at the plate. Here's how that record-setting pageant progressed (walk number in parenthesis):
- Phil Rizzuto led off with a free pass (1).
- Cliff Mapes also strolled (2).
- Bobby Brown doubled down the right-field line, scoring both Rizzuto and Mapes.
- Joe DiMaggio grounded to Eddie Yost, whose throw bounced off Joe's shoulder into right field for a three base error. Brown scored on the play.
- Yogi Berra then looped a double into center sending DiMaggio home and starter Paul Calvert to the showers.
- Charlie Keller welcomed reliever Dick Welteroth by walking (3).
- Joe Collins also walked (4) loading the sacks.
- Jerry Coleman accepted more of Welteroth's generosity when he too walked (5) to force home Berra.
- Allie Reynolds couldn't wait for another free pass and instead singled to left scoring Keller and Collins. Coleman stopped at second. On the play, left fielder Bud Stewart and shortstop Sam Dente collided heavily, both being forced to leave the game. Stewart had to be carried off on a stretcher.
- When play resumed, Jerry Coleman was trapped off second and tagged out in a rundown (Early-Christman-Yost). Reynolds took second on the play.
- Rizzuto singled to left, sending Reynolds to third.
- Mapes walked (6) for the second time in the stanza, loading the bases and sending Welteroth to the locker room. Julio Gonzalez was called upon to halt the recklessness.
- Brown watched four bad ones (7) from Gonzalez, forcing Reynolds home.
- DiMaggio made the second out by flying out to Clyde Vollmer in left, scoring Rizzuto and sending Mapes to third.
- Berra walked (8) to re-load the bases.
- Keller also walked (9), forcing home Mapes.
- Collins followed with still another free pass (10) to bring home Brown. That was all for Gonzalez, who was replaced by Buzz Dozier.
- Coleman walked (11), forcing home Berra.
- Reynolds ended the extravaganza by popping out to Eddie Robinson at first.
From Baseball Records Registry by Joseph J. Dittmar.
Copyright © 1997 by Joseph J. Dittmar. Reprinted with permission.