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Oct. 15, 1946: Slaughter's mad dash flips the 1946 World Series

Oct. 15, 1946: Slaughter's mad dash flips the 1946 World Series

1946 World Series between Cardinals and Red Sox

Enos Slaughter slides across home plate in the bottom of the eighth with what proved to be the winning run in Game 7 of the 1946 World Series between the Cardinals and Boston Red Sox at Sportsman's Park. Slaughter was running from first base on the pitch and easily scored on a single by Harry Walker. Red Sox catcher Roy Partt (left) runs up the third-base line to get the late relay throw home from shortstop Johnny Pesky. (AP Photo)

On Oct. 15, 1946, Enos Slaughter scored what was undoubtedly the most famous run in Cardinals World Series history.

In the bottom of the eighth inning, the Cardinals came to the plate having just seen their lead evaporate. Dom DiMaggio’s double off Harry Brecheen had scored two runs and knotted the game, 3-3. That blow sank the Cardinals’ probability of winning from 84 percent to right around 53 percent, according to WPA (Win Probability Added).

A World Series that featured Ted Williams and Stan Musial in their returns from war and capped the first season the Cardinals drew 1 million fans, went to the bottom of the eighth inning tied. Brecheen finished the inning by getting a popup from Williams, but the damage was done. He would get tagged with a blown save, retroactively applied once, you know, that statistic was created.

Enos Slaughter led off the eighth for the Cardinals with a single. He stayed at first base as Whitey Kurowksi botched a bunt and as Del Rice flew out to left field. Up came Harry Walker. Walker had missed the previous two seasons to serve in World War II, and 1946 would be his last full season with the Cardinals for a while. The following May, he was traded to Philadelphia. (Walker, a second generation big-leaguer, returned to the Cardinals twice more in his career and would re-appear in the majors in 1955 for 15 plate appearances.)

With Slaughter still at first, Walker had what arguably is the biggest hit of his career. And that was just because of the run it produced: Slaughter’s Mad Dash. Walker’s double – yes, it was ruled a double – went to left field, and Slaughter never stopped. He outran Johnny Pesky’s relay throw home and put the Cardinals back ahead.

It remains a magic mad dash to the day for Cardinals’ fans, and now we can get all cold and calculating on the moment to say the 270 feet that Slaughter took on Walker’s base hit upped the Cardinals’ probability of winning to 87 percent. Brecheen vultured the win.

Slaughter ran his way to a title, into history, and onto the Cardinals’ wall. Oh, and he increased the probability of his Hall of Fame induction.

Read more:

From 2017: Winning moments that swung the Cardinals to Game 7 success.

See Post-Dispatch pages from the 1946 World Series.

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