Bomber from the Bronx
It was the last game of the 1945 pennant race and the whole baseball
world was waiting tensely to see what would happen. The Detroit Tigers had to win this
game from the pestiferous St. Louis Browns, the 1944 American League champions. The Tigers
were not far enough ahead of the Washington Senators, and here it was, the last game of
the season and Nels Potter, the ace of the Brown staff, was twirling.
The score was deadlocked and it was the last of the ninth inning.
Somehow the Tigers had filled the bases on infield hits and a bit of wildness on the part
of Potter, a smart old campaigner.
And the batter was Hank Greenberg, the mightiest righthanded slugger in
baseball. But Hank was rusty after a long hitch in the Army. Fans turned to one another,
some in hope, some wishing that Greenberg had suddenly grown blind in the Army.
And then, with a count of one ball, Potter grooved a medium-fast pitch.
Greenberg swung hard. The ball began to climb towards left field. Because it was two out
every Tiger on the base paths ran with the crack of the bat. But they didn't have to. The
ball grew smaller and smaller as it rose and when it disappeared among the patrons in left
field 351 feet away, the Tigers had won another American