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phil masi, 1949 bowman #153, boston braves

Player: Masi, Phil

Card: 1949 Bowman #153

Position: C

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Masi, according to Raymond Coffey, was “a ballplayer before ballplayers took to being millionaires first and ballplayers second…He was a ballplayer, and more than a ballplayer. A man for all seasons.”

Chicago-born Philip Samuel Masi was a catcher for the Boston Braves (1939–1949), Pittsburgh Pirates (1949) and Chicago White Sox (1950–1952). He was known for being one of the best defensive catchers of his era. He was named to the NL All-Star team in 1945, 1946 (catching Spahn and Sain), 1947 (when he batted .304 for the season) and 1948.

Phil was notable for his involvement in a controversial play that occurred in the first game of the 1948 World Series between the Boston Braves and the Cleveland Indians. The Braves' Johnny Sain and Indians' Bob Feller were engaged in a scoreless pitchers' duel when the Braves came to bat in the bottom of the eighth inning. Feller walked Braves catcher Bill Salkeld to open the inning. Braves manager Billy Southworth then substituted the slow-footed Salkeld with Masi, who entered the game as a pinch runner.

Mike McCormick followed with a sacrifice bunt, advancing Masi to second base. Feller issued an intentional walk to Eddie Stanky, who was replaced by Sibby Sisti. Feller then made a pick off attempt of Masi at second base. Indians' shortstop Lou Boudreau appeared to tag him out, but umpire Bill Stewart called him safe. Tommy Holmes followed with a single that scored Phil with the only run of the game, giving the Braves a 1-0 victory. The umpire's controversial ruling touched off heated debates among the media and fans, especially after Associated Press photographs of the play were published.

Listen to the radio broadcast of the 8th inning of game 1 of the 1948 WS on YouTube starting at the 1:38:00 mark.

(excerpted from SABR, BR Bullpen & Wikipedia)


1950 Bowman #128
1952 Topps #283
2009 Italian American Baseball Heroes #68


Masi is part of the Born in Chicago TourNext Stop

Phil is part of the All-Star Player Tour – Go to the Next Stop

Phil is also part of the Braves Players Tour – Go To the Next Stop

Phil is also part of the Chicago White Sox Players Tour – Go To the Next Stop

Phil is also part of the Pittsburgh Pirates Players Tour – Go To the Next Stop

See all Phil’s baseball cards at TCDB

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