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  • Writer's pictureKirk Jenkins

Satchel Paige Takes the Mound as the Monarchs Look for a 3-0 Lead

Today we’re back at Griffith Park for Game 3 of the 1942 Negro League World Series, the Kansas City Monarchs versus the Homestead Grays. The Monarchs will be sending Satchel Paige to the mound, while the Grays will counter with Johnny Wright.

Both pitchers started the game sharp, retiring the sides quickly. With one out in the top of the third, Jesse Williams singles to center. Satchel Paige laid down a perfect bunt to advance Williams to second and Willie Simms stroked a single to right to bring Williams home. The Monarchs added a second run in the top of the fourth when Willard Brown and Buck O’Neil coupled singles to left around Joe Greene’s lazy ground ball to third. The Monarchs added a third run in the top of the fifth on Willie Simms’ booming home run to straightaway center.

Meanwhile, the Grays staged a threat in the bottom of the fifth when Vic Harris led things off with a triple into the left field gap. But Paige rallied quickly, getting Matt Carlisle on a called strike three, Johnny Wright on a popup to first and David Whatley on a fly ball to center.

The Monarchs staged an almost identical rally in the top of the sixth when Joe Greene drove a two-out triple into the right-center field gap. But Wright struck out Buck O’Neil to shut things down.

In the bottom of the sixth, the Grays manufactured a threat out of catcher Joe Greene’s carelessness. Jerry Benjamin got things started with a walk. Greene sent Benjamin to second on the second pitch to Buck Leonard on a passed ball. After Leonard popped out to the first baseman, Benjamin managed to take third on yet another passed ball by Greene. But Paige bore down again, getting Josh Gibson on a fly ball to right and Sam Bankhead on a foul pop behind home plate.

The Monarchs added a fourth run in the top of the eighth. With one out, Wright hit Ted Strong with a fast ball in the shoulder. After Sylvester Snead came in to run for Strong, Wright got Willard Brown on strikes. But Joe Greene slammed a double straight down the right field line, with the speedy Snead scoring all the way from first.

The Grays mounted a minor threat in the bottom half of the frame when Jerry Benjamin drew a one-out walk and Buck Leonard followed with a line single to left. Manager Frank Duncan sent Satchel Paige to the showers, replacing him with Booker McDaniel. McDaniel immediately delivered, getting Josh Gibson on a line drive to short that Jesse Williams turned into a 6-4 double play, nailing Leonard at second.

After a 1-2-3 Monarchs top of the ninth, the Grays came up with their last chance to avoid a 3-0 deficit in the series. McDaniel got Sam Bankhead and Howard Easterling on back-to-back line drives, Bankhead to short and Easterling to first. The Grays sent Jud Wilson to the plate as a pinch hitter to try and keep the game going. Wilson worked McDaniel to a 3-2 count, but then McDaniel wrapped things up with a pop up gloved by Bonnie Serrell at second for the third out and a three-game lead for the Monarchs.

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