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Phil Masi Autographs, Memorabilia & Collectibles

PHIL MASI
Born: January 6, 1916 in Chicago, Illinois
Died: March 29, 1990 in Mt. Prospect, Illinois
Player Career
Bat: Right Throw: Right Height: 5' 10" Weight: 177
First Game: April 23, 1939 ; Final Game: August 17, 1952
Biography | show moreshow less
Phil Masi This article was written by John McMurray and is presented in part, courtesy of the Society for American Baseball Research Although he was a four-time All-Star with the Boston Braves and respected throughout baseball as an excellent defensive catcher and steady hitter, Phil Masi is best remembered for being part of one of the most controversial plays in World Series history.During the bottom of the eighth inning in Game One of the 1948 Series between the Braves and Cleveland Indians, Cleveland pitcher Bob Feller spun around and threw to shortstop Lou Boudreau to try to pick Masi off of second base. Masi, who was pinch-running for slow-footed starting receiver Bill Salkeld, slid back to the bag and was called safe by umpire Bill Stewart, though most observers believed he was out. The implications became huge moments later when Masi scored the only run of the game on Tommy Holmes' single, thus denying Hall of Famer Feller his best chance to win a World Series contest.Although the Indians went on to win the series in six games, controversy raged over the play for decades -- and Masi made a point of not conceding he was out. Holmes, who was Masi's roommate with the Braves, said, "Whenever I asked Phil [about the play], he always said, ‘Tommy, it was close.'" Holmes was on-deck at the time, and he claimed that the play happened too quickly for him to know for sure. On October 7, 1948, one day after the game, the Associated Press noted that Masi was "not sure" whether he was safe or out. He insisted only that "it was much closer than it looked," adding that: "I would have squawked if I had been called out." In an interview published in Baseball Digest in 1978, Masi offered a stronger opinion formed over 30 years by stating: "Feller and Boudreau worked the play very well, but I'm sure I was safe."
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