Collision At Home Plate

Billy Klaus Takes Down Yogi Berra, Ted Williams Picks Up 2,000th Hit – 1955

Yogi Berra Billy Klaus Red Sox Aug 11 1955 1  ©  Daily News Yogi Berra Billy Klaus Red Sox Aug 11 1955 2   ©  Daily News

Yogi Berra Billy Klaus Red Sox Aug 11 1955 3   ©  Daily News Yogi Berra Billy Klaus Red Sox Aug 11 1955 4   ©  Daily News

Yogi Berra Billy Klaus Red Sox Aug 11 1955 5   ©  Daily News Yogi Berra Billy Klaus Red Sox Aug 11 1955 6   ©  Daily News

In this series of photographs from August 11, 1955 at Yankee Stadium, Red Sox shortstop Billy Klaus smashes into Yankees catcher Yogi Berra.

The play unfolded in the fifth inning after Klaus singled and Ted Williams hit a ground-rule double advancing Klaus to third. Norm Zauchin then hit a fly ball to right and Hank Bauer made a great throw to Berra.  Klaus barreled into Berra knocking the ball loose.

What I like about the photograph besides the action, is that umpire Jim Honochick looks on rather passively not moving very far from where he calls balls and strikes, to make what should have been a very close call at the plate!

The Red Sox would lose this game 5-3. After the game with an ice bag pressed to his face Berra was sore and said, “I don’t know what he hit me with, but I hurt all over.”

One very important event happened in the game, Ted Williams became the 96th player in major league history to record 2,000 hits. He picked it up on a bloop single in the first inning that fell in left center between Phil Rizzuto, Mickey Mantle and Elston Howard. When Williams reached first he jokingly commented to Yankee first basemen Moose Skowron, “What a smash.”

With the hit, Williams became one of only four active players to be in the 2,000 hit club, the others being Stan Musial, Enos Slaughter and Mickey Vernon.

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