On the Cardinals’ pregame radio show from Los Angeles June 9, 2010, Mike Shannon had Dodgers broadcaster Vin Scully as his guest.
Shannon asked Scully about the long Dodgers-Cardinals rivalry, and Scully launched into a story to illustrate the intensity that once existed in the series.
According to Scully, Brooklyn’s Carl Furillo lined a shot that struck Cardinals pitcher Cloyd Boyer in the throat. Scully told how Boyer dropped to the ground and reached for his throat as if trying to pry an imaginary pair of hands that were strangling him.
As Furillo went up the line toward first base, he apparently was jawing at Boyer. Furillo supposedly was yelling, “Choke, you so-and-so. Choke!” Scully said.
After hearing that, I went to see whether I could find evidence of the story being true.
It did happen: in July 1950 at a game in St. Louis’ Sportsman’s Park.
How impressive it was to hear Scully tell the tale 60 YEARS after he witnessed it.
I found two accounts: in the October 1950 Baseball Digest, and in the July 26, 1950, The Sporting News.
The Baseball Digest version: “Boyer missed more than a month of action in 1950 with a twisted ankle and barely escaped worse injury when a Carl Furillo line drive glanced off his hands and struck him on the Adam’s apple. But the gallant hurler scrambled to his feet, threw out the batter and then collapsed.”
The Sporting News version: “Cloyd Boyer, hard-luck rookie righthander, was laid up for the third time this season when a line drive off the bat of Carl Furillo, Brooklyn outfielder, bruised his right hand at the base of the thumb and glanced against his windpipe, momentarily taking the kid’s wind.”