How long would the Braves wait patiently under Billy Southworth for a pennant? 1948 was the year. The Braves finished in first with a record of 91-62, 6 & 1/2 games ahead.
The reward came to “Spahn and Sain and pray for rain.” It was a long draught. Not since 1914 had they come in first. And, it was almost an all-Boston World Series.
Sain won 24 games against 15 losses in 1948 and finished second in the voting for the Most Valuable Player Award behind the St. Louis Cardinals’ Stan Musial, who had won two legs of the triple crown. Sain and teammate Spahn achieved joint immortality that year when their feats were the subject of sports editor Gerald V. Hern’s poem in the Boston Post which was eventually shortened to the epigram, “Spahn and Sain and pray for rain.”
According to the Baseball Almanac, the original doggerel appeared in Hern’s column on September 14, 1948:
First we’ll use Spahn
then we’ll use Sain
Then an off day
followed by rain
Back will come Spahn
followed by Sain
by two days of rain.