Former star pitcher Johnny Sain dies at 89 in Illinois


Wednesday, November 8th 2006, 6:29 am
By: News On 6


DOWNERS GROVE, Ill. (AP) _ Johnny Sain, a three-time All-Star who teamed with Warren Spahn to make up one of baseball's most fabled pitching tandems, died Tuesday. He was 89.

Sain's best year was 1948, when he and Spahn led the Boston Braves to the World Series, where they lost to Cleveland. It was during that season when the famous saying was born: ``Spahn and Sain and pray for rain.''

The Boston Post ran a poem by sports editor Gerald Hern that led to the catchy phrase about the Braves' two dominant pitchers _ and the rest of their unheralded rotation.

``First we'll use Spahn, then we'll use Sain, Then an off day, followed by rain. Back will come Spahn, followed by Sain, And followed, we hope, by two days of rain,'' it read.

Sain was 139-116 with a 3.49 ERA in 11 seasons in the 1940s and 1950s, mostly with the Braves and New York Yankees. He won three straight World Series titles with the Yankees from 1951-53.

Sain had a stroke in 2002 and had been in poor health. The Knollcrest Funeral Home in Lombard, Ill., said it was handling the arrangements.

The Chicago Tribune earlier reported Sain's death on its Web site.