Casey lasted until 1949 in the big leagues and then, on July 3, 1951, at age 37, he committed suicide, despondent apparently over a failed romance. MacPhail quit the Dodgers in September of 1942. "He fired me 60 times," said Durocher, "but I was there when he left." MacPhail would later become president of the despised Yankees, and Durocher would make the astonishing jump in 1948 from the Dodgers to the New York Giants.
Owen and Henrich didn't say a word to each other that fateful day, but years later they became fast friends. Sometimes, cautiously, they would discuss the infamous passed ball. "We even posed for a picture together," says Henrich. "In it, Mickey is choking me." He laughs. "Time's a great healer, you know."
Well, that's easy for him to say.