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LATE FLASH FROM DELPHI
Red Smith
April 11, 1955
An oracle named Smith takes a long, breezy look at the National League, listens to a character or two, sticks a pin in here and there, and comes up with the word on this year's pennant race: it will be a thriller
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April 11, 1955

Late Flash From Delphi

An oracle named Smith takes a long, breezy look at the National League, listens to a character or two, sticks a pin in here and there, and comes up with the word on this year's pennant race: it will be a thriller

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JAMES LAMAR RHODES

outfield New York Giants

Height: 6'

Weight: 180

Bats: Left

Throws: Right

Home: Deatsville, Ala.

Born: May 13, 1927

� T.C.G. printed in U.S.A.

No baseball fan will ever forget "Dusty's" amazing batting feats that led the Giants to the '54 World Championship. During the regular season, his sensational pinch-hitting provided the Giants' margin of victory time after time. In the Series he continued to astound the baseball world by winning the 1st game with a Homer and playing the major role in the Giants' 4 game sweep.

MAJOR LEAGUE BATTING RECORD

FIELDING

Games

At Bat

Runs

Hits

2b

3b

H.R.

R.B.I

B. Avg

P.O.

Assists

Errors

F Avg.

Year

82

164

31

56

7

3

15

50

.341

62

1

1

.984

Life

225

503

83

138

22

4

36

116

.274

235

10

13

.950

Now, the new year reviving old desires, The thoughtful soul to solitude retires...

That was in Omar Khayy�m's league. In Warren Giles' league the thoughtful souls are named Branch Rickey and Fred Haney, and they live in Pittsburgh. "What do you think of the National League race?" Mr. Haney was asked. "Nuts to the National League," said the manager of the Pirates. "I got troubles of my own."

Elsewhere in the league the new baseball year is reviving old pennant desires, together with an optimism that borders on the obscene. At least five clubs are bubbling with a joyous conviction that they're going to win the pennant; and in Tampa, Fla., President Giles has been sunning himself like a lizard, luxuriating in the prospect of the damndest dogfight and plushiest profits since umpires learned to walk on their hind legs.

Leo Durocher, seven months gone with a swelling sense of destiny, loves Jim Hearn, a pitcher whom he formerly regarded with a repugnance warming toward loathing. The romance has ripened just in time, for the Giants need pitching.

The awesome might of the Dodgers has wrung tribute from their former manager, Charley Dressen, who would almost rather cut his tongue out than put a successor on the spot. "Unless they get all their arms broke," he has said, "they gotta win." So exuberant is the resident manager, Walter Alston, that on sunny days he pronounces both syllables of "hello."

Busloads of Milwaukee's cheerful burghers, bringing the conventional gifts of Liederkranz, cheesecake, Braunschweiger, frankincense and myrrh, trooped into the training grounds in Bradenton, Fla. to touch the hem of Bobby Thomson's sweat-sock, just over the bandage. They discerned no clay in or near his repaired ankle.

When Gussie Busch and that beer baron's retinue didn't need the St. Petersburg practice field for their exercise, some of the most promising rookies in baseball worked out there in uniforms of the St. Louis Cardinals.

Relaxing in the shade of Ted Kluszewski's biceps, Birdie Tebbetts has conceded that life could be beautiful in Cincinnati, provided the right people were to pitch well enough.

Chicago and Philadelphia also have teams in the league.

In short, it is spring, Ford Frick's in his swivel chair, and practically all is for the best in this nearly best of all possible leagues, almost.

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