LEO DOESN'T MISS IT
Mr. L. Ernest Durocher, an executive of the National Broadcasting Co., turned up in Dallas last week to address a banquet for the Dallas Friends of the National Jewish Hospital at Denver. The hospital is a nonsectarian charitable organization for the treatment of tuberculosis and Mr. Durocher has been interested in it for a long time. Also, one facet of his job with NBC is public relations.
Mr. Durocher was met at the airport by assorted dignitaries, two cityside reporters and one sportswriter who had known him during his long, misspent youth.
Mr. Durocher was a very picture of the modern major network executive, conservatively dressed in a black suit, with a black four-in-hand tie and a touch of white handkerchief showing at the breast pocket. He discussed NBC and the hospital in quiet, dignified tones and he didn't pay much attention to the sportswriter until he was asked if he missed baseball.
"No," said Mr. Durocher, seriously. "I haven't missed it a bit. I haven't seen a game this year. I love my work with NBC."
His voice was still quiet and dignified, but you couldn't help remembering when Mr. Durocher's voice was a raspy howl that could climb over the roar of a crowd at Yankee Stadium or the Polo Grounds.
"Of course, I still follow my boys," said Mr. Durocher, and the NBC fa�ade seemed to crack a bit. " Mays isn't hitting or playing the way he can. Once he gets started, the Giants could get in the first division with four or five wins in a row."
His voice wasn't as cool or dignified as it had been, and you could see a little of the man who managed the Dodgers and Giants and played with the Yanks and the Cards.
"I'm very active in Little League baseball in Beverly Hills," said Mr. Durocher, hanging desperately to his dignity and sitting firmly on an alter ego named Leo the Lip. "I guess I hit more fungos with those kids than I ever did managing a major league club. They get me out at 9:30 in the morning and keep me there until 4 and ask a million questions an' holler when I want to quit. Man, I get tired."
Someone asked him something about NBC, and Mr. Durocher answered briefly. Then Leo the Lip pushed aside the NBC executive and the quiet voice took on some of the raucous howl you remembered.