On June 19, after
Musial had spent three weeks in the dugout, Hemus said before a double-header:
"Maybe I'll use you in the second game." The Cards won the first, and
in the clubhouse afterward Hemus announced simply: "Same lineup."
deadly serious, approached him. "There's one thing you shouldn't ever try
to do, Solly," he said. "Don't ever try to kid me along."
nothing. There wasn't anything to say.
me," the manager remarked over his beer. "He knew me well and he'd
caught me. I was wrong to kid him, but I did."
Hemus paused and
gathered his thoughts. "I spent a lot of time, a lot of nights worrying
about this thing," he said finally, "and I got to remember the coffin.
What does he want to take with him to his coffin? Records. Something that
people will remember. As many records as he can. Now what do I want to take to
my coffin? Honesty. I always wanted to manage, and I want to know I managed
honestly. I was right to bench him when I did, but I was wrong to kid him, and
I know it makes me look bad to admit it, but I was wrong."
evolved a plan to work Musial back into the lineup. While benched, Musial pinch
hit nine times but batted safely only once. There was no indication he was
going to hit any better than he had.
On June 16 Bob
Nieman, who had been hitting well, pulled a muscle, and suddenly Hemus needed a
left fielder. He alternated Walt Moryn and Rookie John Glenn, but neither hit
at all. Then he turned to Musial, hoping for batting but not really confident
that he would get it.
What would have
happened to Musial if Nieman hadn't been hurt, or if Glenn or Moryn had started
slugging? Again Hemus speaks with absolute frankness: "I really don't
know," he says. "I just got no idea."
On June 24 Musial
started in left field against the Phils and got one hit in four times at bat.
On June 25 he was hitless, but on June 26 he started again and that day took
off on a devastating hitting tear (15 games, .500 batting average) that
surprised everyone, except, possibly, himself.
Musial back to batting form? "Well, one reason I didn't quit," he says,
"is that they weren't throwing the fast one by me. Last year they were
giving me changes, and I wasn't going good, so I kept swinging too hard. I
figured that one out. Now I'm going to left real good on lots of the