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NO PENNANT FOR PLATOONS OF DODGERS
Walter Bingham
September 18, 1961
A season of struggling to win with percentage baseball is doomed when the best plans of Walter Alston go awry
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September 18, 1961

No Pennant For Platoons Of Dodgers

A season of struggling to win with percentage baseball is doomed when the best plans of Walter Alston go awry

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Alston reached into his locker and handed it to him without a word. Davis read it impassively, returned it and walked quietly to his corner of the room.

"How did I feel when I saw I wasn't playing?" Davis said in response to a question. "I'm a human being, just like anyone else, but he's got to use his nine best men."

Davis has sometimes been called on to play as many as three different positions in three innings. "I've never played much third base," Davis said. "I have trouble with slow grounders and I aim my throws too much."

"When Tommy's hitting well he has to play," said Alston. "But what outfielder does he replace? Snider? Moon? Howard? So he has to play third."

An hour later the game began. The scoreboard showed Cincinnati leading St. Louis 2-0.

The Dodgers went out easily against Marichal in the first inning. Then, with Don Drysdale pitching, Joe Amalfitano of the Giants hit a wicked hopper toward Fairly down at first base. Fairly bobbled it, booted it but managed to pick it up just in time for the out.

"I really hadn't played much first base before this year," Fairly had said the night before. "I still make a lot of mistakes, like when to hold the runner on. The outfield is my position and I feel more sure of myself there."

"He's learning," said patient Walter Alston. "He had his first bad game at first base the other night. But he's hitting well and he'll do all right."

Advice from a foe

With two out in the first, Willie Mays got up. The night before, during batting practice, he and Drysdale had been kidding each other. "I hope you do hit me," said Willie. "The way I been hitting I need a broken arm."

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