As they fought week after week with the Dodgers for first place the Reds showed not a bit of strain. Most of them had never been in the first division before and didn't realize they should be nervous. They scuffed and scrambled around the infield and slapped at the ball with their bats and positively knew they couldn't lose. So they didn't.
The feelings of astute baseball followers notwithstanding, the Reds should be a delight to see in a World Series. They are so exactly what the Yankees are not. There for all to view will be Hutchinson pacing up and down in the dugout throughout every inning of every game. He will set his foot down gently at each step, as if the floor were hot, and he will shred gum wrappers as he shreds his nerves as well. (Come out early for a team workout and you may see a rarer sight—Hutchinson catching batting practice. The team, you see, must guard its limited talent, so Hutch often lets his catchers rest.)
There, too, will be Coach Pete Whisenant, easily identifiable because his shaggy blond hair blows in the breeze as he holds a dugout pole that he considers to be lucky in one hand and his lucky bat in the other.
If a pitcher weakens, Reliever Brosnan will be seen running from the dugout to the bullpen. What is he doing in the dugout? Brosnan stayed there one game and things went well. He hasn't dared change seats since. In his pockets as he runs will be at least a lucky penny and a rabbit's foot, plus whatever other charms may have caught the fancy of this highly intelligent but typically superstitious man on a superstitious team.
Eventually Roger Maris will trip over a black cat, Mickey Mantle will slip on a four leaf clover and the Reds will have their opportunity to win. Given such a chance, they rarely pass it up.
Brosnan (after six fairly ordinary years he has suddenly, in the Cincinnati fashion, developed into one of the league's best relief pitchers) summed up the 1961 Reds after they had beaten Pittsburgh 3-2 in typical last-ditch fashion a week ago. Two of the Pirates' final three outs came on 380-foot drives to dead center field, where fleet Vada Pin-son caught them. "If the wind had been blowing any direction but in, those would have been home runs," mused Brosnan, "but the wind has been blowing right for us all year."
The Yankees don't care about such things, not being superstitious. They figure to beat the Reds with ease. So did the Dodgers, the Braves and the Giants.