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SPEED WON THE WORLD SERIES
William Leggett
October 26, 1964
Taking advantage of weaknesses in New York's outfield, the Cardinals ran the bases with daring and imagination and forced critical Yankee errors. Speed also characterized the departure of the rival managers
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October 26, 1964

Speed Won The World Series

Taking advantage of weaknesses in New York's outfield, the Cardinals ran the bases with daring and imagination and forced critical Yankee errors. Speed also characterized the departure of the rival managers

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Moments after the Cardinals had won their championship, most of them were in a room off the clubhouse that has a large picture window overlooking Spring Avenue, already packed with fans pouring out of the stadium. While a record called Our Old Home Team played continuously in the background, the players and fans toasted each other for a long time in beer and champagne. The Cardinals stayed at the window until every fan had left. "This," said Captain Ken Boyer, "is one hell of a baseball town. They've waited for this for 18 years. God bless 'em all, even the ones who boo."

What happened after the Series surprised fans far more than its outcome. The morning following the last game, Keane resigned, clearly because of Busch's lack of confidence in him when the Cardinals were going bad in July. Prodded by Consultant Branch Rickey, Busch had fired General Manager Bing Devine, an old friend of Keane. By the weekend everyone expected Keane to be the next manager of the Yankees. There was even cynical speculation that Keane had been promised the job before he quit St. Louis, but Johnny was categorical: "No one on the Yankees has talked to me. Mayo Smith, who scouts for them, was in St. Louis near the end of the season, and it's possible he was looking me over. If so, it was without my knowledge. Lela [ Mrs. Keane] and I wrote out my resignation on September 28 knowing that we did not have another job to go to."

More bizarre than Keane's quitting, however, was the firing of Yogi Berra for reasons given as "being best for everyone." Despite efforts to justify this on the ground that Berra had lost control of his players, it seems obvious that he was fired because the Yankees lost the World Series. Three times in the past five years the Yankees have changed managers after losing the Series.

Ironically, aside from winning the pennant, Berra had done exactly what the Yankees hoped he would do for them when they hired him; his presence as field boss had begun to change the cold, impersonal image of the Yankees, and he had acquired a following despite the continued Yankee slump in attendance. The firing may have been the worst blunder in public relations by any club in baseball's history; certainly it disturbed and angered not only the team's supporters but most baseball fans. The Yankees might just as well have flogged their bat boy in public.

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