With no further ado, Davis exploded. This has not been the two-time batting champion's most satisfying year. Leading the team in hitting, he is still platooned, a stratagem that makes no sense to him, even though Walter Alston has built a successful career on an uncanny ability to move players around effectively. All the bitterness and tension boiled over in the usually quiet Davis, and he began screaming at his good friend Wills in a voice that could be heard 10 rows back: "Don't give me that——! Don't give me that——!"
Wills, whose own year has been one of painful enterprise, was squaring off when Nate Oliver, Wes Covington, Dick Stuart and Al Ferrara jumped on Davis and pulled him away, still shouting. Wills left the dugout to hit, announced on the way that he would be pleased to take Davis on after the game and added, "You ought to button your lip."
Back in the clubhouse, after they had handed the game away like the St. Louis Browns instead of the Los Angeles Dodgers, nobody had the strength to fight. At first, everyone spoke sotto voce. Nobe Kawano went about his task of knocking the dirt out of six dozen spikes without so much as a glance to the side. Walter Alston, calm as always, retired to his office. When reporters asked Roseboro if Mays had kicked the ball out of his glove, that gentlest of men snapped, "How the hell do you think it got out?" Professional ballplayers are not known for whooping it up in the dressing room after a loss, but they are also not known for remaining in the depths of depression simply because one night's work goes awry. Least of all the Dodgers. Slowly the gibes and gambols returned, voices picked up a few decibels, and Davis and Wills, T.D. and the Mouse, let it be known that the shouting incident was forgotten.
"A game like this would discourage an ordinary ball club," Captain Wills said. "We're not an ordinary ball club." Then the club that is not ordinary, and the pitching staff that is at death's door, hobbled onto the field and shut out the Houstons four straight times.
Look at the Mouse. See how well he sums things up.