"We know Baltimore is the best team on paper," concedes Hamilton. "We're going to need help. We realize we must play as well as we possibly can against them and still they'll have to make a few mistakes for us to win. But great teams have dropped quickly before. The Yanks were great in '63, almost didn't win in '64 and were sixth in '65."
"Sure, they're the team to beat," says a somewhat neutral observer from Washington, Ted Williams. "But the one thing you've got to write in when you write about Baltimore is age." Then there is a mysterious factor in match-ups between clubs from New York and Baltimore that has haunted three excellent teams, the Colts, the Bullets and, of course, the Orioles, the past three years.
Houk, who is not yet hypnotized by the sniff of salami or champagne, remains the realist for his hungry young team. "I don't watch the scoreboard," he said late Saturday night. "Hell, it's not even the All-Star break yet."
Maybe not, but Fritz Peterson is still dreaming. Before his latest start, he said, "I dreamt I was riding a mini-bike with a flat tire. I don't know what it means." Peterson didn't seem the least bit worried. Freud, anyone?