Well, Frank blew
his top and I was ready to blow my top, too. I pulled Dean away from there and
I said, "You dirty so and so," and added whatever words Frankie had
Diz just grinned.
"He'll let me pitch. He wants to win, don't he?"
When we were ready
to go out, I said to Frank, "He's going to pitch, isn't he?"
"That dirty sonofa——"
I said, "He'll
be great, Frank. Isn't he great? He's ready today. You can see how ready he is,
can't you, Frank?" And when Frank didn't say anything I whipped the lineup
card out, wrote J. Dean in the pitcher's spot and shoved it back in my
practice, I run back into the trainer's room where Diz is getting his arm
rubbed. I don't know what I'm doing there. What am I going to do, tell him how
to pitch? So I give him a pep talk. Knute Rockne at the top of his game never
worked any harder. "No fooling around out there today, Diz. The loser's
share is no good to me." The Great Dean. The Old Master. Bear down.
"Pitch like I know you can pitch, and after today when they talk about the
great pitchers they'll have to start with the name of Dizzy Dean."
Diz was paying no
attention at all to me, of course, but when he walked out to the field to warm
up I was still at his elbow yacking away. We had to come out through the
Detroit dugout, and all of a sudden I'm talking to myself. I look back, and
he's standing behind the Detroit pitcher, Eldon Auker, watching him warm up.
Auker was an underhand pitcher. He had already beaten us a game, the game where
Diz got hit on the head, but Diz is standing there with his arms behind his
back as if he's scouting him. He hollers down to Cochrane, "Are you going
to pitch this guy today? You must have given up." Then he breaks out
laughing, the most insulting laugh I've ever heard in my life. "Is that the
best he's got? He's nothing. Nothing. My slow stuff is better than
Auker turns around
and hollers, "Get out of here, you blowhard! You loudmouthed——" Auker
is ready to pop him, he's so mad, and Cochrane is screaming at me, "Get him
out of there!" He's ready to come charging up and take a whack at Diz
I grabbed Diz by
the elbow. "Come on, you donkey," I said. The last thing I want right
now is to have Diz bruise his right hand in any scuffle. Tomorrow you can take
on Joe Louis, Dean.
Diz warmed up and
didn't throw a fastball until the last minute. Five or six fastballs, throws
his glove down and comes walking in. Nothing worried this man. The more
important the game, the more fun he had.