And Templeton is one of the main offenders. He sometimes appears nonchalant on the field, and many of his 30 errors, the third highest total among shortstops in the National League, have occurred when he has been careless. During the All-Star Game, he booted a double-play grounder to set up a one-run American League inning; then, typically, he atoned by legging out a double to spark a National League rally. "Garry makes so many plays other people don't make that I'm not worried about his slip-ups," says St. Louis Manager Vern Rapp. "People expect too much of him. He certainly isn't careless by intent." For his part, Templeton maintains that his fluid style makes him seem lackadaisical.
A more serious shortcoming is his reluctance to steal. "I don't like to slide," Templeton says. "I'm afraid of jamming a hand or hurting a leg. If I didn't have to slide, I would be gone every time." Running scared, he has been thrown out 48% of the time, a poor showing for a player of his speed.
But these are relatively minor failings. Bob Broeg, the respected columnist for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and The Sporting News, who has been watching the Cards for half a century, says, "Other players—Musial, Hornsby, Bottomley, Schoendienst—had real weaknesses. Templeton has none. If he doesn't get hurt or fatheaded, he could be the best all-round player the Cardinals have ever developed."