"Well, look again," said the coach. "He's in there someplace."
For Pang's part, he takes the kidding in good glide and says, "Short guys are quicker and more agile." Maybe, but Pang clearly was short on something; the Black Hawks last week shipped him back to the minors.
THEY'RE TOUGH AFTER THE BUZZER
By way of poking fun at the obsession with esoteric statistics in sports, Seattle SuperSonic p.r. man Rick Moxley recently included the following item in the club's pregame media notes: "The Sonics are 19-0 in games they've led after the fourth quarter."
DOING A DOUBLE TAKE ON A HALL OF FAMER'S SINGULAR FEAT
Funny how we get things all bollixed up when it comes to remembering the wondrous feats performed by our heroes. Take the legendary Enos (Country) Slaughter, 68, whose admirers have long believed that he deserves to be in baseball's Hall of Fame. Last week he made it, along with Arky Vaughan, former infielder for Brooklyn and Pittsburgh.
Slaughter was a hustling, down-in-the-dirt kind of player, and it was a hustling, down-in-the-dirt play that pushed Slaughter into Cooperstown. It was Game 7 of the 1946 World Series between Boston and St. Louis, bottom of the eighth, Slaughter on first, two outs, score 3-3. Slaughter then did the unexpected, scoring from first on a single to left center by Harry Walker.
AP retold the miracle last week, carefully pointing out, "Slaughter was on first base when Harry Walker singled." The New York Times recalled that Walker "drilled" the ball into leftfield for a single. New York Post columnist Dick Young remembered it as a "dink single." The St. Louis Post-Dispatch recalled it as a "king-sized single." Whatever, it was a single.
No, no, no and no. It was a double. The Times had it exactly right more than 38 years ago when a subhead on its story of the game said WALKER'S DOUBLE DECIDES. But the two-bagger shrank to a single because it made a better story. Life's like that sometimes. Scoring from first base on a double is quite routine, hardly the stuff of legend; scoring from first on a single to win the Series is the stuff of Cooperstown.
What actually happened was that Slaughter was running on the 2-and-1 pitch to Walker. Walker's hit was fielded adequately by weak-armed Leon Culberson, who had just replaced the injured—and rifle-armed—Dom DiMaggio in center. Culberson hit the cutoff man, shortstop Johnny Pesky, but Pesky—never dreaming that Slaughter would try for home—hesitated briefly before relaying the ball. Slaughter slid home safely.
For his part, Slaughter has said that he wouldn't have continued past third if DiMaggio had been in center; DiMaggio has harrumphed that Slaughter probably wouldn't have reached third if he had been in there.