The Giants know they will be underdogs. They are not one of the all-time great clubs, although Durocher says they are better than the '51 team that came from nowhere to overtake the Brooklyn Dodgers in a play-off. Their strength is pitching and clutch dramatics.
A year ago Durocher gambled constantly and finished nowhere. This year he has managed conservatively and let the players themselves produce the excitement. A large block of experts conceded the 1954 National League pennant to the Brooklyn Dodgers last January, so for the Giants this has been a stimulating year. Let the experts pick Cleveland?and Cleveland pitching?if they want to. The true Giant fan knows his team has got some pitching too. Moreover, he points hopefully to an asset Cleveland hasn't got.
"Mays," the Giant fan says. " Willie Mays."
[This article contains a table. Please see hardcopy of magazine or PDF.]