SI Vault
 
...AND THE PERILS OF PAULINE
Roger Kahn
September 20, 1954
Meanwhile, back at the ranch...The Milwaukee Braves got lost in a hurricane, the Brooklyn Dodgers just missed being scalped and the New York Giants walked innocently into the path of an onrushing express train. In short, The Perils of Pauline, National League style, was an erratic story with each exciting episode ending in near disaster.
Decrease font Decrease font
Enlarge font Enlarge font
September 20, 1954

...and The Perils Of Pauline

View CoverRead All Articles View This Issue

Meanwhile, back at the ranch...The Milwaukee Braves got lost in a hurricane, the Brooklyn Dodgers just missed being scalped and the New York Giants walked innocently into the path of an onrushing express train. In short, The Perils of Pauline, National League style, was an erratic story with each exciting episode ending in near disaster.

The Milwaukee Braves roared into Brooklyn riding a 10-game winning streak as the Brooklyn fans hissed to the last man. The Milwaukee villains had won 15 games out of 18, 36 out of 45, to move from fourth place, 15 games back, to second, only 3� games behind the league-leading Giants. They were new characters in the thickening plot, suddenly a greater threat to the Giants than the Dodgers. A fearful Giant was heard to ask, "Don't those guys ever lose?"

They did, all right, but to a hurricane named Edna. Edna was passing Long Island on Friday night and she spewed rain on Ebbets Field. A fine, drifting spray began soon after the game got under way and kept up until the umpires had to call time in the last of the fourth with Brooklyn leading 2-1. After an hour and five minutes, play was resumed, though Edna was still getting in her wet licks. Five outs and 16 minutes later, time was called again. But those five outs stretched the game to 4� innings, making the game legal in baseball's fine print (see Red Smith, p. 64.) The umpires, the ballplayers and the crowd (which gradually shrank from 13,906 to a handful of huddled die-hards) waited again, two full hours, until 12:50 a.m. Then the game was called off. In the stands, a musician with a sense of timing stood up under an umbrella and played Taps. Milwaukee had lost.

After that it was curtains for the Braves. They lost three straight, while Brooklyn returned from the near dead with a five-game winning streak to recapture second place.

Came the dawn on Monday and the Giants were still first. But there were perils yet to come in the last act. The script called for the Giants to play 12 more games—and half of them were with the Braves and Dodgers.

1