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BEGINNING: The Nine Lives Of Leo Durocher
Robert Shaplen
May 23, 1955
PART I: BRIDGE TO YESTERDAY He came up fighting, scrapping, spending, living it up; more than any other modern ballplayer, Durocher upholds the flying-spike tradition of Ty Cobb
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May 23, 1955

Beginning: The Nine Lives Of Leo Durocher

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There is considerable evidence that this is so, but it would also seem to have depended on whether hell was on the way to where Durocher was going or whether he wanted to bother taking the time off to stop. He has given special short shrift to some of the longer obligations of friendship. Weil doesn't like to talk about it, but some years after Leo had left Cincinnati, he telephoned Durocher long distance one day and asked him, as a favor, to stop by en route to New York. Seeking to get back on his feet (he's made it now, as a highly successful insurance executive), Weil wanted Leo, whom he had trained as a speaker as well as a ballplayer and a man, to appear at an important meeting of insurance executives. Durocher promised to be there. He never came. When Weil telephoned him twice in New York, a voice that was obviously Durocher's each time claimed that " Mr. Durocher is sick." Weil gave up.

"We see each other occasionally," he now says. "We're friendly. He still likes me, I'm sure of that, and I still like him. The things he does sometimes, he can't help them."

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