It was during the
1946 season that Leo made another one of his "philosophic"
observations. It happened in the Polo Grounds, while Ed Stanky, the Dodgers'
scrappy second baseman who now manages the Cardinals, was taking his practice
licks. A sportswriter asked Durocher what was the matter with the Giants, then
in the doldrums under Mel Ott, a great player but a failure as a manager.
Durocher pointed at Stanky. "Look at him," he said. "He can't hit,
he can't run, he can't throw—all he can do is beat you." Then, pointing
over to the Giant bench, Leo said, "There's Mel Ott, take a good look at
him. A nicer guy never put a pair of shoes on. Fine fellow. But he didn't come
to win. That's the answer. Nice guys finish last."
Within a year,
Durocher might well have rewritten that line to read, "Anyway, nice guys
finish," for he was in the greatest trouble of his hectic baseball