SI Vault
 
New York Post
Jerry Mitchell
August 01, 1955
BONUS BABIES ARE A PROBLEM BUT PROFESSOR CASEY STENGEL HAS A WAY OF PROTECTING THEM
Decrease font Decrease font
Enlarge font Enlarge font
August 01, 1955

New York Post

BONUS BABIES ARE A PROBLEM BUT PROFESSOR CASEY STENGEL HAS A WAY OF PROTECTING THEM

View CoverRead All Articles View This Issue

Casey Stengel has two bonus babies on his bench and other managers around the American League have them in even greater abundance, not that they are happy about it.

The kids take up space on the roster that could be filled by two useful players, an important consideration unless you are going all out for youth in sheer desperation, as is Paul Richards. It's gotten so that they now refer to Baltimore as Boys' Town.

Anyway, Professor Stengel is against the continuation of the present bonus system for another reason. He thinks young boys shouldn't be exposed to some of the sights they see nowadays—and he means on the ball field.

"I don't mean those kids they give small bonuses to," he said, "though I'll bet there's many a small bonus announced an' a bigger one passed under the table or left in a milk bottle at the back door, or put in the glove compartment of the old man's broken-down car, together with an order for a new car.

"I mean these bonus kids who get big chunks of dough to sign with a big salary guaranteed for two years an' a new washin' machine for momma, a set of golf clubs, a small boat an' a uranium kit for the old man.

"They can't play even once in a while because they don't know anything except the size of their bank accounts an' how much the newest cars cost, an' how fast they are, an' what town has the biggest steaks. But we gotta keep 'em on our benches.

"So they sit on our benches, these prosperous young men, with nothin' to do every day but look an' listen an' what happens? They see things like at some sandlot games.

"They see great big guys they used to watch from the stands with the old man, or read about, who are supposed to be the stars of the game go an' make some of the stupidest plays possible. They see some of the screwiest plays you could think of.

"You work with these kids an' have the coaches help 'em an' then all you teach 'em is liable to go out the window when they look at what some of the regulars do out there.

" Richards, he always has the answer. If one of his bonus kids up and says, 'Look here, Mr. Richards, sir, beggin' your pardon, but didn't so and so in centerfield throw to the wrong base in the eighth inning of yesterday's game?'

Continue Story
1 2