SI Vault
October 03, 1955
Long sigh in The Fenway, Leo exits quietly, Al Weill gains decision over Rocky, Pugs and plutocrats, A's for effort in K.C., Nature study: Geese, Next round
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October 03, 1955

Events & Discoveries

Long sigh in The Fenway, Leo exits quietly, Al Weill gains decision over Rocky, Pugs and plutocrats, A's for effort in K.C., Nature study: Geese, Next round

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There was a moment in Boston on Friday night when thousands of people in Fenway Park began sketching out in their minds the rough blueprint of a miracle. The beloved Boston Red Sox were no longer able to win the pennant but perhaps they could keep the New York Yankees from winning it. Already that day Boston had beaten New York once...

The second game was going against Boston but in the seventh inning the Red Sox got two men on base with only one out. From the visitors' dugout climbed the Senecan figure of Casey Stengel, clad in his usual loose-fitting Yankee toga, to wave in a new pitcher. No customary relief pitcher, either, but Whitey Ford, the best the Yankees have. And then, in the crisp night air, the Yankees' best pitcher could not find the plateā€”and now there were three men on base and Ted Williams, Boston's incomparable Ted, standing up at the plate.

The blueprint was clear enough to read in the darkest corners of the right-field stands. A home run, or even a hit, and the Yankees could be beaten again.

And then Whitey Ford threw to Ted Williams, and the bat came around, and the ball bounded to the waiting Yankee infield for a double play. And the inning was over and they could roll up the blueprint. Fenway Park uttered a long mass sigh.

So the Yankees went on to win the game and the pennant again. In the dressing room Casey Stengel grimaced for the photographers and made a little speech before changing out of his toga. He complimented the three teams that raced with the Yankees all through the late summer. The Red Sox: "Wonderful manager and ownership...certainly kept us right on edge up until a few minutes ago." The Chicago White Sox: "Wonderful because they had an aged pitching staff and was bothered by injuries like to Kell." The Cleveland Indians: "They had wonderful relief pitching but were also handicapped by cripples.... Al Lopez is a wonderful manager but I'm not going to sympathize with him."

Then he bowed to the 1955 New York Yankees, the 21st Yankee team to win an American League pennant. "They came from behind to win," he said proudly, "and that is the best kind to win."

Eighteen games out of first place as the season ended, Manager Leo Durocher decided to quit the New York Giants and baseball in general (see page 43), perhaps to go into the beer business via an Anheuser-Busch distributorship. No, he said, "the performance of the Giants had nothing to do" with his retirement. No, he said, an Anheuser-Busch job didn't mean that he would soon be managing Gussie Busch's Cardinals. Never again then, Leo? "It could be," admitted the man who has spent 31 years at it, "that I'll get bored being away from baseball."


A few hours after he was counted out at Yankee Stadium (see page 36) Archie Moore was sitting in Greenwich Village's Cafe Bohemia, his foot tapping to the blue rhythms of his friend and favorite saxophone player, Lucky Thompson. Archie's right eye was closed tight. The eye showed a lump the size of a half-imbedded golf ball. For all that, Archie looked like a happy, contented man. With the philosophical outlook of one who has lost before, but never so profitably, he summed it up:

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