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THEY WONT BE FORGOTTEN
H. Allen Smith
January 09, 1956
Humorist Smith, a lover of baseball records, collects some memorable performances you may have missed
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January 09, 1956

They Wont Be Forgotten

Humorist Smith, a lover of baseball records, collects some memorable performances you may have missed

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AWARDS OF THE YEAR

MOST VALUABLE PLAYER, AL

Yogi Berra

BWAA poll*

MOST VALUABLE PLAYER, NL

Roy Campanella

BWAA poll

ROOKIE OF THE YEAR, AL

Herb Score

Sporting News poll and BWAA poll

ROOKIE OF THE YEAR, NL

Bill Virdon

Sporting News poll and BWAA poll

SOPHOMORE. OF THE YEAR, AL

Al Kaline

A.P. pott of BWAA

SOPHOMORE OF THE YEAR, NL

Ernie Banks

A.P. poll of BWAA

MANAGER OF THE YEAR, AL

Mike Higgins

A.P. poll of BWAA

MANAGER OF THE YEAR, NL

Walter Alston

A.P. poll of BWAA

OUTSTANDING PLAYER, AL

Al Kaline

Sporting News poll

OUTSTANDING PLAYER, NL

Duke Snider

Sporting News poll

OUTSTANDING PITCHER, AL

Whitey Ford

Sporting News poll

OUTSTANDING PITCHER, NL

Robin Roberts

Sporting News poll

COMEBACK OF THE YEAR

Roy Campanella

A.P. poll of BWAA

MAN OF THE YEAR

Johnny Podres

SPORTS ILLUSTRATED award

PERFORMANCES OF THE YEAR

SLUGGER OF THE YEAR

Willie Mays

BATTING CHAMPION

Al Kaline

HOME RUN CHAMPION

Willie Mays

RUNS-BATTED-IN CHAMPION

Duke Snider

PINCH-HITTER OF THE YEAR

Elmer Valo

GRAND SLAM HOME RUN CHAMPION

Ernie Banks

LOWEST EARNED RUN AVERAGE

Billy Pierce

LEADING STRIKEOUT PITCHER

Herb Score

LEADING PERCENTAGE PITCHER

Don Newccmbe

* BASEBALL WRITERS' ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA

THE CREAM OF 1955's performances, the bona fide achievements above are only the beginning of some statisticians' lists which are carried to absurd lengths.

The boys who compile the record books for the baseball season of 1955 have just about done their work (see box). Already there have been a few more complaints from people who believe that the business of statistics in baseball is being overdone—that the radiant beauty of the game is being obliterated by a tidal wave of digits and decimal points.

I take a somewhat opposite view and charge that the statistics are not complete—that they don't give us an accurate summary of the baseball season. Many times during the past summer I have personally observed new records established, or I have heard about them, and I know they will not be included among the official statistics. Certain spectators as well as certain players turned in performances worthy of historical recognition, and to me they are fully as important as the switch-hitter who got the most singles off left-handed pitchers in the three middle innings of an American League game while having his wrist taped.

Following are a few of these record-shattering performances:

Ed ofer, Chicago pitcher. With nobody out in the top of the first inning, Ofer walked the first two men to face him. His catcher, Ears Eakin, called time and trotted to the mound. Eakin began to talk soothingly to the pitcher, intent upon steadying him. But Ofer interrupted him, saying, "Listen. You git on back behime the plate and mine yer own dam business. You do the ketchin' and I'll do the pitchin'."

Benjamin Barstow, Washington fan. He was seated in the lower stands off first base when a high foul ball came arching downward. All around him men and boys shrieked and leaped in the air and tore each other's clothing. Mr. Barstow sat with arms folded, staring straight ahead. Amid all the banging and scrambling and screeching he was heard to say: "Who wants a dern baseball?"

Virgil Brinks, umpire. He was back of the plate in a Cleveland game when Gig Werly came to bat. The count went to 3 and 2. On the next pitch Werly didn't move and Brinks called "Strike three!" Werly immediately began kicking the dirt, beating the ground with his hat and uttering swear words. Whereupon Umpire Brinks said: "O.K., O.K. Keep your shirt on. If you thought it was a ball, it was a ball. Go on and take your base."

Jack Cochise, Pittsburgh outfielder. In the clubhouse before a game with Cincinnati he quietly removed the insignia PIRATES from the front of his uniform shirt and played three and a half innings before anyone noticed the discrepancy. When his manager demanded an explanation, Cochise said: "I druther not be identified with this club."

Cecil Dugdale of England. Visiting in New York he was escorted to a ball game by a sportswriter who envisioned a hilarious account of the Englishman's reaction. In the first inning Mr. Dugdale said nothing until Rosen hit a ground ball to short. Then the Britisher spoke: "That would have been a sure double-play ball if the Scooter had been playing two and a half feet to his right."

Fog Burbitt, Milwaukee relief pitcher. He refused throughout the season ever to warm up in the bull pen, contending stubbornly that "it wears out my strength."

Patsy vaccaroni, New York fan. He attended a game between the Giants and the Cardinals in which Jim Hearn was the Giant pitcher. In the top of the first inning Hearn's first pitch was hit to third base and the runner was thrown out. Exclaimed Mr. Vaccaroni: "Shees! Hearn's got a no-hitter goin'!"

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