An ability to beat the Yankees, even if it is a
solitary talent, makes a man worth something nowadays. Willard Nixon, a
right-handed pitcher for the Boston Red Sox, is a gentleman who has this
particular faculty and gets paid around $10,000 a year. He has beaten New York
three times this year, and his lifetime record against the club is 11-5.
Last week he was repeating. The mighty bats were
stilled as Nixon had a no-hitter going for seven innings at the Stadium. In the
eighth, Berra got a streaky single. In the ninth, with Boston leading 2-0, Milt
Boiling flubbed McDougald's grounder to short. Maury Mc-Dermott singled to
center, then Billy Goodman booted Pitcher Don Larsen's grounder. The game which
should have been won was in jeopardy, the bases were loaded with fearsome
Yankees, and Nixon's temper—never equable—began to boil. He massacred the mound
with his spikes, looked daggers at his embarrassed infield.
Later he admitted: "Sure, I was mad. Not just at
the others. I could have fielded McDougald's grounder."
But Nixon didn't blow up. He struck out Hank Bauer on
three curves. Martin grounded out, scoring a run. Next up was a shattering
sight: The Mantle itself.
Nixon had been feeding Mickey knucklers all afternoon
and decided to fool the home run king with a fast ball. He almost didn't, for
Mantle's drive to left field was high and deep. Gene Stephens, however, managed
a desperate grab for the out and the ball game.
Nixon was unable to explain why he does so well
against New York: "I don't try to figure it out. But I know this: you can't
have a good year just beating one team." Nixon's season record is a modest