- TOP PLAYERSOffensePABLO S. TORRE | August 20, 2012
- TAMPA BAY buccaneersENEMY lines WHAT A RIVAL COACH SAYSJune 28, 2012
- Faces in the CrowdJune 11, 2001
ONE TO REMEMBER
Pride, the saying has it, goeth before a fall. But not always.
The pride of youth and strength and the pride of age and wisdom and the pride of the unjustly disdained were rampant at Griffith Stadium in the All-Star Game last week, and not since an athlete named Horatius stopped an army at a bridge a long time ago has the just pride of man in his ability been so luxuriously vindicated.
The National League, the better team in educated opinion, won, and it was a proud team. The youth and strength of Ken Boyer and Willie Mays and Roy McMillan and Johnny Temple was beautiful to watch (for a guest poet's impressions, see page 51), and the men from Cincinnati played magnificently, to confute the sectarians who thought there were too many Red-legs on the squad.
If you saw it, you'll always remember the reaching line of Boyer's body as he flung himself at hard-hit balls and miraculously stopped them; Mays catching a ball in right field and throwing almost casually, the ball streaming in a flat trajectory to third, leagues ahead of the base runner, who wisely decided not to run; and Temple and McMillan weaving a tight, wonderful leather net in the National League infield to cut off American League hits.
Maybe you'll remember better the duel of two of the great ones, still great in the first shadows of the dusk of their careers. That's Ted Williams of the Americans, futile twice at the bat, swinging with his cleanly articulated motion to drive the ball on a high, doubtful-to-the-last-minute arc into the center-field bullpen to tie Stan Musial for the lead in All-Star home runs and put the Americans back in the game. And Musial answering that with one of his own to take the lead back. Or, if you prefer, Musial coming in hard from left field, watching Ken Boyer move back, then catching Williams' drooping fly and dodging Boyer in nearly the same motion. He came close to injury, but got the ball.
And there was Mickey Mantle playing the full game in robustious pride of youth despite the hurt and limping leg, and whipping his bat around in a shimmering, solid circle to get his homer. It was a game for Horatio Alger to write about, and nearly everyone went home happy.
The Nationals, of course, won 7-3. But nobody lost.
VOICE FROM THE PAST
The big guy pitching for the National League rared back and threw with the beautiful, liquid motion he had, and the ball was a dim white streak, waist high in the strike zone.