LAMENT FOR NEW YORK
This has been the bitterest season in New York's baseball history. Almost in one breath, the metropolis has lost its two National League clubs and the World Championship.
The first blow is heavier than the second; it is a disgrace that New York next year will be unable to see half of the greatest stars in the national game. Mayor Wagner is making noises about bringing some other National League franchise to the city, but nothing in his previous handling of the situation leads us to think that these amount to more than empty phrases.
New York fans who are also baseball lovers will freely recognize that the game benefits from the extension of the major leagues to California. They will be pardoned, though, for feeling this hardly compensates for their own bereavement. It is a sad situation which has been brought about by a combination of sophistication on the part of New Yorkers who have so many amusements from which to choose, of transportation and parking difficulties in this huge community, and of the negligence of City Hall.
The Yankees' loss of the World Championship caps this humiliation. Here again many New York fans will join others across the country in feeling that Milwaukee's triumph is good for baseball. Yet, there is a tribute which needs to be paid to the Yankees.
Stengel's was not a great ball club, certainly not as good as some of the previous Yankee teams which built up the legend of invincibility this one came so close to sustaining. But it was a well-drilled club which exuded class. It had class in defeat. It even exuded class in the final Series game, when it committed all those errors, of which only three were officially charged.
To Casey Stengel bitter defeat comes in his 67th year—at an age when he cannot hope to compete in many more World Series. Perhaps, in defeat, this man is etched more sharply in our minds than ever before. He has been cheered and booed and laughed at and second-guessed across the length and breadth of the land. He is one of the great game's great personalities.
Superlatives are in order for the Notre Dame-Army game at Municipal Stadium, Philadelphia last Saturday. College football is not likely to produce a more thrilling game all year (see page 18); oldtimers at Notre Dame-Army games could hardly recall a better, closer, more dramatic encounter between the two schools since it all started in 1913. To such agreeable matters of congratulation, SPORTS ILLUSTRATED must add a note for the record: The host team (Army) failed to provide play-by-play information over the public-address system, so that most of the 95,000 in the cavernous stands—unlike the TV audience-must have had to wait for their Sunday newspapers to learn just who did what.
The game was 2� minutes old, for example, when an Army back ran 81 yards for a touchdown—but unless you had 20/20 vision and could read his number (21) as he ran, and then refer to your program, it was very possibly Sunday before you learned that this particular hero was Bob Anderson, a second-year man from Cocoa, Fla. And so it went. It was Nick Pietrosante of Ansonia, Conn. who gained most of those yards for the Irish, ladies and gentlemen, and it was Monty Stickles, a sophomore from Poughkeepsie, who won the game for Notre Dame with that 28-yard field goal—just a few minutes after the same Monty Stickles had apparently kicked the game away by missing a point-after-touchdown.