Sports Illustrated's special guest last week was Sal Maglie, who was ineligible for the 1957 World Series. Baseball Editor Robert Creamer sat with Maglie and noted Sal's inside comments as Milwaukee twice bounced back from shattering Series defeats. Their joint report follows...
The Braves came into the first game of the Series determined not so much to win, it seemed, as to prove to their critics that they were not awed by it all: by the idea of the World Series, by the immensity of Yankee Stadium, by the fearsome opposition of the New York Yankees.
The Braves were determined not to choke up and, truth to tell, they did not. That is, they did not lose the first game through nervous mistakes. But neither did they rise to the occasion. They played mechanically, as is their habit. The trouble was, the Yankees played mechanically against them, and the Yankee mechanics are the best in the business. The result was a methodical, rather dull 3-1 Yankee victory, of interest mostly to the student, the clinical observer, like Sal Maglie, who was fascinated by the masterful pitching of Whitey Ford and commented enthusiastically on his colleague.
He's pitching right to the book, exactly the way he's supposed to. He threw good curves to Logan. Logan likes fast balls. He had Mathews chasing the low curve on the three-and-two pitch. Mathews will do that. Everything. He's a good pitcher.
Hank Bauer doubled to deep right center field in the fifth inning to drive in the first Yankee run, and in the sixth Andy Carey took a short chop swing and lifted a little single into center for the second run. Maglie said:
You see what Spahn is trying to do? He's pitching away from everybody. You have to go to the opposite field against him. That's what Bauer did. Carey didn't try to pull either. He just stuck his bat out and met the ball and there's another run. You have to do that against Spahn.
Ford's big test came in the sixth inning, when, leading 1-0, he walked the first two batters. But then he struck out Henry Aaron on three pitches, the third a low curve well inside, got Joe Adcock on a dribbler to the first baseman and struck out Andy Pafko on a three-and-two pitch. Maglie said:
You have to do that to Aaron. He's going to swing and he'll go after almost any thing. And he'll hit almost any thing, so you have to be careful. Adcock, well, pitch Adcock close and then low and away and he'll never hit. But the way Ford pitched to Pafko, that was smart. Pafko fouled off two or three curves on the two-and-two pitch. He had his eye on Whitey's curve pretty good. So Whitey threw him a fast ball, high and outside, just to let Andy see it, just to get his eye off the curve. Then he came right back with the curve and Andy missed it. That's pretty good pitching.
The next day, in a much more exciting game, there was pretty good pitching again, but this time by Lew Bur-dette of the Braves, who beat the Yankees 4-2. Burdette jittered around on the mound, tugging at his cap, bringing his hand up to his mouth, across his shirt front, down to the rosin bag, fidgeting, following his pitch with a curious, characteristic little jump, getting that much tougher whenever the Yankees threatened. Maglie, who made no pretense of being an objective reporter—groaning when Johnny Logan hit a homer for the Braves, cheering when Bauer replied with one for the Yankees, standing with other Yankee fans in the New York half of the seventh inning—gave Burdette begrudging admiration: