Even today, Gussie Busch sounds vaguely bewildered when he discusses his manager. "He doesn't say much," says Busch, "and he's the kind of man who won't say anything he doesn't believe. I've found that out. Sometimes I think he's made mistakes in strategy, and I think the press rode him kind of hard about that Mizell incident in Brooklyn. Certainly, I disagreed with him. But Hutch has the courage of his convictions. We all admire that."
To Frank Lane, the selection of Hutchinson to boss the Cardinals was obvious. "Did you notice his conduct at Detroit?" Lane asks. "He left because he wouldn't be a puppet. But even when they treated him like one, he was never disloyal. Never tried to justify himself, and he didn't sound off about his troubles. And even when they wanted him back, he walked out. He never carped or complained or criticized. He's all man."
Lane thought a moment and continued: "Hutch has a rough, tough demeanor, but he has that damnable patience. I've even accused him of being a character-builder. I cuss him out from the stands because I'm that way—when I've got anything to say, I tell the world about it. I don't think Hutch has ever experienced fear in his life. In a way, that's a minus factor in his makeup. He applies it as a yardstick to his players.
"As a strategist," concluded Lane, "I think he's unimaginative, but he goes right on getting results. Hutch just won't 'yes' anybody."
Bob Broeg, veteran
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
baseball writer, summed up Hutchinson in part when he wrote that he is "a man who has a way with men...who makes no pretense of maneuvering or manipulating with the winking wisdom of a Casey Stengel, the mysticism of a Paul Richards, the daring of a Leo Durocher or the bravado of a Charley Dressen.
"If, as a tactician, Hutchinson is uninspired, he has the rich quality of holding the confidence and loyalty of his players, a combination that has produced a team spirit the club knew under neither of his immediate predecessors, Harry Walker and Eddie Stanky. The Cardinals like their rugged manager...he has the players believing they can win."
To all of it—the bombast, the criticism, the tributes and the vague half-truths he hears and reads about himself—Hutchinson is stoically realistic. He knows that each day, as the National League battle for supremacy approaches its September climax, that each day will bring the pleasant, temporary pleasure in winning, or the boiling, inner sickness of defeat. "You have to love misery to do this," he once said. In the few hours of respite between games, Hutchinson is relaxed and sometimes warmly communicative. Now he was sitting in a cool, near-empty St. Louis caf�, late after a night game the Cardinals had won.
He was scowling, and the four heavy lines across his forehead deepened. He cracked ice hard with his teeth, a faintly disturbing habit, and his long jaw muscles bulged. His once-red hair is now a dark brown, peppered with gray, and the sharp lines down each side of his face, the strong, prominent chin and the thin, pulled-down mouth give him a look of perpetual, sad toughness. Then he began to talk, in the heavy deep voice that makes a listener strain to hear.
"The important thing is not to panic" he said, staring into his half-empty glass. "You have to grind, day after day, and forget about yesterday. The easiest thing to do is second-guess, but the worst thing to do is to second-guess yourself. Then you panic.
"Lane gets excited. They all get excited. I don't mind it from Lane, because he's always been that way. He dies on every pitch. Funny thing about Lane, the way he cusses the ballplayers out and jumps on me from the stands. If anybody else did that to us, I think he'd fight."