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"What poise," screamed Harry Ca-ray over the radio. "Only 18 years old, just out of high school. He doesn't even shave."
"Oh, he does too," said Augie McDaniel from her seat behind the Cardinal dugout. She held a pocket radio Lindy had given her.
In the sixth inning, the score was still 0-0, and Von had not given up a hit. Then suddenly the Dodgers got their first hit, then another and, along with an error by Stan Musial, they loaded the bases with no one out. Elmer Valo, old but dangerous, came to the plate.
In his private box high above the field, Gussie Busch sat, nervous and quiet. Nearby, in the press box, General Manager Frank Lane was also nervous but not so quiet. In the Cardinal dugout, Lindy gazed sullenly out to the mound. Fred Hutchinson grimly signaled for Relief Pitcher Hoyt Wilhelm to start warming up. The crowd waited and watched.
Von took his wind-up and threw. Valo swung, and the ball exploded back at Von on a bounce. Without hesitation he fired it back to his catcher, Hal Smith, standing on the plate, who caught it and then threw to first. Two men were out, no one had scored. But there were still runners at second and third. Gino Cimoli, a .300 hitter this year and even tougher in the clutch, came up. On third, Pee Wee Reese pretended to race for home, vainly doing his best to upset the young pitcher. Cimoli swung and, like Valo, hit the ball to Von. Grabbing it, McDaniel turned slowly to first and, as Cimoli raced toward the base, he threw him out. The tidal wave of cheering might have been heard in Hollis. The inning was over and, as it turned out, so was the game.
St. Louis scored two runs. The Dodgers were through. When, in the ninth inning, Gil Hodges grounded out to Alvin Dark to end the game, Cardinal players pummeled McDaniel and almost carried him to the dugout. One of the first to reach Von was Lindy. They shook hands.
At a Howard Johnson restaurant later that night, Augie and the brothers ordered shrimp salad, hamburgers and milk shakes. Both boys are well known in or out of uniform, and several people stopped to congratulate Von.
"You'd better have the operator at the hotel disconnect your phone tonight, Von," said Lindy. "Don't accept any calls except from me."
"I wish we could disconnect our phone," said Augie. "Every morning the phone starts ringing at 10. Sometimes as soon as Lindy hangs up, it starts ringing again."
"Don't forget to call Dad tonight, Von." Von nodded.