Blessed with a couple of days off at home in the September pennant race, the Los Angeles Dodgers, almost to a man-and-wife, happily fell in with an invitation from the Duke Sniders: come on down to our house.
Brooklyn was never like this. The hacienda of the erstwhile Duke of Flatbush is a 4,700-square foot ranch house. Some 100 miles down the Pacific coast from the Coliseum, it overlooks the young avocado orchard (60 acres of it) that the Duke owns now in partnership with a onetime minor-league buddy ( Montreal, 1948), Cliff Dapper. Dodgers, Dodger wives, ex-Dodgers and Dodger friends to the number of 50 or so spent a fortifying day eating high on the hog. The hog—for Fannie Farmer exactness, the roast pig—came to 47 pounds dressed, not counting the apple in its mouth.
Besides feasting, the Dodgers went swimming in Duke's reservoir, played basketball, ping-pong, bridge, poker and horseshoes (at which Pee Wee Reese beat Don Zimmer for $2). There was also a ragtime ukulele solo by Zimmer, a Charleston by Traveling Secretary Lee Scott, a golf demonstration by Junior Gilliam, a doleful monologue by Johnny Podres on how he might be traded to the Yankees ("I'm going to wear pin stripes, that's what. I'm sure going to miss all you boys") and a domestic dialogue between the Don Drysdales:
Don: No, I won't do dishes.
Ginger Drysdale: O.K. So do dishes.
Don: This is just like home.
Ginger: He rules the roost. I rule the rooster.
The Dodgers then went back to the Coliseum and won five of their next seven games.