SI Vault
 
THE HUNGRY YOUNG BIRDS
Walter Bingham
September 19, 1960
Babes in the American League woods, the Baltimore Orioles are giving New York and Chicago a fine-feathered fight for the pennant
Decrease font Decrease font
Enlarge font Enlarge font
September 19, 1960

The Hungry Young Birds

Babes in the American League woods, the Baltimore Orioles are giving New York and Chicago a fine-feathered fight for the pennant

View CoverRead All Articles View This Issue
1 2 3

Late in the game the Orioles committed a mistake that cost them the game. With Baltimore behind 3-1 in the ninth inning, 40-year-old pinch hitter Dave Philley drew a walk, putting runners on first and second with one out. Philley, eager to break up a double play, took a long lead—too long a lead. Vic Power, the Indians' marvelous first baseman, moved stealthily in behind him, took the pitcher's throw and Philley was out. Jackie Brandt followed with a double to score a run, but the game ended when Woodling hit a vicious liner that was caught in right field.

Five minutes after the final out, Richards was dressed and gone. "That makes my job tough," said a Baltimore writer as he watched Richards leave. "Know what he's going to do? He's going to eat a bowl of corn flakes and go to bed. That's what he does after every night game. Eat corn flakes."

The Baltimore dressing room was silent. Philley sat unmoving in front of his locker.

The scoreboard had shown that the Yankee game in Chicago was scoreless in the third inning. Later the Orioles learned that the Yankees had won. Their lead had been cut to a half game.

The next evening, before the game, Richards explained his abrupt departure the night before. "At times like that," he said quietly, "you're apt to say unnecessary things. It was best to get out quick. Besides, a manager's job is, basically, getting his team ready for the next game, not yelling about the last one."

Robinson said he felt pretty good, no more temperature, no pain in the glands in his neck. But he said that several times during the game the night before he had felt light-footed and perhaps because of it he missed a line drive he thought he should have caught.

"I hope he's all right," said a Baltimore writer. "He's been to us what Dick Groat is to the Pirates."

Jack Fisher, another chubby 21-year-old, started the second game for Baltimore. For six innings neither team could score. Then, before a man was out in the seventh, the Orioles scored six times, three on a home run by the ailing Woodling, who limped noticeably around the bases. Baltimore won 9-0. It was Fisher's third straight shutout.

The Baltimore clubhouse after the game was a merry place. There was beer and pizza and happiness. As members of the Cleveland press filed in to wish Richards good luck, he told them to let him know if they needed Series tickets. He also told them to beat the Yankees in the double-header scheduled that Sunday.

Things got worse the next afternoon. Woodling hurt too much to play. Robinson, though he would not admit it, looked tired from his recent illness and went hitless for the third straight day. The game went into extra innings, tied at 2-2. In the 11th, Baltimore loaded the bases with one out. The man on third was Triandos, perhaps the slowest runner in the league. The situation screeched for a pinch runner, yet Manager Richards sent none in. The batter, Al Pilarcik, hit a drive to right field, near the line. Chicago's Al Smith raced over, caught the ball on the run, turned and threw to the plate. The lumbering Triandos was out.

Continue Story
1 2 3