Meanwhile, Billy Mason had circled the bases, but by the time he had touched home plate there was no one there to greet him, to grasp him by the hand, which was in my day, even as it is now, the etiquette of the situation. Instead, with The Shrimp precariously perched on George Haywood's shoulders, we formed a procession and marched in the general direction of the street where most of us lived. "Hail, hail, the gang's all here." we sang.
Bewildered by our indifference, and not yet having had the opportunity to reflect on the enormity of his crime (he was to swing and miss, wasn't he?) Billy Mason ran back and forth along the line of singing and dancing boys, grabbing one, then another, trying to attract attention to himself, seeking some sign of approval for the tremendous blow he had struck in the pinch. But we did not pay any attention to Billy.
In fact, because we were sound baseball men, it was agreed without a dissenting voice that Billy had to be disciplined. After some debate he was fined 50� (which he never paid) and was suspended for the balance of the season.
It all came back to me at the Stadium, when Houk called on Blanchard to pinch-hit. What a moment it would have been for Ironclad strategy. I wonder what Gene Saddler and I would have dreamed up had we been sitting on the Yankee bench? Would we have dug deep into our bag of tricks? Would we have figured that we could win by confounding the opposition, by doing the unexpected? Would we have passed up Blanchard and, peering down the bench, called on a pitcher with an anemic batting average? And then have him stand at the plate with instructions not to swing, remembering that it worked for us with Shrimp Bogler the day we spoon-fed panic to the Spartans, and that it might work again?
I don't know. We would have squared the circle somehow. But we wouldn't have told Johnny Blanchard to knock one out of the park. That would have been too simple.