Has Yankee lefthander Eddie Lopat's hex over the Indians finally been broken? Lopat (below) took a career 30-6 record against the Indians into a June 4 game at Municipal Stadium. On the suggestion of a fan named Wendell Janovyak, the Cleveland club handed out 15,000 rabbits' feet to fans in hopes of ending the Lopat jinx. Four rabbits were let loose at home plate before the game. In the bottom of the first inning, a fan ran to the mound, placed a black cat at Lopat's feet and then ran off. The Indians scored five runs in the first inning and one in the second to knock Lopat out early. (Fittingly, Indian first baseman Luke Easter had two key hits in the rabbit game.) Last week Cleveland pounded Lopat again, 8-0, and the Indians were thanking their lucky charms.
Fain in Pain
On July 16 A's outfielder Ferris Fain, the American League's leading hitter at .347, was so angry about popping out in the first game of a doubleheader against the White Sox that he kicked first base and fractured his left foot. He's expected to miss at least a month, which could cost him the batting title.
Wilmer Mizell (right), a 20-year-old lefthander in the Cardinals' organization, has been nicknamed Vinegar Bend by writers. Why? "Because," says Mizell, "Vinegar Bend [Miss., pop. about 75] is where ah gets man mail."
By the Numbers
The findings are in from a 1950 study of player salaries. On July 1 last year the Yankees had the highest payroll in the majors: $488,500. The mean salary on the Yankees was $18,786; the median salary, $15,500. The Browns had the lowest payroll: $192,000. The Browns' mean salary was $8,031; the median, $7,000. Total player payroll in the American League was $2,756,200; in the National, it was $2,535,650.