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Although its baseball department is feeling a bit bullish about the coincidental advent of the New York Giants, another venerable New York firm—"We're primed for business," says Mr. Floor Manager—it is not quite as prepared as it should be. A&F does have a full line of Little League chest protectors and Hank Sauer and John Antonelli gloves—but no Willie Mays bats! In fact, Mr. F.M. was wondering just the other day whether there is, indeed, such an item.
Tut, tut, Mr. F.M., of course there is, and you'd better get them in stock before Willie starts knocking that old apple over San Francisco's left field fence. The bats come in three models: No. 302, No. 302J and No. 302S and are manufactured by Adirondack Bats, Inc., Dolgeville, N.Y. Willie himself uses the No. 302, two or three dozen of them a year, but No. 302 would be a little too long and heavy for the kids. No. 302J and No. 302S are your best bets, and you'd better hurry. Opening Day is April 15.
In the spring ballplayers are supposed to concentrate almost exclusively on such matters as lifting up their batting and fielding averages and raising their pitching efficiency. Last week in St. Petersburg, Fla. a SPORTS ILLUSTRATED baseball reporter ran into another kind of uplift for which there is no label in the standard box scores. Purely in the interest of baseball, the reporter invited Lindy and Von McDaniel, the two fine young Cardinal pitchers, to dinner. Lindy accepted on behalf of himself, his wife Augie and his brother. Then he recalled, "This is church night; you come along with us."
Presently they arrived at the Central Church of Christ a few minutes before the meeting was to begin. "Good evening, Brother Lindy. Good evening, Sister Augie. Evening, Brother Von," was the greeting that came from a small group gathered in the center aisle as they entered.
Promptly at 7:15 the congregation of 21 took seats, and the meeting began. After the first hymn a young man in a blue suit led the congregation in prayer, then announced it was time for Bible recitation. Lindy McDaniel handed his Bible to his would-be dinner host.
"It's customary for everyone to recite a passage from the Bible," Lindy whispered.
"That doesn't include me, does it?" the reporter mumbled.
"It's customary," said Lindy.
Quicker than Lindy could shake off a catcher's signal, the reporter was reading nervously from the first Psalm. Lindy then read from I Timothy in a clear, calm voice: "Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee."