So…right off the bat…Pardon my digression: The Milwaukee Braves clinched the 1958 National League pennant at approximately 4:16 P.M. on Sunday, September 21, 1958. At approximately 4:16 P.M. and one second, Milwaukee fans went bonkers in an expression of fan frenzy that often resembled the quite similar celebration of the previous year. A tide of rollicking, bubbling humanity poured out of offices, stores, classrooms, bars and restaurants to yell, dance, sing, hug, whistle, and just generally affirm—loudly—their shared affection for their team who had just vanquished the Cincinnati Reds, 6-5. LOTS of police had been strategically assigned since about 3:45 P.M. in anticipation of this exact situation. Wisconsin Avenue was jammed with revelers just like last year; but, this year the police managed to keep one lane of traffic open in either direction. Side streets were much the same although not all side streets were passable to motorists. Those unfortunate enough to be imprisoned in their buildings apparently were supplied with a life-time supply of streamers and confetti which they rained down on the joyous celebrants in the streets!!
The Milwaukee Sentinel headline, “Set up those Yankees—We did it Again”, reflected perfectly the attitude of the multitude…Even linguistically it was on the money. When you talked to or heard from Braves fans in Milwaukee, in Wisconsin or in the surrounding areas, rarely was heard the third person pronoun “ they”…nearly always it was the first person plural of the Sentinel headline “WE”…WE Win!! WE did it!! WE’LL do it again!!!
The Milwaukee city and county constabularies estimated some 85,000 people welcomed the team back into town. About 20,000 of those, including players wives and families, were at the airport—Many waited over two hours for the 8:15 P.M. flight from Cincy. Another 15,000 or so lined the service road at the airport and the streets between the airport and downtown.
The final 50,000 were downtown: milling, dancing in conga lines, doing the bunny hop or just waiting around…Traffic was bumper to bumper from Billy Mitchell Field to Wisconsin Avenue. Some horns seemed to have been blowing since 4:16P and one second. As it turned out there was no Parade of Braves—they left the airport in their private vehicles. As a result, the “Welcome Home Party” at the Schroeder Hotel was practically a non-event.
The announcement—No Party Tonight—around 9:30P, by police, was not popular with fans and many went home disappointed. However, thousands stayed and the downtown area was a hubbub ’til past midnight.
All in all there were probably less histrionics than in 1957 because many, many of these fans had been through all this before. Additionally, this year’s jubilation was conditioned by assumptions, expectations; we were pretty sure we WOULD/COULD do this again. So were law enforcement groups sure we’d do this again and they prepared accordingly—and it seemed—wisely…There were only a dozen or maybe 15 arrests—only one for drunkenness—all things and all people considered—How drunk would he have had to have been…??? Wow!!! A couple of people got busted for disorderly conduct—again—hmmm…wow!! The majority of the arrests were for minor charges like “too much noise”—How could you make too much noise when your team wins the pennant?? BUT…it seems, in spite of it being just a tiny bit controlled or choreographed, a fine time was had by all!!
The newspapers carried the “human interest” stories you’d pretty much expect: The Yankees plan to “get even” with Lou Burdette for last year; the Governor and the Mayor send their heartiest congratulations; the multitudinous virtues of Joe Cairnes, John Quinn and Fred Haney were splendiferously extolled and Casey Stengel waxed eloquent about Tony Kubek and Ryne Duren, the two Wisconsin guys on the Yankee roster. One of the more intriguing aspects of reading the old newspapers is the advertisements—it was a different era.
However, nearly every retailer had some type of “Good Luck, Braves” or “Congratulations, Champs” or some similar line in their ad. My fave, from the week prior to the Series, was pictures of the Braves’ wives (sometimes kids) holding a loaf of Butter-Nut bread and saying something like “To grow up strong and healthy, our kids need Butter-Nut Bread”. I wonder if those original photos are “out there” somewhere…Wowzer!!!
In their annual World Series scouting report, Sports Illustrated again went through both rosters player by player. They weren’t particularly impressed with the Braves bench except for pitchers who they thought were OK. In fact, S.I. graded Braves pitching in general well above that of the Yankees. They leaned toward the Yanks as having the advantage in hitting, especially the New York bench! Staff writers felt the Yanks had the very best defensive team in all of baseball and, also, the best and fastest base runners in either league. But…bottom line…S.I. went with the old saw about good pitching beating good hitting and gave the Braves a slight advantage overall to win the Series.
Monday, September 29th, it rained!! It wasn’t just a little sprinkle…it was a downpour!!…and the New York Yankees came to town for the first two games of the World Series.
Tuesday, the 30th, was still overcast but both teams got some batting practice and got re-acquainted.
The grounds crew worked well into the night getting County Stadium ready for World Series play.
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 1ST, 1958, dawned cool/cold and breezy…and stayed that way!! Once again, as expected, it was Warren Spahn and Whitey Ford pitching Game One. Both lefties, Spahn went 20-11 with a 3.08 ERA versus Ford’s 14-7 with a 2.10 ERA. Spahn started the season slow; but obviously, picked it up and finished hot. Ford had a tough season—plagued by elbow trouble that is painful whenever he throws a breaking ball.
The 37-year-old, loose-as-a-goose Spahn was promptly nicked for a single by lead-off hitter, Hank Bauer. Sadly for him, happily for us Bauer promptly forgot Spahn’s crafty pick-off move and broke for second too early. Spahn threw over to Joe Adcock at first who threw down to Johnny Logan covering second and Logan tagged Bauer for the first out. Gil McDougald hit a shot off the reaching glove of Eddie Mathews. Mickey Mantle popped to Del Crandall for out number two. Elston Howard hit a long drive to left center that was hauled in by Andy Pafko for the third out.
In the Braves half of the first, Logan hit a nice double down the left field line but, sadly, languished on second.
Yogi Berra opens inning two with a single. Moose Skowron follows with another single but Berra takes too wide a turn around second and gets thrown out at third—Covington to Mathews. Skowron went to second but that was the extent of the action. The Milwaukee half of the second was uneventful. Neither team was able to get anything going in the third.
In the top of the fourth, Howard hit a shot to Aaron and Berra hit a little blooper to Red Schoendienst out behind second. Big Bill Skowron hit a line drive that was j-u-u-s-st fair into the left field bleachers for the first run of the game, 1-0. Aaron led off the bottom of the inning with a walk. A Ford breaking ball got by Berra allowing Aaron to take second. Adcock grounded out, Aaron held at second. Covington also grounded out but Aaron was able to get to third. Crandall singled on Ford’s first pitch scoring Aaron, 1-1. Andy Pafko singled Crandall to second. Spahn singled Crandall home and that ended the scoring, 2-1.
Kubek flied out to Covington to open the fifth. Ford walked. Bauer hit Spahnie’s 2-0 offering over the left field fence, 3-2. Mathews held out for a base on balls in the Braves half, but that was it. Neither team generated much offense in either the sixth or the seventh.
In the New York half of the eighth, Mantle, Howard and Berra went three up, three down. Mathews opened the bottom half by working Ford for a full count and, then, walked. Aaron hit a line shot to right—Bauer went up for a leaping catch but couldn’t quite get to it and it bounced off the wall for a double, sending Mathews to third. Casey Stengel, amidst cheers and jeers, came out to get Ford and bring in Ryne Duren. Duren, the be-spectacled flame-thrower from Cazenovia, WI, had a reputation for wildness related to his apparent inability to see the plate, the batter or the strike-zone clearly. Many believe the “Wild Thing” character in the movie Major League was patterned after him. Duren struck out Adcock on four pitches. Covington sac-flied to Mantle, scoring Mathews, 3-3. Crandall took a called third strike.
In the ninth the Yanks were unable to get anything going. With one out in the Braves half, Spahn singled and Schoendienst walked, but Frank Torre popped out and Mathews struck out ending the threat.
Fred Haney sent Bruton to center and Mantilla to short to start the tenth. Duren lined to Spahn. Bauer struck out. McDougald singled and Mantle walked, but Howard flew out to Aaron-Zip. Aaron led off the bottom of the tenth and was out by a tick on a dropped third strike. Adcock singled. Covington flied out to left. Crandall singled sending Adcock to second. Bruton, in his first (ever) World Series at-bat, hit a liner that rolled to the fence in right center…Adcock came home with the winning run, 4-3!!!
It turned into a pretty darned good birthday present for 10-year-old Greg Spahn—A double celebration for the Spahn family!!!
Anthony Albano, 61, is an ardent, ARDENT baseball fan who hails from Brooklyn, New York. Mr. Albano was able, somehow, to skirt Stadium Security and climb a light pole in the outfield to watch Game One. Unfortunately he was unable to climb back down by himself. The courageous members of the Milwaukee Fire Department were called upon to come and rescue him after the game.
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 2ND, 1958, was a dark and dreary day; it also signaled the resumption of the Lou Burdette-versus-the-record-books saga. Burdette, 19-10 with a 3.01 ERA, is scheduled to go against Bullet BobTurley,21-7 with a 2.75 ERA in the second game of the Series. It didn’t take long…Bauer leads off with a single, McDougald hits a chopper to Mathews whose throw to first is wide allowing Bauer to get to third and McD to second. Mantle is strategically walked loading the bases. Howard grounds to Schoendienst who fires to Logan for the force on Mantle while Bauer scores and McDougald goes to third. Berra hits into a double play but it’s 1-0 and the end of the 24 consecutive scoreless innings. In the Braves half Bruton works Turley to a 3-2 count and, in his second World Series at-bat, strokes one into the right field bleachers and it’s 1-1. Schoendienst doubles, Eddie gets called out on strikes and Aaron walks. Covington singles scoring the Redhead while Aaron goes to third, 2-1. That’s enough for Stengel who brings in Duke Maas. Torre flies out to Howard in left who fires to the plate to keep Aaron at third; Covington takes second on the throw. With first base open, Crandall gets an intentional walk and—per Earl Gillespie, the voice of the Braves—the bases are FOB; Full Of Braves!! Logan strokes a nice single to left and both Aaron and Covington come home, 4-1.
Crandall goes to third and Logan to second on Howard’s throw to the plate. Burdette hits Maas’ second pitch into the left field seats for a 3-run homer, 7-1. Howard is injured crashing the fence in pursuit of Lou’s homer and is replaced with Norm Sieburn. Casey brings in Johnny Kucks for Maas and he gets Bruton to hit a liner right at Kubek to end the inning. It was the highest scoring inning in Series history at the time.
In the top of the second the Yanks go three-up, three-down. Schoendienst leads off the bottom half and grounds out; McDougald to Skowron. Mathews doubles off the fence in left center. Aaron grounds out, McDougald to Skowron…while Eddie goes to third. Covington singles to center and Eddie trots home, 8-1. Torre, the third guy in the inning to do so, grounds out… McDougald to Skowron.
Kucks leads off the third with a single but is promptly erased as Bauer bangs into a double-play. McDougald is an infield out, Logan to Torre to end the top half. In their half, the Braves go out, 1-2-3.
Mantle opens the fourth with a long shot over the center field fence, 8-2…
and that was their half…The Braves were scoreless in our half.
The top half of the fifth went three-up, three-down. The Yankees brought in 42-year-old, well-traveled Murry Dickson for the bottom half and the Braves went three-up, three-down. The sixth was no runs, no hits, no errors, none left on base for both teams.
The Stadium lights were turned on to begin the seventh inning. Siebern started it off by flying out to Covington. Bruton made a nice running catch of Berra’s long drive to right-center. Logan showed his fine defensive prowess by snagging Skowron’s chopper behind the mound and throwing him out. In the bottom half, Mathews popped out to Skowron behind first base. Aaron beat out an infield chopper. Covington singled to right; Aaron went to third. Felix Mantilla came in to run for Covington. Torre singled to right, Aaron scored and Mantilla went to third, 9-2. Crandall sent a long sac-fly to Mantle in center; Mantilla scored after the catch, 10-2. Logan popped to Skowron ending the inning.
Top of the eighth—Pafko went to left for Covington. Enos Slaughter, batting for Andy Carey, grounded out; Schoendienst to Torre. Kubek bounced out to Torre unassisted. Marvelous (in a later lifetime) Marv Throneberry hit for Dickson and struck out. Rookie Zack Monroe took the mound and Bobby Richardson took over at third to start the bottom half of the eighth. Burdette fanned…Bruton worked the rookie for a walk. Schoendienst hit a shot into the corner in right that was deflected into the stands by Bauer for a ground-rule double…Bruton had to stop at third. Mathews singled to left; Bruton and Schoendienst scored, 12-2. Aaron singled to right sending Mathews flying to third. Pafko sacrificed to Mantle, Mathews scoring after the catch, 13-2. Torre hits one right at McDougald to end the inning.
Bauer opens the ninth with a homer, 13-3. McDougald singles, Mantle homers, 13-5. Siebern singles…Berra flies to Aaron in right. Skowron flies to Pafko in left. Richardson bunts on the tiring Burdette, but Crandall is on it like a cat and just nips Richardson at first—final score: Braves-13; Yankees-5; Braves lead Series two games to one and its off to New York for games three, four and five (if necessary).
The team left Milwaukee late Thursday evening after the game and arrived in New York later still. They were met at the airport by family, friends and fans; some of whom had taken earlier flights on Thursday; some of whom had gotten there the previous day.
Mary Ann Burdette greets hubby, Lou, who will spend part of tomorrow (Friday) sightseeing and part at Yankee Stadium with the team re-familiarizing themselves with the quirks and ground-rules of the park.
Fred Haney stops by New York’s Bellevue Hospital Friday morning to visit old friend Roy Campanella. Campy is partially paralyzed from his automobile accident last January. From the look of it, both NL’ers are pulling for the Braves to continue their mastery of the AL Yanks…!! Campanella’s arrival at Yankee Stadium tomorrow will get a standing ovation…A great tribute to a great player!!
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 4, 1958, found the Braves back at the site of their marvelous 1957 triumph. Scheduled to pitch were Don Larson and Bob Rush. Larsen, of World Series no-hitter fame in 1956, was 8-6 with a 3.41 ERA on the season. For the Braves, Bob Rush was a “new guy” who’d pitched ‘way more games against than for us—10 seasons with the usually-not-in-the-running Cubbies. Bob went 10-6, 3.42 ERA during the ’58 season—his first with the Braves.
In the top half of the first Bruton, Schoendienst and Mathews went three-up, three-down. In the Yankee half, Bauer beat out a bouncer to deep short. Kubek fanned and Bauer was picked off first by Crandall for a dandy double-play. Mantle struck out and that was that.
With two out in the second, Torre hit a line shot to center for a single. Crandall whiffed and that, also, was that. With two away in the home half, Jerry Lumpe hit a high hopper to Mathews whose throw to first was high, wide and not-so-handsome. Torre leaped high and to his left, caught the errant sphere and tagged Lumpe as he went by for out number three…
In the third Logan fouled out and Rush struck out. Bruton worked Larsen to 3-2 and walked. On the ensuing hit-and-run, Schoendienst poked a single through the space just vacated Kubek and Bruton went to third. Mathews missed a third strike to end the inning. In the home half, Rush threw out Skowron bunting. Rush then threw out McDougald. Then Rush threw out Larsen. In the fourth, Torre singled…Mantle walked…but neither advanced.
In the fifth the Braves were three up, three down. In the Yanks half, Siebern led off with a walk. Lumpe flied out to Bruton. Skowron hit a rocket to Schoendienst’s left; Red made a great play on it and threw the Moose out at first while Siebern went to second. McDougald was intentionally walked to set up the double play. Larsen worked Rush for a full count and then got ball four. Bauer singled to right scoring Siebern and McDougald; Larsen went to third on the throw to the plate, 2-0. Kubek lined to Bruton to end the inning.
Schoendienst started the sixth with a single. Mathews struck out. Aaron walked, Red to second. Covington hit a hot single off Skowron’s glove that bounced toward the box seats. Schoendienst rounded third heading for home but Skowron as recovered quickly, he stopped and started back to third. However, at about that same moment, Aaron was arriving at third after seeing Red head home. So…Red took off for home again and Aaron headed back to second. Berra threw to Lumpe at third who threw badly back to Berra; however, Larsen was backing up the play and eventually tagged Schoendienst out in the rundown. Aaron was safe at second, same for Covington at first. Torre flied to Bauer…no one scored. In the bottom half with two out, Siebern walked. Lumpe hit a single to center that advanced Siebern to third but Skowron flied out to Aaron to end the inning.
Crandall led off the seventh with a single. Logan flied to Mantle. Harry Hanebrink batted for Rush and popped out to McDougald in short right field. Bruton walked but Schoendienst flied to Mantle for the third out. Don McMahon took over the mound duties in the New York half of the seventh. McDougald struck out. Slaughter, for Larsen, walked on four pitches. Bauer hit a long homer into the left-field seats, 4-0. Kubek flied to Covington. Mantle walked. Berra hit a little roller down the first base line, McMahon scooped it up and tagged Berra to end the inning.
Duren came in to pitch and Richardson went to third to open the eighth. Mathews walked. Aaron flied to Bauer. Covington walked. Torre flied to Mantle. Crandall popped out to Berra but Yogi collided with the backstop and dropped the ball. Duren uncorked a wild pitch and both runners advanced. Crandall hit a hard shot toward Kubek who made a good stop and threw Del out at first to quell the uprising—no scores. In the home half Siebern and Richardson both grounded out to Schoendienst.
There was a brief interruption while an inebriated fan ran out onto the field, made a beautiful, albeit exaggerated, hook slide into second base, had a brief chat with Bruton and Aaron and, then, a longer, more meaningful chat with Stadium Security…then Skowron struck out to end the inning.
Logan drew a walk to get the ninth started. Casey Wise batted for McMahon and whiffed. Bruton hit into a double-play to end the game.
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 5TH, 1958, dawned bright and fair in New York City. Once again it would bring together, in grand opposition, those masters of the mound: Whitey Ford and Warren Spahn…both were marvelous!!!
In the top of the first Schoendienst and Logan both grounded out to Kubek at short. Mathews fanned. In the bottom half Siebern walked, McDougald struck out, Bauer popped out to Adcock and Mantle grounded to Logan who tossed to Red for the force.
Top of the second: Aaron fanned, Adcock hit a little dribbler back to Ford, Crandall singled over second and Covington grounded out. Yanks half: Skowron grounded out, Berra grounded out and Richardson flied out to Covington.
Third: Pafko grounds to McDougald, Spahn goes down swinging, Kubek makes a nice play on a high bouncer by Schoendienst and just nips him at first. Bottom: Kubek flies to Aaron, Ford walks, Siebern grounds to Red for the force on Ford and McDougald hits a lil’ tapper back to Spahn who throws to first for the final out of the inning.
In the Milwaukee half of the fourth Logan pops out foul to Skowron, Mathews pops out behind second and Aaron hits a double down the left field line…then goes to third on a wild pitch to Adcock…who whiffs to retire the side. Bauer grounds out to Logan to start the Yankee half. Mantle hits a triple that bounces off the auxillary scoreboard in left. Skowron hits a dribbler back to Spahn who looks Mantle back to third before throwing Skowron out at first.
Berra hits a kinda looping liner between first and second. Schoendienst goes up high to his left, the ball hits his glove and Red reaches for it with his bare hand. It eludes him and falls to the ground. Balletically, Schoendienst stops his forward motion, twists backward, picks up the ball and throws to first—just ahead of the outstretched hand of a sliding Berra…no runs, one hit, no errors and one left.
Crandall leads off the fifth with a shot that gets by Siebern in left but Mantle is there to back him up and holds Del to a single. Covington fans. Pafko hits deep to center but Mantle chases it down and Crandall holds at first. Spahn fans. In the home half Richardson flies to Adcock in short right, Kubek hits a boomer—right at Mathews—and Ford is called out looking.
Schoendienst opened the sixth with a deep shot to left center that apparently resulted in a miscommunication or no communication situation for Mantle and Siebern. It appeared Siebern had it but at the last second he pulled up to let Mantle take it…nobody took it…it rolled to the wall…triple for the Redhead!!
On the very next play Logan hit a hot grounder to Kubek that he was unable to come up with (error) and Schoendienst scored, 1-0. Mathews, attempting to bunt Logan to second, popped to Ford who very nearly doubled Logan off first. Aaron grounded to Kubek, forcing Logan. Adcock did the same, forcing Aaron. Yankee half: Siebern was called out on strikes, McDougald flied out to Aaron and Bauer grounded out; Logan to Adcock.
Crandall got the seventh underway by working Whitey for a base on balls. Covington flied out—deep—to Mantle. Pafko doubled, Crandall held at third. Spahn lobbed a single in front of Siebern scoring Crandall, Pafko held at second, 2-0. Schoendienst hit into a double-play. In the bottom half Mantle led off and looked at a called third strike. Skowron singled to center. Berra popped out to Crandall and Howard, hitting for Richardson, took a called third strike.
In the eighth Andy Carey went in to play third. Logan led off with a routine fly to left that Siebern lost in the sun—the ball bounced into the stands for a ground-rule double. Mathews doubled off the scoreboard in right center scoring Logan, 3-0. Johnny Kucks came in for Whitey Ford. Aaron singled off Kucks’ leg with Eddie going to third. Torre batted for Adcock and hit a little liner at Kubek. Crandall popped out to Skowron. Covington was walked intentionally to load the based—FOB…Bruton came in to run for Covington. Pafko grounded hard to Carey at third who threw to McDougald for the force on Bruton. In the bottom half the Braves sent Torre to first, Pafko to left and Bruton to center with Aaron moving over to right. Enos Slaughter led off, batting for Kubek, and was caught looking at strike three. Lumpe, batting for Kucks, popped to Schoendienst and Siebern went down on three pitches.
In the ninth Lumpe went to short and Murry Dickson took over for Kucks. Spahnie grounded out to McDougald, Red popped foul to Berra and Logan flied to Siebern. McDougald led off the Yankee ninth by flying out to Bruton. Bauer hit a little grounder to Mathews who threw him out at first. Mantle grounded to Logan for the final out. Spahnie’s two-hitter was good for the win and the end of Bauer’s consecutive-World-Series-game-hit-streak. After four games the Braves were up on the Yankees 3—1 and things were looking mighty good!!!
MONDAY, OCTOBER 6, 1958, looked like déjà vu all over again as it once again featured what the St. Louis Globe-Democrat referred to as “The Bullet” versus “The Spitter”—obvious references to Bob Turley’s high fastball and Lou Burdette’s alleged expectoration pitch.
The wily Bruton led off by working the count to three and two…and…then…ball four. Schoendienst sacrificed Bruton down to second. Mathews flied out to Bauer; Aaron flied out Mantle. Bauer led off their half by striking out. Lumpe flied out to Bruton and Mantle went down swinging.
Inning number two opened with Covington flying out to Mantle. Torre got a walk. Crandall got caught looking; so did Logan. Berra hit a hot grounder that Torre made a heck of a play to get and threw Berra out to Burdette covering. Howard flied way deep to Aaron and Skowron grounded out Logan to Torre.
In the top of the third Burdette struck out…so did Bruton. Schoendienst singled into short center. Mathews looked at a strike three call. McDougald led off with a homer off the screen on the left field foul pole, 1-0. Kubek whiffed, Turley grounded to Red, Bauer grounded to Logan.
Aaron opened the fourth with a high drive to left that looked good but was hauled in by Howard. Covington got caught looking. Torre bounced to Skowron who stepped on first for the third out. Lumpe led off the bottom with a high bouncer behind second which Schoendienst knocked down but couldn’t quite get Lumpe at first. Mantle hit a little bingle to right; Lumpe went to second. Berra hit a hot shot to Mathews who stepped on third and fired to Torre for the double play. Howard got just-not-quite-enough good wood on a high fly to center and it was hauled in by Bruton – end of threat.
The Milwaukee fifth was quick: Crandall grounded out to Lumpe; Logan struck out and Burdette flied out to Howard. The New York fifth was nearly as quick: Skowron flied out to Covington; McDougald chopped one to Mathews who threw him out at first; Kubek beat out a “swinging bunt” and Turley grounded out to Logan.
Bruton led off the sixth with a hot grounder to short that took a high bounce right over Kubek’s head. On a hit-and-run, Bruton took off with the pitch and Schoendienst hit a little liner out to left. It looked like it would drop in. However, Howard made a diving catch, recovered quickly and threw to first to double up Bruton. Mathews then singled to right but Aaron struck out to end the uprising. In the Yankee half Bauer singled. Lumpe, trying to bunt Bauer to second, fouled off the third strike and was called out. Mantle singled and Bauer made it to third. Berra doubled scoring Bauer as Mantle went to third, 2-0. Howard was given an intentional pass to set up the double play. Skowron singled scoring Mantle, 3-0. Haney brought in 21-year-old Juan Pizarro to relieve Burdette.
McDougald hit a ground rule double scoring Berra and Howard, 5-0. Skowron went to third. Kubek struck out. Turley singled scoring Skowron and McDougald, 7-0. A wild pitch by Pizarro got Turley to second. Mercifully, Bauer struck out.
Bobby Richardson went in to play third base for the Yanks to start the seventh inning. For the Braves, Covington whiffed, Torre grounded to Skowron, Crandall walked and Logan flied to Bauer. In the Yankee half Richardson grounded back to Pizarro. Mantle walked. Berra was thrown out by Mathews; Mantle went to second. Howard looked at strike three.
Harry Hanebrink led off the eighth batting for Pizarro and popped out to Berra. Bruton singled. Schoendienst hit a little popper to Kubek and Mathews grounded out to Richardson. In the bottom half Willey came on for Pizarro and struck out Skowron and then McDougald. Kubek hit one to short left but Covington came in and made a great diving catch.
Aaron fanned to lead off the ninth. Covington hit a hard shot off Kubek’s glove. Casey Wise came in to run for him. Torre hit a little pop-up behind second which was caught by McDougald. Crandall grounded to Kubek who tossed to McDougald for the force on Wise and that was the game. But we were still up on the Yankees three games to two and tomorrow is a travel day and we’ll resume this in Milwaukee on our home turf with our home crowd on Wednesday. Go Braves!!
Both teams left New York for Milwaukee after Monday’s game. The newspapers were full of stories of the Yankees finally “figuring out” Lou Burdette and Bob Turley’s marvelous comeback from his 108.00 World Series ERA. Both teams spent part of Tuesday at County Stadium either working out, taking batting practice or with the ubiquitous fourth estate – the press.
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 8, 1958, was a dark day in more ways than one. I believe the entire game was played with the lights on in County Stadium. It was another classic match-up of premier pitchers Whitey Ford and Warren Spahn.
Carey led off and flied to Pafko. McDougald hit a liner right at Mathews. Bauer hit a boomer into the left field stands, 1-0. Mantle was safe on a rare error by Schoendienst but was immediately forced by Howard, Logan to Schoendienst. In the Braves half Schoendienst singled and was sacrificed to second by Logan. Mathews fanned looking. Aaron singled scoring Schoendienst, 1-1. Adcock grounded to Kubek who flipped it to McDougald for the force on Aaron.
To open the second Berra hit a little tapper back to Spahn who threw him out at first. Skowron hit a grounder to Logan who booted it. Kubek went down swinging. Ford hit into a force on Skowron. In the bottom half Crandall whiffed. Covington singled to center on a ball Mantle said he caught; the ump said he trapped it. After a brief discussion between Stengel and the umpiring crew, the “trap” call was upheld. Pafko singled sending Covington to third. Spahn singled scoring Covington and getting Pafko to second, 2-1. Schoendienst walked – FOB!!
Art Ditmar came in to relieve Ford. Logan flied out to Howard who threw Pafko out at the plate trying to score after the catch. Carey opened the third flying out to Pafko. McDougald grounded out to Logan. Bauer grounded to Logan who muffed it – safe at first. Mantle hit a hard shot to third which Mathews picked up and threw to Schoendienst forcing Bauer. In the Milwaukee half Mathews grounded out to Skowron in the hole between first and second – Ditmar came over to cover first.
Aaron bunted and was safe at first when Ditmar’s throw hit him in the shoulder as he and Skowron collided. The ball rolled over toward the box seats and Aaron went to second. Adcock grounded out to McDougald, Aaron went to third. Crandall struck out to end the inning.
Top of the fourth: Howard flied out to Pafko; Berra singled; Skowron flied out to Aaron and Kubek grounded out to Spahn. Bottom of the fourth: Covington grounded out to McD; Pafko hit a little pop-up to McD and Spahnie whiffed.
Ditmar opened the fifth by grounding out to Schoendienst. Carey flied out to Aaron. McDougald singled and Bauer popped out to Crandall. Schoendienst led off the Braves’ half with a double into the LF corner. Logan sac bunted Red to third. Mathews popped out to Skowron, Aaron grounded out to Carey.
Bruton replaced Pafko in center to start the sixth. Mantle led off with a single over a leaping Logan. Howard singled to center and when Bruton did not handle the ball cleanly, Mantle went to third. Berra hit a big sac-fly to Bruton which scored Mantle – Howard held first, 2-2. Skowron walked. Slaughter batted for Kubek and grounded out to Schoendienst but both runners advanced. Lumpe pinch-hit for Ditmar and struck out. Ryne Duren (Cazenovia, WI native) took over mound duties in the bottom of the sixth and Lumpe came in at short. Adcock was a “K”, Crandall was a “K”, Covington singled and Bruton was a ”K”.
Carey began the seventh with a hard shot – right back at Spahn. McDougald flied out to Bruton. Bauer hit a little swinging tapper to Spahn”s left that should have been an easy out, but Spahn lost his footing and fell and Bauer was given a hit. Mantle hit a hard shot at Mathews who threw to second forcing Bauer. In the Braves’ half Spahnie whiffed, Schoendienst and Logan both lined out to Howard.
Howard opened the eighth with a “K”. Berra lined out to Schoendienst and Skowron popped out to Logan. In the bottom half Mathews popped out Berra. Aaron grounded out to McDougald. Adcock walked. Crandall grounded to Lumpe who tossed to McDougald, forcing Adcock.
Duren whiffed to open the ninth. Lumpe walked. Carey whiffed on a 3-2 and Lumpe, hoping for the best, was thrown out at second. In the bottom half Covington, Bruton and Spahn all struck out. Still 2-2: Extra Innings.
McDougald hit Spahnie’s second pitch of the tenth into the left field seats, 3-2. Bauer flied out to Bruton, Mantle hit a little roller to Mathews who threw him out at first. Howard singled. Berra singled, Howard went to third. Haney brought McMahon in to relieve Spahn. Skowron singled scoring Howard while Berra went to second, 4-2. Duren struck out to end the top half of the inning. Schoendienst led off with a grounder to McDougald who bobbled it but still threw Red out at first. Logan walked. Mathews looked at a third strike. Duran, either as a mental error or something, wound up to pitch to Aaron and Logan went to second on the mental lapse. Aaron then singled scoring Logan, 4-3. Adcock singled, Aaron went to third. Stengel brought Turley in for Duren. Haney sent Mantilla to run for Adcock at first and had the left-handed hitting Torre pinch-hit for Crandall against the right-handed throwing Turley. Torre hit Turley’s fourth offering – a little liner that he (Torre) didn’t get all of and McDougald caught it right about where the infield meets the outfield and suddenly Duren had won his first World Series game, it was three games apiece and all the hoopla was for naught. It had gone from three games to one, then, to three games to two and now was all knotted up – the Yanks had staged one of their vaunted comebacks. Now the whole Series rested on the seventh game – just like last year.
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 9, 1958 – the day began on a sad note – sadder for some than others – yet a sadness that touched many: Pope Pius XII died in the early morning hours and it was on the front page of all the morning newspapers and on all the radio and television newscasts. In those days you knew – whether or not you were Catholic – that the Pope was a holy man and an international newsmaker. The neighbor kids were somewhere between nominal and “good” Catholics – they were kids, we were kids; who knew? But the death of the Pontiff affected them and, by association, the rest of us. The Milwaukee papers, however, were still full of the same hope as last year and exuded an expectation of success…and the fans were as affectionately boisterous as ever.
After a certain amount of hemming and hawing in the media, Casey Stengel picked Don Larsen as the Yankee pitcher for this momentous occasion. Fred Haney’s choice had been assured for the past year: Lou Burdette. In the top of the first, Bauer hit a liner to Aaron, McDougald grounded out to Logan to Torre and Mantle hit a hopper to Torre who stepped on first for the third out. Schoendienst led off with a single: Bruton walked. Torre sacrificed the runner to second and third. Aaron walked – full of Braves!! Covington grounded out to Skowron as Schoendienst scored and Bruton and Aaron moved to third and second respectively, 1-0. Mathews was given an intentional pass to, once again, load’em up. Crandall was called out looking.
Berra walked to start the second. Howard sacrifice bunted but was safe when Torre’s toss to Burdette went a bit awry…and Berra went to third. Lumpe grounded to Torre whose toss to Burdette, covering again, was off (Burdette would later say it wasn’t all Torre’s fault – who got two errors in a row – but that he (Burdette) was just as much to blame on both plays). Nonetheless: Nobody out; bases loaded. Skowron grounded to Logan who tossed to Schoendienst for the force on Lumpe; Berra scored; Howard to third, 1-1. Kubek flied to Covington; Howard scored, 2-1. Larsen grounded to Logan who threw to Schoendienst forcing Skowron. In the Braves half Logan popped to Kubek, Burdette grounded to Lumpe and Schoendienst grounded to McDougald.
Bauer began the third with a hopper to Logan. McDougald doubled off the left-centerfield fence. Mantle grounded to Mathews who looked McDougald back to second and threw The Mick out at first. Berra grounded to Torre unassisted. Bruton led off the Braves half with a single. Torre hit a Texas Leaguer to short right that McDougald caught. Aaron singled…Bruton went to second. Stengell quickly brought in Bob Turley to relieve Larsen.
Covington hit a kind of swinging bunt and was thrown out by Berra but both runners moved up. Mathews got an intentional pass: FOB. Crandall hit a ball that hit Turley and bounced toward McDougald who threw Crandall out.
In the NY half of the fourth Howard singled and then stole second. Lumpe hit to Mathews who looked Howard back as he threw Lumpe out. Skowron flied out to Bruton. Kubek got an intentional pass. Turley hit to Logan who tossed to Schoendienst for the force on Kubek. In the Braves half Logan flied out to Bauer, Burdette fanned and Schoendienst grounded to Kubek.
To begin the fifth Bauer popped out to Schoendienst, McDougald flied out to Aaron and Mantle grounded to Schoendienst. In the bottom half Bruton struck out, Torre walked and was erased on a double-play grounder by Aaron.
Top of the sixth: Berra flied out to Aaron; Howard went down swinging and Lumpe hit a shot that Burdette got a little leather on…but it got by him to Schoendienst…who threw Lumpe out at first. Bottom of the sixth: Carey went in to play third for the Yankees.
Covington flied out to Bauer. Mathews grounded out to McDougald. Crandall hit a shot into the bleachers in left, 2-2. Logan hit a liner… right at Howard.
Skowron singled to lead off the seventh. Kubek hit a little popper to Logan. Turley sacrificed Skowron to second. Bauer popped out to Mathews. Burdette opened the Braves half of the seventh with a grounder to Kubek. Schoendienst grounded out to McDougald. Bruton hit one to Skowron who stepped on first for out number three.
New York started the eighth with McDougald flying out to Aaron. Mantle took a called third strike.
Berra doubled off the wall in right. Howard singled scoring Berra 3-2. Carey singled off the out-stretched glove of Mathews, Howard went to second. Skowron hit a three-run shot into the bleachers in left-center, 6-2. Kubek struck out. In the Braves’ half, McDougald made a great stop to his right of what looked like a sure hit by Torre…and threw him out at first. Aaron hit a long foul, caught by Howard. Covington popped to Carey at third.
McMahon came on to pitch for Milwaukee in the ninth. Turley and Bauer fanned. McDougald singled. Mantle walked. Berra grounded out to Schoendienst. Mathews walked to open the Braves last shot at it. Crandall flied out to Howard. Logan flied out to Mantle. Big Joe Adcock pinch-hit for McMahon…and singled to left…Schoendienst hit a liner to center…right at Mantle…and…unbelievably for Braves’ fans…it was over. We’d lost. For a kind of paralyzing minute a lot of people didn’t move…wait…what… we lost…how could that be? But it could…and it was…and we did…and it was the Yankees celebrating on the field…and Mathews and Mantilla and Schoendienst running for the dugout…and there was a great pall, a shocked and astounded sadness among many who slowly walked out of the stadium and to their cars and to their homes.
Some there were who, even at this time, said, “Wait until next year”, we’ll get’em next time”. Some there were who, even at this time, were second-guessing; “Why didn’t Fred Haney do this, why didn’t Fred Haney do that?” Some there were who proved to be fair-weather friends, fickle friends, friends who weren’t friends at all – who were only “fans” when they were winning. Many there were (probably most) who said, “This is why they play the games – to see who wins…and who loses…Tomorrow is another day, next year is another year…we’ll be back…and so will the Braves…Our Braves!!!”
The Braves’ organization once again anticipated the actual clinching of the pennant in the couple of weeks just prior to September 21st and started, cautiously at first, to once again prepare for hosting four games of the World Series.
This invoice from Arcus Ticket Company in Chicago is for an order of 2348 badges (or press passes as they’re called among collectors). These will be issued to members of the media so stadium security knows who belongs and who does not. The passes, by color and word, also indicate how much of the stadium each holder is entitled to be in. The same is true regarding the passes to Yankee Stadium.
Note that the passes have different shapes – in other words the reporter couldn’t use the same pass in Yankee Stadium as he/she used in County Stadium. The New York Times sports staff might not get treated quite as well in Milwaukee as in New York…or vice versa.
Press pins, on the other hand, went to every member of the press – apparently, in some cases this memento/souvenir of the World Series was also issued to staffers of the team.
Each player and designated staff member received a black bat from Hillerich and Bradsby in commemoration of their participation in the fall classic. As noted in an earlier chapter, if the player had a contract with H&B, his name was on the bat in script; if he had a contract with some other bat manufacturer his name was in block letters. H&B also provided each player with two bats as commemoratives of the series – same rules re script or block letters. The bat company also provided one bat to designated members of the organization. I mention this only as fact…I don’t own one of these YET…but do have a line on one. The little bat is a souvenir of the Series that you could get from concessionaires at the Stadium.
Manhardt’s Blue Dahlia restaurant at 5700 Blue Mound Road was one of many local businesses that publicly supported the Braves and cheered and celebrated them as part of their advertising. As this menu and accompanying ticket note, you could park and eat at the Blue Dahlia and, after, catch a shuttle to the stadium. When the game ended the shuttle would be waiting to whisk you back to the Blue Dahlia to celebrate, drown your sorrows and/or drive home.
Bucyrus-Erie, Southside Milwaukee manufacturers of steam shovels, dredges and other excavating equipment, moved to South Milwaukee in 1893 from Bucyrus, Ohio. They were an international company before they got to Milwaukee having provided 77 of the 107 steam shovels used to dig the Panama Canal. This 12-page booklet/magazine was printed for their guests (Associated Manufacturing and Service Representatives) at the “Bucyrus-Erie Baseball Party”. By our subjective guess, there were over 100 guests in attendance. If you can’t read the fine print, the cover picture is Billy Bruton’s leadoff home run in game 2. (M.A. Domokos – whose name is written on the cover – is not identified).
The World Series tickets were pretty much the same as in 1957. Note the color variations in the Game 1, Upper Grandstand and Upper Deck Box Seat tickets. A similar variation is noted re the Game 7, Lower Grandstand and Upper Deck Boxes…no biggie…one would assume such variation was to aid ushers and ticket-takers.
The pink “employee” ticket (#442) makes one – at least this one – wonder if this was a “standing room only” ticket…??…as wonderful as the Braves were, would they have given up the income of that seat so an employee could attend…? The game 6 Full ticket has no special significance except that I happened to find one and thought it was too cool to pass up. The “Game X” ticket was issued with the rest of the tickets as an “in case of a rain-out” ticket. This is a fairly prolific item since there were no rain-outs…and prices are generally reasonable. The “TV Box Seat” ticket is an advertising piece from Columbia Clothiers owned by Marvelous Milwaukee Braves Partisan fan and supporter, Max Margolis.
After the ’58 season the Braves gave staff (…and friends…??) an almost exact replica of the box of candy they gave out after the ’57 season. This one was either given to a family of wet elephants or was severely shmushed by MANY candy boxes being stacked on top of it.
These are the scorecards/scorebooks you could buy to score each of the games in the World Series. The Yankee version has “Oct.4, 1958” and “3rd game” written on the cover. It is scored and the former/original owner has inserted three laminated newspaper accounts of the third game which was the first game at New York and was won by the Yanks, 4-0.
The Braves’ version is unscored so we’re unable to tell which game it is from. However, the name on the front cover is M.A. Domokos, so we might assume he was part of the Bucyrus-Erie group. It is also autographed on the inside by Andy Pafko and Juan Pizarro.
Undoubtedly you would have seen many and various other Braves buttons adorning fans at the ’58 World Series as everyone had been buying and wearing them since 1953. These, however, were pretty much unique to the event.
Official, team-sponsored scorecards were not the only scorecards in evidence in Milwaukee or in New York. The one on the right is quite similar to one that you could get in 1957—however, this one didn’t spell New York’s opponent “Milkwaukee” like last year’s version. The Telesports Scorebook was available weekly from Sports TV Service in Bellevue, Wash. There was space to score two baseball games; plus space to score and chart plays for both the Los Angeles Rams vs. the San Francisco 49ers game and the Washington State Cougars vs. the California Bears game.
This snifter (brandy or no…) seems to be one type in a series using this same logo—which, you will be quick to note, enjoys an amazing similarity to the ’58 press pin. I have seen a smaller (narrower, thinner) version of this glass but have not as yet been able to snag one. There was in 1958 a mug/tankard from our old friends at Bill’s Specialty—quite the same as last year. By some strange turn of events I seem to have photographed it with the newspaper headlines in picture #1—What can I say…? Sorry!!
I’m reasonably certain I could write a book about all the things I don’t know and don’t understand and have questions about regarding pennants. Some of you have asked me if I collect pennants and I’ve always said “NO…but I do have a passel of ‘em…”…Well, I still do have a passel of ‘em. However, if the date is not right there in plain sight, I can’t date them. I’ve asked some people that I think are experts or who, at least, have a lot more pennants than I do about the dating issues, the manufacturer issues, the variation issues, colors, etc…I don’t think I’m very far ahead of where I was when I started. I did learn a couple of manufacturer’s from my Texas friend; however, so far I been unable to contact any of those people and am reasonably sure they’re out of business. My San Diego friend is enamored with variation of every kind so he has shared some info re pennants…but none that added to which variation was first or second or last…Send me anything you’ve got…Except for those with an actually date on them, it is still impossible—at least for me—to say a certain pennant is from a certain year. Even if we could ascertain that a particular concessionaire ordered thus and such a pennant in 1956; how many did he/she order…a thousand, ten thousand, a hundred thousand? How many were left over to be sold in 1957…or 1958…or maybe even 1959? Which means, of course, that if my neighbor’s Uncle Bernie bought one of those pennants at the Stadium in 1958, HE thinks he has a ’58 pennant. In truth, he may have a ’56, ’57, or a 1958 pennant. I may never get to the bottom of all this…
I am also reasonably certain all these pennants were around for the ’58 World Series…I’m beyond “reasonably certain” if the pennant has “1958” on it…!! I’ve included similar styles that only vary by color. For what it’s worth: Tassels or no tassels indicates different manufacturers…Most Braves memorabilia that utilizes the term “National League Champs” (or “Champions”) refers to the 1958 team because mostly the 1957 team is referred to as “World Champions”. The pennant with the scroll of names and “National League Champions” has Joe Koppe’s name at the top of the list—Joe only played for the Braves in 1958. “Let’s beat ‘em again, Braves” sure seems like ’58 to me…The wine-colored pennant at about the nine o’clock position with the Brave between the scroll and the MB logo has an Indian likeness attributed to someone else that looks remarkably like the laughing Brave of Bill Duehren—I hope it’s a case of imitation being the sincerest form of flattery…Of course you have to note some guy’s clever endeavor to save a quarter on the pennant that has both team logos…probably a good thing he didn’t rustle cattle and change their brands in the old West…pretty funky “eight” in the date!!
I want to be very, very careful as we enter this next part; I don’t want to end this chapter on a negative note—however, I do want to just touch on a couple of less-than-positive matters. The County Board never really pushed for a change in the Stadium rent situation. The fans were adamantly against them and, ultimately, it came to naught. The same is true regarding the new coaches…there was no sustained commentary, the new guys appeared to do fine…and that was pretty much that.
Some numbers, in no particular order, that are intended in no way to point fingers but, rather, to point out some things that did or did not happen on the field. Collectively, our batting average improved from .209 (in the ’57 W.S.) to .250. Billy Bruton led all Braves with a .412 B.A. in the Series; Aaron and Pafko both hit .333; Adcock hit .308 and Schoendienst hit .300. Those were good things. The ’58 team committed seven errors compared to only three in ’57. As a team we hit 10 home runs in the ’57 Series as opposed to only three this year—one each for Crandall, Bruton and Burdette. In ’57 we struck out 40 times; in ’58, 56 times. One of the more shocking stats had to do with runs scored; we scored 17 runs in the first two games and only eight in the last five games. Attendance for the seven-game Series was down just a bit from ’57 when we drew 394,712 compared to 393,909 this year. Probably as a direct result of lower attendance, gate receipts/ticket sales were also a tad lower; $2,475,978.94 to $2,397,223.03. Individual player’s share for winners was also off a bit: $8,924.36 to $8,759.10. Inexplicably, the loser’s share was up: $5,606.06 in ’57 versus $5,896.08 in ’58.
In September 1958 a “Salary Report” was published in response to an unanimous resolution by the Players to have counsel gather statistical data so the Players could better comprehend the salary structure of Major League Baseball. It’s probably obvious that the report appeared to indicate that the percentage of gross income of the teams was far greater than the salary increases—percentagewise—received by the players. However, in the midst of the report, is another dollar amount that we—the fans—will hear about in the future. A substantial portion of MLB income is from Radio and Television. In 1956—the most recent figures cited—the TV/Radio share received by the Dodgers was $888,270; by the Cubs–$226,603; by the Reds–$267,275; by the Giants—$730,593; by the Phillies–$301,630; by the Cardinals–$327,450; by the Pirates–$158,500. The NL average for the “other” seven teams is $414,332. The Braves share in 1956 was $125,000…dead last by all accounts!! Only Chicago and Pittsburgh, who traded off being dead last in the National League, were not receiving more than double the Braves’ share…The Giants were getting almost six times the Braves’ share; the Dodgers share was over seven times the Braves’…and the number of U.S. homes with TV’s was growing at an explosive rate!!!
Another, far more disconcerting, number at the end of the ‘58 season was the season’s attendance figures. In 1957 the Braves drew a Braves-record-setting and a National League-record-setting 2,215,404 rabid, raucous, rowdy fans to Milwaukee County Stadium. In 1958 they drew 1,971,101—nearly a quarter of a million less than the previous year. At that time it had heretofore been totally unheard of for a team to win a World Championship and fail to increase attendance figures the following season. This lack of fan response can’t be explained away by any lack of success on the Braves’ part—their winning percentage in ’58 was exceeded only by their winning percentage in 1957. In one of his books, Hank Aaron notes that although no one realized it at the time, the 1957 World Series was the high point of the Braves’ stint in Milwaukee and everything after that was downhill. There is no doubt that 1958 marked a watershed year for the Milwaukee Braves. In November of ’58 there were rumors that one of the breweries would be buying the team—these rumors were denied by Lou Perini.
Regardless of all of the above, these are still “our guys, our team’—the collective ‘we’ of fandom is still real and true!! It’s been 50 years and, truly, without demeaning or disparaging the Yankees, some of us still can’t believe we lost after being up three games to one—this was, without a doubt, the toughest chapter to get through so far!!
But we’ll be back!!! Once again the beauty of baseball here and everywhere is that every spring, no matter what the past season was like, you’re re-born. It’s a personal (and more…) renaissance, a metamorphosis where hope does spring eternal. From this revival comes the cry—“wait ‘til next year”—we all wait joyously through the winter months—some around the hot stove—some not. “We” are the Braves!! They are us!! We’ll be back!!!
Stay tuned for 1959!!!
Go Get ‘Em, Braves!!!