By Liz Dumás
October 2, 1958
Fred Haney sat in his Yankee Stadium office with the remains of his head in his hands. His Braves had just been shot, stabbed, hung, set on fire, drawn, quartered and tossed to a pack of ravenous back alley dogs, and it would be a good half hour before his scratchy voice could utter an intelligible syllable.
Because how does one react to such carnage? After Spahn came out of the pen armed with nothing for Game One, Lew Burdette began Game Two by serving up a Siebern line shot homer into the stands in right, Norm’s second of this young Series. In literary parlance, it was gothic foreshadowing. Walks to Carey and the Mick soon followed. Yogi Berra, slower than Nikita Khrushchev on a basketball court, then legged out a triple past Covington to left center, and it was 3-0 home fellas before the first punches were even thrown in the bleachers.
On the Yankee hill, Art Ditmar was not himself either, but the Braves helped him out all afternoon by grounding into double plays and stranding runners. And unlike Burdette or the four doomed souls who followed him out to the rubber chopping block, Ditmar at least showed he belonged on a professional baseball diamond.
Are you sitting down, dear readers? Good. Berra was on base all six times to the plate, with two homers and two singles to go with that triple. Mantle was on base all six times to the plate, with four walks, a single and an upper deck homer. Norm Siebern, MVP of the first two affairs, was on base six of seven times to the plate, with two walks, two singles, and two homers, his second clout a grand slam in the 5th on the first relief pitch Bob Rush threw.
Later, Casey Stengel was typically gracious in victory. “I won’t say nothin’ bad about no Braves. You win 89 you deserve all the deserving you get, and that’s a bunch of sweet, talented grapes hangin’ over there, so don’t tell me we got this thing licked headin’ over to that frozen tundra they play in, with all the good pitching no one saw today that I wish we had sometimes when we’re stuck in one them barnburners with no hoses in sight,” he explained.
The one silver lining for Milwaukee was the reappearance of slugger Wes Covington, who singled and homered in four tries. But Frank Torre, one of their best pressure hitters, made out all five times to McDougald at second and Aaron rapped into another death-dealing double dip in the 3rd. Then there was poor Eddie Mathews, who missed a sure homer and surer bloop single thanks to mysterious, swirling Bronxian wind gusts.
The Yanks hadn’t crafted a stomping like this in a long time, and the Braves had rarely been a stompee all season. Baseball can be funny, though. Teams often come out cold after getting every break and blessing in the Bible, and a frosty Wisconsin climate, loud, bundled-up wigwammers and Joey Jay will be primed to make that happen to the stately Gothamites.
MLW 010 100 000 – 2 9 2
NYY 302 052 16x – 19 22 0
W-Ditmar L-Burdette HRS: Covington, Siebern-2, Mantle, Berra-2 GWRBI-Siebern
Game Three tomorrow from Milwaukee! Larsen vs. Jay