July 29, 1958

So it was me and Liz, rooming together at the creepy Hotel Pfister in Milwaukee. Telling her about my last shaky visit and the place’s haunted rumors would have been a big mistake, though. There’s a whole binder full of women in the world that can do without added nervousness.

The Giants weren’t too keen on me departing the club again, but Brewster approved. Provided us a private escort of federal lawmen all the way into County Stadium.

And then we reached the press box.

“Whoa! Look who the cat dragged in!”
“Should we go load our guns?”
“Keep him away from our dope sheets, he’s a Giants man!”

It was the Dodger writers doing the mouthing. I didn’t know any of the Milwaukee scribes, and the only Dodger one whose name I recognized was Frank Finch, the hard-working, often hilarious beat man for the Times. After their warm welcome, though, I had no desire to shake any of their hands.

Liz had filed a few stories about how she received the killer’s cryptic letters (and how she felt about this as a woman), but when the first one didn’t create boffo ad sales for the paper, the next few were buried in the “Dodgerisms” column. The Philly pretzel vendor killing changed that again, but Liz and I both agreed the advance letters she’d gotten should be opened one a day as instructed. We’d had enough victims for the time being.

County Stadium was rocking and rolling. Even more so after four hits off Stan Williams gave the home folks a quick 2-0 lead. But Walt Alston had tinkered with the Dodgers lineup big time, and it paid off. A homer by new cleanup man Snider and run-scoring double by new second hitter Norm Larker tied it up by the 3rd.

On the scoreboard, the Giants were also coming back from an early 2-0 deficit at Crosley Field. Other than following the away action, I didn’t have much to do but sit beside Liz and give reporters who tried to flirt with her dirty looks. A lady reporter up there was like a doe in a den of mountain lions. Even a 14-year old press box ruffian dropped his pencil a few times when he passed behind her chair. She spent most of the night scoring the game so she wouldn’t have to look at anyone. After a while, I feared for her sanity.

Then the Dodgers exploded against Lew Burdette in the 8th. A single, walk and Snider triple broke the tie, and Roseboro greeted Bob Trowbridge with a shot into the right field bleachers. This got the Milwaukee writers aggravated, and one barked out that it was “time for that girl to go cook us a late dinner.” I stood, tried to see who said this but there was so much cigar and cigarette smoke in the air it was hard to see five yards away.

Stan Williams, who had issued 79 walks in 115 innings coming in, didn’t walk one Brave and retired 23 in a row at one point. With the Giants crushing the Reds in Cincy by a similar score, my team was suddenly back in first place! It was a relief they’d found a way to win without me, but dread over how the Peanut Killer would react ruined the rest of my night. To complicate things even more, a note was waiting for me at the front desk when we got back to the hotel.

But this one was on L.A. Dodgers stationery:

Stick around, kid.

—Duke Snider


L.A. 011 000 041 – 7 13 0
MIL 200 000 000 – 2 5 2
W-Williams L-Burdette HRS: Snider,Roseboro GWRBI-Snider

S.F. 004 030 001 – 8 12 0
CIN 200 000 010 – 3 9 0
W-Miller L-Lawrence SV-Grissom HRS: Wagner, Mays, Robinson
Eerily similar to the Dodgers game, as the Giants roar back with big bats. Wagner hits a grand slam in the 3rd, Mays a 3-run bomb in the 5th, and Grissom bails Miller out of an 8th inning jam.

STL 000 014 300 – 8 12 0
PHI 000 004 05x – 9 13 1
W-Roberts L-Paine SV-Farrell HRS: Musial, Philley GWRBI-Hemus
Thrilling crap-job by the Cards, who have had their share of thrilling crap-jobs. Mabe blows a 5-0 lead, before Paine takes over and blows an 8-4 lead, giving Philly a five-run 8th.

CHI 102 200 140 – 10 11 2
PIT 000 100 003 – 4 6 1
W-Phillips L-Raydon HRS: Long, Moryn
Cubs rough up Curt Raydon and manage two home runs on a cold night in the toughest park to hit a homer.

NYY 100 010 000 – 2 8 2
K.C. 004 000 00x – 4 5 1
W-Terry L-Ditmar SV-Gorman HR: Carey GWRBI-Cerv
Uncommonly bad outing for Art Ditmar, and the A’s make a big 3rd inning rally stand up. Yanks leave many on base against Ralph Terry, but Gorman comes on for two and a third of one-hit ball for the big save.

BOS 200 000 500 – 7 12 0
DET 203 120 10x – 9 10 1
W-Lary L-Bowsfield SV-Wehmeier HR: Williams, Harris GWRBI-Harris
So Boston picks up a game in the standings, right? Uhhh…almost. Six hits and a terrible error by Kuenn put the Sox back in the game in the 7th but Herm Wehmeier turns in some great relief. Ted Williams goes 4-for-5 and is back up to .398.

WAS 000 120 200 – 5 11 1
CHX 0003 000 30x – 6 15 0
W-Staley L-Hyde HRS: Throneberry, Sievers GWRBI-Rivera
Yesterday, the Nats swamped the Chisox with three of their regulars out. Tonight, Landis, Goodman and Lollar all get injured for Chicago in the same game but they somehow pull it out, on five hits and three runs in the 7th off Dick Hyde.

BAL 000 000 000 – 0 2 0
CLE 001 000 00x – 1 4 0
W-Score L-Brown GWRBI-Harrell
If this isn’t vintage Herb Score, I don’t know what is: 12 strikeouts, 8 walks, 2 hits and a shutout. Like the Tigers, the Tribe is back over .500.

National League through Tuesday, July 29

San Francisco 55 44 .556
Milwaukee 53 44 .546 1
Philadelphia 50 46 .521 3.5
Chicago 52 48 .520 3.5
Los Angeles 47 51 .480 7.5
Pittsburgh 47 51 .480 7.5
St. Louis 45 50 .474 8
Cincinnati 42 57 .424 13

American League through Tuesday, July 29

New York 66 35 .653
Boston 55 43 .561 9.5
Baltimore 55 45 .550 10.5
Chicago 53 48 .525 13
Detroit 50 49 .505 14
Cleveland 51 50 .505 14
Kansas City 39 60 .394 26
Washington 31 70 .307 35