September 6, 1958

Oh, the best laid plans of Snappy and men…

With our 1:20 start time today, I was hoping to make the big call to Liz around noon, but it got postponed. So did my life.

The second I neared the players’ gate, two Chicago television crews and three local reporters swarmed all over me like flies on a steer. Apparently my guest spot in Jack Brickhouse’s booth got the old press wheels rolling, and it took a lot for me to not go all Eugene Buzzbee on someone. The Giants players ribbed me up until game time. Davenport was calling me “Marilyn” and Antonelli was chuckling so hard he could barely warm up.

But nobody on the Cubs or in the stands was laughing. After his last bad outing at the L.A. Coliseum, Johnny was smoking again. Occasional Cubs would get on the bases, but none of them went anywhere. Meanwhile, Chicago’s defense betrayed them in the 2nd. A hit batter, single and unforgivable walk to Antonelli loaded ’em with two gone, and after Glen Hobbie uncorked a wild pitch for the first run, Bobby Adams booted an easy grounder at second to bring in another, and Bressoud’s cheap single made it 3-0. The booing in the grandstand over our heads was practically making the dugout shake.

Hobbie was beside himself, which may have been why he lost his mind two innings later. First he walked Daryl Spencer, then gave up five straight hits to Bressoud, Mays, Cepeda, Alou, and Davenport. That was about the time the first ber came spilling into our dugout.

“Hey Testa!” yelled the beer’s former owner, “Get your ugly leprechaun ass outta there!”

Right. Like this was somehow MY fault. And I certainly wasn’t Irish. The Giants tried to console me, but with a 9-0 lead now, the verbal abuse was only going to  increase. Rigney eventually said I could go get dressed and wait in the clubhouse, so I did.

Heard the last few innings on the radio, and missed a near-donnybrook when Banks reached third to start the Cub 9th and Rigney brough the infield in to try and keep the shutout. After the next two guys whiffed, Cal Neeman put one on Waveland Avenue, then cussed Antonelli all around the bases, causing the next pitch to nearly dent Bobby Adams’ forehead.

Before the victorious gaggle invaded the locker room, I ducked into the hall to try Liz again on the pay phone. While I was fishing out some coins, three sets of arms grabbed me from behind. A burlap bag dropped over my head. I could smell stale beer.

“Party’s over, O’Testa.”
“What the hell are you…Says who??”
“The Bear Cub Brigade, that’s who.”

One of them punched me in the gut. I felt myself being dragged out a service gate, tossed into the back of a cargo van. The only thing I heard after that were screeching wheels.


S.F. 030 600 000 – 9 11 2
CHI 000 000 002 – 2 8 1
W-Antonelli L-Hobbie HR: Neeman

MIL 400 010 000 3 – 8 13 2
PIT 020 000 120 0 – 5 9 1
W-Robinson L-Gross HRS: Mathews, Stuart, Thomas GWRBI-Adcock
Biggest underachiever in either league Joe Adcock finally does something, smacking a pinch hit double in the 10th to ignite a three-run winning rally. Earlier, Warren Spahn performs his usual non-clutch pitching to toss away a 4-0 lead, and Frank Thomas ties it up with a two-run shot in the 8th, only to see Pittsburgh’s 9-game win streak come to an abrupt end.

CIN 500 100 102 – 9 15 0
PHI 000 000 012 – 3 10 0
W-Nuxhall L-Simmons HRS: Hoak, Whisenant, Kazanski GWRBI-Dropo
The Reds get back on the beam, and will finish off their slugging season series with the Phils in a Sunday doubleheader. Weird thing here is the Reds racking up 15 hits and Frank Robinson going 0-for-5 with four whiffs.

L.A. 130 034 020 – 13 14 1
STL 000 002 011 – 4 8 0
W-Drysdale L-Mabe HRS: Roseboro, Zimmer, Musial GWRBI-Snider
Even a busted watch tells the right time twice a day. Two straight wins for Drysdale, which is even more amazing than L.A.’s 14 hits. Though why I thought the Cards could get actually back to .500 is beyond me.

WAS 000 000 000 – 0 3 0
NYY 100 301 40x – 9 14 0
W-Larsen L-Kemmerer HRS: Siebern, Skowron-2, Slaughter GWRBI-Siebern
The Yanks rebound from their loss to Pedro Ramos by pounding the Senators into pulp, making Russ Kemmerer the first 20-game loser in the process. A double dip tomorrow should whittle that magic number—now standing at 14—down even more.

CHX 000 001 100 – 2 6 0
CLE 100 100 10x – 3 7 0
W-Ferrarese L-Moore HRS: Jackson, Minoso, Colavito, Wertz GWRBI-Wertz
Chicago’s streak ends at 13, and thankfully it’s a clean, honorable loss. Three Tribe solo shots are the death knells, Wertz’s winner coming after Ron Jackson ties the game with a rare pinch shot off Narleski in the 7th. After tomorrow’s series finale, the Chisox head home to welcome in the eastern teams, including their final two with dem Yanks.

BOS 201 000 010 – 4 11 0
BAL 000 020 000 – 2 6 0
W-Delock L-Portocarrero HRS: Jensen-2 GWRBI-Jensen
Gee, this is just the game Ike Delock and Jackie Jensen would have had in the Bronx last weekend, if they weren’t so busy sucking. Their days wasting away, these two clubs are now just rolling in the muck.

K.C. 100 000 030 – 4 8 1
DET 012 530 00x – 11 12 0
W-Bunning L-Grim HRS: Ward, Maris, Kaline-2, Maxwell GWRBI-Kaline
And speaking of muck…The Tigers get eliminated earlier when the Yankees win, and take out their frustrations on the hapless Athletics. Kaline goes mental, with two homers, one a grand slam, and seven RBIs. Bob Grim, who makes Sad Sam Jones look like Dizzy Dean, drops to 3-17, 5.69. Yeesh.

National League through Saturday, September 6

San Francisco 78 60 .565
Milwaukee 74 62 .544 3
Chicago 75 63 .543 3
Cincinnati 71 69 .507 8
St. Louis 67 69 .493 10
Pittsburgh 64 74 .464 14
Philadelphia 62 73 .459 14.5
Los Angeles 58 79 .423 19.5

American League through Saturday, September 6

New York 86 50 .632
Chicago 81 55 .596 5
Baltimore 72 63 .533 13.5
Boston 72 64 .529 14
Cleveland 73 65 .529 14
Detroit 66 69 .489 19.5
Kansas City 51 85 .375 35
Washington 43 93 .316 43