THE LAST CHANCE

Time is running out fast as the Yankees strain to catch the Indians and the Dodgers stumble behind the Giants
September 12, 1954

This dramatic picture of Yankee Third Baseman Andy Carey striving desperately (and unsuccessfully) to catch a foul ball, as Shortstop Willie Miranda watches, symbolizes as well as anything the situation of the Yankees last week: they ran and hit and reached—and got no place.

The Cleveland Indians came to New York 4½ games ahead and fat with pitching. They beat the Yanks 6-1 in the first game of a three-game series. Yankee Manager Casey Stengel refused to quit. "If we win the next two," he said, "we're back in business." He won the next two. Old Ed Lopat stopped the Indians 4-1. Young Ed Ford stopped them 3-2. "We're back in business!" crowed Stengel. The Indians were unimpressed. They went on to Chicago, beat the White Sox two out of three as the Yankees blew two out of three in Washington. The Yankees were back where they had been—4½ games behind. And six games closer to season's end.

And so it was in the other league. The Giants had been staggering, but each time the Dodgers moved in for a knockout the Giants slipped away. Last weekend the Dodgers caught the Giants in a corner: a three-game series. If they could take all three, the National League race would be a virtual tie. But the Dodgers could not do it. The Giants slipped away, counterpunched to win two of the three games and moved into the last three weeks of the season with an impressive 4-game lead.

Henry Thompson hit a home run with the bases loaded last Saturday that all but crushed the Dodgers. This expressive tableau captured the electric moment when the blow's devastation was beginning to dawn on fans, players and umpires. Coach Fitzsimmons and Umpire Dixon froze with arms extended. A few fans flung their arms high. The bat boy stared open-mouthed. Base-runner Dark stared too, then had to scurry ahead of Thompson. Plate Umpire Ballanfant watched in wonder, Dodger Catcher Campanella in stolid disgust. The murder weapon lay still in the dust

Reporters surrounded a dejected Walter Alston after his Dodgers had lost the first game of the series to the Giants. Said the Brooklyn manager sadly: "It was a big game to lose." Casey Stengel strode out of Yankee Stadium after the Cleveland series saying, "We've got to keep on winning." But two defeats in Washington showed Casey that the road ahead was rough

FOUR PHOTOSHY AND EVAN PESKIN

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)