THE RIVALS: PP 10-11; 62-63

At one o'clock E.S.T., next Wednesday afternoon, millions of Americans will fall, as one, into a state of semihypnosis so profound, in many cases, as to be broken only by flood, fire, earthquake—or a burned-out electrical fuse. Radios of parked cars will speak loudly to gathering knots of people in dusty Western wheat towns and shaded Southern villages. Nothing—not even a Presidential election—grips the U.S. people in quite the same fashion as the World Series. It is a herald of the balmy advent of autumn, an excuse for office pools, a source of black, exciting but delightfully harmless headlines. It raises wondrous ghosts—Tinker, Evers and Chance, Honus Wagner, Christy Mathew-son (who can remember how they looked?) and Babe Ruth (ah, who can forget?). And it elevates with high drama those eternal American folk figures, the pitcher and the batter.

What attitudes from the American past are not wrapped up in the man on the mound, as he stands, stolid, cunning, contemptuous—and on the brink of awful ridicule—awaiting the catcher's sign. He is rifleman, cardsharp, horse trader all wrapped up in one. Sometimes he is Dewey at Manila Bay, as well, and sometimes he is the farmer who lost his money to a dip at the county fair. And the man with the bat who faces him? Why none other than Mighty Casey, of course. As it listens to the oft-told tale of their adventures, next week, the U.S., as always, will be able to like itself a little better.

PHOTOMANAGERIAL ANTAGONISTS: Lopez and Durocher—respectively prototypes of the easy-going and the driving manager—met in prophetic picture last spring. Giants incidentally, won 13 of 21 preseason games with Indians.