Thursday, June 13 will go down in baseball history not so much for its baseball as for a couple of Homeric Donnybrooks, one in the American League and one in the National, in which major leaguers smote each other like Greeks and Trojans. "The roughest thing I've ever seen," said Enos Slaughter, who took part in the American League struggle—and the old Gashouse Gangster has seen a lot in 23 years in baseball. Hot weather and pennant tensions were background causes, but in each case the combat spark was a brush-back pitch—or one interpreted as such. In Chicago the Yankees' Art Ditmar sent a blazer past the head of the White Sox' Larry Doby, and in Ebbets Field Brooklyn's Don Drysdale sank a fast ball into the ribs of Milwaukee's Johnny Logan. Well, naturally, Doby and Logan erupted like so many Menelauses and got in one good punch apiece before the battles became general, embroiling small armies on each side. Fines came swiftly for each of the principal antagonists. Students of history and baseball noted with interest that the fines levied on Ditmar and Drysdale were not for throwing at the batters but for getting into ludicrous punching matches immediately thereafter. Students also noted that nobody really got hurt.
Ebbets field sequence features aggrieved Johnny Logan (top left) swinging at Manager Walt Alston (24), while (below) Mathews (41) and Riddle (3) of the Braves attack Drysdale.
CLINICAL OBSERVATIONS IN COLUMBUS
The morning was hot and muggy, but some 3,000 small boys assembled in Columbus, Ohio managed to sit still and in good order for two and a half hours.
June 23, 1957
Unless a flying-saucer load of small green Venutian men lands on the lawn of the White House within the next 43 years, this must rank as the miracle of the century. As any father of a small boy can testify, the motor which operates a male child under the age of 12 is not equipped with an idling speed.
Obviously it took an enormously interesting spectacle to hypnotize these sprouts, and the enormously interesting spectacle was football, a disease which is both endemic and virulent in Columbus and infects every age. The fathers of the 3,000 small boys sat quietly with them, dispensing occasional ice cream money and a rare "Shhh!" but as enthralled as their children in the football clinic conducted by the Columbus Dispatch on one of the lush practice fields at Ohio State University. In the background the vast cement horseshoe of the Ohio State stadium offered a mute invitation to the youngsters should they learn their football lessons well.
On the practice field the instructors were marshaled by Woody Hayes, the Ohio State football coach, who has an extraordinary insight into the tricky workings of a small boy's—or a football player's—mind. Among the demonstrators of football technique were Otto Graham (on the art of passing); Dante Lavelli (on how to catch a pass); Hopalong Cassady, Fred Morrison and Jim Roseboro (on running and blocking); and Jim Parker, the 285-pound All-America tackle (on how to tackle). Lou Groza, who holds the National Football League record for field goals, demonstrated how to kick them; and the small fry, busily demolishing an astonishing number of cones and hot dogs, watched carefully. They stared with the odd intentness of small boys at Graham's passing and Lavelli's catching, at Cassady running and Morrison punting, at Parker tackling and Groza blocking—and behind them the wide cement arms of the stadium waited.