The buoyant characters at left are costumed like Washington Senators but are not behaving like Washington Senators; hope springs eternal in Washington, but the team hasn't gotten off the ground in years. These chaps are, in fact, chorus boys impersonating Washington Senators for the movie Damn Yankees, which is based on the musical play Damn Yankees, which is based on Douglas Wallop's apocalyptic novel The Year the Yankees Lost the Pennant. The year, according to Wallop, was to have been 1958, and the engine of the Yankee destruction was to have been a Senator rookie named Joe Hardy. Joe Hardy has not yet appeared in a Washington lineup, and by week's end the Senators were pining in last place, 12 games behind the Yankees, who were in first place and quite unperturbed.
Joe Hardy was originally Joe Boyd, a paunchy, middle-aged Senator fan who announced on a dismal afternoon that he would sell his soul for a long-ball hitter. He got the chance when a Mr. Applegate (really, readers, the devil) announced wheedlingly that he had chosen Boyd, "the most dedicated partisan of the noble Washington Senators, to be the hero who leads them out of the wilderness to the championship. We'll call you Joe Hardy. You'll be 22 years old. They'll put a new wing on that baseball museum at Cooperstown, dedicated to you—the Hardy shrine." And so Joe Boyd became Tab Hunter, who batted .524, and Los Angeles' Wrigley Field became—through the workings of another slick old hand, Warner Bros.—Griffith Stadium, and there in September the Yankees lost the pennant.
Now the warbling quintet at left costumed like Washington Senators but not behaving like Washington Senators are, behold! Washington Senators—two pitchers and three outfielders, in fact. The other picture shows two real-life St. Louis Cardinals who were found in the dugout and coerced into dancing with two showgirls at home plate. It wasn't so bad now, was it fellas?
Real senators Truman Clevenger, Jim Lemon, Russ Kemmerer, Roy Sievers, Albie Pearson (front), with Howard Devron and Broadcaster Bob Wolff, sing Heart of My Heart.
June 29, 1958
Real cardinals Gene Freese and Joe Cunningham (with real showgirls) clomp about stage erected over home plate at Cincinnati's Crosley Field during a pregame show.