Two men are out and a man with good wheels is dangling off second. At the crack of the bat he puts his head down and takes off for third. The outfielder charges in, fields the hit on the run and makes the long, fiat, desperate throw to the plate as the speed boy, taking the big turn, careens around third and, arms pumping, heads for home, the throw blurring over the infield to the catcher.
It was the eighth inning last week in Chicago and the flashy Sox were leading Cleveland in the first game of the three-game series 2-1. The speed boy was Minnie Minoso. The outfielder was Al Smith. A boisterous, overflow crowd of 48,000, rooting the Sox to their first pennant in 40 years, became silent as Minnie made his slide. Then Umpire Frank Umont whirled and threw his thumb into the suddenly uproarious night. Minnie lost. Smith won. It was the biggest out of the week.
The Sox went on from there to win their 31st game by one run, 3-2. It was also their fifth straight victory in 10 days over the second-place Indians. As the trumpet player in the band which entertained before the game said, "We get a lot of requests for California, Here I Come."
"I don't exactly know how it's happened," said Sox President Bill Veeck. "In some unbelievable manner we've been able to win games." Or as fan Derry Gordon jinglejangled on a poster outside Comiskey Park:
"I love sugar and I love my tea,/ So White Sox please don't sour on me./ Come on little Luis, I know you're like a deer./ Get on cause little Nellie behind you and I know he is hell./ Come on Lollar. I know you'll make them hollar./ Let's go Al./ I .know you're my pal./ Go, go White Sox." The White Sox weren't going. Man, they were gone.