It was a circus on Thursday; on Friday it was baseball. The score was 4-3, the Dodgers won and suddenly people who had been talking about a four-game Chicago sweep remembered that the team winning the first game the last four years had lost the Series.
The White Sox looked a little more like the White Sox. They collected eight hits, which is about par for the course, but none of these were home runs. The Dodgers also looked like the Dodgers. They made mistakes, which they have been making all year, but they kept scrambling and clawing back and finally they won.
In the first inning the combined talents of Aparicio, Landis and Lollar accounted for two Chicago runs. Johnny Podres could have been out of the inning scoreless but a double-play ball by Kluszewski took a funny bounce, hit Charlie Neal in the stomach instead of the glove, and the only play was on Klu at first base. Maury Wills made a bad play, too, but both Neal and Wills were to make up for their miscues later.
In the fifth, Neal hit a home run into the left field stands. The wind was with him and for a 156-pounder he can swing a bat pretty good.
October 11, 1959
In the seventh, with two out, Alston sent in a pinch hitter for Podres, although Johnny had been pitching very well. The pinch hitter was a former Stanford linebacker named Chuck Essegian, who once belonged to the Phillies and Cardinals and assorted minor league teams too numerous to mention. He swings right-handed, and Bob Shaw, the good young Chicago pitcher, throws right-handed, and the Dodgers had some left-handed pinch hitters on the bench, but this is not what Alston was thinking about.
"We were a run behind, there were two out, and it was getting late," he said. "I wanted somebody who could hit the ball out of the park. I like the way Essegian swings a bat. He doesn't hit very often but I thought he might hit one out."
So Essegian hit one out and the score was tied. This undoubtedly unsettled Shaw, and he walked Jim Gilliam. Then Neal hit one out. This particular home run sailed over Landis' head in deep center field, over the 415-foot sign on the fence and into the White Sox bullpen, where Billy Pierce reached out almost absent-mindedly and caught the evil thing on the fly. He gave it to a policeman. Later, in the Dodger dressing room, photographers took pictures of Neal's muscles, which hardly showed. Kluszewski one day, Neal the next. Heroes are not measured in pounds.
That was about all except for the one very un-White Soxlike demonstration in the last half of the eighth. With Larry Sherry, the tough young rookie right-hander, pitching for Los Angeles, Kluszewski singled to center and Lollar followed with a scratch single off Gilliam's glove. Lopez sent Earl Torgeson in to run for Kluszewski. With the count three-and-two and the runners moving with the pitch, Al Smith whacked a double between Moon and Snider which hit the left field wall on one bounce.
When the ball came back, Moon was waiting for it. He whirled and threw a perfect strike to Wills, who had come out from shortstop to take the relay. Wills whirled and threw a perfect strike to Roseboro, who was squatting at the plate. And down the third base line plodded Lollar, out dead by 30 feet. Although Torgeson scored and Smith ended up on third, the back of the rally was broken.
Naturally, the question was, what made Sherman run? And what made Third-base Coach Tony Cuccinello wave him on? Both knew that Lollar is not Luis Aparicio or Jim Landis, although, of course, he is not Ted Kluszewski either. The answer to everything revolves around the fact that White Sox success has been founded upon speed. They run to tie up games, they run to win by a run, they ran to a pennant. When in doubt, the White Sox run.
"The trouble, as I saw it," said Lopez, "is that Lollar hesitated just before he reached second. He thought maybe Moon would catch the ball." (It was a real try, no bluff on Moon's part.) "And that put the timing of the whole play off just enough. We've been scoring all year from first base on doubles to left. And I don't mean just Aparicio and Landis. Everybody does it. Everybody but Klu. That's the way we play ball."
But, Lopez was reminded, if Lollar had been held up, there would have been runners on second and third with nobody out. And since Lollar did hesitate going into second, thereby fouling up his chance to score, shouldn't Cuccinello have held him at third?
"You'll have to ask Tony about that," said Lopez.
Cuccinello, who has been working with Lopez and waving runners around third base for years, admitted he had goofed. "Lollar was the tying run," he said. "I thought it would take a perfect play to beat him."
The Dodgers, who had been kicking the ball around for two days, had the perfect play when it counted. That's the way they are.
CHARLIE NEAL'S BEE-STING HOME RUNS
Charlie Neal doesn't look like a man who would hit two home runs in a year, much less one game. He weighs only 156 pounds and his wrists are thin. Yet he has hit 41 home runs in the last two seasons. He has played with the Dodgers for four years and is regarded as one of the best second basemen in the National League. In the dressing room as reporters questioned him, Neal looked embarrassed. What pitches did he hit? He didn't know, he said, and when the reporters looked puzzled, he said he was sorry. A photographer asked him to make a muscle, and he looked embarrassed again as laughing teammates compared it to a bee sting. But their kidding was gentle; it was that bee sting which had tied the Series at a game apiece.