Manager Eddie Stanky of CHICAGO (3-3) was upset by the publicity he received for an angry clubhouse striptease after a loss to the Tigers. He didn't think it funny that he had hurled his spikes into the corner or that he had popped the buttons off his shirt. "This winter," said Stanky, "I'm going to college to learn how to undress. From now on when we lose I'm going to offer the writers champagne, and then I'll roll on the floor and laugh and say. 'Hi fellas, we just lost a tough one 3-2, ha ha.' " Whereupon his White Sox lost to the Orioles 3-2. Gil Hodges of WASHINGTON (3-4) also began the week in a petulant mood. After a 7-6 loss to the Angels he locked the clubhouse door, and nothing but his voice and the clattering of objects banging off the walls could be heard. Robust hitting by Don Lock and the romantic-sounding combination of Fred Valentine (below) and Paul Casanova made winners of the Senators in two of the next three games. BALTIMORE (2-5) played almost nothing but one-run games but lost its knack for getting the big hit and dropped four of six such close ones. In KANSAS CITY (4-3) there is a 40-foot screen atop the fence to frustrate sluggers, but Larry Stahl hit a 503-foot homer and Ken Harrelson hit one 425 feet, giving the team a total of three at home for the season. Leon Wagner of CLEVELAND (3-2) took off his contact lenses and promptly hit his first homer of the year. The Indians heat Baltimore 4-3, 2-1, 2-1, lost to the Orioles 1-0 in 13 innings. Clete Boyer of NEW YORK (4-2) said, "There's laughter around here now." as he extolled the virtues of having Ralph Houk as manager again. But injuries to Mickey Mantle (pulled leg) and Whitey Ford (inflamed elbow) cut into the laughter. It was a week of injuries, with MINNESOTA (3-2) being especially hard hit. Zoilo Versalles went out with a sore arm, and Don Mincher hurt his leg in a collision with Umpire Frank Umont. Catcher Bill Freehan of DETROIT (3-1) was hit on the head by the backswing of a bat for the second time in his career, and for the second time the man swinging the bat was Tom McCraw of the White Sox. Five BOSTON (1-5) players were ailing, but Manager Billy Herman was more concerned about the conduct of his men. "I've discovered by snooping around that some of our men haven't been behaving the way they said they were going to in spring training," Herman said. Hard hitting by the kids and superb relief work by 37-year-old Jack Sanford, who won twice, kept CALIFORNIA (5-3) moving.
Standings: Clev 18-6, Balt 17-9, Det 16-10, Cal 17-12, Chi 14-11, Minn 12-11, Wash 10-16, NY 10-18, KC 9-18, Bos 8-20
May 23, 1966
It was almost too much to ask the 46,048 ST. LOUIS (4-1) fans who came to the opening of Busch Memorial Stadium to go without hot dogs and beer, which were unavailable because of operational difficulties and a truckers' strike. And it was almost too much to ask the newest Cardinal, Orlando Cepeda, to bunt. But the hungry, thirsty fans stayed to the end, and Cepeda, bunting for the second time in his nine years in the majors, wound up on second base when the ball was thrown into center field. Minutes later Lou Brock rewarded fans and Cepeda by driving in Curt Flood with a single that beat the Braves 4-3 in the 12th. Turk Farrell of HOUSTON (3-2), with ninth-inning relief from Claude Raymond and a homer in the same inning by Jim Wynn, beat the Phillies 1-0 on a one-hitter. Earlier the Astros downed the Braves with some ninth-inning strategy that worked—in a roundabout way. Both Bob Aspromonte and Joe Morgan failed to bunt runners along, but both atoned with singles that brought a 5-4 victory. And Pete Rose helped CINCINNATI (5-1) beat the Braves with tactics that did not quite work. Rose was supposed to hit behind the runner on a hit-and-run play but, instead, he hit the ball over the runner—and over the fence, as a matter of fact. Red pitchers had what amounted to a perfect game against the Braves, retiring 31 batters in a row over two games in a doubleheader sweep. It was too much for ATLANTA (2-6) Manager Bobby Bragan to take. He had a closed-door session with his players, then explained, "We resolved to start winning." The resolve may have been there but, except in one 8-1 victory, the hits were not. The strong left arm of a career tobacco farmer from Kentucky saved slumping PITTSBURGH (1-5). "I was fixin' to be a farmer all my life," said Woody Fryman, who beat the Dodgers 4-3. With the Mets leading 4-0, Willie Mays of SAN FRANCISCO (4-2, page 30) was sent to the clubhouse to rest his gimpy ankle. Then Tom Haller hit a two-run homer, Mays suited up in lime to hit a game-tying home run, and the Giants won in the 17th. Then NEW YORK (3-2) ended the Giant win streak at 12 games. Manager Leo Durocher of CHICAGO (0-3) went to Owner Phil Wrigley for help but, alas, there was no help that money could buy, and Leo had to sit back and suffer as the Cubs, particularly Billy Williams (.077), doubled his displeasure. Richie Allen of PHILADELPHIA (2-4) was out with a bad shoulder, and the offense (.223 BA for the week) fizzled. Sandy Koufax and Don Sutton each won twice for LOS ANGELES (4-2).
Standings: SF 22-9, Hou 18-12, LA 17-14, Pitt 15-13, Phil 13-13, NY 11-12, Alt 15-18, Cin 12-15, St.L 12-15, Chi 6-20
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Fred Valentine of Washington gets a lot of kicks Out of playing a card game called pluck, which he says "is a lot like bridge and whist. We play it most usually in the clubhouse." In a sense, pluck has made Valentine a big league outfielder. He needed all die fortitude he could find during the nine long years he played in the minors. There were days when catcalling rednecks yelled "Hey, see those watermelons on second base, fast boy. Go get 'em." But fans in Wilson, N.C. honored Valentine one night, and when they did the general manager of the rival Greensboro asked for permission to present the Most Valuable Player award to Fred. "He knew what I had gone through." Valentine says now, "and in his speech he said that some of die punishment I had taken had been inhuman." Valentine did not like the hardships of the minors, but in his opinion they simply made him enjoy life in the big leagues just that much more. And never has he enjoyed himself more than last week, when he batted .500 and accounted for 11 runs. Among his 15 hits were four doubles, a triple and two home runs. The outburst moved Valentine up to sixth place among the league's top hitters with a .320 average. His hitting was also largely responsible for three Washington victories. Hitting like this has given Valentine a home in the majors and a chance to play pluck in the clubhouse.