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Original Issue

Series sidelights

A kite, a silent crowd and Roy Campanella helped to make the Series a memorable one

When a World Series has ended, the record of each game is filed away in a volume appropriately called the World Series Record Book. First, however, the data is scanned closely to see what new records have been made, and these are inserted in place of the old ones, usually under the heading of "the most this" or "the least that." Here follows a list of some new "mosts" and "leasts," a few "almost the most" and one or two curious items which, alas, will never make the book.

The 46,367 folks who attended the opening game in Milwaukee set a record before a pitch was made; most silence by one crowd. It was understandable that they should remain quiet during the reading of the Yankee lineup. (There was one loud "yea" when Berra's name was announced, but on the theory that it was made by a distant relative, it may be discounted.) People in Milwaukee just don't like other teams. But when the vast silence continued through the reading of the home team's lineup, it was indeed puzzling.

Even in China they must know that in the second game Lew Burdette had a chance at Babe Ruth's favorite record—his 29‚Öî consecutive scoreless innings in Series play—and that he failed. He failed in the very first inning, even as the first putout was being made, but before the inning was over, Lew Burdette's name was in the record book anyway, and so was his team's. He did it with one magnificent swing, pounding the ball over the left-field fence for a three-run homer. It was the first home run by a pitcher in the World Series since 1940, and it capped a seven-run first inning, the biggest first inning in Series history. If Lew Burdette couldn't have Babe Ruth's pitching record, he might as well go after a few of his hitting ones.

In the third game two curious things happened. Hank Bauer, for instance, was picked off first base for the second time in the Series. While this wasn't a record (Max Flack managed to get picked off twice in one game in 1918. You remember Max), it was unusual since Bauer is not a fellow taken to wandering casually away from bases. Bob Rush, the Milwaukee pitcher, got his name in the record book when he fielded three ground balls in the third inning.

Undoubtedly the most touching moment of the Series occurred in the second inning when Roy Campanella entered the Stadium to the cheers of the crowd.

In the seventh inning of the fourth game, time was called. It seems a cord was hanging from the upper left-field seats and out across the grass several feet behind the spot where Wes Covington was standing. A grounds-keeper emerged and while a million dollar production waited impatiently, he carefully rolled it up. Someone had evidently been flying a kite on the grounds behind the Stadium and, by accident or design, it had drifted over the ball park, suffered power failure and collapsed. The same might be said of the Yankees. Hank Bauer's 17-game World Series hitting streak came to an end. It is a record likely to endure for many years, since few players even get into as many as 17 World Series games. As the fourth game ended, Bob Fishel, Yankee publicity man, announced solemnly to the press that if the Series returned to Milwaukee, the Yankee plane would leave shortly after game five. He suggested that those going along either take their luggage to the airport or bring it to the Stadium. It seemed like a complicated arrangement. And Lew Burdette had every intention of making it all superfluous the next afternoon.