SWEET SMELL OF FAILURE
Someday, when people talk of the game Harvey Haddix pitched, they will want to remember that it was played in Milwaukee on a warm and muggy May evening in 1959, with lightning jagging across the sky to the southeast and gentle rains falling on the field from time to time. They will also want to remember that Lew Burdette was the opposing pitcher, that he gave up 12 hits but no runs and that it was Joe Adcock who, in the 13th inning, got the hit that beat Haddix, the only hit the left-hander gave up during the game.
The rest they will never forget. That Harvey Haddix of the Pittsburgh Pirates set down the Milwaukee Braves, man after man and inning after inning, until nine innings were over and not a man had reached first base. That the game was not over then because the Pirates themselves could not score. That for three more innings Haddix continued his incredible performance, a total of 36 batters retired in succession. And that finally an error, a sacrifice, an intentional walk and the hit made Harvey Haddix, who had pitched the best 12 innings in baseball history, a loser.
As early as the fourth inning, Haddix began to think about a no-hitter. So did others but, following baseball's curious tradition, no one mentioned it. In the Pirates' radio booth, Announcer Bob Prince danced all around the subject.
"First nine men up and down," he told the folks back home after three innings. "Haddix has zeroed the board," he said in the sixth. In the eighth he shouted, "Don't go away. We are on the verge of...baseball history." When the ninth inning was over, Prince screamed, "Harvey Haddix has pitched a perfect no-hit, no-run game." Then Prince lost his voice.
In the Pirates' dugout no one spoke to Haddix about the game. Only one Brave, Del Crandall, said anything. When Haddix batted in the 10th, Catcher Crandall said, "Say, you're pitching a pretty good game."
When the long game was over and he had lost, Haddix requested reporters to give him a few moments to himself. Presently he received them, dozens of them, answering their questions with admirable control.
"It was just another loss, and that's no good," he told those gathered about him. His face showed his disappointment, but his words did not. He had nothing but the best to say for his teammates, who were feeling wretched because they had failed to get Haddix just one run.
In the Braves' dressing room Lew Burdette, who had pitched masterfully himself, said, "He deserved to win."
Perhaps Harvey Haddix did deserve to win, but he did not, and his story may be stronger because of it. Baseball fans will be a long time forgetting his excellence in defeat.
You might like to know that Harvey Haddix won his first major league game in August of 1952. The team he beat was the Braves, then of Boston and the losing pitcher was Burdette.
36 UP, 36 DOWN AND THEN...
This is how Harvey Haddix' 12 perfect innings of pitching (and his unhappy 13th) came over the special Western Union wire to sports-casters for use in re-creating the game on the air. It takes a bit of practice to read. S1C means "strike one, called." S2F means "strike two, swinging" (F means fanning, not foul). B1 LO IS means "ball one, low inside." "Out" is advance word to the sports-caster that the batter is about to make out.
O'Brien up. Bats right. Out. O'Brien grounded out, Schofield to Nelson.
Mathews up. Bats left. S1C. B1 LO IS. 2B LO OS. S2F. Foul back to screen. B3 IS. Out. Mathews lined to Nelson. Aaron up. Bats right. S1C. Foul back of plate S2. B1 LO. Ground foul to left. Side out. Aaron flied to Virdon in left center.
Adcock up. Bats right. B1 HI IS. S1C. 2B LO IS. S2F. Out. S3F. Adcock struck out. Covington up. Bats left. B1 LO OS. S1C. Out. Covington grounded out, Mazeroski to Nelson.
Crandall up. Bats right. B1 LO. Side out. Crandall grounded out on a beautiful play by Hoak, Hoak to Nelson.
Pafko up. Bats right. Out. Pafko flied to Mejias in right.
Logan up. Bats right. B1 LO IS. S1C. Out. Logan lined a wicked drive right at Schofield. Burdette up. Bats right. S1F. S2F. Side out. S3C. Burdette called out on strikes.
O'Brien up. B1 LO IS. S1C. Foul back to backstop S2. Out. S3C. O'Brien called out on strikes.
Mathews up. S1F. S2C. B1 LO OS. B2 LO. Out. Mathews flied to Virdon in center.
Aaron up. B1 LO. Ground foul to right S1. Side out. Aaron also flied to Virdon in center.
Adcock up. Foul on ground to left, S1. Out. Adcock grounded out, Hoak to Nelson.
Covington up. Out. Covington flied to Skinner in left.
Crandall up. Side out. Crandall also flied to Skinner.
Pafko up. S1F. B1 LO. Out. Pafko popped to Nelson on the grass.
Logan up. S1C. Out. Logan grounded out, Schofield to Nelson.
Burdette up. S1F. S2F. Side out. S3F. Burdette fanned.
(In Pirate half of the seventh it started to rain lightly.)
O'Brien up. B1 HI OS. S1C. Out. O'Brien grounded out, Hoak to Nelson.
Mathews up. S1C. Foul back on screen S2. Out. S3F. Mathews fanned.
Aaron up. S1F. Side out. Aaron grounded out, Hoak to Nelson.
Adcock up. B1 LO. Ground foul to left S1. S2C. Out. S3F. Adcock struck out.
Covington up. Out. Covington flied to Skinner in left.
Crandall up. B1 LO IS. Side out. Crandall grounded out, Hoak to Nelson.
Pafko up. S1C. Foul upper right field deck S2. B1 LO OS. Out. S3F. Pafko struck out.
Logan up. (Stopped raining.) Out. Logan flied to Skinner in left.
Burdette up. B1 LO OS. S1C. Ground foul to left into Pirates' dugout S2. Side out. S3F. Burdette fanned.
Rice batting for O'Brien. Bats right. S1C. S2F. B1 OS. Out. Rice flied to Virdon deep in left center.
Mathews up. Out. Mathews also flied to Virdon in deep right center.
Aaron up. Side out. Aaron grounded out, Schofield to Nelson.
Adcock up. Out. Adcock grounded out, Schofield to Nelson. A long throw from deep short.
Covington up. S1F. Out. Covington flied to Virdon in right center.
Crandall up. S1C. B1 LO. Side out. Crandall lined to Virdon in center.
Pafko up. B1 LO OS. B2 LO OS. S1F. Foul fly in left field Bleachers S2. Out. Pafko grounded out, Haddix to Nelson. Logan up. B1 LO OS. S1C. B2 LO IS. Out. Logan flied to Virdon in short center.
Burdette up. He too gets a big hand. S1F. B1 LO OS. B2 LO. S2F. Side out. Burdette grounded out, Hoak to Nelson.
Mantilla up. Bats right. S1C. Line foul to left S2. B1 OS. Error. Mantilla safe at first when Hoak threw badly to Nelson. This is the first Brave to reach base. Mathews up. Mathews sacrificed, Haddix to Mazeroski covering first. Mantilla on second. Aaron up. B1 B2 B3 B4. Aaron purposely passed.
Adcock up. B1 OS. Hit and end of game.
Adcock's hit is actually a home run into the right center field bleachers, but when Aaron cuts across the diamond through the pitcher's box to home plate an immediate protest is made and the umpires force Aaron back to make the proper base run ahead of Adcock. Time called now for a definite ruling as to whether the home run will actually be that. The ruling is a two-base hit for Adcock, and Aaron is automatically out. Adcock's hit scores Mantilla with the winning run. One run. One hit. One error. One left.
NOTHING BUT THE TOOTH
For several years now the University of Chicago has been long on brains and short on brawn. Today there is talk of a renascence of sport at the school (SI, June 1). But tradition at Chicago is not of the stuff that can be wiped out in a week. And if Al Jacobs (above, right) did not have the brawn to win a 100-yard dash in a college track meet last week, he did have the presence to use his brainy head to snap at the finish-line tape. The winner was John Moon of Tennessee A&I, who threw up his eyes in triumph as he won by the skin of Jacobs' teeth.
SMALL VISIT TO VEECK'S PLANET
The four midget spacemen advancing with ray guns drawn on the Chicago White Sox dugout are bearing malice toward no earthlings. Deposited in Comiskey Park by helicopter, they bear instead an invitation from Bill Veeck, the uncustomary boss of the White Sox, who was up to his customary ball game tricks last week. The little men were present, explained Veeck, never far from some rationale for his irrational stunts, to give aid and comfort to little Luis Aparicio and Nellie Fox. Then Veeck disclosed that one of the midgets had once been hired as a pinch hitter in 1951 when Veeck owned the old St. Louis Browns.
Next day 100 bearded men from Ford County, Illinois, celebrating their county's centennial, showed up, and Veeck was delighted. "And this wasn't my idea," said he. "I attract these things. The other night we had an uninvited one-man band in the bleachers. I think screwballs feel at home with me. We're kindred spirits."
POWER AND POSITIVE THINKING
The man in the white T shirt pasting Billy Tisdale is Floyd Patterson, the heavyweight champion of the world. Tisdale is one of Patterson's transient sparring partners and, as Floyd views things from the top with gracious, thoughtful equanimity, Tisdale views things from the bottom, impatient and rueful. Shortly after this right hand, Tisdale was felled with a left hook to the ribs. "Thanks for watching me work out," Patterson told his audience with a gentle wave. "If I wasn't hurt I wouldn't have been lying there, now would I?" said Tisdale, bitterly.
Patterson, who fights Ingemar Johansson this month, sat in his small room and apologized for the unmade beds. He put a Jackie Gleason LP on for background ("I like semiclassical music") and stirred a mug of hot tea. He combed his hair with vigorous strokes and said he hoped he hadn't sprayed anyone with water. Then he went for a walk. He has two walks: one he calls his "thinking walk," on which he thinks about "boxing and life in general"; the other, his "observing walk." Of his thinking walk he says: "When you walk down that road, you get the country feeling. The houses are spaced out. That's really a nice walk in nice shade. I wonder why you think better walking than lying down?"
On this afternoon Patterson took his observing walk, which is down a well-traveled road from Ehsan's Training Camp in Chatham Township, N.J. He said he would not think about Johansson until the week before the fight. He said he would start dreaming about him then, too. "I dreamt of the Moore fight," he said, "but the dream never finished."
He also talked about his manager, Cus D'Amato. "He makes mistakes," he said, "but the more they try to turn me against him, the more his quality comes out. Lucky he isn't a woman. I might have married him." It is such statements of faith that make Cus want to cry. Floyd laughed.
TIRED AND SOBER AFTER LOSING A HISTORIC "PERFECT" GAME HARVEY HADDIX SHOWS FEELINGS ON HIS CREASED BROW