The Pittsburgh Pirates were criticized (said an opposing ballplayer: "They don't have that confident swagger they had a few weeks ago"), but maintained their big lead and were closing on the pennant. Intrigued by the St. Louis Cardinals' refusal to fade, ex-Gashouser Pepper Martin hurried from his Oklahoma ranch to St. Louis to watch a weekend series. A no-hitter earned the Milwaukee Braves' Warren Spahn front-page notices and a silver service (just like the one his roomie Lou Burdette received for his no-hitter) from the Braves' Executive VP Birdie Tebbetts. The Los Angeles Dodgers plodded along, safely out of the race. Mathematical elimination made it official: the San Francisco Giants (see page 80) have had a long summer. Simple things amused the Cincinnati Reds. Willie Jones made his second steal of the season, was presented with an old battered base by his teammates. Said gracious Willie: "I'll live with this all my life." The seventh-place Chicago Cubs' Manager Lou Boudreau had a "questionable" future with the team, said Cub VP Clarence Rowland, but the last-place Philadelphia Phillies gave their manager Gene Mauch a two-year contract. "The fact that the Phils are in eighth place makes no difference," said GM John Quinn.
Futile in the West (two losses to KC) but ferocious at home, the solid New York Yankees sent the precocious Baltimore Orioles sprawling (see page 14). The Chicago White Sox, struggling to stay alive, blew hot and cold. Nellie Fox won a game by hitting a homer (his second of the year), but Gerry Staley lost one by giving up a homer. Brash Zorro Versalles ("I'll be better than Aparicio") of the Washington Senators showed flashy fielding and unexpected power to boost the Senators' first-division stock. The Cleveland Indians mixed external success (11 homers, four wins) with internal strife (Pitcher Jim Grant quit the club after a racial fuss with Coach Ted Wilks), and braced for a disappointing finish. Even the Detroit Tigers' long-suffering fans gave up: only 7,827 turned out for a night game against the Orioles. Reliever Mike Fornieles of the Boston Red Sox neared Ellis Kinder's league mark for appearances (69) in one season. Rumors persisted that Ted Williams might be back next year. Reason given: Hurricane Donna blew down Ted's Florida house and he may need Tom Yawkey's money to help build another. The Kansas City Athletics, riding high after a face-saving two-game sweep of the Yanks, were helped to those victories by swarm of mosquitoes which harried the Yanks at bat and in the field.
Boxed statistics through Saturday, Sept. 17
FINE GAMES by Warren Spahn (his first no-hitter), Whitey Ford (win over Orioles) kept Braves hopeful, Yanks on top.