THE ALL-STAR GAME
Unaccustomed as they are to seeing stars on two teams at the same time, the Washington spectators who crowded into the District of Columbia's beautiful new stadium were bound to enjoy the 32nd All-Star Game no matter what happened. And what did happen was pleasantly sentimental, as a home-town boy came back to make the Nationals good, 3-1. The returning native was Maury Wills. He scampered around the bases to score twice, the first time after he had been sent in to run for Pinch Hitter Stan Musial, who had singled.
The current idol of American mothers fighting to get their kids to bed is Roberto Clemente of Pittsburgh. "I'm sleeping now," he said. "I feel better, feel stronger." He got 14 hours of strength the night before the All-Star Game and then went 3 for 3. With a little less sleep the rest of the week, his average dipped to a peaceful .474 as he and Bob Skinner (.500) led the Pirates to four straight wins, making it 18 of the last 23. There was rest for Orlando Cepeda of San Francisco, too, but a different kind, as he was benched for poor hitting for the first time. Manager Al Dark deftly explained why the Giants weren't in first. "You just gotta never let clubs like the Mets, Phils, Cubs and Colts beat you." His team came east and lost two of three to the Phillies. The wrong guys were listening to Dark—Los Angeles swept three from the Mets and moved 2½ games in front. Houston lost like Texans, long and tall: eight hours to drop a doubleheader, which helped make seven straight losses. After taking both of the defeats in the marathon, the Colts' lone All-Star, Dick Farrell, was down on himself as a cut-rate million-dollar baby. "Who wants to go to Washington," he moaned, "with a 5-and-10 record?" Even with Warren Spahn's first road victory of the season and with Hank Aaron's home-run hitting—one as a pinch hitter, one a grand slam—Milwaukee (see page 40) still lost three of five. Chicago got two straight complete games for only the second time this year; the best was a one-hitter by 21-year-old Cal Koonce, who was a flop in Class B last year. Cincinnati won three of five, using nine pitchers in one game and the bats of Gordy Coleman (4 HRs, 10 RBIs) and Frank Robinson (.474, 9 RBIs). Meanwhile, back in the record books, Stan Musial was at it again. He hit four home runs in a row, breaking the existing record for 41-year-olds and tying one held by several younger people. Hoot Gibson hurled two three-hitters to help St. Louis back into fourth place. Philadelphia got .480 power—hitting from Roy Sievers and two wins in relief from Jack Baldschun. Good ears, too, they've got. More useful anyway, Manager Gene Mauch said, than Umpire Ed Sudol's eyes. Sudol used his eyes in deciding that Don Demeter's long fly in Pittsburgh was caught and not trapped against the scoreboard. Mauch said he heard it hit, that balls hitting scoreboards have their own distinctive ring. So do phones being ripped off' clubhouse walls—which is what Mauch did later after the game was lost. New York dropped four more in a row and, with no relief in sight, the Mets somehow-persuaded Ralph Branca to come back to the Polo Grounds to "relive" (obviously this is not Branca's choice of word) the 1951 playoff episode with Bobby Thomson. And after 11 years Branca finally found somebody to follow his act—the Mets, of course. They lost 17-3 to the Dodgers.
Though Vice-President Johnson asked that the Supreme Court please not ban any prayers for Washington, somebody else already had the supernatural tied up, anyway. For what Lou Clinton of Boston kept doing was certainly not human and definitely not Red Sox. He was .458 for the week and .526 (30 for 57) with nine home runs and 26 RBIs in 14 games since coming off the bench. With Clinton pushing in, baseball heaven (located most years in The Bronx) was crowded. The most aptly named possible tenant, Los Angeles, came right back toward the top after losing three in a row. So many players were coming across for General Manager Fred Haney, it was no surprise that he could even get some mileage out of Alfred, Lord Tennyson. How would he feel if the Angels finally started to fade? Haney was asked. " 'Tis better," Haney smiled, going to the bench for a poet, "to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all." Baltimore Outfielder Russ Snyder felt less lyrical. After Umpire John Flaherty ruled that a long fly ball caught by Snyder had hit the Tiger Stadium wall first, Snyder spurned Gene Mauch's ear gambit and said of the ump, "He's as blind as a bat." The Orioles' appeal went for naught, the game to the Tigers. The disappointing Orioles needed a record-matching four doubles by Charlie Lau to finally win a game. Minnesota got four of another kind from Harmon Killebrew, a homer for each of four games, as he finally started hitting in his own park again. Detroit got progressively better after the All-Star break. The Tigers got two hits in their first game, three in the second, four in the third and lost each time. Cleveland, slowed by injuries, needed a five-run ninth to gain its only win of the week. Jim Perry took two of the Tribe's four defeats and was shuttled off to the bullpen. Chicago didn't need a bullpen—five complete games, five wins, no losses. Old Paw Paw, Charley Maxwell, just obtained from the Tigers, went on a .643 tear that was about all the hitting the good Sox pitching needed. Kansas City took 18 hours and 11 minutes to play five games and blow three of them. The A's used 20 pitchers, more than one an hour, and the league's worst ERA (5.18) was showing again. With Tom Tresh (.400) leading the way, New York split four and held on to first without a home run from Maris or Mantle. Just the usual quiet, matter-of-fact assurance as expressed last week by Whitey Ford: "We always figure we'll win the pennant."
EXTRA-INNING STARS: Lou Clinton of Red Sox and Chico Cardenas of Reds helped win long games, hit well in regulation play, too.