Durocher Forgotten Man of Giants: Once Noisy Pilot Stays in Shadows, Daily Racing Form, 1954-06-19


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Durocher Forgotten Man of Giants Once Noisy Pilot Stays in Shadows Newshawks No Longer Fine! Lippy Ready to Spout Off Despite Standing of Team By FRED DOWN United Press Sports Writer NEW YORK, N. Y., June 18.— Leo Durocher, once the most newsworthy name in sports, has become a. forgotten man in his own clubhouse. While his New York Giants are stirring memories of that "little miracle" of 1951, the once-voluble Durocher quietly dresses after each game without so much as a curse at the umpires. The Leo who used to roar like a lion now speaks" only when hes spoken to like the lowliest rookie in the league. "Its a transformation Leo himself attempted to bring about and its been so complete that the reporters who used to record his every word now hardly bother to seek him out after a game. Durocher and some newsmen covering the Giants, exchange little more than the pleasantries of the day for weeks- at a time. "Leo answers questions civilly or politely declines to comment," one regular Giant, writer explains. He so completely avoids saying anything controversial that hes virtually stopped being a news source." Its especially surprising because it was as a swashbuckling, dynamic leader that Durocher rose to fame as manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers. The days when he and Larry MacPhail discoursed simultaneously at opposite ends of the Brooklyn clubhouse are a lore of the game. Teams Rise Dramatic The dramatic rise of the Giants — they finished 35 games behind the first-place Dodgers in 1953— afforded Durocher a golden opportunity to sound off. But he steadfastly refuses to break out of his shell. Leos recently-discovered control over that once-active tongue was demonstrated graphically last Wednesday. The Giants had just defeated the Cincinnati Redlegs, 4-0, to take a game and a half lead over the Dodgers. Moreover, Jim Hearn had turned in a four-hitter for his strongest pitching effort in almost a year. "Hearn pitched a strong game — thats all there is to say," Durocher said after the game — stating a fact that was obvious to anyone who could read the line score of the contest. In the good old days such a performance would have earned Hearn a niche in Durochers private hall of fame or at least brought forth a favorble comparison with Dizzy Dean in his prime. Durochers planned reluctance to speak on most subjects seems just dandy as far as the Giant players and the front office are concerned and few old Giant fans ever complain about seeing too little of Leo. - But the simple fact may be that Leos silence is costing him the credit he deserves for leading the Giants into first place. The Leo of old would long since been acclaimed as a candidate for "manager of the year" and his name would be the subject of countless articles. Instead Leo has taken a back seat in the publicity department ,to such as Casey Stengel, Paul Richards, Eddie Stanky and Steve ONeill. And whats more, thats the way Leo seems to want it.

Persistent Link: https://drf.uky.edu/catalog/1950s/drf1954061901/drf1954061901_2_2
Local Identifier: drf1954061901_2_2
Library of Congress Record: https://lccn.loc.gov/unk82075800