On Second Thought: Pitchers Arent Supposed to Hit, Daily Racing Form, 1955-06-01


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to to erefc get to to t.hp the wav way I ■ On Second Thought Pitchers Arent Supposed to Hit By BARNEY NAGLER NEW YORK, N. Y., May 31.— If Willie Pep were suddenly to turn puncher and knock out a few in a row how would Julie Helfand, ±ienana, the tne investiga- Helfand, ±ienana, the tne investiga- investigator, react? He would send his bird dog, Marty Monroe, out to flush the nearest field by way of turning up some dirt. Monroe would come back with a bag full of rumors, involving sundry citizens, poisoned oranges and undercover managers. Just think of the headlines. All All of of whinh which is is n. a wav way All All of of whinh which is is n. a wav way to to erefc get to to t.hp the wav way Don Newcombe, the pitching man, behaved at Ebbetts Field the other Memorial Day. Man just stood up there and smote a couple of home runs. Now, you are being asked, is this the way for a pitcher to behave? For one, it would appear to be an infringement of copyright. Pitchers, by tradition and trade, arent supposed to take the bat in hand earnestly. They are regarded as the odd man in the line-up, in no way intended as threats to the opposition except when throwing high, hard ones. Newcombe apparently hasnt been told what hes being paid to do. Newcombes resurgence, as pitcher and hitter, is not without its lesson in behavior. The biff right hander acted up recently, refusing: to pitch in batting: practice. His reluctance to work extra hours provoked the Dodgers front-office at a time when all should have been serene on Montague Street. Newcombe was delivered of a snippet from his paycheck. Thereafter, the big fellow was accosted by Warren Giles, disciplinarian of the National league, for sassing a man in blue. Ordered Newcombes mouth washed with a new-fangled detergent, Giles did. And, by the way of completing the triangle, Newcombe went and got another man in blue, this one a bike cop, to hand him a ticket — for going up a one-way street — the wrong way, of course. What all this has to do with Newcombes wrist action is not too clear here. The notion is that there is no more connection than between Lily St. Cyr and the Denver chapter of the W.C.T.U. However, its a challenging jthought and why duck it? At that, why shouldnt a big fellow like Newcombe hit home runs? Littler men considerably less muscled have come to the plate purposefully. Why not Newcombe, the answer is that pitchers just arent supposed to be hitters, nothing more, and that the men who throw up the balls do not get enough work with bat in hand to become accomplished at the chore. Newcombes role as a hitter should in no way be taken as an indication that he has forsaken pitching for pelting. Big Don is a most valuable member of the Dodgers pitching corps, one whose contribution to the cause cant be overlooked. Last year the big fellow was bothered by a sore arm and a case of anemia in the victory column. It is a fact of success that it is self-nourishing. A winner keeps moving because he is winning. He is in the groove, so to speak, and this is just what is happening with Newcombe this year. Before Army service, big Don was one of the mainstays of the Dodgers, a big, strong, reliable thrower. His return tc Eb-bets Field was not marked by brilliance. This year, caught in the tide of Brooklyn success, he has gone along, well on his way toward a 20-game season. Two 20-game winners do not a pennant make, but it is going to be difficult for the opposition to stop the Dodgers. Carl Erskine, whose experience with home runs this year is not as happy as Newcombes, nevertheless should accomplish two score triumphs. These two hurlers, along with Johnny Podres, Billy Loes and Clem Labine, should turn skipper Alston into a positive genius. Last year, Alston was a sucker, but now he is positively gifted, a man who hasnt made too many mistakes. Surely, his handling of Newcombe in a crisis has been productive. A fine in time, it seems, is just fine. Newcombe, %of course, is in an enviable position. Some day, when the boys arent getting him enough runs to make it worth while, none will be able to tell him to do it himself. He might just go out and do it. Its part of the do-it-yourself craze. Theres no telling ivhere it will end.

Persistent Link: https://drf.uky.edu/catalog/1950s/drf1955060101/drf1955060101_2_6
Local Identifier: drf1955060101_2_6
Library of Congress Record: https://lccn.loc.gov/unk82075800