On Second Thought, Daily Racing Form, 1959-05-07


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ON SECOND THOUGHT By Barney Naoler NEW YORK, May 6. — This town is populated by millions who do not weep for the Yankees. They are folks who know Dan Topping and Del Webb will not miss a single morsel because their toilers in Knickerbockers are not as efficient as they were in the past. Some are even baseball fans. Others are not. All share in a common feeling that all is not lost in our town because a bunch of -g u y s are not subverting other bunches of guys. For those who travel forth from New York into the hinterlands occasionally, the notion that the Yankees are at last mere mortals is a comforting thought. In the Midlands, Yankee success — nine pennants in the last ten years — is a token of a repugnant form of superiority. This is manifested in many ways. Walk into a barber shop in Detroit, lets say, and the greeting is warm. Confess residence in Yankeetown and a cold wave sweeps over the shop. The other night, in Indianapolis, a visitor from New York was rushing back to Brian Londons dressing room after the debacle with Floyd Patterson. He wore on the lapel of his coat a press button which identified him as a New Yorker. "Hey, you," a fan cried, "if thats the best you have, take it back to New York. You suckers go for it, we dont." This customer apparently had not read the latest words of woe written by journalists who travel with the Yankees. These historians have led the public down the public down the road to unhappiness. The other day the "New York Times" went so far as to print on its front page a story retailing the plight of Casey Stengel and I his men. AAA A survey appended to aforesaid story indicated that a considerable number of citizens felt that the course of history would not be affected by the defection of the Yankees from success. Last October, after the Yankees humbled Milwaukee in the World Series, large numbers of Braves fans walked down Wisconsin Avenue out there in a daze. One unhappy burgher was seized just before he jumped from a bridge. On the sidewalk in front of the Schroeder Hotel, hawkers selling souvenirs cried, "Two Braves flags for the price of one!" In New York, where people are accustomed to success, all was quiet. Yes, the Yankees had won again and that was fine. This town has not reacted vigorously to a victory since the Dodgers beat the Yankees in the World Series back in 1955. Since then the customers take success and failure without reacting violently. Mostly, they do not care. Those who do feel that the Yankees have won often enough to be surfeited by victory. A defeat, they believe, will impart a new vigor to baseball generally and to the American League in particular. It cannot be forgotten that there are millions of New Yorkers who no longer give a hoot about baseball. The flight of the Giants and the Dodgers was the last disenchantment. Reality set in. The game became just that, nothing more, and something less than a manifestation of civic pride. AAA Stengel is unhappy, to he sure; he should be. His job is to win games. Topping is unhappy. He owns the joint. So does Webb. So are the ballplayers, down to their wives and sons and daughters. They are not up to their production quotas. Baseball fans. However, are not the players keepers; they are not moved to distraction by the fall of the mighty. National men say the Yankees are finished. They are the ones who will say, when the Yankees rebound, as they must, Continued on Page Forty-Six ON SECOND THOUGHT I By BARNEY NAGLER Continued from Page Two that they were not worried at all, that this early season unsuccess was just a phase to be forgotten in the fall of the year. The feeling here is that the World Series will be played in New York this year, as during nine years of the past decade. Yankee front-office brains have always contended that know-how makes the difference in the pennant run. They have not sent up smoke signals yet in quest of help. No cry of distress is heard in the Bronx. George Weiss has not proceeded to paddle Old Casey in public. The othed day a man was talking about a recent phone conversation with Mr. Topping. "Hes unhappy, Dan is," the one who had called the Yankee owner said, "but he isnt giving up. Hes still watching his team on television." The test will come when he goes out to the ballpark. Thats when it will become apparent that all is not lost in New York because the Yankees are losing. The die-hards will be in attendance; others simply will stay at home and see it on the magic box. And the millions who do not care one way or another will still walk and talk and go about their chores. Silly people that they are, they really believe baseball is only a game.

Persistent Link: https://drf.uky.edu/catalog/1950s/drf1959050701/drf1959050701_2_4
Local Identifier: drf1959050701_2_4
Library of Congress Record: https://lccn.loc.gov/unk82075800