From the January 1958 magazine.

From the Vintage Years


MY ACQUAINTANCESHIP WITH AA IS, thank God, that of an outsider, and I don't come into your presence completely desiccated. You might mark me down as an admiring neutral, who chanced across AA in line of duty. I'm a newspaper reporter--at that time I was a sports writer--and I was trying to find out what sort of an unlisted, jumped-up miracle had suddenly made a paragon of politeness and a brilliant backstopper out of a baseball player who was boozing his way out of the majors, and who obviously didn't have much further to go.

There's no point in calling names, and this is an association of anonyms, anyhow, but this was a straight case of a great athlete who had become, for reasons of his own, a periodic Admiral of the Red. This particular ball club had an amazing kid pitcher who was young, clean, strapping and as fast as light. He seemed to be the absolute antithesis of the fading catcher, but for some strange reason, the older man was the only one on the staff who could bring out of the kid his best possible performance. This happened about once a week, usually on Sunday, and then the catcher usually celebrated in the traditional fashion of the mal-adjusted. Obviously this couldn't go on.

-- Bill Cunningham

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