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Old 07-23-2006, 12:50 AM   #134
SelzShoes
High School Varsity
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
April 11, 1946: The Lonely Regrets of Joe DiMaggio

He muscled up and slugged the fat pitch deep. One of the deepest shots longtime Indian fans could ever remember being hit. For a moment the word "Ruthian" was whispered among the observers. Joe himself could never remember hitting one harder. By the time the Tribe recovered from the shock, the Lancers had plated another run. "Will to win," more than one fan said about Joe, "he just has a will to win."

Despite the early season success of the team, Joe was finding the going away from the Yanks rough. The average, while rising, was well below what a player like Joe expected from himself. Yes the team was winning now; any long-term success depended on him.

"What the h-l is he doing?" DiMaggio said to Guy Curtright as they jogged to the outfield. Ted Lyons, manager, starting pitcher was strolling out to the mound to start the 8th. Lyons had walked 8 to that point, weaving in and out of trouble all day. It was clear from centerfield the manager was out of gas, why could Lyons not feel it.

Ted Lyons, at 45 years old, was one of the oldest active players in baseball. The sudden expansion of major league teams allowed a handful of plus 40 players to have a vital role. Joe had been lead to believe his manager would be an emergency hurler. An extra arm for the Lancers to burn in extra inning games. No way DiMaggio ever would have left the Yankees if he thought Lyons would put his ego before the team's chance to win.

Two pitches later, the game was tied. Some scrub named Jim Carlin took one just inside the foul pole. It would be five more batters before an out was recorded.

As Joe trotted back into the dugout, Lyons shouted, "Gotta make that throw, Joe." DiMaggio had made a grab in deep center, with no chance to get the runner it had been returned to the infield. "Cost us a run, you know."

Joe burned inside. This was no Joe McCarthy or Miller Huggins telling him what he needed to improve on. This guy could not tell when his own arm was past it, now he was going to give the great DiMaggio advice. Joe kept walking back into League Park's clubhouse. The end was inevitable as 1-2-3.

The Tribe was the first good team the Lancers had faced, and Joe did not like what he saw. He would have the normal replies for the radio guys. "Yeah, the 200th felt good, but the team lost." A first place team never felt so empty.
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Last edited by SelzShoes : 08-16-2006 at 04:33 PM.
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