Game 5: Tough Mr. Elroy Has 'Em Cowed


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NEW YORK, Oct. 10 -- How tough was Elroy this time? Let me show how tough he was by taking you down to the field -- down to the third base coaching box where Frank (the Crow) Crosetti was trying his best to help the Yankee hitters pin Elroy's ears back.

As you probably know by now, Elroy Face relieved Harvey Haddix in the seventh inning today. We led, 4-2, but the Yanks had runners on first and second with only one out. Elroy pitched out of that jam in no time and finished the game without giving up a hit.

Anyhow, as I was saying, Crosetti was trying to sabotage Elroy from the coaching box. He watched Elroy's grip and every time he saw Elroy fixing to throw his fork ball, he shouted to the batter, "Here it comes!"

From my position at third base there's a simple way to take care of that kind of monkey business. All I have to do is shout myself. All I have to do is shout "Here is comes!" -- but when Elroy is not throwing the fork ball -- when he throwing the curve or the slider or the fast ball.

Last year, when Bob Scheffing coached at third base for the Cubs, he whistled to his batters to tip them off on Elroy's fork ball. I'm musically inclined myself. Like to whistle. So I just started whistling on all kinds of pitches, and pretty soon Scheffing decided he was no Elmo Tanner and gave it up.

Anyhow, today I let Crosetti yell, "Here it comes!"

I let him yell without trying to foul him up because they weren't hitting Elroy's fork ball even when they knew it was coming. That's how good he was. They couldn't hit him with advance dope.

I figured, "Heck, let The Crow have a good time. That Elroy just can't be hit today."

There's no question but what Elroy has been our most valuable player in the series. It's like I've been saying all season -- when we get the pitching we win. Today we got the pitching again -- great pitching from not only Elroy but Harvey Haddix, too.

The only disappointment Elroy gave me was when he walked Mickey Mantle in the eighth. Mantle was the only guy who got on base against Elroy. When the count ran to three balls and no strikes I yelled to Elroy, "Make him hit the ball, dammit! Throw three strikes!"

But, he threw a fourth ball. Oh, well. I guess Elroy's human after all.

There was more bench jockeying going on today than in any of the previous Series games. We were on their catcher, Elston Howard, pretty good, and he was a little upset, I think. When I came to bat he said:

"There's a bunch of guys over there in that dugout that are on me pretty good." I said "Don't look at me. I got all I can do just playing third base."

Well, to tell the truth, I might have done just a little jockeying myself. Just a wee little.

-- Story reprinted from the Post-Gazette, Tues., Oct. 11, 1960.


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