So now we are down to nine men who played for the 1954 World Championship team, although Garagiola was only with them for a very short period of time. He was picked up after the September 1st deadline, making him ineligible for the World Series. When Mays made "The Catch," Garagiola could be seen looking out the clubhouse window.
When I was doing research for the book I wrote about the 1954 team, I contacted Garagiola, and he said he probably couldn't help me much. "Well," I said, "you probably had the best seat in the house when Mays made the catch."
He said, "I never saw it." My jaw must have dropped a foot. He said, "I was blocked by the batter's eye. I heard nothing for a few seconds, then I heard a huge roar and saw the ball go back into the infield." And this was after fifty-some odd years of saying he saw it. Oh, well......
I couldn't- or wouldn't- use anything of what he told me, because of something I heard about him and Stan Musial. When the Cardinals were in the World Series several years ago, someone in the Cardinals' front office came up with the idea of having Musial throw the first pitch to Garagiola. It seems the two of them had been partners in a bowling alley venture that went bad, and Joe sued Stan. Musial said, "I'll be staying home instead." The following night- with Garagiola back home in Arizona- Musial threw out the first pitch.
I figured if Joe could sue one of the most beloved players in history, what chance would I have? The interview wound up on the cutting room floor, so to speak.
Last edited by chinese home run; 03-24-2016 at 08:02 AM.