From the Stars and Stripes archives

'Good game, but not great,' MVPs agree after opener

European service baseball MVPs Ray Rosenbaum and George Morgan in New York for the World Series, 1955.


By STARS AND STRIPES Published: September 30, 1955

NEW YORK, Sept. 29 — "A good game, but not a great one," was the only point on which Europe's best ballplayers could agree in talking about the World's Series opener yesterday.

"It's a sluggers' match," said Ray Rosenbaum, 39th Regt star, "and the Yanks had the power." Both agreed that pitching on both sides was secondary.

But George Morgan, Bitburg Baron slugger, couldn't keep from adding, "When the Yanks can knock out (Don) Newcombe, what chance have the Bums got left?"

Rosenbaum, a slightly discouraged Dodger rooter, was glumly silent.

From their box seats almost directly above home plate, both MVPs watched a summer-long dream coming true as they munched hotdogs, drank beer and started a contest between themselves called "predictions."

Morgan began by predicting that Pee Wee Reese would get Brooklyn's first hit, which he promptly did in inning one. Rosenbaum countered by picking Berra for the Yanks' first safety, but Hank Bauer proved him wrong.

By game's end, George had five for ten for a brilliant .500, while Ray managed only two for eight for a more modest .250.

Morgan's most educated guess shook Rosenbaum almost as much as it did the Dodgers when he called for Reese to hit into a fourth-inning double play. The Indian sign registered, and the Yankees were never headed thereafter.

The game's defensive hero, according to the Air Force man, was the Army's terminal-leaver, Billy Martin. Both men conceded that Joe Collins' two homers capped the Yankee cause.

Despite their feeling that neither Whitey Ford nor Newcombe had pitched particularly well, they were enthusiastic about the relief job of Clem Labine and Bob Grim. The Yankees' bullpen artist with his ninth-inning fire-balling got special enthusiastic mention.

What was in store today? Yankee-rooter Morgan thinks perhaps the second of four straight Bomber victories. But Rosenbaum looks to a seven-game series with the gonfalon going either way.

Last night it was the Latin Quarter for the winners of the Pan American Airways-Spalding Sporting Goods sponsored holiday. TV appearances, Broadway musicals and other thrills are in the offing.

How do they feel about it? Morgan summed up. "I think the Yankees may take it in four, but I sure hope it lasts the full seven!"

One other thing: Rosenbaum, entering the stadium, confided that the last time he had seen major leaguers in action was last Easter when he watched these same two teams play an exhibition.

"Then" said Ray, "I told myself that it would be the last big game I would see for two years. Now look where I am — and the Latin Quarter, too."

European service baseball MVPs Ray Rosenbaum and George Morgan in New York for the World Series, 1955.

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