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Oakland: Bill Mazeroski

Photo_of_Bill_Mazeroski.

Bill Mazeroski
BORN: 

  • There never was anyone faster than Mazeroski as a pivot man on the double play. Goggle-eyed at the flick of the wrist that sent his relay throw speeding to first base, his contemporaries referred to him as "No Touch." (22)

  • Exceptional speed he has not; jump on the ball he has, and timing, sharp sharp reflexes, motion with equal skill to his right or to his left, an arm from which the ball shoots straight to its mark. His hands, which move inconspicuously but with almost fatal certainty to cover, enfold, and get rid of a ground ball, are his greatest asset. The small size of the fielder's glove he wears suggests that his hands do more of the work in fielding the ball than is true for other players who tend to rely on the large pocket of the glove to stop the ball and then worry about recovery and control of it later. His performance over an 11-year stretch indicates that anything within range is his, and the popular fan refrain of the 1958 season of "Hit it to Maz" voiced a confidence which goes unspoken now but is always assumed. (23)

  • There were, to be dutiful, fielding records, four that still stand, and eight Gold Gloves, but Mazeroski at second base is better served by folklore than statistics. (24)

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