The Dodgers' moon-shaped and self-launching Walter O'Malley, who has been orbiting between Brooklyn and Los Angeles for months, beeping steadily to ground observers in both cities, has completed Phase One of his inter-coastal operations: the Los Angeles City Council, which has spent weeks attempting to track him accurately, interpret his messages and weigh his intentions, voted this week to let him land permanently with his ball club. Unlike the Soviet earth satellite, which will burn up as it settles down in thicker atmosphere near earth, O'Malley is expected to remain cool, perhaps even cold, as he slips in through the smog. O'Malley, of course, was all burned up before he ever left Brooklyn.
STRANGERS IN PARADISE
One night last winter, as he toured the banquet circuit, Mickey Mantle addressed a capacity crowd at Eagles Hall in Milwaukee. "I've heard," said Mickey, "a lot of talk here this evening about how you'd like to see me hit in County Stadium. Well, all I can say is you just get those Braves to win the pennant and we'll be there."
It brought down the house and, in the atmosphere of good fellowship that prevailed, a sweeter dream could not be imagined. Last week, the dream was reality: the Yankees were there, Mickey had shown what he could do with a pitch he liked and Milwaukee had had its glimpse of what it had imagined to be a kind of pennant winners' paradise, filled not only with baseball, but with all the feasting and parading and singing that are the ingredients of Gem�tlichkeit. Milwaukee found that, to the Yankees, paradise is a cold, calculating workaday world in which the only thing that matters is winning ball games, and the devil take the hasenpfeffer.
Milwaukee's disillusionment began with an incident at Sturdevant, 30 miles south of Milwaukee, where the Yanks refused to come off the train for a welcome (with band music) and only Mrs. Casey Stengel saved the occasion by milking a cow named Rosie that had been brought to trainside in the spirit of friendly feelings.
Then, when the Yankee train pulled into the Milwaukee station, another assembly of eager hosts was waiting. The players pushed on through the crowd, however, and Casey Stengel declined to pose for pictures with Judge Robert Cannon who, incidentally, had sat at the speakers' table with Mickey Mantle that blissful evening at Eagles Hall last winter.
Inflamed by stories of these Yankee brushoffs in the Milwaukee Sentinel (which relegated the Soviet moon story to page three), the crowd at County Stadium next day gave Stengel the loudest boos ever heard there, sat in hurt, stony silence through displays of Yankee prowess.
Later, Stengel denied that the Yankees regarded Milwaukee as a "bush town." Trouble was, said Casey, the Milwaukee brand of hospitality was just too much to absorb. The series, said Stengel, as the Yanks declined all invitations, is not a party.
Maybe that's the way it has to be. But as they say in Milwaukee, surveying the mountains of untouched cheeses, barrels of untasted beer and yards of undelivered speeches of welcome, das ist ein helluva note.