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Beanball War Being Waged Between Giants and Indians

Apr. 5, 1963 - Rain canceled today’s game between the San Francisco Giants and Cleveland Indians as reverberations from their beanball battle Tuesday in Modesto, Calif., continued. Manager Alvin Dark (right) of the Giants reiterated that he was not mad at Birdie Tebbetts, the Cleveland skipper, for the pitches that have been sending Willie Mays (left), Felipe Alou, and other Giant sluggers scampering for cover all spring. But at the same time, he stated that any pitcher deliberately throwing at any of his players would be thrown at himself. “It’s up to the umpires to do something about it when it starts, not when we retaliate,” Dark declared. “It doesn’t take courage to throw me out of the game. It does take courage to step in and stop that head-hunting before it gets out of hand and someone gets hurt. There’s a whole lot of difference between a pitch here [he put his hand under his chin] and one back here [behind the head]. One is part of baseball. The other isn’t. Your natural reaction is to back away. That pitch their boy threw at Mays was behind him. There’s no excuse for that kind of throwing.” After Mays hit the dirt to avoid a pitch in the game Tuesday, the Giants’ pitcher, Jack Sanford, hit Floyd Weaver, the Indian hurler, on the elbow. When Sanford came to bat, Indians pitcher Sonny Siebert threw one just over his head. Tebbets, the Cleveland skipper, maintains he doesn’t want to see Mays or anyone else hurt, “but we’re going to keep right on pitching Willie high and inside.” Birdie, pointing out that not one Giant had actually been hit by a Tribe pitcher, added: “I hope the Giants feel proud of having hit one of our finest rookie pitchers [Weaver] on his pitching arm. It seems to me Dark is trying to tell pitchers who throw inside to Mays they can’t do it. I don’t think he’ll scare anybody.” Weaver, stretched out in the Cleveland clubhouse with an elbow encased in ice, said after the game, “I wasn’t throwing at Mays. The pitch got away and sailed. And I don’t think Sanford was throwing at me.”


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