Sport: Amazin'

One epochal day in 1918, a flaky Pittsburgh Pirate stepped up to bat against the Brooklyn Dodgers. As the home crowd razzed him, the outfielder doffed his cap—and released a sparrow.

The bird was not the only thing to take wing from the head of Charles Dillon Stengel. By the time he died last week of cancer at 85, Casey had become past master of baseball's two toughest positions—jester and genius.

For two generations of Americans, Casey Stengel was an essential part of the national pastime—the canny, clownish manager of New York City's worst...

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