Sport: The Artful Pick-Off

How Commissioner Vincent rid the Yankees of their hated boss

You can measure a baseball fan by his boyhood heroes. On the wall behind Fay Vincent's desk is the original artwork from Whitey Ford's 1953 Topps baseball card, a talisman of the bygone era when the New York Yankees symbolized success, stability and smug superiority. If Joe DiMaggio personified grace, and Mickey Mantle represented God-given talent, then Ford, the gritty little lefty ace of the pitching staff, was guile elevated to Hall of Fame standards. This quality is not lost on the baseball commissioner, who says with reverence, "He had the greatest pick-off move to first."

The image is worth savoring....