Tuesday, May 15, 2018

More Yankee Quiz - Test Your Yankee Knowledge!


More Yankee Quiz

by Harvey Frommer

You asked and now you receive – questions simple, weird, relevant, irrelevant, but all New York Yankees related.
 Take the quiz and see how much you know.


51. Who wore uniform Number 2 before Derek Jeter?

52. Who originally designed the intertwined Yankees logo, “NY”?
      A. Jake Ruppert B. NYC Police Department C. Tiffany D. A fan

53.   First-baseman Wally Pipp has gone down in history for being the       player Lou Gehrig replaced. What other distinction belongs to Pipp?
A. He was a manager.  B. He came from the same neighborhood Gehrig grew up in.  C. He was a home run champ.  D. He made money endorsing aspirin.


54. Who was the first major leaguer to hit two grand slams in the same game? 


55.    Who played the most games for the Yankees?
  A. Mickey Mantle    B.  Yogi Berra    C.  Lou Gehrig    55. D.  Derek Jeter

56. Who was the first DH to bat? (He was a Yankee)


57. Who was the highest paid Yankee in 1973?


58.  Which pitcher became the highest-paid player in history when he signed a $3.5 million contract for the Yankees in 1975?


59. – What Yankee pitcher was nick-named “Bulldog”? 
A.  Jim Bouton B. Monte Pearson C.  Joe Page D. Ron Guidry


60. The tradition of honoring legends at Yankee Stadium started on Memorial Day of 1932. Who was the first monument for? 

61. How many games did Babe Ruth win as pitcher for the Yankees?



62.   Name the Yankees outfielder who won the 1962 AL Rookie of the Year Award when he batted .286 with 20 home runs and 93 RBI.  


63.  For seven consecutive years a New York Mayor threw out the first pitch for the home opener of the Yankees. Who was he?

64. What number did Earl Combs wear and why?

65.  What year did the Yankees begin playing Frank Sinatra’s “New York, New York” at the Stadium?


66. Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle, Bernie Williams each spent more than a decade playing centerfield for the Yankees. Who spent the most time?


67. What year did the first All Star Game take place at Yankee Stadium?


68.   Who was the first black player on the Yankees?


69.  Who said: “I may not have been the greatest Yankee to put on the uniform, but I am the proudest.”


70.  Who wrote “New York, New York” the song sung by Frank Sinatra at the Stadium?




                       ANSWERS BELOW


No PEEKING

51.  A.  Mike Gallego wore it in 1992, 1993 and 1994
52.  C.  The interlocking NY logo was originally designed by Louis C. Tiffany for the NYPD valor medal.
53.   C. Pipp was an American League home run champion in 1916-17.
54.  D. Tony Lazzeri
55. D.  Derek Jeter, 2,747
56.  B. Ron Blomberg  
57.  B. Bobby Murcer made $100,000. Alou and Lyle made $70,000. Stottlemyre earned $78,000
58.  Jim "Catfish" Hunter
59. A. Jim Bouton because of his overbearing nature
60.  B. Miller Huggins
61. C. five and two were complete games.
62.  Tom Tresh 
63.  C. Fiorello LaGuadia    (1939-45)
64.  A. 1 because he batted first in a Yankee lineup that began the practice of wearing numbers.
65.  D. 1980
66.  B. Mantle, 15 years
67.  C.   1939, to coincide with the World’s Fair that year
68.  April 14, 1955, the second game of the year, Elston Howard debuted.
69.  D.  Billy Martin
70.   B. Kander and Ebb


About
Harvey
Frommer
One of the most prolific and respected sports journalists and oral historians in the United States, author of the autobiographies of legends Nolan Ryan, Tony Dorsett, and Red Holzman, Dr. Harvey Frommer is an expert on the New York Yankees and has arguably written more books, articles and reviews on the New York Yankees than anyone.  A professor for more than two decades in the MALS program at Dartmouth College, Frommer was dubbed “Dartmouth’s Mr. Baseball” by their alumni magazine. He’s also the founder of www.HarveyFrommerSports.com. Some of the material in this piece was taken from his The Ultimate Yankee Book, readily available from the author or Amazon.

http://www.frommerbooks.com/ultimate-yankees.html

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Remembering Ted Williams - Harvey Frommer

Remembering Ted Williams



He was called “the Splendid Splinter,” “the Kid,” “Teddy Ballgame” and other unmentionable names. But Ted Williams was always something else.

There was the love-hate affair fans at Fenway Park had with Ted Williams.  He dropped  a fly ball in the first game of a doubleheader. Raucous razzing followed.  In the second game, a ball scooted past him in left field, and he made a half hearted effort to go after it. Three runs scored. The booing was deafening. The inning ended. Williams came to the dugout, stopped and made a negative, some would say, obscene gesture --  twice.

ROGER KAHN: Every once in a while, Williams would lose his temper and give them the finger. People out in left field would jeer. There was a constant clash between Williams and the customers.    
BOB BRADY:  But in those years he was the only reason to go to Fenway Park. As soon as his last at bat many would depart especially if the Sox were losing. 
ROGER KAHN: At that time, the Red Sox clubhouse  closed something like 40 minutes before a game at the request, no the demand of  Williams who called reporters the “Knights of the Keyboard.” 
There were more bodies than you could imagine in the Fenway press box, people from all of the papers.  Platoons of reporters.  Somebody doing the pregame color—this is when the Yankees came in.  Somebody doing the dressing room   Somebody doing the other dressing room  Somebody doing crowd notes.  Somebody doing the game itself.  
IKE DELOCK:   He didn’t like the press and there a lot were a lot them – he wanted to ban them from the clubhouse. The players said, “You can’t do that.”  So he eased up.  But whatever he wanted he damn well got.
        At the urging of Williams, Red Sox players agreed to a one hour interview lag after games before reporters could enter the locker room. The Sox icon would stand outside the door wearing just a towel, counting off the seconds. “Okay,” he'd snap. “Now all you bastards can come in. “
MEL PARNELL:  Ted was called out on strikes and came back to the dugout and complained that home plate was out of line. General manager Joe Cronin argued about it but agreed to have home plate checked. At nine the next morning the ground crew was out there. They checked. It was out of line. Ted had the greatest eyes. He was a man with strong opinions about everything, and his own way of doing things.
The “Splendid Splinter” ordered postal scales for the Boston clubhouse to accurately measure the weight of his bats. He trusted no one. While in the on-deck circle, he would massage his bat handle with olive oil and resin. The noise, a kind of squeal, did not endear him to disconcerted pitchers. He was one of the greatest, one of a kind, an original.

About

Harvey

Frommer


One of the most prolific and respected sports journalists and oral historians in the United States, author of the autobiographies of legends Nolan Ryan, Tony Dorsett, and Red Holzman,
 A professor for more than two decades in the MALS program at Dartmouth College, Frommer was dubbed “Dartmouth’s Mr. Baseball” by their alumni magazine. He’s also the founder of www.HarveyFrommerSports.com.
His highly successful THE ULTIMATE YANKEE BOOK is readily available from the author or  Amazon.   http://www.frommerbooks.com/ultimate-yankees.html

Sunday, April 29, 2018

From “the Captain” to "Friday Night Massacre"


From “the Captain” to "Friday Night Massacre"


The Bronx Bombers alias the New York Yankees, the most successful franchise in baseball history has a corner on lots of things including nick-names. For your reading pleasure, a sampling of nom de plumes, aliases, sobriquets, catch words and of course nick-names,
"The Captain" - Derek Jeter - was such an icon that the Yankees have yet to name a new Captain one since his retirement.
          “Captain Clutch” - Derek Jeter, that he was
          "Chairman of the Board" - Elston Howard coined it for Whitey Ford and his commanding and take charge manner on the mound.
            ''Carnesville Plowboy'' - Spud Chandler, for his hometown of Carnesville,
           “The CAT-a-lyst" - Mickey Rivers, given this name by Howard Cosell. 
"Georgia Catfish" - James Augustus Hunter was his real name but the world knew him as “Catfish,” primarily because of Oakland A's owner Charles O. Finley. Finley. Hunter ran away from home when he was a child, returning with two catfish. His parents called him Catfish for a while. Finley decided that Jim Hunter was too bland a name a star pitcher and revived Hunter's childhood nickname.
            "Columbia Lou" - Lou Gehrig, for his collegiate roots.
.            "Commerce Comet" - Mickey Mantle, for his speed and being out of Commerce, Oklahoma.
          “The Colonel” - Jerry Coleman saw combat in both World War II and the Korean War, As a Marine Corps aviator, he flew 120 combat missions and earned two Distinguished Flying Crosses.
          It was also a nickname for pitching coach Jim Turner who came from the south and used by Jim Bouton in Ball Four in a derogatory fashion.
          "The Count" - Sparky Lyle, handlebar mustache and lordly ways
            "The Count" – John Montefusco, because his name reminded people of the Count of Monte Crisco. 
“Core Four” Andy Pettitte, Mariano Rivera, Derek Jeter and Jorge Posada were all drafted or signed as amateurs by the Yankees in the early 1990s. After playing in the minors together they made their debuts in 1995. With the four as a nucleus, the Yanks in the next 17 seasons missed the playoffs only twice, played in the World Series seven times, won five world championships.
"The Crow" - Frank Crosetti loud voice and chirpy ways.
 "Curse of the Bambino" - Since 1920 and the selling of Babe Ruth to the Yankees by Boston owner Harry Frazee in 1920, the Yankees have won all those championships. The Red Sox have won a few.      
            "Daddy Longlegs" - Dave Winfield, for his size and long legs.
             "Danish Viking" - George Pipgras, for his size and roots
            "Deacon" - Everett Scott, for his not too friendly look.
   "Death Valley" - the old deep centerfield in Yankee Stadium.
          "Dial-a-Deal - Gabe Paul, for his telephone trading habits.
"Donnie Baseball" - Don Mattingly’s nickname. Some say it was coined by Yankee broadcaster Michael Kay; others say it came from Kirby Puckett. Kay takes the credit; Mattingly gives the credit to Puckett.
            "Ellie"   - Affectionate abbreviation of Elston Howard's first name     
              "El Duquecito" – Adrian Hernandez because of a pitching style similar to Orlando "El Duque."
 "Father of the Emory Ball" - Rookie right-hander Russ Ford posted a 26-6 record with 8 shutouts, 1910, using that pitch.
            “Figgy” – Ed Figueroa, short for his surname which was tough, for some, to pronounce
            "Five O'clock Lightning" - At five o'clock the blowing of a whistle at a factory near Yankee Stadium signaled the end of the work day in the 1930s and also the power the Yankees were unleashing against opponents on the Yankee Stadium playing field.  
          “Fireman" - Johnny Murphy, the first to have this nick-name was the first great relief pitcher. Joe Page picked up this nick-name for his top relief work later on.              
            “Flash" - Joe Gordon was fast, slick fielding and hit line drives.
“Flop Ears” - Julie Wera. Was dubbed that by Babe Ruth. A backup infielder, Wera earned $2400, least on the ‘27 Yankees
Yankees,"Fordham Johnny" - for the college Johnny Murphy attended.
 “Four hour manager" - Bucky Harris, who put his time in at the game and was finished.
            "Friday Night Massacre" - April 26, 1974, Yankees Fritz Patterson, Steve Kline, Fred Beene, Tom Buskey, and half the pitching staff were traded to Cleveland for Chris Chambliss, Dick Tidrow, and Ceil Upshaw.
One of the most prolific and respected sports journalists and oral historians in the United States, author of the autobiographies of legends Nolan Ryan, Tony Dorsett, and Red Holzman, Dr. Harvey Frommer is an expert on the New York Yankees and has arguably written more books, articles and reviews on the New York Yankees than anyone. In 2010, he was honored by the City of New York to serve as historical consultant for the re-imagined old Yankee Stadium site, Heritage Field
 A professor for more than two decades in the MALS program at Dartmouth College, Frommer was dubbed “Dartmouth’s Mr. Baseball” by their alumni magazine. He’s also the founder of www.HarveyFrommerSports.com.
His highly successful THE ULTIMATE YANKEE BOOK is readily available from the author or  Amazon.   http://www.frommerbooks.com/ultimate-yankees.html

Thursday, April 12, 2018

REMEMBERING JERRY COLEMAN By Harvey Frommer


REMEMBERING JERRY COLEMAN
By Harvey Frommer

                             




"The Yankees were not our team, they were our religion." –Jerry Coleman  
          My connection to Jerry Coleman goes all the way back to 1975 when I was researching and interviewing for my first book - - A Baseball Century: the First Hundred Years of the National League.
                I met him in San Diego where he was a broadcaster and did a very in depth interview with the charming baseball lifer. I sat in the stands with him after the gamer was over and he talked and talked. He suggested that someone should do a book on baseball in New York City in the 1940s and 1950s, a time he played there, a time he called "the last golden age."
             My New York City Baseball: 1947-1957 was published and has gone through several reprints and is still around and I have Jerry Coleman to thank for the idea.
         Gerald Francis Coleman was born on September 14, 1924 in San Jose, California. He was hooked on baseball, he told me, from the time he could walk.  In 1942, Coleman was signed off the California sandlots by the Yankees and sent to Class D Pony League, the Wellsville Yankees.
       World War II interrupted his baseball career. He became a 19-year-old fighter   pilot who over three years flew 57 bombing missions in campaigns over the Solomon Islands, Guadalcanal, the Philippines. Coleman was awarded two Distinguished Flying Crosses and seven Air Medals.
          War ended, in 1946, Coleman began to climb his way up through the Yankee farm system.
    JERRY COLEMAN: Spring training of 1948 I was trying to make the Yankees.  I was the last man cut. I played for the Newark Bears in the International League and came up to the Yankees at the end of the season.
        On April 20, 1949, Coleman made his rookie debut as the regular Yankee second baseman He led all who played his position in fielding that season through 1951. He was selected third as the Sporting News and Associated Press American League Rookie of the Year in 1949.
           “The best second baseman I ever saw on the double play,” according to his manager Casey Stengel, Coleman played nine seasons for the Yankees and with Phil Rizzuto formed a celebrated double-play combination.
       JERRY COLEMAN:  It wasn't money then, it was winning or losing. If you came in second place, you lost. It was the glory of winning and the ring. People watched the Yankees and admired the pride of the Yankees. But unfortunately the Yankees became so successful, people hated them for their success.
            Going north from spring training, we'd pass through small towns and people would be out there early in the morning as the train went by, waving to us. I don't know how they got the word - but we'd be having our breakfast in the diner and they'd be there.
Arguably Coleman’s top season was 1950 when he batted a career best .287, and set a team record for double plays by a second baseman. An All Star that 1950 season, the adroit infielder was the World Series Most Valuable Player.
           In May 1952, Coleman was called back to active duty and transferred to Korea to the 323 Marine Attack Squadron. Flying 120 missions, earning six more Air Medals, he was promoted to the rank of lieutenant colonel.
          The Yankees staged a day for him September 13, 1953 when he returned from active duty. Nearly 50,000 showed at the Stadium. Back as a Yankee, the time in Korea had taken something out of him as he admitted. Coleman was never the same ball player.  
          Playing career ended, the “Colonel” joined the Yankees front office after the 1957 season and then moved into the Yankees broadcast booth from 1963-1969.        A member of six Yankee pennant winning teams, the man who also graced baseball broadcast booths for decades, Jerry Coleman is the only Major League Baseball player who was in combat duty in two wars. 
       He truly was an officer, a gentleman and a splendid baseball player despite losing so many seasons out of his nine year Yankee career to military service for his country.
One of the most prolific and respected sports journalists and oral historians in the United States, author of the autobiographies of legends Nolan Ryan, Tony Dorsett, and Red Holzman, Dr. Harvey Frommer is an expert on the New York Yankees and has arguably written more books, articles and reviews on the New York Yankees than anyone. In 2010, he was honored by the City of New York to serve as historical consultant for the re-imagined old Yankee Stadium site, Heritage Field.
A professor for more than two decades in the MALS program at Dartmouth College, Frommer was dubbed “Dartmouth’s Mr. Baseball” by their alumni magazine. He’s also the founder of www.HarveyFrommerSports.com.
His latest The Ultimate Yankee Book can be ordered direct from the author and is easily available on Amazon. http://www.frommerbooks.com/ultimate-yankees.html

Thursday, March 22, 2018

FLASHBACK - First Opening Day at Fenway Park

FLASHBACK
First Opening Day at Fenway Park


By Harvey Frommer

  It was damp and chilly throughout New England for most of the spring of 1912, and in Boston, it took a few tries before baseball at a brand new ballpark could be played in decent weather.
On April 9th, the Red Sox and Harvard's baseball team met in an exhibition game in football weather and as one who was there observed, “with a little snow on the side.” About 3,000 braved the elements. Boston won the game, 2-0 with both runs driven in by their pitcher, Casey Hageman.
        The scheduled official Opening Day match on April 12th, however, was rained out. Finally on April 20th, the weather improved a bit, and Fenway's first major league game: the Sox versus the Yankees (then known as the Highlanders), was set to be played before a crowd of 27,000 on soggy, lumpy grounds and infield grass transplanted from the Huntington Avenue Baseball Grounds, the team’s former home.
Boston Mayor John "Honey Fitz" Fitzgerald threw out the ceremonial first ball. The man, whose grandson would become the thirty-fifth president of the United States, was an ardent member of the "Royal Rooters" - a group of Red Sox fans who staged pre-game parades accompanied by the singing of "Tessie" and "Sweet Adeline."
Ordinarily the game would have been the stuff of front-page headlines in New England dailies. Six days earlier, however, the largest passenger ship in the world had struck an iceberg and gone down in the icy waters of the Atlantic.  The news of the sinking of the Titanic on its maiden voyage and the accompanying loss of 1,517 lives would eclipse all other stories.
        Nevertheless, it was good news in Boston that the Red Sox finally had a modern ballpark. The original field that the team -- then known as the Boston Somersets -- played on was a former circus lot where sand covered much of the outfield and a tool shed sat in the middle of centerfield.
Owner General Charles Henry Taylor, a Civil War veteran and owner of the "Boston Globe," had decided back in 1910 to build a new ballpark in the Fenway section bordering Brookline Avenue, Jersey Street, Van Ness Street and Lansdowne Street. It would cost $650,000 (approximately $14 million today), and seat 35,000. Ground was broken September 25, 1911.
An attractive red brick fa├žade, the first electric baseball scoreboard, and 18 turnstiles, the most in the Majors, were all features being talked about.  Concrete stands went from behind first base around to third while wooden bleachers were located in parts of left, right, and centerfield. Seats lined the field allowing for excellent views of the game but limiting the size of foul territory.
Elevation was 20 feet above sea level. Barriers and walls broke off at different angles. Centerfield was 488 feet from home plate; right field was 314 feet away. The 10-foot wooden fence in left field ran straight along Lansdowne Street and was but 320 ½ feet down the line from home plate with a high wall behind it.  There was a ten foot embankment making viewing of games easier for overflow gatherings. A ten foot high slope in left field posed challenges for outfielders who had to play the entire territory running uphill.
This was the Opening Day Lineup for the 1912 Boston Red Sox.
RF
2B
CF
1B
3B
LF
SS
C
P
        The Sox, with player-manager first baseman Jake Stahl calling the shots, won the game, 7-6, in 11 innings. Tris Speaker -- who that season would bat .383, steal 52 bases and stroke eight inside-the-park home runs at Fenway -- drove in the winning run. Spitball pitcher Bucky O’Brien was the winner in relief of Charles “Sea Lion” Hall. The first hit in the park belonged to New York's Harry Wolter.  
        And that was how it all began.
BOOKENDS:  Tom Yawkey: Patriarch of the Boston Red Sox by Bill Nowlin (University of Nebraska Press, $36.95, 531 pages) is a masterwork on the long-time BoSox owner that is long over-due. And Nowlin, whose resume includes almost 40 books on the Sox and a multitude of articles, has truly out-done himself. 
Nowlin writes in his intro: “As I began to write a biography of Tom Yawkey, I was surprised to learn how little had ever been written about him.”
        Now we have a lot written about the man who owned the team from 1933 to 1976. Complete, well written, filled with fascinating new information, Tom Yawkey: Patriarch of the Boston Red Sox is a must read for fans of the franchise and all those interested in baseball history. Warts and all Tom Yawkey and his time comes to life. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED    
=============================================
        Harvey Frommer is one of the most prolific and respected sports journalists and oral historians in the United States, author of the autobiographies of legends Nolan Ryan, Tony Dorsett, and Red Holzman, Dr. Harvey has been a professor for more than two decades in the MALS program at Dartmouth College, Frommer was dubbed “Dartmouth’s Mr. Baseball” by their alumni magazine. He’s also the founder of www.HarveyFrommerSports.com. His The Ultimate Yankee Book is available on Amazon or directly from the author.

Friday, March 16, 2018

You Could Look It Up - Casey Stengel


“YOU COULD LOOK IT UP” --CASEY STENGEL

         "Make 'em pay. Make 'em pay you a thousand dollars. Don't go help those people with their shows for coffee-and-cake money. You're the Yankees—the best. Make 'em pay you high."—
Casey Stengel


By Harvey Frommer




I first met Casey Stengel in the dugout at Shea Stadium when he was the manager and ring-master for the inept New York Mets.  It was early in the day and I thought he was asleep. I presented a letter that was affixed to my clipboard from a publisher for a book I was doing and contained the information: “Please extend all professional courtesies to Dr. Harvey Frommer
He read it and then exclaimed: “I am extending – here is my arm, my fingers” (and other unmentionables). Casey also noticed the letter reference to “Dr.” and said I need a doctor.” Pointing at various parts of his body he exclaimed this hurts and this hurts, that hurts.”
“I am not that kind of doctor,’ I told him. “I am a Ph.D.”
“Why didn’t you say so? Let’s get down to business.”
Business was a rambling 35 minutes spiced with the line “You could look it up.” His gift for gab and charming but a bit common personality was hypnotic. From time to time representatives of the New York media appeared and he shooed them away waving his arms. “Come back later. I am with my doctor now.”
  I will never forget that time spent with Charles Dillon Stengel, born on July 30, 1890, in Kansas City, Missouri. Now there is a new manager at the helm of the New York Yankees. They can come and go but no one will ever match his winning record, his way with the media, his special ways with the English language.
The salty Stengel seemingly was a man who had been around baseball forever. And he always seemed to reincarnate himself. Back in 1912, he began in the big leagues playing 17 games for the Brooklyn Dodgers. His salary was $2100.
Fresh off piloting Oakland in the Pacific Coast League and the team of “nine old men” to the Pacific Coast League championship in 1948, Casey Stengel was introduced on October l2th at a press conference as the manager of New York Yankees. It was said that he was offered   the job on the recommendation of dour and business-like General Manager George Weiss.  Their friendship went back decades. 
 "I didn't get the job through friendship," he said in a serious tone. "The Yankees represent an investment of millions of dollars. Because I can make people laugh, some of you think I’m a damn fool.  But as player, coach and manager I have been around baseball for some 35 years. (He’d played in or managed over 5,000 games).  I’ve watched some successful managers as John McGraw and Uncle Robbie work. They don't hand out jobs like this just because they like your company. I got the job because the people here think I can produce for them.”
The new contract covered two years and was for a total of $70,000. At the start, there were doubters. There were also supporters.
EDDIE LOPAT: It was a shock when Stengel was announced as the new manager. We thought we got us a clown. When spring training started in 1949, we just sat back and watched his reaction. He never said too much about anything to anyone. It was a treat for him to be with us after all the donkey clubs he had. He was something. He didn't need notes. He knew what every hitter or pinch hitter could do against certain pitchers. He could make the moves.
         The great sportswriter Grantland Rice wrote: “Stengel is a high-grade manager who knows his trade.”
         That first Stengel Yankee season was one that he had to cope with injuries. The famous Charlie Keller-Joe DiMaggio-Tommy Henrich outfield was never in place. The entire season was missed by Keller while DiMaggio’s damaged heel kept him out until late June.  Phil Rizzuto missed playing time. Coping, Stengel mixed and matched, patched in non-prime time performers, game by game the new manager managed and led the Yankees to the first of five straight world championships.
EDDIE LOPAT: When we won the World Series in 1949 and came to spring training the next year, Stengel told us: “Last year is past history. We never look back. We gotta go back and beat ’em again this year.” We had guys on the bench who could play as good as the starters. They hated to get on the bench because they knew they might not get back for three or four weeks, or ever.  When we played the other teams, we never underestimated them or ourselves.  Casey’s attitude was our attitude. They would have to run us off the field, but not in the newspapers. 
             Together with his wife Edna, Stengel lived with in Manhattan’s upscale Essex House. Formerly a silent screen movie star, a fashion plate, Edna selected Casey’s clothes. Off season, the Stengels lived in a big house in Glendale, California. At times there were 50 to 75 children there even though Casey and Edna had no offspring of their own. Edna’s nieces and nephews and the children of Yankee players and their wives were always around.
“It was real Yankee family back then,” Yogi Berra said. “Casey and Edna were like a father and mother to us all.”
             The Yankee pipeline of talent flowed in the Stengel years. There was a Stengel induced ferocious competition for playing time. Organizational loyalty, Yankee pride, were the cornerstones of Stengel’s way...
 Left-handed hitting Gene Woodling and right-handed hitting Hank Bauer often shared outfield duties.
  "We didn't like it,” Bauer said. “But you couldn't complain too much—we walked into the bank every October."
BILL SKOWRON: Case would leave us alone to get in shape in spring training. But when those last 10 days of spring training came around you knew you had to be better ready to play.
            Oh, how they were ready to play. The Stengel Yankees became so successful that the line “Rooting for the Yankees is like rooting for General Motors” became a back-handed put down.              
JERRY COLEMAN: Casey was a great, great manager, probably the greatest of all. He understood his players, what they could do and what they couldn’t do. He understood the front office – what they wanted from him.  He understood the media and that was vital in New York. He understood the fans – he was great communicator.
         BILL SKOWRON: Sure he wasn't that young, but he knew and we knew what we had to do. He'd leave us alone when we were winning. He'd holler 'butcher boy' and 'don't swing too hard at ground balls' and 'don't beat yourselves.' But when he saw us making mistakes, he'd get excited and do some yelling.   
     Always with a way with words, with his players, with the media, Charles Dillon Stengel was nobody’s fool and he knew every trick of the trade .He rode the “hot hand.” Platooning players, odd deployment of pinch hitters, strange pitching match-ups, playing hunches - - all were part of his managerial persona. 
     "Casey knew his baseball,” Sparky Anderson, another top manager said. “He only made it look like he was fooling around. He knew every move that was ever invented.”
            The man who for decades had traveled through baseball’s wilderness, was generally the only one who knew what the next day’s batting order would be, what the pitching rotation would look like.
 STAN LOMAX: There was no doubt that Casey was a newspaperman's best friend. He only used 'Stengelese' (his own special version of double-talk) when he didn't want to say anything. He would talk about how he met the King of England when he and George Kelly made a 'round-the-world tour. Case would talk you 'round the world in his talks, but if you were honest with Case . . . Case would be honest with you
          TONY KUBEK: There was the Casey Stengel who could talk for hours on the long 36 hours of train trips to Kansas City. There was the sensitive Casey Stengel. There was the Casey Stengel   of the Yankee pride.
            ROGER KAHN:  I suppose a highlight of the time I covered the Yankees was being in the bar in the press room where Casey Stengel used to hang out. He had writers divided into two categories: "my writers" and "the other guy."  I was one of his writers, and he would go on and on to me about all subjects.
            The amazing streak of five straight pennants and world championships for the New York Yankees began in 1949 and Casey Stengel won the “Manager of the Year” award. "I want to thank all these players,” he said in the clubhouse celebration, “for giving me the greatest thrill of my life. And to think they pay me for managing so great a bunch of boys."          
         By 1958, Stengel’s New York Yankees were still top dog in baseball winning the pennant by 10 games. The following year, however, they finished in third place—their lowest position in Stengel's tenure.
Nearing 70, impatient, he made moves in games that were questioned, that seemed strange even for a manager who had always made some unorthodox decisions. There was another Yankee pennant in 1960 but a loss in the World Series to the Pirates on Bill Mazeroski’s walk off home run.
That ended it for the Ol Perfessor. Owners Topping and Del Webb dissatisfied with Stengel for a few years, moved him out. The word was that he had been let go because of a mandatory retirement age of 65—just for him.
         “I commenced winning pennants when I got here,” Stengel told those gathered at a press conference, “But I didn’t commence getting any younger. They told me that my services were no longer desired because they wanted to put in a youth movement as an advance way of keeping the club going.  The trick is growing up without growing old. Most guys my age are dead at the present time anyway and you could look it up. I’ll never make the mistake of being seventy years old again.”    
  In Casey’s time as leader of the New York Yankees there were 10 pennants and seven world championships, the greatest run by any manager ever.  Only once in his dozen seasons did his teams win fewer than 90 games; his Yankee career managing record was 1,149-696, a winning percentage of .623.
Again the life in baseball continued for Charles Dillon Stengel. He was installed and allied again with George Weiss as manager of the New York Mets. That was where I came to meet him.
    Inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1966, Casey Stengel was fittingly selected as "Baseball's Greatest Manager" during the sport's centennial. He passed away on September 29, 1975 in Glendale, California.

One of the most prolific and respected sports journalists and oral historians in the United States, author of the autobiographies of legends Nolan Ryan, Tony Dorsett, and Red Holzman, Dr. Harvey Frommer is an expert on the New York Yankees and has arguably written more books, articles and reviews on the New York Yankees than anyone. In 2010, he was honored by the City of New York to serve as historical consultant for the re-imagined old Yankee Stadium site, Heritage Field.  A professor for more than two decades in the MALS program at Dartmouth College where he is known as “Dr. Baseball,” Frommer is the founder of www.HarveyFrommerSports.com.
Some of the material in this article is excerpted from his latest The Ultimate Yankee Book, available direct from the author or at Amazon.  http://www.frommerbooks.com/ultimate-yankees.html