Wednesday, August 24, 2016

COMING IN OCTOBER - Old -Time Baseball 2016 Edition - By Harvey Frommer

COMING IN OCTOBER
Old -Time Baseball 2016 Edition
By Harvey Frommer

http://www.lyonspress.com/book/9781630760069

The first edition of this book sub-titled America’s Pastime in the Golden Age was published in 2006. It remains one of my favorite works, delving deep into baseball’s storied past, filled with all kinds of insights and oddities to the way things were when the world of sports was a far different place.
The early environment of baseball games was that of a gentlemen's affair marked by the absence of spectators except for those invited by the teams. What spectators there were lolled about on the grass or sat on chairs or benches. The umpire was generally attired in tails and a tall black top hat, and in those early years he seated himself at a table along a baseline. Circa 1860, the general public became more and more involved as spectators, and winning replaced gentlemanly ways as baseball's operative factor. The Cincinnati Red Stockings began play in 1876 in the National League in a ball park located in an area known as Chester Park. In order to get to the ball game, fans had to ride on special trains or in carriages. Crowds of 3,000 were common and considered a good payday for the team. When the National League came into being, the White Stockings played their home games in a rickety wooden park on Dearborn between 23rd and 24th streets on Chicago's West Side. During the 1880s and 1890s most parks were surrounded by wooden stands and a wooden fence. Some of the stands were partially protected by a roof, while others were simple wooden seats of sun-bleached boards. That is how the word bleachers came to be. When those parks were filled to capacity, fans were allowed to stand around the infield or take up viewing perches in the far reaches of the outfield.

John B. Day transferred the Troy National League franchise to New York in 1883; arrangements were made for games to be played on the polo field of James Gordon Bennett, publisher of the New York Herald. For most of the 1880s, the team played its games on a field at 110th Street and Fifth Avenue, across from Central Park's northeast corner. In 1897,a game between Boston and Baltimore drew more than 25,000 fans, the overflow crowd was permitted to stand just a few feet behind the infielders, creating a situation where any ball hit into the throng was ruled an automatic ground-rule double . In 1899, the Giants moved to New York City plot 2106, lot 100, located between 155th and 157th streets at Eighth Avenue in upper Manhattan. The location was called "the new Polo Grounds," a horseshoe-shaped stadium with Coogan's Bluff on one side and the Harlem River on the other. The Polo Grounds seated 55,897, the most of any facility in the National League. A four-story, misshapen structure with seats close to the playing field and overhanging stands, it was an odd ball park that afforded fans the opportunity to be close to the action. There were 4,600 bleacher seats, 2,730 field boxes, 1,084 upper boxes, 5,138 upper reserved boxes, and 2,318 general admission seats. The majority of those who came to the Polo Grounds sat in the remaining lower general admission seats. The visitors' bullpen was just a bench located in the boondocks of left center field. There was no shade from the sun for the visitors or protection from Giant fans who pelted opposing pitchers with pungent projectiles. The upper left field deck hung over the lower deck; and it was virtually impossible for a fly ball to get into the lower deck because of the projection of the upper deck. The overhang triggered many arguments, for if a ball happened to graze the front of the overhang it was a home run. The double decks in right field were even. The short distances and the asymmetrical shape of the convoluted ball park resulted in drives rebounding off the right field and left field walls like billiard shots. And over the years hitters and fielders on the New York Giants familiar with the pool table walls of the ball park had a huge advantage over opposing teams. Fires and progress would make steel and concrete replace the wood and timber of the nineteenth century ball parks. The idiosyncratic dimensions of stadiums, the marching bands, even the real grass in many instances-all of these would ultimately become footnotes to baseball history. As late as 1900 some clubs even allowed fans to park their automobiles or carriages in the outfield. The environment at those games made it difficult for fans to follow the action clearly. Even though scorecards and programs were sold, no public address system existed, and there were no names or numbers on the players' uniforms. Players were sometimes pressed into service to double as ticket takers. And during breaks in the action on the field, the dull moments were enlivened by the festive performances of brass bands. The St. Louis National League entry was known as the Browns and then the Perfectos-an odd name for a club with a not so perfect track record. The team left the National League twice, then returned and finished twelfth twice, eleventh three times, tenth once, ninth once, and once in fifth place in the years 1892-99. To attract customers to Robinson Field, St. Louis owner Chris Von der Ahe transformed his ball park into what he called "the Coney Island of the West." He installed chute-the-chutes (tubs that plunged with their riders into a pool), night horseracing, a Wild West show. The popular tunes of the day were played by the Silver Cornet Band-an all-female aggregation bedecked in long striped skirts and elegant blouses with leg-of-mutton sleeves and broad white sailor hats. In 1899 Chris Von der Ahe changed the uniforms around in his zest for more color-the new garments featured red trim and red-striped stockings. The new uniforms brought new nicknames for the St. Louis team- Cardinals or Redbirds, they were called, and so they would remain. All of the above illustrates the curious and dramatic difference between the “then” and the “now” in the world of baseball. Just a taste of the fascinating content I collected to be a part of Old-Time Baseball: America’s Pastime in the Gilded Age

Enjoy
Harvey Frommer
Lyme, New Hampshire

****************************************************************
Dr. Harvey Frommer, a professor at Dartmouth College in the MALS program, is in his 40th year of writing books. A noted oral historian and sports journalist, he is the author of 42 sports books including the classics: best-selling “New York City Baseball, 1947-1957″ and best-selling Shoeless Joe and Ragtime Baseball,as well as his acclaimed Remembering Yankee Stadium and best-selling Remembering Fenway Park. His highly praised When It Was Just a Game: Remembering the First Super Bowl was published last fall.
His Frommer Baseball Classic – Remembering Yankee Stadium (Second Edition) is his newest sports effort. A link to purchase autographed copies of Frommer Sports Books is at: http://frommerbooks.com/
The prolific author is at work on THE ULTIMATE YANKEE BOOK (2017)

Friday, August 5, 2016

“All American Out” and other Yankee Nicknames By Harvey Frommer

“All American Out” and other Yankee Nicknames - By Harvey Frommer


Nicknames for the greatest baseball franchise ever have run the gamut. . Some of them are asinine. Some others are insulting. There are even a few that have gone down in history and are remembered for their relevance and insights. You be the judge.



“All American Out” – What Babe Ruth called Leo Durocher because of his limited hitting ability.
“Almighty Tired Man” - Mickey Rivers, for his slouching demeanor
"American Idle" - Carl Pavano was known as this because he could never stay on the field and stay healthy.
“An A-bomb from A-Rod” – home run call, John Sterling
"Battle of the Biltmore" - 1947 World Series celebration in Manhattan's Biltmore Hotel was a time and place where Larry MacPhail drunkenly fought with everyone ending his Yankee ownership time.
"Babe Ruth's Legs" - Sammy Byrd, employed as pinch runner for Ruth and "Bam-Bam" for Hensley Meulens, able to speak about five languages, but had a challenging name for some to pronounce.
"Banty rooster" - Casey Stengel’s nickname for Whitey Ford because of his style and attitude.
“Barrows” – Jacob Ruppert’s corruption of Ed Barrow’s name
"Billyball" - the aggressive style of play favored by Billy Martin.
"Biscuit Pants" - Lou Gehrig, reference to the way he filled out his trousers.

"Blind Ryne" - Ryne Duren’s vision, uncorrected -20/70 and 20/200.
"Bloody Angel" - During 1923 season the space between the bleachers and right-field foul line at Yankee Stadium was very asymmetrical causing crazy bounces. It was eliminated in 1924.
"Bob the Gob" - Bob Shawkey in 1918 served in the Navy as a yeoman petty officer.
"Boomer" - David Wells, for his in your face personality.
The “Boss” –George Steinbrenner and that he was. Reggie had labeled the owner "the big guy with the boats" long before he became the "The Boss"
"The Boston Massacre" - Red Sox collapse in 1978 and the Yankee sweep of a four game series in September.
"Broadway" - Shortstop Lyn Lary was married to Broadway star Mary Lawler.
"Bronx Bombers" - For the borough and home run power of Yankees.
"Bronx Zoo" - A derogatory reference to off color Yankee behavior on and off the playing field through the years and especially in the 1970s.
"Brooklyn Schoolboy" - Waite Hoyt had starred at Brooklyn’s Erasmus High School.
“Bruiser” – Hank Bauer, for his burly ways
"Bulldog" - Jim Bouton was dogged.
"Bullet Bob" - Bob Turley, for the pop on his fastball.
“Bullet Joe” – Joe Bush, for the pop he also could put on his fastball
“Bye-Bye"- Steve Balboni, the primary DH of the 1990 Yankees, 17 homers but .192 BA.
"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, out of Commerce, Oklahoma.
"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 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 displaying to the opposition on the 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.
"Gator" - Ron Guidry, for his hailing from Louisiana alligator country.

"Gay Caballero" - Lefty Gomez, for his Mexican roots and fun loving ways.
"Gay Reliever" - Joe Page, for his night owl activity.
“Gehrigville" – The old Bleachers in right-center at Yankee Stadium.
"The Godfather" - Joe Torre, for his Italian roots and his leadership skills on the baseball field.
“Godzilla” - Hideki Matsui, his power earned him the moniker after the power- packed film creature.
"Goofy" or "El Goofo" - Lefty Gomez, for his wild antics
"Gooneybird" - Don Larsen, for his late-night behavior.
"Goose" – Richard Michael Gossage, for his loose and lively style.
"Grandma" - Johnny Murphy, for his pitching motion, rocking chair style. Another explanation is that fellow Yankee Pat Malone gave him the name because of his complaining nature especially as regards food and lodgings.
"The Great Agitator" - Billy Martin, self-explanatory.
"The Great Debater" – Tommy Henrich, for his sometimes loquacious and argumentative ways.
"Happy Jack" - Jack Chesbro, for his time as an attendant at the state mental hospital in Middletown, New York where he pitched for the hospital team and showed off a very pleasant disposition.
"Holy Cow" - One of Phil Rizzuto's ways of expressing awe "Home Run Twins" (also “M & M Boys”) - Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris, phrase coined in 1961.
"Horse Nose" - Pat Collins via Babe Ruth, a reference to a facial feature.
"Iron Horse" - Lou Gehrig, for his power and steadiness.
"Joltin' Joe" - Joe DiMaggio, for the jolting shots he hit.
"Jumping Joe" - Joe Dugan, for being AWOL from his first big league club as a youngster.
"Junk Man" - Eddie Lopat, for frustrating hitters and keeping them off stride with an assortment of slow breaking pitches thrown with cunning and accuracy.
"Kentucky Colonel" - Earl Combs, for his Kentucky roots.
"The King and the Crown Prince" - Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig, self-evident.

"King Kong" - Charlie Keller, for his muscular body type and black, bushy brows. Keller hated the nick-name. When Phil Rizzuto used it, Keller would pick him up in one hand and kiddingly stuff “the Scooter” into locker.
"Knight of Kennett Square" - Herb Pennock, for his raising of thoroughbreds and hosting of fox hunts in his hometown of Kennett Square, Pennsylvania.
"Knucksie" - Phil Niekro, for his knuckleball.
"Larrupin' Lou" - Lou Gehrig - Named by the press for his hitting, he also used the name for his barnstorming team he ran during the off-season.
"The Lip" - Leo Durocher, for his mouth.
"Lonesome George" - George Weiss, for his aloof ways.
"Mail Carrier "- Earle Combs, for his speed and base stealing skills.
"Major" - Ralph Houk, for rank held in the Armed Forces and demeanor.
"Man nobody knows" - Bill Dickey, for his blandness.
"Man of a Thousand Curves" – for Johnny Sain and his assortment of curve balls.
"Man in the Iron Hat" - Captain Tillinghast L'Hommedieu Huston, for the same squashed derby hat he wore over and over again.
"Marse Joe" - Joe McCarthy, for his commanding style.
"Master Builder in Baseball" - Jacob Ruppert, and that he was.
"The Merry Mortician" -Waite Hoyt, for his cheery soul and off-season mortician work.
"The Mick" - short for Mickey (Mantle).

"Mick the Quick" - Mickey Rivers, for his speed.
"Mickey Mouth" - for Mickey Rivers and his motor mouth.
"Mighty Mite" - Miller Huggins, for his size and power.
"Milkman" - Jim Turner, for an off-season job delivering milk.
"Mr. Automatic" - Mariano Rivera, for his virtually unflappable behavior and special skills as a Yankee stopper.
"Mr. May" - George Steinbrenner's sarcastic jibe at Dave Winfield because of his postseason struggles as compared to Reggie Jackson's successes and Mr. October nick-name.
“Mister Consistent” – Roy White, and that he was "Mr. November" - Derek Jeter, for his World Series home run, the first of November, 2001.
"Mr. October" - In Game Five of the 1977 ALCS Billy Martin benched Reggie Jackson. In a comeback win against Kansas City Jackson returned to slap a single. Thurman Munson sarcastically called Jackson "Mr. October."
“Mo” - Mariano Rivera, a shortening
"Moose" - Bill Skowron’ s, grandfather called him Mussolini because of a resemblance to Mussolini. As the story goes, the family shortened the nickname to "Moose."
"Murderer's Row" - Yankee lineup boasting powerful batters: standard version was the meat of the 1927 lineup of Tony Lazzeri, Lou Gehrig, Babe Ruth, Earl Combs and Bob Meusel. Backup version was the 1919 entry of Ping Bodie, Roger Peckinpaugh, Duffy Lewis and Home Run Baker.
"Muscles" - Many in the press referred to the Mick as "muscles" because of his huge arms.
"My writers" - Casey Stengel's phrase for journalists he was close to.

****************************************************************
Dr. Harvey Frommer, a professor at Dartmouth College in the MALS program, is in his 40th year of writing books. A noted oral historian and sports journalist, he is the author of 42 sports books including the classics: best-selling “New York City Baseball, 1947-1957″ and best-selling Shoeless Joe and Ragtime Baseball,as well as his acclaimed Remembering Yankee Stadium and best-selling Remembering Fenway Park. His highly praised When It Was Just a Game: Remembering the First Super Bowl was published last fall.
His Frommer Baseball Classic – Remembering Yankee Stadium (Second Edition) is his newest sports effort. A link to purchase autographed copies of Frommer Sports Books is at: http://frommerbooks.com/
The prolific author is at work on THE ULTIMATE YANKEE BOOK (2017)

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Babe Ruth’s Great-Grandson Visits St. Petersburg Museum of History Friday Before Throwing 1st Pitch at Rays-Yankees

July 25, 2016

Contact: Will Darnall
PR & Marketing Manager
St. Petersburg Museum of History
Cell: 813.400.8743




Babe Ruth’s Great-Grandson Visits St. Petersburg Museum of History Friday Before Throwing 1st Pitch at Rays-Yankees



Brent Stevens to donate autographed baseball from the surviving family of the legendary slugger whose longest home run smash was recorded in St. Petersburg

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – A very special addition gets donated to the world’s largest collection of autographed baseballs at the St. Petersburg Museum of History at 2 PM Friday, July 29, when Babe Ruth’s great-grandson Brent Stevens donates a signed baseball from his family to the “Schrader’s Little Cooperstown” exhibition.



Stevens’ visit coincides with Friday’s 2 PM book signing by local historian and author Will Michaels, whose new book Hidden History of St. Petersburg chronicles multiple chapters about Babe Ruth’s adventures in St. Petersburg during spring training in the 1920s and 1930s. It’s documented that Ruth crushed a home run more than 600 feet at the site of the current Al Lang Stadium -- baseball’s longest hit ever.
Stevens, a resident of Atlanta, is also scheduled to throw out the first pitch at Friday night’s Rays-Yankees game at Tropicana Field. His autographed ball will add to the
museum’s “Schrader’s Little Cooperstown” collection, featuring nearly 5,000 autographed baseballs, the most of any baseball collection in the world.



“Babe’s daughter visited a couple years ago, and now to have his great-grandson explore the exhibit only adds to the historic value of this amazing exhibit,” said Rui Farias, Executive Director. “Coupled with the book debut of Will Michael’s Hidden History of St. Petersburg, it should be another historic day in St. Pete.”



WHAT: Babe Ruth’s great-grandson Brent Stevens donates ball from his family to St. Petersburg Museum of History & book signing by Will Michaels for Hidden History of St. Petersburg
WHEN: 2 PM Friday, July 29
WHERE: St. Petersburg Museum of History, 335 2nd Avenue NE


ABOUT:
Sharing the Sunshine City’s stories for nearly a Century, the St. Petersburg Museum of History is Pinellas County’s oldest museum and home to more than 30,000 artifacts and archives in its collection. Located along the scenic and historic downtown waterfront, the St. Petersburg Museum of History hosts year-round temporary exhibitions such as Experience Cuba, and is also home to permanent exhibitions such as the world’s largest collection of autographed baseballs, “Schrader’s Little Cooperstown,” and Flight One Gallery, where guests can explore the world’s first airliner and the birth of commercial aviation. The St. Petersburg Museum of History is open 362 days a year.



St Petersburg Museum of History - Saint Petersburg, FL, United States. Great history.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

26 to 35 – New York Yankees By the Numbers - by Harvey Frommer

26 to 35 – New York Yankees By the Numbers
By Harvey Frommer

Numerology – amounts, stats quantities, numerals, whatever you call them – they keep on coming. Reaction has been so positive, that herewith the latest installment for numerals for the team from the Bronx. Please send along your own numbers. Will credit your selection if used.


26
No Yankee pitcher has won 26 games in a regular season since Lefty Gomez in 1934.
Only Joe DiMaggio and Mickey Mantle recorded more hits by age 26 than Derek Jeter.
27
       
Number of General Managers that worked during George Steinbrenner’s tenure. 

28
Of the 60 record-setting home runs hit by Babe Ruth in 1927, 28 were at Yankee Stadium.

29
Joe DiMaggio, most homers by a Yankee rookie, 1939.
Mel Allen was a Yankee broadcaster for 29 seasons, television and radio.   
Whitey Ford over a 16 year career had 29 bases stolen off him.  
Paul O’Neill was awarded the 29th plaque in Monument Park. 
30
Wee Willie Keeler’s bat length, measured in inches, shortest ever. 
Yogi Berra, most home runs in a season by a Yankee catcher, 1952, and 1956 
    Eddie Lopat, Mel Stottlemyre, Willie Randolph all wore #30.                                                     
Roger Maris, of his 61 home runs in 1961, 30 were hit at Yankee Stadium.  

31  
Bobby Richardson retired from the Yankees at the age of 31 and became baseball coach at the University of South Carolina. 
32 
Most passed balls as a team in a season, 1913        
         Earle Combs was given uniform #1 and as a leadoff man could have become the first Yankee player to bat identified by a uniform number. However, Yankees had a rain delay that day. Cleveland played before the Yankees and it’s likely one of their players wore the #1 first in 1929. So Combs would have been the first Yankees but not major leaguer to wear a number. 
When Combs became a Yankee coach in 1936, he chose uniform #32.  
Uniform number of Elston Howard, retired July 21, 1984
Number of Yankee managers all time through Joe Girardi  
 33
Second longest hitting streak in franchise history, Hal Chase, 1907
Number worn by Bill Dickey as Yankee coach.         

                                 
33 1/3 
Mariano Rivera’s longest post-season scoreless innings pitched.

34
Pitcher Foster Edwards in 1930 was the first Yankee to wear this number. 
35
Outfielder Dixie Walker in 1931 was the first Yankee to wear this number.

****************************************************************
Dr. Harvey Frommer, a professor at Dartmouth College in the MALS program, is in his 40th year of writing books. A noted oral historian and sports journalist, he is the author of 42 sports books including the classics: best-selling “New York City Baseball, 1947-1957″ and best-selling Shoeless Joe and Ragtime Baseball,as well as his acclaimed Remembering Yankee Stadium and best-selling Remembering Fenway Park. His highly praised When It Was Just a Game: Remembering the First Super Bowl was published last fall.
His Frommer Baseball Classic – Remembering Yankee Stadium (Second Edition) is his newest sports effort. A link to purchase autographed copies of Frommer Sports Books is at: http://frommerbooks.com/
The prolific author is at work on THE ULTIMATE YANKEE BOOK (2017)

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Daring, Definitive New York Yankees Quiz 9 - By Dr. Harvey Frommer

Daring, Definitive New York Yankees Quiz 9
By Dr. Harvey Frommer



Lots of terrific questions and answers were sent along but only a few made my editorializing. Keep them coming. You do not have to be a Yankee fan to take the quiz – it’s sort of a brain teaser. Go to it

94. Who said: "I won't be active in the day to day operations of the ball club at all."
A. Jake Ruppert B. Casey Stengel C. George Steinbrenner D. Yogi Berra.

95. Who said and why: "They told me my services were no longer desired because they wanted to put in a youth program as an advance way of keeping the club going. I'll never make the mistake of being seventy again."
A. Casey Stengel B. Bucky Harris C. Miller Huggins D. none of these

96. Who struck out more times during their respective careers, Babe Ruth or Mickey Mantle?

97. Who loved the expression - "That huckleberry?"
A. Red Barber B. Phil Rizzuto C. Mel Allen D. Suzyn Waldman

98. Who was known as the 'oh, say can you see' guy?
A. Robert Merrill B. Whitey Ford C. Phil Linz D. None of these

99. Name two Yankees who were called “Moose.”

100. Which of the following Yankee books was not written by Harvey Frommer?
A. Five O’clock Lightning B. A Yankee Century C. The Bronx Zoo
D. Remembering Yankee Stadium

101. Name the first season the Yankees drew over 3 million fans at Yankee Stadium?
A. 1999 B.1969 C. 2009 D. 1989

102. Which Yankee Hall of Famer did Branch Rickey once predict would "never make anything more than a Triple-A ballplayer at best?" A. Mickey Mantle B. Ron Guidry C. Yogi Berra D. none of these

103 How many total Gold Glove Awards did "Donnie Baseball" win?
A. 6 B 7 C. 8 D. 9

104. In 1933, Babe Ruth hit the first home run in All-Star Game history. In what
park did he hit the historic home run?





===================================================================





ANSWERS



94. C. George Steinbrenner after he purchased the Yankees from CBS.
95. A. Casey Stengel, when he was fired by the Yankees
96. (Mantle 1,710 vs. Ruth 1,330)
97. B. Phil Rizzuto
98. A. Robert Merrill, the famed opera singer who graced Yankee Stadium by singing the national anthem.
99. Bill Skowron, Mike Mussina
100. C. The Bronx Zoo
101. A.
102 C. Yogi Berra
103 D. 9
104. Comiskey Park, Chicago

----------------------------------------

Dr. Harvey Frommer, a professor at Dartmouth College in the MALS program, is in his 40th year of writing books. A noted oral historian and sports journalist, he is the author of 42 sports books including the classics: best-selling “New York City Baseball, 1947-1957″ and best-selling Shoeless Joe and Ragtime Baseball,as well as his acclaimed Remembering Yankee Stadium and best-selling Remembering Fenway Park. His highly praised When It Was Just a Game: Remembering the First Super Bowl was published last fall.


His Frommer Baseball Classic – Remembering Yankee Stadium (Second Edition) is his newest sports effort.A link to purchase autographed copies of Frommer Sports Books is at: http://frommerbooks.com/

Saturday, July 9, 2016

REMEMBERING THE 1939 ALL-STAR GAME AT YANKEE STADIUM ​​​By Harvey Frommer

 REMEMBERING THE 1939 ALL-STAR GAME AT YANKEE STADIUM
By Harvey Frommer

The buzz for the 2016 All-Star Game is all about a National League starting infield of the Chicago Cubs and a half dozen Boston Red Sox on the American League roster. Flashback to 1939 and Yankee Stadium and there is plenty of buzz about that time.  
It was only the seventh All-Star Game ever played. Yankee Stadium was selected as the site in order for it to link in with the 1939 New York City World’s Fair. A box seat ticket for the All-Star Game cost $2.20. Bleacher seats were 55 cents. One could buy a scorecard for a nickel.
Just the week before “Lou Gehrig Day” had been staged at the Stadium. Now the “Iron Horse” was on hand as an honorary member of the American League team.
“It was a beautiful day,” Bob Feller remembered. “Not too hot, but warm enough. It was just a beautiful day at Yankee Stadium.”
There were 62,892 jammed into the big ballpark in the Bronx. When the American League lineup was announced, a fan sceamed out: "Make Joe McCarthy play an All-Star American League team. We can beat them, but we can't beat the Yankees.” 
Six starters were Yankees – Red Rolfe, Bill Dickey, George Selkirk, Joe Gordon, Red Ruffing and Joe DiMaggioWith manager Joe McCarthy, and non-starters Frank Crosetti, Lefty Gomez and Johnny Murphy, there were ten Yankees on the All-Star team.Eleven, if Lou Gehrig was counted.
        The SRO crowd was especially charged up seeing Yankee favorite hurler Red Ruffing start the game and all position starters play the entire contest. Joe DiMaggio’s homer run highlighted the 3-1 American League triumph in a game that took just one hour and 55 minutes to play. Times sure have changed. 
After the All-Star break, the Yanks went on a tear winning 35 of 49 games. The "Yankee Clipper" finished first in batting average, second in RBIs and third in home runs. Bill Dickey, George Selkirk, Joe Gordon and Joe DiMaggio drove in more than 100 runs each. The Yankees led the American League in home runs, RBIs, slugging percentage, walks, runs, and fielding percentage.  
Allowing nearly 150 runs fewer than any other team in the league, the  Yankees outscored their opponents by 411, a greater run differential than any other team in history. They took the pennant finishing 17 games ahead of second place BostonNo wonder they had so many players on that 1939 All Star team.

Dr. Harvey Frommer, a professor at Dartmouth College in the MALS program, is in his 40th year of writing books. A noted oral historian and sports journalist, he is the author of 42 sports books including the classics: best-selling “New York City Baseball, 1947-1957″ and best-selling Shoeless Joe and Ragtime Baseball,as well as his acclaimed Remembering Yankee Stadium and best-selling Remembering Fenway Park. His highly praised When It Was Just a Game: Remembering the First Super Bowl was published last fall.


His Frommer Baseball Classic – Remembering Yankee Stadium (Second Edition) is his newest sports effort.A link to purchase autographed copies of Frommer Sports Books is at: http://frommerbooks.com/

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Dave Righetti 4th of July No-Hitter by Harvey Frommer

DAVE RIGHETTI: THE NO HITTER, JULY 4, 1983.
          A holiday crowd of 41,077 was on hand at Yankee Stadium on Independence Day. Many of the fans wore Yankee hats that had been given away as a promotion for the game against the Boston Red Sox.


Dave Righetti 4th of July No-Hitter by Harvey Frommer         
 Dave Righetti had come to the Yankees in a multiple player deal that sent Sparky Lyle to Texas. His major league debut was as an end of the season call up on September 16, 1979.  But it was not until 1981 that he returned to the Yankees to stay.
            American League Rookie of the Year that 1981 season (8-4, 2.06 ERA), the player they called "Rags" won twice against  Milwaukee in divisional play and once over Oakland in the LCS.
          On this warm and sunny day, the 24-year-old Dave Righetti would make history. He would pitch a no-hitter against the BoSox. The stylish hurler walked four and struck out nine men, including Wade Boggs for the final out. Boggs, hitting .357 at the time, went down swinging on a hard slider, Righetti’s bread and butter pitch that day.

          FRANK MESSER (GAME CALL, WABC RADIO):
          The Yankees lead, 4-0. Glenn Hoffman is at second base, two outs, in the top of the ninth inning. And Dave Righetti on the threshold of making history here at Yankee Stadium. He set, the kick, and the pitch. . . HE STRUCK HIM OUT! RIGHETTI HAS PITCHED A NO-HITTER! DAVE RIGHETTI HAS PITCHED A NO-HITTER!

          Ironically, it would be Righetti’s  last season as a regular starting pitcher. The next year, he replaced Goose Gossage as the Yankees closer, and in 1986 went on to set the then-major league single season save record of 46.

          The fourth of July no-hitter was the first by a lefthander in Yankee Stadium history, the first no-hitter by a Yankee pitcher since 1956, when Don Larsen tossed a perfect game. It was only the sixth regular-season no-hitter in Yankees history and the first since 1951.

Dr. Harvey Frommer, a professor at Dartmouth College in the MALS program, is in his 40th year of writing books. A noted oral historian and sports journalist, he is the author of 42 sports books including the classics: best-selling “New York City Baseball, 1947-1957″ and best-selling Shoeless Joe and Ragtime Baseball,as well as his acclaimed Remembering Yankee Stadium and best-selling Remembering Fenway Park. His highly praised When It Was Just a Game: Remembering the First Super Bowl was published last fall.


His Frommer Baseball Classic – Remembering Yankee Stadium (Second Edition) is his newest sports effort.A link to purchase autographed copies of Frommer Sports Books is at: http://frommerbooks.com/



The prolific author is at work on THE ULTIMATE YANKEE BOOK (2017)

Thursday, June 16, 2016

SportsBookShelf By Dr. Harvey Frommer - Jackie Robinson in Quotes and Other Worthies

SportsBookShelf
By Dr. Harvey Frommer


Jackie Robinson in Quotes and Other Worthies


It is the time of year when all types of sports books on all types of subject flood the market. Baseball books generally dominate, but others make their bid for readership. What follows are reviews of some that make late Father’s Day gift, make good beach reading, make for a place on your reading list.





, Dan Peary is a veteran sports author who knows his way around baseball history. This time he has out-done himself with a voluminous collection of words said about and spoken by his subject Jackie Robinson.

Author/editor of Derek Jeter: A Career in Quotes, Peary is at it again in this 436 page opus. We are there through all the decades experiencing all the points of view. The book is about baseball or rather baseball is the backdrop. Number 42 Jackie Robinson is always in the foreground. Quips, insights, memories, stories, rants, raves are all other Peary’s gem. Your loyal reviewer has written quite a bit about the subject is nicely represented in Jackie Robinson in Quotes. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

“Legends of Giants Baseball” by Mike Shannon (Black Squirrel Books, Kent State University Press), is a slim and over-sized volume of 86 pages. Devoted to a small sampling of Giant greats it is a terrific book for fans of the team.

FAST PITCH by Erica Westly (Touchstone, $26.00, 289 pages) is sub-titled “the Untold History of Softball and the Women Who Made the Game. I would argue with the sub-title’s claim for there is much in the book that is common knowledge. Nevertheless, Fast Pitch is a worthy and wonderful contribution showing great effort and research to get at the core of these women pioneers and the trail they blazed. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

HANDSOME RANSOM JACKSON by Ransom Jackson, Jr. (Rowman & Littlefield, 262 pages) is a long over-due memoir of life in baseball in the 1950s.
We are brought back to a time of eight teams in each league, more intimate relationships between teams and players and front office in an era before free agency. There is humor, pathos, detail and headlines in this winner of a book. TERRIFIC READ.

Brian Kenny’s AHEAD OF THE CURVE (Simon&Schuster, $28.00, 353 pages) is a lengthy tract by the leader of mainstream media gurus in the field
of analytics. He goes inside what he calls “the baseball revolution” to chapter and verse it on such subject matter as “Bullpenning,” “When Bad Contracts Happen to Good People,” “The Mid-Education of the Voting Sportswriter” and much more, The Emmy Award winning sportscaster takes no prisoners but dumps on what he calls “the nostalgia bin.” Provocative, even ground-breaking – if you want to get a glimmer of what it would be like to get an entirely new take on baseball, buy the book.


18 HOLES WITH BING by Nathaniel Crosby and John Strege (Dey Street, $22.99, 211 pages is a winning memoir by Bing Crosby’s son. A bit over-priced for such a slim volume, what is here nevertheless is choice stuff all the way thru as we are taken up close and personal into the life and times of an entertainment and golfing legend.  BUY IT
     

Dr. Harvey Frommer, a professor at Dartmouth College in the MALS program, is in his 40th year of writing books. A noted oral historian and sports journalist, he is the author of 42 sports books including the classics: best-selling “New York City Baseball, 1947-1957″ and best-selling Shoeless Joe and Ragtime Baseball,as well as his acclaimed Remembering Yankee Stadium and best-selling Remembering Fenway Park. His highly praised When It Was Just a Game: Remembering the First Super Bowl was published last fall.


His Frommer Baseball Classic – Remembering Yankee Stadium (Second Edition) is his newest sports effort.A link to purchase autographed copies of Frommer Sports Books is at: http://frommerbooks.com/



The prolific author is at work on THE ULTIMATE YANKEE BOOK (2017)

Sunday, June 5, 2016

ALI AND THE FIFTH STREET GYM (Adapted from It Happened in Miami, An Oral History by Myrna Katz Frommer and Harvey Frommer)

ALI AND THE FIFTH STREET GYM

(Adapted from It Happened in Miami, An Oral History by Myrna Katz Frommer and Harvey Frommer)



With the passing of one of our all-time favorites, with affection for Muhammad Ali and his memory, we proudly present this excerpt.



“Cassius Clay was born in Louisville. But Muhammad Ali was born in Miami.” –Ferdie Pacheco


DAVE ROGERS: The Fifth Street Gym on Fifth Street and Washington Avenue was iconic. People came there from all walks of life. There was no air conditioning. It was musty. It smelled of sweat -- boxers sweat. There was a back room with a bed and mattress, a place where the boxers would shower, towel off.

BERNIE ROSEN: There was no elevator. You had to walk up two flights of steps to the first floor. Sitting right there at a table would be Chris Dundee who ran the gym. He used to charge 25 cents to let people in to see the fighters train. If he knew you, you paid nothing.

LUISTA PACHECO: I remember one guy didn't want to pay the quarter because, he said, he was the press.
"Press my pants," he was told.

BERNIE ROSEN: In 1960, after Ali – the young Cassius Clay then -- won the Olympic light heavyweight championship gold medal, he was managed by the people that made Seagram's Whiskey in Louisville, Kentucky. Those people had him come down here to Miami to be trained and managed by Angelo Dundee who got him a little apartment in Overtown.

FERDIE PACHECO: That was when I met Cassius Clay. He came to my office in the ghetto in Miami at North West Second Avenue and 10th Street. I thought he was the most exceptional looking individual I had ever seen in a boxer. He was beautiful, he was shapely, all his muscles were in the right places. And he was extremely fast, fast with his mouth, talked all the time. He was not an intelligent man in the conventional sense. He was totally instinctive, just did the right thing , and he was very funny. He could charm anyone even my usually uncharmable old Baptist
Church nurse, Miss Mabel Norwood, who summed him up: “That boy is either going to be the champion of the world or he’s crazy.”
Ali was a solitary figure then with nobody to keep him company, an 18-year-old, new to the big city of Miami, trying to find out what it was like. He had no guy friends. He had no girlfriends. All he had was the Fifth Street Gym and Angelo Dundee and Chris Dundee. That’s who he had. But inside of two months, he had taken over. He was a magnetic figure. The whole town was following him around. If you hung around him, you became attached to him and were under his spell.


LUISTA PACHECO: Ali was such an unassuming person. He didn’t care about getting dressed up, he would always wear black. He was so kind to everyone. He would collect antique cars, ride around in the cars, and talk with Ferdie.
I was a dancer and dance teacher, and from my expert point of view, he was very light on his feet.

DAVE ROGERS: Sarria, a Latin guy, would massage Ali in the back room, work his muscles with the cream and all that. Once when Ali was getting his massage and workout, I tried to get into the room, and this big black Muslim guy -- he was wearing one of those hats that look like yarmulkes – was standing at the door blocking my way. “Man, you can’t come in here,” he said.
But Ali overruled him. “Hey, that’s my man Jesus,” he said. That came from the time I was wearing a little beard like Mephistopheles, and the cut man, Angelo Dundee, introduced me to Ali saying: “This is my friend, Jesus Christ.” After that, and for all the years that I knew him, Ali called me Jesus.
I saw things between Angelo and Ali that most people didn’t see, didn’t know. There was such a close tie. Ali seemed to have a great love for Angelo, and Angelo for him. He would put his arm next to Angelo who was Italian and had dark skin, and he’d say, “Angelo, you a nigger; you more of a nigger than I am.” But lovingly.

BERNIE ROSEN: Angelo and his brother Chris founded the Fifth Street Gym in the early fifties. Angelo was one of the top trainers in the 20th century. Chris was a promoter of the fights in the Miami Beach auditorium, the place where Jackie Gleason would eventually put on his shows. I would go over every single Monday and do a preview of the fights, and Chris would put on shows every Tuesday night. We used to shoot one of the fights and run it back to the station to have it processed and put on the air. That was a huge thing back then.


DAVE ROGERS: We used to go to Wolfie’s after the Tuesday night fights: Angelo, Chris, Ferdie Pacheco -- the fight doctor who had a medical practice in Liberty City and would regale us with all kinds of stories -- and Jimmy Ellis, the fighter. They were all part of Ali’s entourage.
“Angelo, give me a couple of dollies,” Ali would say. Dollies, not dollars. Angelo would support fighters who needed money. He kept one pocket for singles and one pocket for larger bills.
Every day, I’d pick up Angelo, and we’d go to the gym. A lot of people came to the gym, guys from all walks of life. They would come off the street, up the steps, and there on the right would be this little guy sitting at a desk, always with a cigar. That was Sully Emmet, a true Damon Runyon character.
I was in the insurance business and insured a place on 23rd Street called Ollie’s. It had great steaks and hamburgers with special seasoning.
Ollie had a girlfriend, Terry. They would argue; the language was terrible. Whenever he and Terry had a fight, he’d go out in the back and smoke his cigar. He was always smoking a cigar. Sometimes the ashes would fall on the hamburgers. “Ah,” he’d say, “that’s what makes it good.”
I took Ali to Ollie’s. There was a bus outside filled with a class of kids. Ali went over to the bus and made like he was boxing, hitting the window of the bus. Then we went in. I said to him, “You’ll get only one Ollie burger. That’s all you’ll get.” (In those days they would name a burger after someone.)
Ali said, “I want another one.”
“You can’t get another one.” Then Ollie came over. “Ali, for you, there’s another one.”
Angelo brought Moe Fleisher along. He was a guy who sold boxing shows from New York and was publisher of Ring Magazine.
We’d go out for lunch, and Moe would invariably say “I have to go meet the girl.” The girl lived in the Tropics Hotel on Collins Avenue and 15th Street (I wrote the insurance for the building). He was 86 at the time; she was 84.
Once I was with Moe in the Convention Center. We go to the bathroom. He’s standing next to me in from of the latrine. Before anything starts, he looks down and he says “Son of a bitch, you died before I did.” That was Moe Fleisher.
Another time at the Convention Center, Ali’s standing next to me. “Muhammad,” I tell him, “One of the fighters at the gym is gay.”
He says, “Who is it?”
“I can’t tell you; he’ll beat the crap out of me.”
“Tell me. No one’s gonna touch you.”
“I can’t tell you.”
“Come on, you gotta tell me.”
I say, “Bend over, I’ll whisper it to you.”
He bends over. I kiss him on the cheek. He slides down the wall, hysterical.
I called Ali the Pied Piper of Hamelin. He would talk to everyone, give autographs to everyone. He was a real good guy.


LUISTA PACHECO: When Ali was at the Fifth Street Gym, chairs were lined up all around the ring. People would scream and yell as he shadow-boxed around. Other fighters were training there, but it was never packed the way it was when he was there.
JOSEPH KRUTEL: I’d see Ali there, watch him spar, sit on his lap. The Fifth Street Gym had to be the greatest one location on Miami Beach when it came to sports. I used to go there with my father and a group of guys. We saw Sonny Liston fight there. My father would be in the huddle in the ring; he shot it on 16 mm. My father was best friends with Angelo Dundee. I saw the training that was done with Angelo. I saw Ferdie Pacheo, the most famous fight doctor ever known in sports, and his wife Luista at the gym. They were my mom’s dear friends.

FERDIE PACHECO: “The Fight Doctor” name for me was New York stuff. That was hardly all that I was. I was a scholar who gave lectures at Harvard and all over.
I liked every boxer I ever took care of. I was a hero to people because I was taking care of their heroes. There is something ennobling about taking care of people who are on their last legs, 18, 19 years old and they don’t know what to do with themselves.
The Cuban boxers were my favorites. They came to Miami completely lost. They were political exiles and had been oppressed, horribly. I took them into my house and let them sleep in the garage. I had a Cuban maid. She was a great cook, and she cooked the food they liked, lots of it. They all made money and all became champions.
I met Angelo Dundee around the time I came to Miami to live. “I like boxing and jazz,” I told him. “Any boxer that gets cut I will sew him up for nothing. I will take care of his medical
needs. For the rest of your life you will never have to write out a check for me. On the other hand, I want a ticket to every fight you promote -- for me and my wife and maybe more if I want to bring friends.” He got a good deal. So did I. He saved himself at least a hundred, two hundred thousand dollars. For my part, because of Ali, worlds of interest opened up to me that I had never known. I
ause of Ali. Because I knew Ali, people wanted to know me, to help me.

RED HELLER: Maybe the most dramatic moment in my time with Ali was February 25, 1964 at the Convention Hall in Miami. It was Cassius Clay versus Sonny Liston – the heavyweight championship of the world on the line. It was a pure boxing match. Nobody, they said, could beat Sonny Liston. Nobody. He was considered totally indestructible. Huge, muscular, murderous, a murderous man.
In the opening seconds at the weigh-in, Clay called Liston "a big ugly bear." The champ was stunned. His eyes burned with anger at this young pup of a challenger. Clay was a 22-year-old, still like a high school kid, as innocent as could be. He had learned from the people in the gym that the people in the penitentiary were scared of only one kind of person, a crazy person. Sonny Liston was the only kind of person who could kill you inside the gym, inside the ring, inside the penitentiary.
There was no one outside of Angelo Dundee and me around who thought Clay would win. There were 46 writers who covered the fight; 43 predicted Liston would be the winner. He was a 7-1 favorite. But once you saw the way the young man trained, you knew he was going to beat Liston.
No one was faster or stronger. Never was there a heavyweight champion built by God like Muhammad Ali. Not many remember that his record was 19-0. That is what earned him his shot against the heavyweight champion, Sonny Liston.

BERNIE ROSEN: I will tell you a story. I was at the Liston-Ali fight. We had a camera set up in Sonny Liston's post interview room. Everyone had a camera in there. There was no thought that Cassius Clay could win. He was the underdog of underdogs. But just in case, I had a second camera set up in Clay’s interview room.

FERDIE PACHECO: Liston was a two-step fighter. He shuffled two steps forward and then jabbed. But once the fight started and Liston did the two step, Ali timed it and saw he was able to handle it. Liston was used to hitting people once and knocking them down. He was hitting
Clay, but Clay wasn’t budging, and Liston wasn’t hurting him. “I felt good ‘cause I knew I could survive,” Ali said.

BERNIE ROSEN: Liston had a substance on his glove. Back then they were not that active in checking everything.


FERDIE PACHECO: In the fourth round, Liston rubbed some substance into Ali’s eyes. The round ended. Ali came back to the corner. “My eyes burn,” he said. “They put something in my eye. I can’t see. Cut off my gloves, Angelo, cut off the gloves. I want to prove to the world there's dirty work afoot. I want to end the fight now.”
Angelo calmed him down. I got the sponge and poured water into his eyes trying to cleanse whatever was there. Angelo put his pinkie in his eye and then put his pinkie into my eye. It burned like hell.
It turned out that Clay’s eyes were rubbed with a substance from Liston’s gloves. Angelo expertly threw more water in Clay’s eyes and yelled – “Run, run, run,” until his eyes cleared.
As Clay went out for the next round, Dundee told him “Just run, run. Keep away as much as you can.”

Clay did run and shuffle. He landed shots as the rounds moved along and his eyes cleared. Liston went on the defensive. He did not answer the bell for the start of the seventh round leaving Cassius Clay a TKO and the world championship. “I shook up the world,” Ali said afterwards. “I shook up the world.”

Dr. Harvey Frommer, a professor at Dartmouth College in the MALS program, is in his 40th year of writing books. A noted oral historian and sports journalist, he is the author of 42 sports books including the classics: best-selling “New York City Baseball, 1947-1957″ and best-selling Shoeless Joe and Ragtime Baseball,as well as his acclaimed Remembering Yankee Stadium and best-selling Remembering Fenway Park. His highly praised When It Was Just a Game: Remembering the First Super Bowl was published last fall.
His Frommer Baseball Classic – Remembering Yankee Stadium (Second Edition) is his newest sports effort.A link to purchase autographed copies of Frommer Sports Books is at: http://frommerbooks.com/
The prolific author is at work on THE ULTIMATE YANKEE BOOK (2017)