Friday, August 31, 2018

A Radical Pitch to Save Baseball

A Radical Pitch to Save Baseball
A pair of academics offer a dramatic rule to increase competitiveness—and cut almost a half-hour from a nine-inning game
Two academics created a rule change they believe will make baseball a more exciting sport—and cut almost a half-hour out of a nine-inning game.
Two academics created a rule change they believe will make baseball a more exciting sport—and cut almost a half-hour out of a nine-inning game. Photo: winslow townson/Reuters
Jason Gay
Aug. 29, 2018 1:09 p.m. ET
This has been the summer of throwing rocks at baseball.
Baseball is too long. It’s too slow. There are too many noncompetitive teams. The Baltimore Orioles are going to lose 2,000 games.
Baseball’s trying. It’s tinkering with breaks between innings and rules on intentional walks and pitcher’s mound visits, but it doesn’t feel like enough. It’s like waiting for your great-great-grandpa to put on his socks, shoes and suspenders.
In the meantime, fears are growing that the game is losing relevance.
Is it time for a radical proposal? Two academics—one a game theorist affiliated with New York University, the other a computer scientist—think so. They created a rule change they believe will make baseball a more exciting sport—and cut almost a half-hour out of a nine-inning game.
It’s called the Catch-Up Rule, and it’s the work of NYU game theorist and professor Steven J. Brams and computer scientist Aaron Isaksen. It’s pretty wild stuff, and I need you to keep an open mind. Let’s really think about it. No croaking at me like you’re a frog on a lily pad.
Here’s the deal. The Catch-Up Rule is actually fairly simple. When
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the game is 0-0 or tied, baseball is played exactly as it is today—three outs per side. But when the at-bat club has or takes a lead, it gets two outs instead of three.
For example: Your team is in a scoreless contest. Then your slugger hits a home run to go up 1-0. Now your inning ends at two outs. Not three. As long as you keep a lead, your at-bat innings are two outs.
That’s it. Tie game, three outs a side. Get the lead, play with two outs. If you take the lead with two outs, the lead stays, but the inning ends.
I know: it’s simple, but jarring. I don’t expect the old school types to like it. Baseball isn’t a sport accustomed to big changes. People still fight about the designated hitter, and that rule was introduced in the Middle Ages.
But the Catch-Up Rule offers everything baseball is asking for in 2018. Pace of play and competitive balance are the two biggest crises for the sport. Here’s a single, oddly basic innovation that addresses both.
This isn’t simply speculation. Isaksen, who now works in the private sector, took the Catch-Up Rule and applied it to more than 100,000 games over the last 50 years of baseball, both regular season and postseason games.
The results were eye-popping. Average margin of victory dropped from 3.21 runs to 2.15 runs—i.e., games got considerably more competitive. The Baseball Haves were not so advantaged over the Have-Nots.
Meanwhile, there was a dramatic reduction in the length of game. Because fewer outs are necessary, outs-per-nine-innings dropped from 52.5 to 45.9—a drop that Brams and Isaksen believe shaves 24 minutes off a nine-inning baseball game.
Twenty-four minutes! That’s, like, an entire episode of “Seinfeld.”
“We think this would be good for the league,” Brams said in a telephone interview the other day.
Toronto Blue Jays left fielder Billy McKinney, left, and third baseman Aledmys Diaz come up short as they try to catch a foul pop-up during a game against the Baltimore Orioles on Tuesday. The Orioles won 12-5.
Toronto Blue Jays left fielder Billy McKinney, left, and third baseman Aledmys Diaz come up short as they try to catch a foul pop-up during a game against the Baltimore Orioles on Tuesday. The Orioles won 12-5. Photo: Patrick Semansky/Associated Press
This is what Brams does. The NYU Department of Politics professor is known for his work applying game theory to subjects like voting reform and fair division. With Alan Taylor, he came up with the “Brams-Taylor Procedure” of “envy-free” cake cutting—i.e., the fairest way to divide a cake without humans mauling each other. The New Hampshire native has also turned his eye to numerous sports, from soccer to tennis to basketball.
With baseball and the Catch-Up Rule, Brams and Isaksen were hoping to improve in-game competitiveness. “We’re really talking about inhibiting blowout games,” Brams said.
The time cut, Brams said, was a happy side effect. They believe the Catch-Up Rule would accelerate the game more aggressively than anything baseball’s proposed—pitch clocks and so on. Ideas like seven-inning games can cut time, he said, but without the benefit of improving competitiveness.
I wondered: isn’t part of baseball’s pacing problem all the micromanaging, with relief pitcher changes and so on? Brams allowed that would likely continue, but “we think the micromanaging has gone about as far as it can these days…I don’t think it would have a major effect” on a game played under the Catch-Up Rule.
There could be other alterations to game strategy—a team with an advantage will want to quickly increase its advantage, since it’s playing with two outs. You will likely see fewer sacrifice bunts. (Journal baseball writer Jared Diamond predicts a team in a tied game may opt to walk in a runner with the bases loaded and two outs, rather than risk a bases-clearing hit.) But Brams and Isaksen maintain “the basic features of baseball are likely to stay the same.”
Brams knows he’s got an uphill battle to convince baseball’s gatekeepers. The aging pastime tends to be a stubborn enterprise.
“We’ve got a difficult task in convincing minds,” he said. “I’m not sure that we will be successful, but I think it should be discussed.”
The Catch-Up Rule would offer less reason to take a nap during a baseball game.
The Catch-Up Rule would offer less reason to take a nap during a baseball game. Photo: Nam Y. Huh/Associated Press
Could the Catch-Up Rule be interpreted as un-American? Are people going to be OK with penalizing a team for taking a lead? Powerhouse clubs are probably not going to like this. We’re not a country accustomed to tapping the brakes on those with an advantage.
“Winning will still matter,” Brams said. “Competition matters, too.”
So what about it, baseball? No one’s expecting you to implement the Catch -Up Rule for the 2018 World Series. But what about in winter league play? Experiment a bit? Just to see if it works?
On Tuesday, the Orioles defeated the Toronto Blue Jays 12-5 before 11,762 people at Camden Yards.
Come on, baseball. Everything should be on the table.
More by Jason Gay
Write to Jason Gay at
Appeared in the August 30, 2018, print edition.

Remembering Ted Williams: Selected Oral History

Remembering Ted Williams: Selected Oral History

                         Ted Williams and Yogi Berra at Fenway (FrommerArchives)

This is the centennial week of the birth of Ted Williams, August 30, 1918. The Splendid Splinter did it his way. From the Frommer archives please enjoy memories of those who had the pleasure of experiencing him.
JON MILLER:  "Geez," they said, “We have this great left-handed hitter and he keeps losing home runs out there so we’ll pull the bullpens in and make it a little easier for him.” They called the area Williamsburgh after  Louisburgh Square in Beacon Hill, a play on that phrase.
JAMES JIMMIE GREENE: We quickly found out where players parked their cars. Ted Williams used to put on such a show for us. He'd choreograph the whole thing, line us up and say “Now you girls get in front. Tall kids get in the back.”  He looked very Californian, always in a sport coat. He never wore a tie. 
DICK FLAVIN:  Ted used to say Dom DiMaggio was the smartest outfielder. Every time a ball was hit to left-center he’d yell, “You take it Dommie.”  
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.” 
IKE DELOCK:   He didn’t like the press. 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.
FRANK SULLIVAN:  I went up from A – ball in  ‘53. I was 23. I saw buck shot wounds all over the walls and learned that Ted Williams was out shooting pigeons. I heard Yawkey also shot along with him.
BILL LEE: The long-time guy in charge of the grounds keeping, Joe Mooney, told me that the cops came to Williams and asked: “Ted, didn’t you worry about your stray shots going to Kenmore Square?”
Ted was supposed to have said: “You know I was thinking about that.” 
IKE DELOCK:  Most of the time Ted Williams arrived very early for games. I was like two lockers away from him. He had so many bats in his lockers.   There was a certain respect for him from the other players. He was a good-looking guy. He could be loud; you couldn’t miss him.   Pleasant when he wanted to be but pretty scary when he wanted to be.  
BILL NOWLIN: Ted Williams was my favorite.  I thought he was going to hit a home run every time up.     I got to see a lot of great play by him as I sat in those bleachers.   I touched his home run ball - - I can’t remember if it was Number 494 or 497 -- after it had been caught by somebody else.
JERRY CASALE: My biggest thrill was being next to Ted Williams. How many times we sat in that little locker room and he would take off his pants coming in from a game, rip off his shirt, throw them and hit me with them.  Thousands of dollars right in my face. Who thought of it then?
BOB SULLIVAN: Dad wanted my brother Kevin and me to see Williams play before he retired. We were going to go in early and we were going to come back relatively late considering we were so young.
I, of course, was a young Williams fan.  And Dad was a World War II veteran, a Master Sergeant, and he was a Williams devotee.  There’s a myth now that all of the Boston fanship booed Williams. He was a prickly character.  But it was the sportswriters who had problems with him. The fans in left-field would heckle him and he’d spit and all the rest of it, but mostly the fans loved the guy.  And Dad, as a veteran was eternally devoted to this guy. His military background, his patriotism, his heroism.
CURT GOWDY (Game Call) "Everybody quiet now here at Fenway Park after they gave him a standing ovation of two minutes knowing that this is probably his last time at bat. One out, nobody on.
BOB KEANEY: Ted dug in, wiggled his fanny, and glared at pitcher Jack Fisher. Everyone stopped breathing. Ted swung as hard as he could, but he missed the fat pitch and nearly sprained his arms.    Some dreamers said later that Ted missed on purpose, so that Fisher would be fooled into throwing that fast ball again.
CURT GOWDY (Game Call)  Jack Fisher into his windup, here's the pitch. Williams swings -- and there's a long drive to deep right! The ball is going and it is gone! A home run for Ted Williams in his last time at bat in the major leagues!"

JERRY CASALE:  I was in the bullpen with  Bill Monbouquette and Mike Fornieles and others. We were all up front looking over the railing.  The ball went over our heads.

 Williams circled the bases as he always did in a hurry with his head down trotting out Number 521, his final homer. The crowd stood and cheered the man and the moment.

FRANK MALZONE: When he hit a home run, it was usually high—it wasn’t no line drive.  This time he got it all. When he hit a home run, he had a way of loping. This time his running was like a hop.  
       TED SPENCER:  Williams hits the  home run.  I hear it on the radio. I said to myself, “Damn, I should have been there.”  
BROOKS ROBINSON:  I was playing third base.   He went running around the bases, and I looked at him as he passed second base. I had my arms folded as he passed me. That was absolutely a magical moment.
STEVE RYDER: He had that regal trot around the bases.  Didn’t tip his cap, didn’t look at the stands, just right into the dugout.

The inning ended. Williams went out to play left field in the top of the ninth. Just before the inning began Carroll Hardy replaced him. “The Kid” ran in. The crowd had one more standing ovation in it.

 “We want Ted. We want Ted!" But he refused to come out for a curtain call. Later it was reported that players and umpires tried to get him to come out. No dice.

       FRANK SULLIVAN:  We all wanted him to stop and at least take his cap off but that sonofabitch, he just ran into the dugout.That was the way that Ted was.  He went down the dugout steps straight into the tunnel.  We didn’t know that that was his last game but we all suspected it.


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

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Seeking Old Yankees Team Photos


I am seeking official team photos of the Yankees from the following years...

1920, 1929, 1933, 1934, 1935, and 1940.

I am looking for the official team photos that were taken in September of each season. 

Most were taken by Cosmo-Sileo Co. 

1920 would of course be taken in The Polo Grounds.  The rest in Old Yankee Stadium.

In a perfect world, I am looking for a physical hard copy of the 8x10 photo.

I have searched the Internet quite extensively and have had no luck.

Thank you for any help.

Brad -

Wednesday, August 29, 2018


By Harvey Frommer

Owners come and owners go. Some have been hands on and others have tended to their own affairs and let the teams they owned function led by pros. The Jake, the man who created the New York Yankee empire was so involved that he even took a broom from time to time to sweep up Yankee Stadium. 
"For the most part, he was aloof and brusque.... He never used profanity. 'By gad' was his only expletive."- Rud Rennie, New York Herald-Tribune
Born in New York City on August 5, 1867, Jacob Ruppert, Jr. was the son and grandson of beer tycoons. They founded the Ruppert Breweries. Always a big baseball fan, always one in his growing up years who played and watched baseball, he managed a tryout with the New York Giants, but did not make much of an impression.
            Ruppert was heir to the family millions and his vast resources and connections opened the way for his serving as a four-time member of the House of Representatives from 1899 to 1907. He represented the "Silk Stocking" district of Manhattan. He also served in the National Guard in the 1890s and received an honorary "Colonel" title.
His various roles earned him various appellations. Called “Congressman” by some, “Colonel” by most, "Jake," was used by his closest friends. A dandy, a man who sat atop of the world, arrogant, aristocratic, there seemed to always be a different beautiful woman on his arm.         
          Jake Ruppert’s full-time residence was a fashionable 12-room apartment on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan close by the sprawling Ruppert Brewery that he was able to easily walk to. A man with five full-time servants at his beck and call, he changed his clothes several times a day and dressed in the latest and most expensive fashions. His valet was always at the ready.  Collecting fine art, raising thoroughbred horses and pedigreed dogs were but a few of the expensive hobbies of the “Colonel.”

  Despite being born in New York City, Ruppert spoke with a heavy German accent. He traveled in style in his own private railroad car in the comfort of his own drawing room, slept in a silk brocade nightshirt.           
          A man who was a lover of good times and many things –baseball among them, he rooted for the New York Giants. He wanted to buy them but was told by his friend manager John McGraw that they were not for sale. "I think the Yankees might be.”
 On January 11, 1915, Jake Ruppert teamed with a real Colonel, Tillinghast L'Hommedieu Huston, and purchased the Yankees of New York for $460,000. Making an impression at the time of purchase, Hustson peeled out 230 thousand dollar bills – his share of the money needed to make the purchase. A friend of Ruppert, Hutson was a civil engineer in Cincinnati who during the Spanish-American War made a fortune modernizing Cuba’s sewerage system and harbor.
Now the task at hand for the new owners of the Yankees was to turn around a franchise that had a 12 year record of 861-937, average attendance of just 345,000 each season.
Ruppert, the “Prince of Beer” also sought to re-name the Yankees to “Knickerbockers” - - after his best-selling beer. No deal. The reasoning was the name was too commercial, too long too long for newspaper headlines. It would not be too long, however, decades later for a pro basketball team in New York.
              Ruppert said of the team he bought: "I never saw such a mixed up business in my life… There were times when it looked so bad no man would want to put a penny into it. It is an orphan ball club without a home of its own, without players of outstanding ability, without prestige.”
          Then he got to work. Early moves included a Wally Pipp purchase from Detroit for $7500. Pitcher Bob Shawkey came from Philadelphia for $18,000.
As a beer baron, Jake Ruppert was hands on for every aspect of his business. That same behavior pattern came into play with the Yankees. He had a personal and deep interest in each player. He knew them all and was always up to date on their capabilities, shortcomings, foibles and performances.

         In his early ownership years Ruppert lost almost as much money as was paid to purchase the Yankees. But on the field there was some progress.  The team finished fifth in 1915, fourth in 1916, their first time out of the second division since 1910. 
Members of his team received first class treatment. For the Yankees this showed itself in the sleeping accommodations he mandated on trains. Most other teams had players, dependent on seniority, given berths, upper or lower. The players on the New York Yankees all slept in upper births.
        The whole traveling operation generally took up two cars at the end of the train. And there was many a summer day that the players only wearing underwear, lolled about, had extended conversations, played cards, enjoyed each other’s company and the food, rest and recreation that made them perform better on the playing field.
In a move that would change the course of baseball history, Jake Ruppert made the deal of his lifetime the day after Christmas 1919. He purchased George Herman “Babe” Ruth, 25, from Boston. It was a very smart business move. The young Ruth had talent and would become one of the greatest drawing cards in baseball history.  In his first season in pinstripes he blasted 54 homers. The team finished in third place.
            Angered and annoyed at the gate success of Babe Ruth & Company, the Giants told the Yankees who played as tenants at the Polo Grounds and now with the “Sultan of Swat” packing them in enabling the renters to outdraw the landlords – to find a new place to play.
Ruppert and Hutson suggested the Polo Grounds be demolished and replaced by a 100,000 seat stadium to be used by both teams and for other sporting events. The Giants were not interested. No matter. The Colonel dreamed big dreams and had the power and money to back them up.
          On May 21, 1922, two weeks after construction of a new ballpark for the Yankees was underway, Ruppert bought out Huston for $1.5 million.  "I am now the sole owner of the Yankees. Huggins is my manager,” Ruppert’s telegram read. The two had had a conflict over Ruppert’s hiring of Miller Huggins as manager. Ruppert won out as usual.
                   On April 18, 1923, a massive crowd showed up for the proudest moment in the history of the South Bronx.  The Yankee Stadium opened for business. The Colonel’s idea of a sublimely wonderful day at the ballpark was any time the Yankees scored 11 runs in the first inning, and then slowly pulled away. The Colonel was fond of saying, “There is no charity in baseball. I want to win every year. Close games make me nervous.”
 During the Great Depression, Colonel Jacob Ruppert was one of the few who prospered big time while the economy of the nation collapsed. He purchased New York City property at depression prices. By 1935, all his property holdings had more than doubled in value. As the decade of the 30s neared its end, his real estate holdings were valued at $30 million, his total estate at double that amount.
         Strangely and sadly, the normally vigorous Colonel attended just two games at Yankee Stadium during the 1938 season. He followed his beloved Yankees from a sickbed, listening to games on the radio for the first time. So impressed was he by the medium’s fit with baseball that he arranged for all Bronx Bomber home games to be broadcast on radio. That was his final official act.
          On Friday morning January 13, 1939, the master builder of the New York Yankees Empire passed away at his home from complications from phlebitis. He was 71 years old.
           On Monday January 16, 1939, the procession that resembled a state funeral started out from the Ruppert apartment on 93rd Street. More than 4,000 jammed inside the historic St. Patrick’s Cathedral including brewers, public dignitaries, the bosses of the Tammany and Bronx Democratic machines, more than 500 Ruppert employees, fans and family. Lou Gehrig, Babe Ruth, Yankee manager Joe McCarthy, general manager Ed Barrow, farm system director George Weiss, members of the 1939 team including Tommy Henrich and Johnny Murphy, chief scout Paul Krichell, Boston Red Sox manager Joe Cronin and Chicago White Sox manager Jimmie Dykes, and former star players like Honus Wagner and Eddie Collins. 
             More than 10,000 people were outside the Cathedral. The service ran for about an hour. Dignitaries Mayor Fiorello H. LaGuardia, United States Senator Robert E Wagner and former New York State governor Al Smith sat in the front right pew. 
           Ruppert’s will left a fortune essentially to three women, twenty million dollars was for two nieces. A third of his estate went to Helen Winthrop Weyant, 37.  She was described in newspapers as a “ward,” as “formerly a chorus girl,” and by The Sporting News as "a former showgirl friend."
Weyant told reporters that that she had “no idea why he left her so much money."

          In two dozen years as the owner of the New York Yankees, the ambitious Jake Ruppert took a rag-tag franchise and transformed it into the most powerful team in all of baseball. He had the goods as an executive. He had the good sense to surround himself with top drawer and determined baseball people Ed Barrow, George Weiss, managers like  Miller Huggins and Joe McCarthy.
          Admitted to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2013, 74 years after his death, Jacob Ruppert, Jr. was many things, but especially the man who built the Yankee Empire. 

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 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. Some of the material in this piece appears in Harvey Frommer’s THE ULTIMATE YANKEE BOOK which can be ordered on Amazon or direct from the author. 

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Clark’s Boner by Doug Gladstone

Clark’s Boner

August 16, 2018 by 

Next month, on September 23, is the 110 th  anniversary of one of the most famous games in baseball history.

Known as “Merkle’s Boner,” the contest pitted the Chicago Cubs against the New York Giants at the Polo Grounds in New York City. As an estimated 40,000 fans watched, rookie Fred Merkle failed to run to second after what should have been a game-winning hit by Giants shortstop Al Bridwell. Though Moose McCormick of the Giants touched home plate, Merkle did not touch second, preferring instead to make a hasty retreat to the dugout in order to avoid the mob of fans that were swarming the field in celebration.
Hall of Fame second baseman Johnny Evers –  who made up one-third of the famous “Tinker to Evers to Chance” trio — called for the ball from Cubs centerfielder Solly Hofman in order to step on second base and complete a force out.

Since Baseball Rule 4.09 states that “a run is not scored if the runner advances to home base during a play in which the third out is made by any runner being forced out,” McCormick’s winning run was nullified and Merkle was doomed to a life of baseball infamy when the Cubs won the makeup game that was played on October 8.

The Cubs finished with a record of 99-55, thereby beating the Giants, who finished with a 98-56 record, and won the National League championship. They then went on to beat the Detroit Tigers in the World Series.
Though Merkle deserves to be remembered for all the good things he did in the game, his fate was sealed that day.

Hopefully, the boner now being committed by Tony Clark can be corrected.
Clark is the executive director of the Major League Baseball Players’ Association – the union that represents current players. A former All-Star first baseman for the Detroit Tigers, he also played for both the New York Mets and the New York Yankees.
Clark’s boner is not going to bat for the 640 men who do not get pensions for having played Major League Baseball (MLB) because the rules for receiving MLB pensions changed in 1980. Like former Cubs players Gene Hiser and Carmen Fanzone. These men do not get pensions because they didn’t accrue four years of service credit. That was what ballplayers who played between 1947 – 1979 needed to be eligible for the pension plan.

Instead, as of April 2011, all they receive are non-qualified retirement payments. In brief, for every 43 game days of service a man accrued on an active MLB roster, he’d get $625. Four quarters (one year) totaled $2,500. Sixteen quarters (four years) amounts to the maximum, $10,000. And that payment is before taxes were taken out.

What’s more, the payment cannot be passed on to a surviving spouse or designated beneficiary. These men are also not eligible to be covered under the league’s umbrella health insurance plan.
By comparison, post-1980 players are eligible to buy into the league’s generous health insurance plan after only one game day of service. And they only need 43 game days of service on an active roster to get a pension.
What makes this injustice more unseemly is that the national pastime is doing very well financially. MLB recently announced that  its revenue was up 325 percent from 1992, and that it has made $500 million since 2015.  What’s more, the average value of the each of the 30 clubs is up 19 percent from 2016, to $1.54 billion.

The owners chose relics rather than retirees.
As for the union, the MLBPA has been loath to divvy up anymore of the collective pie. Which is weird, since unions are supposed to help hard working women and men in this country get a fair shake in life. But Clark doesn’t seem to want to help anyone but himself —  Clark receives a MLB pension AND an annual salary of more than $2.1 million, including benefits, for being the head of the union.
In my opinion, all these non-vested men are being shortchanged by a sport that can afford to do more for them. Just increase the bone that is being thrown these men to $10,000 a year.
That way, Clark can be vindicated for his own boner.

A freelance writer based in upstate New York, Douglas J. Gladstone is the author of A Bitter Cup of Coffee; How MLB & The Players Association Threw 874 Retirees a Curve. You can visit his website at www.gladstonewriter . com

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Fenway Flashback By Harvey Frommer

       Fenway Flashback

            By Harvey Frommer

The glory days are back at the Fens as the 2018 season heads down the home stretch. There is a lot of excitement about the real possibility of another world championship for the Sox. Royal and loyal rooters, though, still have in their memory bank images of a sad long ago time when life at Fenway Park was very different from what it is today.
This was the opening day lineup on April 19th as the new decade of the sixties began at Fenway Park.
Don Buddin ss
Pete Runnels 2b
Frank Malzone 3b
Gene Stephens rf
Ted Williams lf
Bobby Thomson cf
Ron Jackson 1b
Haywood Sullivan c
Tom Brewer p
It was 58 degrees at game time. Playing before the Yankees of Roger Maris, Mickey Mantle, Bobby Richardson, Elston Howard, Bill Skowron, Tony Kubek and company, the Red Sox disappointed the Fenway faithful, losing 8-4. Roger Maris slugged two homers for the New Yorkers.
BOB SULLIVAN: I grew up in Chelmsford, Massachusetts in the 50s and early 60s.  My early games on TV from Fenway had everything to do with Curt Gowdy.  I can to this day regale one with the Narragansett Jingle. Games on the radio from Fenway were as resonant to me as going to the ballpark. My grandfather used to sit on the back porch in Lowell, Mass in his Mount Vernon Street home. I remember his cigar smoke and sitting on his lap and listening to the Red Sox.  
  I remember coming home one night with my brother from catching crappies, coming into the house, Dad sitting on the couch.  “Hey, come here and listen to this.”  
     Home run call:
 Ned Martin: "Long drive, left field. Way up, and gone. Mercy!"
              CARL LOVEJOY: We’d park in the same area where  Boston University fraternities are now. We would walk past the wooden cart with the old wagon wheel and a guy who was the salesman with an apron and a hat, sort of a bender’s hat, the change maker on his belt.
    You’d  hear the crack of the bat as you were buying peanuts and wanting to get inside to see batting practice, hoping to catch that foul ball. 
I loved it when the foul ball would come down the screen and everybody would, “whoooop!”  and the bat boy would catch it.
Going into a public men’s room for the first time was to be intimidated. The urinals were troughs. And there were all these men and boys lined up. 
         HARRY BAULD:  Fenway was a place that you could go to the same way you went to the movies.  I paid 50 cents to sit in right field. The ushers were all those incredibly florid-faced old guys. They’d dust the seat for you.  I never did give them a tip. We were working class kids.  It was hard enough  for us to scrape up the 50 cents admission.  
On July 22nd, 1960 Ted Williams homered in a 6-4 Sox win over Cleveland. In the seventh inning he stole second base to become the first  Major Leaguer to steal bases in four straight decades. 
BOB SULLIVAN: Dad wanted my brother Kevin and me to see Williams play before he retired, so he planned a big day. We were going to go in early and we were going to come back relatively late.
We  drove down in the Oldsmobile with my brother and I on the back couch in the days before seat belts and my mom sitting up front. I’m sure it took an hour and a quarter. We parked under the Common.   We took a taxi up, the first taxi we had ever taken in our lives.
 Fenway was such a dungeon down underneath that you came out of the darkness and into the light.  This was like, oh my goodness, it was like sending you to heaven.   It was like a religion. Ted Williams. Fenway Park.  I, of course, was a young Williams fan.  And Dad was a World War II veteran, a Master Sergeant, and he was a Williams devotee.  There’s a myth now that all of the Boston fanship booed Williams. He was a prickly character.  But it was the sportswriters who had problems with him, personal problems, that they took out on him in the pages of the newspapers.  
 He played hard. The fans in left-field would heckle him and he’d spit and all the rest of it, but mostly the fans loved the guy.  And Dad, as a veteran was eternally devoted to this guy. His military background, his patriotism, his heroism. 
We sat behind first base.  It was just some game in August.  There was no one in the park; they had given up on the team for every good reason.   
Afterwards, we got a taxi and Dad took us to Bailey’s for enormous ice cream sundaes, served in silver cups with gooey, dripping marshmallow.
Falling asleep on the back couch of the Oldsmobile, curled up back there with my brother, it was just great.  
On the 25th of September Casey Stengel clinched his 10th pennant in a dozen seasons as manager of the New York Yankees as Ralph Terry edged Boston 4-3.                  
“I drove into the ballpark,” Curt Gowdy recalled,” parked the car, went into the clubhouse, and Johnny Orlando, the clubhouse guy, said, 'Gowdy, Gowdy come here, this is the Kid's last game ever.'
'What do you mean? We have a series in New York this weekend.'
'Mr. Yawkey told him to take the last two games off and go fishing. This is his last game. You have to promise me you won't mention it to anyone.'
"I said, 'I promise I won't.'"
BOB KEANEY: I was a Lynn, Mass  kid who loved Ted. I sat with my friend Bruce Jackson on the third base side, where John Updike sat collecting notes for his prize-winning essay on Ted's farewell game.
Ted warmed up with a pre-game catch near the dugout with Willie Tasby and I loved that because Tasby lived in  Lynn, too,  ironically, Williams Avenue.
FRANK MALZONE: It was a cold day, the wind was blowing northeast in from right field, the kind of day you say nobody is going to hit one out.
      September 28th, 1960, Red Sox vs. Orioles.  Overcast, dank, chilly the final day of the final home stand of the 1960 season.   
Pumpsie Green  SS
Willie Tasby       CF
Ted Williams       LF
      Jim Pagliaroni        C  
       Frank  Malzone    3B
        Lou Clinton          RF
         Don Gile             1B
         Marlan Coughtry   2B
         Billy Muffett           P

      Only 10,454 showed up. The game was not televised locally or nationally. “You Made Me Love You,” playing over the loudspeaker, created a melancholy mood.
           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, a professor for more than two decades in the MALS program 
at Dartmouth College, was dubbed “Dartmouth’s Mr. Baseball” by 
their alumni magazine. He’s also the founder of

His Ultimate Yankee Book has been called by critics “the Ultimate Baseball Book.”  It can ordered signed, mint, discounted from the author.