Tag Archives: Yankee Stadium

It’s Time For Day Baseball Games To Return To The World Series

It’s Been 30 Years Since The Last Outdoor, Daytime World Series Game Was Played – Who’s to Blame? MLB, FOX & “TV Research People”

World Series baseball the way it used to be played - during the daytime. Pirates center fielder Bill Virdon awaits the first pitch from Yankees ace Whitey Ford to begin game 3 of the 1960 World Series at Yankee Stadium, October 8, 1960.

World Series baseball the way it used to be played – during the day. Pirates center fielder Bill Virdon awaits the first pitch from Yankees ace Whitey Ford to begin game 3 of the 1960 World Series at Yankee Stadium, October 8, 1960.

30 years ago on October 14, 1984 the Detroit Tigers and San Diego Padres played game 5 of the World Series at Tigers Stadium under what used to be normal circumstances – they played a day game.

Three years later in 1987 the Minnesota Twins and St. Louis Cardinals also played a day game in the World Series, but you would not have known it because the Twins played their home games indoors at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome.

Since then, every World Series game has been played at night. Continue reading

Scorecard! Who Needs A Scorecard?

The Death Of The Scorecard At The Ballgame

Scorecard vendor at the Polo Grounds 1949 - photo William C. Greene

Scorecard vendor at the Polo Grounds 1949 – photo William C. Greene

Recently I went to a baseball game at that imitation ballpark in the Bronx they call Yankee Stadium. After being gently frisked at the admission gates and going through the turnstiles, the thing that did not greet me was what you see above: a vendor selling scorecards.

You could buy a scorecard, but not for 10 cents as it was at the Polo Grounds in 1949. The archaic idea of a scorecard costs $10 at Yankee Stadium and is available at the souvenir shops spread throughout Yankee Mall Stadium. The scorecard is buried in some glossy souvenir publication which I did not purchase, nor did anyone else.

When I used to attend a lot of games in the 1970’s and 80’s buying a scorecard was a no-brainer. From anywhere from a reasonable 25 cents in the early 1970’s to two dollars in the late 80’s, filling out that scorecard and having a program was a nice memento of a game I went to. There is a certain enjoyment derived from scorekeeping and having a permanent record of a game you are attending.

I just dug this program of my closet from a game I went to on Thursday evening September 6, 1973. The Yankees came back in the bottom of the eighth inning after trailing 6-5 on a three run home run from Mike Hegan to beat the Milwaukee Brewers 8-6. Bobby Murcer and Roy White also homered for the Yanks. The time of the game was 2:22.

In my childish way I merely recorded outs as fly outs, ground outs or line outs without denoting the fielders who made the play. As you can see my scorekeeping leaves a lot to be desired, but for a little kid I think I did a pretty good job. Eventually I learned to score correctly.

For 30 cents they packed a lot into 28 pages. Continue reading

Roger Maris Hits His 61st Home Run

October 1, 1961, A Home Run Record Is Set & Baseball Blows Its Big Moment

Roger Maris emerges from the dugout to tip his cap after hitting his 61st home run of the season. October 1, 1961

Roger Maris emerges from the dugout to tip his cap after hitting his 61st home run of the season. October 1, 1961

52 years ago today, on the last day of the regular season October 1, 1961, Roger Maris hit his 61st home run of the season off of the Red Sox hurler Tracy Stallard in the fourth inning. For those who were fortunate enough to be there, it was a great moment in baseball history.

Unlike many of today’s players who will take a curtain call without any prodding for driving in the go-ahead run, Maris had to literally be pushed out of the dugout to acknowledge the 23,154 cheering fans at Yankee Stadium.

So why were there only 23,154 fans to see Babe Ruth’s record eclipsed?

That has to do with former sportswriter and then baseball Commissioner, Ford Frick who was a great friend of Babe Ruth and his ghost-writer.

Frick had declared that an asterisk be placed next to any home run record set, if it was not accomplished in 154 games, which was the number of games Ruth played in 1927 when he set his home run mark at 60.

Legendary baseball owner Bill Veeck tells this scathing and hilarious story in his wonderful memoir, Veeck as in Wreck written with Ed Linn (G.P. Putnam’s Sons) 1962.

Let us be fair. Ford Frick does not try to do the wrong thing. Given the choice between doing something right or something wrong, Frick will usually begin by doing as little as possible. It is only when he is pushed to the wall for a decision that he will always, with sure instinct, and unerring aim, make an unholy mess of things.

Suppose that, purely as an exercise, I had put the following baseball question to you at any time during the past twenty-five years.

Suppose, starts the question, that someone comes along to challenge Babe Ruth’s record- which is THE record the same way Mt. Everest is THE mountain. Continue reading

Joe Collins Second Home Run In Game 1 Of The 1955 World Series

Yankees Win Game 1, But Brooklyn Wins Their Only World Series

Duke Snider Joe Collins home run WS 9 28 1955

The World Series began on September 28, 1955. Yes, they actually used to begin the “fall classic” right after fall began. Yankee first baseman Joe Collins slugged his second home run of the game, a two run shot in the bottom of the sixth, to put the Yankees up 6-3 in a game they would go on to win 6-5. The outfielder in the photograph leaping in vain for the baseball is Dodger centerfielder Duke Snider.

This was also the game where Jackie Robinson stole home, which to this day is still disputed by Yankees catcher Yogi Berra who insists Robinson was out.

As covered previously by stuffnobodycaresabout, this World Series would be the Brooklyn Dodgers moment of glory as they ended up beating the Yankees in seven games.

Mickey Mantle’s Last Game At Yankee Stadium

Unlike Mariano Rivera’s Farewell, No Fanfare And Only 5,723 Fans At Yankee Stadium – September 25, 1968

June 8, 1969 - Mickey Mantle Day- Mantle gazes, as former Yankees announcer Mel Allen in the background

Mickey Mantle looks on as his longtime teammate Whitey Ford announces his retirement May 30, 1967.

With all the celebrations surrounding Mariano Rivera’s retirement and last game at Yankee Stadium, it got me thinking about Mickey Mantle’s last game at Yankee Stadium.

It was a sunny day on Wednesday, September 25, 1968 and not being able to attend school yet because I was too young, my father who worked a night shift took me to Yankee Stadium to see a meaningless 2:00 pm game between the Cleveland Indians and the New York Yankees. It was the last home game of the season for the 5th place Yankees. I vividly remember the game, but it originally wouldn’t be because it was Mickey Mantle’s last game at Yankee Stadium. Continue reading

Babe Ruth’s Funeral

Paying Respects To Babe Ruth

New York says goodbye to Babe Ruth at Yankee Stadium August 17-18, 1948.

Babe Ruth funeral Yankee Stadium 8 18 48

Sixty five years ago today, when Babe Ruth died of cancer at the age of 53 on Monday, August 16, 1948, New Yorker’s and the baseball world mourned as it never had before.

As lines stretched into the night on August 17, 1948 for a last look at the Babe lying in state in the rotunda at Yankee Stadium, the stream of fans never let up. It was estimated that 50,000 fans on August 17th and 55,000 on the 18th filed past the open coffin. Among the mourners at the stadium were baseball executives Dan Topping, owner of the Yankees, Will Harridge, president of the American League, Commissioner, Happy Chandler and former players Hank Greenberg and Leo Durocher.

Babe Ruth funeral fans line up 8 17 1948

 

They filed by at the rate of 100 people per minute. People waited all night. To see this…

Babe Ruth Lies in state 8 18.1948

Some were given more than a moment to mourn.

In this photograph above, Frankie Haggerty, 10, of Danvers, MA wipes away a tear as he looks upon Babe Ruth lying in his casket at Yankee Stadium. When Ruth was too ill to attend the funeral of one of his mentors, Brother Gilbert, he gave Frankie permission to attend as his personal representative.

One father said, “I wanted my boy to come see this so he could always say he had seen the Babe in person.”

Another elderly white haired visitor lifted his grandson for a look into Ruth’s casket. “Take a good look sonny,” he said. “You’ll never see another man like him.”

Eleven-year-old Peter Carter said, “I feel very sad. Every night I pray the Babe’s soul will go to heaven.”

A requiem mass and funeral for the Babe was held at St. Patrick’s Cathedral on August 19, 1948.

6,000 mourners bowed their heads as Cardinal Spellman made a special prayer at the end of the solemn 1 hour service. 75,000 people waited outside the Cathedral in the pouring rain.

What was unexpected was that after the funeral over 100,000 people lined the route in silence from Manhattan to Westchester as the Babe was driven to his final resting place at Gate of Heaven Cemetery in Mt. Pleasant, NY.

At the cemetery another 6,000 people were there to see the Babe off.  Ruth was put into a receiving vault until the family selected a site for burial.

Millions of people from around the country all said the same thing that you always hear after someone famous passes away, “he will never be forgotten.”

This time they were right.

Vintage 1978 Yankees Schedule Including Ticket Prices And Other Surprises

A Nostalgic Look At The 1978 Yankees Schedule Handout

Yankee Schedule 78 Seating

click to enlarge

I attended about 25 games in 1978 at Yankee Stadium. I was a young lad with a minimal allowance. So how could I afford it? Mostly I would buy general admission tickets. The cost, $2.50.

When I would splurge, about six times a year, I could buy a box seat for $6.50. Anywhere in the stadium. Field box, mezzanine, upper box, it didn’t matter, they were all available.

The Yankees drew over 50,000 fans 13 times during the year. Seven of the large crowd games were against the Red Sox. The average home attendance for the season was only 28,838.

I pulled this tri-fold schedule from my collection. The ticket prices are displayed below: Box Seats $6.50; Reserved Seats $5.00; General Admission $2.50 and Bleacher Seats $1.50.

click to enlarge

click to enlarge

There are several other things to notice here. First the schedule itself. Continue reading

The Day Brooklyn Will Never Forget – October 4, 1955 The Brooklyn Dodgers Become World Champions

Johnny Podres Shuts Out The Yankees to Win Game 7 of The 1955 World Series

Cover Daily News Oct 5 1955

The Brooklyn Dodgers had appeared in seven World Series previous to 1955. They had lost all of them. But on Tuesday, October 4, 1955, a magical afternoon (yes the World Series was always played in the daytime until 1971) occurred at Yankee Stadium in front of 62,485 fans. Amazingly the game was not sold out.

Johnny Podres, after winning game three of the World Series, was matched up in game seven against Yankee veteran Tommy Byrne. An interesting side note: Byrne rode the IND subway from 59th Street to Yankee Stadium unrecognized by anyone. Podres ended up pitching the game of his life – an eight hit, 2-0 shutout. The Dodgers had finally vanquished the Yankees who had beaten them in five previous World Series.

The Dodgers played without Jackie Robinson who was nursing a strained Achilles tendon. And the Yankees were equally handicapped without Mickey Mantle, who, even though he pinch hit in this game, missed most of the Series with a torn leg muscle. Other Yankees and Dodgers stars like Duke Snider and Hank Bauer played despite being injured.

First pitch of Game 7, 1955 World Series Yankee Stadium. Tommy Byrne throws a strike past Jim Gilliam

The Dodgers scored one run in the fourth when Roy Campanella doubled and a single by Gil Hodges drove him home. The Dodgers added a run in the sixth with Hodges hitting a sacrifice fly to drive in Pee Wee Reese.

Sandy Amoros Catch 10 4 55

The acknowledged defensive play of the game was made by Dodgers left fielder Sandy Amoros.

Continue reading

Honoring Lou Gehrig, His Monument Unveiled – 1941

The Day The Yankees Paid Their Final Tribute To The “Iron Horse”

This monument ceremony seen below was supposed to take place July 4 1941, on the two year anniversary of Lou Gehrig Day in 1939.

Many baseball fans know that the New York Yankees began the tradition of Old-Timers Day with a ceremony on July 4, 1939 to honor Lou Gehrig, the “Iron Horse.” On that day, the Yankees brought together Lou’s old teammates to show their deep admiration for a man who exemplified everything the Yankees were about. At the last minute Gehrig was asked to say something to the packed house at Yankee Stadium.

The words he said, now known as, “The Luckiest Man on the Face of the Earth” speech, live on in immortality because it was completely spontaneous and from the heart.

What you may not know, is that you really have never heard or seen that speech.

You have only seen or heard small portions of Gehrig’s speech, because believe it or not, there is not one extant movie or audio recording of Gehrig’s complete speech. Only snippets.

As incredible as it sounds with all those newsreel cameras present to record the activities at Yankee Stadium, no complete version of the speech has surfaced in all these years. Continue reading

Marty Springstead Demonstrates How To Eject A Manager

Marty Springstead, Former American League Umpire, Dies At 74 (January 17, 2012)

Major league baseball umpires are beloved by their families and friends, but are generally not appreciated by the fans. When longtime umpire Marty Springstead died after suffering a heart attack on January 17th in Sarasota Florida, I felt sad that one of the more memorable baseball names that I heard throughout my childhood was gone. As a fan, I appreciated Marty Springstead’s umpiring skills  and not just because he would consistently eject Orioles manager and longtime Yankee nemesis Earl Weaver from ballgames during the 1970’s and 1980’s, but because he was from the old school of umpiring and was not flamboyant.

Springstead umpired in the American League from 1966-1985. He went on to become an executive and supervisor of umpires from 1986-2009. He worked in three All-Star Games and three World Series. He also got to be behind the plate for two no-hitters, but missed the chance for a third. He would have been calling balls and strikes on June 1, 1975 when Nolan Ryan pitched his fourth no-hitter, but he took off to be with his wife who was having a baby.  People who knew Springstead said Marty was funny and a great storyteller.

But managers who got under his skin would not see that side of him while he was on the field. Springstead was a very good umpire who took his job seriously and didn’t take flak from players, coaches or managers.  Twice during his career Springstead led the league in manager ejections.

I was among the 10,670 long suffering Yankee fans who attended the ballgame shown in the photo below.

At Yankee Stadium on Saturday, August 26, 1972, the Kansas City Royals had already scored two unearned runs in the third inning, and were leading two to one. There were two outs and Yankees pitcher Rob Gardner had a 1-2 count on Kansas City Royals slugger John Mayberry with two men on base. It looked like Gardner would get out of the inning. Continue reading