Say Hey, It’s Willie’s Boithday

May 6, 2010 at 12:48 am (Baseball, New York Giants)

Legendary Hall O’ Famer Willie Mays turns 79 today. Many more, 24, you’re the best alive.

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Here’s a link to some more pictures of Willie.

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Larry Jansen, Former New York Giants Pitcher, RIP

October 12, 2009 at 8:10 pm (Baseball, Life & Death, New York Giants)

Not only was Larry Jansen the winning pitcher in the famous ” Shot Hoid ‘Round Da Woild” game in 1951 [brought to you by Scottsman’s Productions, in association with Russ Hodges], but he was Alvin Dark’s pitching coach on the 1962 Giants. The team had, five years earlier, carpetbagged out west and no longer represented New York by then… but I digress.

I was saddened to read of his passing, at the age of 89, today.

By all accounts, Mr. Jansen was a terrific teammate and a fine man.

My deepest condolences to his friends and family.

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Davey Williams…

August 20, 2009 at 9:38 pm (Baseball, Life & Death, New York Giants)

… the former New York Giant’s  terrific fielding 2nd baseman, who played on the 1954 World Series champions, passed away at the age of 81. RIP, Davey.

 Here’s a picture of Davey [taken in 1951]…

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… and  his Topps baseball card from 1951:

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Here’s a list, thanks to Gary Brown, of the remaining alumni of this once proud franchise:

Tommy Henrich- 2/26/1910 (Coach 1957)
Lonny Frey- 8/23/1910 (1948)
Monte Irvin- 2/25/1919 (1949-1955)
Buddy Blattner-2/8/1920 (1946-1948)
Larry Jansen- 7/16/1920 (1947-1954; Coach 1954)
Artie Wilson- 10/28/1920 (1951)
Charlie Mead- 4/29/1921 (1943-1945)
Les Layton- 11/18/1921 (1948)
Alvin Dark- 1/7/1922 (1950-1956)
Gil Coan- 5/18/1922 (1955)
Clint Hartung- 8/10/1922 (1947-1952)
Hub Andrews- 8/31/1922 (1947-1948)
Red Schoendienst- 2/2/1923 (1956-1957)
Chuck Diering- 2/5/1923 (1952)
Bobby Thomson- 10/25/1923 (1946-1953; 1957)
Hal Bamberger- 10/29/1924 (1948)
Wayne Terwilliger- 6/27/1925 (1955-1956)
Windy McCall- 7/18/1925 (1954-1957)
Joe Garagiola-2/12/1926 (1954)
Harvey Gentry- 5/27/1926 (1954)
Mario Picone- 7/5/1926 (1947, 1952, 1954)
George Spencer- 7/7/1926 (1950-1955)
Rudy Rufer- 10/28/1926 (1949-1950)
Don Mueller- 4/14/1927 (1948-1957)
Jack Harshman- 7/12/1927 (1952)
Billy Gardner- 7/19/1927 (1954-1955)
Stu Miller- 12/26/1927- (1957)
Valmy Thomas- 10/21/1928 (1957)
Al Worthington- 2/5/1929 (1953- 1954;1956-1957)
Daryl Spencer- 7/13/1929 (1952-1953; 1956-1957)
Bill Taylor-12/30/1929 (1954-1957)
Joe Margoneri- 1/13/1930 (1956-1957)
Ron Samford- 2/28/1930 (1954)
Johnny Antonelli-4/12/1930 (1954-1957)
Pete Burnside-7/2/1930 (1955, 1957)
Foster Castleman- 1/1/1931 (1954-1957)
Willie Mays- 5/6/1931-(1951-1952; 1954-1957)
Ray Crone- 8/7/1931 (1957)
Gail Harris- 10/15/1931 (1955-1957)
Ed Bressoud- 5/2/1932 (1956-1957)
Ozzie Virgil,Sr.- 5/17/1933 (1956-1957)
Roy Wright- 9/26/1933 (1956)
Joe Amalfitano- 1/23/1934 (1954-1955)
Bill White-1/28/1934 (1956)
Jackie Brandt- 4/28/1934 (1956)
Mike McCormick-9/29/1938 (1956-1957)

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James “Dusty” Rhodes, Woild Serious Hero, Passes Away At 82

June 19, 2009 at 10:57 pm (Baseball, Life & Death, New York Giants)

His truly remarkable feets in the 1954 Fall Classic weren’t what defined the life of Mr. Rhodes. After his passing, earlier this week, former teammates and Hall Of Famers Monte Irvin and Willie Mays both agreed that Dusty was a “brother to we Afro-Americans.” Given the times they played together, where Dusty was born and raised, and that these were the players keeping him on the bench a great deal of the time, I’m concluding that Jim Rhodes was a great guy.
My friend and fellow New York Giants fan Gary Brown knew him well, first as a fan, and later as a loving friend. Gary describes Rhodes as a “funny, gregarious, story teller who left him in stiches.” He’s devestated by the loss, as is his loving partner Gloria. My condolences to them, and the entire New York Giants family.

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A Day At The Ballpark

May 17, 2009 at 9:31 pm (Baseball, New York Giants, New York Mets)

Yesterday morning I ventured across the bay to SF, home of the former NY Giants. They played, and were beaten by, the current National Leaguers playing with New York on their road uniform. My brother in-law emeritus, Tom Kopazc, and I once watched Ed Halicki throw a no hitter against the Metsies in this very city. But that was at “your father’s yard.” The Giants now play at ATT Park, a gem of a structure, inside and out.

Here’s our hero in front of the Willie Mays statue…

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… and some I took on the inside, including one of future Hall Of Famer Randy Johnson, warming up to pitch in a game in which he got the crap kicked out of him by my Mets. They were one of the two teams playing that didn’t leave New Yawk [when I was 11] to carpetbag to SF. Least we forget, sports fans.

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Les Keiter, RIP

April 20, 2009 at 12:08 pm (Baseball, Life & Death, New York Giants)

Baseball has mourned the passing of a number of their [our] own in the past few weeks, among them Less Keiter. He was the announcer who recreated Giants baseball broadcasts when they carpetbagged to San Francisco. It made the loss of a beloved team, to this eleven year old kid, more easily bearable. “It’s off the wall and Willie rounds first, with triple on his mind…” All done via ticker tape from NYC studios, while the New Yawk Jints were calling SF their home.

Brings to mind that a fellow named Ron Reagan had a similar job with Cubs, years earlier. Ron turned out to be President of the United States, but Les never had to schtupp Nancy Reagan, and he later got to announce the Knicks… Tie, Les wins in “sudden death overtime.”

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Here’s a link to his [certainly more formal] NY Times obituary.

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Gary Sheffield, A New York Met…

April 3, 2009 at 4:19 pm (Baseball, New York Giants, New York Mets)

… and Ralph Zig Tyko, once again, roots for the laundry… perhaps not as vehemently.

Yes, he’s Doc Gooden‘s nephew, and yes he’s amongst the “steroidal era’s” candidate’s for the Hall of Fame, down the road. He just may be the swinger of the big bat that takes my beloveds to the top.

Also true, for reasons too numerous to chronicle [more than two, making this “three twoed” sentence a true “sentence” to read], I dislike the man… a lot. He is my least favorite Major League player.

For me, my Mets fandom starting going downhill just a tad when they traded George, and than, later, Frank. It worsened when previous owner [Doubleday] made antisemitic remarks [traditionally, not what I like hearing], deteriorated further with current owner making new Citi Field a Dodger shrine[all but ignoring New York Giants history]… and now this former Stockton Port, Gary Sheffield, is a Met. What next?

I’ll always be a Mets apologist, as I am an SF Giants apologist, but a fan [as in fanatic]? Hardly in the same way.

My #1 baseball allegiance these days is to the California Sea Otter, my Fantasy Team in a league played on an “even field,” with players chosen by me, Ralph Zig Tyko, the man I love.

Here’s a picture of the newest Met. Let me know what he looks like in the “Orange and Blue,” because it will take me a while to stomach watching:

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Herman Franks, Yet Another Leo Disciple, Passes

April 1, 2009 at 4:16 pm (Baseball, Life & Death, New York Giants)

It’s been a very sad week for we few remaining New York Giants fans. Earlier, Whitey Lockman passed, and now Herman Franks. They were two of the many Leo Durocher managed players to go on to manage, themselves, in the Big Leagues.

I’ll remember that it was Franks, a real estate mogul, who helped Willie Mays get his financial “stuff” together back in the day. Here’s picture of them in Santurce..

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… and, more importantly, who I was with on that warm Sacramento night when I heard on the radio that Charlie Fox had replaced him as manager of the SF Giants. Here’s a picture of Herman in his playing . I wish I had one of the lovely and provocative Dorit, in our playing days…

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… I do, however, have a list of the 49 surviving players who donned the uniform of the

New York Giants

Tommy Henrich- 2/26/1910 (Coach 1957)
Lonny Frey- 8/23/1910 (1948)
Monte Irvin- 2/25/1919 (1949-1955)
Buddy Blattner-2/8/1920 (1946-1948)
Larry Jansen- 7/16/1920 (1947-1954; Coach 1954)
Artie Wilson- 10/28/1920 (1951)
Charlie Mead- 4/29/1921 (1943-1945)
Les Layton- 11/18/1921 (1948)
Alvin Dark- 1/7/1922 (1950-1956)
Gil Coan- 5/18/1922 (1955)
Clint Hartung- 8/10/1922 (1947-1952)
Hub Andrews- 8/31/1922 (1947-1948)
Red Schoendienst- 2/2/1923 (1956-1957)
Chuck Diering- 2/5/1923 (1952)
Bobby Thomson- 10/25/1923 (1946-1953; 1957)
Jack Lohrke- 2/25/1924 (1947-1951)
Hal Bamberger- 10/29/1924 (1948)
Wayne Terwilliger- 6/27/1925 (1955-1956)
Windy McCall- 7/18/1925 (1954-1957)
Joe Garagiola-2/12/1926 (1954)
Harvey Gentry- 5/27/1926 (1954)
Mario Picone- 7/5/1926 (1947, 1952, 1954)
George Spencer- 7/7/1926 (1950-1955)
Rudy Rufer- 10/28/1926 (1949-1950)
Don Mueller- 4/14/1927 (1948-1957)
Dusty Rhodes- 5/13/1927 (1952-1957)
Jack Harshman- 7/12/1927 (1952)
Billy Gardner- 7/19/1927 (1954-1955)
Davey Williams- 11/2/1927 (1949, 1951-1955; Coach 1956-1957)
Stu Miller- 12/26/1927- (1957)
Valmy Thomas- 10/21/1928 (1957)
Al Worthington- 2/5/1929 (1953- 1954;1956-1957)
Daryl Spencer- 7/13/1929 (1952-1953; 1956-1957)
Bill Taylor-12/30/1929 (1954-1957)
Joe Margoneri- 1/13/1930 (1956-1957)
Ron Samford- 2/28/1930 (1954)
Johnny Antonelli-4/12/1930 (1954-1957)
Pete Burnside-7/2/1930 (1955, 1957)
Foster Castleman- 1/1/1931 (1954-1957)
Willie Mays- 5/6/1931-(1951-1952; 1954-1957)
Ray Crone- 8/7/1931 (1957)
Gail Harris- 10/15/1931 (1955-1957)
Ed Bressoud- 5/2/1932 (1956-1957)
Ozzie Virgil,Sr.- 5/17/1933 (1956-1957)
Roy Wright- 9/26/1933 (1956)
Joe Amalfitano- 1/23/1934 (1954-1955)
Bill White-1/28/1934 (1956)
Jackie Brandt- 4/28/1934 (1956)
Mike McCormick-9/29/1938 (1956-1957)


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Whitey Lockman, RIP

March 19, 2009 at 6:58 pm (Baseball, Life & Death, New York Giants)

Carroll “Whitey” Lockman, whose first nickname was “Pickles,” passed away. He was the steady first baseman of my boyhood team, the New York Giants.

“Lockman, with not too big a lead at second, but he’ll be running like the wind if Thomson hits one…”

I’m deeply saddened.

Here are some pictures:

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Stay Team, Stay…

March 6, 2009 at 8:43 pm (Baseball, Life & Death, New York Giants)

It’s been 50+ years and fewer and fewer of us are still around to grief the death, in 1957, of National League Baseball in New York City. It’s reincarnation in 1962, in the form of my now beloved New York Mets, is a poor substitute [if, for no other reason, the loss of the natural rivalry] for the loss of the New York Giants and the Brooklyn Dodgers. Yet another book comes out this summer about the departure west of these two great franchises. “After Many A Summer,” by Robert Murphy. I’ll be a readin’.

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