Saturday, July 20, 2019

Hall of Fame Baseball Weekend Special

Okay, Yankees fans:  so, where were YOU 50 years ago today???

Well, Gene Michael was having the weirdest game of his life.  Two, count 'em, two errors in one inning, leading to all the runs scored by the other team.  PLUS...three hits, including the walk-off, extra-inning single.

Who knows what was going on?  Maybe Stick was daydreaming, thinking about how he could build the greatest team of all time one day...

Of course, 1969 was THE batting year of Stick's career:  .272 BA, .705 OPS, 24 doubles...a career-high 7 stolen bases (he also got one on this day).

Yanks won, 3-2, in 10 innings against the long-defunct Washington Senators, before 32,933 at the original Cathedral.  The whole thing took three hours and 17 minutes.

Bill Burbach started for the Yanks, but lasted only 2 2/3, thanks to Michael's errors.  Then—talk about a great bullpen—they brought in Steve Hamilton for 4 1/3 innings of 1-hit, 5-strikeout relief, followed by Jack Aker for another 4 shutout innings and the win.

The Yanks' lineup:

Me, 2B (2 hits, en route to a career-high .285)
Jerry Kenney, 3B (replaced early by Bobby Cox)
Murcer, RF
White, LF (3 hits, his 20th double, batting .313)
Jimmie Hall, 1B (Pepitone was probably watching the moon landing)
Stick, SS
Ron Woods, CF
Gibbs, C

And...July 20th, 1858:  the owners get a bad idea.

Yes, baseball owners decide to charge admission for the first time, to a "world series" between New York and Brooklyn all-star teams.  The fee was 50 cents, for the game at the Fashion Race Course, near where The Stadium Formerly Known As Shea is today.

(Designed to keep away the rowdies, the price was...perhaps as low as $15.70 or as high as $2,500 today...and there were no rat turds on the hot dogs!)

The game drew an astonishing 4,000 fans, who watched New York score 5 in the 8th, to win 22-18.  The next game was...the next month.  Brooklyn rebounded to win, 29-8.  In the rubber match—in September—New York closed it out, 29-18.  No, Jonathan Holder was NOT pitching.

And our quote of the day about 1858 comes from "Old Pete" O'Brien, a veteran baseballist on the Brooklyn Atlantic: 

          “Somehow or other they don’t play ball nowadays as they used to some eight or ten years ago.  I don’t mean to say that they don’t play it as well…But I mean that they don’t play with the same kind of feelings or for the same objects they used to…It appears to me that ball matches have come to be controlled by different parties and for different purposes than those that prevailed in 1858 or 1859.”

That was said in 1868—surely the very first "good old days" quote.

Happy Hall of Fame Weekend!


Mike Fan Cessa said...

This is awesome, Hoss. Thank you.

Rufus T. Firefly said...

Ron Woods?

Love his early stuff with Faces. I was wondering where he got his start.

Rufus T. Firefly said...

The more things change, the better they used to be.

Rufus T. Firefly said...

Something else was in the news 50 years ago today. More proof MLB hates the Yankees.

TheWinWarblist said...

Those 1858 hot dogs were full of rat feces with rat feces relish on top 2 cents extra.

Rufus T. Firefly said...

"Those 1858 hot dogs were full of rat feces with rat feces relish on top 2 cents extra."

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Publius said...

Ron Woods is fine, so far as he goes. But true aficiandos prefer Mick Taylors. And then there are the purists...they like Brian Joness.

HoraceClarke66 said...

Thanks, Mike!

And actually, Warbler, in 1858 they were simply called "Rat Rolls." Dead rats were in abundance then because of the thriving sport of rat baiting—since banned by those meddling do-gooders. Liberals! Arrrgggh!

ranger_lp said...

Did they have oddsmakers for rat baiting?

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