Thursday, July 15, 2010

An E-Mail to My Son

From Dad

David....good job on your blog today..I am glad you wrote about Bob Sheppard. He was a Yankee Stadium institution as much as The Boss was and it was a great thrill for me to hear him announce your name when you played for the Orioles.

When I first started to go to Yankee Stadium in the early 60s as a beat writer covering the Angels for the Long Beach paper the monuments were actually located on the playing field in center field and Sheppard would announce in that great, precise, wonderful voice, "ladies and gentlemen, you are kindly invited to inspect the monuments in centerfield, but when inspecting the monuments, please stay on the warning track. Thank you." One of my traveling colleagues, the late Bud Tucker of the San Gabriel Valley paper, could do a great imitation of that announcement, but when Reggie Jackson left the Yankees and joined the Angels in the 80s as a free agent, he was even better at it.

I will always recall a wonderfully funny player named Rocky Bridges, who was on the Angels initial team in 1961, my first year on the baseball beat. Rocky played both infield and outfield, and in one slapstick game at Yankee Stadium (of course, those expansion Angels had several slapstick games against the Yankees), there was a deep drive that got between the outfielders and, as it rolled between the monuments, the pursuing Rocky, as his teammates told it after the game, kept yelling..."Ruth, Gehrig, DiMaggio, somebody throw the damn ball."

Love, Dad

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