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Baseball Notes, Not Likely Found Elsewhere

March 28, 2022

Let’s take a break from what has been an “if it can go wrong,it does/missed opportunities/must deal with the fall out, NCAA Basketball Tournament and cite a few random baseball notes.

Once, while working for ABC, a year after “getting” him, John Tudor and Tito Landrum for a post game 4/’85 World Series interview, Reggie Jackson asked that I go upstairs and ask the legendary Yankee Stadium public address announcer, Bob Sheppard to record an announcement, indicating Reggie was up to bat.

Mr. Jackson wanted Mr. Sheppard’s words and had secured such an “intro,” from another great P.A. man, Sherm Feller, for years in that role, at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts.

Now “folla” (ode to Robert Shaw in “The Sting”) as greats “collide.”

Similar to Feller, being among the P.A. greats, Mel Allen has that status among baseball broadcasters, while Sandy Koufax is certainly accorded such esteem, when categorizing baseball’s top pitchers.

Sandy had shown signs of future greatness but was not “there,” yet, when Allen pronounced his last name “Koo”fax in his 1959 World Series (radio, as it was a rare year the Yankees were not in the W.S. and Mel so often was on the television broadcast with them) introduction.

Two years later, one player away from a big, deserved hand for former Boston (Braves) great left handed pitcher, Warren Spahn, I am pretty sure it was Feller (certainly Bob Feller was a great pitcher) who introduced “Sandy “Koo”fax,” at the second All-Star Game of 1961, which was played at Fenway Park.

You can not have such a game today and believe me, its result will always haunt me, however, the greatness and meaning of the one game playoff for the ’78 A.L. East crown, in principle supersedes its result.

Bill White, the starting N.L. first baseman in that ’61 All-Star tilt at Fenway Park, called Russell “Bucky” Dent’s three run, transformative (Boston fans have other names for it) homer, as a Yankees broadcaster those 17 years later in “same calendar” 1978

On the last Friday of the ’74 season, there are real races in three of the four divisions, truly compelling ones in two.

In a “meaningless”/non “div” race game, the starters are Mike Torrez for the Montreal Expos (remember them?) and Jim Lonborg for the Philadelphia Phillies.

On the last day of the incredible 1967 American League season/pennant race, Lonborg, though he and the Red Sox trailed (2-0), pitched Boston to the precipice of the pennant, in a win that knocked the Minnesota Twins out of the race.

When Dick McAuliffe, a title winner with the Tigers the next season, hit into his only double play of the season, the Angels were such to the Bo Sox, clinching the latter’s first A.L. flag in 21 years, doing so as a 100 to 1 “Impossible Dream” team.

11 years later in same calendar, 1978, though leading (2-0), Boston and Mike Torrez lost to the Yankees, who secured a third straight, true one quarter “div” title and eventually won a third straight pennant and second consecutive World Series.

Click below to see (I loosely paraphrase another Andy, (Warhol) regarding brief spotlight), me (Andy B.) appear in a black sweater and holding Reggie’s jacket at the 26 second mark, to procure interviews with Tudor and Landrum, for Reggie Jackson.

In a future post, much more on that story/event.

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