Best Baseball Memories

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fwicker
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Best Baseball Memories

Post by fwicker » Tue Mar 17, 2020 10:19 am

Just an effort to lighten things up a bit... what's your favorite baseball memory? Here's mine:

In the mid 1960s I was a young teen and caddied at the Presidio golf course in San Francisco. As caddies we played for free on Mondays. One Monday four of us caddies were on the 5th hole and we were approached from the hole behind us by a twosome. The twosome was the local pro and Willie Mays. Willie was very cordial and polite when asking us, a ragtag bunch, if they could play through. Great smile. Of course they played through and I was really anxious to see how Willie would hit the ball. He had very strong wrists. He hit the ball a mile, unfortunately a big push to the right. Made my day.
"You can observe a lot by watching" - Yogi Berra

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Yah Mule
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Re: Best Baseball Memories

Post by Yah Mule » Tue Mar 17, 2020 10:36 am

Too many to name. My first baseball memory was my first baseball game. We went to Dodger Stadium in 1973. I was eight years old. They played the Pirates and won. I can't remember who the starting pitcher was, but Joe Ferguson hit a home run. I announced that Joe was my favorite player, which tickled my dad no end. I doggedly stuck with Joe as my guy until the Dodgers traded him to St Louis for the much better and cooler Reggie Smith. It took like a week for Reggie to become my new favorite Dodger. :lol:

Bronx Yankees
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Re: Best Baseball Memories

Post by Bronx Yankees » Tue Mar 17, 2020 11:03 am

Great question. Was just chatting about this very recently. For me, it was October 6, 1978. Attending my first Yankees play-off game. Seats in the nose bleeds. It was Game 3 of the ALCS, Royals at Yankees. Series was tied 1-1. Yankees wound-up winning 6-5 in a thriller. Had to look up the date and some of the stats, but the two things I always remember about that game are:

1. George Brett - the player I hated the most at the time due to the Royals' rivalry with the Yankees - hit three home runs in his first three at bats (all off of HOF'er Catfish Hunter to boot).

2. Thurman Munson - my favorite player - hit a 2-run homer in the bottom of the 8th to reverse a 5-4 deficit and put the Yankees up for good at 6-5. When that ball left the park ... pure ecstasy.

What could be better for a 12-year-old kid than to watch his favorite team win a big play-off game in person, and have his favorite player hit the game-winning homer? (Reggie Jackson also homered in that game.) Great times.

A close runner-up was October 14, 1976. Game 5 of the ALCS. Also, Yankees-Royals. I was 10 years old. Having gotten into baseball at about 5, the Yankees were always my team, but they stunk in the early-70's. 1976 is the first year I remember them being good. With the series tied 2-2, Chris Chambliss hit a walk-off, pennant-winning homer to propel the Yankees into their first World Series in my lifetime. I wasn't at this game; but I remember watching it in the basement of our house. For whatever reason, my parents had fallen asleep and so there was no one in the house to tell me to go to bed, and so I was watching it quietly until the Chambliss home run, at which time I screamed and woke my parents up. Of course, the Yankees would then get trashed in the World Series by the Big Red Machine, which definitely was one of the top three teams, if not the best team, that I've seen in my lifetime.
Mike Mager
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fwicker
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Re: Best Baseball Memories

Post by fwicker » Tue Mar 17, 2020 11:18 am

Another baseball memory of mine, that actually relates to fantasy quite closely, came in 1971. I left work early that day, headed out to Candlestick park, not sure why, I could only catch the last couple of innings. When I got there I saw a Giants player I didn't recognize in the on-deck circle. He had one of the sweetest lefty swings I'd ever seen. I had seen video of Ted Williams' swing and this player had one just as good. I thought to myself at the time "if I'm any kind of judge of baseball talent, this kid is going to be a star"

The player, Floyd Wicker, had been dealt to the Giants the night before. After 21 AB with the Giants his nascent career came to an end. My scouting career was put on hold.

But what a swing!
"You can observe a lot by watching" - Yogi Berra

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Yah Mule
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Re: Best Baseball Memories

Post by Yah Mule » Tue Mar 17, 2020 11:39 am

Floyd Wicker's only career home run came off Floyd Weaver. :D

https://www.baseball-reference.com/boxe ... 9260.shtml

Ultrarunner
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Re: Best Baseball Memories

Post by Ultrarunner » Wed Mar 18, 2020 8:09 am

From 97-00, I was stationed in Tucson AZ. My oldest daughter’s birthday fell about the time pitchers and catchers would report and we had the Diamondbacks, Rockies, and White Sox in town. I would take her to the ballpark and get baseballs signed “Happy Birthday, Natalie” by whoever happened to be available. In 2000, I gave the ball to a young White Sox SS named Mike Caruso and explained my request. He told me I hold on and left with the ball. A few minutes he came back and the whole White Sox team had signed it. In other years I got Jay Bell, Luis Gonzalez, Don Baylor, and Andy Fox to sign.

In 1999, my youngest (Olivia) was 2 years old and her favorite game was “let’s see how far we can run when daddy isn’t looking.” She ran out onto a diamond where the Diamondbacks were doing bunting drills. Tony Batista corralled her and herded her back to me. Fast forward to 2002, and I was sitting in the front row of Camden Yards behind 1B. Batista came by after his warm up jogs and I called to him. He came over and I asked if he recalled that and he said, “yeah, little blond girl.” That simple moment made me smile. We chatted a bit before he had to go into the clubhouse. Real nice guy

On the autographs, Jay Bell is a unique memory as his kid, Brantley, played for the Dayton Dragons a couple years ago. I got to show Brantley the ball, share the story with him, and get his autograph as well. Generational autographs.

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Greg Ambrosius
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Re: Best Baseball Memories

Post by Greg Ambrosius » Wed Mar 18, 2020 10:50 am

As a kid growing up in the Green Bay area in the 1960s, it was football all the time. Everyone had their own Packer uniforms and helmets and we all wanted to be Paul Hornung or Bart Starr. We played baseball in the summer, but the Milwaukee Braves left for Atlanta before the 1966 season, so it left a void for that sport.

I can remember in the spring of 1970 when there was talk about the Seattle Pilots moving to Milwaukee and I was in a Catholic Grade School (oh boy, now memories are rushing back) and Sister Mary Mary (I don't remember the real name) was our 4th grade teacher. She was a big baseball fan and she would pray for this franchise to come back to Milwaukee. I remember that because she was more excited about them than I was and when they came to Milwaukee it was cool, but you never identified with any of the players right away. I remember George "The Boomer" Scott and that's about it.

I was a big Bucks' fan at the time and I listened to Eddie Doucette on the radio at nights religiously. We didn't listen to many Brewers' games, but I did enjoy Merle Harmon and Bob Uecker. Uke was the color guy at the time and they let him call like 2 or 3 innings a game, but it became fun to listen to the radio even though the team was bad.

Then in 1974 the Brewers called up an 18-year-old kid that I could identify with. Robin Yount became my Bart Starr and I wanted to be like him. In 1975 I had a Letter to the Editor ready for Sports Illustrated because I thought they were ignoring him, but I never sent it in. I was too chicken and I didn't think they would publish it anyway. But I was that mad that nobody wrote about my hero.

I followed the Brewers as a teenager, but the Packers and Bucks were still my favorite franchises. The Brewers were never on TV, so you could only picture them through the newspaper and radio. They became more interesting when George Bamberger became the manager and they became one of the most enjoyable teams to follow once they became Harvey's Wallbangers. I went to every Opening Day from 1980-1992 -- 13 straight Opening Days and it snowed or rained each time to the point that we rented a U-Haul in the final several years to drink and play sheepshead in while somebody else cooked the brats and burgers on the grill. After graduating in college in 1982, I got a job 45 miles from Milwaukee (Delavan) and spent much of the summers of 1982, '83, '84 and '85 in the County Stadium bleachers ($3 a ticket). They were a big part of my life as a 20-something-year-old.

One last memory: My dad loved the Packers and bought season tickets in 1958 that we still have today, but he was never a big baseball fan. Never. One day in the summer of what must have been 1971, he took me and my younger brother Steve to County Stadium for a Sunday afternoon doubleheader. The drive is 2 hours, so for dad to do this was the best possible father-son day of our lives. I remember it was against the Minnesota Twins and we had seats down the third base line. The first game goes into extra innings and as kids we're loving this. Dad was in no mood for extra innings and in no mood for Game 2. We were in heaven!!! We stayed for parts of that second game, but I can't remember how long we stayed. But damn that day stood out.

Memories. Glad we have them. Glad we can communicate them.
Greg Ambrosius
Founder, National Fantasy Baseball Championship
General Manager, Consumer Fantasy Games at SportsHub Technologies
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Re: Best Baseball Memories

Post by rkulaski » Thu Mar 19, 2020 6:18 pm

My dad’s job had taken us from Chicago to Nashville, but we’d travel back north a few times a year to visit family. In 1983, when I was 10 years old, he took me and my sister to our first Sox game that summer against the Orioles.

My favorite memory was Greg Luzinski hitting one on the Comiskey roof, which my dad told me a 100 times doesn’t happen often. I would’ve preferred the roof HR would’ve been hit by Fisk or Kittle but I just always remember how happy my dad was to see that Luzinski HR and I was happy because he was.

Also, I don’t remember a lot when I was 10, but I do remember one other event at that game. My dad tried to get Rick Dempsey’s autograph that day. He was warming a pitcher up in the bullpen and I’ll never forget Dempsey telling my dad to leave him alone and then both of them started yelling and cussing at each other. Dad didn’t get the autograph but the Sox won the game so it was a happy drive leaving the ball park.
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fwicker
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Re: Best Baseball Memories

Post by fwicker » Thu Mar 19, 2020 7:48 pm

In the early 70s I attended a double header between the Giants and Expos (May have been Padres - I consumed a few beers both before and during the contests). Three things stand about that day:

1). It was a double header! Two for one, can’t beat that, those days are gone.

2). In both ends of the double header Dave Kingman, then playing for the Giants, hit monstrous homeruns. The local press at the time dubbed them “moonshots”. To this day you will rarely see homeruns with both the height and distance of Kingman’s. Even with the happy fun ball.

3). During one of the games there was a bench clearing brawl. I don’t recall the reason for it. But during the brawl there was Don Zimmer, the opposing third base coach, swinging away at players decades younger. And this was a man with a metal plate in his head (press sensationalism .... it was actually pins in his head). But to see this guy in his 40s with cranial prosthesis out there swinging away - now THAT’S BASEBALL!
"You can observe a lot by watching" - Yogi Berra

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Yah Mule
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Re: Best Baseball Memories

Post by Yah Mule » Fri Mar 20, 2020 1:02 am

rkulaski wrote:
Thu Mar 19, 2020 6:18 pm
Also, I don’t remember a lot when I was 10, but I do remember one other event at that game. My dad tried to get Rick Dempsey’s autograph that day. He was warming a pitcher up in the bullpen and I’ll never forget Dempsey telling my dad to leave him alone and then both of them started yelling and cussing at each other. Dad didn’t get the autograph but the Sox won the game so it was a happy drive leaving the ball park.
This is great. :lol:

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Yah Mule
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Re: Best Baseball Memories

Post by Yah Mule » Fri Mar 20, 2020 1:08 am

fwicker wrote:
Thu Mar 19, 2020 7:48 pm
In the early 70s I attended a double header between the Giants and Expos (May have been Padres - I consumed a few beers both before and during the contests). Three things stand about that day:

1). It was a double header! Two for one, can’t beat that, those days are gone.

2). In both ends of the double header Dave Kingman, then playing for the Giants, hit monstrous homeruns. The local press at the time dubbed them “moonshots”. To this day you will rarely see homeruns with both the height and distance of Kingman’s. Even with the happy fun ball.

3). During one of the games there was a bench clearing brawl. I don’t recall the reason for it. But during the brawl there was Don Zimmer, the opposing third base coach, swinging away at players decades younger. And this was a man with a metal plate in his head (press sensationalism .... it was actually pins in his head). But to see this guy in his 40s with cranial prosthesis out there swinging away - now THAT’S BASEBALL!
I saw Kingman hit one to dead center @ Dodger Stadium that was probably the most towering home run I've ever seen. Not sure if it went as far as the one I saw Jack Clark hit that banged off the second wall (which no longer exists) in the left field bullpen between the palm trees, but they were both incredible.

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