Results tagged ‘ Polo Grounds ’
The Yankees welcomed Girl Scouts from troops representing the Bronx neighborhoods of Wakefield, Riverdale, Van Cortland Park, Williamsbridge, City Island, Castle Hill, Highbridge, Parkchester and Hunts Point Saturday at Yankee Stadium in celebration of 100 years of Girls Scouting.
Representatives of the Girl Scouts of Greater New York (GSGNY) participated in a ceremony behind the plate prior to the Yankees-Blue Jays game. Those honored included Rose Littlejohn, board president of GSGNY; Dian Chambers, the Girl Scout Leader from the Bronx; Jasmine Rudolfo, the top cookie seller in the Bronx who sold 1,017 boxes this year and Junior Girl Scout Hailey Ascencio.
The Girl Scouts of Greater New York are celebrating their 100th anniversary this year, which also corresponds with the same year, 1913, that the Yankees changed the team name from the Highlanders after leaving Hilltop Park for the Polo Grounds.
The New York Yankees Foundation has supported Girl Scouts by providing a number of grants which fund programs such as the Girl Scouts Career Exploration Program, which is designed to broaden the career horizons of disadvantaged girls in five under-resourced schools in the South Bronx, 92 percent of whose students live below the poverty line. In the current school year, the program serves more than 1,500 girls.
“We could not be more elated to be honored at Yankee Stadium as the Girl Scouts and the Yankees share a rich legacy of supporting girls and their communities throughout the Bronx and New York,” GSGNY chief executive officer Barbara Murphy-Warrington said. “No matter where girls come from or they are, the Girl Scouts of Greater New York have constantly sought to instill in them the courage, confidence and character that drive them to become tomorrow’s leaders, and we are immensely grateful to the Yankees for their role in making these goals a reality.”
Major League Baseball marked the official start of All-Star balloting today for the 84th All-Star Game that will be held Tuesday, July 16, at Citi Field.
Yankees fans might have to make sure of write-in votes to help some of the players make it onto the team. The ballot does not include catcher Francisco Cervelli or outfielder Vernon Wells, for example. Chris Stewart is listed as the Yankees’ catcher, and the three outfielders on the ballot are Brett Gardner, Curtis Granderson and Ichiro Suzuki. Granderson has yet to play a game. Nor have first baseman Mark Teixeira or shortstop Derek Jeter. All had been expected back in May, which is why they were named to the ballot.
Jeter’s case has changed, obviously, with another break in his surgical left ankle that will keep him out of action until after the All-Star break. Alex Rodriguez, recovering from hip surgery, was never expected to play before the All-Star break, so Kevin Youkilis is listed as the Yankees’ third baseman. Also on the ballot are second baseman Robinson Cano and designated hitter Travis Hafner.
MLB’s All-Star balloting program is the largest of its kind in professional sports. Last year, more than 40.2 million ballots were cast, which was a record. This year, more than 20 million Firestone All-Star ballots will be distributed at the 30 major-league ballparks, each of which will have 25 dates for balloting, and in approximately 100 minor-league parks.
Fans may also cast votes for starters 25 times exclusively at MLB.com and all 30 club web sites, including Yankees.com. – online or via their mobile devices – with the 2013 All-Star Game MLB.com Ballot Sponsored by freecreditscore.com.
Every major-league club will have begun its in-stadium balloting no later than Tuesday, May 7. When the in-stadium phase of balloting concludes Friday, June 28, fans will have the opportunity to cast their ballots exclusively online at MLB.com, the 30 club web sites and their mobile devices until 11:59 p.m. Thursday, July 4. Firestone is once again the exclusive sponsor of the 2013 In-Stadium All-Star balloting program. The ballot features an All-Star sweepstakes, in which a winner will be rewarded with a trip for two to MLB All-Star Week, including airfare, hotel accommodations and tickets to the All-Star Game and other MLB All-Star Week events.
“All-Star Balloting is more popular than ever, and we hope for another record-setting year in 2013,” commissioner Bud Selig said. “Major League Baseball is thrilled that fans throughout the world will continue to choose their favorite players for the greatest sporting event of the summer. We look forward to adding a new chapter to the remarkable National League tradition of New York City at Citi Field this summer.”
This will mark the ninth time the All-Star Game has been in New York. The Yankees have been the host team four times in the Bronx – 1939 and the second of two games in 1960 in the original Yankee Stadium and 1977 and 2008 in the renovated Stadium. The game was also in Manhattan twice when the Giants were the host team at the Polo Grounds – 1934 and 1942 – and once each in Brooklyn when the Dodgers were the host team at Ebbets Field in 1949 and in Queens when the Mets were the host team at Shea Stadium in its inaugural season of 1964.
For the fifth consecutive year, this year’s ballot will feature the Home Run Derby Fan Poll. Fans will get to select three players in each league who they would most like to see participate in the Home Run Derby. The Fan Poll also will be available online at MLB.com.
Cano, the winner of the 2011 event at Chase Field in Phoenix, is one of the 10 American League candidates, along with designated hitter Adam Dunn of the White Sox; first baseman Prince Fielder of the Tigers; third basemen Miguel Cabrera of the Tigers, Evan Longoria of the Rays and Adrian Beltre of the Rangers; and outfielders Jose Bautista of the Blue Jays, Adam Jones of the Orioles and Josh Hamilton and Mike Trout of the Angels.
The 10 National League candidates are catcher Buster Posey of the Giants; first baseman Joey Votto of the Reds; third baseman David Wright of the Mets; and outfielders Carlos Beltran of the Cardinals, Ryan Braun of the Brewers, Bryce Harper of the Nationals, Jason Heyward of the Braves, Matt Kemp of the Dodgers, Andrew McCutchen of the Pirates and Giancarlo Stanton of the Marlins.
The AL and NL All-Star teams will be unveiled Sunday, July 7, on the 2013 MLB All-Star Game Selection Show presented by Taco Bell, televised nationally on TBS. The AL All-Star Team will have nine elected starters via the fan balloting program, while the NL All-Star Team will have eight. The pitchers and reserves for both squads – totaling 25 for the N.L. and 24 for the A.L. – will be determined through a combination of “Player Ballot” choices and selections made by the two All-Star managers – the AL’s Jim Leyland of the Tigers and the NL’s Bruce Bochy of the Giants.
Immediately following the announcement of the rosters, fans will begin voting to select the final player for each league’s 34-man roster via the 2013 All-Star Game MLB.com Final Vote Sponsored by freecreditscore.com. Fans will cast their votes from a list of five players from each league over a four-day period and the winners will be announced after the voting concludes Thursday, July 11. Now in its 12th season with more than 350 million votes cast, fans again will be able to make their Final Vote selections on MLB.com, club sites and their mobile phones.
This year’s final phase of All-Star Game voting again will have fans participating in the official voting for the Ted Williams All-Star Game Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet. During the game, fans will vote exclusively online at MLB.com and the 30 club sites via the 2013 All-Star Game MLB.com MVP Vote, and their collective voice will represent 20 percent of the official vote determining this year’s recipient of the Arch Ward Trophy.
The Yankees were hopeful of getting in a game finally despite deplorable conditions Friday night. The tarp covered the infield, a common site these days, an hour and a half before the scheduled first pitch, but it was not raining, which was a plus. What it was, was cold with a strong wind blowing in from left field.
At least it was dry enough to attempt to get in a game. The Yankees have had their fill of rainouts, having been boxed two nights in a row at Cleveland. It marked the first time the Yanks had consecutive games postponed since a doubleheader Aug. 27, 2011 at Baltimore due to the impending approach of Hurricane Irene.
The back-to-back rainouts at Cleveland was the first time the Yankees had games postponed on separate nights other than those related to the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 since June 11 and 12, 2000 against the Mets and the Red Sox, respectively.
The Mets rainout led to the same-day, different-venue doubleheader of July 8, 2000 in which the Yankees won both games in the afternoon at Shea Stadium and at night at Yankee Stadium by scores of 4-2. That was the first single-day, two-park major league doubleheader since Sept. 7, 1903 when the New York Giants beat the Brooklyn Superbas (later the Dodgers), 6-4, at Washington Park in Brooklyn in first game and lost, 3-0, at the Polo Grounds in Manhattan in the second game.
As the start of the American League Division Series between the Yankees and the Orioles being delayed for the second straight day suggests, weather more and more plays a factor in baseball’s postseason. Remember last year’s rainout of Game 1 of the Yankees-Tigers ALDS wiped out the start for pitchers CC Sabathia and Justin Verlander.
It is a sign of the times. Not to get overly nostalgic, but consider this. Monday marked the 56th anniversary of Don Larsen’s perfect game for the Yankees against the Dodgers in the World Series at Yankee Stadium. The momentous event occurred in Game 5. That same date Oct. 8 this year was for Game 2 of the ALDS.
The 1956 World Series ended with a Yankees victory at Brooklyn’s Ebbets Field Oct. 10. If the World Series goes the distance in 2012, the date of Game 7 will be Nov. 1. The weather can only get worse as the postseason continues to expand.
The Yankees’ five runs in the ninth inning in Game 1 at Camden Yards marked the fourth time they scored that many runs in the ninth inning of a postseason game. All the other times were also on the road. They scored seven runs in the ninth inning of Game 6 of the 1936 World Series against the Giants at the Polo Grounds and six runs apiece in the ninth inning of Game 2 of the ’36 Series and in Game 4 of the 1999 AL Championship Series against the Red Sox at Fenway Park.
At 40 years, 3 months, 24 days, Andy Pettitte was the fourth oldest pitcher to start a postseason game for the Yankees. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Yankees pitchers who were older than Pettitte were Roger Clemens (45 in 2007), Randy Johnson (43 in 2006) and David Wells (40 years, 4 months in October 2003). Wells was only a week younger than Pettitte.
Monday night’s Game 2 assignment was Pettitte’s 43rd postseason start. The total for the entire Baltimore staff was 10. It was also Pettitte’s 16th start in Game 2 of a postseason series, the most in history. Tom Glavine is second with 11.
Pitcher Dellin Betances was reinstated from the 60-day disabled list in order to participate in Arizona Fall League. To make room on 40-man roster, pitcher Cory Wade was designated for assignment.
The National Baseball Hall of Fame didn’t exist when the All-Star Game had its beginnings in 1933 at old Comiskey Park in Chicago, but the connection between the Midsummer Classic and the Cooperstown museum that opened in 1939 has become enriched over the years.
More than 45 percent of the 68 All-Stars named to the 2012 American League and National League squads for Tuesday night’s game at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Mo., are already represented in Cooperstown by artifacts in the Hall of Fame’s permanent collection.
Of the Yankees who are on this year’s AL All-Star team, second baseman Robinson Cano is represented at the Hall by the bat he used when he became one of three Yankees to hit grand slams in a game Aug. 25, 2011. Center fielder Curtis Granderson has a jersey from the 2007 season and a bat from 2011 in the Hall. Pitcher CC Sabathia donated the spikes he wore April 16, 2009 in his first game at the current Yankee Stadium.
Shortstop Derek Jeter has more than a dozen artifacts in the collection, including his batting helmet and gloves from his 3,000th hit July 9, 2011 against the Rays at the Stadium.
Here are the other 2012 All-Stars and their artifacts at the Hall of Fame:
Adrian Beltre (Rangers) – Bat used to hit grand slam on May 21, 2000; Team Dominican Republic jersey from 2006 World Baseball Classic; jersey from Game 4 of 2011 ALDS.
Billy Butler (Royals) – Cap from Sept, 26, 2009 game when he hit his 50th double of the season.
Miguel Cabrera (Tigers) – Batting helmet from Team Venezuela from the 2009 World Baseball Classic.
Yu Darvish (Rangers) – Spikes from 2009 World Baseball Classic.
Prince Fielder (Tigers) – Jersey from 2011 All-Star Game; bat used by Fielder when he became the youngest player to hit 50 home runs in a season in 2007.
Josh Hamilton (Rangers) – Bat used when he hit four home runs in a game May 8, 2012.
Felix Hernandez (Mariners) – Cap from Team Venezuela at 2009 World Baseball Classic.
Ian Kinsler (Rangers) – Bat from his 6-for-6 game April 15, 2009
Joe Mauer (Twins) – Bat and jersey from the 2009 season, when he won his third AL batting title.
David Ortiz (Red Sox) – 2004 Red Sox home World Series jersey; batting helmet used in 2005 when he set the single-season home run record for a designated hitter; and spikes from when he set the all-time home run record for a DH Sept. 15, 2009.
Justin Verlander (Tigers) – Balls from 2007 and 2011 no-hitters and jersey from his 20th victory Aug. 27, 2011.
Jered Weaver (Angels) – Ball from June 20, 2009 when brothers Jered and Jeff Weaver opposed each other on the mound; ball and jersey from May 2, 2012 no-hitter.
Carlos Beltran (Cardinals) – Jersey from 2004 postseason; cap worn while with Team Puerto Rico in the 2009 World Baseball Classic.
Melky Cabrera (Giants) – Batting helmet from when he hit for the cycle Aug. 2, 2009.
Matt Cain (Giants) – Ball, cap, spikes, first base and dirt from the pitching mound from his June 13, 2012 perfect game.
David Freese (Cardinals) – Game-worn jersey and bat from his Game 6 walk-off home run in the 2011 World Series.
Rafael Furcal (Cardinals) – Cap from his unassisted triple play Aug. 10, 2003.
Cole Hamels (Phillies) – 2008 World Series jersey.
Clayton Kershaw (Dodgers) – Jersey from his 2011 Cy Young Award season.
Craig Kimbrel (Braves) – Spikes from his rookie record 41st save in 2011.
Jonathan Papelbon (Phillies) – Glove from the 2007 season.
Buster Posey (Giants) – Catcher’s mask and spikes from the 2010 World Series.
Giancarlo Stanton (Marlins) – Batting helmet from the final “Florida” Marlins game Sept. 28, 2011.
Stephen Strasberg (Nationals) – Cap worn in his major-league debut June 8, 2010.
Dan Uggla (Braves) – Bat from 2008 when he became one of four Marlins with at least 25 home runs.
Joey Votto (Reds) – Bat from his May 13, 2012 walk-off grand slam as part of a three-homer game.
David Wright (Mets) – Bat from Team USA from the 2009 World Baseball Classic.
Class of 2012 Hall of Fame members Barry Larkin and Ron Santo left indelible marks in All-Star competition. Larkin was named to 12 All-Star Games (only Jeter, Luis Aparicio, Cal Ripken Jr. and Ozzie Smith have been selected to more All-Star Games as shortstops). Santo made nine All-Star appearances at third base. They will be enshrined July 22 during Hall of Fame Weekend in Cooperstown.
The connection between the All-Star Game and Cooperstown may best be summed up in the second annual game in 1934 at the Polo Grounds in New York. Counting players, managers and umpires, 31 future Hall of Famers took the field that day – the one game in baseball history that featured the most future Hall of Famers.
Before continuing their weekend series in Boston, the Yankees received troubling news about pitcher Michael Pineda, their major trade acquisition in the off-season. The righthander was shut down after throwing 15 pitches in an extended spring game Saturday in Tampa when he reported pain in the area behind his pitching shoulder.
Pineda, whom the Yankees obtained from Seattle Jan. 23 with pitching prospect Jose Campos in exchange for catcher Jesus Montero and pitcher Hector Noesi, opened the season on the 15-day disabled list because of right shoulder tendinitis. After resting the shoulder for nearly a month, Pineda was to make his first injury-rehabilitation assignment Saturday but experienced a setback. He is scheduled to undergo tests Monday.
Pineda’s condition means the Yankees need to get improved performances from their current starters, who aside from Ivan Nova have had lackluster results. Andy Pettitte, who is trying to come back to the majors after a year’s inactivity, could very well be needed by the Yankees next month when he presumably will be ready to rejoin them.
Friday marked the centennial of the first game at Fenway Park with the Yankees gaining revenge for having lost the first game 100 years ago by winning this time. On the day after that Fenway opener, the Highlanders (as the Yankees were then known) returned to New York to play an exhibition game against the Giants at the Polo Grounds in a benefit for survivors of RMS Titanic, which sank in the North Atlantic six days earlier. The Giants won the game, 11-2, which raised $9,425.25.
April 11 is an anniversary of sorts for the Yankees. On this date exactly 100 years ago, they wore pin-striped uniforms for the first time. An urban legend grew up that the Yankees went to pin-striped home uniforms in the 1920s to camouflage Babe Ruth’s girth, but that was just a myth.
Ruth was an athletic figure when he came to the Yankees from the Red Sox in 1920 and did not put on excessive weight until later in the decade by which time the pinstripes had become a major part of the team’s identity.
The Yankees were in their last year at old Hilltop Park on Manhattan’s upper west side and the last season in which they went by the nickname Highlanders when they displayed pinstripes for the first time April 11, 1912, four days before RMS Titanic sank in the North Atlantic.
Contrary to another myth, the Yankees were not the first ballclub to wear pin-striped uniforms. The Cubs had worn them as far back as 1907. The Yankees returned to plain white home unis in 1913, their first year at the Polo Grounds, but brought back the pinstripes for good in 1915 and have worn them ever since, adding the inter-locking “NY” logo in the 1920s. They were also the first baseball team to wear numbers on the backs of uniforms on a regular basis starting in 1929.
With the Yankees in Baltimore to complete a three-game series at Camden Yards, they could not celebrate by wearing pinstripes because they were wearing road grays, but they will show off the famous home uniforms Friday at Yankee Stadium.
Gates will open at 11 a.m. for the 110th home opener that will start at 1:05 p.m. with the Yankees against the Angels, featuring their prized, off-season acquisition – three-time National League Most Valuable Player Albert Pujols.
Former Yankees catcher Jorge Posada will throw out the ceremonial first pitch following a rendition of the National Anthem by Jeremy Jordan from the cast of the Broadway musical Newsies and a Navy F-18 Super Hornet flyover. Another Broadway performer, Paul Nolan in the title role from Jesus Christ Superstar, will sing “God Bless America” during the seventh inning stretch.
The Yankees have a 72-36-1 record in home openers and have won 13 of their past 14, 18 of 20 and 24 of 28. They won a record 11 straight home openers from 1998 through 2008 and are 6-0 all time in home openers played April 13.
Move over, Wade Boggs, and make room for an old teammate. Before Saturday, Boggs had been the only member of the 3,000 Hit Club whose milestone hit was a home run. It was ironic in that Boggs was one of the game’s greatest singles hitters.
So, too, has been Derek Jeter, who has singled for nearly three-quarters (74 percent) of his hits, including the one he got in the first inning for No. 2,999. Jeter made No. 3,000 special by driving a 3-2 curveball from Rays lefthander David Price over the left field auxiliary scoreboard and into the first section of stands at Yankee Stadium.
The best thing about a milestone hit being a home run is that there is more time to savor the moment because the player gets to round the bases while the crowd shows its appreciation. Jeter’s quest had been on hold for three weeks while he was on the disabled list nursing a right calf strain. The sense of anticipation with each at-bat was getting excruciating. Despite being banged up physically with Alex Rodriguez (left knee ligament tear) and Nick Swisher (strained left quad) out of the lineup, the Yankees had been willing to play two games Saturday following Friday night’s rainout in order for Jeter to have the best shot of getting to 3,000 at the Stadium.
What Jeter did was a first not only for the Yankees franchise but also for New York City. No one had ever gotten his 3,000th hit wearing a Yankees uniform, and no player had achieved the feat in a New York ballpark. It hadn’t happened at the previous versions of Yankee Stadium or at the old Polo Grounds across the Harlem River where the New York Giants once played or at Ebbets Field in Brooklyn that the Dodgers used to call home or at either of the Queens yards which have housed the Mets, Shea Stadium or Citi Field.
“Long before joining the 3,000 Hit Club, hit club, Derek Jeter became another one of New York’s icons,” New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg said in a statement, “because he represents what is best in the spirit of our city: an unbreakable belief that with hard work and determination, anything can be accomplished.
“Perhaps above all else, Derek is someone who loves this city and has a long history of giving back to the place and people that helped make him the superstar he is. New York has a greater baseball tradition than any other city, but we’ve never had a player get all 3,000 hits in a New York uniform until today. Congratulations, Derek. You’ve made all of New York City proud.”
The first player to greet Jeter at the plate was his closest friend on the team, Jorge Posada, who had been waiting a long time to give the shortstop this special hug. DJ looked up to the luxury box where his parents and other relatives and friends were standing and waved to them. Then it was hugs all around from his teammates, coaches and manager Joe Girardi. Pitchers ran in from the bullpen to join the lovefest.
Even the Rays – including another former teammate, Johnny Damon – stood on the top step or just in front of the third base dugout and applauded Jeter. And somewhere in the Stadium, Don Zimmer, the former Yankees coach and current Rays adviser who was here for the series, smiled and wondered how many of those hits came after Jeter had rubbed his bald head.
Jeter’s home run was his third this season and his first at Yankee Stadium since July 22 last year, also against Tampa Bay. It was the 237th home run of his career, so Jeter is not exactly a Judy of a hitter. Boggs had 118 home runs but had singles in almost exactly three-quarters (74.9 percent) of his 3,010 hits.
I talked to Boggs a few weeks ago for Yankees Magazine’s special edition on Jeter that went on sale at the Stadium immediately after the 3,000th hit. “Don’t be surprised if he goes deep, too,” Wade told me.
The only thing different is that Jeter did not kneel down and kiss the plate the way Boggs did when he got to 3,000 Aug. 7, 1999 for Tampa Bay against Cleveland at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla., just across the Howard Frankland Bridge from his home town of Tampa.
When Jeter hit a double to left in his third at-bat leading off the fifth, it created a possibility that he might be the first player to hit for the cycle in the game in which he got his 3,000th hit. All he needed to complete it was a triple, which sure would have tested that calf. But he’d have plenty of time to rest with the All-Star break coming up.
“It is a monumental achievement, and Derek has climbed the mountain,” Boggs said Saturday. “He has reached that honor, where he can stake his flag in the mountain and call it his own. I had the opportunity to play with Derek when he was a rookie in 1996, and I had no doubts that Derek would reach this milestone. He is a very consistent player and never deviated from his game.
“When you stay healthy and you are consistent and compile a lengthy career like Derek has done, you have the opportunity to reach that 3,000 hit plateau. Reaching the 3,000 hit mark is another piece of the legacy that Derek has created. It won’t be too long now before we are on the veranda in Cooperstown at the Otesaga Hotel celebrating his induction into the Hall of Fame.”
It isn’t every night that an opposing player at Yankee Stadium gets cheered as he rounds the bases on a home run. That rarity was experienced in the second inning Friday night when Jason Giambi drove a 2-0 fastball from A.J. Burnett into the right field bleachers to tie the score for the Rockies.
Giambi, who is getting the opportunity to be in the lineup regularly during inter-league play as Colorado’s designated hitter, once heard cheers on a regular basis in the Bronx in an often productive but also occasionally tumultuous eight seasons with the Yankees during which he hit 209 of his 423 career home runs, plus another six in post-season play, including one in the 2003 World Series.
“The Giambino,” as WCBS radio voice John Sterling calls him, was even accorded a shout-out from the bleacher creatures in the first inning after they went through the Yankees’ lineup, which he acknowledged with a wave from the third base dugout.
“You’ve got to play hard, and they appreciate that,” Giambi said before the game of Yankees fans. “Even when they’re hard on you and you hit a home run in the next at-bat, you get a standing ‘O.’ They’re incredible. They are as passionate as they possibly can be as fans.”
Frankly, after his last season with the Yankees in 2008, Giambi seemed to be finished as a major-league player. He returned to Oakland where he had won an American League Most Valuable Player Award in 2000 but was released in August 2009 after batting only .193 in 83 games. Giambi latched on with the Rockies and has been a useful pinch hitter the past three seasons.
Yankees manager Joe Girardi noted before the game that “Colorado may be best equipped of any National League team for inter-league play,” because of Giambi, who had 4-for-12 (.333) with a home run and three RBI in a three-game series at Cleveland.
Giambi has started 14 of the Rockies’ 75 games and on occasion has looked like his old self, no more so than May 19 at Philadelphia when he hit three home runs in a game. At 40, he became the second oldest player to homer three times in the same game. Hall of Famer Stan Musial was 41 when he hit three home runs July 8, 1962 against the Mets at the old Polo Grounds. I was in the stands for that one as a teenager. The Man’s third bomb that day cleared the right field roof.
Playing again before a Stadium crowd clearly was a joyous occasion for Giambi.
“It’s what you dream about as a kid,” he said. “To get a chance to put the pinstripes on, there’s nothing better on this planet. It challenges you in every possible way as a ballplayer. It’s a tough town, but at the same time, to play on the same field as [Mickey] Mantle, [Roger] Maris, [Joe] DiMaggio, [Babe] Ruth and [Lou] Gehrig and to know those guys wore the same uniform, it’s pretty special. My dad’s favorite player was Mickey Mantle, so I knew a lot about the Yankees as a kid. To have that opportunity to play was something special.”
A moment of silence was observed before the Yankees-Royals game Wednesday night in honor of a couple of guys named Bill, Bergesch and Gallo, who both died Tuesday.
Yankees fans may recall that Bill Bergesch served the team in various capacities in a 50-year career as a baseball executive, notably as general manager in the early 1980s. Bergesh, who was 89, first worked for the Yankees from 1964-67 as stadium manager after a two-year stint as assistant general manager and farm director of the Mets in their first two seasons at the Polo Grounds under former Yankee GM George Weiss.
As Yankee Stadium manager, Bergesch was instrumental in arrangements for the Papal Mass celebrated there by Pope Paul VI in October 1965 and received a medal issued by the Vatican to commemorate the occasion.
Bergesch’s other duties with the Yankees included director of scouting, vice president of player personnel and senior consultant. During his tenures with the Yankees, the team won the World Series in 1978 and 1996 and American League pennants in 1964 and 1981. He also held a variety of executive positions with the Cardinals, Athletics and Reds. As farm director of the Cardinals, Bergesch, a St. Louis native, signed future Hall of Fame pitcher Bob Gibson in 1957.
Bill Gallo, who was 88, spent more than half a century as the sports cartoonist with the New York Daily News and penciled drawings of Yankees stars from Joe DiMaggio to Derek Jeter. I got to know Bill well when we worked together at the News in the late 1980s. He loved baseball, but his real passion was boxing.
I recall a promotion the News sponsored at a mall in Jersey City in which I and Bill, Yankees stars Dave Winfield and Willie Randolph and others took part in a forum discussion.
I lived in Yonkers at the time, as did Bill, and the News sent a limousine there to pick us up. Along the way, we stopped in Manhattan to pick up Mark Breland, then a contending welterweight, and two retired champions, heavyweight Floyd Patterson and middleweight Rocky Graziano. I got an education about the fight game that day.
“Through his work as a cartoonist and columnist, Bill Gallo was the voice of generations of New Yorkers,” Yankees managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner said. “My father was a frequent subject of his work, and he had tremendous respect for Bill’s talents. My family and the entire Yankees organization offer our condolences to his wife, Dolores, and the Gallo family.”