On June 20, 1921, Babe Ruth hit his 127th career home run, moving him past Sam Thompson into second place all time for career homers and 11 homers behind all-time leader Roger Connor. His blast helped the Yankees on their way to a 7-6 win over the Red Sox in ten innings.
This piece by Paul Blackburn provides an abridged look at Game 7 of the 1960 World Series between the New York Yankees and the Pittsburgh Pirates. Living in New York, he describes the experience of Yankees fans, and there is something almost mystical about the City That Never Sleeps quieting down for a baseball game. I imagine that silence must have continued for a few days after that blast by Bill Mazeroski, the only winner-take-all walk-off home run in World Series history.
Happy Father’s Day to all the baseball dads! The fathers of ballplayers, the grandfathers of players, and the ballplayers who are fathers.
You can’t think and hit at the same time.
In a game against the Indians on June 15, 1925, the Philadelphia A’s found themselves trailing 15-4 going into the bottom of the eighth inning. That inning, the Athletics posted an astonishing 13 runs to take the lead. They held onto that lead in the top of the ninth and won the game, 17-15.
This week seems off to a decent start, so here’s one to keep up the good mood.
The Cleveland Symphony Orchestra was rehearsing Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony. There is an extensive section where the bass players don’t play for twenty minutes of so. One of them decided that, rather than stand around on stage looking bored and stupid, they’d all just file offstage during their tacit-time and hang out backstage, then return when they were about to play. It seemed like a good idea at the time.
On the night of the performance, the bass players filed off as planned. The last one had barely left the stage when the leader suggested, “Hey we’ve got twenty minutes, let’s run across the street to the bar for a few!”
This idea was met with great approval, so off they went, tuxedos and all, to loosen up. Fifteen minutes and a few rounds later, one of the bass players said, “Shouldn’t we be heading back? It’s almost time.”
But the leader announced, “Oh don’t worry, we’ll have some extra time – I played a little joke on the conductor. Before the performance started, I tied string around each page of his score so that he’d have to untie each page to turn it. The piece will drag on a bit. We’ve got time for another round!”
So another round they did, and finally – sloshed and staggering – they made their way back across the street to finish Ludwig’s 9th.
Upon entering the stage, they immediately noticed the conductor’s haggard, drawn and livid expression.
“Gee,” one player queried, “Why do you suppose he looks so tense?”
“You’d be tense, too,” laughed the leader. “It’s the bottom of the ninth, the score is tied and the basses are loaded.”
Two hours is about as long as any American can wait for the close of a baseball game, or anything else for that matter.