CASEY STENGEL: The Complex,
By Harvey Frommer
lovers and Yankee haters and all those in between who have responded to
first two pieces on Charles Dillon Stengel, for you to enjoy and write
about is another in the series.
including himself, Casey Stengel was equally at ease using the back of
or the glad hand. Not unduly concerned about hurting a
player's (or anyone else’s feelings) by a sarcastic or sharp
criticism even in front of others, Stengel picked his times.
the club was losing, he was muted. He even praised players when they
doing well. When the Yankees were winning, he became almost intolerably
riding his players, trying to prevent a let-down.
“They know when they're losin' and feel bad
enough. But they'd better not fall asleep on me when they think
going la-de-dah,” he’d say.
He was hardest on the top talent like Mickey Mantle. Tolerance was reserved for those with lesser ability. He
hesitate to replace these players as soon as he could. But he also
denigrate them when they were on the scene, not much.
Stengel said of Bobby Richardson. “He doesn't drink, he doesn't smoke,
doesn't chew, he doesn't stay out late, and he still can't hit .250.
some of my stars drink whiskey, but I have found that ones who drink
don't win many ball games.”
time, he went
to the mound to remove a pitcher.
tired," said the annoyed hurler.
"I'm tired of you," Stengel replied.
sat down next
to Bob Cerv in the Yankee dugout: "Nobody knows this, but one of us has
just been traded to Kansas
an announcer for Radio Station WRVA in Richmond, Virginia
came in with a tape
recorder. "Mr. Stengel, "I'd like to tape an interview with you and
Mantle and a couple of other players for a sports show. Fifty thousand
players," barked Casey, "Don't ask me. I got no time for
broadcasting. I'm managing a ball club here."
asked him: "What was the idea of firing Rizzuto on Old Timer's day?
There's been a lot of editorial comment about that here in Boston."
the full response treatment. “You're entitled to your opinion, But I'll
you this. I needed an outfielder which when I saw the chance to get
took it. It was his first time around on waivers and you don't think
got him the second time around, do you? Also, I got four outfielders
Collins, Siebern, and Noren. If anything happens to Mantle, what
happens to me
then? Also you got to remember Hunter comes through pretty good at
short so I
don't need Rizzuto. Now wait a minute, wait a minute here.”
The legendary Roger
Kahn covered the Yankees for a time and got a close look at Casey in
“We flew back from Milwaukee
after the Braves had taken games four and five of the 1957 World
noted author said. ” I was with Stengel at the Stadium and a guy from
put a microphone in his face and asked: ‘Did your guys choke up out
“And Stengel said: ‘Do
you choke up on that fucking microphone?’
“And then he turned
around, dropped his pants, scratched his buttocks and kept talking. Later Stengel explained to me: ‘We've gotta
put a stop to them terrible questions. When I said ‘Fuck' I ruined his
and when I scratched my ass I ruined his video."
feelings about Stengel. Clubhouse meetings could last an hour or more
Casey motor-mouthing it non-stop.
confused a lot
of players,” Rizzuto said. “He had two tempers, one for the public and
and one for the players under him. The players were frequently dressed
the dugout and clubhouse. He could charm the shoes off you, if he
but he could also be rough.”
Written by acclaimed sports author and oral historian
Harvey Frommer, with an intro by pro football Hall of Famer Frank Gifford, When
It Was Just a Game tells the fascinating story of the ground-breaking AFL-NFL
World Championship Football game played on January 15, 1967: Packers vs.
Chiefs. Filled with new insights, containing commentary from the unpublished
memoir of Kansas City Chiefs coach Hank Stram, featuring oral history from many
who were at the game-media, players, coaches, fans-the book is mainly in the
words of those who lived it and saw it go on to become the Super Bowl, the
greatest sports attraction the world has ever known. Archival photographs and
drawings help bring the event to life.
Frommer is in his 39th year of writing books. A noted oral historian
journalist, the author of 42 sports books including the classics:
“New York City Baseball, 1947-1957″ and best-selling “Shoeless Joe and
Baseball,” his acclaimed Remembering Yankee Stadium was published in
best-selling Remembering Fenway Park was published to acclaim in 2011.
Frommer mint condition collectible sports
books autographed and discounted are available always from the author.
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