Harvey Frommer / Players Yankees
Yankee Stadium - Excerpts
Barnstorming Around America with the 1927 New York Yankees
Remembering Bobby Murcer
By Harvey Frommer
Bobby Murcer became a Yankee just after the glory times of the franchise, 1949-64, and I followed his baseball exploits along with millions of others. There was always a pleasing presence about the man.
It was a stunner when he was traded on October 21, 1974 to the San Francisco Giants for Bobby Bonds, Barry's dad. That was where I entered the story.
The summer of 1975 I was traveling about with the Philadelphia Phillies (The Mets had informed the League Office that they could not host me) writing my first book - A Baseball Century: the First Hundred Years of the National league.
It was a very interesting experience going from city to city and interviewing players, managers, coaches, owners. I used a big boom box tape recorder and an even bigger briefcase to store my tapes, credentials, media guide and notes. I truly was a "beginning author."
I arrived at San Francisco's Candlestick Park and interviewed the long-time owner of the Giants Horace Stoneham and his long-time publicist Garry Schumacher and other Giants.
Then I came upon Bobby Murcer. He was not a part of the National League story, not a part of the subject matter of the book I was writing and was so honed in on.
But I decided to talk to him anyway and get some of his thoughts. Affable, smiling, a bit out of uniform in the garb of the Giants, Murcer was a pleasure to be with.
I thanked him for his time and continued on in my relentless pace interviewing in the locker room and on the field. I must have stopped for a snack or something and came back to where I thought I had put my tape recorder and tapes.
They were not around. Weeks of work not around. I started to panic. I asked everyone no one had seen them. I re-traced my interview steps no luck.
I was out on the windy Candlestick Park field and spied Bobby Murcer and explained my plight. He said something about never letting things important to you out of your sight. He suggested we go back into the dressing room to look.
He reached up and into his locker. "Here they are," he smiled "Someone must have put them there," he continued in that distinctive Oklahoma drawl. "Let me autograph a baseball for you to make your day a little better."
I always suspected that Bobby Murcer was the "someone." He was always the practical joker. I'll never forgot that day and that moment of panic and the lesson Bobby Murcer taught me.
Harvey Frommer, now in his 33rd consecutive year of writing sports books, is the author of 39 of them including the classics: "New York City Baseball,1947-1957" and "Red Sox Vs Yankee: The Great Rivalry." Frommer's REMEMBERING YANKEE STADIUM (Abrams, Stewart, Tabori and Chang) an oral/narrative history will be published in September as well as a reprint version of his SHOELESS JOE AND RAGTIME BASEBALL.
Frommer sports books are available direct from the author - discounted and autographed.
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