The Baseball Guru OMI: Ramblings by Herb Rogoff

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NOV 2008: THE BASEBALL GURU ARTICLE FROM

ONEMOREINNING

   Why is Major League baseball still promulgating the myth that Jackie Robinson was our first black to play ML ball. Baseball historians and SABR have been printing articles for years now that dispel that myth. The first black in the ML was Moses Fleetwood Walker, the second was his brother Welday and during the late 1800s when they both played, there were at least 80 blacks in the game. Period!

    Boy I’ve missed a lot of players who have been in the game. Would give anything to have seen Ruth, Gehrig, Cobb, Shoeless Joe, Delahanty, Wagner, Foxx, Greenberg, Moe Berg, Dean, Mathewson, Hubbell, Alex the Great, Three Fingered Brown, Speaker, Simmons, Charleston, Josh Gibson, Cool Poppa Bell, and probably a hundred more.

    How can they destroy the Stadium? ‘Nuf said!

    Never went to EBBETTS FIELD when it was here in NY. ‘Nuf said

    I guess we have reached the point now where it’s apparent that Ichiro will be our first Japanese Hall of Famer.

     When will there ever be a decent, FACTUAL film made about our baseball icons. At this point they all are pretty contemptible!

     As a person who has written about Jews in the game and given talks at various venues on the subject, Its nice to see Ryan Braun and Kevin Youkilis doing so well.

     If you love the game of baseball why should anyone complain about the games being much too long. I have no problem watching a game no matter how long it takes to complete.

      I’ve known Fred Schulman for close to twenty years now. He first came to my attention when I was giving talks on the game at the Riverdale Senior Center. He would come by after I was through and tell me how much he enjoyed them. Then one day he came over to me and said that since he’s been retired he really had nothing to do and what did I think of the idea of his going to the stadium and acting as a cheerleader of sorts to get the crowd pepped up for the game. I told him it was a great idea and a legend was born.           I’m talking about Fred the Fan and he is now a Yankee icon.

   I write a baseball magazine……twenty years now……and with all that (and this year in particular) I would say at least 60 to 70 % of the players playing today are not familiar to me……… and its getting worse!

    …….And speaking of Yankee stadium……I’ve seen wonderful games and players there but one joy I had when I was younger had nothing to do with any of the above. When the game was over we were allowed to go on the field itself to get to the train to get home to the Bronx. In my case it took awhile for me to cross the field. In a ritual I would do every time I was on the field, I would step on homeplate, go around every base in the infield and then walk from right, center and leftfield, stop and  look around the whole Stadium and know that I had touched areas where Ruth, Gehrig and so many other greats had trod. Must have done it close to a hundred times and always felt a sense of awe and wonder. Alas that ended when Steinbrenner came on the scene. How nice it would be if in the friggin’ new Stadium they set a few days aside to let that happen again!

   Forget about organized baseball….here are two games not from the professional arena:

My nephew Jared is now the Sports Director of CBS radio. We went to one of his Little League games when he was quite young, and in the ninth inning he made a crucial error, two runs scored, and the opposing team went ahead 6-3. In the bottom of the ninth Jared came up with two outs and the bases loaded. The count went to 2 balls–2 strikes and with all of his family (including myself) ready for the worst, he proceeded to hit a game winning grandslam.

   Another Little league story. My 8 year old grandson Kyle was playing first base for the New City River Dogs who were playing against the New City Scrappers that day. With runners on first and third, the batter hit a pop–up over fist base, kyle went darting back, caught it, tagged the runner leading off first, and then went running over to third, and  stepped on the bag because the runner had not tagged up, for an unassisted triple play. It was the first unassisted triple play in the history of New City Little League and I imagine in most other LL as well

   Two great games!

 

JUST RAMBLIN

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