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
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
# # #
You can reach
Harvey Frommer at:
About the Author:
Harvey Frommer is in his 38th year of writing books.
A noted oral historian and sports journalist, the author of 42 sports
books including the classics: "New York City Baseball,1947-1957" and
"Shoeless Joe and Ragtime Baseball," his acclaimed REMEMBERING YANKEE
STADIUM was published in 2008 and his REMEMBERING FENWAY PARK: AN ORAL
AND NARRATIVE HISTORY OF THE HOME OF RED SOX NATION was published to
acclaim in 2011. The prolific Frommer is at work on When It Was
Just a Game, An Oral History on Super Bowel One.
His work has appeared in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times,
Washington Post, New York Daily News, Newsday, USA Today, Men's Heath,
The Sporting News, among other publications.
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Frommer along with his wife, Myrna Katz Frommer are the authors of
five critically acclaimed oral/cultural histories, professors at Dartmouth
College, and travel writers who specialize in cultural history, food, wine, and Jewish history and heritage
in the United States, Europe, and the Caribbean.
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