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Yankee Stuff

This has not been a memorable year so far for the Yankees of New York.

Roger Clemens has taken the money and fizzled. 

Reliever Scott Proctor carried his personal game equipment out to the field long after a 7-0 loss to Oakland and set it ablaze on the gravel outside the Yankees dugout, and the fans are getting restless waiting to see who thankfully replaces Joe Torre or Brian Cashman or both.

But even with all of the bad news today yesterday (the great, the goofy and the grand) still keeps the Yankee legend aglow:

Babe Ruth Day Speech, April 27, 1947:

Thank you very much, ladies and gentlemen. You know how bad my voice sounds. Well, it feels just as bad. You know, this baseball game of ours comes up from the youth. That means the boys. And after you're a boy and grow up to play ball, then you come to the boys you see representing clubs today in your national pastime. The only real game in the world, I think, is baseball.

As a rule, people think that if you give boys a football or a baseball or something like that, they naturally become athletes right away. But you can't do that in baseball.  You got to start from way down, at the bottom, when the boys are six or seven years of age. You can't wait until they're 14 or 15.   You got to let it grow up with you, if you're the boy. And if you try hard enough, you're bound to come out on top, just as these boys here have come to the top now.  There have been so many lovely things said about me today that I'm glad to have had the opportunity to thank everybody.

Yankees Manager Saga/Under George Steinbrenner In Chronological Order
Year(s) Name Won-Loss

1973           Ralph Houk  80-82
1974-1975 Bill Virdon 142-124
1975-1978 Billy Martin 279-192
1978 Dick Howser 0-1
1978-1979 Bob Lemon 82-51
1979 Billy Martin 55-40
1980 Dick Howser 103-59
1981 Gene Michael 48-34
1981-1982 Bob Lemon 17-22
1982 Gene Michael 44-42
1982 Clyde King 29-33
1983 Billy Martin 91-71
1984-1985  Yogi Berra 93-85
1985  Billy Martin 91-54
1986-1987  Lou Piniella 179-145
1988 Billy Martin 40-28
1988 Lou Piniella 45-48
1989 Dallas Green 56-65 
1989-1990  Bucky Dent 36-53
1990-1991  Stump Merrill 120-155
1992-1995  Buck Showalter 313-268
1996  Joe Torre  

George Steinbrenner's "Seven Commandments" for judging Billy Martin

1.  Does he win?
2.  Does he work hard enough?
3. Is he emotionally equipped to lead the men?
4. Is he organized?
5. Is he prepared?
6. Does he understand human nature?
7. Is he honorable?


That the day Gehrig replaced Pipp was the day the 2,130 game streak began. It actually began the day before when the man they could call the Iron Horse pinch hit for Pee Wee Wanninger who replaced shortstop Everett Scott who had the record for consecutive games played (1307) until Wanninger took his place. 

That Billy Martin punched St. Louis catcher Clint Courtney. at St. Louis' Sportsman's Park on April 28, 1953 --  Yanks and the Browns was a close one, but in the top of the 10th, Gil McDougald broke the 6-6 tie by barreling into Courtney at home plate and jarring the ball loose.

"I'm going to cut the first guy I reach," Courtney promptly announced when he came to the plate in the bottom of the inning. Yankees hurler Allie Reynolds heard the declaration and tried to go up and in on Courtney, but missed. The St. Louis catcher lined the ball into right field and raced around the bases in search of a double, but was far behind the throw to the second base bag.

But Scrap Iron came through on his promise and slid into second with his spikes high. Phil Rizzuto,covering second on the play and was cut badly

The Bronx Bombers immediately retaliated. Reynolds, McDougald and first baseman Joe Collins were on top of Courtney, the three of them swinging wildly. Both benches cleared as After a lot of flying dust and a lot of flying punches, the melee cleared. Umpire John Stevens emerged from the brawl with a separated shoulder.

The fines handed out totaled $850 then a major league record for a brawl. Courtney was docked $250. But the most mysterious fine was the $150 tagged on Yankee second baseman Billy Martin, who never threw a punch.

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You can reach Harvey Frommer at:   

Email:  harvey.frommer@Dartmouth.EDU 

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.

FROMMER SPORTSNET (syndicated) reaches a readership in the millions and is housed on Internet search engines for extended periods of time.
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Dr. Frommer is the Official Book Reviewer of Travel-Watch. 
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Harvey 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. 

This Article is Copyright 1995 - 2014 by Harvey Frommer.  All rights reserved worldwide.


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