Monday, November 7, 2022

Fans Remember 1960s Encounters


TRIVIA WINNER: Congrats to Dan Taguchi of Los Angeles, who correctly identified 1965 as the year the Beatles played Shea Stadium. The Prize: Starbucks Gift Card.

NEW TRIVIA CONTEST:  By answering the TRIVIA QUESTION CORRECTLY you are automatically entered into a weekly drawing for a Starbucks Gift Card.  Please enter via and please put your mailing address in with the answer so we can send you the gift card in the mail.

ANSWER to the Trivia question in the previous column: The Beatles played Shea Stadium in August 1965.

EDS NOTE; Since we are trying to expand our mailing list and readership we want to build our mailing list. Readers on our email list receive the column each Monday directly into their mailbox. Please help us out by sending your email to We DO NOT SELL your emails.

NOTE; At the top right corner of the side bar you will see a link to daily sports scores. We made an agreement with Baseball 24 in a mutual sharing situation.

NEW TRIVIA QUESTION:  Three of the four players listed in the column below all played in what same city during their career?

 We are going to do something a little different this week. Reading our column has brought back some fun memories for some folks, so we thought we'd highlight a few.

Lin Christensen Bentrup, of Yankton, SD, relayed this story.

You recently asked for favorite 1960's players. I loved all of the TWINS, but Bob Allison was the first of "my boys." We were behind, Bob was due up. This 11 year old yelled "Hit a homer Bob!" & just like that it was over the Old Met score board! I KNEW he'd done it just for me! I finally met him years later with my 2 kids & related the story. The always kind gentleman signed his card to me & allowed us to pose with him for pix. The following year God called him home. Thanks for letting me tell that story once again.

 Samuel Barrett of Phenix City, AL, sent us this story.

You may be interested to hear about a very interesting family connection on my dad's side with a talented player who debuted with your Pirates in the late 60's.

My Pop (Grandfather) was in the Air Force back in the 60's when shortstop Freddie Patek was, and he was even in my Pop's "group." Patek was playing for the Air Force baseball team when he came to my Pop and requested a hardship discharge to take care of a family business. My Pop granted it and got it through pretty quickly, so Patek went home.
Not too long after that, the manager of the Air Force team came into my Pop's office mad because he discharged the star shortstop. Pop told him that he needed to help with the family business. The manager said "That's not what he's doing. He's been drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates and is going to play baseball!" My Pop, smart man he is, replied "Well, he'll probably be making more money there than he is here."

I wrote a letter explaining this story to Patek a couple months ago. He doesn't typically respond through the mail, but 4 days later he called me and talked to me for 10 minutes about the story and my Pop. He and my Pop have since talked on the phone, and I will call him back soon to talk baseball.

 Bob Ibach of Chicago, IL told us this story.

My dad was personnel director for Grand Union supermarkets when I resided in Rockville, MD as a kid.  In the middle 1960s, they had an outing at the Senators ballpark and Frank Howard was out in the bullpen before the game with our group, giving us tips.  
 I became a Senators usher when attending college.  I got a chance to chat with Frank on occasion.  In 1969, I had an internship with the Washington Post and was assigned to cover a Senators game--and guess what, I interviewed Howard after the game, much to his bewilderment.  That's because in the later 1960s, in addition to my usher job at the park, I worked part time on the weekends at Grand Union as a bag boy, putting groceries in the car.  Frank lived just blocks away from our store and on Saturdays, I'd let him in EARLY before we opened and helped push a shopping cart around inside the store so he could load up for his family of 7 kids. 
So when Frank saw me that day in the Senators locker room, he greeted me with this bewildered look and said, "they let bag boys in here now?"  We both shared a laugh.
In the 1970s I had gone on to the Baltimore Evening Sun and was the beat reporter covering the Orioles.  So when Frank would play the O's I'd see him again in the locker room.  "Man, you've been shadowing me for a decade," he would greet me saying.  "When you gonna give it a rest?"
In the 1980s, I was the Cubs PR director and I'd see Frank around the league.  We'd sit and chat.  After my boss, GM Dallas Green left the Cubs and went to become the Yankees manager, one evening I went up to nearby Milwaukee cause the Yanks were in town.  Dallas invited me to dinner after a day game. So I'm sitting down for dinner and who walks in to join us?  Frank Howard, who was also a Yankees coach.  He saw me and laughed out loud--"Oh my God, Dallas, this guy has been following me since the early 1960s!"  
When the Washington Nationals made it into the WS a few years ago.  My son Kevin, who works for MLB got the two of us tickets for 2 WS games in DC. Sitting in the lower grandstands, not far from the Nationals dugout before that first game, who comes out from the dugout area, now in a wheelchair?  None other than Frank Howard.  I couldn't believe my eyes.  He had been chosen to toss out the first ball.
I yelled out to Hondo and he looked around at me, started to laugh, and yelled back "will you ever give it a rest?"  Then he saluted me and my son.  I had tears in my eyes, seeing him in a wheelchair at this stage of his life.  But that smile we shared for a moment that night made me feel good inside.  Our journey through baseball had come to this, a beautiful ending that had gone on for over 50 years.
 And finally this one from E J Caine of Los Angeles.

I'm from Indianapolis, and I met Don Rudolph when I was a kid and he would come into my Dad's little drug store and pick up scripts for his wife, Patti (Waggin). 

My first encounter with Don Rudolph was through my father, Jack Caine, in the early summer of 1961. I was 9 years old, and my father was a pharmacist in downtown Indianapolis. His store was located very close to the Fox Theatre, probably the best-known burlesque theatre in Indianapolis. Patti was a dancer there, and Don was the star pitcher for the Indianapolis Indians, then the AAA farm team for the Chicago White Sox. One time, my father phoned home while Don was in his store, and had me speak to him. At the time, this was probably the most thrilling thing to have happened to me. The rest of the summer, for me, was a continuance of that: being allowed into the Indians' club house, getting a team autographed baseball, meeting Don on various occasions. 

Don was probably the star pitcher of the American Association (the AAA league that the Indians belonged to) in 1961, going 18-9 with an ERA well below 3.00, and getting a lot of local press. When he pitched the next season for the Senators, the local press would also make a big deal of the games that he pitched. I think that he may have had a streak of 26 or 27 innings of shutout ball in 1962. He would send me postcards throughout the seasons of 1962 and '63. As well, during the holiday season, our family would get a card from his family for a couple of years. I can remember getting a postcard from him at the end of the '63 season, saying something like, "I guess my prediction for a 20 game winning season went the other way."He went 7-19 for the Senators that year. He invited my family up to Comiskey Park for the last game between the White Sox and the Senators. I can remember that he spoke with us for a few minutes, and that was the last time that we saw or spoke to him.

TRIVIA CONTEST; After reading this column you can enter the weekly trivia contest for a chance to win a Starbucks Gift Card. Enter via the following email. Send 1) your answer to the trivia question at the top of the column, 2) your name, address and email so where we know where to send the card if you win 3) any comment you have on the column. One winner will be selected at random each week based on correct answers with the odds being based on the number of correct entries.  Please cut and paste or enter the following email into your email system.
I've written more than a dozen books including at least two sports books. You can find these at my Amazon page or at my own website Please take a look at the sports books, the western novel series or the "Tattoo Murder," which is a crime book set in Ventura, CA.

Use PayPal to or contact us at the same email for other payment. 

Thank you to those of you who purchased my books after reading this column.

No comments:

Post a Comment