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  1. #1
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    Rememberances of times past

    I have always been a baseball fan from the time I can remember. I always will be. I accept the game that it is and I still love it.


    But I have to tell you how the game was when I was growing up. I was born in June 1938. Let me tell you about the 1950 season.. It consisted of two eight team leagues and a 154 game season. The Yankees in the AL and the Dodgers and Giants in the NL.


    The Yankees season opened on Tuesday April 18. The Yankees beat Boston 15-10 with Don Johnson with the win and Joe Page the save. Allie Reynolds started and only went three innings. Joe D and Dom DiMaggio played CF for the Yanks and Bosox respectively. The game went 3 hours and 28 minutes, the longest of the season. The first of only 11 games that the Yankees played all season that went over three hours.


    At that time all the games started at 3 PM. I don't know if they played any night games but I doubt it. The Yankees had a powerful lineup and frequently won the games in the late innings, most times with a HR thur the nickname "5 O'clock Lightning".


    At the time I was 12 and in the six grade of St Michaels Elementary School. I would rush home and put on our Philco radio and sit rapt listening to the game till it was over. That year the Yankees played 23 doubleheaders, nine on Sunday.


    The shortest game that they played that year lasted only one hour and 28 minutes. Eight games that year were under two hours. As you can imagine two were by Whitey Ford who came up late in the season finishing the season 9-1 before going into the army for two years.


    I spent most of that season listening to the games on the radio and then playing baseball every evening baseball with my buddies.

    The last game of the season was on September 28th. Tommy Byrne beat Mel Parnell of the BoSox.

    The Yankees went on to the WS where they beat the Phillies in 4 straight with Ford Beating a surprise starter in Jim Konstanty 1-0.


    The spring of 1951 was an exciting one with Mel Allen and Curt Gowdy extolling the virtues of a rookie phenom named Mickey Mantle who literally tore up Spring Training. He won the Jim Dawson award for the best rookie in the camp.


    I have great memories of that time period and I hope all of you have similar great memories of baseball in your youth.


    I will not get in a debate of when baseball was in its greatest years.
    I enjoyed my youth time experiences and I enjoy todays game. I look avidly to tonights game and to the next several years of what I expect to see another Yankee Dynasty.


    I have been, still an and will forever be a Yankee fan


    Warmest regards to all of you.


    Go Yankees


    Andy
    Yogi is a National Treasure. Let's put him in a National Hall of Fame. The man has no peers.

  2. #2
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    Re: Rememberances of times past

    Thanks for sharing this. I was born in 1951 and even with all the games I have seen since the 1960's I wish I could have seen games back in the late 40s and 50s. Must have been great.

  3. #3

    Re: Rememberances of times past

    cool stuff
    the 1890's socialist Player's League, founded by workers:
    socialistappeal.org/history-theory/us-history/959-the-1890-players-league.html

  4. #4

    Re: Rememberances of times past

    Wow great post! A game lasting just under an hour and a half I couldn't even imagine that. I wish I could have seen and listened to some of those all time greats play. As John Sterling likes to say in his broadcasts "we always like to talk about stats today" One of my favorite stats really of all that I've looked at is Joe D having almost as many career hrs as career Ks 361 to 369. Just can't help but smile when you look at that. Thanks for sharing some memories with us.

  5. #5

    Re: Rememberances of times past

    Wow very cool stuff Andy thank you. Some little stuff in there I didn’t know...all games starting at 3:00 was one. And the season starting April 18th? The winter is long enough I can’t imagine waiting three more weeks for the season to start!
    He gone!

  6. #6

    Re: Rememberances of times past

    Quote Originally Posted by ace View Post
    Wow very cool stuff Andy thank you. Some little stuff in there I didn’t know...all games starting at 3:00 was one. And the season starting April 18th? The winter is long enough I can’t imagine waiting three more weeks for the season to start!
    154 game season. No "playoffs", just a World Series. And with regular doubleheaders, it was easy to start mid-April and finish in September.

  7. #7

    Re: Rememberances of times past

    This is great stuff, Andy! I know baseball is romanticized a lot but it's for good reason. Stories like this both make me feel grateful for being able to grow up when life was still somewhat simple (70s/80s) but also wistful for these even simpler times. Personally, I think the game would be better off if the powers that be took some of the ideas from the past and revisited them (shorter season and doubleheaders would be a good start).
    /sarcasm
    KayNOTForPresident

  8. #8
    Tends to be difficult JL25and3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KayForPresident View Post
    This is great stuff, Andy! I know baseball is romanticized a lot but it's for good reason. Stories like this both make me feel grateful for being able to grow up when life was still somewhat simple (70s/80s) but also wistful for these even simpler times. Personally, I think the game would be better off if the powers that be took some of the ideas from the past and revisited them (shorter season and doubleheaders would be a good start).
    Doubleheaders were great, but games were much shorter then. 1-1/2 hours was exceptional, but 2-1/2 was ordinary. Of course, in the late 60s there was no offense to speak of, which was the main reason games were so short.

  9. #9
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    Re: Rememberances of times past

    Quote Originally Posted by JL25and3 View Post
    Doubleheaders were great, but games were much shorter then. 1-1/2 hours was exceptional, but 2-1/2 was ordinary. Of course, in the late 60s there was no offense to speak of, which was the main reason games were so short.
    Not true. Less commercial time. No walk up music for batters and once they got up they stayed in the box. Much less pitching changes. That's why the games were faster.

  10. #10

    Re: Rememberances of times past

    Quote Originally Posted by ymike673 View Post
    ...once they got up they stayed in the box. Much less pitching changes. That's why the games were faster.
    There's nothing you can do about pitching changes but getting batters to stay in the box and pitchers to not take forever between pitches would solve a LOT of the pace issues baseball is having. Then you can have doubleheaders. But actually, if they cut the schedule back there wouldn't be a need for DHs anyway.
    /sarcasm
    KayNOTForPresident

  11. #11

    Re: Rememberances of times past

    I am about 10 years younger than Andy and would like to add in my 2 cents.

    Although I was a baseball fan and a huge Yankee fan in the mid to late 50's, I feel that the 60's represented the golden age of baseball. The playoff system did not start until the end of that decade so you continued to limit the post season's qualifiers to the two winners of the AL and NL. The Yanks ruled for the first half of the decade followed by some tough times for our guys in the second half.

    Football had not yet reached anywhere near its current popularity and so baseball was still our national pastime without question. It was the latter part of the decade when the Packers and Vince Lombardi started to make noise and draw attention. The first Super Bowl was held in 1967 and caused no where near the insanity that goes on today. Give Joe Willy some credit for jolting the interest in the sport by winning super bowl 3 in 1969, yes the same year the NY Mets startled all of sports by winning the series vs the heavily favored Orioles.

    The 60's for me was the golden decade of baseball because of the players who performed during this time. Not good or solid players, but stars, Hall of Famers. A short list would include: Mantle, Mays, Aaron, Clemente, McCovey, Cepeda, Frank and Brooks Robinson, Koufax, Ford, Marichal, Maris, Berra, Bob Gibson, Kaline, Seaver, Drysdale, Wills, Yaz, etc. I know I have left out others. Let us also remember that it was not until the 60's that baseball was truly integrated with black and Latino players, expanding the game to players of incredible talent. Yes, it started with Jackie in 1947 and such talented players drew more widespread exposure during the 50's. But many teams were hesitant to make this a reality until the late 50's, with the Yanks and Bosox being amount the last teams to do so. Such exposure exploded during the 60's.

    The 60's was also the decade that TV coverage of the game enabled a larger audience to actually watch the games. This started during the 50's but it wasn't until the 60's that national tv coverage started to truly blossom with the Saturday game of the week. This just added to baseball's national popularity. Just think...no one ever saw Joe D play unless you saw a game live in person, or it was a World Series game broadcast on tv. It wasn't until the mid 50's that local tv coverage was commonplace, but that really blossomed during the 60's.

    Well, much time has passed since those days and the game has changed quite a bit. Playoffs, wild cards, artificial turf, the DH, domed stadiums, closers, etc. Still the underlying game is still the same with the goal still the same. Build the best team you can and try to be the last team standing after the final game is played. I love this game and always will. My only regret is that the younger fans will not have had the opportunity to watch the great players that I have watched, not have experienced the great moments I have. But you younger folks will get to see the future. I plan on hanging around for some time to come so we will no doubt share some common memories yet. Enjoy the game for the great game that it is. There are many more memories to come!

  12. #12
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    Re: Rememberances of times past

    Quote Originally Posted by Yankee Steve View Post
    I am about 10 years younger than Andy and would like to add in my 2 cents.

    Although I was a baseball fan and a huge Yankee fan in the mid to late 50's, I feel that the 60's represented the golden age of baseball. The playoff system did not start until the end of that decade so you continued to limit the post season's qualifiers to the two winners of the AL and NL. The Yanks ruled for the first half of the decade followed by some tough times for our guys in the second half.

    Football had not yet reached anywhere near its current popularity and so baseball was still our national pastime without question. It was the latter part of the decade when the Packers and Vince Lombardi started to make noise and draw attention. The first Super Bowl was held in 1967 and caused no where near the insanity that goes on today. Give Joe Willy some credit for jolting the interest in the sport by winning super bowl 3 in 1969, yes the same year the NY Mets startled all of sports by winning the series vs the heavily favored Orioles.

    The 60's for me was the golden decade of baseball because of the players who performed during this time. Not good or solid players, but stars, Hall of Famers. A short list would include: Mantle, Mays, Aaron, Clemente, McCovey, Cepeda, Frank and Brooks Robinson, Koufax, Ford, Marichal, Maris, Berra, Bob Gibson, Kaline, Seaver, Drysdale, Wills, Yaz, etc. I know I have left out others. Let us also remember that it was not until the 60's that baseball was truly integrated with black and Latino players, expanding the game to players of incredible talent. Yes, it started with Jackie in 1947 and such talented players drew more widespread exposure during the 50's. But many teams were hesitant to make this a reality until the late 50's, with the Yanks and Bosox being amount the last teams to do so. Such exposure exploded during the 60's.

    The 60's was also the decade that TV coverage of the game enabled a larger audience to actually watch the games. This started during the 50's but it wasn't until the 60's that national tv coverage started to truly blossom with the Saturday game of the week. This just added to baseball's national popularity. Just think...no one ever saw Joe D play unless you saw a game live in person, or it was a World Series game broadcast on tv. It wasn't until the mid 50's that local tv coverage was commonplace, but that really blossomed during the 60's.

    Well, much time has passed since those days and the game has changed quite a bit. Playoffs, wild cards, artificial turf, the DH, domed stadiums, closers, etc. Still the underlying game is still the same with the goal still the same. Build the best team you can and try to be the last team standing after the final game is played. I love this game and always will. My only regret is that the younger fans will not have had the opportunity to watch the great players that I have watched, not have experienced the great moments I have. But you younger folks will get to see the future. I plan on hanging around for some time to come so we will no doubt share some common memories yet. Enjoy the game for the great game that it is. There are many more memories to come!



    Steve,


    Great thoughts. As long as there are kids with a ball and bat, baseball will live on. We've had great memories, but as long as we stay young in spirit there will be many more great memories to experience and many more great players to root for and enjoy watching them play.


    Andy
    Yogi is a National Treasure. Let's put him in a National Hall of Fame. The man has no peers.

  13. #13

    Re: Rememberances of times past

    Quote Originally Posted by Nome View Post
    Steve,


    Great thoughts. As long as there are kids with a ball and bat, baseball will live on. We've had great memories, but as long as we stay young in spirit there will be many more great memories to experience and many more great players to root for and enjoy watching them play.


    Andy
    Andy,
    I couldn't agree more. It brings out the little kid in all of us. It is a great game and will continue to be so.
    Steve

  14. #14
    Tends to be difficult JL25and3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ymike673 View Post
    Not true. Less commercial time. No walk up music for batters and once they got up they stayed in the box. Much less pitching changes. That's why the games were faster.
    Just “not true?” You don’t think the AL hitting .230/.297/.339 as a league might have made more of a difference than walk-up music?

  15. #15
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    Re: Rememberances of times past

    Quote Originally Posted by JL25and3 View Post
    Just “not true?” You don’t think the AL hitting .230/.297/.339 as a league might have made more of a difference than walk-up music?
    Plenty of hitting in the 40s and 50s and the games were fast. Plenty of hitting in 1961 too.

  16. #16
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    Re: Rememberances of times past

    Quote Originally Posted by KayForPresident View Post
    There's nothing you can do about pitching changes but getting batters to stay in the box and pitchers to not take forever between pitches would solve a LOT of the pace issues baseball is having. Then you can have doubleheaders. But actually, if they cut the schedule back there wouldn't be a need for DHs anyway.
    If a batter walking straight to the box and staying there shaved 20-30 seconds off the time of the AB given 60-70 total plate appearances in a game and you would cut the time of game by 30-45 minutes.

  17. #17
    Tends to be difficult JL25and3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ymike673 View Post
    Plenty of hitting in the 40s and 50s and the games were fast. Plenty of hitting in 1961 too.
    Plenty of batters stepping out of the box, too.

  18. #18
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    Re: Rememberances of times past

    I think it's worth mentioning how different the kids' game is now, too. It seems to me most modern kids have never played unorganized, unsupervised ball. One of the great things about my early memories of the game were the variety of places and modes we self-organized to play ball with no stinkin' adults, bases, lines or dedicated fences. Dried horse poop makes for a perfectly decent base, but you do need to get the fresh ones out of the base paths. The barn is the backstop, etc. The endless creativity of ground rules, things like "invisible runners" to make up for short-handed teams, endless discussions about self-umpiring calls--all this went a long way towards developing social skills.

    I assume the urban kids on here didn't use horse poop, but have similar experiences. (Cow poop is definitely inferior, it doesn't dry as nicely--it stays kind of gross.)
    "Deep to left! Yastrzemski will not get it! It's a home run! A three-run homer by Bucky Dent! And the Yankees now lead by a score of 3-2!" - New York Yankees announcer Bill White (October 2, 1978)

  19. #19

    Re: Rememberances of times past

    Quote Originally Posted by theDurk View Post
    I think it's worth mentioning how different the kids' game is now, too. It seems to me most modern kids have never played unorganized, unsupervised ball. One of the great things about my early memories of the game were the variety of places and modes we self-organized to play ball with no stinkin' adults, bases, lines or dedicated fences. Dried horse poop makes for a perfectly decent base, but you do need to get the fresh ones out of the base paths. The barn is the backstop, etc. The endless creativity of ground rules, things like "invisible runners" to make up for short-handed teams, endless discussions about self-umpiring calls--all this went a long way towards developing social skills.

    I assume the urban kids on here didn't use horse poop, but have similar experiences. (Cow poop is definitely inferior, it doesn't dry as nicely--it stays kind of gross.)
    INVISIBLE RUNNERS - I remember them well

  20. #20
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    Re: Rememberances of times past

    Thanks for the memories, Andy. You made me think back to what I remember growing up in the 1950's. I think the string of Yankee World Series wins from 1949 to 1961 made me think that the Yanks were invincible. Each year my friends and I would look forward the picking out one Yankee each year to follow. For me I enjoyed watching Jerry Coleman because he played the position I played, second base and seemed to get clutch hits in the WS.
    I also enjoyed the debates that my Red Sox friends a I over who was the greater player, Joe DeMaggio or Ted Williams.
    I can't believe that at my age I still get very excited and anxious watching these latest Yankees in the playoffs. I hope I'm still around over the next several years to watch these kids develop into a new dynasty. Once the Yankees got into my blood in 1947, I have been a loyal fan. I also refuse to believe that football is the national pastime...to me it's still baseball.

  21. #21
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    Re: Rememberances of times past

    I was born in 1969. My parents weren’t into baseball, my dad was a trucker and he was gone a lot. I discovered the game through my uncle, but only saw him once or twice a month. I played Little League ball for a few seasons, but didn’t have the day to day exposure and “push” to play competitively so I quit when I was 9. The only time baseball was on TV was during the World Series, so I have some memories of watching the Yankees in the latter half of the 70’s.

    It wasn’t until we moved from NJ to PA, and I got my own room with my own TV that I dove full force into following Yankee baseball. It was around the ‘82 season I would listen to the radio when I was supposed to be asleep. I found if I turned the dial really slow, I could pickup stations in Detroit, Cleveland, Baltimore and Chicago among others. I had many sleepless nights when the Yankees were on the West Coast.

    We played wiffle ball in our small yard. The clothes line was the outfield wall, even better if I “acquired” some sheets to hang from it. A stone in the sidewalk to the shed was 1B, which was an uphill run, 2B would be whatever we could find, and 3rd base was a tree. Great times. We didn’t have any farm animals
    If they ask who was our star, give them 25 names, and if you forget our names, just tell them we were Yankees.

  22. #22
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    Re: Rememberances of times past

    Quote Originally Posted by YankeeSTH View Post
    INVISIBLE RUNNERS - I remember them well
    YOU MISSED THE TAG!

    Did not!

    Did too!

    It was a force play, I don’t have to tag!

    But you weren’t anywhere near the base!

    Quit whining and get in the box!
    If they ask who was our star, give them 25 names, and if you forget our names, just tell them we were Yankees.

  23. #23
    Tends to be difficult JL25and3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by theDurk View Post
    I think it's worth mentioning how different the kids' game is now, too. It seems to me most modern kids have never played unorganized, unsupervised ball. One of the great things about my early memories of the game were the variety of places and modes we self-organized to play ball with no stinkin' adults, bases, lines or dedicated fences. Dried horse poop makes for a perfectly decent base, but you do need to get the fresh ones out of the base paths. The barn is the backstop, etc. The endless creativity of ground rules, things like "invisible runners" to make up for short-handed teams, endless discussions about self-umpiring calls--all this went a long way towards developing social skills.

    I assume the urban kids on here didn't use horse poop, but have similar experiences. (Cow poop is definitely inferior, it doesn't dry as nicely--it stays kind of gross.)
    I lived on a cul-de-sac where the manhole cover was home plate, a patch of different-colored concrete on the curb was first base, the sewer grating was second base, and third base...well, we’d look for some oil patch in the right area.

    Invisible runners were essential.

  24. #24

    Re: Rememberances of times past

    Quote Originally Posted by theDurk View Post
    I think it's worth mentioning how different the kids' game is now, too. It seems to me most modern kids have never played unorganized, unsupervised ball. One of the great things about my early memories of the game were the variety of places and modes we self-organized to play ball with no stinkin' adults, bases, lines or dedicated fences. Dried horse poop makes for a perfectly decent base, but you do need to get the fresh ones out of the base paths. The barn is the backstop, etc. The endless creativity of ground rules, things like "invisible runners" to make up for short-handed teams, endless discussions about self-umpiring calls--all this went a long way towards developing social skills.

    I assume the urban kids on here didn't use horse poop, but have similar experiences. (Cow poop is definitely inferior, it doesn't dry as nicely--it stays kind of gross.)
    If it is ever aired, I recommend you watch "New York Street Games" on PBS. Dr Koop agrees with everything you write, and so do I.

  25. #25
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    Re: Rememberances of times past

    Quote Originally Posted by JL25and3 View Post
    I lived on a cul-de-sac where the manhole cover was home plate, a patch of different-colored concrete on the curb was first base, the sewer grating was second base, and third base...well, we’d look for some oil patch in the right area.

    Invisible runners were essential.


    I am almost ashamed to say this but we lived two blocks away from a cemetary. The grave markers were the flat kind just laying on top of the grass.
    We sometimes played our baseball there using appropriate markers as bases and home plate.


    Hey we were only 8-10 years old then. At least we kept the departed company


    Andy
    Yogi is a National Treasure. Let's put him in a National Hall of Fame. The man has no peers.

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