Saturday, June 26, 2010

You had to be there and I was

This is a historic weekend at Dodger Stadium. Thanks to interleague play the New York Yankees are in town to the play the Dodgers. Joe Torre is facing the team he took to the playoffs twelve straight years and was basically showed the door. And some of the players on both teams were actually alive when the Dodgers & Yankees met last in the World Series in 1981. It's a circus, there's no question, but also great to say you were there to witness a possible milestone.

On the other hand, I’ve already been on hand to see some of the great moments of major league baseball.

I was in Anaheim Stadium the day Seattle outfielder, Kevin Mitchell (pictured left) ate a chili dog during a game and threw up in the dugout so violently that he went on the disabled list for two weeks with strained ribs.

I was in the Kingdome when Mariner pitcher, Eric Gunderson, made an illegal move to first base and a balk was called. Except there was no runner on first. He was on second. So he was balked to third where he scored on a fly ball to win the game.

I was at Dodger Stadium this year when Arizona pitcher Esmerling Vasquez balked in the winning run.

I was in Tiger Stadium when Omar Visquel bunted into a triple-play.

I was at the LA Coliseum when Leo Durocher kicked umpire Jocko Conlin in the shin.

I was at Dodger Stadium the night Cincinnati pitcher, Pedro Borbon got so mad that during a bench clearing brawl he started swinging at his own teammates.

I was at the LA Coliseum two years ago when the Dodgers played the Red Sox and a Boston player was caught stealing 2-8 (catcher to centerfielder).

I was in Olympic Stadium in Montreal the night their paid attendance was higher than 3,000.

I was at Dodger Stadium on “Casey Stengel Night” when a foul ball hit his wife.

I was at Citifield when Erin Andrews was hit by a foul ball.

I was at Memorial Stadium in Baltimore when the Queen of England attended a game and declined my offer to read the Esskay Out of Town scoreboard in the third inning of our Orioles broadcast.

And I was in Yankee Stadium the day a fan fell out of the upper deck.

Oh…wait. I forgot. I was also at Dodger Stadium the night Kirk Gibson hit the game winning home run in the opener of the 1988 World Series. It’s not Kevin Mitchell upchucking on his teammates shoes but it was pretty cool.

28 comments:

Anonymous said...

"I was in Olympic Stadium in Montreal the night their paid attendance was higher than 3,000."

Funny joke, but the Expos drew over two millions fans every year from 1979 to 1983 (except the strike-shortened 1981), which was almost exactly what the Yankees were drawing those same years. They used to be a respectable franchise until they were run into the ground by bad ownership.

http://www.baseball-almanac.com/teams/montattn.shtml

Mike Bell said...

I was at the Kingdome when the paid attendance was about 1,500, and that didn't include our group of 5. We had freebie tix from the prize drawer of our radio station. The mariners went through their entire pitching staff and finally brought in the third baseman to pitch. They still lost.

YEKIMI said...

So what you are saying is: If you're in the stadium, it's best to stay away that night because something weird will happen or a dangerous fight will break out.

Anonymous said...

I want to be there when Pedro Borbon goes after the Queen of England. As I recall, the Expos used to be a good draw, till that Loria installed the feudal kingdom; the same one that's going to ruin the Marlins, after he extorts millions from the city.

Nathan said...

I was at Fenway for the 1978 one-game playoff. I was at Yankee stadium on the fourth of July when Righetti threw a no hitter.

Too bad I'm a Red Sox fan. :(

(My work verification for this was "untorre". That has to be a sign of something.)

i could be a bob said...

I was at Fenway when Rick Dempsey imitated Fisk and slid around on the tarp in a rain delay. Good times.

BTW, his name is spelled Omar Vizquel.

Richard Y said...

"I was in Anaheim Stadium the day Seattle outfielder, Kevin Mitchell (pictured left) ate a chili dog during a game and threw up in the dugout so violently that he went on the disabled list for two weeks with strained ribs."

I threw up so violently when I had the Hong Kong flu in the late 60's I cracked 2 ribs.

Brit said...

"...made an illegal move to first base and a balk was called. Except there was no runner on first. He was on second. So he was balked to third where he scored on a fly ball to win the game."

Sigh. This is why the rest of the world doesn't get baseball - jargon!

Nathan said...

Sigh. This is why the rest of the world doesn't get baseball - jargon!

Of course, Cricket, on the other hand is completely accessible to all.

Sheesh!

Somersby Creek said...

An unfair snipe at Canadians, Ken. The Expos had die-hard fans all over the country. Their shuffle off to Washington was painful for a lot of us... Maybe this is a good time to bring up the numbers of that support their NHL team in Phoenix, Florida and Tampa Bay?? ;-)

DJ said...

Ken, don't you remember that great NLCS when the Dodgers beat a great Expo team in front of sell-out, singing crowds in Montreal? And when their team lost, ending a wonderful season, they sang a little more, and went peacefully home.

KEN LEVINE said...

Yes, and Canadian immigration officials hassled Rick Monday for years.

Cap'n Bob Napier said...

Years ago, Detroit ruled their division wire-to-wire. That same year they played a three-game stand in the Kingdom and were swept by the Mariners (who were having the usual hapless deason). I was there for the first and last games. After the last one I drove home quickly to catch the highlights on ESPN. With seconds to go in the broadcast and nary a mention of the game the score was finally flashed on the screen and the announcer said, "And there's the score from the Tiger's game." I've rarely ESPN's Sportscenter or Baseball Tonight ever since.

benson said...

Cap'n Bob...Don't you know there was a Yankees-Red Sox series coming up in 3 and a half weeks that they had to preview.

ddrabk said...

I was at Memorial Stadium in Baltimore when the Queen of England attended a game and declined my offer to read the Esskay Out of Town scoreboard in the third inning of our Orioles broadcast.

That would bethe Esskay Wrigley Field Fenway Park style hand operated scoreboard

yatesy said...

i called the gibson home run. i was watching the game at a friend's house and there was just something about his walk to the plate. i turned to my friend's dad and said "home run". he laughed at me. i shoulda put money on it ;)

Jeffrey Leonard said...

I was at Dodger Stadium the night a huge fight between more than ten idiots broke out on the Reserve Level. Oh yeah, that was tonight. At least, the Dodgers managed to beat the Yanks.

Brit said...

CRICKET: As explained to a foreigner...

You have two sides, one out in the field and one in. Each man that's in the side that's in goes out, and when he's out he comes in and the next man goes in until he's out. When they are all out, the side that's out comes in and the side thats been in goes out and tries to get those coming in, out. Sometimes you get men still in and not out.

When a man goes out to go in, the men who are out try to get him out, and when he is out he goes in and the next man in goes out and goes in. There are two men called umpires who stay all out all the time and they decide when the men who are in are out. When both sides have been in and all the men have been out, and both sides have been out twice after all the men have been in, including those who are not out, that is the end of the game!

Nathan said...

Thanks Brit. Now I totally get it.

:D

scottmc said...

I was at the Kindome for a Royals-Mariners game with my brother.We were in the front row of the upper deck, directly behind home plate( a great seat to see a game).Juan Samuel was finishing up his career with Kansas City. When his name was announced in the starting line-up my brother, remembering Samuel's time with the Mets, booed him. The sound was unlike anything we'd ever experienced. It bounced all around the place. And it seemed like everyone in the building turned around to look.(I don't know if it just scared people, or fans in Seattle don't boo the opponent that much.)
I was at Olympic Stadium for a Mets game where Met fans outnumbered Expo fans 10-1, which was sad, but I saw Vlad Gueurreo hit maybe the strongest homerun I ever saw.
But my most unique baseball experience was seeing three major league games in one day. On a Thursday the Mets played Montreal at Shea Stadium. Wednesday night's game had been rained out-so they played two on Thursday. (In one game the Expos pitcher pitched a one hitter, I think losing the no-hitter in the 7th inning.) After the second game I took two subway trains and arrived at Yankee Stadium in the 2nd inning for a Yankees-Indians game. (Usually, the Yankees and Mets don't play home games the same day but there was a strike/lockout earlier that year and the Yankee Stadium game was a make-up game.) It just occured to me that the four ballparks mentioned in this rememberance are all gone.
Ken, with the Yankees visiting I wondered if in the days leading up to the series did you hear from long lost friends looking for tickets to the games?

Michael said...

I was in Dodger Stadium the night John Denny dislocated his shoulder throwing a pitch and because Garvey doubled with runners on, nobody noticed Denny was writhing in pain on the mound.

By the way, when Durocher kicked Conlan in the shin, Jocko was the plate umpire, so he had on shin guards. Because Conlan took nuttin' from nobody, he kicked back--and plate umpires wear steel-plated shoes. Jocko was thrilled when a Dodger player told him that Leo had welts on his shin for a week.

Just to take that story a step further, remember when Billy Martin threw dirt in an umpire's face? Conlan was asked what he would have done and he replied, "Martin would have been carried off the field."

Cap'n Bob Napier said...

I meant to type Kingdome, not Kingdom. The Kingdom is where the Jehovah's Witnesses play. Alas, they've never won a pennant because they don't believe in them.

Another fond memory of the Kingdome: Owner George Argyros was in his box one night and the crowd, not happy with losing A-Rod, chanted "Jump, George, jump!" over and over. He sold the team shortly after.

Patrick Spreng said...

I have a friend who was at the opener of the 1988 World Series . . . and left the stadium after the 8th inning!

Mr. Snrub said...

In my 25+ years of baseball game attendance, I have seen no less than twenty bench-clearing brawls and/or acts of violence (mainly involving my fave team, the White Sox - go figure).

Including the following:

The Mark Whitten/Jack McDowell punchout.

The Detroit vs. White Sox triple-brawl in 2000 that extended into right field.

At Royals Stadium (late 70's) when a fight broke out near the bullpen with fans.

Carlos Zambrano's dugout punch of Michael Barrett. (Wrigley)

Mark Buehrle's attack on the water cooler vs. the Twins in 2008.

The night the fan jumped the umpire at Sox Park. (somehow, I missed the attack on Gamboa, though)

Jose Canseco getting approached by a drunk fan in right field at Sox Park, only to be manhandled by security in a manner that would put UFC to shame.

...amongst others. It's good to be a Sox fan.

benson said...

What the old saying? Comiskey Park was the world's biggest open air tavern.

And the leaving the WS game in the 8th story...isn't that sooooo LA?

Matt said...

I was at the Kingdome the night Gaylord Perry was ejected for throwing a spitter, the night Morgana the Kissing Bandit ran out of the stands to give a smooch to Steve Yeager, and (most importantly) the one and only Funny Nose Glasses Night.

Walter Tully said...

Hi Ken! A true sports aficionado will be there on the most crucial sporting moments. Your post basically mentioned a lot of monumental incidents in sports. Similarly, I've seen a lot of critical moments in rugby. Last year, my friends and I went to the stadium in Glendale parks and recreations to watch an international rugby event. Fortunately, they held the event in the US. The 4,000 seat capacity of the stadium inGlendale parks and recreationwas filled with screaming fans who cheered for their local teams. I hope they'll hold the same event in the US again this year.

Anonymous said...

Cap'n Bob Napier said...
Owner George Argyros was in his box one night and the crowd, not happy with losing A-Rod, chanted "Jump, George, jump!" over and over. He sold the team shortly after.

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Seems unlikely since A-Rod was drafted by the M's in 1993 and hopeless George sold the team in 1989.