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More Things You Probably Didn’t Know About the (Part II)Yankees

Much terrific reaction to the first piece on this topic has now resulted in more. There is a world of fascinating sidebars, trivia items, facts and factoids about the Bronx Bombers. Enjoy another sampling.

Yogi Berra, Mosts, a Partial List

Most postseason games – Yogi Berra holds the record for appearing in the most postseason games – 75. In his 19-year career, Berra and the New York Yankees went to the postseason 14 times. Since Berra played during the years before divisional play, all of the games he appeared in were World Series games, meaning he also holds the record for most World Series games appeared in. The great Yankee also holds the record for most World Series at-bats with 259, and is third behind Mickey Mantle and Babe Ruth in World Series home runs, with 12.

Yogi Berra, Everywhere!                                  

Bill Bevens’ No-Hitter Broken up By “Cookie” Lavagetto October 3, 1947; Yogi was there as the Yankees catcher.

Sandy Amoros catch October 4, 1955; Yogi was there as Yankee catcher and smacked the ball that Amoros caught down the left field line.

Don Larsen’ perfect game, October 8, 1956; Yogi was the catcher.

Bill Mazeroski’s home run, October 13, 1960; Yogi was there as the Yankees left fielder.

Home Run Number 61 by Roger Maris, October 1, 1961; Yogi was there as Yankee left fielder for part of the game.

Willie McCovey’s line shot to Bobby Richardson, October 16, 1962; Yogi was there as a part-time player on the bench.

Chris Chambliss home run in ALCS, October 14, 1976, Yogi was there as Yankees coach.

Reggie Jackson’s three home runs, October 18, 1977; Yogi was there as a Yankee coach.

The Bucky Dent Home Run, October 2, 1978; Yogi was there as Yankees coach.

George Brett battles Goose Gossage, October 10, 1980, Yogi was there as Yankees coach.

Yogi Berra was there after the Yankees fired Billy Martin on December 16, 1983, and took over as Yankee manager.

David Cone’s Perfect Game, July 19, 1999, Yogi was being honored on “Yogi Berra Day”

On the field, in the dugout, in the clubhouse, throwing out a first ball, Lawrence Peter Berra did his thing during the 2001 World Series.

Meet Me at the Bat!

BRAD TURNOW: A traditional meeting place began outside Old Yankee Stadium in 1975.  This bat-shaped “smokestack” was constructed in 1975 for the refurbished original Yankee Stadium.  Over the decades, the famous meeting place was the 138-foot high baseball bat with Babe Ruth’s signature and the Louisville Slugger logo. The old stadium needed a cover for a boiler stack and the Ruth bat served that purpose.  The vent was an actual exhaust pipe that released steam from the old stadium.  The structure was sponsored by the Hillerich and Bradsby Company.

 As fans approached the stadium, they would seek out the famous knob with the unraveling tape at the handle and then look for the famous Ruth logo on the barrel.  The bat, located outside of Gate 4 of the old stadium, quickly became a meeting spots for fans of both teams.  The term “Meet Me at the Bat” became a one-liner for all fans meeting someone at the Stadium.  Chances were if you were meeting someone at the Old Stadium, you met them at the bat.  

 There was a push by fans to have the iconic bat moved next to the new stadium after it opened in 2009, but that effort failed.  Today the bat still stands near the old parking garage on 153rd Street and the Metro North Station repainted in a plain tan color with no logo or signature on it.  Though is it not used much as a meeting place anymore, it reminds fans of the historic past of Old Yankee Stadium.

Babe Ruth Birthday

When applying for a passport for a trip to Japan, a mistake in Ruth’s birthday was discovered. His father had made an error listing it when the Babe was enrolled at St. Mary’s school.         
“What the hell difference does it make?” said the great Yankee referring to the date which he continued to acknowledge as his birthday – February 7. According to the official records in Baltimore, Maryland, Ruth was born on February 6, 1895.

BOOKENDS, Two swell midsummer reads:

The Presidents and the Pastime by Curt Smith (University of Nebraska Press, $29.95, is as its sub-title proclaims a history of baseball and the White House. Filled with anecdotes galore the result of intensive research, this terrific tome tantalizingly teases us with a new awareness of the subject matter. Just wished there were photos.  HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

12: THE INSIDE STORY OF TOM BRADY’S FIGHT FOR REDEMPTION by Casey Sherman and Dave Wedge (Little Brown, $27.00, 310 pages) is must read for all fans of the New England Patriots. This is the total package – a review up the ups, downs, sidebars – all via unlimited access to the franchise. From front page stories about the national disgrace of a great football hero to his redemption in what was billed as the greatest Super Bowl comeback ever. TOP OF YOUR READING LIST

FEARLESS by Doug Pederson with Dan Pompei (Hatchette, $28.00, 257 pages) is a tell-all, gossipy, grand, inside view of how a true underdog Philadelphia Eagles football team went all the way to win the Super Bowl. Complete with wonderful images, stories, stats, this is a book for every football fan.  BUY IT  

About Harvey Frommer

One of the most prolific and respected sports journalists and oral historians in the United States, author of the autobiographies of legends Nolan Ryan, Tony Dorsett, and Red Holzman, Dr. Harvey Frommer is an expert on the New York Yankees and has arguably written more books, articles and reviews on the New York Yankees than anyone. In 2010, he was honored by the City of New York to serve as historical consultant for the re-imagined old Yankee Stadium site, Heritage Field.

A professor for more than two decades in the MALS program at Dartmouth College, Frommer was dubbed “Dartmouth’s Mr. Baseball” by their alumni magazine. He’s also the founder of www.HarveyFrommerSports.com.

 * Material in this article was adapted from his THE ULTIMATE YANKEE BOOK.

Autographed copies mint, discounted, can be ordered directly from the author.

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