Sharing A Moment With Two Hall of Famers

Mickey Mantle. Juan Marichal. Me?

We were all born October 20. I have no baseball card to prove mine, but it’s true.

This blog was born in 2010. I haven’t bombarded this site with advertising.

I am asking for a small birthday present from all of you, however.

No, not free cake. I’m willing to sing (or write) for my supper.

I wrote my first book of poetry this year:

101 PO’ed Poems: Frustrations in Free Verse

I do have one snarky baseball-related poem in the bunch of 102 ditties. (Hey, a free bonus!)

The Kindle e-book is a mere 99 cents. That’s less than a penny a poem!

Please, help support my postage stamp addiction. (I mean, corresponding with the witnesses to baseball history.) Seriously, any success with the poetry collection will keep this blog thriving into 2014. I’m planning on making the next 900 posts even more fun.

I’d welcome any kind reviews on Amazon.com, as well as mentioning the title to other possible readers.

My poems are as glib, sarcastic and irreverent as possible. In the process, I poke the most fun at myself.

As an ALCS watcher, I loved watching Tim McCarver fear for his life on his 72nd birthday (the blazing cake was in a cardboard box, with no fire extinguisher near). My blaze will be a bit smaller on Sunday.

I want to thank you for reading. Every post feels like a celebration.

Giants Broadcaster Russ Hodges Gave Lon Simmons The Birthday Gift Of History in 1960

Gone are the days of season highlights LPs. The awesome
website http://www.bayarearadio.org/ preserved this one.
To learn more about the two Giants broadcast icons,
start with this sensational site, part of the
California Historical Radio Society!

Lon Simmons not only announced the first-ever San Francisco Giants game, he did it with a legendary voice at his side.

Russ Hodges is remembered for shouting “The Giants Win The Pennant!” after Bobby Thomson’s 1951 miracle home run. It seems we should be remembering Mr. Hodges for a whole lot more.
Simmons recalled:

“I was blessed to work with Russ Hodges on the Giants broadcasts from the start in 1958 until he passed in 1972.

He was a great broadcaster and a wonderful friend. Destiny was very special to bring him and major league baseball into my life.

A true story of generosity by a fellow announcer came on my birthday in 1960, when Russ gave me the chance to finish the broadcast as Juan Marichal flirted with a no-hitter in his first major league start. Unfortunately, Clay Dalrymple got a pinch-hit single for the only hit.

Russ said he wanted me to get a chance to announce my first no-hitter and that was his birthday gift to me. No other announcer would ever do that, but it is something I have always remembered and during my later years, was able to give some younger announcers and equal opportunity.”


Coming Monday: Lon Simmons shatters a Wikipedia myth.

Giant Mike Sadek Homered for Dad

Mike Sadek may have been as rare as an Elvis sighting in San Francisco box scores from 1973-81. However, his memories would put him on my list of all-star Giant storytellers.

First, I wanted to know if this Minnesota native was immune to cold-and-windy Candlestick Park. I’m still shivering over memories of my one blustery trip there. How did he feel?

“Cold and windy, but better than the minor leagues!”


The back-up catcher got a bonus in his 1973 rookie season. He became batterymate for future Hall of Famer Juan Marichal.

“Yes, it was a thrill to catch him. He didn’t have his best stuff, but he had great control.”


I expected Sadek to tell what kind of pitch he clouted for his first major league home run on June 19, 1977, versus Grant Jackson. (Thanks for the history, www.retrosheet.org) Maybe, he’d remember the final score. Instead, I received a classic tale.

“It took a few years for me to hit one and after I circled the bases and got to the dugout — there was one of my idols (since I was in junior high school) Willie McCovey — laying flat on the bench. Two guys were fanning him with towels.


He lifted his head and said, ‘I thought I saw Sheik (me) hit a home run!’

The biggest thrills for me was just getting there after six-plus years in the minor leagues — introducing my dad around (my biggest fan — my first-hit ball and my first career HR ball are buried with him.”

Tomorrow: learn about Sadek’s holiest of autographs.

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