Saturday, June 15, 2013

From the Past

Sean's mother told me that my almost-sixth grader (and, hence MIDDLE SCHOOL STUDENT) had something to give me.

"An old magazine," she emailed.

I had no idea what that meant, but I didn't press.

I reminded Sean when I picked him up at school, and when we got home, he presented me with a plastic baggie that had a memory inside.

A 1983 New York Yankees scorebook and souvenir program. Price? One dollar.  Not what they rip you off for now.

The cover featured cartoons of four different players.  I scribbled above each one: Nettles, Murcer, Winfield (despite the guy being white), and Gossage, Guidry, or Righetti (despite the pitcher being a righty, and only the Goose was right handed among the three).

Housed in those 83 pages were ads for Marlboro, Pepsi, Kick 106.7 (a country music station), Xerox, Kool Lights, Real Sports from Atari, and a Bob Uecker "Mr. Baseball" Miller Lite ad, among others.

A list of visiting stars coming to the Stadium in '83 included Eddie Murray, Yaz, Pudge Fisk, George effing Brett, Robin Young, Rickey Henderson, and Gaylord Perry (cheater).  Hall of Famers all.  The others were familiar names: Andre Thornton, Kirk Gibson, Kent Hrbrek and Buddy Bell.

And Damaso Garcia.  Who, er, doesn't quite fit here.

There was the "The Almost Impossible Yankee Trivia Crossword No. 2" filled in by me.

There was the page of "Yankees on the Air," with pictures of Phil Rizzuto, Frank Messer, Bill White, John Gordon, Mel Allen and Fran Healy.

One name was missing from that list of '83 broadcasters, because they went to print before he joined the booth.

You probably guessed it: Bobby Ray Murcer, who retired in May of that year.

There were articles about an ultimate Yankees all-star game (fantasy baseball style) and another return of Billy Martin.

And on the front cover of the program, scribbled in my '80s penmanship, was the give away: "Bobby Murcer Day, August 7, 1983."


I did scan one page - the scorecard.  I kept score as the Yankees fell to the Tigers, 8-5.  Steve Kemp homered for the Bombers, while Jerry Mumphrey, Andre Robertson, and some outfielder named Don Mattingly had two hits each.  Dave Winfield went 0-for-2 before being replaced by Ken Griffey...Senior.

Matt Keough was gone after two innings, allowing four earned runs.  He took the loss.  Dan Petry won for the Tigers to improve to 12-7.  A crowd of 45,110 made the daunting trek to the big ballpark.

Sad.  By the late 90's, that number would have been 55,000.  Guaranteed.

Bobby Ray was beloved, and 45,000 was a good crowd for an August game in the 80's.

Anyway, Sean said his Aunt Lauren and Uncle Anthony were the ones who sent it to his mother, who passed it onto me.  However it happened, I'm very thankful.  I recall the day quite well, going with my cousin Ron and his son (my partner-in-crime) Kris, as well as my sister, Laura.  We rode down in Laura's big blue Chevy.  The window-washers were very prevalent as we moved along Jerome Ave.

UPDATE: Sean's grandmother confirmed that it actually came from Sean's Uncle Michael, who lives in Washington State.  Thanks Michael! (And Gretchen, Eleanor and George!)

We sat in left field.

Time moves on.

Click the picture to make it larger.

No comments: