Results tagged ‘ Jackie Robinson Day ’

Jackie Robinson Night – Finale

The superb symmetry did not end with two homers by Robinson Cano – named, of course, for Jackie Robinson. The Yankees were forced to get the last out in a 6-2 win over the Angels from the last man grandfathered in to wear Robinson’s uniform number 42, Mariano Rivera.

Mentioned earlier: Rachel Robinson’s marvelously youthful presence as she nears her 88th birthday. We steal a “screen grab” to show you Rachel, right…
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MLB NETWORK

Jackie and Rachel’s daughter Sharon, on the left, with Yankee manager Joe Girardi, and Rachel on the right.
GROWN MEN HAVE BEEN SEEN CRYING:
Less impressive photography – we continue to watch the slow-motion demolition of the old Yankee Stadium, with perspective provided by the Elevated train station at 161st Street:
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What remains of the stands used to stretch from the plate to first base. The serrated quality of the concrete chunks in the foreground suggests they were either from the Upper Deck in left, or the bleachers in left-center. Just one more:
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I guess this one speaks for itself. Foreground, of course, the stairs from the Downtown “4” train. Towards the back, towards the left, the large upright object is, of course, the giant “bat” (an exhaust pipe) that still stands in what was the plaza behind home plate. It sure looks like it’s been taped up like an old fungo bat.
THE MEDIA GUIDE, R.I.P.:
One last note about destruction. First it was The Sporting News, discontinuing in 2008 the annual Baseball Guide (publication of which they took over from Spalding in 1941) and the annual Baseball Register (which they rolled out in ’41). Now the New York Yankees have stopped distributing “sets” of MLB media guides to non-beat writers. An annual tradition of spring has been the lugging of the ever larger of 30 books to the car (or if you’re city-bound, via subway) and then home. 
The beginning of the end: the Yankees are offering the guides… as a flash drive!

Can we slow down? I only started tweeting last week!

Jackie Robinson Night

FROM YANKEE STADIUM – Robinson Cano, named for Jackie Robinson, homers twice. Jackies widow, Rachel, appears at the ceremonies here tonight, and continues to defy age. She is elegant, beautiful, and moves with grace and confidence. She is 87 years old -you would be hard-pressed to believe she is even 60. The night, with everybody up to and including the umpires wearing Number 42, is perfect (or would be if it hadnt dropped 15 degrees in the fourth inning!).

Sad But True

Presented with no implication of racism, nor with any other comment.

American-born players of color, not of Hispanic descent:
2010 DODGERS (4): Garrett Anderson, Matt Kemp, James Loney, Cory Wade (DL).
1965 DODGERS (8): Willie Crawford, Tommy Davis, Willie Davis, Jim Gilliam, Lou Johnson, Nate Oliver, John Roseboro, Maury Wills.
1953 DODGERS (5): Joe Black, Roy Campanella, Gilliam, Don Newcombe (Military Service), Jackie Robinson.
1950 DODGERS (4): Dan Bankhead, Campanella, Newcombe, Robinson.
Happy Jackie Robinson Day.
(PS AT 2:25 PM EDT: To state what might not be instantly recalled: Russell Martin is Canadian. We can broaden the definition to include him but the point is unchanged)

Opening Day In Pictures

Flyovers, Steinbrenners, Bernie Williams ceremonial first pitches, Matsui’s Return – very nice events. 

For my money, the rolling ovation for Yankees’ trainer Gene Monahan was the highlight of Opening Day in the Bronx. He confirmed today that he was been receiving treatment for throat and neck cancer – the prognosis is reportedly good – and in fact he went directly from radiation this morning, to being the first member of the 2009 World Champions to be introduced at the ring ceremony.
He got a standing ovation – from the players. 

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You need to understand about Geno, who showed off the ring and his improved health to friends like Paul Simon (left). He began working for the Yankees while still in High School, as a spring training bat boy in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. A year after graduating he was the Fort Lauderdale Yanks’ trainer. That was in 1963. 
Ten years later he joined the big club and has been there ever since. Indeed, it is such a stretch that he has been the Yankees’ trainer in four different home ballparks: the original 1923 Stadium, Shea, the remodeled 1976 Stadium, and the new Yankee Stadium.
Gene was a Champ long before the team he trained became one, and his absence from spring training had cast a pall over the Yanks’ continuing celebration of the 2009 Championship. He is as much a part of the club as any player or any executive.
They certainly do continue to celebrate. The Hideki Matsui story was terrific, of course. You may have seen his inclusion (along with Jerry Hairston of the Padres, in civvies no less) in the ceremony, and the resultant group hug, mid-field. There was also a standing ovation during his first plate appearance.
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Sentiment only goes so far, of course. Matsui would pop-up, on the first pitch he’d ever seen in competition from his teammate of seven years, Mariano Rivera, to end the game.
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Also, a happy ending to a long-ago saga. In 1996, the late, great Bill Robinson, ex-outfielder for the Yanks, Phils and Pirates, invited me to spend a game with him as his bench coach as he managed the Reading Phillies of the Eastern League. In the seventh inning, two of my “teammates” barked at the home plate umpire’s call. Blue yelled “who said that?,” they both pointed at me, and I was ejected.
I went out and gave the ump a show. I told him he was obviously good enough to make the majors and when he did, I’d avenge myself on him. Well, guess who ump’d the plate today? The same man: Hunter Wendelstedt. Hadn’t seen him since. He spied me in the seats just before the first pitch and laughed, and later asked me to stop by the Umpires’ room where I was cordially welcomed by his crew chief Jerry Layne, and fellow crew members Dan Bellino and Mike Winters. I told the ejection story in the book Dan Patrick and I wrote about SportsCenter, and Hunter actually wants me to sign his copy – in exchange for which he gave me the hat depicted for the Umpire School run by he and his father Harry, the great former NL arbiter.
By the way, twice now Scott Rolen, who was with “us” on the R-Philies in 1996, has told me that the whole ejection set-up was the highlight of his year. Each time I’ve said to him “but that was the year you made your Major League debut.” Each time, Rolen has just deadpanned and replied “Like I said: highlight of my year.”
Hunter also noted – and it’s something for you to look for Thursday on Jackie Robinson day when all the players honor him by wearing number 42 – that the umps do the same.
Lastly, not to close on a sour note, but a few better cropped images of what’s left of the old Stadium. There is a reason for implosions (not a practical idea in a tight, old city setting like this one) and this slow-motion decline is that reason:
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