Eddie Yost 1926-2012

 

…….and coaching 3rd base for the Mets Eddie Yost………………

From 1968 to 1976 before the Mets would come up for their first at bat of the game, Lindsay Nelson or Bob Murphy would inform Mets fans that Eddie Yost was manning the 3rd base coaching box. Yost to most of us young Mets fans just knew Yost as a coach on the Mets (when I was a kid I never thought of Yogi Berra as a Highlander but as a Met when I got a little older and studied his career boy was I shocked!) and a guy from Queens, but Yost was as a player who lived by the baseball commandment that a walk was as good as a hit.

Yost passed away yesterday at the age of 86. Andrew Schiff and Mathew Silverman have this through biography of Yost on the SABR website that is a definite must read.

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WHO REMEMBERS WHAT HAPPENED ON APRIL 22,1970?

Ask me where I left my cell phone or a family members birthday or where I put my glasses and I stand and stare like a dumbass trying to remember, but ask me where I was on April 22nd 1970 and I can remember vividly.

It was Easter vacation and I spent my time off where I spent all my time off at my favorite resort, the school yard of P.S. 105 on 59th St off 10 Ave in Brooklyn playing baseball. While we played we listened to the Mets-Padres game from Shea on a transistor radio because Tom Seaver was on the mound for the Mets.  What’s better than no school, playing ball and listening to Lindsay Nelson, Bob Murphy and Ralph Kiner call a Mets game with Seaver pitching?

Now this is the beginning of the Mets first season as reigning World Series Champions, and the Highlanders were a few years removed from their glory days (although the Highlanders got off to a slow start the did rally to win 93 games in 1970 but they still finished 15 games behind Earl Weaver’s Orioles who won 108 games and the World Series that year) now, as juvenile as I am at 52 years old just think what a little asshole I was at 12 years old (Moiser (Bobby Murcer)? Wadda ya snififn’ glue or somethin’?  fuckin’ Tommy Agee’s ahundred fuckin’ times betta ‘dan Moiser.  Get the fuck outta here!) so I berated all my Highlander fan friends (believe me they have given it back to me in spades over the years) to the fact that my team the Mets, were the best team in baseball.

It was a typical Seaver game, pitch lights out and get no run support but this was the San Diego Padres, give Seaver one run and this game would be over.

After 6 innings Seaver had K’d 10 and the Mets held a slim 2-1 lead, the only Padre run, a solo home run from Brooklyn born and raised Al Ferrara. In the top of the 7th Seaver sent Nate Colbert, the Padres top hitter, Dave Campbell (yes THAT Dave Campbell) and future Met Jerry Morales down on strikes.   Come the top of the 8th and same thing 3 up and 3 down all on strikeouts. That’s 16 K’s in 8 innings for Tom Terrific. Now Seaver has all our attention. We leave whoever was in the dugout, in charge of letting the rest of us know when it was the top of the 9th inning. When we here “the Padres are up” we all run to the radio to hear the finish of this remarkable game.

BANG-BANG-BANG, the last punch-out was Seaver’s 19th and the 10th batter in a row to go down on strikes, a new all time record for strike outs in a game (since topped by Roger Clemens) and the most consecutive batters struck out, a record that still stands (by the way, Ike Davis’ dad Ron K’d 8 batters in a row for the Highlanders on May 4th, 1981). Al Ferrara played a major part in this game, he hit the solo home run for San Diego’s lone run and he was the first and tenth strike victim of the streak.

Wow, what an unbelievable game, I remember it like it was yesterday…….. Hey, anybody see my keys?

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BASEBALL LIKE IT OUGHT TO BE

I’ve been to 10 games at Shea so far this season and I’ll be back there this weekend and every time I go I look over at our new palatal playpen that is near completion and I stare at it with both eager anticipation and some sadness. I’m happy because it’s new and will have state of the art amenities that we fat cat Americans can’t live without. The sadness is, the more I hear about this Jackie Robinson Rotunda and the marble entrance and all the grandeur, I keep thinking there will be a shoe check stand at the front gate and don’t even think of putting your feet up on the new railings. Aside from the physical characteristics I worry about the “soul” of the new place. Shea has ‘soul” and last night you felt it.

 

The last three innings last night when Big Pelf took the mound was classic Shea. All I needed was for Gary Cohen to put on a multi color sports coat and morph into Lindsay Nelson. I though of Nelson last night during the game because he knew how to give you the feel of the crowd. I could just here him say “and “Michael Pelfrey will be out on the mound for the 9th inning, Michael Pelfrey” . Last night’s game proved a few points. First, when Shea is packed and the Mets are rolling there is no better place in the world to be. Second,  Mets fans know pitching and love pitching as we have been a pitching first organization since Roger Craig took on the St Louis Cardinals on April 11, 1962 and when we see a guy like Big Pelf who was drafted and nurtured by the Mets and face more downs than ups and then finally finds the formula to be a big time big league pitcher we show our approval by making the stadium’s foundation rock like it was last night.  The team is rolling right now and while it’s way to early to think about October, for one night at least the team and Mike Pelfrey gave us a night that during the dead of winter you think about and anticipate spring.

 

No surprise that the Mets signed Al (Don’t tase me Bro) Reyes and according to Omar Minaya, Reyes passed up a chance to go right to the majors with another team to sign with the Mets and work out of Bingo for a while. Hopefully Bing pitching coach Ricky Bones can get Reyes ready for big league action soon.

 

The casualties of the baseball season are coming back to Flushing little by little. First it looks like Ryan Church will be back this weekend and from what Warlord Jerry is saying he will be part of a right field platoon with Fernando Tatis. They will join the left field platoon of the Gold Dust Twins Daniel Murphy and Nick Evans. Then you have the platoon at second base of Easley Reyes which J-Man is standing his ground on that Argenis does not go back to NOLA for Gimp Castillo. In fact it looks like J-Man will get his way as the Mets are ready to send Gimp back to St Lonesome to work on his bat in other words sit tight until September 1 there Gimp.

 

Titan Tom Glavine will have surgery on his left elbow but don’t worry he’s not devastated.

 

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