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04-30-2012 01:02 PM #1GCL O's
- Join Date
- Apr 2012
Thoughts and Memories of Memorial Stadium
Spent a lot of time there in the 50s & 60s. Lots of memories. After transistor radios were invented it was common to go to the game and listen to Chuck Thompson's play by play.
As far back as I can remember there was a gentleman that came to every game and carried in a suitcase full of cow bells. Each one had a different tone and there were special ones just for Yogi Cihocki, Boog Powell, Gus Triandos, Jim Gentile and later for Brooks Robinson. There was also a funny sounding one that he rang every time George Zuverink was called from the bull pen. Went well with all the boos from the stands. (He was the 50s-60s equivelent of today's Kevin Gregg).
The men's rooms were a real treat. I think there were only two. Both had a long row of free standinmg porcelain urinals with no dividers and long lines always extended out the doorways. I still remenber one time I was in line behind an older gentleman. I waited and waited until he finally finished his business. He turned to me and said, "Son, never, ever, get in a pee line behind an old man." I now pass that on today myself.
Saw some really great plays there, and have some really great memories. I was there in, I believe '66, when Frank Robinson hit "the" home run out of the stadium. Only one to ever do that. I swear it was still climbing when it cleared the wall. Also was there when Jim Gentile hit two grand slams in one game. Talk about a wild crowd that day.
Folks back then credited George Kell with making Brooks Robinson into the third baseman he became. We needed a third baseman and picked up Kell from the Senators. He played that position for a year or two and alternated there with Brooks and finally retired after an excellent career.
I still remember one of the radio ads the O's used back then. "Hey, there's Brooks Robinson." "Yes, its great to be back in Bal-te-more this year and playing ball for the Oh-re-oles."
Some other bits.....Gus Triandos (catcher) was known as "The Golden Greek." A slugger that struck out almost every time he was up. Bob Boyd (first baseman) was "Robert the Rope" for his long stretches to catch the ball. Dee Phillips played short and never tucked in his shirt. First player to use a golf glove while batting was Luis Apparechio, one of the league's worst hitters but a real pleasure to watch playing short.
Clint "scrap iron"Courtney (catcher) was a holdover relic from the old days of baseball. A first class character and always ready for a fight. If he couldn't find one, he would start one. He was also known for (supposedly) intentionally spiking opposing players while sliding into second and trying to break up double plays. These were the days of spitballs, metal spikes and some really big fights.
Hoyt Wilhelm was a treat to watch pitch. Never was a better knuckle-baller. The ball would float side to side like a butterfly. Damnedest thing to watch. Triandos had to have a special large catcher's mitt just to catch him.
Jim Palmer. What can I say. A real pleasure to watch. He also did radio ads for IHOP and became know as "Pancakes Palmer."
Teams back then mostly traveled by train and some of the stories of the on board parties were classic.
Them were the days.
Last edited by Greybeard; 04-30-2012 at 01:09 PM.