It is often said Legends of the game will find their careers overlap. Heroes of the past make way for the Greats of the future. For instance Hall of Fame catchers Billy Dickey and Yogi Berra were teammates during the 1946 season. Joe DiMaggio and Mickey Mantle were teammates in 1951. Even Don Mattingly and Derek Jeter were teammates in 1995. There is a torch past between the greats in baseball at least once in every generation.
There is one overlapping often not talked about in baseball history. On April 20th 1939, two of baseball’s greatest legends met on the same field for one game. Nobody knew it then, but this game symbolized the passing of torch between two generations of champions.
The Boston Red Sox traveled to Yankee Stadium to face the New York Yankees on April 20th 1939. It was opening day and excitement filled the air of New York City. Making the trip to Yankee Stadium for the first time as Major League Baseball Player was twenty year old Ted Williams. He was set to make his Major League debut. Williams had been… Continue reading
(Publisher’s Note: This article was written by Rob Semple of Ronkonkoma, NY. He is the winner of Long Island Baseball Magazine’s Spring 2013 writing contest. Congrats to Rob and the other competitors on a job well done!)
As a diehard Yankee fan, I’ve been blessed with a lifetime of exhilarating baseball, yet for me, no professional baseball memory compares to what happened in the summer of 1982, down at cozy Hallock Park in Patchogue, N.Y., when I was a twelve year-old little-leaguer.
With two outs in the bottom of the sixth inning of a late-season game, a man on first, and the score tied at 12, I stepped into the batter’s box and the umpire, on account of darkness, promptly declared, “Last batter.” My father, also the coach, immediately waved me towards him, and thoroughly understanding the situation, whispered forcefully, “Swing for the fences,” before nudging me back to the plate.
To that point, I’d never hit a home-run in organized baseball (and would finish my career with two), but after the first pitch skidded in the dirt, I swung at the second with everything… Continue reading