Tagged: Babe Ruth

How pictures tell the story

By Jon Lane
The good people at Sports Illustrated passed along this release about a new book that presents a pictorial look back at some of the great moments in sports.

Walter Iooss, Neil Leifer, and Heinz Kluetmeier have been on the front lines of sports events for decades. The new book from Sports Illustrated, SLIDE SHOW, features their photographs, in their original slide form, complete with behind the moment notes and anecdotes that guided the pictures from the field to the pages of the magazine. They have never before been seen in this format.

mickcover.jpgThese are three cover shots taken of Yankees legend Mickey Mantle. The one in the center is personally significant. It was the issue that covered Mantle’s death, which hit my father hard. My dad’s favorite player – past, present and future – is the Mick. A copy of this issue is framed and part of his personal museum.

maris.jpgLeifer’s photo of Roger Maris was taken in 1960, one year before he became an unwilling cult hero with his chasing and breaking of Babe Ruth’s all-time home run record. Of course, having Mantle bat behind you meant Maris saw his collection of juicy pitches. If not for an abscessed hip, Mantle and Maris may have both shattered Ruth’s revered mark.

There are other cool images in the book, many subtle but poignant, including the American flag’s position at the 1980 Winter Olympics Hockey semifinals moments before the U.S. Team’s victory over the Soviet Union.

SLIDE SHOW is available to purchase. You can check it out

Surprising reaction to the Lightning Rod

arodblog022609.jpgBy Joe Auriemma
With all of the news about Alex Rodriguez and steroids this offseason, you knew that he was bound to get booed at other stadiums around the league. In fact, during the first exhibition game against the Blue Jays in Dunedin, FL, A-Rod did get booed.

What was a little surprising to me was that he got a mixed reaction when stepping up to the plate at George M. Steinbrenner Field in his first “home” plate appearance. Now the Yankees were playing the Rays, who might have had their own fan base at the game supporting the team, but it still was a little shocking.

A-Rod has been accused of having a fragile psyche in the past and does seem to try to hard in key situations, so this was probably not what he needed to hear at the start of the season. The bottom line is that he is under contract to be the Yankees’ third baseman for the next nine seasons. If you are not a fan of A-Rod and what he did, but a fan of the Yankees, it’s really a Catch-22. In order for the Yankees to compete for a World Series, they need A-Rod to produce. There is no way around it.

I’m not saying that fans need to give him a standing ovation, but I hope that the Bronx and the beautiful new Yankee Stadium can be a safe haven for a player that is going to have to deal with a lot of abuse on the road.

The New Stadium
On Wednesday morning I got to see the new Stadium and took a tour of the new Monument Park; the Yankees held an event to put the Babe Ruth monument into its new home. My first reaction was that it’s quite amazing. Yankee Stadium, and from what I’ve seen of CitiField in Queens, are as grand as the city they call home.

As I stood in the new Monument Park, I realized that hitting a home run to dead center will now make the monuments, plaques and retired numbers vulnerable to being hit. Even the restaurant above the Monument Park is bound for an assault from a monster home run shot. It’s going to make the game much more interesting to watch. It looks as if the Stadium is going to be much more fan friendly then the previous facility. The upper deck isn’t as steep, making each seat closer to the field.

I’m certainly going to miss the feeling I got when walking into the old Yankee Stadium, but I think that over time, and when baseball is being played in this new park, that old feeling is bound to come back.