- TOP PLAYERSOffensePABLO S. TORRE | August 20, 2012
- TAMPA BAY buccaneersENEMY lines WHAT A RIVAL COACH SAYSJune 28, 2012
- Faces in the CrowdJune 11, 2001
The clubhouse manager has to be the Yankees' Pete Sheehy, a mere 71. Here's a man who literally carried Babe Ruth's jockstrap. "He's the one guy," says Howser, "who would be on this team if it was 1935 or 1955 or 1985." When rookie Andre Robertson asked if number 3 was available for him to wear, Sheehy had to tell him it was taken. Sheehy hardly ever talks, although every once in a while he'll give you a toothless grin and tell you a story from the '20s.
In the visitors' clubhouse will be Steve Vucinich of Oakland, who always puts out a great spread of food. Vucinich is a friendly guy, but he still stood up to the Twins' Ron Davis when, after a bad game, the pitcher ruined his barbecued ribs by dousing them with vodka.
And what team would be complete without a player on the disabled list? Get well soon, Bob Horner.
"Would you please rise for the singinginginging of our National Anthemthemthemthem?"
That voice. Since 1951 Bob Sheppard has been doing the public address in Yankee Stadium, and he should be in the Hall of Fame. Players still get chills when they're introduced by Sheppard. Those who were there that day in 1982 will never forget what happened when he accidentally left the mike on while Shane Rawley was pitching in relief for the Yankees. Rawley quickly turned a 3-2 lead into a 4-3 deficit and then, over the speakers, came the lordly voice from the heavens: "Boy, what relief pitchinginginging!" Sheppard apologized profusely the next day to Rawley.
Sheppard, who is a speech professor at St. John's, maintains such an air of dignity that he refuses to introduce Dennis Boyd of the Red Sox by his popular moniker, Oil Can. He has many imitators, but he personally thinks that, among ballplayers, Reggie Jackson does him best.
While Sheppard is talking upstairs, the Phillie Phanatic is running around down below. Mascots are fine in their place—they make kids laugh—so let it be the Phanatic, a.k.a. Dave Raymond, who is funnier than the Candlestick Crab, who is funnier than the Chicken. Just keep him off the field once the game starts.
Who's doing the anthem? Why, none other than Linda Ronstadt. People still remember her in her Dodger jacket, singing the anthem during the '77 Series. If we could give her a backup band, we'd have all ex-major leaguers: Carmen Fanzone on trumpet, Eddie Basinski on violin, Bud Harrelson on guitar and Nelson Briles on the organ.
The stadium's organ player? Nancy Faust can play the Comiskey Park crowd as well as she plays the organ, and you wonder how many games she's won over the years with that refrain from the oldie by Steam: "Na na na na, na na na na, hey, hey, hey, goodby." She has an encyclopedic memory for popular songs. A few years ago Ken Singleton of the Orioles twisted an ankle, or something, and when Ralph Salvon, the Tweedledum trainer, came running out onto the field, Faust started playing the Carole King song I Feel the Earth Move (Under My Feet).
The usher who'll take us to our seats is Ed Hoffman, father of Glenn Hoffman, the Red Sox infielder. He usually works at Anaheim Stadium, and sometimes he sings the anthem there. They say he shows more range than his son.