Cousy: "Bill was extremely, extremely regimented and disciplined, much more than I was. You know, exercises before the game and all that sort of thing. He had to eat precisely at 4 o'clock on a game night. Then he'd have to go back to the room and nap until precisely 5:45, and then go down to the dining room and get some tea or hot water and lemon or some damn thing. This stuff didn't mean anything to me, but, gradually, I just went along with it."
But naps and tea were nothing compared to what Sharman had to endure because of Cousy's legendary sleepwalking. And sleepwalking.
Sharman: "Since Bob had learned to speak French before English, he would usually combine both languages into a weird, eerie sound that was really frightening when I was awakened from a deep sleep. One night he was out of bed, naked and carrying a book around the room with him. It sounded like he was giving a very formal speech. With the words all mumbled—and in two languages, to boot—I couldn't understand what he was talking about. But later I just told him he sounded great and would make a very good politician. On other occasions, he would call out a lot of the Celtic plays or use some basketball terminology in most of his sentences."
Cousy himself tells the tale of his accidentally beaning Sharman when he lashed out and knocked over a table lamp during a nightmare in New York City. The following night Cousy dreamed that an intruder was standing in the corner of their room. "You sonovabitch, I see you, I see you!" he shouted, all the while fumbling for the table lamp to turn on the light and surprise the man. When he finally hit the switch and woke himself up, there was the unfortunate Sharman cowering under the covers, expecting another beaning.
•Lefty Gomez recalls that his famous roommate, Joe DiMaggio, was quite calm and collected during his record 56-game consecutive hitting streak in 1941. "But every day after 44 I threw up my breakfast."
Gomez and DiMaggio were a good match if only because Gomez' non-stop tongue took the pressure off the quiet, sometimes moody DiMaggio. "It's not that Joe didn't talk, it's just that I didn't give him enough time to," Gomez says.
"We went to a lot of movies and things like that. There wasn't a lot going on in those days. We'd talk baseball all the time, but we had other interests, too, like comedies and what was in the newspapers. We weren't a bunch of recluses or anything."
Gomez, at 74 a member of the advisory board of Wilson Sporting Goods, has a little fun with DiMaggio in the talks he makes around the country on Wilson's behalf. A favorite: "Joe loved the comics. He couldn't wait to get down to the newsstands every morning and find out what happened to Little Orphan Annie and Dick Tracy. I'd read them to him, and then he'd explain them to Yogi Berra."
DiMaggio never seems to mind. "I've heard his stories a thousand times, but they're always funny," he says.
•Dick Ritger and Wayne Zahn, both Hall of Fame bowlers, may have the roommate longevity record. They bunked together at every stop on the PBA tour from 1965 to 1980, the year they both stopped touring full time.