Mountain to Mohammad…Hall o’ Fame comes to San Francisco

July 11, 2007 at 10:37 pm (Comfortably Zoned)

The Baseball Gawds shined down on your humble scribe Monday at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. They sent an exhibit from the Baseball Hall Of Fame in Cooperstown, New York to the All-Star Game Fan-Fest. I paid homage.

Here’s a uniform shirt Christy Mathewson wore.


Ernie Banks was *so* solid for the Cubs- on and off the field.

A George [Tom, if you will] Seaver Reds uniform.


Mr. Mac reminds me that the Giants were a proud franchise at one time. Now they’re the “Barry Bighead Side Show,” so heavily mortgaged that they can’t afford to cut bait with the freak and take a year or two to rebuild.


Al Kaline was 18 years old when he was signed by the Tigres to a major league contract. He never played a day in the minors. Because he and not Roger Maris was the best rightfielder in the American League, he and not Roger Maris is in the Hall.


When the aforementioned Ernie Bank’s manager, “Whitey” [really] Carroll Lockman, was thrown out of a game, the first black to manage a Major League game [his one and only game at the helm] was Mr. Cub.

Technicalities aside, F. Robby [who pinch hit a homerun to win his first game as a skipper] has that distinction. Frank who won MVP awards in both leagues, hit 500+ homers before juicedom. Hard to believe that race wasn’t an issue when Reds management, claiming he had an “old body,” traded him to the O’s for Milt Pappashof51

Rod Carew was the best pure hitting Jewboy in baseball history.


Al Downing pitched it to the guy wearing the uniform pictured below. Tom House caught the ball in the Brave’s bully. He was a hitter who hit homeruns, not a homerun hitter who hit. The irony is, Hank Aaron was a lot like the pre-steroidal Bonds- simply great.


Nellie Fox, whose uni below is pictured next to Roberto Clemente’s, helped form the best DP combo in the American League. The absolutely best combo of all time [Visquel/Alomar, notwithstanding] played for the Yankees a few years before. Phil Rizzuto and Jerry Coleman were unreal.

I’m reminded of how Branch Rickey stole Clemente from the Dodger farm system. Quite a coup.


John McGraw’s gear. Thanks in part to him, the Giants have more Hall Of Famers than any other franchise.


Ty Cobb’s glove. First Wilson 2000?


Joe D was Willie’s hero when he was a kid.


Carl Hubbell was known as “The Meal Ticket” for the New York Giants. Says it all.


Babe made more money than President Hoover. “I had a better year,” he declared.


Rogers Hornsby coached the ’62 Mets for manager Casey Stengel. Gornisht helphen.


A case can be made [putouts per game] that Richie Ashburn covered more ground than Willie Mays. I’ll remember “Whitey” as an Original Met, who hated losing and hit .300 for the most inept team in history.

He would come into Brooklyn and absolutely destroy the Dodgers. Fans would say, “Oh no, here comes that man.” And forevermore he was known as Stan “The Man” Musial. Nothing all that complicated for Stash. “Just pick one out and knock the shit out of it,” he’d advise teammates.


Was baseball Jackie Robinson’s fourth best sport?

Defrost Teddy Ballgame tomorrow and he’d hit .320 and knock in 120.


Willie’s last New York Giant uni [1957] is displayed next to that of Harmon Killebrew

The Giants were set to move to Minneapolis [current home of the Twins] when Walter O’Malley talked Horace Stoneham into going to California.


This was one great day.


  1. Bill Kuhn said,

    OUTSTANDING stuff Ralph, wish I could have been there with you to see it all.

    Roberto Clemente was my first baseball hero (in ’71 he beat the Orioles, who beat my A’s). I remember my little league coach telling us about his amazing arm.

    “Was baseball Jackie Robinson’s fourth best sport?”
    No, according to the Hall Of Fame writer Leonard Koppett. He discusses this subject in a wonderful interview (that is available on this site).

    In Don Baylor’s book I learned what a tough man F. Robby was, what a great player.

    Did they have Canseco’s first syringe?

    Press Democrat columnist Bob Padecky once told me that Ernie Banks was his favorite player when he was a kid. It took a dice baseball game for me to learn about Bank’s abilities (Btw, there are no rain-outs in dice baseball!).

    Unfortunately by the time I saw Willie Mays play he was at the end, a shell of his former self. So I try to compare him with the players I know. What I com up with is somebody like Ichiro only with power, or Griffey Jr. when he was younger. Somehow I’m sure even those comparisons don’t do proper justice to #24.

    I heard Rollie Fingers was in town. Did you see any interesting A’s stuff? I also wonder if former Met Roger Craig drove up from San Diego to attend the festivities.


  2. Ralph Zig Tyko said,

    Thanks for the nice woids Billy Boy…The Hall exhibit was trippy, but the fan fest itself was commercialized like a mutha. Example: They were selling autographs of Clemente family members. Fifteen bucks for a Vera. Proceeds go to teach load masters their craft, perhaps?…Just as Frank was Frank and Ella, Ella- Willie was Willie. Nobody compares. His flair and showmanship paled in comparison to his pure talent. The ultimate five tool player. Add to that a “baseball intelligence” par excellence.

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