Monday, June 23, 2014

The LuLac Edition #2681, June 23rd, 2014

’64 PHILLIES @ 50


Fifty years ago this past Saturday, on Father’s Day, the Philadelphia Phillies had a record of 37-23 and were in first place in the National League. The Phils were in New York facing the Mets in a 5 game series. The team swept the Friday night double header and lost on Saturday 7 to 3.
Jim Bunning was starting the first game at Shea while a rookie Rick Wise was starting the second game. I had been to a Father and Son Communion Breakfast at St. John the Baptist Church with my father. It was a hot humid day and none of my childhood friends were not around anywhere. As my father read the newspaper on the front porch, I tossed a rubber ball against our steps and fielded whatever came my way. Around 3:30pm, my father called me in the house and advised me to watch the game. Since this is a baseball story, let’s say I “balked” at the idea. He was insistent.
As I entered the living room with our behemoth black and white TV, the Phillies broadcasters were subdued but excited.
My father said, “It’s a no hitter, it’s a perfect game, 27 up, 27 down”. As the clock struck 3:19PM, Bunning struck out John Stephenson and headed toward his catcher, journeyman Gus Triandos.
I was so glad my father demanded I come inside. Bunning was paid $1,000 that night to appear on Ed Sullivan and was the toast of the town.
Years later I met Bunning in Philadelphia. I had sprained both ankles in a stupid basketball pickup game which I had no business being in. But nothing was going to stop me from going there and meeting him.I also interview him for The Sunday Dispatch. (At the time I was writing a column called "The Strike Zone").
Politically Bunning is against everything I stand for but the memories of that great day fifty years ago trump politics. Father’s Day and baseball have always been perfect together. Jim Bunning and my dad's insistence made it even more so fifty years ago Saturday.

Bunning on revised '64 yearbook.

Me and Jim Bunning in the early 80s at an event in Philadelphia. 
Here's Bob Murphy's call on New York TV from the MLB Network. 


At 12:33 PM, Anonymous Pope George Ringo said...

Funny how most athletes who get into politics are 9 out of 10 times conservatives.


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