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 Post subject: A Memory
PostPosted: Fri Sep 08, 2017 3:47 pm 
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(Note: this is a personal memory related to Gene Michael, not a Mets story. I posted it here because the General Baseball Forum hasn't been posted on in months.)

When I read today that long time Yankee Gene Michael had passed away, I was drawn back to when I was a kid in the early 80s. Back then, I rooted for the Chicago White Sox even more than the Mets, for the sole reason that my first ever baseball card was of Wilbur Wood, the fat knuckleballer who had a few great seasons.

For my birthday in 1982, my father took my brother and I to a twi-night doubleheader between the Yankees and the White Sox. We had fantastic seats right behind home plate. The White Sox took the first game 1-0.

In the second game, down 3-1 going into the fifth, Yankees reliever George Frazier gave up five runs in the inning and somewhat oddly, reappeared to start the sixth. He gave up a leadoff homer in the sixth. He then gave up six consecutive singles, with the last one being a line drive up the middle that nearly took his head off. All the while, we were craning our necks to look in the Yankee dugout to see if then manager Gene Michael was going to go out and get Frazier, but he never did.

After the seventh straight hit, Frazier actually sat down on the mound and just stared into the dugout. After a minute that seemed like an hour, Gene Michael made an incredibly slow walk to the mound and took Frazier out. He'd given up 11 hits and 10 runs in 1.1 innings of relief.

Shortly thereafter, with the Yankees down 12-2, a message appeared on the scoreboard that George Steinbrenner was offering everyone there a free ticket to another game. My father and brother and I looked at each other strangely. The White Sox went on to win 14-2. I was gleeful, refusing the entreaties of my family to leave early.

The next day we read in the paper that the reason Michael didn't come out to get Frazier earlier is because he was on the phone in the dugout with Steinbrenner getting fired.

Michael lived his baseball life as the definition of loyalty, serving the Yankees organization in any capacity they wished no matter the insanity around him. RIP.


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 Post subject: Re: A Memory
PostPosted: Fri Sep 08, 2017 4:18 pm 
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Great story!


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