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Lasting Yankee Stadium Memory #6
2008-09-13 06:22
by Alex Belth
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to bronxbanterblog.com.

By David Pinto

My fondest memories from Yankee Stadium both happened during a double header on July 2, 1978. Detroit was in town at a time when teams still scheduled twin bills on holidays. In game one, the Tigers shutout the Yankees for six innings, leading 2-0. Ron Guidry held a 12-0 record at that point, and it looked like his winning streak might end. In the bottom of the seventh, however, Gary Thomasson was on base with two out and Fred Stanley due up. We were sitting in the grandstand behind first base when suddenly a huge cheer went up from the third base stands. We wondered what happened, and then Mickey Rivers's head popped out of the dugout. Mick the quick came off the disable list that day, having not played since June 16th. He walked gingerly (as he always did) to the plate, and ripped a line drive to right field. Mickey Stanley leaped but didn't make the catch. While the ball was bounding away, Stanley went over to argue with the ump (I assume about fan interference). Rivers, with his blazing speed, circles the bases to tie the game! The crowd goes wild and the Yankees go on to win the game 3-2, extending Guidry's win streak to 13.

In the night cap, Graig Nettles batted third, coming up with two men on in the third. Jim Slaton came in high and tight with a brushback throw, and Graig fell to the ground avoiding a hit by pitch.

My immediate thought was that Slaton made a huge mistake. I had seen Nettles knocked down before, and he tended to respond very constructively to brushbacks, getting a hit. Sure enough, Nettles launched a three-run homer for the first score of the game. That's the way to deal with a knock down, and the Yankees went on to a 5-3 win and a sweep of the double header.

David Pinto blogs about baseball at BaseballMusings.com.

Comments
2008-09-13 12:53:06
1.   Noam Sane
I was at the stadium that day. The thing I remember best about that day, besides Stanley arguing about fan interference on Mickey's drive to right and Gossage nailing down both ends of the twinbill, happened in the stands.

During game 2, as we sat in the upper deck on the 3rd base side, a loud mouth fan wearing Red Sox gear walked through our section yelling pro-Sox, anti-Yanks things. He got equally loud mouthed response from dozens of Yankees fans; he didn't back down, but rather amped his rhetoric up further. Eventually the NY fans all around got so riled that they were throwing stuff at the him. Peanut shells, orange peels, crumpled up beer cups and papers were flying at the Red Sox fan from all angles, but he didn't back down. More and more hurled objects were raining down on him until someone threw a half-drunk milkshake. Unfortunately it missed its target and spilled all over an elderly fellow who had been minding his own business and was none too pleased about meeting up with the shake.

After the older guy was done reprimanding everyone around, things settled down. For an 8 year old kid from up in the Hudson Valley this was an eye opening experience. Never before or since have I seen it get quite that rowdy in the stands. It was a lot more dangerous to wear enemy gear at the stadium back then.

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