An 11ft high statue of Monte Irvin (8ft statue with 3 ft base) will be dedicated on October 19, 2016, at Monte Irvin Orange Park in Orange, NJ, in Essex County. The ceremony will take place at 12 noon. You need to RSVP in order to be on the list to attend.
Hall of Famers Monte irvin, Larry Doby, and Yogi Berra, will be honored with plaques recognizing their greatness as Essex County Legends in a ceremony on June 6, in Newark, NJ. This is open to the public but you need to RSVP at 973-621-4400 in order to attend. All the information is available on the invitation.
HOW WILLIE MAYS CHANGED THE FACE OF BASEBALL:
In celebration of the baseball legend’s 85th birthday, we explore Mays’s enduring spirit and his love of the sport despite facing many obstacles.-Tim Ott May 4, 2016
Willie Mays is about to turn 85. At this stage of his life, he’s an American icon, a revered ex-athlete who transcended the boundaries of his sport to become a shining example of American exceptionalism.
He’s also at a point where it’s easy to forget the fine print of his life story, a remarkable one considering that before he came along, the American public hadn’t experienced anyone quite like Willie Mays.
The baseball great was born in 1931 in Birmingham, Alabama, which means he came of age in a segregated society reeling from the Great Depression. Life was not easy, for the obvious reasons as well as those personal to his experience. Raised with little money, Mays at times went to school without wearing shoes, and he was separated from his mom when his parents split at an early age.
But Mays was also blessed in many ways. He was gifted with superior athletic genes — his dad and grandfather both played semi-pro baseball, and his mom starred in basketball and track in high school — and he always seemed to have the proper guidance in place. There were the two aunts who helped raise him as a child, and the grown men who took him under their wing when he began tagging along to his dad’s baseball games. Later, when he joined the New York Giants as a 20-year-old rookie, the team had him live with an older couple near their stadium, the Polo Grounds, and assigned a street-savvy boxing promoter to guide him around town.
Mays was also fortunate to come along when he did. In 1947, when Jackie Robinson was making headlines as baseball’s first black player in 63 years, the 16-year-old Mays was honing his skills with the Birmingham Black Barons of the Negro American League. By 1950, following the successes of other black major leaguers like Roy Campanella, Don Newcombe and Larry Doby, Mays was ready for his turn.
Coming just three years after Robinson opened the door, the world wasn’t entirely a changed place. Mays was forced to adapt to hostile fans and separate eating and rooming facilities on minor league road trips, conditions that persisted even after he joined the Giants in May of 1951. At the time, white players were known to grumble about the increasing proliferation of blacks in the game. Even when Mays was making waves as a rookie, a cartoon in The Sporting News — a national publication — featured the young player delivering such embarrassing dialogue as “Ah gives base runners the heave ho!” Continue reading
BASEBALL CELEBRATES LIFE OF TRAILBLAZER IRVIN
HALL OF FAMER AND FORMER NEGRO LEAGUE PLAYER DIED IN JANUARY AT 96-By Mark Newman / MLB.com
Though you can’t see or touch me, I’ll be near,
And if you listen with your heart — you’ll hear,
All of my love around you soft and clear.
SOUTH ORANGE, N.J. — Monte Irvin was remembered with an inspirational “Celebration of Life” on Saturday morning at the South Orange Performing Arts Center, in the community where the Hall of Famer, Negro Leaguer, war veteran and New York Giants trailblazer grew up. Those apt verses from a poem were on the back of a program given to attendees whose lives he touched before his passing on Jan. 11 at age 96.
Giants president Larry Baer, whose club is in New York for a series against the Mets, was on hand to speak and called the celebration “a history lesson of America.” National Baseball Hall of Fame president Jeff Idelson told guests that “of all the talented men who made the perilous trip from the Negro Leagues to the big leagues in the late 1940s, Monte may have been the best.” Former National League president Bill White, Irvin’s former roommate, entered quietly and said he “had to be here.”
Speakers also included 1948 Olympic medalist and friend Herb Douglas; Rutgers professor Art Berke; Essex County executive Joseph DiVincenzo, who promised a seven-foot Irvin statue coming to the area in the near future; and Irvin’s daughters, Pat and Pam. But there was one especially notable face missing from this event, and there was good reason for it. Irvin’s protege and former Giants roommate, the great Willie Mays, wrote a letter and gave it to Baer to bring and read aloud — explaining that the Say Hey Kid is simply not ready to let go.
“You’re all going to hear a lot of things about Monte Irvin today,” wrote Mays, 84. “There is much to be said. He was a good man, a good father, a good baseball player, a great friend. You might all even think that you know all of the stories about Monte and me; that he was my first roommate, that he paved my way, that we were friends, good friends, and even that we opened a liquor store together. But I am not writing these words to repeat what you already know. I am writing these words first for his family, Pat and Pam, and then for the rest of you so that you will understand why I could not join you today.
“Monte came into my life at the beginning of my professional baseball career. I was very young, but like most youngsters, I thought I knew everything! Of course, I didn’t. But I wasn’t really open to learning. You could have put the smartest man in the world in front of me when I was young, and I’d have just turned up my nose and said, ‘Yeah, but can he hit?!’
“Monte let me know that he knew the things that I didn’t want him to know; the things I tried to hide or keep to myself. He knew when I was unsure of myself. He knew when I’d made a mistake, even when no one else could tell. He knew how to stay quiet when his presence was enough and he knew how to speak his mind when I needed talking to.
“Monte was wise and generous and as tough as they come. He was all the things you’ve heard, and he was more. There will never be another Monte Irvin.
“So you see, I just couldn’t be there today. I am not ready to say goodbye. Give me some time. I want to keep Monte alive in my mind.”
Irvin’s spirit was alive in the auditorium, as the “kilowatt smile” — Pam’s words — loomed overhead.
Love around you soft and clear. Continue reading
A full house of NY/SF Giants fans attended our meeting last night with SF Giants Beat Reporter for MLB.com Chris Haft. Chris spoke for 50 minutes about everything Giants baseball, past and present. We thank him and Jay Goldberg, proprietor of the Bergino Baseball Clubhouse www.bergino.com, for making it a special evening.
BASEBALL, HISTORY FANS FLOCK TO CARL HUBBELL’S FORMER HAWORTH HOME
BY ANDREW WYRICH
HAWORTH – The promise of getting a glimpse into the history of the country’s national pastime brought Don Sheridan, 57 of Emerson, to the home of former New York Giants pitcher Carl Hubbell on Sunday – and he didn’t come empty handed.
Sheridan brought a 1939 Carl Hubbell baseball card and donated it to the Friends of the Haworth Library, who hosted an all-day event to honor the former Giants player who lived in the borough from 1946 to 1950. Now Sheridan could contribute to others learning about the game, and its star players, in the future.
“I love baseball, and I came because I wanted to hear about the time when there were the Dodgers, Giants and Yankees all in one city,” he said.
Baseball enthusiasts like Sheridan, borough residents and even a distant relative came to Haworth on Sunday to celebrate the accomplishments and playing career of Hubbell.
Several events were planned by the Friends of the Haworth Library on Sunday – which the Borough Council proclaimed “Carl Owen Hubbell Day” – including an open house of the home the hall of famer resided in on Haworth Avenue, a lecture by a baseball historian and a display of New York Giants memorabilia that included several signed baseballs and other items related to Hubbell.
The Friends of the Haworth Library organized the event after the San Francisco Giants donated $500 to help finance a new addition to the Haworth Municipal Library in honor of their former pitcher who famously used a screwball to strikeout batters during his 16-year career. After retiring in 1943, Hubbell also worked as the director of the Giants’ farm system, even after the franchise relocated to San Francisco in 1958.
“He is one of Haworth’s most famous residents,” said Beth Potter, president of the Friends organization, adding that he served on the borough’s recreation commission during his time as a resident. “We feel like he may have fallen out into the baseball mist, so to speak, but when you read more about him, you realize he was an amazing player.”
Hubbell may be most remembered for his performance at the 1934 All Star Game at the old Polo Grounds, where he struck out future Hall-of-Famers Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Jimmie Foxx, Al Simmons and Joe Cronin in succession.
But he was certainly not a one-game wonder. At the end of his career, Hubbell had won more than 250 games, had an earned run average under 3.00 and struck out 1,600 batters, according to BaseballReference.com , a popular baseball statistics website. He was also voted most valuable player in the National League twice. Once he began running the organization’s farm system he oversaw the signing of Willie Mays and other great Giants players. Continue reading
Greetings!! Our 2nd NYGPS meeting of the year will take take in 2 weeks, on Thursday, April 28 at 6:30PM, at the Bergino Baseball Clubhouse. Chris Haft, author (This is Our Time!!) and SF Giants Beat Reporter for MLB.com, will be stopping by to discuss the current team and also delve into the history of the franchise as well. Chris is a wonderful reporter who can be followed at https://twitter.com/sfgiantsbeat. His articles appear regularly on the SF Giants official website. Come and join us for a wonderful evening talking Giants Baseball with a most knowledgeable reporter. Please RSVP me with your intentions as time is of the essence. Thanks as always to Jay Goldberg for hosting us at the clubhouse. This will be a very busy week for the Giants Franchise. See below:
APRIL 24-Carl Hubbell Day-Haworth NJ Library
APRIL 28-Chris Haft-NYGPS Meeting Speaker
APRIL 29-Giants versus Mets Citifield
APRIL 30-Monte Irvin Celebration of Life-South Orange, NY
APRIL 30-Giants versus Mets Citifield
MAY 1-Giants versus Mets Citifield
Hope to see you there!!!
HAWORTH TO CELEBRATE “CARL OWEN HUBBELL DAY”
BASEBALL HALL OF FAMER AND FORMER RESIDENT
Two of our members to speak, Peter Laskowich & Jerry Liebowitz!!
Baseball Hall of Famer Carl Hubbell was called the “Meal Ticket” for the New York Giants during the 1930s, or sometimes “King Carl.” He helped take the Giants to three World Series. In the 1934 All Star Game he struck out five future Hall of Famers in a row, starting with Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig. He was the National League’s Most Valuable Player in 1933 and 1936. And from 1946 through 1950, he and his family lived in the small Bergen County town of Haworth, New Jersey (at the time he was developing the Giants farm system).
Carl’s old team, now the San Francisco Giants, recently honored his time in Haworth with a $500 contribution to the Haworth Library’s building fund—enough to memorialize the pitcher’s name on the library’s Donor Wall. Up until that donation, probably only the town historian and the people who live in the Hubbells’ former home knew of his time here. While everyone in town knows that actress Brooke Shields once lived here, and some may know that General Henry Robert, who wrote “Robert’s Rules of Order,” had a Victorian house on Sunset, the Giants’ donation was a big surprise to local folks who had no idea that the town had been home to a resident truly in a “league of his own,” a man famous for what was called a “baffling” and “devastating” screwball. The Giants’ donation created so much local interest that the Friends of the Haworth Library decided to celebrate Hubbell’s legacy and residency with a special day.
To that end, the Haworth Borough Council has passed a resolution officially making Sunday, April 24, “Carl Owen Hubbell Day.” At 1:30 PM the Hubbell family home, 474 Haworth Ave., will be open to see, and a video there will showcase Hubbell’s baseball career. At 2:30 at the Haworth Library, 300 Haworth Ave., New York baseball historian Peter Laskowich will talk about the place of the Giants, and Hubbell, in baseball history, and Jerry Liebowitz, with the New York Giants Preservation Society, will show off his collection of Hubbell and Giants photographs and memorabilia. Additional photos have been sent by Carl Hubbell’s two sons, Carl, Jr., and James, who now live in the Midwest. Finally, at 4 PM, when the speakers are finished, there will be a showing of the 1953 movie Carl made with Edward G. Robinson and Vera-Ellen, “Big Leaguer” (it was the first movie directed by Robert Aldrich, who went on to make “Whatever Happened to Baby Jane” and “The Dirty Dozen”). Peanuts and Cracker Jacks will be served.
For more information on “Carl Owen Hubbell Day,” contact Beth Potter, president of the Friends of the Haworth Library, at 201-384-1020 (or Beth’s cell, 201-723-6289).
Happy Holidays! If you wish to attend you need to call in and speak to Amanda Parker. Click on photos for contact information and address of event. Don’t e-mail her. There is limited seating (300), so act quickly. If you are not on the list, you will not be let in. They have assured me of that!! The Giants will be taking on the Mets at 4PM that afternoon.
Joe Garagiola passed away today at the age of 90. His death brings down the number of living NY Giants to 22. Here is a link to his passing.http://www.sfgate.com/…/Remembering-Joe-Garagiola-hanging-w… It is followed by the list of remaining NY Giants along with their birthdays.
■Foster Castleman 1954-57 B: 1/1/1931 INF
■Joe Margoneri 1956-57 B: 1/13/1930 LEFTY PITCHER
■Joey Amalfitano 1954-55 B:1/23/1934 INF
■Bill White 1956 B: 1/28/1934 1B
■Red Schoendienst 1956-57 B: 2/2/1923 INF
■Al Worthington 1953-54, 1956-57 B: 2/5/1929 P
■Ron Samford 1954 B: 2/28/1930 SS
■Johnny Antonelli 1954-57 B: 4/12/1930 LP
■Jackie Brandt 1956 B: 4/28/1934 OF
■Ed Bressoud 1956-57 B: 5/2/1932 SS
■Willie Mays 1951-52, 1954-57 B: 5/6/1931 OF
■Ozzie Virgil 1956-57 B: 5/17/1933 INF
■Gil Coan 1955 B: 5/18/1922 OF
■Harvey Gentry 1954 B: 5/27/1926 ?
■Wayne Terwilliger 1955-56 B: 6/27/1925 2B
■Pete Burnside 1955, 1957 B: 7/2/1930 P
■Daryl Spencer 1952-53, 1956-57 B: 7/13/1929 INF
■Windy McCall 1954-57 B: 7/18/1925 LEFTY RELIEF
■Billy Gardner 1954-55 B: 7/19/1927 2B
■Ray Crone 1957 B: 8/7/1931 P
■Roy Wright 1956 B: 9/26/1933 P
■Mike McCormick 1956-57 B: 9/29/1938 LP
Gil Coan is the oldest living member of the New York Giants (93), while Mike McCormick is the youngest at 77.