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  • #16
    RE: Stadium Traditions

    I thought it was Hilda Chester who had the cowbell. (Have you ever heard the story Pete Reiser told about the time Hilda changed pitchers for the Dodgers?) And don't forget Fierce Jack Pierce, the Cookie Lavagetto fanatic!
    the ubiquitous Bly11

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    • #17
      RE: Stadium Traditions

      >What I like is that you know all this stuff better
      >than I do - and you probably weren't even born yet.

      You're right, I was born in 1969 ... but I'm basically a book addict, so my lack of personal experience is balanced by a ton of head knowledge. A mixed blessing.

      I don't remember much about Fierce Jack Pierce, except that he used to chant, "Cook-ee, Cook-ee", and that he always had a helium tank with him - whenever Lavagetto came to bat, Pierce would blow up a helium balloon and send it floating into the air. But here's the story on Hilda Chester changing pitchers, courtesy of Pete Reiser in Donald Honig's "Baseball: When the Grass was Real":

      ----------------------------------------------------------

      I remember one time, it was in either '41 or '42, we were in the seventh inning of a game. I was going out to take my position in center field, and I hear that voice: "Hey, Reiser!" Hilda. There could be 30,000 people there yelling at once, but Hilda was the one you'd hear. I look up, and she's dropping something onto the grass. "Give this note to Leo," she yells. So I pick it up and put it in my pocket. At the end of the inning I start heading in.

      Now (Larry) MacPhail used to sit in a box right next to the dugout, and for some reason he waved to me as I came in, and I said, "Hi, Larry," as I went into the dugout. I gave Hilda's note to Leo and sat down. Next thing I know he's getting somebody hot in the bullpen; I think it was (Hugh) Casey. Meanwhile, (Whitlow) Wyatt's pitching a hell of a ball game for us. In the next inning the first guy hits the ball pretty good and goes out. The next guy gets a base hit. Here comes Leo. He takes Wyatt out and brings in Casey. Casey got rocked a few times, and we just did win the ball game, just did win it.

      Leo had this rule that after a game you didn't take off your uniform until he said so. Usually he didn't invoke it unless we'd lost a tough one. But this day he goes into his office and slams the door without a word. We're all sitting there waiting for him to come out. Finally the door opens and out he comes. He points at me.

      "Don't you ever give me another note from MacPhail as long as you play for me!"

      "I didn't give you any note from MacPhail," I said.

      "Don't tell me!" he yells. "You handed me a note in the seventh inning."

      "That was from Hilda," I said.

      "From HILDA?" he screams. I thought he was going to turn purple. "You mean to say that wasn't from MacPhail?"

      I'd never even looked at the note, just handed it to him. Leo had heard me say something to MacPhail when I came in and figured the note was from Larry. It seems what the note said was: "Get Casey hot, Wyatt's losing it." So what you had was somebody named Hilda Chester sitting in the center-field bleachers changing pitchers for you. You talk about oddball things happening in Ebbets Field, you're not exaggerating.

      ----------------------------------------------------------

      Oh, I wish I could've been there at Ebbets in the good old days. "The glorious past is gone forever ..."

      the ubiquitous Bly11

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      • #18
        RE: Stadium Traditions

        Back in the 1980's at Tiger Stadium, the bleachers were known for their rowdy, yet loyal fans. At one time, they organized a parody of the Miller Lite ad "Less Filling, Tastes Great!" I'm probably not allowed to say it here so I'll paraphrase: One half of the bleachers would shout "F--- You!" and then the other half would shout "Eat S---!" I suppose this is why Mr. Campbell ordered the bleachers closed for nearly an entire season! Also, us bleacher creatures had a habit of jingling our car keys collectively when the opposition was at bat. Imagine the sound of thousands of keys! And it was also the bleacher crowd who would invariably start the wave around the stadium. One unique feature that I miss about Tiger Stadium is the double-decked stands. I recall watching the wave go thru the crowd clockwise on one deck and counter-clockwise on the other! Such great memories of the bleachers...

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        • #19
          RE: Stadium Traditions

          In Anaheim, we have the "Wave" and beachballs. Also, fans are notorious for showing up late and leaving early. Not me, of course, I like to open the place and close the place. Problem is, they dont open the park until an hour before the game. Are there any parks that open earlyer so you can watch the home team take BP?

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          • #20
            RE: Stadium Traditions

            >I always wondered if it was true that west coast fans
            >are fair weather fans and do not have the passion
            >of some other fans. But, I didn't want to
            >stereo type anyone because I know how it is to
            >have a certain reputation being a Philadelphia fan.

            Sad to say, West Coast fans have earned that reputation (I'm a California native myself). At the Big A, back in the '80s, the big tradition was tortilla-tossing (flinging them like frisbees), which should give you a clue ... . We're just not as intense on average out here, I guess.

            But the other extreme wouldn't be any better. I mean, I don't think we've ever boo'ed Santa Claus. ;-)

            One new tradition: the teenage drum corps at the Oakland Coliseum. Gives some people migraines, but I think it's mad fun.

            bly11 - Oakland A's (boom boom boom) conference moderator
            the ubiquitous Bly11

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            • #21
              RE: Stadium Traditions

              > Are there any parks that open earlyer so you can watch the home team take BP?

              At the BOB they open the gates two hours before game time so you cn watch some of the batting practice, anyway. They throw you out real quick after the game, though, especially a night game.

              Rattlehead
              uk::

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              • #22
                RE: Stadium Traditions

                Wrigley does have some lesser known traditions. There is still a bleacher bum who will lay odds and bet on every single pitch if he can "git sum action", Waveland Avenue is filled elbow to elbow with kids in mitts during BP, and during the game, but opening day is something everyone should experience if they can brave the April winter in the Windy City. As it is always sold out, one year I brought my camera, tried to check in as a member of the press corps, and easily slid past the hundred or so year old fellow watching the press credential door. Next thing I know, I'm on the field, greeting the Governor and other mucky mucks near first base. Almost everyone left by the fourth inning, so I had my choice of seats. Ranks as one of my favorite games. Only one better that comes to mind was opening day at Crosley Field; they used to put two rows of seats on the field, around the outfield, and I was priveleged to sit there, one year. Incidently, balls hit into those seats were ruled as ground rule doubles; priceless
                Baseball is a ballet without music. Drama without words ~Ernie Harwell

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                • #23
                  RE: Stadium Traditions

                  Just another thought about the subject. I was watching a Mariners game this past week and I noticed a sound in the background. Did my ears deceive me? No! I had forgotten about the train! Apparently, there is a rail line near Safeco Field and on occasion, you can hear it's whistle blowing. Personally, I think the engineer likes to make a little more noise than is necessary. But perhaps he wants his part in baseball tradition too. Can any Seattle fans give us a little more info on this?
                  And of course for my Detroit input: there is an opera-singing hot dog vendor that works the area between third base and home at Comerica Park. His name is Charley and he gets upset if you want a hot dog with more than just mustard. He's a young guy, 21 I think, and he has great pipes. If you ever watch a Tigers game (bear with us) on TV or attend a game, you're sure to hear him.

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                  • #24
                    RE: Stadium Traditions

                    Does anyone remember the "Sign Man" at Shea Stadium in the late '60s and early '70s? He wore a white hat, and always had an assortment of professionally-printed large signs he would hold up for every occasion. (I used to know his name, but I've forgotten it.)
                    mjrbaseball

                       Now batting ... the center fielder ... number 7 ... Mickey ... Mantle ... number 7.  

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                    • #25
                      RE: Stadium Traditions

                      Let's not forget that guy in liederhosen that used to slide down the slide into the giant mug when a Brewer homered!

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                      • #26
                        RE: Stadium Traditions

                        Steve Dahl was indeed the DJ responsible for the damage to Comiskey Park on Disco demolition night. Was this the last major league game to be forfeited?

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                        • #27
                          RE: Stadium Traditions

                          BENNY!

                          I think his name was Benny the Brewer.
                          uk::

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                          • #28
                            RE: Stadium Traditions

                            Bernie Brewer. Didn't they move him & the beer mug over to Miller Park?

                            bly11 - Oakland A's conference moderator
                            the ubiquitous Bly11

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                            • #29
                              RE: Stadium Traditions

                              John Adams. Every time the Tribe needs a rally (which is about every game) -- he's up there 'BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM' on his drum.

                              The Jake might be the only park in baseball with Advil vendors in the stands, although savvy long-time fans bring ear plugs and a thermos full of "Jack 'n' 'Zac", a home-brewed concoction of Jack Daniels and Prozac.

                              Old Municipal Stadium had the disctinction of being the most hated park for visiting ballplayers. A layer of green slime covered nearly every surface -- cold, damp slime. Players would occasionally slip and injure themselves, giving the Tribe a slight home-field advantage in those days.

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                              • #30
                                RE: Stadium Traditions

                                Bernie Brewer has a new set up way up in left field.He has a bigger slide

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