Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Baseball Is A Wonderful Thing

Going to Tuesday's Bat For BAT (Baseball Assistance Team) benefit dinner was a dream for a Mets fan. The organization's objective is to aid those members of the "baseball family" most in need. They were celebrating 50 years of the Mets.
That's Ed Kranpool with the mic.

It's all about timing and luck. That's me talking about getting Sandy Koufax's autograph, not a player talking about winning a World Series. I was standing at the table and had just gotten Ron Swoboda and Ed Kranpool's autographs, when Sandy Koufax sat down at the end of the table. I handed him my ball and he signed it. Any player will tell you it's all about the timing.

Loved talking to the Glider, Ed Charles. He was the Mets third baseball in '69. We talked about how wonderful that team was and how it was all about pitching and defense. He also told me how much he loved Joan Payson. How many players can say they love their owner? He's a regular at Citi Field.

I seemed to have had a few culinary conversations last night. Keith Hernandez and I talked about Armand's Restaurant and Rusty Staub described the transportation to and from Shea in the 80's, which was the meat van that was used for his restaurant. Players who wanted a ride to Shea met at the restaurant at a designated time. If a player was late, he was on his own to get to the stadium. After about two years of traveling in the "meat van", Le Grand Orange bought a new van with a TV.

Other highlights were talking to Steve Garvey, Jim Palmer, Davey Johnson, Tim Teufel and seeing Randy Myers in a camouflage sports jacket.

Photos courtesy of Al Sartorius

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