Saturday, October 10, 2015

Breaching My Defense

Who saw Koosman coming on in 1968 right after Seaver in 1967? I did. I was at his 3-0 four hit shutout vs S.F. Giants on April 17, 1968. I played hooky from St. Stephen's 8th grade, Cleon Jones hit a homer, and I hit a guy in front of me with yellow mustard I smacked out of a shitty little package I was having trouble opening. The victim with the comb-over chased me through the mezzanine from left to right field and back for two innings before giving up. I watched the rest of the game in a new seat far away. The week before late in bed, I listened on the radio as Koosman shut out the Dodgers 4-0. Rocky Colavito was in RF for L.A. He went 0-4. I thought Seaver was stuck up and I liked Koosman, a lefty, like me, and a blue collar hero to Seaver's surf's up California asshole. For the record, Yankee fans thought Nancy Seaver was a dog and Slider was ugly for a dog. Up through 1968 I was a normal sports loving person. 
"Oh, fudge..."

But look how happy I am near the blackboard in the photo. I'm 14, in LaSalle Academy's homeroom 406 the day after the Jets won Super Bowl III in January 1969. Stunned was my standard look following a review of sports scores that year.

The Mets and Jets winning championships the same year crushed me and made me an easy target in school and on my block as a die hard Yankee and Giant fourteen year old fan with thin skin and a giant red button.  It scarred me for life regarding Shea, anyone who played there, or rooted for them. The relentless abuse was piled on from spring to winter than all over again in grocery stores, down Carl Schurz and John Jay Park, Woolworths, 80th Street bowling alley, on line for the 86th St. movies, on stoops, even friends' mothers picked on me. "Hey Pryor, get a new team!" Mrs. Walsh yelled from a third floor 83rd St. window. She was so pretty even after she said it, I still wanted her.
"Hey Pryor!"

But my favorite sport games are defensive gems. In baseball, they must include electrifying pitching.  Ford, Koufax, Gibson, Catfish, Lyle, Guidry, 78, Hershiser, 88 and 89. The dropoff on McNally's Oriole curve ball was scary and otherworldly from behind the plate in perfect box seats in Section 1 where you stayed put and no usher chased you late in the game at Yankee Stadium on a weekday afternoon any time before Steinbrenner bought the team.

Last night watching the Mets vs L.A., a tense game where it came down to one situation, one hit, and a manager's call (maybe Mattingly should have left Kershaw in to face Wright, who went down easily the previous three times. Kershaw had his number).
Jimmy Teaman with notebook, 1971

I love good defense and single hits, goals or touchdowns that end a war in sports. Enjoy the ride, Met fans, I'm rooting for you, really, Tommy

Jimmy and Dermott, you can attest to the intensity of the abuse heaped on Yankee and Giants fans during our four years together at LaSalle. Thank God, the Islanders didn't bang the Rangers until we left high school. It was easy to get lost at Hunter College regarding your fan loyalty.

Freshman Homeroom 406, LaSalle Academy, January 13, 1969

Do you like old New York City photos and street life stories? Then check out my 1960s memoir,"I Hate the Dallas Cowboys - tales of a scrappy New York boyhood."Available at Logos Book Store and online at Amazon or Barnes and Noble.

The book has 112 Amazon five star reviews out of 112 total reviews posted. We're pitching a perfect game. My old world echoes TV's "The Wonder Years" ~ just add taverns, subways and Checker cabs.

"oh my!"

Praise for the book:

“Thomas R. Pryor has written a sweet, funny, loving memoir of growing up old-school in a colorful New York neighborhood. A story of sports, family, and boyhood, you’ll be able to all but taste, smell, and feel this vanished world.”
Kevin Baker, author of the novels “Dreamland,” Paradise Alley,” and “Strivers Row,” as well as other works of fiction and nonfiction

“Tommy Pryor’s New York City boyhood was nothing like mine, a few miles and a borough away, and yet in its heart, tenderness, and tough teachable moments around Dad and ball, it was the mid-century coming of age of all of us. A rousing read.”
Robert Lipsyte, former city and sports columnist, The New York Times

“Pryor could take a felt hat and make it funny.”
Barbara Turner-Vesselago, author of “Writing Without A Parachute: The Art of Freefall”

“Pryor burrows into the terrain of his childhood with a longing and obsessiveness so powerful it feels like you are reading a memoir about his first great love.”
Thomas Beller, author of “J.D. Salinger: The Escape Artist”

The Jean Shepherd of Yorkville has a book - you should get! -Adam Wade, winner of 20 SLAMS at The Moth (18 StorySLAM victories and 2 GrandSLAM Championships
I've been a HUGE fan of Thomas Pryor's stories for a long time. It's so great to read so many of them in this fantastic book. Pryor pours his heart and soul into each and everyone of them. Some gut wrenching, others laugh out loud funny. And you don't have to be a NY Giants fan or a Cowboys hater to enjoy this book (though that will help). You just have to have a heart and love fun, authentic stories. Buy this book, I promise you'll enjoy it!

Dave Hill "The Goddamn Dave Hill Show" ~ WFMU radio
I wasn't alive for the New York Thomas Pryor writes about, but thanks to his brilliant, honest, and hilarious book, I feel like I was there."

Great writers are supposed to transport you to their world -Nicole Ferraro, writer, N.Y Times & Editor-in-Chief, Webby Awards
Thomas Pryor is one of those unique writers who can grab your heart and make you laugh and cry in a single sentence. The portrait he paints of growing up in New York City -- in Yorkville, specifically -- in the 60s is so vivid that you'll feel yourself there with him in every single scene, and every single memory. Great writers are supposed to transport you to their world, and Thomas Pryor does this exceptionally well. You'll walk away from this book feeling like you know intimately every butcher and bartender in town, every Sister at St. Stephens, and certainly every member of Thomas's family. Even more than that, though, this is a book about being a kid, growing up, loving people and losing them, losing people and loving them even more, and finding one's way. Basically, it's a book for anyone who's ever experienced the sheer pleasure and pain of being alive and growing up. Buy it today. It will leave you feeling enriched, touched, entertained, and eager to turn to page one all over again.

Wonderful Storytelling with a Time Machine Effect! - Leslie Gosko, entertainer, storyteller, comedian, "Funniest Woman in NYC"
Heart-warming, hilarious, and wonderfully quirky, "I Hate the Dallas Cowboys" has something for everyone. Thomas Pryor does a fantastic job of transporting you to 1960's New York where you feel like one of the characters in his Yorkville neighborhood. Stylistically reminiscent of Jean Shepherd's "A Christmas Story," this book, too, becomes an instant classic!

David Terhune The Losers Lounge, co-founder
After reading "I Hate The Dallas Cowboys", I felt as if I had grown up with author Thomas Pryor. His stories of a childhood in New York City, punctuated by family photographs, drew me into his world and took me on a personal tour of the streets and neighborhoods of his youth. Living there were a host of vivid and eccentric characters - his parents, brother Rory, grandmother Nan, Joe from the candy store, Sister Mercedes, stewardesses Marie and Justine, and his many friends and co-conspirators with whom he shared his adventures and dreams. Mr. Pryor’s humor is gentle and infectious, his memories animated and engrossing. These essays are both historically valuable as well as entertaining in a way that befits the unique voice of New York City.

My first payoff, January 25, 1987, Giants first Super Bowl

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