Saturday, May 21, 2016

Batting Fifth, #25, Joe Pepitone

Last night at Bergino Baseball Clubhouse John Harvey and I hung out with Joe Pepitone #25. We had drinks, ate food, and heard Joe tell twenty plus stories at this fabulous baseball memorabla. He was terrific. Bergino's on 11th Street is a love letter to baseball.

#25 was promoting his raw honest book, "Joe, You Coulda Made Us Proud."
Bergino owner, Jay Goldberg and I agree, Joe Pepitone should do The Moth StorySlam. He'd kill it. My favorite Pepitone tale last night: Joe batting behind Mickey Mantle against Denny McClain with Bill Freehan behind the plate in September 1968. Mantle just hit his 535th homer, a gift fifty mph softball that McLain grooved down the center of the plate. I'll tell the story as I hear it later today. Also got the straight dope on the "Phil Linz Yogi Berra Harmonica On The Bus incident."

Shaking Joe's hand I remembered this was the second time I met him. When I was 8 years old, the Yankees whole team came to the 86th Street RKO theatre in April 1962, when they made that silly movie "Safe at Home," to capitalize on the Maris & Mantle, M&M boys' 1961 home run derby.
Hanging with Joe, John & Tommy

I forced Dad to get to the theatre two hours early to make sure we were on the aisle. We had a quick burger across the street at Prexy's first. At seven o' five, word spread the team bus had pulled up in front. The Yankees came into the lobby dressed in suits & ties and marched down the right side of the movie house. Yogi Berra walked by me and stepped on my toe, but I didn't notice, though my father did and wanted Berra to apologize. It was strange seeing Dad pissed at Yogi.  Joe Pepitone winked at me and smiled as he walked past our aisle.

Elston Howard stopped in front of me, and put his arms behind his back like a military MP. Ellie saw I was having a baby over MickeyMantle standing right next to him two feet away from me shaking in my sneakers. Dad and Ellie exchanged laughs over my dilemma, then Howard leaned over and whispered in my ear, "Say hi, he won't bite you." But I was too scared to say anything to Mickey. As the Yankees walked on stage for a final bow, I dribbled my opportunity away.
popcorn megaphone

Lots more on Pepitone later, I have chores to do.... 

#25 busted  my balls, and I busted his balls right back. Two street guys busting chops. 

I had a ball last night, and it was so much better doing it together with my friend, Harv.

felt like kids


too much fun
busting balls

busting balls back

No comments: