Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Rocky Colavito at Ten Mile River

Rocky in outfield @ old Stadium @ 1968 by Gerard Murphy
"I need a Yodel."
"I need a Yankee Doodle"
"I need a rock to throw at your head. Shut up, I'm trying to listen to the Yankee game." I said to Joe Menesick and Jamie Peters, while holding the transistor to my ear, desperately moving the radio around to pick up Phil Rizzuto's voice on an AM station far away.

We were in Ten Mile River Scout Camp in Narrowsburg, New York. Troop 654, from Yorkville, Manhattan. After one week going on two weeks, we were all sick of the camp's steamed food. When we cooked, we screwed it up. We craved Hostess and Drakes Cakes. One kid said, "I Want a Funny Bone!" The cake with the peanut butter vomit in it. 

Someone threw something at him. 

I thought the guy who invented Funny Bones was the same guy who invented the soda called Wink with the grapefruit pulp in it. Yeah, he must have said, "kids love fruit pulp in their sodas, and I'm going to shove a load of pulp in there."

Remarkably, one of my childhood heroes, Rocky Colavito, the smooth slugger who resembled my Dad was pitching for the Yankees against the Tigers at the old Stadium. "The Rock," four home runs in one game was on the mound, it was August 25, 1968. Less than three months to The Beatles "White Album" release. In eleven months, we'd be on the moon, then Woodstock would rock, and the first Giant vs. Jet exhibition game would take place at the Yale Bowl.

With my free hand, I scratched the countless mosquito bites on my legs and butt, then I heard, "Dobson lines a one bouncer to Horace "No Double Play" Clarke, Clarke handles the ball cleanly and fires a strike to Mickey Mantle on first. Heeeee's Out!" Naaaa, the radio voice was fuzzy but I did hear Clarke throw the ball to Mantle and that Colavito was out of the inning with no runs, leaving two men on base.

Yankees were down 5-1, going into the bottom of the sixth, Joe, Jamie and I were supposed to be policing the camp site and working on some kind of Scout merit badge. I had already achieved my badge limit of three, Cooking and Hiking and whatever it's called for using a map properly. I earned a significant goof off period and planned on taking these two guys to hell with me before they we went home. While thinking of the next thing to anger the scout leaders the Yanks scored five runs. Rocky Colavito was the winning pitcher.

Folllowing afternoon, Joe Menesick and I, doing nothing close to nothing, decided to paddle a two man canoe to the middle of the lake to ram a war canoe full of Brooklyn scouts broadside.  We congratulated ourselves on our way back to shore by guessing our punishment. Joe's guess won. A formal invitation to the Camp's Scout Master quarters before breakfast the next morning.

Mark your calendar! June 17!

"Stoops to Nuts Pre-Father's Day Show"
@Ryans Daughter, 350 E. 85 St.
@Friday, June 17th @ 7pm-11pm
special guests: Colin DempseyJoe DettmoreNicole Ferraro, Andy McGillicuddy, Tim McGillicuddy and Una McGillicuddy and mucho more.

If you enjoy my work, check out my memoir, "I Hate the Dallas Cowboys - tales of a scrappy New York boyhood." It's available at Logos Bookstore, 1575 York Avenue, or buy it online at AmazonBarnes and Noble or other booksellers. The book has 117 five star reviews out of 117 total reviews on Amazon. If you do read it, please leave a few honest words about the book on Amazon and B&N. 
Thank you!

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