Showing posts with label Art Shamsky. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Art Shamsky. Show all posts

Friday, December 28, 2012

A look back at the Mets 50th anniversary season

The 2012 season marked the 50th anniversary of the New York Mets franchise. While the Mets season commenced with the trade of Cy Young Award winner R.A. Dickey to the Toronto Blue Jays in December, the past 12 months provided many opportunities to catch up with former Mets as they talked about their experiences in Flushing in celebration of the team's 50 years in baseball. Below are links to exclusive interviews with players, some more familiar than others that might have went under your radar in 2012.

For Choo Choo Coleman, It's a Homecoming Long Delayed - Jan 21, 2012

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Art Shamsky shares the spirit of '69 in Queens with Mets fans

New York Mets 1969 World Series hero Art Shamsky, along with some help from the Mets Alumni Association Presented by Citi, brought cheers and smiles to Middle Village on Tuesday for the 100-plus supporters that showed up for photos and autographs.

“It’s great to come out and see the people and the kids. Citibank and the Mets have a great relationship and I am proud to be part of whatever I can do to maintain that,” Shamsky said. “It’s great. It gives me a chance to talk about 1969 ... even kids who weren’t born then know about that team.”
Art Shamsky (r.) with teammate Wayne Garrett / N. Diunte
As a member of the 1969 team, Shamsky watched as Tom Seaver was one out away from pitching the first no-hitter in Mets history when it was broken up by Jimmy Qualls of the Chicago Cubs with two outs in the ninth inning. It took the Mets 43 years to make it happen when Johan Santana did it earlier this month. Shamsky listed Seaver’s “almost” no-hitter as one of a series of unthinkable events that were part of their championship season.

“He [Seaver] was so close," he said. "That’s baseball; things happen. I did make the last out of a no-hitter pitched against us that year against Pittsburgh. I’ve seen a few and been part of a few. Looking back on that year, so many crazy things happened: an almost perfect game, to a black cat running on the field, to Steve Carlton striking out 18-19 in a game and us beating him. There were a lot of things happening that year that was unexplainable, but they happened.”

The 70-year-old Shamsky has been duly impressed with R.A. Dickey’s outstanding performance this season. When asked about how he would approach Dickey at the plate, Shamsky offered a patient method of attack, one he felt was lacking from the Orioles lineup on Monday. He should know a thing or two about hitting the knuckleball, as he batted .314 (11-35) against Hall of Famer Phil Niekro during his career.

“I watched a little bit of the game last night and I think the approach a hitter should take, is that you should try to hit the ball right back at the pitcher, give yourself the whole field to work with," he said. "The ball is so unpredictable especially if somebody has good stuff that night. I watched a couple of these batters for Baltimore, and they looked like they were trying to pull it like it was a fastball. They have to have more patience … it’s not easy; he had good stuff last night to his credit. It looks like he’s hot and become a better knuckleball pitcher over the year than he was when he was younger.”

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Gil Hodges' disciples turn up the volume on his Hall of Fame chances

The topic of inductions was a hot item during Thursday night’s Winning Beyond Winning’s 14th annual Gil Hodges Legacy Dinner at the Chateau Briand in Carle Place.

Completing the ceremonial first pitch in front of a crowd of 250-plus supporters, former New York Yankees Frank Tepedino and Rusty Torres accepted their inductions into the Winning Beyond Winning “Winners Circle”.
Mrs. Joan Hodges at the 2011 Gil Hodges Legacy Dinner

Torres along with attorney Tom Sabellico founded the organization which helps to educate kids about the dangers of drugs and alcohol, while promoting participation in athletics. Tepedino was one of their first recruits.

“At a time in my life, when I gave up alcohol, Rusty and Tom came into it. Winning Beyond Winning was a blessing,” Tepedino said.

New York Yankees relief pitcher David Robertson and his wife Erin were presented with the Great Americans Award for their community work with their charity High Socks for Hope in their home state of Alabama.

The dinner, which bears the name of the legendary Brooklyn Dodgers first baseman and New York Mets manager, served this year as an impromptu booster party for Hodges’ Hall of Fame candidacy. When Hodges’ wife Joan took the podium for the celebration of her 85th birthday, the buzz circulated about her late husband’s Hall of Fame credentials. Hodges is one of the ten candidates on the newly formed Golden Era ballot to be voted on December 4th in Dallas.

Long time New York Mets shortstop and Long Island Ducks owner Bud Harrelson spoke discussed Hodges’ paternal influence as his manager.

“When I was with him, I felt like I was a son and I think he made a lot of players feel like that,” Harrelson said. “I fell in love with this guy. He was not negative, always positive. … He was just a good man, a family man [with] really solid principles.”

Washington Senators outfielder Fred Valentine, who played under Hodges from 1964-67, also praised the character of his fallen manager. He felt that because Hodges treated him well, it brought out his best on the field every day.

“Throughout my whole playing career I think I gave him 100, 110 percent while I was on the field,” Valentine said. “I knew what type of person he was. He was a devoted person, a devoted manager, and he treated all of the players equally well. All of the ballplayers seemed to like the way that he managed.”

He hopes that the upcoming vote will land Hodges in Cooperstown. Seeing Mrs. Hodges only reinforced his belief that it would happen soon.

“I can’t say enough about Gil Hodges about a manager. I’m just praying as I told Mrs. Hodges [today], that he will make it to the Hall of Fame where he deserves to be.”

Another disciple of the beloved Mets manager, Art Shamsky, felt that Hodges’ honor is long overdue. He to hopes that Mrs. Hodges will be alive to experience his induction.

“It’s certainly something that should have been done a number of years ago,"Shamsky said. “Especially if you look at his stats against guys like Tony Perez and Orlando Cepeda, it’s very comparable. I’m just not sure why it hasn’t happened before. Hopefully at this point while Mrs. Hodges is around to enjoy some good news, it will happen sooner than later.”

Mrs. Hodges took a rare public moment to reflect on this renewed opportunity for her late husband’s to gain entry to the Hall of Fame. While she feels he is certainly deserving, their bond is what she cherishes above his Hall of Fame status.

“I’m going to be truthfully, very very honest with you,” Hodges said. “I have never really discussed this … how I feel about him, how over deserving [he is]. If it happens, we’ll be eternally grateful; if not, he’ll be in my heart forever.”

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Johnny Damon and Carlos Beltran Honored at 29th Annual Thurman Munson Awards Dinner

Tuesday evening at the Grand Hyatt New York City brought us the 29th Annual Thurman Munson Awards Dinner, benefiting the AHRC. Among the honorees for their charity work were New York Yankee Outfielder, Johnny Damon and New York Met Outfielder, Carlos Beltran.

Johnny Damon, Ron Swoboda, Carlos Beltran / N. Diunte

Damon received the Thurman Munson Award as a result of his involvement with the Wounded Warrior Project. Damon was glowing in his praise of Munson, describing him as a "gamer, great family guy, great competitor and a champion."

As much as he tried during the press conference, he could not escape the repeated questions about Joe Torre's new book which had been released the same day. Damon took a little jab at the reporters.

"I'm not sure I am going to need to read the book as I am going to hear every little bit about it every single day."

Beltran was honored for his charitable donations to create sports education programs in his native Puerto Rico. He was proud to be recognized for his efforts.

"It's about doing things right off of the field, being able to give back to the people who really need it the most," Beltran said. "When I give, I don't expect to receive awards, but when you do, it lets you know you are doing the right thing."

Beltran also tried to sidestep the Torre questions, after a reporter found the two sentences where Beltran was mentioned in the book.

"When I met with the Yankees, he wasn't there, he didn't know what we talked about," Beltran said. "He said what he said, and that's his opinion. I don't have a comment on it. I am happy where I am."

Also honored were: 1969 Mets players Ron Swoboda, Bud Harrelson, Art Shamsky, Ed Kranepool, NY Giants Wide Receiver David Tyree, former NY Knick Allan Houston and Olympic Gold Medalist Dara Torres. On hand at the event to present awards were former Yankee Bernie Williams, and 1986 Mets pitcher and SNY analyst Ron Darling.

Johnny Damon










David Tyree, Diana Munson, Allan Houston, Dara Torres, Bernie Williams