Showing posts with label Tommy John. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Tommy John. Show all posts

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Tommy John with luminous visions of facing Mickey Mantle

During Sunday’s Old Timer’s Day, tales of the Yankees legends resurface, many paying homage to the great players of their franchise. Tommy John, who pitched eight of his 26 major league seasons with the Yankees, shared how he was given the royal treatment by Mickey Mantle during their first big league encounter.

“The first time I faced him he hit a home run off of me,” John said on Saturday at the DAC Field Day in Bayside, New York. “It was in Cleveland. It was a fly ball to right field that went out; boom, a home run.”

John only lasted one-third of an inning on May 8, 1964, with manager George Strickland pulling the 20-year-old after one more batter. It was certainly a learning experience for the young lefty, but it was not the last time they would meet.

“He hit one by my head in Chicago,” he said. “I have no idea how close it came, but I saw the ball and I could not react to it. That’s how hard it was hit. I could hear the ball zing by my ear and I could feel the air of the ball. I look at first base at Mickey. He looks at me with that little grin he had and he goes like this, (makes a two-inch gap between his thumb and forefinger), two inches; the ball went right off my ear. If that would have been two [inches] over, it hits me and I’m Herb Score or dead. That’s how hard he could hit the ball.”

Fans and players alike speak of Mantle’s prodigious power with the bat, but often overlooked was Mantle’s blazing speed. Plagued by leg injuries throughout his career, Mantle wrapped his legs from his ankles to mid-thigh just to get on the field. Despite his ailments and the advanced stage of his career, John noticed that when the game absolutely necessitated it, Mantle could summon the speed of his youth.

“He hit a ball to our shortstop Ron Hansen, and his buddy Whitey Ford was pitching,” he said. “The game was close and Hansen charged the ball. He threw to first base and it was bang-bang. That’s how fast Mickey ran. He could only do it once, but his buddy needed a base runner and he almost beat it out on a regular ground ball to shortstop.”

* - This article was originally published June 22, 2014 for

Thursday, October 11, 2012

1986 World Series hero Howard Johnson brings excitement to the 2012 Harrison Apar Field of Dreams Golf Classic

Howard Johnson’s sweet swing was on display once again Monday afternoon, but it was not the one that often filled outfield seats at Shea Stadium, but a smooth touch that lit up Mohansic Golf Course at the 2012 Harrison Apar Columbus Day Golf Classic.

Howard Johnson (c.) led a group of ex-MLB players at the Harrison Apar Golf Classic
Johnson was part of a handful of retired major leaguers that also included New York Yankees All-Star pitcher Tommy John, George Alusik, Dave Lemanczyk, Don DeMola, Matt Merullo, and Rick Surhoff, all who played in support of the Harrison Apar Field of Dreams Foundation.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Former Yankees and Phillies lend their support to the BEST Scholarship Fund

2010 BEST Scholarship Award Winners
August 15, 2010 saw close to twenty former major league players lending their support to the BEST Scholarship Fund by attending their Meet and Greet Dinner. Attendees were treated to an evening that allowed them to mingle with the ballplayers as well as hear success stories from the scholarship recipients. Click here to read a complete recap and see photos from the event.
L-R Terry Harmon, Dennis Kinney, Wil Royster, Ross Moschitto and 1952 AL MVP Bobby Shantz

Monday, August 2, 2010

2nd Annual BEST Sports Celebrity Golf Tournament August 15-16, 2010, Delware Water Gap, PA

2nd Annual BEST Sports Celebrity Golf Tournament

Golf with former MLB players Tommy John, Jim Eisenreich, Bobby Shantz, Mike Pagliarulo, Bill Madlock and many others as they lend their support to benefit the BEST "Building Education Support Teams" scholarship fund. BEST offers scholarships to high school students in the Lehigh Valley area.

The event will be held on Sunday, August 15 and Monday, August 16 at the Water Gap Country Club, Delaware Water Gap, PA. There will be a "Meet and Greet" reception and silent auction of baseball memorabilia and other items from 6:00-8:00pm on Sunday with limited open bar and hors d’oeuvres. Tickets are available for $60.00.

Monday’s events start with a buffet breakfast and registration at 8:30am followed by a shotgun start at 10:00am. The day will conclude with a cocktail reception and buffet at 3:00pm. Cost: $150 per golfer.

To register or for information about sponsorship opportunities, contact Judy Tierney at 610-504-4239 or

BEST was founded in 2008 by Billy Staples and Judy Tierney as an attempt to aid students in need of financial assistance to fulfill their dreams and goals of obtaining a college education. Students must maintain a 2.8 GPA while enrolled in college. They are required to select a volunteer mentor who reports on his or her performance to the scholarship board. Upon completion of their studies, they are asked to return and work in their community for two years.

For more information about BEST, please visit their website -