Bronx Zoo Was Fun So Many Moons Ago

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Seemingly, the New York Yankees were an up-tight club a decade ago when George Steinbrenner, Billy Martin, Reggie Jackson and Thurman Munson were creating all that tension, but Rich (Goose) Gossage says it isn’t so.

Gossage, now with the Chicago Cubs, told Ira Berkow of the New York Times: “With the Yankees in those days, it was a veteran team, and everybody ragged everybody. Nothing was sacred.

“One time I’m getting ready to pitch, and Munson calls time and comes out and says, ‘Check (Mickey) Rivers.’ I look around and Mickey is in a three-point stance, like a track runner, with his butt to me, ready to chase down the ball.


“Then one time I’m called in from the bullpen in center and I climb in the car, the door opens and Rivers jumps on the hood and spread-eagles himself. ‘Don’t let him in the game!’ he hollers. ‘Don’t let him in the game!’ I roll down the window and holler, ‘Get off that car or we’ll run you over!’

“It was like when you’re a kid and you’re having fun. That’s the way baseball should be played.”

Would-you-believe-it Dept.: They’re saying that age has caught up with the Boston Celtics, but the Boston Globe points out that the 1968-69 team, the last to repeat as champion, was actually older.

The starting lineup: Bailey Howell, 32, and Satch Sanders, 30, at forwards, Bill Russell, 35, at center, and Emmette Bryant, 30, and Sam Jones, 35, at guards.

Add Celtics: Don Nelson, a reserve on that 1968-69 team, thinks the age of the club president is more crucial than the age of the team.

“The belief about winning comes from Red Auerbach,” Nelson said. “He was the leader and he’s starting to fade.”


50 Years Ago Today: On June 7, 1938, Cleveland’s Johnny Allen walked off the mound in the second inning and didn’t return when plate umpire Bill McGowan wanted Allen’s dangling sweat-shirt sleeve to be cut off because it was distracting Boston hitters. Allen was fined $250 by Manager Oscar Vitt, and the shirt ended up in the Hall of Fame.

Trivia Time: Five years ago today, Philadelphia’s Steve Carlton became baseball’s all-time strikeout king when he struck out St. Louis’ Lonnie Smith for No. 3,522. Whom did he pass? (Answer below.)

Ouch: Dave Corzine of the Chicago Bulls, on the Detroit Pistons: “They’re just like the Raiders, with one difference. The Raiders are respected, these guys aren’t.”

Said Olympic gymnastic gold medalist Bart Conner in Las Vegas, where he was honored for his charitable work: “The pressure of Olympic competition is nothing compared to being the guest of honor at a $200-a-plate banquet and hoping people will show up.”

Now-it-can-be-told Dept.: Catcher Doug Robbins of Stanford told the New York Times he was up all night before a game against Louisiana State in the College World Series last year.

Nervous? No, he was studying for a final exam that a professor gave him by telephone while the other students were taking it in class.


Robbins took the test, then played the game. He got a B on the test and Stanford won the game.

Said Sam Horn of the Boston Red Sox when asked about his demotion to Pawtucket: “I got no comment to nobody about nothing.”

Trivia Answer: Nolan Ryan.


John Kruk of the San Diego Padres, after slumping Philadelphia slugger Mike Schmidt threw a Gatorade cooler onto the field from the dugout: “An incredible toss. Good hang time, good rotation.”