As noted, I (Evander) today lugged my ten-pound wooden-slatted seat, taken from the original Yankee Stadium, pre-1974-76 renovation, to be signed by Gene Michael. It was a pleasure to meet “The Stick,” who obliged me with his carefully written autograph.
There were three middle infielders, in all, at this card show. Michael had played shortstop for the Yankees, 1968 to 1974. During the same general era, the Mets featured Bud Harrelson at the same position, whereas Pete Rose began major-league life as a second-baseman with the Cincinnati Reds.
Rose has a certain “vibe.” Cricket fans ought to be aware Pete Rose, a.k.a. Charlie Hustle (to my friends and me known as the Electric Prune…don’t ask), has collected the most hits in big-league history, but has been banned from the sport for betting on ballgames. The year 2019 marks 100 since the notorious Chicago Black Sox scandal, a strange, unresolved precursor to the Roaring Twenties made into a superb film called Eight Men Out.
I have rarely had such a reaction to a sports figure in the flesh, or to anyone. The irony is Bud Harrelson had set up signature-shop two seats from the Electric Prune. Some will remember the ground-shaking altercation between the Mousterian Rose and the diminutive Harrelson, at Shea Stadium, during the third game of the 1973 NLCS.
I wondered if forty years had mellowed either. Following is footage of Rose taking Harrelson apart.