What Red Sox Teammate Stalked Moe Berg?

DATELINE: Cold Spy

Real Moe Berg Real Moe!

Being of a certain generation, we have been asked about some of the accuracy of the movie The Catcher was a Spy.

Paul Rudd plays Moe Berg, an enigmatic athlete who finished his career with the Boston Red Sox in 1939.  Pushing 40, he was pushed out of the locker room to make room for more rookies. And, the Sox had a few.

In the film, one rookie looks in the locker room with suspicion at Berg and notes his reservation about sharing a shower stall with a man with unclear sexual tendencies. Another veteran player (Lefty Grove?) tells him to keep it to himself.

Yet, this player seems to stalk Berg and follow him to some clandestine gay bar of 1939 in Boston. When he comes out (and we do not see what happens in this odd locale), he knows he is being followed—and confronts the young rookie.

He slugs him several times. The player is identified as the fictional Bill Dalton. No one by that name was on the Sox roster.

So, who was the offending rookie stalker?

The Red Sox had several notable rookies in that season with Berg:  Ted Williams was the most famous (also known as the Garbo of the Dugout for his reclusiveness) and Bobby Doerr, one of Ted’s close friends, and Johnny Pesky, all future Hall of Famers.

Was it one of them who had a confrontation with Moe Berg?

You will be hard-pressed to find out something that was kept in the shadows by all concerned. Berg would never talk, and neither would Ted Williams. Berg reportedly offered Ted advice and insights on the greats he played with (and he told Ted he was most like Shoeless Joe Jackson of Field of Dreams).

If the incident is true, and we have no doubt about its veracity, you can now play To Tell the Truth.  Alas, the real stalker will not stand up years after all have passed.

We put our money on Teddy Ballgame. The other two were amiable sorts and often thought to be mediators and peace-makers.

Patriots Romp: ‘Yo Soy Fiesta en Mexico’

DATELINE:   Pats Play Bums of the Week

tom-brady-as-gunslinger

Other than Gronk claiming he was about to have a fiesta, when in fact he actually seemed to enjoy a siesta, Gronk didn’t do much up in that rarified air. Many players were cramping and gasping for oxygen, likely having a locker room IV and banana.

The big news of the game was that history repeated itself. Way back in 1960, Ted Williams was pulled out of left field in the ninth inning and replaced by Carroll Hardy, a rather ignored utility player.

In Mexico City, Tom Brady was replaced with two minutes left in the game by Brian Hoyer, his long-time second banana. Belichick came to the conclusion that the thin air was not helpful to his most senior citizen on the team.

Hoyer has taken the chosen seat on Brady’s right hand on the bench during the game. Vacant since the loss of Julian Edelman, it seemed a natural for place for Hoyer. Not only that, no one ever deigns to talk to Brady during the game—excepting his personal coach Josh McDaniels.

There, for all to see, Brady was chatting with Hoyer during the game! It was definitely record-setting.

It was the most notable moment of a lackluster game. The Pats played, if memory serves, something akin to the Las Vegas Raiders with blue-eyed Derek Carr.

Other than that, the game was notable for a 62-yard field goal in the vacuum of mountain atmosphere, sort of like punting on the Moon.

The other notable gaffe was that NBC had the temerity to pull the game off the air in Boston. This resulted in a nasty reaction that caused NBC, gutless at best, to hastily return the rout telecast back on the tube for Patriot fans.

 

Auction Winner Shells Out Big Bucks for Red Sox Rockwell

Sox RookieDATELINE: HUMOR


The Red Sox aren’t worth a plug nickel this season, but don’t tell that to the art connoisseur who paid over $22million for a Norman Rockwell painting of the Red Sox locker room in 1957. It is called “The Rookie.”

As was his bent in the 1950s, Rockwell put this painting on the cover of the Saturday Evening Post. An old copy of the magazine may cost you a pretty penny, but it will still retail slightly less than the original oil.

The painting depicts Ted Williams (not as model) and others greeting a gawky rookie in street clothes at the Spring Training facility (was it Scottsdale in those days?).

Rockwell was the painter version of poet Ogden Nash back in the 1950s. No one will mistake this art and say, “Hello, Dali.”

The picture was quaint when it was new. The scene of a country bumpkin baseball rookie seems out of the 19th century, way before Field of Dreams.

There are no black Sox players in the painting because the Red Sox didn’t sign their first black player until 1961. (Yes, it was Pumpsie Green).

Every time the Sox won the World Series in recent years, the painting had a showing at Fenway Park and at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts.

Unless the anonymous new owner is Sox owner King John Henry VIII, the painting may not again be seen at Fenway.

The Sox teams of the late 1950s were always second best to the Yankees, but Rockwell lived in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, and may have harbored secret Fenway Fever. The area out in the Berkshires has always been a Yankee No Man’s Land.

A Rockwell picture is now worth a thousand words and a few more dollars.

Red Sox Exemplify Magic, Momentum, and Miracles

 

DATELINE: HUMORESQUE

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The Boston Soulmates of David Ortiz

If batting .400 would be considered Mr. October levels in the World Series,  and when David Ortiz bats .800 over a half dozen pressure packed games, you are in a range that defies reality.

When you consider that Big Papi detractors (like these blogs and their smarmy writer) were disdainful of the big contract that the Sox gave to their aging designated hitter, the result is poetic justice. We have eaten so many hats this season that we will have no chapeaux left until spring training next year.

Ortiz has stuffed a sock into the pie holes of his biggest critics who now look worse than the villain in a Lassie, Come Home movie. How could anyone not love Big Papi and his amazing teammates?

It is an interesting storyline that Papi threw a big party for his teammates and families in the post-season, opening his home to inspire faith. And, how more interesting that the hero of Game 5, David Ross, did the same before the World Series.

No one had ever seen that kind of esprit de corps in major league players and never in the Red Sox teams where twenty-five cabs usually brought them to game 6 in any previous Series.

Those digging hard to find fault with the Sox and their manager’s decisions may be looking for gold in TV’s Ghost Mine. They have found only the dead spirits of Bambino curses and the legacy of former stars now in cryogenesis.

Sabermetric fans scoff at pressure-packed heroics.  They disdain magical moments. They decry momentum. These silly old baseball mantras belong in the 19th century according to these wonks.

Well, so do the Red Sox beards. Looking like a bunch of Civil War generals at Gettysburg, the Red Sox are about to go to the Cathedral of Boston for one more miraculous victory in Game 6.