Aren’t you glad I’m saving you such vast amounts of time, by reading the old Baseball Digests that you want to read, but just can’t get around to?! Well. . .aren’t you?!?
Item: a former major league manager was asked why he had left his last job. “It came down to illness and exhaustion,” he said. “The owner was sick and tired of me.”
Item: The famed film director Alfred Hitchcock once had an idea for a baseball-themed movie. The plot revolved around a disgruntled employee in a baseball factory. Hitchcok’s idea was that this guy “becomes so embittered he packs one ball with explosives. The story follows the baseball along its way until it arrives at a ball park, where – just as it’s about to be used in a game – it’s grabbed by a ballplayer to autograph. . .and it winds up in a trophy case!”
Item: Frank Kostro was a guy who was good enough to make the big leagues, but not good enough to get a regular job at one position. One day he opined, “I’ve played right field, left, field, third base and fist base. I’m also Polish. Does that make me a utility Pole?”
Item: Gotta love this 1969 exchange between a reporter and outfielder Alex Johnson. Reporter: “Alex, you hit only two homers all last year, and now you already have seven. What’s the difference?” Straight-faced Johnson: “Five.”
Item: Camilo Pascual was a successful pitcher in the 1950s and 60s. Though he hailed from Cuba, he quickly became fluently bilingual when he began playing in the U.S. One morning, a sportswriter from Boston phoned Pascual at his hotel room asking for an interview. Unsure about Camilo’s language preferences, the scribe asked “Do you speak English?” Pascual barked “Not at 7 a.m.!,” and hung up.
Item: Famed broadcaster Bob Uecker says the twilight of his career was somewhat bittersweet. How did you find out your playing days were over Bob? “I was with the Braves, and getting dressed when a coach came over and told me, ‘Hey, visitors aren’t allowed in the clubhouse.’”
Item: Oh boy, from the May, 1950 BBD -- a “Man Walks Into A Bar” gag!
A man and his dog walk into a bar. The man tells the barkeep, “My dog can talk!”
The bartender says “No way!”
Man to dog: “What is on top of a house?”
Man: “Very good! Now, how was last night’s leftover pork chop?”
Man: “Excellent! Now, who’s the greatest ballplayer ever?”
The man asks the bartender what he thinks of that! – and the bartender throws him and the dog out!
As the dog picks himself up, he says sadly, “Maybe I should’ve said DiMaggio.”
Item: When he was named Chicago Cubs manager in the middle of the 1951 season, Phil Cavarretta was asked if he expected any trouble with the umpires. “I’ve only been thrown out four times in my career. Twice by Frank Dascoli.” What happened between Phil and Frank? Well, Cavarretta said, “I tried cussing him in Italian, but Dascoli understands it.”
Item: Blurbs from the “It’s All About The Benjamins” department:
The outstanding outfielder Minnie Minoso was asked who’s the toughest guy to hit off of. He pointed to his general manager, Frank Lane, sitting nearby, saying, “Just try to hit him for a raise.”
Disturbed at receiving an unsigned contract back from a player, Cleveland’s GM sent it back, with a note attached saying, “In your haste to accept the terms, you forgot to sign this.” The player immediately mailed it back, with his own note, saying, “In your haste to give me a raise, you put in the wrong figure.”
Branch Rickey once had trouble getting star shortstop Marty Marion to sign his contract. He tried to convince him with this old chestnut, “Accept this, and I’ll take care of you.” To which Marion replied, “Give me what I want and I’ll take care of myself.”
Item: An old-timer named Red Lucas told this story in the July 1966 BBD:
One evening, Red and a grizzled, veteran teammate went to have a few brews. Red was pop-eyed when he watched his pal down four glasses of beer, lickety-split, finishing each of them in one long uninterrupted guzzle. “Do you always drink beer like that?,” asked Red. “Yep,” said the old-timer, “ever since my accident.” “What accident?” “I had a glass of beer accidentally knocked over once.”