While everyone in the baseball world is thinking about the all-star game, I am thinking about different areas of the game. For one, I need to thank Peter Tucci and the Tucci Bat company. Tucci very generously has helped support the Thurman Munson baseball team, called The Thurman Munson Disciples, part of the Atlantic Collegiate Baseball League (ACBL), the largest college league in the country. When the league and team officials came to me to ask if I would manage the team, I said I would only do it if the team was named after the great Yanks catcher and captain. When Ike Goldstein and Tom Hopke agreed, I went to Thurman’s wife, Diana, for approval. When she agreed because a new generation of kids would learn about the heart of Thurman, then it was on. To have Tucci, the bat company that I consider the best become our official bat was incredible because I have seen how many Yankees use the bat with true confidence. When you’re in the big leagues, confidence is half the battle.
Again thanks Tucci bat for the support!
Today I must also thank Wellwood Memorials. They make gravestones basically for the deceased.
In the 1920s Babe Ruth and the Yankees had a Batboy by the name of Eddie Bennet. His parents had died during the Pandemic of 1918. The Yankees basically adopted him in the same way that George Steinbrenner and the Yankees adopted me in the 70s. He used to do favors for the Babe and Gehrig and worked closely with the clubhouse manager Pete Sheehy pretty much the same way that I did with Pete 40 years later.
Unfortunately, around 1933 Eddie got hit by a truck and lost the use of one of his legs, and could not work anymore. He was found dead in his apartment in 1935 and was buried in an unmarked grave.
Recently someone that became familiar with the story of this poor batboy told Anthony Spadolini, the head of Wellwood Memorials, about the account of Bennett’s life.
Spadolini being a truly long-time Yankee fan decided to get a gravestone put on Eddie Bennett’s site.
Ironically Wellwood Memorials is where I had my mom and dad’s gravestone done so I do have a true connection with the First Yankee Batboy for many reasons. The first thing I did after Spadolini completed his wonderful gesture was to visit Eddie Bennett’s grave site and pray to him to let him know that as a former Batboy, I would always be grateful for his contributions to the game. People don’t know how hard the batboys actually work.
During this All Star break I want to thank all the good people that are left during these difficult times.