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*Remembering Yankee Stadium: EIGHTIES
(For your reading pleasure adapted from REMEMBERING YANKEE STADIUM: AN ORAL AND
NARRATIVE HISTORY OF THE HOUSE THAT RUTH BUILT, on sale everywhere, buy it now)

The 1981 World Series was Yankees versus Dodgers, the third match-up between the two storied franchises in five years. A 9-2 win at Yankee Stadium in Game Six gave the world championship to Los Angeles.

KEITH JACKSON (GAME CALL, ABC-TV):

Watson hits it high in the air for the center fielder Ken Landreaux, this should do it...and the Dodgers are the 1981 champions of baseball.

PRESS RELEASE (BOX)  

          I want to sincerely apologize to the people of New York  and to the fans of the New York Yankees everywhere for the performance of the Yankee team in the World Series. I also want to assure you that we will be at work immediately to prepare for 1982. –George Steinbrenner

          FRED CLAIRE:  Steinbrenner’s apology came in the form of a release which he passed out after we won the series. I though it was strange. The Yankees had given all they could to win. There was really no need to apologize for an all out effort by your team.

        “The Boss” did much more than apologize. He kicked ass and rolled heads. He demeaned Dave Winfield, who had managed but one hit in 21 at-bats in the Series. Having signed him to a huge contract, Steinbrenner was furious at "Winny," dubbing him “Mr. May,” a sarcastic reference to Winfield’s peak performance in May and poor performance in the Fall Classic.

On January 22, 1982,  Reggie Jackson irritated by Steinbrenner putdowns, signed as a Free Agent with the  California Angels.

The commencement of the 1982 season at the Stadium was a hard time coming and as far as Yankee fans were concerned – largely not worth waiting for. Bob Lemon, who had managed the final 25 games in 1981 last only through 14 games in 1982.

On April 6th, almost a foot of snow cancelled Opening Day against Texas and the next game, too. It was April 11th before the ballpark was finally in shape for playing baseball.  In recognition of how hard the grounds crew worked to make the field ready, crew chief Jimmy Esposito was given the honor of throwing out the first ball. The Yankees lost both games of an Easter Sunday doubleheader to Chicago. But at least their season was finally underway.

The roster had what Yogi Berra would call “deep depth” with  a pitching staff featuring splendid southpaws Ron Guidry, Tommy John, and Dave Righetti. Goose Gossage was a flame-throwing stopper.   Still, even with all that talent, the Yankees could not get it going. In June, they were 9 1 /2 games out.

On August 3rd, the White Sox took two from the Yankees at the Stadium and “the Boss” fired Gene Michael, who had replaced Bob Lemon, replacing him with Clyde King.

All season long Steinbrenner kept his circus jumping, seeking quick fixes.  Beyond a trio of managers, he went through a merry-go-round of three hitting coaches, five pitching coaches, and 47 players. The chaos and the musical chairs did not make for an environment that suited a winning ball club.

The 1982 Yankees were not a winning club. They ended the season in fifth place, 16 games behind Milwaukee. They would not return to post-season play for the next 13 years. From that season until 1991, with George Steinbrenner having his say and having his way, the Stadium would become a mix and match of players and pilots.  Highlighting the mayhem of the era were eleven managerial changes including  the hiring and firing of Billy Martin six times. “They know what the bottom line is,” Steinbrenner said. . . .

#  #  #

Harvey Frommer "Dartmouth's own Mr. Baseball" Dartmouth Alumni Magazine//

#  #  #

EMEMBERING YANKEE STADIUM (Definitive Book)
*****hear and see http://www.hnabooks.com/images/sites/9/redirects/yankees/ ****
+ RAVES:
"Outstanding performance" ROGER KAHN/
"Spectacular" FOX SPORTS.COM/
"Essential keepsake" TIME OUT NY/
"Stunning oral history"NY ONE/
"A must. Grand slammer."ESPN/
"Frommer delivers."NY DAILY NEWS/
"Great.Glorious oral history."WFAN/
"Best one.Great book"XM RADIO/
"Absolute classic.. "One of the finest products"
"CBS-Radio/
"Beats any Yankee Book hands down" BRONXBANTER/
"Brilliantly, beautifully documents" BEHIND.BOMBERS.COM/
"Dead solid perfect"/BLOGRADIO/
"Amazing details "SPORTSOLOGY/
"Mother of all lookbacks." "BOOGIEDOWNBASEBALL/
"Spectacular"MSN/
"Marvelous "NJ JEWISHNEWS/
"Definitive "ST.PAUL PIONEER PRESS/
"Masterpiece. Broad, detailed, multidimensional."BOY OF SUMMER/
"Must Have" PINSTRIPE PRESS/"
"Rewarding,grounded prose"SPORTS ILLUSTRATED/
"Photo-centric panorama"HISTORY WIRE.COM

#  #  #

Harvey Frommer "Dartmouth's own Mr. Baseball" Dartmouth Alumni Magazine//

#  #  #

EMEMBERING YANKEE STADIUM (Definitive Book)
*****hear and see http://www.hnabooks.com/images/sites/9/redirects/yankees/ ****
+ RAVES:
"Outstanding performance" ROGER KAHN/
"Spectacular" FOX SPORTS.COM/
"Essential keepsake" TIME OUT NY/
"Stunning oral history"NY ONE/
"A must. Grand slammer."ESPN/
"Frommer delivers."NY DAILY NEWS/
"Great.Glorious oral history."WFAN/
"Best one.Great book"XM RADIO/
"Absolute classic.. "One of the finest products"
"CBS-Radio/
"Beats any Yankee Book hands down" BRONXBANTER/
"Brilliantly, beautifully documents" BEHIND.BOMBERS.COM/
"Dead solid perfect"/BLOGRADIO/
"Amazing details "SPORTSOLOGY/
"Mother of all lookbacks." "BOOGIEDOWNBASEBALL/
"Spectacular"MSN/
"Marvelous "NJ JEWISHNEWS/
"Definitive "ST.PAUL PIONEER PRESS/
"Masterpiece. Broad, detailed, multidimensional."BOY OF SUMMER/
"Must Have" PINSTRIPE PRESS/"
"Rewarding,grounded prose"SPORTS ILLUSTRATED/
"Photo-centric panorama"HISTORY WIRE.COM

#  #  #

You can reach Harvey Frommer at:   

Email:  harvey.frommer@Dartmouth.EDU 

About the Author:

Harvey Frommer is in his  38th year of writing books. A noted oral historian and sports journalist, the author of 42 sports books including the classics: "New York City Baseball,1947-1957" and "Shoeless Joe and Ragtime Baseball," his acclaimed REMEMBERING YANKEE STADIUM was published in 2008 and his REMEMBERING FENWAY PARK: AN ORAL AND NARRATIVE HISTORY OF THE HOME OF RED SOX NATION was published to acclaim in 2011.  The prolific Frommer is at work on When It Was Just a Game, An Oral History on Super Bowel One. 

His work has appeared in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, New York Daily News, Newsday, USA Today, Men's Heath, The Sporting News, among other publications.

FROMMER SPORTSNET (syndicated) reaches a readership in the millions and is housed on Internet search engines for extended periods of time.
on Twitter: http://twitter.com/south2nd
on Linked In: http://www.linkedin.com/profile/edit?locale=en_US
on the Web: http://www.dartmouth.edu/~frommer

Dr. Frommer is the Official Book Reviewer of Travel-Watch. 
*Autographed copies of Frommer books are available .
 

Other Frommer sports related articles can be found at:   

Harvey Frommer along with his wife, Myrna Katz  Frommer are the authors of five critically acclaimed oral/cultural histories, professors at Dartmouth  College, and travel writers who specialize in cultural history, food, wine, and Jewish history and heritage in the United States, Europe, and the Caribbean. 

This Article is Copyright © 1995 - 2014 by Harvey Frommer.  All rights reserved worldwide.

 
 

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