The Daily Mirror

Larry Harnisch reflects on Los Angeles history

Category: Baseball

Jim Murray, June 8, 1961

  June 8, 1961, Tommy Davis  

  June 8, 1961, Jim Murray  

June 8, 1961: Danny Murtaugh is like the Pirates. Tough, blue-bearded, underslung jaw, he looks like a sulfurous-tempered truck driver. Actually, he is shy and modest and the kind of worrier whose biggest fear when he took the manager's job was that other managers around the league might not want to take him on as a coach if he failed.

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Jim Murray, June 4, 1961

   June 4, 1961, LAPD  

  June 4, 1961, Jim Murray  

June 4, 1961: Jim Murray puts in a call to Casey Stengel and says: "I realized I was listening to the Voice of Baseball again. And what it is doing in a bank vault in Glendale instead of a locker room in baseball is something for Dan Topping or Del Webb to answer, not me."
Notice the LAPD badge says “Policeman” instead of the current “Police Officer.”

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Yankee Legend Lou Gehrig Dies at 37

  June 3, 1941, Lou Gehrig  

   June 4, 1941, Lou Gehrig  
  June 4, 1941, Lou Gehrig
June 4 1941, Lou Gehrig

J.T. Sheward, Oct. 30, 1894 une 3, 1941: Until he lapsed into a coma, New York Yankee first baseman Lou Gehrig, the “Iron Horse” of baseball, was sure he would win against the rare disease that was slowly killing him. The Yankees announced that his locker and his number – 4 – would never be used again. In 14 years, he had played in 2,130 regularly scheduled games without a miss. Then he took himself out of the lineup May 1, 1939.  He remained with the Yankees the rest of the season, but sat in the far corner of the dugout and occasionally limped to home plate to give the umpire the lineup. He never played again.

In the years that followed, Gehrig took treatments and worked for the New York City Parole Commission until a month before his death, when he decided to remain at home to conserve his strength. He spent his final days sitting in a chair by a window in his room, looking out at the street.

"I never knew a fellow who lived a cleaner life. He was a clean-living boy, a good baseball player, a great hustler. I think the boy hustled too much for his own good. He just wanted to win all the time. His death was a great loss to baseball."

-- Babe Ruth


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Jim Murray, May 28, 1961

  May 28, 1961, Surfboards  

  May 28, 1961, Jim Murray  

May 28, 1961: On the battlefields of baseball this year it has become quite evident that the Los Angeles Angels are the Serbs of the American League. They do not have the firepower to win the war or even any major battles.

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Jim Murray, May 26, 1961

  May 26, 1961, Day in Sports  

  May 26, 1961, Jim Murray  

May 26, 1961: There was in our midst this week a young man whom the pressures of baseball exploded like a too-tightly wound clock. Jim Piersall has lived out his baseball career on the narrow edge of hysteria -- and once in 1952 he toppled over when the Boston Red Sox (reluctantly, because he's a gifted player) had to throw a straitjacket over him and put him in a mental institution.

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Jim Murray, May 25, 1961

  May 25, 1961, Day in Sports  

  May 25, 1961, Jim Murray  

May 25, 1961: Baseball fans may be a superstitious lot, but they’re nothing compared to the players and their mystic rites. Jim Murray says: “You can always tell a ball team on a winning streak. The locker room smells like a flophouse. Most ballplayers wouldn't think of changing an article of clothing while they're winning.”

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Jim Murray, May 23, 1961

  May 23, 1961, Day in Sports  

  May 23, 1961, Jim Murray  

May 23, 1961: The Angels, who have a clear track to 10th place at the moment, are even ready for desperate measures. They are encouraging people to come out and root AGAINST them.

I tested this idea for soundness with an old friend of mine from my magazine days, Chuck Champlin. He quickly switched his thoughts into gray flannel, pushed his horned-rimmed glasses up his nose and decided that what was needed was good old Madison Avenue know-how.


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Jim Murray, May 22, 1961

  May 22, 1961, Day in Sports  

  May 22, 1961, Jim Murray  

May 22, 1961: A horse, left to his own devices, would no more run a race for his daily oats than you would wrestle the butcher two out of three for a pork chop. It's that pest on his back, the jockey, who louses up his otherwise peaceful day at the feedbag.

But Bill Shoemaker, who rode his 4,000th winner the other afternoon, is an old smoothie with the horses who gets a good ride out of a mount the same way a cad coaxes a kiss out of a girl -- with soft words and smooth technique.

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Jim Murray, May 17, 1961

  May 17, 1961, Day ni Sports  

  May 17, 1961, Jim Murray  

May 17, 1961: John F. "Pep" Lemon, an old-time catcher, is superintendent of parks in the city of Fullerton and his job is trees and shrubs and lawns. But it's also kids. Pep never had a child of his own, but the den of his home is lined with pictures of kids in uniform -- most of them catchers' uniforms but some in military uniforms. Three of them --"best prospects you ever did see" -- were buried in those military uniforms, Billy Jones, Von Jones and Earl Stoner, before a big league scout ever got a look at them.

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Jim Murray, May 16, 1961

  May 16, 1961, Falcon Futura  

  May 16,1961, Jim Murray  

May 16, 1961: A batter who has only to tell a real curve from a slider has an easy job compared to the general manager who has to straighten out the curve balls thrown at him by the other front offices. The Dodger's Buzzi Bavasi, for instance, has to hit the dirt from so many brush-back pitches thrown at him by his colleagues that he has the reputation of being a one-trade-a-year man, the front office equivalent of a Luke Appling who fouls off two-dozen pitches waiting for the right one.

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Jim Murray, May 14, 1961

  May 14, 1961, KFI  

  May 14, 1961, Jim Murray  

May 14, 1961: Rinold George Duren, is the victim -- or the beneficiary, if you want to look at it that way -- of the most monumental case of nearsightedness in the annals of sport, if not in the annals of optometry. The movies' Mr. Magoo, who frequently confuses the Sahara Desert with Malibu Beach or a lion with a housecat, is a hawkeye by comparison.

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Jim Murray, May 10, 1961

  May 10, 1961, Alex Perez  

  May 10, 1961, Jim Murray  

May 10, 1961: Things have gotten so desperate the Yankees have taken to trading four of their players for two Angels, a ratio, which, if it holds up, will ultimately mean the whole New York franchise here and ours there. I'm not sure I want it that way, Jim Murray says.

Note: The Angels finished the 1961 season in eighth place. The Yankees won the World Series.

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