#59 - (Bill Rohr)

This week there is no legal section of the blog.
Now for the Opening Day memory:
I first met Bill Rohr in the 1990′s in a deposition in California where we were both defending our respective clients in a construction defect case. But as a Yankee fanatic, I knew who Bill really was – that unknown Boston Red Sox southpaw who pitched the game of his life against the Yankees in their 1967 home opener – a one hitter against Hall of Famer Whitey Ford, which as he told me himself, is even one of Whitey’s most memorable Opening Day experiences. Mr. Rohr followed up that performance in his next start, again against the Yankees, with a 6-1 victory. But Bill would win only one more major league game, finishing his career with a lifetime record of 3-3. He made his last major league appearance the next year with the Cleveland Indians in 1968. I really enjoyed my conversations with Bill. Our case went on for awhile and, at a subsequent deposition, I brought Bill an article about that 1967 Opening Day game and we read it together – a great memory for me. Here is Bill’s Opening Day memory:

Continue reading

#58 - (Art Shamsky)

This week there is no legal section of the blog.
Now for the Opening Day memory:
Although I doubt many of the non-New York readers have ever heard of him, Art Shamsky was one of my favorite players in the late 1960′s and early 1970′s (because he was a New York Met, a lefty with some power and Jewish). I told him that when we spoke, and just to make sure he believed me, I told him how I used to make my mom drive me to his bar in New City, New York which he owned with former Yankee Phil Linz (the Marshmallow–which, for my high school friends, later became Maximus) in 1970 so that I might see him and get his autograph. That never happened (with hindsight, very unlikely to have occurred at 10 or 11 a.m. on a week day when we would visit) but after hearing I actually did that, Art definitely believed that he was one of my favorites. Art’s career was only 8 years (1965-1972) due to back problems, but his Mets’ tenure (1968-1971) left a mark on me, especially the 1969 World Champion Miracle Mets season when he hit .300 in the regular season and .538 in the NLCS. He platooned with Ron Swoboda in right field; he was the lefty hitter and Swoboda the righty. Before coming to the Mets, Art played for the Cincinnati Reds, where in 1966 he achieved a historical feat. He hit home runs in four consecutive at bats, historical in itself, but it was the way he did it that really was historical. His first three at bats occurred after he came in the game in the 8th inning as part of a double switch. He homered in the bottom of the eighth, and twice more in extra innings, with each one prolonging the game. He then hit his fourth home run in the next game as a pinch hitter. He is the only major league player to homer three times in a game which he did not start, and as a result, the bat which he used resides at the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown. Art concluded his career in 1972 with the Oakland A’s after post-Met pit stops in St. Louis with the Cardinals and in Chicago with the Cubs (the Mets broke my heart for the first time when they traded him to the Cardinals). Post retirement, he has been involved in real estate, broadcasting, managing (in the Israel league with another Jewish player Ken Holtzman), television (guest episode as himself on “Everybody Loves Raymond” with other members of the 1969 Mets) and writing (great book about the Mets, Jets and Knicks championships in 1969-70). Here are his Opening Day memories:

Continue reading