Archive for April 2013

“A man does not expire with his last breath.  He lives on in memories and the changes he wrought.  Hank Greenberg is not dead.  So long as his story is told, he remains with us.” --John Rosengren, epilogue to “Hank Greenberg: The Hero of Heroes”

Baseball in the 1930's was more than a national pastime; it was a cultural touchstone that galvanized communities and gave a struggling country its heroes despite the woes of the Depression.

Hank Greenberg, one of the most exciting sluggers in baseball history, gave the people of Detroit a reason to be proud.  But America was facing more than economic hardship.  With the Nazis gaining power across Europe, political and social tensions were approaching a boiling point.  As one of the few Jewish athletes competing nationally, Greenberg became not only an iconic ballplayer, but also an important and sometimes controversial symbol of Jewish identity and the American immigrant experience.

When Hank joined the Detroit Tigers in 1933, they were headed for a dismal fifth-place season finish.  The following year, with Hank leading the charge, they were fighting off the New York Yankees for the pennant.  As his star ascended, he found himself cheered wherever he went.  But there were other noises, too.  On and off the field, he met with taunts and anti-Semitic threats.  Yet the hardship only drove him on to greater heights, sharing the spotlight with the most legendary sluggers of the day, including Babe Ruth, Jimmie Foxx, and Lou Gehrig.

Enter the Clubhouse, as award-winning author John Rosengren discussed his new book, Hank Greenberg: The Hero of Heroes.  Director Aviva Kempner joined the discussion and screened exciting new extra footage from the DVD of her Peabody Award-winning documentary, The Life and Times of Hank Greenberg.

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So Many Seasons In The Sun is the untold history of baseball as seen in the story of the major leagues' two most historically important teams told from the vantage point of the game's ultimate insiders, Fred and Ed Logan, Pete Sheehy, and Mike Murphy.  These four legendary clubhouse men are at the center of So Many Seasons In the Sun.  Their combined service for baseball's two most storied franchises, the Highlanders/Yankees of New York, and the Giants of both New York and San Francisco, stretches over a century.  Their stories, and the stories they tell, present the rich history of major league baseball, of great players, great teams, and great seasons from the 1880s until today.

In visiting baseball's inner sanctum, the "No Visitors Allowed" sign that has barred the clubhouse door for So Many Seasons In The Sun is taken down for the first time for a unique look at what is the real center of all that is important with any baseball team.

Join Larry Hogan as he takes us into major league clubhouses at this special event hosted by the New York Giants Preservation Society...

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It would have been enough just to see them pitch. Taking the mound at San Francisco's Candlestick Park that summer night in 1963 were 42-year-old Warren Spahn and 25-year-old Juan Marichal -- the embodiment of an ageless wonder headed for the Hall of Fame and a whirling wunderkind making his own case for immortality. But as one scoreless inning followed another en route to a 16th-inning climax, the 15,921 fans in attendance began to sense that they were watching a pitching duel for the ages. They remained, shivering and thrilled, to see it end after midnight. The sui generis event surpassed the world of statistics and entered into the realm of magic.

Author Jim Kaplan, who covered baseball for Sports Illustrated in the 1970's and 1980's, initially planned to expand a magazine story he'd written about the game into book form. The more he researched the principals in his travels from San Francisco to South Buffalo to Santo Domingo, however, the more fascinated he became with their biographies. Spahn was one of the most decorated ballplayers to fight in World War II. Marichal narrowly escaped death three times. Despite their obvious differences -- Spahn was white, American, and left-handed, Marichal is bronzed, Dominican, and right-handed -- Kaplan found extraordinary similarities between the friendly rivals.

Listen in as Jim Kaplan takes us back, 50 years ago, to The Greatest Game Ever Pitched...

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Author Raphael Badagliacca reads from his book, The Yogi Poems, a collection of 25 stories and poems is for anyone who loves baseball.


Brad "Brooklyn" Shaw, President of the Flemington Neshanock Base Ball Club and historian of the MAVBBL and VBBA (Vintage Base Ball Associations), performs his rendition of “Casey at the Bat”  by Ernest Lawrence Thayer (1888).

Brad will also share insights on playing in Vintage Baseball leagues in the area, including his team, the Flemington Neshanock, from Huntington, NJ.  Chris Lutkin also plays Vintage Baseball, for the Hoboken Nine. The Hoboken Nine are partially sponsored by the Hoboken Historical Museum.


Written by Chris Lutkin and Enrico Falconi / Directed by Enrico Falconi


Johnny Lancaster as Bull Smith

Brian Kelly as Honus Wagner

Jack Mulcahy as Pittsburgh Pirates Manager Fred Clarke

Enrico Falconi as Umpire Silk O’Connor

“Field of Dreams” meets a modern day "League of Their Own" in this new feature film screenplay, “Bull.” Seen through the eyes of a troubled 17-year old All Star athlete, we uncover the life of her Great Great Grandfather, "Bull," a real life ball player from a bygone era.


The Big Fly Baseball Radio Hour is proud to host LEFTY as our first House Band.


Todd Montgomery, guitar, vocals

Todd Grapes, guitar, harmonica, percussion

Dave Bergman, flute

Bridget Hayes, percussion, vocals

In addition to music throughout the show, Lefty performed a special song honoring anyone who ever played softball in Central Park: Morty’s Song. Morty Gilbert has been playing Softball on the Hecksher Fields since WWII. Now 82 years old, he still holds the permit for Sundays at 11am; he no longer pitches but still bats in his games.  Diana Gross has made a documentary, "The Regulars," about Morty and his longest running (and one of the last) pickup softball games in Central Park.  Please go to the website to donate or get more info:



“Reunion 108” is a full-length, comedy feature film that promises to be a no holds barred behind the scenes and in your face look into the world of professional baseball.

Billy Sample is a former professional baseball player who played in the Major Leagues primarily as an outfielder from 1978-1986. Sample played for the Texas Rangers (1978-1984), New York Yankees (1985) and Atlanta Braves (1986). His new baseball comedy “Reunion 108,” based on many of his own experiences in baseball, comical and otherwise, will have its first showings at the Yogi Berra Museum in Montclair, N.J., on April 8.

Jack Mulcahy is the epitome of the working New York actor with over 80 stage, screen and television credits.  He has starred in a wide array of feature films, from the award winning and critically acclaimed “Brothers McMullen” all the way back to the box office smashes of the “Porky’s” trilogy.  Jack has several films set for release in 2013, including “Stuck in the Middle”, a theological slacker comedy, and “Reunion 108”, a baseball comedy that’s certain to ruffle the feathers of baseball’s establishment.

TAKE ME OUT TO THE BALLGAME - Led by Brad “Brooklyn” Shaw

"Take Me Out to the Ball Game" was written by Jack Norworth in 1908 after seeing a subway add for the NY Giants.  The music was by Albert Von Tilzer. Neither had ever been to a baseball game.

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From the Library Journal:  "If you had to pick out one year that epitomized the volatility of the 1970s, 1973 would be it.  Watergate was rearing its ugly head.  The Vietnam War finally ended.  OPEC embargoed oil, sending gas prices soaring.  In the midst of all of this, Matthew Silverman suggests, baseball offered a reprieve.  He details how the 1973 MLB season unfolded as it ushered in Willie Mays’s last season, and started two American League phenomena that changed the game: the designated hitter and George Steinbrenner’s ownership of the New York Yankees.  Silverman takes readers around the major leagues, placing the baseball season in the cultural and political climate of 1973 as he does so.  Anecdotes about such cultural details as the Atkin’s diet and Archie Bunker do not hinder the larger story as he effectively connects 1973 into baseball history.  He crafts a thrilling account of the 1973 baseball season itself right up to the final out of the World Series.  The reader will not get bogged down in detail during this fun and fascinating read."

Listen in as author Matthew Silverman takes us back to 1973 -- Baseball's Wildest Season...

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