Archive for May 2017


A Pulitzer Prize-winner returns to the Clubhouse.

It Happens Every Spring: DiMaggio, Mays, the Splendid Splinter, and a Lifetime at the Ballpark -- opinions and reflections on the National Pastime from one of New York's most popular sportswriters.

As these gents would say...

"It can be stated as a law that the sportswriter whose horizons are no wider than the outfield fences is a bad sportswriter because he has no sense of proportion and no awareness of the real world around him.  Ira Berkow knows what is important about a game is not the score but the people who play it."  -Red Smith

"Ira Berkow belongs to that rare breed: a writer who specializes in sports but whose subjects represent a broad range in human aspirations and challenges."  -Gay Talese

"Ira Berkow is one of the great American writers, without limitation to the field of sports."  -Scott Turow

Ira Berkow is a former sports columnist and feature writer for "The New York Times," where he worked for more than 25 years.  He shared the Pulitzer Prize for national reporting in 2001 and was a finalist for the Pulitzer for commentary in 1988.  He is the author of 25 books, including the bestsellers "Maxwell Street: Survival in a Bazaar" and "Red: A Biography of Red Smith."  His work has frequently been cited in the prestigious anthology series Best American Sports Writing, as well as the 1999 anthology Best American Sports Writing of the Century.

On a May evening, Ira Berkow led our intimate, indelible Clubhouse conversation.  Listen in -- and you'll agree with those gents named Smith, Talese and Turow.  Enjoy...




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The real Joe DiMaggio -- remembered by the man who knew him best in the last decade of his life.  Candid and little-known stories about icons from Ted Williams, Lou Gehrig, and his Yankees teammates on the field to Marilyn Monroe, Frank Sinatra, and other great celebrities off the field.

Dr. Rock Positano, an internationally renowned foot specialist in New York City, was introduced to Joe DiMaggio by Bill Gallo in 1990.  The Yankee Clipper's career-ending heel spur injury and botched surgeries brought them together.  During the time Dr. Positano successfully treated DiMaggio, a friendship slowly developed.  As Dr. Positano would learn, DiMaggio moved carefully and deliberately.

Dinner with DiMaggio follows the story of their friendship from its starstruck beginning through its highs and lows over the next decade.  Forty years younger than DiMaggio, Dr. Positano became like a surrogate son.  Positano's accounts of their times together reveal DiMaggio's many rituals and quirks.  At the pinnacle of his fame, DiMaggio had learned to be guarded and carefully managed his image and private life.  As his trust in his young friend grew, DiMaggio opened up about Marilyn, but also about his first wife, Dorothy Arnold, the mother of his son.  The Yankee Clipper knew everyone, and Positano shares never-before-told stories of famous people DiMaggio admired and those he didn't.

The stories and experiences he shared with Rock Positano comprise an intimate portrait of one of the great stars of baseball and one of the icons of the twentieth century.

Dr. Rock Positano is the Founder and Director of the Non-Surgical Foot and Ankle Service at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City, where he has been on staff since 1991.  He graduated from Yale School of Medicine.  Positano is a clinical assistant professor at Weill Cornell Medical College.  He is internationally known for his non-surgical approach for the treatment of foot disorders.

On a May evening, Dr. Rock Positano and John Positano led a compelling Clubhouse conversation.  Pull up a chair at your dinner table and listen in...



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Hank Greenberg was coming off a stellar season where he hit 40 home runs and had 184 RBIs.  Even with his success at the plate, neither Greenberg nor the rest of the world could have expected what was about to happen in 1938.

From his first day in the big leagues, the New York-born Greenberg had dealt with persecution for being Jewish.  From a teammate asking where his horns were to the verbal abuse from bigoted fans and the media, the 6'3" slugger always did his best to shut the noise out and concentrate on baseball.  But in 1938, that would be more difficult than he could have ever imagined.

While Greenberg was battling at the plate, his people overseas were dealing with a battle for their lives.  Adolf Hitler, who had been chancellor of Germany since 1933, had taken direct control of the country's military in February 1938.  He then began his methodic takeover of all neighboring countries, spreading Nazism and the early stages of World War II and the Holocaust.

"Hank Greenberg in 1938" chronicles the events of that year, both on the baseball diamond and the streets of Europe.  As Greenberg's bat had him on course for Babe Ruth's home run record, Hitler's "Final Solution" was beginning to take shape.  Jews across the US looked to Greenberg as a symbol of hope.  Though normally hesitant to speak about the anti-Semitism he dealt with, the slugger still knew the role he was playing, saying "I came to feel that if I, as a Jew, hit a home run, I was hitting one against Hitler."

Ron Kaplan is an award-winning journalist and blogger.  He writes about baseball literature and pop culture at "Ron Kaplan's Baseball Bookshelf," and is the author of three books including "501 Baseball Books Fans Must Read Before They Die."  His work has appeared in such outlets as "Baseball America," "Irish America," and "American Book Review," among other national and international publications.

On a Wednesday evening in May 2017, Ron Kaplan took us back to 1938.  Listen in to our intimate Clubhouse conversation...


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