Bring In the Right-Hander
January 13, 2014 5:34 PM   Subscribe

Who better to document many old and lost baseball parks than a guy who played in them? Jerry Reuss, 220 game winner, thrower of a no hitter, broadcaster, man who played in 4 different decades (60s, 70s, 80s and 90s) did just that.

I carried a camera to every Major League ballpark I visited from 1988-1990. I knew my playing days were coming to an end and I wanted to capture the memories as I saw them. My thanks to the players, managers, coaches, trainers, members of the grounds crews around the game for their support, not only in this project, but for the great memories that I carry from the game. I dedicate this set of photos to you.

His baseball card photos are a window into 70s and 80s hairstyles and uniforms. His scorecards and scorebooks set is a link to an earlier time in baseball before big money and PEDs got involved. All of his picture sets are fascinating including From the Box in the Closet and his own photos. He takes photos of interesting period buildings, churches, his little league team photos, classic cars, beers, and many other things too.

Reuss also has been a minor league pitching coach and is a broadcaster of Dodgers games. He is about to release his autobiography, Bring in the Right_Hander!
posted by JohnnyGunn (14 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
Holy crap, these are amazing (for us stadium-porn enthusiasts, anyway). Shots like this of old Comiskey Park are enough to make me weep for what is lost. I spent many a lost afternoon or evening in those cheap outfield grandstand seats, wolfing Ricobene's breaded steak sandwiches brought in from outside and washing them back with Old Style.

One unspoken benefit of being a major leaguer, I guess, is that you get unfettered access to stadiums when they're empty. It's very cool to know that some players use their downtime to good effect and are genuinely curious and creative. So huge, huge props to Jerry Reuss. (And in before the eponysterical)
posted by stargell at 7:37 PM on January 13, 2014 [1 favorite]

Man, I miss old Busch Stadium. The new one is nice, in a fake-old way (kitsch?), but it's got such TIF guilt I can't enjoy it. The old one, with the arches (!) was just great.

Thanks for the memory.
posted by notsnot at 8:28 PM on January 13, 2014

It kills me to see Tiger Stadium, but it also kills me to see it red and blue. It was green, damn you.

At least I know that it's being cared for.
posted by rodii at 8:58 PM on January 13, 2014

I don't miss Three Rivers one single bit. Cold, soulless, sterile, concrete dump.
posted by Chrysostom at 9:02 PM on January 13, 2014 [1 favorite]

OK wow. Baseball is relentlessly documented in statistics but this is sweetly personal and nostalgic in a way best recreated with pictures.

As soon as I saw the name I remembered Reuss [Royce, as in Rolls] but damned if I can picture his delivery - I guess he wasn't elaborate like Tiant or Gossage or Valenzuela.

My favorite part of this post though is his FAQ.

Q: Can you sign a few baseball cards for me?

A: Sure, I can and for free. Just drop one or two baseball cards in an envelope with another self-addressed stamped envelope (self-sealing envelopes are a blessing!)...

Q: What about uniform numbers? Did you choose them? Why did you have so many different numbers?

A: I wore 49 with the Cardinals as they assigned it to me. The Astros gave me 47 because 49 was taken. I chose 41 with the Pirates because of the way it looked on a highway sign that went through their spring training site in Bradenton, FL. Besides, it was a lyric of a song by the Allman Brothers named "Ramblin' Man." Playing with three teams in three years makes you a "Ramblin' Man."

Offering "Sure, I can and for free" and listening to the Allman Brothers?! This is my ideal family.
posted by vapidave at 9:14 PM on January 13, 2014

Having been to the current Busch Stadium about a dozen times, but never the previous one, I find those pictures extremely disorienting.
posted by aaronetc at 9:36 PM on January 13, 2014

This picture is so wonderful in so many ways.

Awww Milwaukee County Stadium. I miss you so.

And now I want it to be baseball time.
posted by louche mustachio at 9:42 PM on January 13, 2014

Who better? Did you mean that as a rhetorical question?
posted by thelonius at 10:13 PM on January 13, 2014

I don't miss Three Rivers one single bit.

The only thing I miss about these old stadiums are the names. Veteran's stadium in Philly got replaced with Citizen's Bank Park (for baseball) and The Lincoln Financial Field (for football).

The only impression that leaves for me is that the veterans couldn't cough up enough cash.
posted by three blind mice at 12:14 AM on January 14, 2014 [1 favorite]

One of the better trivia questions one can spring on someone is to ask them "What is the third oldest stadium in Major League Baseball?" Fenway and Wrigley are the oldest (1912 and 1914).

The answer is Dodger Stadium. Opened in 1962.
They've knocked-down everything else built between 1914 and 1962. Incredible.
posted by Thorzdad at 5:15 AM on January 14, 2014

Olympic Stadium, egad. I had forgotten.
posted by JanetLand at 5:24 AM on January 14, 2014

And Anaheim Stadium! See those seats right AT the foul pole? I sat there one night in 1991. Eddie Money sang the National Anthem. Then somebody, I forget who, hit the ball high in the air right toward us. We all stood up to try for it, but the ball hit the foul pole way above our heads, PLINK! Home run!
posted by JanetLand at 5:27 AM on January 14, 2014

They've knocked-down everything else built between 1914 and 1962. Incredible.

Sad in a few spots (Comiskey, Detroit, Brooklyn, a coupe of others maybe), something to celebrate in many (Pittsburgh, Queens, Baltimore, Philly, Houston, Seattle, Minnesota, etc, etc.)
posted by jalexei at 7:36 AM on January 14, 2014

Thanks for sharing these! Loved picking out the players in the shot from the '75 All Star Game. Here are their names if you need help with IDs.

And Joe Garagiola!
posted by sixpack at 11:04 AM on January 14, 2014

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