Dan Schlossberg's Weekend Notebook: Inside the clubhouse • Latino Sports


Dan Schlossberg’s Weekend Notebook: Inside the clubhouse


LITTLE FALLS, N.J. – Clubhouse men never get any credit. They work long hours for little pay and few days off but are just as important to a ballclub as a coach or a manager.

So says Dr. Larry Hogan, author of the new book So Many Seasons in the Sun: a Century and More of Conversations with Baseball’s Greatest Clubhouse Managers.

The $25 paperback features four men of unusual levity who labored for the New York Giants and Yankees, from Fred and Ed Logan to Pete Sheehy and Mike Murphy.

Sheehy, for whom the Yankees clubhouse is named, spent six decades serving the players in pinstripes, spanning the years from Babe Ruth to Reggie Jackson.

Pete Sheehy's six-decade stint as Yankee clubhouse men is featured in Larry Hogan's new book

Pete Sheehy’s six-decade stint as Yankee clubhouse men is featured in Larry Hogan’s new book

During that time, Hogan says, he filled the needs and requests of players who often proved to be pampered prima donnas. But Sheehy also left his own legacy, even establishing a reputation as a man who hated straw hats so much he would stomp on them.

Sheehy’s best moment, according to the author, was watching Yogi Berra jump into the arms of Don Larsen after the unheralded pitcher threw the only perfect game in World Series history.

His worst, Hogan says, was listening to Lou Gehrig say goodbye when he told Yankee Stadium fans he was “the luckiest man on the face of the earth” in 1939, two years before he died.

Sheehy, known as “the keeper of the pinstripes,” was the man who placed a ball in Larsen’s shoe to tell him of his selection as starting pitcher for Game 5 of the 1956 World Series.

Appearing at the Yogi Berra Museum Thursday, Hogan said he came up with the book idea while researching material on black baseball, the subject of several former books. He revealed that the New York Giants even had a string of black trainers during the ‘20s – long before Jackie Robinson broke baseball’s color line – until the bigoted Rogers Hornsby joined the team in a 1927 trade from the St. Louis Cardinals.

An author, historian, and New Jersey college professor, Hogan drew praise for his book for members of the Sheehy family who attended Thursday’s talk. The daughter of the long-time clubhouse man even acknowledged that she found considerable new material in the book.

Clubhouse men toil in obscurity, says author Larry Hogan

Clubhouse men toil in obscurity, says author Larry Hogan

Never called Michael Joseph Sheehy, his given name, Pete was pulled into the world of the big-league clubhouse at age 16 by Fred Logan, whose tenure dated back to the days when the team was Highlanders and did not wear pinstripes. Logan lasted more than 30 years in the job but passed the baton to Sheehy while Ed Logan had a long tenure with the Giants, then on the opposite bank of the Harlem River.

Like Sheehy, Mike Murphy began as a teenager and seemingly lasted forever in the anonymous job of clubhouse manager. He broke in with the San Francisco Seals, then joined the Giants when they relocated from New York in 1958. He’s still going strong.

The book was published by St. Johann Press in Haworth, NJ.

As the season enters its next-to-last weekend, these items are also worth noting:

With Andy Pettitte and Mariano Rivera retiring and Derek Jeter’s future uncertain, could the Yankees also lose manager Joe Girardi? Rumors remain strong that the articulate dugout denizen, a Northwestern graduate, will return to his Chicago roots with one of the two struggling clubs in the Windy City . . .

Should Girardi leave, odds are that Don Mattingly could be convinced to return to his Yankee roots and run the team. Joe Torre’s protege was the favorite to manage the Yankees before Girardi became a surprise selection . . .

With several vets retiring, Joe Girardi is contemplating his future in pinstripes

With several vets retiring, Joe Girardi is contemplating his future in pinstripes

If the Angels ax Mike Scioscia, as expected, look for him to be a strong contender to cross league lines and succeed the retiring Davey Johnson with the Washington Nationals . . .

The unexpectedly early return of Jason Heyward, who jumped into the Atlanta lineup ahead of schedule Friday, provides an enormous boost in three different directions: offensively, defensively, and psychologically . . .

Major League Baseball has been issuing all kinds of complicated scenarios as to how it would resolve two-way, three-way, or even four-way ties at the end of the season. A round-robin tournament could come into play and cause a delay in the single-game playoff for the wild-card berth . . .

Sorry, Charlie Manuel, but it looks like your career as a manager is over . . .

Same for 51-year-old soft-tosser Jamie Moyer, the likable lefthander who paid for his own Tommy John surgery because he has eight kids to support . . .

How could the San Diego Padres do some much damage to the Pittsburgh Pirates, especially at PNC Park? . . .

A well-placed publicist for a major-league team asked this rhetorical

Could Alex Rodriguez wind up as World Series MVP?

Could Alex Rodriguez wind up as World Series MVP?

question: what if the Yankees sneak into the American League wild-card picture, win every playoff round, and win the World Series because Alex Rodriguez suddenly springs to life. How embarrassing would ir be for Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig to present the MVP trophy to A-Rod on national television?

About Dan Schlossberg

Former AP sportswriter Dan Schlossberg of Fair Lawn, NJ has produced 35 baseball books, including autobiographies of Ron Blomberg, Al Clark, and Milo Hamilton. Also a broadcaster, he is the host and executive producer of Braves Banter and Travel Itch Radio and a contributor to Sirius XM.

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