"Meet Me At The Bat" (Book Excerpt 1)
by SSTN Admin
We are privileged to be able to bring a few excerpts from the book Meet Me At The Bat by George Falkowski.
Background - As a young man, George Falkowski spent most of his time obsessing over the Yankees, watching and attending Yankees games and trying to find ways to attend more Yankees games. Thanks to the discovery of an envelope stuffed with his old ticket stubs, he recalls those games and more importantly, the friends and family who joined him at Yankee Stadium in the mid-1970's through the mid-1980's.
In 2019, I found a padded envelope in a box, deep within my basement. It was one of those envelopes with the fluffy gray insulation that spread all over your clothes and got stuck in your lungs if you made the mistake of tearing it open.
I carefully looked at the contents.
I couldn’t believe it. Inside was a jackpot of old ticket stubs from my youth. There was everything from the New York Giants and Jets, Mets and Cosmos, the New Jersey Devils, New York Rangers, New Jersey Nets and a few strays from the New Jersey Generals of the USFL.
And more than one hundred ticket stubs from New York Yankees games, covering the years between 1976 and 1984, when going to the game was as much a part of my life as school or work. Or eating and breathing.
My mother, who like many of her kind, had thrown out millions of dollars worth of baseball cards and comic books, had somehow decided to put all the stray ticket stubs of my younger days in one place. It was like breaking into a time capsule.
Chapter Six: "Reggie Being Reggie"
Reggie Jackson batted with two on in the bottom of the first against White Sox knuckleballer Wilbur Wood. Reggie had homered in his final three Stadium at bats in Game Six against the Dodgers that previous autumn, so naturally he hit a rocket to deep center in his first New York appearance of 1978. Chet Lemon, wearing his blue Sox clam digger uniform, made a heroic try but the ball was gone…a three-run homer. Reggie’s fourth homer in his last four Yankee Stadium at-bats. Of course he did that. Reggie always did stuff like that.
Jackson had barely reached second base when the first Yankee fan realized that the candy bar, round in shape but packed in a square wrapper, had perfect aerodynamic qualities. It came spinning out of the upper deck and landed near third base. Followed by another. And another. Then hundreds, then thousands.
The Reggie Bars bounced about the outfield, the infield, foul territory, glittering in the April sun. They were raining down on us in the box seats behind the plate, dropping through the backstop netting. Gordon started scrambling to pick up the goodies from above and we followed suit.
We went home with more than thirty Reggie Bars, many of them dispensed to friends the next day. The game was delayed ten minutes as the grounds crew gathered the candy bars in large buckets. I still have a wrapper from that day