Marty Lurie Talks San Francisco Giants Baseball


By Jerry Feitelberg

Boston Red Sox

The game of baseball has always been part of my life ever since I was 7 years old . My first memories are those of listening on the radio to the 1946 World Series between the Boston Red Sox and the St.Louis Cardinals. Boston is my hometown and my father and I were hoping that the Red Sox would win the Series and become World Champs.

I, at that time, did not know that the Red Sox had not been in a World Series since 1918 . All that I knew was that the Boys from Boston, led by Ted Williams and players such as Dom DiMaggio, Bobby Doerr, and Joe Cronin had a chance to climb to the top of the baseball mountain but they lost in 7 games to the Cardinals. I was hooked. Dad worked for the Boston Traveler, an afternoon newspaper and, of course it was my favorite newspaper. In those days, there was no television, so everything about baseball was learned by reading the newspaper. There were other papers in town, too. The Boston Post, a morning paper had a great columnist, Bill Cunningham , who was a must to read. The best sports pages were in the Boston American or the Boston Record. These papers were owned by the Hearst Corporation and were like a tabloid. I really didnt think much of the whole newspaper but they sure were great on sports coverage. The Boston Globe was a morning and afternoon paper and they were okay. Most of the people in Boston read the Globe. To me, I thought they were nuts, because the Herald, which was the morning paper published by the same company that published Dads paper, was far superior.

I loved to read about the Sox and the Boston Braves. The Braves were not the favorite team in Beantown. The Red Sox were beloved and the Braves, who had been in the National league since 1876 and had represented Boston all those years were definitely second class citizens. The Red Sox had and still have a wonderful rival with the New York Yankees. The mere mention of the Yankees success against Boston will drive a fan to frenzy. The Braves in 1947 started to improve after so many years in the second division of the National League, Bob Elliott had a terrific year and was Most valuable Player that season. The Braves had Warren Spahn and Johnny Sain as star pitchers and Tommy Holmes and Earl Torgeson were star players. The Yankees and Dodgers won the pennants that year and the Yanks beat the Dodgers in the World Series, but 1947 would be a most significant year in my life and for the country as a whole because of Branch Rickey and Jackie Robinson.

It was time for America to realize that baseball should be played by the best athletes regardless of skin color. Mr.Rickey realized that in order to win, he had to have the best. Many black athletes had the skills, but were never given a chance to play in the big leagues. Jackie Robinson was the first black athlete to do so. To this day, Jackie is my favorite player of all time. I think about his courage and his ability to perform at such a high level while facing obstacles that would have destroyed so many others. I remember watching him play against the Braves at Braves Field and many times later on television and always admiring him as a player and as a person. He is one man that I would have liked to have met and talked with.

Now it is 1948 and I am 9 years old and what more could a boy want. Both teams from my hometown are involved in pennant races. The Red Sox went head to head with the Cleveland Indians. It had been a long time for the Indians. Their last pennant and World Series Championship was in 1920 when they beat the Brooklyn Dodgers. That race in the American League went down to the wire. Both teams were tied at the end of the season and had to play a 1 game playoff to determine the champ. I believe it was the 1st time that that had occurred in the American League and it was 2 years after the 1st playoff in the National League between the Dodgers and the Cardinals. Joe McCarthy, the manager of the Red Sox ,went with a veteran pitcher, Denny Galehouse.To this day, many have questioned that choice because the Sox lost and Cleveland was in the Series.

The Braves, meanwhile, were in a tough race. The Braves had not won a pennant since 1914. That team was in last place on July 4th but came on strong in the second half of the season and then beat the Philadelphia Athletics. That team was known as the miracle Braves and for the next 33 years were not very good. However in 1948, they had a new, young shortstop, Alvin Dark and had obtained Eddie Stanky in a trade and with Spahn and Sain and pray for rain the Braves won the pennant in the National League and I was so fortunate to see the Braves clinch the pennant at Braves Field. My older cousins drove up from Hartford, Ct and took me to see the game. Bob Elliott hit a 3 run homer in the 1st inning and the Braves held on to beat the Giants 3-2 and win their first pennant in 34 years. It doesnt get much better than that. The Braves lost the Series 4 games to 2 but what a magical season. Reading about the Sox and Braves and listening to the games on the radio.

I didnt know that people werent as passionate about baseball in other cities. All I knew was that my friends and I would live and breathe baseball. We knew that the batting averages of all the players. We knew how many hits, rbis or homers a player had. We knew the won loss record of the pitchers. When we would go to a friends house, the first question would be what did the Sox do today.

I hope this gives you a sense of the hold that baseball has on a person. Baseball is a mind game. There are so many nuances to the game. It is never boring. To me, a 1-0 game can be thrilling. Every pitch counts. Every ground ball. No mistakes or you lose the game.

I think this is a good place to stop and will continue this discourse at a later time

Jerry Feitelberg

Jerry Feitelberg is the owner of Alameda Drugs in Alameda, California, a Good Neighbor Pharmacy. He is a life long sufferer with the Red Sox. He attends many As and Giants games in the Bay Area.


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