THE GREEDY & THE KINKY

Every now and then as I’m reading something, I come across a line that freezes me.   Such was the case reading Tom Verducci’s baseball column on SI.com.  He was writing about the dim futures for some free agents (Nomah!)  and the questionable decisions made by others, (Yo, ‘Tek!) when I came to this line:

One journeyman reliever, for instance, turned down a $2 million offer, saying he would retire before taking that kind of money.

What an insult!  Two stinkin’ mil?  That kind of money?  Puh-leeeeeeze!

64topps-170Instead of getting all righteous about it, what I wish I could do is bring Dick Radatz back from the dead to spend a little quality time with that dude.  Radatz was a closer for the Red Sox in the early ’60s (before they called them ‘closers’).  The teams he played for stunk, but Radatz was a star…a big fireballing righty whose nickname was “The Monster.”  Those days, the players worked off-season jobs to help make ends meet.   

In Jim Bouton’s classic “Ball Four” (I have a first edition copy I treasure), there is an anecdote about one way Radatz picked up a couple of extra bucks.  A man hired Radatz to “throw oranges at his ass.”  (Talk about a line that freezes you!)

Having oranges thrown “at his ass” at 90+ miles an hour gave him a pleasure we can only…ummmm…imagine.  Radatz went on:  “Some of those oranges weren’t too ripe, either, and they opened up some huge welts. That was my big year, too, when I could really bring it. He loved it.”  And Dick Radatz made a couple of hundred bucks to feed the family.

What I wouldn’t give to find the pitcher in Tom Verducci’s story, and lock him in a room with Dick Radatz.  And a crate of oranges.

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About Gerry

I've been covering Connecticut news and sports since 1974. I know, I don't look that old.
This entry was posted in Diatribes, Living in the Past, Noticed, People, Sports and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to THE GREEDY & THE KINKY

  1. LadyPatsFan says:

    Whatever floats yer boat, I guess!

    Reading the Boston Globe this morning, it seems that Scott Boras has been causing more vexation for both his clients and their teams. Manny still has no team, and Tek is still in waiting. Dan Shaughnessy seems to think the Sox will get a deal done with the Captain, but time’s a-wastin’. February is coming quickly, and we still don’t have a starting catcher.

  2. Graham says:

    Dick Radatz, wow, you are going back aways Gerry. I watched him pitch several times at Fenway and he could really “bring it”. He just blew pitches by the batters. Wasn’t he the first pitcher to be clocked at 100 mph? Can’t remember for sure, but he was up in that area.
    In those days, as in the NHL etc. the players played because they loved the game. Now, it’s just business. But with the suffering economy, we’ll see how many fans will be able to watch today’s high priced primadonnas. I’ve lost interest in baseball. We still get to Fenway once every few years, but Manny really took the fun out of it for me. I hope he never finds another team who will put up with his foolishness. But, I’d go see Dick Radatz anytime!

  3. Gerry says:

    LPF, I’m betting ‘Tek will be back, and not very pleased at all that he rejected the arbitration offer. He cost himself millions. But Boras won’t mind, because Texiera was his big payday. It pains me to say it, but I stopped reading Shaughnessy a long time ago. I miss the days of Ray Fitzgerald and Leigh Montville. They were “writers,” not pontificators. I do get a kick out of Schilling’s reference to him as “CHB” (curly haired boyfriend).

    And Graham, do you remember The Monster’s set-up man? “Old Tomato Face” is what Ned Martin called him. Jack Lamabe. (Of course, I don’t remember what I had for breakfast.)

  4. Rich says:

    If my faulty memory can be trusted, I believe the pride of New Britain during the 50’s/60’s, Steve Dalkowski, was a true 100 mph pitcher. Only thing was one never knew where the ball was going to end up once it left his hand; either the catcher’s mitt or five rows behind home plate.

  5. Graham says:

    Well, I had Wheaties (the breakfast of champions) this morning, or at least I think that’s what I had………
    Jack Lamabe? Got me there. That does not ring a bell, or sound a horn, or blow a whistle or … what were we talking about?

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