"He instinctively can find the shining greatness of our American culture and does a good job of highlighting it (although he also does have those rare lapses when he writes about hockey, but that is something caused by impurities in the Eastern waters or something)." Erik Keilholtz
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Mark C. N. Sullivan is an editor at a Massachusetts university. He is married and the father of three children. Email
Ask about a particularly hard pitched game against the Yankees, with Wilson taking a 2-1 lead into the ninth inning. [Sox manager Johnny] Pesky went out to the mound to see if his man had anything left. Ever the competitor, Wilson said of course he had something left. Finally, as Pesky turned to return to the dugout, Wilson swallowed his pride and admitted that something was nothing. “Earl,” Dick Radatz said as he arrived at the mound, “why don’t you just go and crack me a beer? I’ll be in in a minute.”
Radatz took over with the bases loaded and nobody out. He struck out the side. As in, Mickey Mantle, Roger Maris, and Elston Howard. “And there,” Radatz would recall many years later, “was Earl at the clubhouse door waiting for me with a beer.”
“We won,” said Pesky, remembering the game when called by the Boston Globe about Wilson’s death, “and jeez, I looked like a genius.”
Radatz died in a fall at his home just over a month before Wilson. It should not stretch things even an inch to presume that waiting for Wilson at their reward was Radatz, with a freshly-cracked beer.
30 APRIL 1919 How would you like to pitch two and a sixth games in one sitting? Joe Oeschger of the Philadelphia Phillies did it against Burleigh Grimes of the Brooklyn Dodgers.
Oeschger went twenty innings, walking five and surrendering 22 hits to Grimes walking five and giving up fifteen hits. And both sides send three men home in their halves of the nineteenth inning. The game ended in a nine-all tie.
30 APRIL 1939 Lou Gehrig went 0-for-4 against Washington’s Joe Krakauskas, sinking his batting average to .143. From there, Gehrig traveled with the Yankees to Detroit and promptly took himself out of the lineup—as it turned out, sadly enough, for keeps.
30 APRIL 1944, 1945 On the first date, Elmer Gedeon—very briefly a Senators outfielder (1939), was killed in air combat over France in World War II.
On the second, relief pitcher Dixie Howell—who had had a very short cup of coffee with the 1940 Indians, and would make the White Sox bullpen corps in 1955 for a three-year tour beginning at age 35—was liberated from a Nazi prison camp in Germany.