Friday, May 4, 2018

What it Means to be a Yankees Fan: Mr. Ken Reed

As we continue our search for what it means to be a Yankees fan here on The Greedy Pinstripes we are going to go back. Way back to the days of 1940’s and 1950’s when some of the greatest to ever play the game donned Yankees pinstripes. Way back to the days when one of my dearest friends and a contributor here on the blog, Ken Reed, began his Yankees fandom. I have always said that a lot could be learned by just listening to Mr. Reed, and now everyone here gets to learn just a little bit more as he explains what being a Yankees fan means to him. Enjoy!!

My MOM started teaching me the game back in 1942. The word on our block was,
she had played pro women's baseball…I never asked, I just tried to play the game.
We lived in a place called “Hells Kitchen” New York growing up, enough said.
1944, we made deals with six or eight(?) of the other blocks so we could all play
(Stickball) against each other on a street used very little…like a DMZ Zone!
1944 was the year I fell in love with baseball and the Yankees! The Dad of one of
the guys worked at Yankee Stadium and told us he could get us in to watch the pregame warm-ups.

We were soon being called the “Kitchen Trash” by most of the ground keepers (not
as an insult). As things worked out we were around most days and the players
started talking to us. If we got there for the pre-pre-game workouts the players
would take time to answer many of our questions or show us a trick of hitting or
playing the field. McCarthy was the manager and more or less looked the other
way if we were off the field for the real warm-ups.

I had watched Eddie Lopat (from 1948 on) we began talking a lot more about
pitching in 1949. Needless to say, he was a great teacher and taught me more about
pitching than most coaches knew. David Cone has always reminded me of Eddie, he

had some of the same pitch angles only a faster fastball…da! Remember the Cone
“Laredo” pitch? Eddie taught me one can take one pitch and make it into three or
more different looking pitches by changing one's arm angle!

The greatest Manager/Teacher/Talent Evaluator I ever saw was Casey Stengel! He
would talk your ear off (about the game) once he got started, not like he did when
he talked with the press. The closest Manager I have ever seen like Casey
(somewhat) is Buck Showalter…don’t kid yourself, he knows the game and the
players. Both had a talent for making a player work harder and even change their
position…come on fans, not everyone can judge/read a fly ball in the outfield at
the high level demanded of a “Pro”…or get used to the ball coming at one as fast
as it does in the infield.

“Winning is not everything…it is the only thing!”

Hells Kitchen...

Thank you once again to Mr. Reed for taking the time to make this post for us. Lord knows, and this is not making fun as much as it is using his own words, it took you all night to type it, so we truly do appreciate it, and appreciate you.

To have your words and your fandom showcased here on the blog please send your submissions to danielburch1102 at yahoo dot com.

1 comment:

  1. Looks much much better now than it did back in the day.


Sorry for the Capatcha... Blame the Russians :)