Stottlemyer and Washburn Lunch Recap
Mel Stottlemyer and Ray Washburn joined the RBI Club to kick off our 2016 luncheon series. The gentlemen regaled us with tales from the mound. Or, in the words of Rick Rizzs, “[We talked] about the 1960s, when pitchers pitched and batters were scared.”
These were some of the highlights.
Small Town Origins
Both men grew up in small Washington towns. How small? Stottlemyer only has 21 kids in his graduating class and Washburn only had 12! Getting to the big city for a Major League Baseball game was more of a dream than anything else. In fact, Washburn said, “I never saw a Major League game until the day I walked into the stadium to try out with the Cardinals.”
Stottlemyer’s story wasn’t much different. His second Major League game was the day that he pitched in 1964 in a double-header against the Chicago White Sox.
Pitching Game Seven in the World Series
The thing I remember most about the end of the series, losing that game, was I was really feeling bad. As bad as I’ve ever felt. And I remember all the veteran players coming up, patting me on the shoulder, and saying, “Don’t worry about it kid. We’ll be back next year.”
There never was a next year for me. That was my only year as a pitcher. Fortunately as a coach I made up for it.
Father & Son
As a coach with the Yankees, we were playing the Texas Rangers in a playoff game, and my son Todd was the pitcher for the Rangers. I had to sit on the bench and kind of squirm around for nine innings.
The game ended up 2-1, which was probably perfect for us….but I remember getting ready to go to the bullpen. George (Steinbrenner), bless his heat, I ran into him coming out of Joe’s office, and he said to me, “Well, we gotta really kick this guy’s butt today.”
I looked at him and said, “George, that’s my son.”
George said, “I know. But still gotta.”
Washburn’s 1968 No Hitter
I was happy not to pitch in Candlestick Park at night. It was frigid out there when the wind blew. It was a nice park though…the grass was about four inches long. It was a noon game, so it was bright and sunny. I made them put the ball in play most of the time. Fortunately, I walked five, which was unusual for me. (I always tell people, “That’s the people who were going to get hit.”)
I had eight strikeouts. But then you come down to the last couple innings and you don’t realize. And then it was the ninth inning and I was sitting there looking at who was coming to the plate. It boggled my mind.
I had a little second basemen, Ron Hunt. But the next couple of players were a couple of M&M’s – Mays and then McCovey.
In Honor of Dave Henderson
Angelman Syndrome Therapeutics long held a special place in Dave Henderson’s heart. Angelman Syndrome (or AS) is a neurodevelopmental disorder affecting approximately 1 in 15,000 live births. Although the cause of AS is known, there are currently no treatments available for this disorder. Angelman Syndrome Therapeutics is dedicated to finding a cure for Angelman Syndrome.
Through a raffle and auction, lunch attendees raised more than $850 for the charity. If you would also like to contribute in Henderson’s name, click here.