Friday, May 13, 2011

Bobby Richardson Looks Back to '62

In the Sporting News issue dated 4/11/11, there was an I Remember piece with Bobby Richardson being the focal point.

Giant fans since the opening of Candlestick Park know Richardson as the second baseman who was in the right spot at the worst time for a Willie McCovey line drive. With runners on second and third base and 2 outs, the McCovey liner was how Game 7 of the 1962 World Series ended. Yankees win!

Richardson and Yankee shortstop Tony Kubek (who worked for NBC on the Game of the Week) had been roommates for Richardson's entire career. According to Richardson, Kubek was trying to lighten him up a little bit as he said, "I sure hope McCovey doesn't hit the ball to you." Puzzled, Richardson asked, "Why?"  Kubek's response was, "You've already made one error this series- I'd hate to see you blow it now."

Richardson admits that's what he was thinking about when he went back to his position between the first-baseman and shortstop.  McCovey proceeded to hit a ball foul, out of the park. Upon seeing that prodigious shot, Richardson noticed that McCovey was out in front.  So the wise second-baseman moved over toward first base. Reflecting back to that moment Richardson said, 'McCovey has always said he thought I was playing out of position.'  But those of us who saw the play, either live or out of the archives can see that Bobby Richardson was in the right position to field that scorching line drive.

Over the years Bobby Richardson had not seen Willie McCovey. Some forty-five years had passed until Richardson was invited out to San Francisco, by the Giants, to see the Yankees play the Giants in an interleague game.  When Richardson saw McCovey, McCovey's first comment to Bobby Richardson was, "I bet your hand is still hurting."

(thanks to the Sporting News for that good sportsmanship memory)

Kevin J. Marquez