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Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Ask 14: Jim Rice: My Stolen Hat

Oh, that crafty Celizic…

Jim, could you take us through the day in Yankee Stadium when you attempted a diving catch in foul territory, only to have someone grab your hat from the stands. I remember you jumping into the crowd and Don Baylor making the run out there too. What was the fans reaction when you jumped in the stands? How was Don Baylor as a teammate?

There’s not much to take you through.  It was a September game against the Yankees in Yankee Stadium, 1986.  I went for the foul ball and the guy took my hat.

It wasn’t Don Baylor that ran out there, it was Roger Clemens who was the first one on the scene.  Roger pretty much parted the sea.  Even though it was Yankee Country, we had a lot of Red Sox Fans at that game, and the Yankee fans who were sitting in that area were mostly reasonable people (save for the one who was trying to steal my cap).  The fans pointed out which person had my hat and as he was trying to stuff it down his pants.

Repoz Posted: May 14, 2008 at 11:15 PM | 17 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: history, red sox, yankees

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   1. villageidiom Posted: May 14, 2008 at 11:30 PM (#2781088)
I remember that.

To a young Red Sox fan, the sight of a player going up into the seats at Yankee Stadium to get his hat was totally badass. Maybe irrationally so, but that's the "young" part.
   2. Hang down your head, Tom Foley Posted: May 14, 2008 at 11:31 PM (#2781091)
That fan's name: Rudy Giuliani.
   3. JRVJ (formerly Delta Socrates) Posted: May 14, 2008 at 11:36 PM (#2781102)
It might be me, but I really wouldn't want to put a cap on my head which has been down a fan's trousers.

(Unless it's a super hot chick fan, but that's just me).

And the parting of the sea reference is a clear reference to Clemens roiding in 1986....
   4. Hello Rusty Kuntz, Goodbye Rusty Cars Posted: May 14, 2008 at 11:43 PM (#2781109)
He never said how Baylor was as a teammate. That means Baylor liked to rape the other Red Sox.
   5. GGC Posted: May 15, 2008 at 12:07 AM (#2781147)
Baylor was supposed to be a good clubhouse presence with the Red Sox. I recall stories about him heading up the kangaroo court for the '86 team. I was kind of surprised when he turned out to be a subpar manager. It seemed like he had people skills if nothing else.
   6. Flynn Posted: May 15, 2008 at 12:15 AM (#2781162)
It's interesting but typically Rice that he doesn't mention what I heard about this story, which is that the fan also called Rice an n-word when he took his cap.
   7. Guapo Posted: May 15, 2008 at 01:08 AM (#2781277)
the fan also called Rice an n-word

"notasgoodasroywhite"
   8. Tuque Posted: May 15, 2008 at 02:04 AM (#2781455)
Jim Rice is black?

I did not know this. I feel so uneducated.

But hey! Maybe that's why he was so feared! (rim shot)
   9. Darren Posted: May 15, 2008 at 02:32 AM (#2781498)
I remember this incident but I don't specifically remember Baylor or Clemens going into the crowd. I remember it as La Schelle Tarver going in after Rice and bringing his bat with him.
   10. Foster Posted: May 15, 2008 at 04:19 AM (#2781560)
Now, see, I thought it was Marc Sullivan with a lead pipe.
   11. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: May 15, 2008 at 08:24 AM (#2781589)
In the Billiard Room.
   12. Slinger Francisco Barrios (Dr. Memory) Posted: May 15, 2008 at 12:59 PM (#2781642)
Oh, Guapo, if you weren't a man, I'd marry you.
   13. GGC Posted: May 15, 2008 at 01:58 PM (#2781691)
Flynn is correct. I found the Globe story by Leigh Montville. Darren is right about Tarver, but Baylor and Clemens went into the stands (as did Sullivan which may've been his biggest contribution to ther team ever.)

"I was on the mound, warming up," pitcher Joe Sambito said. "I was in my motion when I looked at the plate and saw that Rich Gedman, the catcher, wasn't there. I wondered where he went. Then I saw what was happening. Everyone went."

Rice wound up wrestling the hat free from the 27-year-old genius. McNamara wound up behind pitcher Oil Can Boyd, who suddenly was having trouble with someone stealing HIS hat. McNamara went to help Boyd and then Don Baylor came along to help McNamara.

"My bodyguard," McNamara said. "He ended it right there. He pulled away the hat and the guy just sort of sat in a seat and Baylor said, 'Stay there.' "

LaSchelle Tarver, the rookie outfielder, won immediate points for good planning. He carried his bat with him into the stands. ("I don't know," he said, "it just followed me out there.") Marc Sullivan went in wearing a batting helmet. Roger Clemens, in what must be his arguing style, turned his hat backward, and vaulted the railing in a rush.



Get a Connecticut State Library card if you can. They have ProQuest.
   14. bunyon Posted: May 15, 2008 at 02:07 PM (#2781699)
Boy, that is a collection of guys I absolutely would not wish to take on in a fight, even if they didn't have bats and helmets. Baylor and Clemens alone could probably take a section out.
   15. TomH Posted: May 15, 2008 at 02:16 PM (#2781710)
re: #5 -
LOTS of press in 86 about how good Baylor was for the Sox. He finished 13th in the MVP voting, including one 2ND PLACE VOTE, despite being a slow DH with a .238 batting avg.

Quick trivia - Don Baylor drove in 100 runs only ONCE in his career.
   16. Slinger Francisco Barrios (Dr. Memory) Posted: May 15, 2008 at 02:37 PM (#2781730)
LOTS of press in 86 about how good Baylor was for the Sox.

The Baylor mystique:

1985, Yankees - 97 wins, second place (this was just before the beginning of the hype)
1986, Red Sox - 95 wins, AL pennant
1987, traded to MN late, but - WS championship
1988, Oakland - 104 wins, AL pennant

A "those winning teams just followed him around" type of deal. He showed later it was probably more of a Forrest Gump type situation.
   17. Darren Posted: May 16, 2008 at 04:17 AM (#2782854)
Quick trivia - Don Baylor drove in 100 runs only ONCE in his career.


And got a bullshit MVP award to show for it. I wonder if Baylor would have protected McNamara if he knew that Mac would later leave him on the bench instead of pinch-hitting him for Buckner in the Series.

Boy, that is a collection of guys I absolutely would not wish to take on in a fight, even if they didn't have bats and helmets. Baylor and Clemens alone could probably take a section out.


No doubt in my mind that Rice was stronger than Baylor, and he was probably stronger than the wiry, young Roger Clemens of 1986. Oh, and he was feared. FEARED!

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