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Monday, September 26, 2011

Dan Epstein: Yankees 1975 - NBC News on the Army’s 21 Gun Salute at Shea Stadium

And this is two years BEFORE Jimmy Wynn joined the Yankees!

On June 10, 1975, the New York Yankees, who were enduring their second season of shared tenancy with the Mets at Shea Stadium, while their beloved “House That Ruth Built” was being renovated — dig the Yankees’ “seating chart” below — presented a 21-gun pre-game salute in honor of Army Day, celebrating the 200th anniversary of the formation of the U.S. armed forces. The results, however, were more slapstick than stirring.

Though they were loaded with blanks, the army cannons — which were placed on the warning track, facing away from the diamond — still produced enough concussive power to knock down part of the centerfield fence, set another section of the fence ablaze, and knock out several car windows in the Shea parking lot. I’ve found the mention of this unintentionally amusing event in several sources, including Sparky Lyle’s immortal memoir The Bronx Zoo, but this is the first time I’ve ever seen any actual footage. As I wrote in BH&PG, “Anyone looking for a convenient metaphor for the Pentagon’s botched handling of the Vietnam War, or the chaos and danger of New York City circa 1975, wouldn’t have had to look much further.”

Repoz Posted: September 26, 2011 at 10:18 PM | 6 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: history, mets, yankees

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Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. Der-K is at half whelm. Posted: September 27, 2011 at 02:15 AM (#3938374)
Ok, that's really funny.
   2. SteveM. Posted: September 27, 2011 at 02:42 AM (#3938494)
Or was this an attempt by the Mets to get a new stadium and in the process, lay the blame on the Yankees?
   3. TerpNats Posted: September 27, 2011 at 02:52 AM (#3938523)
Even then, Steinbrenner's pompous pseudo-patriotism was backfiring on him.
   4. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: September 27, 2011 at 03:05 AM (#3938553)
Wow, who could have possibly imagined that setting up the howitzers 10 FREAKING FEET from the outfield fence could have been a problem?!?!?!?

::facepalm::
   5. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: September 27, 2011 at 03:07 AM (#3938557)
I was living in NYC then and this got a LOT of play on the local news shows--they showed it again and again.
   6. Lassus Posted: September 27, 2011 at 03:52 AM (#3938617)
I would have gladly fired those howitzers at Collins tonight for making Nick Evans sac bunt.

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