Did Jimmy Piersall do all the crazy things he did? (Ask Yogi.)

 

An email of mine to a friend:

 

Scott — there was an article in Saturday’s NY Times:

“The Naked Truth About Trump”

By Maureen Dowd

The New York Times

May 5, 2018

 

A quote from the article:

“He needs the excitement,” says Trump biographer Michael D’Antonio. “Without the drama and the crisis and the powerful opponent, he’d be just another guy.”

D’Antonio compares Trump, who has compared himself to Babe Ruth and who once wrote a poem when he was 12 about being a baseball player — “I like to hear the crowd give cheers, so loud and noisy to my ears” — to Jimmy Piersall. Piersall, a charismatic and talented baseball player, described his emotional spiral in his memoir, “The Truth Hurts”: “Probably the best thing that happened to me was going nuts. It brought people out to the ballpark to get a look at me.”

The center fielder engaged in brawls, scuffles and pranks, once bringing a water pistol to home plate. Then one day he lost his grip; in a movie based on his life, that was depicted as him climbing up the backstop at Fenway Park.

“That may wind up happening with Trump,” D’Antonio says. “One day he might walk to Marine One stark naked and we’ll all just say: ‘This is the end. It has finally happened.’”

 

 

*****************************************************

 

I read Fear Strikes Out in high school and wrote a book report on it. I saw the movie.

I “met” Piersall once at an event held somewhere such as a shopping center where he was signing autographs and saw him play.

The incidents where he “went crazy” were in the early 1950’s and I do not remember them.

However, I am certain that he never climbed up a backstop, as I do recall seeing Anthony Perkins do in the film.

 

 

— Roger W. Smith

   May 7, 2018

About Roger W. Smith

Roger W. Smith is a writer and independent scholar based in New York City. His experience includes freelance writing and editing, business writing, book reviewing, and the teaching of writing and literature as an adjunct professor. Mr. Smith's interests include personal essays and opinion pieces; American and world literature; culture, especially books and reading; classical music; current issues that involve social, moral, and philosophical views; and experiences of daily living from a ground level perspective. Besides (1) rogersgleanings.com, a personal site, he also hosts websites devoted to (2) the author Theodore Dreiser and (3) to the sociologist and social philosopher Pitirim A. Sorokin.
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