Thursday, July 22, 2010

How Can You Mend A Broken Ralph?

Heard a little of Joe Ba-dingo today, saying that Ralph Houk died, and that he was basically the first Yankee manager he remembers. And that made me think of how Ralph Houk was the first Red Sox manager I can remember.

Okay, I do have vague memories of Zimmer, but 1981 (age 5) was the first year I really collected cards/stickers, and that was Houk's first year. (Even though he wouldn't have a Red Sox card till the following year, but you get the idea.) I think '83 was the first year where I was really involved with following the team day-to-day on the radio, and that was the heart of the Houk regime. He just seemed to be the grandpa on the sidelines, watching over a mediocre team. '81 was a messed-up year. The '82 team was in it late, but weren't a factor down the stretch. The '83 team had a losing record. And you stunk if you weren't the Tigers in 1984. Houk led the guys who were between the great late-70s teams and the division/league winning teams of the mid-late 80s. But he'll always be my, essentially (really, do I even need an excuse to take titles away from Don Zimmer?), first manager.


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Location: Rhode Island, United States