Negron: Batboy Tales

Batboy turned Super Agent remembers Munson

John Boggs is one of baseball’s biggest agent. Has been for a long time. He has represented some of the sport biggest names including hall of Famer Roberto Alomar.

I remember John way back in the 70s when he was a Los Angeles Dodgers Batboy. I recently asked John what was his biggest moment as a batboy. He told me that during the 1977 World Series after Dodger great Dusty Baker had grounded out, John ran up to home plate to pick up the bat and he was in such awe at standing at home plate that he just froze. All of a sudden someone said, ‘Well, are you going to hit ?’ John turned around and through the catchers mask he recognized that it was The legendary Thurman Munson. Thurman gave John a wink and a smile and that moment is something that would last forever in the heart and soul of a very impressionable young man.

Munson fan Falce reaches out on anniversary

Joe Falce is a financial advisor for one of the brokerage houses in New York. He is a friend of my insurance broker Gil Cosenza of State Farm. Also of Charllie Santoro of the Yes Network. Gil has been telling me about this gigantic Thurman Munson fan for a long time. In New York I hear this all the time. On Wednesday August 2, I was feeling extra sentimental so I decided to go with Gil to visit this so called Giant Munson fan. It was on my way home from the city so I figured I would visit for 15 minuets or so. When I pulled up to the block I found the house right away because there was a car with license plate TM 15. A man that actually looked like Billy Martin walked out of the house wearing a number 15 Yankee shirt.

He was Joe Falce. When we got inside Gil was already there with his son and Mrs Falce. When we started to talk about the Yankees of the 70s and Thurman, you would of thought that he was a part of the Yankees. He knew more things about Thurman than any fan I had ever met. He showed me his sports room and I have to say he had some very nice artifacts. He had a Thurman rookie shirt and he even had a game used bat. He talked about Thurman like if he was related to him. He said that the one time that he met him he was ten years old and Thurman actually gave him an autograph that Joe has to this day. When I saw it I was touched by how important this piece of paper was to him. As far as Joe is concerned, this was more important than the emancipation proclamation. We literally sat at his dining room table for about three hours just talking about Thurman. Joe just couldn’t get enough stories and I have to admit that the fact that he loved Thurman so much, I didn’t mind at all.

Charlie Santoro has always been a big Munson fan. He always loved Munson’s leadership skills and says that helped him be a better person.

What Thurman Munson means to baseball fans to this day is absolutely incredible. The fact that Munson is not in the Hall of Fame is a travesty.

The Hall of Fame is supposed to represent great sportsmanship hustle, desire to win, what you represented on the field also what you represented off the field. In my 45 years in this wonderful game called baseball, no Yankee has been more respected like Thurman Munson. To me it hurts the sport not to have Munson in the hall because if he was in, every time a little boy asks his dad or grandpa about who was Thurman Munson and they google his name they will find out that Munson was not only a great player but he was a very wonderful man.

Billy Joel’s piano man visits Stadium

David Rosenthal is actually Billy Joel’s musical director and keyboard player. He was a guest of Yankees Team President Randy Levine.

The fact that I remember when Billy first visited the Yankees clubhouse in 1976 it was a real pleasure to have one of his guys at the stadium. I remember the enthusiasm on Billy’s face at the time and I can honestly say that David showed the same excitement. It was nice to see Yankees personal get together with David and share stories. Rookie sensation Miguel Andujar took a picture with David and later would hit a homer.

For me the best part of the visit was when I put David together with our Stadium organist Paul Cartier. Paul who was hired to be the Yankee Stadium organist by the great Eddie Layton who was the first Yankee Organist and was famous for playing the organ for many of the soap operas of the day. It was great to hear these two musicians talk shop. Afterwards Paul would tell me that for a guy that works for one of the all time greats, David Rosenthal is really a very humble and nice guy.

I need to thank Robbie Robinson, Frankie Valli’s musical director for introducing me to David. A very nice guy and a true Yankee fan.

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