Still Perfect After All These Years – Guest Blog by Jesse Golomb

July 3, 2012

As one-of-a-kind item goes up for sale, Larsen, Wolff share the moment

Fifty-six years later, Don Larsen pulls at the jersey one last time. Bob Wolff joins him. Neither has forgotten what it means to be perfect, and with each tug at the off-white pinstripes, neither seems to want to let go anytime soon.

It is a perfectly normal summer morning in New York City, except for these two passengers of history, who, standing side-by-side, shoulder-to-shoulder, have been reunited once more to celebrate their shared, everlasting, once-in-a-lifetime moment.

The day they’re celebrating – October 8, 1956 – seemed normal enough, too. Don Larsen arrived at the ballpark for Game Five of the 1956 World Series that morning unsure of what lay ahead, or if he would even have any part in it. The then-27 year old was coming off a rough performance in Game Two, when he had been removed from the game after walking four of the ten batters he faced.

“I didn’t know if I was going to start until I came to the park,” remembers Larsen, 82. “If you were starting, [Third Base Coach Frankie] Crosetti would put the ball in your shoe, in your locker.”

The ball was there. Two hours and six minutes later – a New York Minute by today’s standards – Don Larsen was one strike away from the first perfect game in World Series history. Then, Dale Mitchell tried to check his swing, umpire Babe Pinelli punched him out, Yogi Berra leapt, the Dodgers wept – and all of a sudden, October 8, 1956 was the last normal day of Don Larsen’s life.

He’s still celebrating.

“I think about it everyday,” he says. “I can’t help it. I shouldn’t. It’s the best thing that ever happened to me.”

Bob Wolff might say the same.

“It was a big break for me,” Wolff says, “To get my first World Series, and then after that, the Larsen no-hitter. That was a big point in my career right there. Still is.”

Shortly after the 1956 World Series, NBC hired Wolff to be their Game of the Week announcer. At 91 years old, Wolff hasn’t stopped announcing since.

“I’ve broadcasted thousands of games, in other sports as well. But you go through life, and you’re only remembered for one or two.”

“The others are on the resume, but they don’t really count.”

Over a legendary career spanning 73 years, Wolff has covered each of the four major sports, been honored by both the Baseball and Basketball Halls-of-Fame, and has called more professional sporting events than anyone else. But Wolff is forever remembered for calling Larsen’s perfect game, and for his own, perfectly simple call at its conclusion.

“A no-hitter!” An excited Wolff yelped. “A perfect game for Don Larsen!”

“Every year at this time is like Christmas to me,” Wolff says. “Every year at this time, Don makes me famous again.”

Wolff and Larsen meet about once a year, usually the week of Old-Timers Day at Yankee Stadium, so today should have also been a perfectly normal reunion; that is, if not for the one-of-a-kind uniform dangling from a mannequin just a few feet away, lending tangible figure to Larsen’s unfathomable achievement.

When Yogi jumped on me…I probably still haven’t woken up,” says Larsen with a pause. “The world left my shoulders then.”

Now, the jersey that sat atop Larsen’s shoulders that day is leaving too.

Larsen’s game-worn uniform from the perfect game – which was only used in a game once and includes the perfect pants as well – will make this October 8th particularly special. In conjunction with Steiner Sports Memorabilia, Larsen has decided to sell the piece – which is in excellent condition (Larsen: “It’s pretty clean. Not many spots.”) – in order to finance college tuition for his two grandchildren.

On the 56th anniversary of Game 5 of the 1956 World Series, Steiner will begin a 56-day auction of Larsen’s uniform on their website.

When asked how much he hopes the uniform will sell for, Larsen didn’t hesitate.

“A million,” he said. “Why go cheap?”

For their part, Steiner (who is celebrating their own 25-year anniversary this year) expects to sell the jersey for at least that much.

But just because Larsen’s ready to let go of his finest souvenir doesn’t mean he won’t miss it.

“Oh, yes, ” he says. “But it’s still mine. I’m still inside it.”

Now, someone else will get a chance to try on history.

Jesse Golomb is the Editor-in-Chief of TheFanManifesto.com, as well as a contributing writer for SteinerSports, AthlonSports and Digital Refrain. Follow him on Twitter @TheFanManifesto.


NBA Finals VLOG with Kevin Shaw

June 13, 2012

The debate continues in today’s VLOG as I discuss the NBA Finals with Kevin Shaw


Steve Costello VLOG with Kevin from The Circle

June 1, 2012

Today’s VLOG features me talking with Kevin from The Circle about the NBA Conference Finals. This was filmed yesterday before the Thunder threw down on the Spurs.


NBA Playoffs VLOG with Lou Holtz

May 22, 2012

Today’s VLOG features legendary Notre Dame coach Lou Holtz discussing the 2012 NBA Playoffs


NBA Playoffs VLOG 5/16/12

May 16, 2012

Today’s VLOG features Kevin from The Circle and Chris & Jeremy from TR Luxury


Today’s VLOG

May 2, 2012

Today’s VLOG with Doc Gooden


Wild Sports Weekend

April 30, 2012

Weekend Rewind

I actually don’t even  know where to start; this weekend in sports was crazy to say the least.

It needs to be said that I was devastated by the injuries suffered by Derrick Rose and Iman Shumpert.  I never enjoy seeing a star injured but it is especially upsetting to see such a horrible outcome in the NBA playoffs as a player’s championship hopes are lost in the blink of an eye, or in this case the tweak of a knee.  Sending get well wishes to Rose & Shumpert and hoping for their speedy and full recoveries!

I broke out my Steiner hoodie Friday night for the Yankees’ game garnering much attention and admiration from the fans lucky enough to catch a glimpse of it (we’re on back order because these hoodies are so hot and high in demand).  Shortly after arriving at the Stadium, I ventured over to  the Yankees Steiner Storein Section 114b to pay Super Joe Groglio a visit.  Joe  was brave enough to bear the cold weather Friday night and auctioned off some amazing Yankee keepsakes right out side the store including an autographed Joe Dimaggio photo and an autographed Mariano Rivera ball and photo just to name a few.  If you haven’t already, check out the store.  If you have, go back!  We are always bringing new and exciting items in.

Back to the NBA Playoffs…The Oklahoma City/Dallas game was intense. As expected, Dallas came out as a completely different team in the playoffs which probably explains why they took home the hardware last season.  I sometimes think Jason Kidd may play forever.  Outside of the Clippers’ incredible rally to overcome the Grizzlies at Memphis, the rest of the weekend’s games did not offer too much excitement.  Hopefully this isn’t any indication as to what to expect for the remainder of the playoffs.

I loved the Giants’ draft even if they let the Jets take Steven Hill. I have the utmost confidence that Hill will be a phenomenal player and I am excited to see him develop in the NFL.

Saturday was partially consumed by a visit to Rick Alessi and Atlantic Honda.  Every now and then it’s great to get a new car and this was my first really great experience buying a new car.   It almost felt like I was at  a BBQ at an old friend’s house.  The lot was packed, everyone was super friendly, and best of all, I left with a new Honda!  Oh Yeah!  Almost every sales office had a Steiner great memory. Rick’s office was no exception, I found Brandon’s book and a great shot of Rick with Yankee captain Derek Jeter.

Upcoming Steiner Sports Events:

Tomorrow is a huge day for Steiner Sports!  John Starks will be visiting Lord & Taylor in Stamford, long time Met and ’86 World Series champ Howard Johnson will be greeting fans and signing autographs at Lord & Taylor in Westfield and if that’s not enough, you can meet Hall of Famer Andre Dawson at the Steiner Store, where he will be signing autographs.

Twitter Update:

I still have not reached 4k followers but I have a good feeling my luck will soon change.  Stayed tuned and start following me on twitter if you aren’t already because I will be giving away some pretty cool stuff to a few lucky fans later this week. ( click these blue letters to follow me on twitter! )