Wednesday, January 31, 2018


If you're a baseball fan and you didn't know who Oscar Gamble was, you weren't a true baseball fan.  That's how I saw it.

Gamble was unique. He has that batting stance that didn't look like he could give you much, but when the ball came in the zone, he'd always find a hole.  He was fun to watch and I enjoyed him a lot as a player.

That signature hair was great, special to him and him only.  He has a smile that showed us fans he loved the game and when he was a Yankee, there was nothing better.

Oscar Gamble died today, and with it, a part of my childhood.  I still have all his cards and we'll always have great memories of Gamble. It's just sad, that's all.

The best piece about Oscar comes from Mike Lupica of the New York Daily News. Here's a portion:

Photo: New York Daily News
"He was so much more than one of the great hairdos in the history of baseball and maybe sports, Oscar Gamble was, even though when you saw the old pictures on Wednesday of an Afro that once seemed to be part of the baseball skyline in New York, Oscar made you smile all over again. He was never a great Yankee in his seven seasons here, never hit as many home runs as he did for the White Sox one time. But he was a ballplayer good enough to last 17 seasons in the big leagues. And a good teammate. And one of the good guys.

'Everybody remembers the hair,' Reggie Jackson was saying on Wednesday morning when he got word of Oscar Gamble’s passing at the age of 68. 'But what you need to know was that he was a sweet, decent man without a single ounce of malice in his heart, one who came through the door every day with a smile on his face.'”

I love hearing that.  And it's that kind of stuff that breaks my heart.

In the end, everyone has a day they will leave us.  Sometimes they take the good ones sooner than they should.

I leave you with Batting Stance guy's tribute to the stance of Oscar Gamble...

Rest in peace, friend.

American Eagle

1 comment:

  1. I met Oscar by accident at the Stadium many years ago, as my son, 12 at the time, won a dugout pass before Gametime. Oscar and I spoke for an hour and somehow exchanged phone numbers. He called me next time he was in town and over the next several years did baseball clinics for me every year with a youth baseball program I ran. He and I became the very best of friends and spoke nearly every week until the day he died. He spent so much time at my home and with my family, we all cried when his wife told me that he had passed. Oscar was a wonderful man, the nicest guy a person could know, and I will deeply misss him. Once my wife asked him if it bothered him when folks asked him for an autograph, and he said that he was happy every time because he enjoyed making others happpy. Oscar brought me to so many Yankee events over the years that I got to know so many of his old teammates who had the very same feeling for Oscar- a wonderful teammate and a dear soul, just a good man who never complained or said a bad word about anyone. I will miss his smile and laughter, his wonderful big league stories and willingness to do anything to make you happy. The person he was closest to was Mickey Rivers, who could barely speak about it. Today is Oscars funeral services in Montgomery Alabama, and I was unable to make it from New York, but my heart will be with his family today.


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