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Happy Anniversary Mookie

Sep 02 2005 01:34 PM

It was 25 years ago tonight in Los Angeles that William Hayward Wilson became a Major League baseball player.

That afternoon, the first baseman for the Cubs went 1-for-5 and didn't think about what awaited him six years up the line...rolling...

It's Wally's anniversary, too. Who said September callups don't have a long-range impact?


Willets Point
Sep 02 2005 01:38 PM

Wow, very first game and he's STARTING and BATTING LEADOFF. Apparently seasoning your rookies was not the fad then it is now.

Edgy DC
Sep 02 2005 01:43 PM

Well, they were deep in lastish place.

Brooks came up at the same time, but didn't debut until the fourth. Good crop, even if it did take them a stoopid long time to commit to Backman.

Head out to Staten Island tonight with a "Happy Anniversary, Mookie!" banner. The 'Clones are fighting for their young lives, 3.5 games out with seven to play. They need your support.

SI Metman
Sep 03 2005 01:14 AM

I was at Staten Island tonight and got to sit next to Mookie. Scored tickets from a neighbor this afternoon and had first row and first seat next to the clones dugout. Snapped a bunch of pics with the digital that I'll upload tomorrow.

Clones won 3-0 for a happy anniversary for Mookie.

Sep 03 2005 01:31 AM

Happy Anniversary Mookie!
He gave me some great Met memories over the years. Even those lean early 80's.
Hail to DaMook

Sep 03 2005 07:38 AM

On a related note - my dog Mookie turns 10 on September 7th.

Bret Sabermetric
Sep 03 2005 08:50 AM

On a related note, my daughter Mookie starts Barnard on Tuesday. (She doesn't turn 19 until Series time, naturally.)

Sep 03 2005 08:54 AM

Best of luck to her. Have her give me a shout if she has any questions.

And while my daughter isn't named Mookie, she actually has a Sept. 7 birthday.

Bret Sabermetric
Sep 03 2005 10:06 AM

She wouldn't ask for help if her hair were on fire, but I'll pass that along.

And give your birthday girl an extra hug from me.

Sep 03 2005 10:11 AM

Thanks :)

Sep 03 2005 03:19 PM

soupcan wrote:
On a related note - my dog Mookie turns 10 on September 7th.

Remember the Cow Parade? In 2000 the city placed lifesize ceramic cows all over Manhattan and in prominent spots in the other boroughs. They were designed by a variety of artists to reflect any number of themes. One of them was the Moooookie Cow. It had a picture of William Hayward Wilson on the side and was placed briefly outside one of the gates to Shea.

Why briefly? Because Mookie, then our first base coach, demanded it be removed (or remooooved). The artist had never contacted him, and Mookie seemed a little offended that somebody would do this. To the rest of the world, it looked like homage or at least good fun. Mookie told a reporter (paraphrasing) that "people tell me all the time that they name their dog or their cat Mookie. I tell them that it's your dog or cat but it's my name." He was a little mysterious about the whole thing. Maybe going through life being known primarily for having an unusual name and getting on base in an unusual fashion at a most critical time have worn on him.

It shouldn't. We love him for both.

In any event, Happy Tenth Birthday Mookie.

Edgy DC
Sep 03 2005 04:55 PM
Edited 6 time(s), most recently on Sep 03 2005 07:38 PM

Easy enough to see Mookie's point. People named their slaves with the same flippancy and cleverness they reserved for pets. And people still choose black archetypes for pet names. My cousin had a big fat cat named Jermimah. So I can see how Wilson would see it as something of a mixed honor to see his name applied to a schnauzer.

Now, that's just part of it. It goes both ways. Players get nicknames from the animal world. Obviously people (Scarlet, for example) name dogs after white players, and black players (James "Buddha" Edwards, for example) have drawn nicknames from honored foreign persons (and followers of the Buddha probably wouldn't think that nickname very cute).

"Mookie," of course, isn't his name, but his broadly-used nickname. At any rate, the artist should probably ask permission before displaying such a thing in public outside his place of work. I saw the Phil Rizzuto Holy Cow statue at Cooperstown. Sort of an unclever waste of space.

I thnk he'd take it better if he more frequently heard from the peeps that call their sons or daughters after him.

That's just how we relate to athletes, in a somewhat shallow, highly caricaturized way similar to how we relate to playful new pet.

Bret Sabermetric
Sep 03 2005 05:01 PM

Also Mookie's playing style, if he would allow the liberty (I suspect not), is sorta like that of a highly energetic, playful Golden Retriever, eager for approval, fueled by endless supplies of effort.

Plus "Mookie" kinda sounds like a good name for a pet. If his nickname were "The Big Hurt," for example, he would have no complaint about all the pets being named after him.

Sep 03 2005 05:03 PM

Gerry Martire, DJ on Q104.3 and a family friend (he was roommates with my dad at SUNY-Binghamton) named his dog Mookie.

Sep 03 2005 05:28 PM

]Easy enough to see Mookie's point.

Some years ago, I was working on a story whose point of contact was an African-American executive whose first name was James. My dope of an editor for some reason got involved and, in this way he had of addressing people he didn't know in familiar terms, reached him on the phone and said "hi Jim." Silence greeted him. "Jim?" And the guy said, "there's nobody named Jim here. This is James."

I thought of that when the Mookie-Cow Parade thing happened. Whether it's a "black thing" or just an individual thing, one should take care when messing with somebody's identity.

]Gerry Martire, DJ on Q104.3 and a family friend (he was roommates with my dad at SUNY-Binghamton) named his dog Mookie.

Gerry Martire? Wow. I remember him from WBAB doing his "theater of the mind" Gerry's Gin Joint bit before the '86 World Series. He went on about how one of his unsmiling bartenders was stubbornly wearing a Yankees cap, how they unfurled the '73 NL Champs banner over the bar and how they loaded the jukebox with "Let's Go Mets". Although a friend of mine and I liked to poke fun at the clinking of glasses in the background ("clink!"), I get a little chill thinking of that particular broadcast. I still have my WBAB-Mets bumper sticker around here somewhere. If you speak to him, tell him at least one occasional listener remembers his work of 10/17/86 quite fondly.

Sep 03 2005 06:19 PM

As Edgy hinted, our late bichon frise's middle name was Dykstra. So named because she'd run into things head first, shake it off, then be fine. We considered it a fitting homage.

Johnny Dickshot
Sep 03 2005 08:19 PM

How do you show the world you love rock n' roll?

Frayed Knot
Sep 03 2005 11:17 PM

The usual answer to that question (being Long Island and all) was;
"with a WBAB bumpa sticka!"

" ... and could ya play some 'Zebra for me'?"

Edgy DC
Sep 05 2005 11:24 AM

Oops, that non-sequiter left us head-scratching when we should have been celebrating Hubie's anniversary.

Sep 05 2005 12:37 PM

I named a cardinal neon tetra after Tony Pena once

Then I got really creative and named my son after him

Sep 05 2005 12:41 PM

You named your son Tetra? Weird.

Sep 05 2005 12:49 PM

He loves it

Edgy DC
Sep 07 2005 09:39 AM

Twenty-five years ago, Marty Bystrom made his big-league debut against the Mets. He pitched a five-hit shutout and went on to catch lightning in a bottle and go 5-0 in September. The Phils, being no phools, declared Randy Lerch and Nino Espinosa too injured to make the post-season roster and carried Bystrom, along with fellow-rookies Dickie Noles and Bob Walk, on their post-season roster. I'm sure, if it came to it, they would have personally broken Lerch's and Espinosa's arms.

Bystrom started that excellent game five of the Phillies-Astros playoff against Nolan Ryan.