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NYMutt
Oct 07 2005 10:34 PM

Hi Everyone!
I'm new to the board, but a life-long Mets fan. I am currently co-authoring a book with the 1977 Mets MVP, Lenny Randle, and I am in search of any great stories that you all might have about him.

I have read all of the Fan Memories about him on the UMD, and I am especially interested in finding the person who posted the story of how Lenny jumped into the stands and signed autographs. If anyone knows who it is, please let him know I am looking for him!

I appreciate your help, and I look forward to spending time talking baseball with all of you!

Edgy DC
Oct 07 2005 10:42 PM

Whoah. Great job.

I've got nothing.

I think my cousin went to Shea sat next to his mother, who said "That's my boy!" a lot. But that's the kind of crap your cousin tells you when you're ten.

Welcome abordick.

Zvon
Oct 07 2005 10:47 PM

Im writing a book about batboys of all sizes so when you have time I will need to interview you. Please and thankyou.
Contact me on the [url]www.BatBoysForum.com[/url] message board.

Johnny Dickshot
Oct 07 2005 11:34 PM

I probably can't tell you more than you already know but that makes only one of us.

Tell us about what set him off. By most accounts Lenny was a well-liked guy but something sure drove him to ultraviolence that day in Florida. He hit Lucessi even after he was down. I don't think he ever had another problem and after that either.

I recall him getting on hands and knees to blow a ball foul while playing for Seattle.

Good luck with your project.

NYMutt
Oct 08 2005 12:07 AM

Thanks for the welcome, and Zvon, I like my batboys monsterously huge! BTW- I am mom to 9 kids, yes, I love baseball so much I went and had my own team!

As far as the Lucchesi thing goes... Lenny really loved playing for Billy Martin, who he calls his baseball God-father (a term that ballplayers use for the people that they learned the most from as rookies and young players). He was pretty disappointed when Texas let Billy go, and on top of it he had a severe groin injury, which Lucchesi insisted that he play through. Lucchesi had what has been called an Edward G. Robinson, outdated, good ole boy attitude, with a temper tantrum personality.

Although the fight was reported to be over Lenny losing his job to Bump Wills, Lenny and Bump were actually good friends, and Bump's father, Maury, actually taught Lenny how to switch hit. The truth is that the fight was a culmination of the anger that was built up inside of Lenny because of the continuous grinding he got from Lucchesi. The straw that broke the camel's back was when Lucchesi called Lenny a "punk" to the media. Two weeks later, the fans were yelling "punk" at Lenny from the stands, and he and Lucchesi got into an arguement in front of the dugout, in which Lucchesi called him a "punk" while waving his finger in his face, almost sticking it up Lenny's nose. Lenny finally had it, and he beat the living hell out of the guy! Did a good job too! Busted quite a few bones, including his cheekbone and a few ribs, I think. Lenny was actually put on trial in Florida, but when players like Billy Martin, Mickey Mantle and Lou Brock showed up to defend Lenny's character, it was pretty much an open and shut case. All the judge really cared about was getting a pair of Texas boots from Mickey Mantle! Lenny did recieve a few death threats after he got off though.

From what I have heard from other players, Lucchesi deserved it, and they wish that they would have done it themselves! Lenny has never had another problem since then. He is really a stand up guy, and a lot of fun to be around, but it's kinda sad that everyone remebers him for beating the crap out of his manager.
Thanks!

Johnny Dickshot
Oct 08 2005 12:12 AM

Nobody deserves to get their face beaten in, but OK.

NYMutt
Oct 08 2005 12:43 AM

I didn't say that I agreed with it, just passing on the info that the players have told me! There was still a lot of racism going on in baseball back then, even 30 years after Jackie! Do I understand why he did it? Yes! Do I think that it was right that he did it? No. Branch Rickey picked Jackie because Jackie would walk away from it. Josh Gibson was up for the same job, and he told Rickey that if someone called him the "N-word" he would kick their ass.

As fans, I don't think that we see the athletes as black, or Latino, or Japanese or Korean. We just see them as ballplayers! It's different inside the game, or at least it was.

Yancy Street Gang
Oct 08 2005 06:08 AM

Lenny was actually put on trial in Florida, but when players like Billy Martin, Mickey Mantle and Lou Brock showed up to defend Lenny's character, it was pretty much an open and shut case. All the judge really cared about was getting a pair of Texas boots from Mickey Mantle!

That paragraph disturbs me.

The good news is, that if it had happened a few decades before (a black man beating up a white man) it would have been an open and shut case in the other direction. The fact that Lenny was acquited was a sign of progress.

But there's no disputing that Lenny beat up Luchessi. To be acquited because he has celebrity friends and because Mickey Mantle bribed the judge with a pair of boots doesn't really sound much like justice.

If the defense was that Lenny was a nice guy who did a bad thing, maybe that should figure into the sentencing, but not an acquital. Certainly not to the point of it being an "open and shut case."

Edgy DC
Oct 08 2005 09:01 AM

Well, there's plenty of precedence in mounting a defense against battery by claiming a guy was deliberately provoked with fighting words, whether you or I agree with that or not.

Pretty goofy that the Mets got Elliott Maddox, the marginally talented guy exiled because he couldn't get along with Billy Martin, and Lenny Randle, the marginally talented guy exiled because he couldn't get along without him:

From the UMDB:

]"I wore number 11 because #1 is for God
in my life to deal with so much, and a tribute to Billy Martin, who was my Godfather in the Big Leagues. Guys wear different numbers for different reasons. I wore #34 as a Yankee for 34 fantastic people in my life, #21 as a Cub because of Roberto Clemente and the beautiful people I met in Puerto Rico." Lenny reports he is in New York and recently authored a book, "From Compton to Beyond the Big Leagues." Details are available at LennyRandle.com.



DON'T BLOW IT!
GO TO COLLEGE!

<

sharpie
Oct 08 2005 11:03 AM

I went to high school with Lucchesi's pretty daughter. She was the only one in California with a Texas Rangers bumper sticker.

Never met her dad but went over to her house one day. The living room was dominated by baseball memorabilia including a giganto oil painting of Frank.

NYMutt
Oct 08 2005 12:04 PM

C'mon, you guys can't be real NYers if you are trying to tell me that you never beat the crap out of someone, or at least tried to!

As far as our lovely justice system goes... Lenny was not the first and won't be the last to get a walk. Again, not saying that I agree, but just telling it like it is.

Johnny Dickshot
Oct 08 2005 12:28 PM

mbtn.net, not umdb.

anywise, the email had some editing as it initially was written Ron Hunt* syle:

"I WORE NUMBER 11 BECAUSE #1 US FOR GOD IN MY LIFE TO DEAL WITH SO MUCH...


*- was that Ron Hunt? Or a different guy?

I've never been in a fight except when some coward meathead slugged me while I was seated in 1987 and the worst damage I suffered was from running away.

And the issuer with the Randall beatdown wasn't just that he was provoked and slugged the guy but that he continued to whaling on him after he was down.

soupcan
Oct 08 2005 02:10 PM

I've got a Lenny Randle story!

When Lenny was with the Mets I guess I was what - 12, 13?

Anyway it was late '70's, Mets sucked, nobody ever went to the games. I would go, buy a general admission ticket for $1.50, slip the field level guard $2 to get onto field level and then give an usher another $2 and he'd bring me down to the front row on the third base side next to the visitors dugout. I liked that side because you could look into the Mets dugout the whole game.

Anyhoo - one game Lenny's playing third and there's a high pop fly. The catcher lost sight and didn't know where it went. Lenny charges in and runs full speed right to the barrier in front of my seat but he just missed it. He's standing maybe two feet right in front of me (12-13 year-old, wide-eyed Mets fan) and yells 'FUCK!' Then just jogged back to third.

I thought it was great.

KC
Oct 08 2005 02:20 PM

It's like soupcan was destined to sit in the good seats. I didn't go that many
games at that age, but sneaking down to the loge after the fourth inning was
about as adventurous as we were.

Edgy DC
Oct 08 2005 10:56 PM

Rod Gaspar was the correspondent who thought that you weren't really praising God unless you did it in SPOOKY CAPITAL LETTERS.

Don't know whay that bothered me. Just did.

soupcan
Oct 09 2005 10:44 AM

KC wrote:
It's like soupcan was destined to sit in the good seats. I didn't go that many
games at that age, but sneaking down to the loge after the fourth inning was
about as adventurous as we were.


Well I wasn't going by myself - I had a family friend who was about 18 that would go with me. Most of the moxie came from her.

As to being pre-destined, once I found out my then-girlfriend-now-wife's family controlled primo seats at The Big Shea that sealed the deal for me