I turned 59 the other day and to be quite frank wasn't thrilled about it. I was forcibly reminded of my advancing years when I read and posted the day before about the passing of former Orioles pitching star Steve Barber.
Today I learned another figure from the Orioles of my youth had passed away. Hank Bauer, former Yankee great (seen here hugging Joe DiMaggio) and manager of the 1966 Orioles team that stunned the favored Dodgers in a four-game sweep of the World Series, died today in Kansas City at the age of 84. I not only recalled the thrill of watching that youthful Orioles team featuring Brooks Robinson, Jim Palmer, Dave McNally, Barber, Paul Blair, Boog Powell, Davey Johnson and newly arrived veteran Frank Robinson among others, I had the opportunity to meet the manager himself in my capacity as sports editor of my high school newspaper. Following their October triumph in the Series, I sought and received permission to interview Bauer at his Memorial Stadium office. I was accompanied by the associate sports editor Steve Norwitz (seen in the picture below on the left). Needless to say, we were in the sports equivalence of heaven that afternoon. By the way, looking back forty-one years, I cannot help notice I was the only one that day not wearing a tie. I still don't wear them except under duress.
For his part, Norwitz, who went on to become a business writer and later the public relations director for major mutual fund company, wrote a wonderful caption headline for this picture: Bauer Hug.