Foto Friday #8: New York's Cup Runneth Over
As a segue to Bob Timmermann's guest column yesterday on "The World of Catcher's Interference," we bring you Foto Friday #8.
Nope, that's not a gas mask, folks. That's a holy cup, so to speak.
Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to name the player whose ear it appears as if the cup is growing out of and his two sidekicks. For bonus points, select the correct date, location, and what took place that day. Getting the correct answers may take a bit of digging, but all of these mysteries can be solved (except for the name of the stage "hand" in the background).
Answers (added at 4:30 pm PT): From left to right, the three players in the photo are Hank Bauer, Norm Siebern, and Yogi Berra. The date is June 17, 1956. The location is the visitor's clubhouse in Cleveland Municipal Stadium. Bauer, Siebern, and Berra all hit home runs to lead the Yankees to a 9-4 victory over the Indians.
The caption for the AP Wire Photo read as follows:
"CLEVELAND, JUNE 17--YANKEE SLUGGERS--This trio of hitters accounted for as many home runs today as the New York Yankees downed the Cleveland Indians 8-4 [sic] to make a full sweep of a three-game series. Left, Hank Bauer, whose three-run homer in the seventh; center, Norm Siebern, who came up from Denver and hit his first major league home run; and Yogi Berra. Siebern and Berra connected for two-run homers in the first off Early Wynn, who was charged with the defeat."
My Dad was working the desk at the Long Beach Independent, Press-Telegram back then and kept a copy of the photo, caption, and the following note to editors, entitled "WIREPHOTO ELIMINATION ... Wirephoto CD1 of today, showing New York Yankee players celebrating victory over Cleveland Indians, is eliminated to all points. Picture is of questionable taste because of object in background."
The photo and the note from the AP is what makes this one a classic (and perhaps never published before). Sadly, we almost never see such photos today...oh, not of a cup in the background but just three ballplayers arm-in-arm with smiles as if they had just won the World Series.
The box score, as provided by Retrosheet and Baseball-Reference.com, contains a wealth of information, such as the fact that future Hall of Famers Whitey Ford and Early Wynn were the starting pitchers and neither finished two innings with the latter failing to record a single out. Rip Coleman, who pitched the final six innings for the Yankees, was credited with the win.
Mickey Mantle, who went on to win the Triple Crown and MVP, was hitting .382 with a 1.248 OPS as of the date of this game.
There were 41,765 fans in attendance, Cleveland's largest home crowd of the season.