Real Music & Real Estate . . .

Yiddishe Cup’s bandleader, Bert Stratton, is Klezmer Guy.
 

He knows about the band biz and – check this out – the real estate biz too. So maybe he’s really Klezmer Landlord.
 

You may not care about the real estate biz. Hey, you may not care about the band biz.  (See you.)
 

This is a blog with a gamy twist. It features tenants with snakes and skunks, and musicians with smoked fish in their pockets.
 

Stratton is an occasional contributor to the New York Times, the Times of Israel, the Cleveland Plain Dealer and City Journal. He won two Hopwood Awards.


 
 

PITCH

 

My father’s triumvirate of sports heroes was Bob Feller, Harrison Dillard and Jesse Owens.

My father, Toby, went to Ohio State during the Owens era.  My dad lived in the stadium where Owens ran.  (The stadium had a dorm in it.)

Who was Dillard?  I think he won gold medals in track in the 1952 and 1956 Olympics.  [No, it was the 1948 and 1952 Olympics.]

fellerToby bought an insurance policy from Bob Feller.  Toby bought the insurance mostly so he could say, “Bob Feller was in my house.”  Feller inscribed How to Pitch to me. I was 12.   “To my friend Albert.”  Ouch.

Last week’s obituaries on Bob Feller mentioned Feller’s father’s influence on young Bob’s pitching.

Ditto: my dad and my pitching. My father taught me the big-kick windup like Feller (or Marichal) in our driveway.

I didn’t pitch my first year in Little League. I played outfield.

I ran into my Little League manager, Mr. Feldman, at a Yiddishe Cup gig.  I didn’t recognize him, but he knew me.  Mr. Feldman mentioned his sports triumvirate: Zuckerman, Hyatt and Stone.*  Zuckerman, shortstop, became a successful real estate developer in Atlanta; Hyatt (formerly Zylberberg), infield, had been a U.S. Senate candidate and was now a multi-millionaire macher in California; and Stone, first base, was a doctor. “You were good boys,” Mr. Feldman said.

Yep.

My dad became manager the next year. One of Toby’s lessons to the boys was about nepotism.  I pitched.

I didn’t throw the “very small ball,” as Casey Stengel described Feller’s ball.  I threw the large beach ball.  Luckily, I was a lefty, which rattled a few batters.

The big lesson from Bob Feller’s How to Pitch:  Pitch balls.  Pitch insurance.  Keep pitching.

—-
* “Stone, first base” — in Mr. Feldman’s triumvirate — is made up.  I can’t remember who the third player Mr. Feldman mentioned, but the player was definitely a doctor or lawyer.

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3 comments

1 Mark Schilling { 12.29.10 at 10:27 am }

My father also lived in that OSU stadium dorm. I don’t know the exact dates, but he graduated in 1948 — about a decade after Toby, no?

I never met Bob Feller, but I did shake hands with Dizzy Dean. He’d just finished a radio broadcast at the stadium when my father went up to him, with me in tow. This was about 1959. I knew who he was — I loved reading b-ball history books.

I played Little League three seasons, but never as a pitcher. I was a lefty — but too wild.

2 Bill Jones { 12.29.10 at 10:39 am }

Dillard is not only a department store (yes, they are still with us for awhile), but also a running/jogging/walking path (both sides) of MLK Jr. Blvd through Rockefeller Park, in memory of Harrison “Bones” Dillard.

In another one of those peculiar bits of history, Bones took part in the 1953 Maccabiah Games in Ramat Gan. Regrettably, I don’t have enough time to research how he did.

As one of only two men (and he was the first) to get an Olympic medal in both sprint and hurdles, he must have done alright.

3 Bert { 12.29.10 at 10:42 am }

To Mark Schilling (A.) and Bill Jones (B.):

A. To Mark:

My father graduated Ohio State in 1938.

I visited the stadium dorm with him one homecoming in the 1960s. The stadium dorm, by then, looked kind of habitable. In the 1930s it was just one big room with cots.

I just found an interesting Facebook page about it:

http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=20294127758

“In 1933, a group of 75 young male students with limited financial means moved into the bowels of Ohio Stadium and started a tradition of cooperation and scholarship that remains alive today. The concept was the brainchild of Joseph A. Park, who was the university’s dean of men at the time. Park noticed that many Ohio high school students weren’t going to college because they couldn’t afford it.”

****
B. To Bill:

Harrison Dillard is still alive. He’s 87. I used the past tense on Dillard because I didn’t want to explain he was still alive. It would have ruined my “flow.” I probably should have put “Dillard is alive and well” in a footnote!

My father handed me an autograph of Harrison Dillard. I was not that thrilled.

How did Dillard wind up at the Maccabiah Games? I can’t figure that out.

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