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BainesHOF
10-26-2004, 04:28 AM
Just wanted to pass along a couple quick stories after talking to them at a show signing this past Sunday.

As some of you know, Nicholson hit one of the longest home runs in baseball history in a 1964 game at Comiskey Park. It was estimated at 573 feet. As with most titanic blasts, there was some question as to how far it really traveled. I'm certainly no expert on the subject having been born in 1967, but I do know there was a question, at least by some, whether the ball bounced on the left-field roof on its way to landing in the park outside of Comiskey. Nicholson told me he still has the ball. After the game he traded the bat he used to hit the homer it. I asked him if there was any mark on the ball showing that it may have bounced off the roof and he said no.

Regarding "Jungle" Jim Rivera, my dad told me he was known for his head-first slides before they became popular in baseball. I asked Rivera where he learned how to slide head first. He said it just happened one day in the minor leagues. He hit a ball in the left-field gap and as he rounded second heading for a triple, he saw the throw go to the inside of the bag so he instinctively slid head-first to the outside to avoid the tag. "I didn't know any better," Rivera laughed.

A nice bonus was that you could actually read their autographs, unlike the majority of today's players.

davenicholson
10-26-2004, 06:03 AM
Just wanted to pass along a couple quick stories after talking to them at a show signing this past Sunday.

As some of you know, Nicholson hit one of the longest home runs in baseball history in a 1964 game at Comiskey Park. It was estimated at 573 feet. As with most titanic blasts, there was some question as to how far it really traveled. I'm certainly no expert on the subject having been born in 1967, but I do know there was a question, at least by some, whether the ball bounced on the left-field roof on its way to landing in the park outside of Comiskey. Nicholson told me he still has the ball. After the game he traded the bat he used to hit the homer it. I asked him if there was any mark on the ball showing that it may have bounced off the roof and he said no.

Regarding "Jungle" Jim Rivera, my dad told me he was known for his head-first slides before they became popular in baseball. I asked Rivera where he learned how to slide head first. He said it just happened one day in the minor leagues. He hit a ball in the left-field gap and as he rounded second heading for a triple, he saw the throw go to the inside of the bag so he instinctively slid head-first to the outside to avoid the tag. "I didn't know any better," Rivera laughed.

A nice bonus was that you could actually read their autographs, unlike the majority of today's players.Darn, I forgot all about that signing--it would have been nice to meet my namesake! Man, I remember that blast, and the graphic in the Sun Times the next day. That was when I was a 7 year-old Sox FANatic, and my world revolved around my favorite team. I even tried to learn to throw lefty in order to emulate my all-time favorite player, Gary Peters. Ahh, sweet youth...

Lip Man 1
10-26-2004, 01:24 PM
Some historical notes of Jim and Dave (Damn! I wish I knew how to get ahold of Jim for a WSI Interview!)

April 23, 1955- The Sox first ever visit to Kansas City proves to be a memorable one as they beat the As 29- 6 blasting seven home runs. Also during this series "Jungle" Jim Rivera hits a home run to win the game then says to former first lady Bess Truman who was watching , "Im sure sorry my home run beat your club, but it was a helluva wallop, eh Bess?"

April 10, 1961- And then there was "Jungle" Jim Rivera. At the home opener for the Senators, Rivera pushed aside Washington pitcher Hal Woodeschick to grab the "first pitch" thrown by President John Kennedy. After Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson signed the ball, Rivera said "Youll have to do better then that John. This is a scribble that I can hardly read!"

I actually have the video of the Lead Off Man show from this date broadcast by WGN-TV showing the entire affair. It really was pretty remarkable. Jim looked like a kid in the candy store when he caught that ball!

Just FYI if you go to the Jim Landis interview here at WSI he talks a lot about both men and also mentions Rivera's game saving catch in game #5 of the 1959 World Series (which I also have on audio) It is still one of the greatest catches ever made in series play.

Landis also confirms a story about what happened to the locker room shower heads after Big Nick got a hold of them!

Lip

BainesHOF
10-26-2004, 01:39 PM
I'm not sure how much this would help you, but I believe I heard Nicholson say he still has a bar in Indiana, while I think Rivera said he lives in the area (maybe it was Schaumburg.) You could probably track down contact info through the promoter of the signings shows held at Judson College in Elgin. This past show was advertised in SCD. There's another one coming up in a month or two.

Lip Man 1
10-26-2004, 06:06 PM
Baines:

I talked to Billy Pierce about it today and he said Jim splits his time between Ft. Wayne, Indiana and Florida.

The problem is that he changes his phone number every six months, twice a year because of his travels (???)

I've had a few numbers for him but they are always disconnected. new numbers are unlisted.

Lip

DannyCaterFan
10-26-2004, 08:38 PM
I was 12 years old the night Dave Nicholson homered over the roof at old Comiskey. My father often got his boss's upper deck box seats in 1964. I believe it was a twi-night doubleheader and Dave homered 3 times that evening. We were seated between home and first base and I had a clear view when the ball sailed over the roof. It disappeared into the night and I did not see it hit the roof. I believe it soared clear over into Armour Park. It was a great season with the Sox finishing just behind the Yankees again. I sit here typing and waiting for my first Sox world series. You see, I became a fan on opening day 1960, when I went to my first game.

PaulDrake
10-27-2004, 08:28 AM
IIRC the ball rolled onto the field at Armour Square park as a softball game was in progress. Dave Nicholson was the Joe Borchard of my generation. Too bad he couldn't realize all that "potential".

Dick Allen
10-27-2004, 10:55 AM
I was 12 years old the night Dave Nicholson homered over the roof at old Comiskey. My father often got his boss's upper deck box seats in 1964. I believe it was a twi-night doubleheader and Dave homered 3 times that evening. We were seated between home and first base and I had a clear view when the ball sailed over the roof. It disappeared into the night and I did not see it hit the roof. I believe it soared clear over into Armour Park. It was a great season with the Sox finishing just behind the Yankees again. I sit here typing and waiting for my first Sox world series. You see, I became a fan on opening day 1960, when I went to my first game.You and I are about the same age and I too became a fan in 1960, one year too late. Didn't Minnie Minoso hit a grand slam in that opener, and also another HR which won the game in the 9th?

DannyCaterFan
10-27-2004, 03:36 PM
You and I are about the same age and I too became a fan in 1960, one year too late. Didn't Minnie Minoso hit a grand slam in that opener, and also another HR which one the game in the 9th?
Apparently, we are the same age. My first Sox game ever was that opening day in 1960. I think it was against the Kansas City A's. I know Minnie Minoso did hit a home run that game, in fact I think he hit 2. I was 8 years old. It was after and during that game that my love for the White Sox developed. So, just like you, I have suffered for the past 44 years. I remember them being in the World Series in 59, but really had not developed the interest yet.
Well I am 52 years old now, and starting to wonder if our boys will ever win a championship.
One other thing, I also think that the opener in 1960 was the first time they had an exploding scoreboard. I was one thrilled kid to see that. What I really remember the most though, and this is something today's kids can't appreciate, is when i walked into the park those first few times in the early 60's, I was overwhelmed by the beauty of all the colors. You see, back then we were accustomed to only seeing them on small black and white TV.

Lip Man 1
10-27-2004, 05:56 PM
You are correct. Minnie did hit a grand slam in a 10-9 opening day win over the A's in 1960.Lip

Dick Allen
10-27-2004, 09:15 PM
Apparently, we are the same age. My first Sox game ever was that opening day in 1960. I think it was against the Kansas City A's. I know Minnie Minoso did hit a home run that game, in fact I think he hit 2. I was 8 years old. It was after and during that game that my love for the White Sox developed. So, just like you, I have suffered for the past 44 years. I remember them being in the World Series in 59, but really had not developed the interest yet.
Well I am 52 years old now, and starting to wonder if our boys will ever win a championship.
One other thing, I also think that the opener in 1960 was the first time they had an exploding scoreboard. I was one thrilled kid to see that. What I really remember the most though, and this is something today's kids can't appreciate, is when i walked into the park those first few times in the early 60's, I was overwhelmed by the beauty of all the colors. You see, back then we were accustomed to only seeing them on small black and white TV.This may sound corny, but when I went to my first game that year, my father remembers me remarking that "it's in color". So I know exactly what you mean.

mike squires
10-27-2004, 10:11 PM
Luzinski hit a bomb in 83' that I'm pretty sure went over the roof off Oil Can boyd. I'm not saying his went further than Nicholson's but it certainly was a bomb. I've got the highlights and the third basemen and left fielder don't even budge. The next day in the paper Leyland said it looked like a golf ball...

Lip Man 1
10-28-2004, 09:58 AM
Greg hit three rooftop shots in 83 off Brian Oelkers, Ray Fonteneu and Oil Can.

Lip

Dick Allen
10-28-2004, 11:34 AM
Greg hit three rooftop shots in 83 off Brian Oelkers, Ray Fonteneu and Oil Can.

LipWasn't home plate moved up around that time, making for a shorter distance to the roof?

BainesHOF
10-28-2004, 01:40 PM
Wasn't home plate moved up around that time, making for a shorter distance to the roof?
You are correct, sir, though I'm not sure of the year the move was made.