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By Bernie Davenport, Eleanor Dykstra, Jerry Flory, and others (Contributors)

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It was a coin toss, for example, that made him the first batboy for the San Francisco Giants instead of working the visiting clubhouse at Seals Stadium. And that's how he got to know manager Bill Rigney so well. "He was the classiest guy in the world. Showering after games he'd ask my opinions, almost like talking to himself, and I just always agreed with him. ' 'I dunno,' I said. " Arlene Francis guessed what, and quickly, too. But back in San Francisco, Red got a stack of mail from that appearance.

Amid Merritt's collection of bats in his Levittown, New York, home, a framed copy of that picture, signed by all the principals, takes pride of place. Merritt is cool about it now, but at the time he took a lot of heat from the Kansas City dugout, where John Wathan especially got on him for not grabbing the bat quicker. It is the eye of the camera, whether video or still, that usually frames a batboy for his shot at immortality. Paul Gonoud, who happened to be there to see Merritt Riley's moment of fame, had his own cameo appearance during a televised game against the Brewers at Yankee Stadium.

Was getting some coverage anyway. " If pictures are the proof of a batboy's significance, three historical items may be placed in evidence. One is the photograph of John McBride standing between Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig in Comiskey Park just after Ruth had completed his home run trot in the third inning of the first All-Star Game in 1933. Another is the 1969 Topps bubble gum bobble of Aurelio Rodriguez: Rodriguez wasn't there for the card picture, so batboy Leonard Garcia in his Angels uniform posed in his placeand passed.

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Baseball Coaching Manual (2007) (Coaching Education) by Bernie Davenport, Eleanor Dykstra, Jerry Flory, and others (Contributors)


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