"Green Monster" in 1967 Boston Globe; El Birdos

Bapopik at AOL.COM Bapopik at AOL.COM
Sun Feb 6 09:20:39 UTC 2000


    The University of Missouri-Columbia Western Historical Manuscripts
Collection has told me that Peter Tamony's earliest "Green Monster" is from
1974 and 1975.
    For some reason, the NYPL, Columbia, and NYU all do not have the Boston
Globe from 1967.  I checked it out today at the Library of Congress.
Unfortunately, the Boston Herald was not on microfilm and was off-site in

3 October 1967, BOSTON GLOBE, pg. 43--Wall Can Get You--Cepeda.  (Headline.
The story calls it the left field wall--ed.)

3 October 1967, BOSTON GLOBE, pg. 51, col. 1--The Wall at Fenway Park. (...)
That was the day Cat Brecheen also saw The Wall.  Being a pitcher he reacted
conversely.  He came out of the tunnel, looked up at The Wall, and put his
hand out as if to touch it.  "Living death," he said, simply and eloquently.
Years later it impressed The Cat that another southpaw, Mel Parnell, pitched
a no-hit game there, despite Living Death.

3 October 1967, BOSTON GLOBE, pg. 52, col. 1--The Cards worked out at Fenway
Park today and Schoendienst said "I'd like to put blinkers on my righthanded
hitters."  He meant he wants them to ignore Fenway Park's short left field
foul line--and hit their own way.

4 October 1967, BOSTON GLOBE, pg. 54, col. 2--Normally, the first thing that
strikes a visitor to Fenway is the nearness of the left field wall. (...)
"People talk about having to pitch right-handed batters outside here because
of the wall.  Well I (Bob Gibson--ed.) always pitch right-handed batters
outside in every park in the National League.  So what difference does it

5 October 1967, BOSTON GLOBE, pg. ?, cols. 7-8--Hughes' Eyesight Bad, May Not
See the Wall.  (Headline.  The story mentions "the infamous wall"--ed.)

8 October 1967, BOSTON GLOBE, pg. 58, col. 1--"You're more relaxed because
you don't have that big wall staring you in the eye.  The park here (St.
Louis--ed.) is really a better one for hitters.  At Fenway you think about
that wall and the left fielder can play you shorter and catch balls that
won't be caught here."

10 October 1967, BOSTON GLOBE, pg. 41, col. 3--"You feel safe here.  You're
not looking over your shoulder and seeing that green thing out there."

10 October 1967, BOSTON GLOBE, pg. 42--I'll Take Batting Practice, Go for
Green Wall--Yaz.  (Headline.  Continued as "Yaz' Own Words: 'I'm Going for
the Wall.'" on pg. 54, col. 4--ed.)  If the pitchers try to go away from me,
I'm going to try to go for that green wall.

11 October 1967, BOSTON GLOBE, "A Proper Setting for Immortals" by Bud
Collins, pg. 21, col. 4--A butte--Green Death--rises in left field and a
spacious plain stretches into right.  In the corners lurk those three
slippery broads, the Fates, to kick the ball this way and that or to guide it
into their hairnet stretching above Green Death.  This set makes the Fenway
stage the Grand Guignol of baseball, a playground of horrors that would have
compelled the Marquis de Sade to sign a Red Sox contract.

11 October 1967, BOSTON GLOBE, pg. 46, col. 8--The Cardinals didn't hit that
Green Monster in leftfield in their two games here, but a lot of them
peppered it during the workout after the Red Sox had their warmup slashes
Tuesday morning.

    It seem clear that "Green Monster" dates from the 1967 World Series.  The
first two games were in Boston, then three in St. Louis, then two in Boston.
The first two games in Boston were split.  Boston lost the first two in St.
Louis to go 1-3 in the Series.  It seems likely that Boston pitcher Jim
Lonborg, who won game five in St. Louis, coined "Green Monster" at this time.
 Boston won game six, but lost game seven when Lonborg started his third game
after a short rest.


     Paul DIckson's NEW DICKSON BASEBALL DICTIONARY doesn't have "El Birdos."
 The closest he has is "El Foldo," which was submitted by Barry Popik.

3 October 1967, BOSTON GLOBE, pg. 1, col. 3.
     Schoendienst brought his "El Birdos"--the nickname slugger Orlando
Cepeda gave the Cards--to Boston at 9:30 p.m. Monday in a chartered flight
from St. Louis.

6 October 1967, BOSTON GLOBE, pg. 26, col. 6.
_A Bird Is a Bird_
   GRANITE CITY, ILL--High school sophomore Therese Pashea took sports
writers to taks today for calling the St. Louis Cardinals "El Birdos."
   The nickname caught on during the Cardinal rush toward the National League
pennant.  Miss Pashea, a student at Granite City High School, said that "when
using correct Spanish, one uses a plural article with a plural noun."
   Instead of "El Birdos," Miss Pashea said, "it should be 'Los Birdos.'"


2 October 1967, BOSTON GLOBE, pg. 18, col. 2--"Minched (Don Mincher--ed.) hit
one right in the kitchen...right in the kitchen," said (George--ed.) Scott,
using baseball terminology for a fast ball down the middle.  (RHHDAS has 1989
Paul Dickson's BASEBALL DICTIONARY--ed.)

7 October 1967, BOSTON GLOBE, pg. 19, col. 5--It may savor of cornball, but
the Cardiac Kids DID dedicate the season to "the man upstairs."  (RHHDAS

1 October 1967, BOSTON GLOBE, pg. 59, col. 1--...when players choose up sides
to make sure "nice guy" Joe Doakes gets some fat pitches to beat out "slum
bum" Moe Croaks on the last day or two of the season.   (RHHDAS has Joe
Doakes from 1926, but no Moe Croaks--ed.)

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