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Len Barker's Perfecto- what is your memory?

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Len Barker's Perfecto- what is your memory?

Unread postby googleeph2 » Sat May 05, 2012 8:08 am

Fellow Tribe fans-

I do a weekly 'Tribe Game Vault' column here for Swerb and Peeker.

A Lenny Barker/perfect game piece is bubbling to the surface in my Tribe-addled brain, and I'm pretty much thinking that will be what I'll post for this Wednesday.

If you - or anyone you know- have any memories of that night in 1981, I am interested in knowing those if you'd like to share.

There is a lot of nice info on that night, online, just waiting to be pulled together in one place. So I am all set with the details of the actual game.

I am interested in YOUR story. Where were you/ who were you with/ your thoughts, impressions/ how did that night play out for you.

I plan to interweave your personal accounts with the game story.

Feel free to leave your thoughts here in this thread- or, if you PM me, give me a heads up here so I can make a mental note to go figure out how to access that. :-)

(I am 50, after all)

Thanks in advance! Greg

PS:

***** I will probably need to hold to a Monday morning deadline*****

Isn't it a lot more fun to talk about this kind of stuff when the Tribe is winning?
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Re: Len Barker's Perfecto- what is your memory?

Unread postby peeker643 » Sat May 05, 2012 9:44 am

It was a Friday because I was home sick from school with mono(8th or 9th grade).

Miserably sick.

My parents went out for dinner and a friend came over to watch the game.

Probably on Channel 43??

Game went as the game went and I remember my parents coming to me screaming and jumping around when Manning caught the Ernie Whitt fly ball.

It wasn't like today. It happened and you listened to post game or Pete Franklin or local news for highlights but that was it til This Week in Baseball the next week. There wasn't the celebration and 24 hour video highlights or it being seen again as an instant classic.

I remember going to Barker's next start (or maybe home start?) which was on a Saturday afternoon. I think his first three innings there perfect too until he gave up a hit. Big Boy had pledged free sandwiches to all who attended if he did it again. Don't know how they would have stood the losses of those 3500 Bib Boys.

Yeah...the guys thinking the attendance issues are new should have seen it back then.
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Re: Len Barker's Perfecto- what is your memory?

Unread postby Spin » Sat May 05, 2012 10:20 am

It was about 9:30 and I was in the living room watching TV with my mom (I was 15) when it came across the bottom of the screen. So mom switched over to channel 43 and we watched the rest of the game.

I remember celebrating, much in the same way we did the olympic hockey team. I knew at the time it was something big, but it wasn't until later I understood just how big.

Signs of the times, if I would have gone to my room to watch it, I would be watching a "portable" black and white TV. It had an Atari game system hooked up, one of the original ones that had a switch on the front for black and white TV's. Now my sons all have wide flat screen HD sets and high tech game systems.
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Re: Len Barker's Perfecto- what is your memory?

Unread postby googleeph2 » Sat May 05, 2012 10:23 am

Nice. Barker did pitch the following Wed, at home. Complete game loser, 3-2 vs. the Mariners.

Describe your tv at the time, peeker.
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Re: Len Barker's Perfecto- what is your memory?

Unread postby pup » Sun May 06, 2012 9:48 am

I was there. I called a great game that day. Lenny did not shake my signs off a single time. He still hasn't thanked me.
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Re: Len Barker's Perfecto- what is your memory?

Unread postby peeker643 » Sun May 06, 2012 10:07 am

googleeph2 wrote:Nice. Barker did pitch the following Wed, at home. Complete game loser, 3-2 vs. the Mariners.

Describe your tv at the time, peeker.



May have well been a Wednesday start. Hazy memories. We had a TV in the living room that was a console. You know, surrounded/boxed in by wood. Cable box was a dial kind that you could open up in back and 'notch' the premium channels to break the block on them and get them for nothing.

Which I did. Old man was outwardly bent about that and secretly thrilled. ;-) ;) :wink:

Had an old TV an aunt gave me upstairs in my room that had a remote that actually, visibly, physically turned the knob on the front of it and made a sound like prison bars closing each time it turned channels. 3, 5, 8, 19 and 43. That was it before cable saved all of us.
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Re: Len Barker's Perfecto- what is your memory?

Unread postby googleeph2 » Sun May 06, 2012 11:48 am

pup wrote:I was there. I called a great game that day. Lenny did not shake my signs off a single time. He still hasn't thanked me.


That guy is so grounded, and likes Cleveland so much, that if you told him that in person, with a smile, he'd be liable to smile back and thank you.
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Re: Len Barker's Perfecto- what is your memory?

Unread postby Spin » Sun May 06, 2012 5:00 pm

googleeph2 wrote:Nice. Barker did pitch the following Wed, at home. Complete game loser, 3-2 vs. the Mariners.

Describe your tv at the time, peeker.


Sorry, wrong forum for nostalgia.
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Re: Len Barker's Perfecto- what is your memory?

Unread postby FUDU » Sun May 06, 2012 5:30 pm

peeker643 wrote:
googleeph2 wrote:Nice. Barker did pitch the following Wed, at home. Complete game loser, 3-2 vs. the Mariners.

Describe your tv at the time, peeker.



May have well been a Wednesday start. Hazy memories. We had a TV in the living room that was a console. You know, surrounded/boxed in by wood. Cable box was a dial kind that you could open up in back and 'notch' the premium channels to break the block on them and get them for nothing.

Which I did. Old man was outwardly bent about that and secretly thrilled. ;-) ;) :wink:

Had an old TV an aunt gave me upstairs in my room that had a remote that actually, visibly, physically turned the knob on the front of it and made a sound like prison bars closing each time it turned channels. 3, 5, 8, 19 and 43. That was it before cable saved all of us.

Seriously about the remote?

We still didn't own a color TV at that time.

My memory is mostly the fact that there were so few people there and from that moment on so many people claim they were there.
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Re: Len Barker's Perfecto- what is your memory?

Unread postby bookelly » Sun May 06, 2012 5:30 pm

I actually WAS at the game, and have the ticket framed in glass to prove it. PM me and I'll e-mail a picture of it for your article. For that matter if you wish I can answer any questions you may have.

I was 8 years old and my best friend and neighbor's dad had 4 season tickets. It was a cold and miserable rainy night but my old man and his took us kids to the game anyway.

I've been meaning to write a guest column on the matter so I won't go into to much detail except one thing which really sticks in my mind. As the game got into the 7th inning, the few fans in the old stadium spread out and started banging the seats in unison, "LEN-NEY *bang *bang" "LEN-NEY *bang *bang" It was quite electric and cool. The scoreboard flashing 97...98...95...99...getting faster as the game wore on.

That game really started my whole love of baseball.

/Interesting bit of obscure trivia...Richard Squire II (my friends dad) was probably the only man alive who had witnessed two perfect games in person. As a kid he was at Don Larson's perfecto and then Lenny. I say was because I'm sure there are now a few dozen (at least) Yankee fans who saw Wells and Cone.
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Re: Len Barker's Perfecto- what is your memory?

Unread postby googleeph2 » Sun May 06, 2012 6:59 pm

Good stuff for those who have a memory of the game.

Bookelly, I PM'd you. Ignore the first one. Thanks!
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Re: Len Barker's Perfecto- what is your memory?

Unread postby leadpipe » Sun May 06, 2012 8:10 pm

What some of the younger posters might not understand that for someone around 40, that was THE ONLY baeball moment that put Cleveland on the map for our entire lives until the mid-nineties. Not a worthwhile national moment, including a contending team from 1970 (the year those around 40 were born) until the mid-nineties.

25 years worth of GARBAGE.

Anyway, didn't go to an elementary school night at the Rollerdrome, and caught the game with my Dad and uncle. Etched in my memory because, as mentioned, what the hell else was there to remember.

By the way, Lenny is still in the area and says he never gets sick talking about it. Still signs baseballs with that date upon request.
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Re: Len Barker's Perfecto- what is your memory?

Unread postby peeker643 » Sun May 06, 2012 9:33 pm

leadpipe wrote:What some of the younger posters might not understand that for someone around 40, that was THE ONLY baeball moment that put Cleveland on the map for our entire lives until the mid-nineties. Not a worthwhile national moment, including a contending team from 1970 (the year those around 40 were born) until the mid-nineties.

25 years worth of GARBAGE.

Anyway, didn't go to an elementary school night at the Rollerdrome, and caught the game with my Dad and uncle. Etched in my memory because, as mentioned, what the hell else was there to remember.

By the way, Lenny is still in the area and says he never gets sick talking about it. Still signs baseballs with that date upon request.



Unfair.

There was nickel beer night and drunken dock dodging that ended in death in there as well.

Oh... you meant positive Tribe stuff. Yeah...that was pretty much it.
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Re: Len Barker's Perfecto- what is your memory?

Unread postby Am I Here Again? » Mon May 07, 2012 2:11 am

I'd love to be able to say I heard the game, but all I can say is it was on in the background, mere noise to the screaming and crying of 4 1/2 month twins. Dredging a few memories up I can say every once in a while my hubby or I would remark that Herb Score was saying something about Lenny and no hits and stuff but we were a little busy - did I say we had 4 1/2 month old twins? Either sometime during the post-game or during the news later (by 11 we could usually get one down in their crib and have peace if we let the other sleep in one of our arms...till we put that one in their crib, then it would start all over) I said "crap, we missed a perfect game? Crap". That was all the energy I had by then. Kinda tired...did I mention we had 4 1/2 month old twins? THEY were more work than Lenny pitching a perfect game. ;-) ;) :wink:
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Re: Len Barker's Perfecto- what is your memory?

Unread postby Spin » Mon May 07, 2012 5:55 pm

Ironically as dark as those days were, there were probably more people there that night than there was at the Pro today...
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Re: Len Barker's Perfecto- what is your memory?

Unread postby bookelly » Mon May 07, 2012 6:33 pm

Spin wrote:Ironically as dark as those days were, there were probably more people there that night than there was at the Pro today...


The listed attendance at the Perfecto was 7,200. But I can tell you that there were far fewer than that. Our Dad's estimated 3,000 were actually there (FWIR - the 7,200 number was inflated due to corporate and season ticket sales).

Todays morning attendance was 9,200, though I do not know if those are sales numbers or actual people.
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Re: Len Barker's Perfecto- what is your memory?

Unread postby peeker643 » Mon May 07, 2012 8:22 pm

I was there this afternoon. They were a good 7,000 shy of 9,200. The numbers announced always include tickets sold. Not people through the door. And the tickets sold include season ticket holders who may not actually come through the door.
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Re: Len Barker's Perfecto- what is your memory?

Unread postby googleeph2 » Tue May 08, 2012 8:44 am

thanks to all Greg

But HereIAmAgain, how can you have four half-month-old twins? ha
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Re: Len Barker's Perfecto- what is your memory?

Unread postby Pressrunnr » Tue May 08, 2012 11:57 am

It was a wet, rainy Friday night. Exactly one week before, Bert Blyleven took a no-hitter into the ninth and lost it when Larry Littleton, a defensive replacement for Joe Charboneau in left, misplayed a flyball. I was a senior in high school and played on the tennis team. My doubles partner had left his backpack in my car and came over at some point later in the game to pick it up. We were talking about the game, about whether or not he would get the no-hitter, and naturally that jinxed him.

So one week later, he again left his backpack in my car, but this time when he called to say he was coming over to get it, we both studiously avoided any talk only saying things like, "so, uh, you watching the game?" "uh, yeah." "Well, see ya" "Yeah, see yah"

Funniest part: Years later -- like 1994 -- I got to meet Barker and was starting to tell him the story, about how exactly one week before -- and he interrupted me and just said "Larry Littleton." Always thought it was very cool of him to remember who cost his teammate the no-hitter.
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Re: Len Barker's Perfecto- what is your memory?

Unread postby googleeph2 » Tue May 08, 2012 2:42 pm

Pressrunnr wrote:It was a wet, rainy Friday night. Exactly one week before, Bert Blyleven took a no-hitter into the ninth and lost it when Larry Littleton, a defensive replacement for Joe Charboneau in left, misplayed a flyball. I was a senior in high school and played on the tennis team. My doubles partner had left his backpack in my car and came over at some point later in the game to pick it up. We were talking about the game, about whether or not he would get the no-hitter, and naturally that jinxed him.

So one week later, he again left his backpack in my car, but this time when he called to say he was coming over to get it, we both studiously avoided any talk only saying things like, "so, uh, you watching the game?" "uh, yeah." "Well, see ya" "Yeah, see yah"

Funniest part: Years later -- like 1994 -- I got to meet Barker and was starting to tell him the story, about how exactly one week before -- and he interrupted me and just said "Larry Littleton." Always thought it was very cool of him to remember who cost his teammate the no-hitter.


Good memory. I did read that Littleton had misplayed a fly ball into a double during Blyleven's no-hit bid on 5/6/81. He was Charboneau's defensive replacement in the 9th, and the leadoff batter hit it his way.

This is from Cleveland Magazine:
"We were in first place, ... and Bert Blyleven had almost thrown a no-hitter against Toronto [on May 6]. In Bert's game, [manager] Dave Garcia had subbed in Larry Littleton as a defensive replacement in the ninth, and he missed the first ball that came to him. In my game, Garcia said, "I'm going to put Littleton in left field for [Joe] Charboneau," and I said, "If you put him in, you've got to take me out." So he left Charboneau in. "

Haha
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Re: Len Barker's Perfecto- what is your memory?

Unread postby neoleo » Tue May 08, 2012 3:09 pm

Awesome stories and thanks for sharing. I was -2 years old at the time so I don't remember much.
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Re: Len Barker's Perfecto- what is your memory?

Unread postby motherscratcher » Tue May 08, 2012 3:36 pm

I have absolutely no memory of Len's perfect game.

Although I will go to my death bed insisting I was there. I can't believe my mom threw out my ticket stub along with my collection of '52 Topps. I had 3 Mantles.
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Re: Len Barker's Perfecto- what is your memory?

Unread postby Pressrunnr » Tue May 08, 2012 5:18 pm

This is from Cleveland Magazine:
"We were in first place, ... and Bert Blyleven had almost thrown a no-hitter against Toronto [on May 6]. In Bert's game, [manager] Dave Garcia had subbed in Larry Littleton as a defensive replacement in the ninth, and he missed the first ball that came to him. In my game, Garcia said, "I'm going to put Littleton in left field for [Joe] Charboneau," and I said, "If you put him in, you've got to take me out." So he left Charboneau in. "


Charboneau probably threatened to open a beer bottle with Garcia's eye socket if he tried to put Littleton in there
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Re: Len Barker's Perfecto- what is your memory?

Unread postby Cerebral_DownTime » Tue May 08, 2012 6:13 pm

motherscratcher wrote:I have absolutely no memory of Len's perfect game.

Although I will go to my death bed insisting I was there. I can't believe my mom threw out my ticket stub along with my collection of '52 Topps. I had 3 Mantles.


I was there too. Despite not being born until 3 months later.

Leonard Harold Barker III, sounds like someone writing for The New Yorker, not hurling for the Indians.
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Re: Len Barker's Perfecto- what is your memory?

Unread postby Am I Here Again? » Tue May 08, 2012 6:57 pm

googleeph2 wrote:thanks to all Greg

But HereIAmAgain, how can you have four half-month-old twins? ha


That was then. Now they're 31...and we ALL lived to tell about it!
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Re: Len Barker's Perfecto- what is your memory?

Unread postby googleeph2 » Wed May 09, 2012 8:19 am

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Re: Len Barker's Perfecto- what is your memory?

Unread postby NoWearMan » Thu May 10, 2012 3:08 pm

I was hoping to be the first one to remember Blyleven's near no-no the previous week.

I feel the vague need to take exception to the comments that this game was televised. I remember recording the radio broadcast during the last inning on a small tape deck. Were they REALLY televising home games at that time? especially given the attendenace? I do not recall that game being televised.

One thing I do remember from the radio broadcast after the final out was....was it Joe Tait or Herb Score who said "It's pandemonium at the stadium"!!

Can it be confirmed that this game was in fact televised? Because I lump the "I watched it on tv" people with the "I was at the game" people.....
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Re: Len Barker's Perfecto- what is your memory?

Unread postby peeker643 » Thu May 10, 2012 3:37 pm

NoWearMan wrote:I was hoping to be the first one to remember Blyleven's near no-no the previous week.

I feel the vague need to take exception to the comments that this game was televised. I remember recording the radio broadcast during the last inning on a small tape deck. Were they REALLY televising home games at that time? especially given the attendenace? I do not recall that game being televised.

One thing I do remember from the radio broadcast after the final out was....was it Joe Tait or Herb Score who said "It's pandemonium at the stadium"!!

Can it be confirmed that this game was in fact televised? Because I lump the "I watched it on tv" people with the "I was at the game" people.....


You can take exception and wonder about the attendance but it was Friday night, I was home sick and couldn't go to a Junior High dance and I watched it with a buddy who hung out at my house.


They televise 'em now despite the attendance too ;-) ;) :wink:

But yes, Channel 43. Not every single game like these days, but most weekend games were on.
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Re: Len Barker's Perfecto- what is your memory?

Unread postby googleeph2 » Fri May 11, 2012 11:25 am

NoWearMan wrote:was it Joe Tait or Herb Score who said "It's pandemonium at the stadium"!!


It was Nev Chandler, whom is also the announcer you hear clips of declaring "pandemonium palace" with the Browns. The bit you reference is linked in the article.
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Re: Len Barker's Perfecto- what is your memory?

Unread postby NoWearMan » Fri May 11, 2012 1:56 pm

While i still want to take exception, i will condede the point that i am not positive that the game wasn't on TV. if it was....WHAT THE HELL WAS I DOING LISTENING TO IT ON THE RADIO IN MY ROOM?!?!

And I don't remember Nev doing games on the radio when i was a kid. it was always joe tait and herb score. but it's been a long time and I have killed many a brain cell....
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Re: Len Barker's Perfecto- what is your memory?

Unread postby Am I Here Again? » Fri May 11, 2012 9:49 pm

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Re: Len Barker's Perfecto- what is your memory?

Unread postby NoWearMan » Sat May 12, 2012 2:15 pm

I stand corrected.

I have a great memory, it's just short.
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Re: Len Barker's Perfecto- what is your memory?

Unread postby peeker643 » Sun May 13, 2012 11:54 am

NoWearMan wrote:And I don't remember Nev doing games on the radio when i was a kid. it was always joe tait and herb score. but it's been a long time and I have killed many a brain cell....


You even sure it was YOUR room you were in?

;-) ;) :wink:
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