Baseball is truly America’s Pastime and transcends generations. In the past, some of our guest bloggers have talked about their favorite baseball memories with their fathers and how baseball bonded them. Today’s blog has a different look: a father expressing his delight in taking his children and grandchildren to the game. Because of his love of baseball, read what his family then did for him. Roy Tietze is a lively, caring and feisty 90 year old and as much as his memorable experience meant to him, he also enjoyed just sitting down and recanting all of his baseball memories. Afterall, who today can say that they saw 4 great Yankee icons (the Babe, Joe D., the Mick, and the Jete) play in person. Although he did not provide a lot of details, you can tell from his story how much he loves the game.
I grew up in Rockaway and moved to the South Bronx when I was 7. I naturally became a Yankee fan. My earliest memories of going to the ball game were with my father. We drove to the game by car. The lot was so full we had to park over on a hill opposite the stadium. I was probably seven or eight years old and I vaguely remember seeing Babe Ruth playing. We were sitting way up in the bleachers and it probably cost half a buck to get in.
Years later I remember seeing Joe DiMaggio hit a home run. Another baseball highlight for me was taking 2 of my sons, Michael and Tim, to see Mickey Mantle play. We were sitting in left field when Mickey homered into the right field stands. From that point on I was yelling “hit one over here Mick” and sure enough he homered into the left stands. He also stole second base that game, all this with his bad legs.
Throughout the years, I attended more games with my family. It was always a special day and one I would look forward to for weeks ahead of time and then of course, talk about for weeks afterwards.
The most recent game I went to was at the new Yankee Stadium for my 90th birthday. I was with several of my children and grandchildren. I like the new stadium. It is senior friendly with escalators and elevators. I was thrilled and surprised when in the bottom of the 5th inning, I looked at the score board and in big letters it said “Happy 90th Birthday Richard Tietze, Veteran, Father of 8, Carpenter and Pool Shark”.
This was a day I will always remember and as much as I love the game itself, I will continue to share the story of my very special birthday surprise with all of my friends, especially the ones at the adult day care center in the Bronx, where I still travel to daily by bus and volunteer to help others who are wheel-chair bound.
“ Way To Go”
By Richard (Roy) Tietze, as told to his son and daughter-in-law, Michael and Avra Tietze, and to his daughter Susan, on 8/10/2014