Sandlot Ball Headed For Extinction

Baseball sandlot

The Globe and Mail has a rare baseball feature on Sandlot baseball, a slice of American life enjoyed for decades by boys from coast to coast that appears on the verge of extinction.

The reasons for the sandlot’s demise, baseball coaches and sociologists say, go back to the changing family structure, video games, parents’ fear of crime, and the proliferation of organized and so-called “select” teams for more-talented kids.

Personally, where I grew up I saw baseball diamonds getting plowed over to be replaced by soccer fields. I think this speaks to the cost effectiveness of “futbol” and its rise in popularity.

This article speaks to the lack of inner city kids enjoying the game, and perhaps a weaker talent pool for MLB going forward.

“The fundamentals of baseball must be practiced continually, even at the big league level,” Weiskopf said in an e-mail. “The lack of pickup games and sandlot ball today has hurt the development of young players.”

Make sure you check out the article titled Sandlot ball going the way of wooden bats. It is an interesting read.

BallHype – Sandlot Ball Becoming Extinct?//

has written for Mopupduty.com since 2006. Follow Callum on Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram (@callumhughson)

  • h peskin

    I am reminded of the days of sandlot baseball in Canada during the late 50′s and early 60′s. Montreal, Fletchers field in the heart of the Jewish ghetto where an extraordinary young baseball player named Willie Richter broke every record in the books. His play was absolutely unique. He was able to play every position except pitcher with great panache. Extremely speedy on bases and batted well into the mid 300′s for most of his career, he was observed by several major league scouts. Sadly he opted for the world of business rather than continue in baseball. Had he continued, we would have remembered Willie Richter rather than Willy Mays as the great Willie of baseball.

    Sandlot basebal was booming then, without the competing attractions of gameboys, digital T.V.
    high quality 3 d movies, and all the numerous gadgets common to the 21st century.

    Sigh, bring back dem good old days.

    • baseball nut

      h peskin- Your post has elicited a wave of nostalgia for the era you describe. I remember that period very vividly. Fletcher’s field was a veritable mecca of sandlot baseball- probably the best site in North America at that time. Perhaps the best in the world. The diamond was ringed with fans mumbering perhaps 2000 on a nice warm evening.

      I knew the players and management quite well. The Y.M.H.A. teams were the great attraction.Manager- Niggy Rabin, trainer -Phil Ram.

      Some players come to mind.

      Moe and Jack Sporn, Rocky Rockland, Ben Karls (a long ball hitter),Mickey Smolkin, Danny Gross, Hy Rissman, Lefty Hyman Berger- Another slugger,

      Myer Anapolsky, who had a brief tryout with Waterton NY, a double A franchise of the Brooklyn Dodgers organization.

      Mort Weiner, Harvey Trevick, Martin Kaufman, who later became a highly successful stock broker and financial analyst.

      Irving Kimberg, played with a Phiily farm team. Later known as Kim Irwin, a nightclub M.C. and singer.

      My exposure to sandlot baseball stimulated in me a lifelong love of the game. A love that illness and old age never could extinguish.

      Take me out to the baseball game. Buy me some peanuts and crackerj………….

      • Rob

        I was related to Lefty Hyman Berger. I think he tried out for the Montreal Royals. What more can you tell me about him.

        • h. peskin

          Lefty Hyman Berger gave up baseball in his early 20′s. many years ago. He took up work in the shmatta game as a sales rep and from there opened his own dress mfg. business which he operated successfully.A family man, with a wife and children,he died about six years ago in his late 60′s or early 70′s.

      • ryan kornblum

        I was related to mickey smolkin and want to know about him as a baseball player, can you tell me anything. Thanks.

  • mr peanut

    From another St. Urbain Horseman. I too loved that era and that ambiance on Fletcher”s field, circa 1957-62. That was the time of a large influx of eastern European refugees,of all religions and Nationalities. Remember the adjoining Soccer field just east of the famous baseball Diamond being recalled. I enjoyed soccer and baseball equally as well.

    Some names not mentioned on previous post. were Bunny Lake, the two Y pitchers surnamed Levitt, and Rosen with first names forgotten. And some stars playing outside the Y. network.
    Mike Burack, Walter David, Joe Stracina who also played Soccer and later became a pretty good lineman for the now defunct Ottawa Rough Riders, George and Dave Wegeruk.

    And do you remember the 45 cents matinee movie tickets for the Regent, Rialto and Belmont movie houses? Movies included three features, newsReel, previews, cartoons. Kik Cola, $3.25 all course meals – anything more would attract a 7 percent sales tax (God forbid). Then how about the good old filthy taverns which was the last haven for henpecked men- THANKFULLY WOMEN WERE FORBIDDEN. Now that is what I would call the age of enlightenment.

    How about strip joints that left something for the imagination. Now that was truly sexy.

    And so it goes. I would give a million bucks to relive a moment of that wonderful time.

  • h peskin

    THE LONGEST HOME RUN

    A return to Fletcher’s field during the 1957 to 1962 era, involves a story told to me by Willie Richter, presumably related to him by the crackerjack pitcher, Marty Kaufman, and is about he late Myer Anapolsky. The factual truthfulness of this anecdote cannot be confirmed, but why allow the absence of evidentiary data get in the way of a darn good story.

    Myer was a tall (over 6 feet) hulking outfieder who always swung for the fences, even though there were no fences at Fletcher’s field. His batting average was low and he often either struck out or flew out to deep center. On a rare occasion he connected with his roundhouse swing . And this occured one evening in mid june approximately 1959-60, (the exact year is uncertain). The ball catapulted out to deep left field on to the street. That was located on the west perimeter of the park and appropriatetly named Park Avenue, a very busy Montreal artery running north-south. The ball might have been propelled some 380 feet and landed on the back of a truck transporting live chickens. Again I must warn you this is pure hearsay. There were no credible witnesses confirming these facts. The truck headed to the town of Chicoutimi, a 450 km. 5 hour drive from Montreal.

    Now a brief digression, the record for the longest home-run is held by Mickey Mantle, The Yankee ace who hit a homer 656 feet at Briggs Stadium, Detroit, Michigan – on September 12, 1960.

    But that is just what is recorded on the books. For me the real record is held by Myer Anapolsky, slugging a homer 450 km- and 380 feet.

    This record is in the memory tracks of all those aspiring ballplayer of Fletchers field, and will live on so long as there are old codgers like myself who are prepared to perpetuate the myths of that wonderful era. An era long gone and never to return.

  • h peskin

    ADDENDUN TO PREVIOUS POST:

    After his baseball days ended, Myer Anapolsky settled into the mundane world of a working man, involving himself in such tasks as driving a truck and working in a garment factory. His personal life was troubled- with marital problems. I met him several years ago at a Montreal synogogue. The occasion was not happy. He was attending a memorial service for his son who had just died of a drug overdose. At the age of around 80 he looked shrunken and very tired with no indication of his previous imposing athletic bearing. I reached out to shake his hand. He held back,excusing himself, saying that his hand was still sore from multiple surgeries required to repair old baseball injuries. His eyes visibly brightened when I reminded him of the halcyon days of baseball on Fletcher’s field. He died shortly thereafter. Yes, there is life after baseball, but for Myer Anapolsky it was not much of a life.

  • h peskin

    Not to be forgotton- Around 1961, a rare occasion for sandlot baseball,a triple play,Kaufman to Trevick to Richter.I wonder how many people remember this event?

  • h peskin

    Letter to the editor of the Montreal Gazette referring to sandlot baseball and racism, then and now.

    Racist slurs -then and now

    The Gazette June 28, 2010

    Re: “Mohawk girls hurt but unbowed” (Letters, June 25).

    Shelley Jacobs’s letter describing racial taunts her daughter and the rest of the Mohawk soccer team encountered brought back memories of our baseball team, the Outremont Royals, a group of 15-and 16-year-old Jewish kids, save for John Mulholland, one of our star pitchers. In 1946, each time we played the Town of Mount Royal ball club, the racial slurs and insults coming from the stands, mostly from the parents of the players, were indescribable.

    T.M.R. then was known as a “model city,” a municipality where Jews were not allowed to live or own property. As a 16-year-old, who had lost many relatives in the Holocaust, I could not comprehend such behaviour from well-educated intelligent people.

    Happy to say the insults and taunts motivated us to try harder, thus allowing us to emerge victorious in most of our encounters. Trying harder stood us in good stead both then and in the many years that have allowed.

    I feel certain that the “intelligent, secure, beautiful young ladies” will, in spite of the insults, go on to more victories both in soccer and in their lives ahead.

    Hy Rissman Wentworth-North

  • h peskin

    MORE TALES OF SANDLOT BASEBALL ON FLETCHER’S FIELD.

    Here is another story which has taken on a mythic quality with the passage of time.

    Some time around July 1959, Willie Richter a ferocious slugger if there ever was one was served a fast ball down the center of the plate. He took a hefty swing, connected right on and the ball sailed up into left field— and never came down. It sailed right out of sight.

    The next evening about the same time, Willie came up to the bat, and waited for a pitch. Suddenly a ball came hurtling down from nowhere. The left fielder lifted his glove and caught the ball.

    The Unpire flung up his hand, yelled to Willie, yer out- FOR YESTERDAY.

    There are a couple of witnesses to the event that swear up and down that it actually happened. Believe it or not.

    • stanley morris

      I clearly remember Willie Richter from our youth as a fellow student at Herzeliah hebrew school in Montreal. We are now going back perhaps to 1960 or thereabouts. We played softball together. He was , if I remember correctly a strong athlete but not the great phenomenon being described here. But go Know???? I have a dim memory of colliding with him as I attempted to steal second on Fletchers field. As a result my expensive pair of bifocals broke, and in those years who had money. I don’t say it was intentional, however should I meet Willie I shall try to collect compensation. After all these year, the interest alone would amount to……………..

  • Elie Oren

    On a visit to New York in 2002, Dr. Lennie Babins decided to pop into Modell’s sporting goods store.

    It’s a Manhattan mecca for jocks -and, as it turned out, the scene of a Proustian experience for Babins.

    No, the Modell’s staff weren’t serving complimentary madeleines. But Babins picked up a baseball mitt, and “the smell of the leather brought back all these incredible childhood memories.”

    Babins, 52, spent his formative years on the playing fields of Montreal. He played with the likes of Willie Richter, Martin (Marty) Kaufman, and Harvey Trevick. The man who remembers baseball works at the Jewish General Hospital’s Memory Clinic.

    Babins spends Tuesday nights -weather permitting, which it didn’t last night -playing softball at Hampstead Park for the Memory Clinic Trailmakers, the team he formed with some JGH colleagues. In the eight years they’ve been playing – friendly games, with a five-run mercy rule, against radio stations, accounting firms, etc. -the coed Trailmakers have raised $10,000, through pledges or passing the hat, which has been earmarked for the expensive testing supplies used at the Memory Clinic.

    The clinic is just off the main corridor, about 30 metres inside the hospital’s Legare St. entrance. Launched with McGill University in 1991, the clinic is a leading centre for research and treatment of degenerative neurological illnesses such as Alzheimer’s disease.

    After lucking into a parking spot on Cote Ste. Catherine Rd., I walked to the hospital and thought about the movie in which Jim Carrey has his memory erased. For the life of me, I couldn’t recall the title.

    Babins and the clinic’s other neuropsychologist, Dr. Nora Kelner, said this minor lapse did not indicate I should be seeking their services. I was less reassured by the grim statistic Babins passed along:

    An estimated one in five baby boomers will fall victim to Alzheimer’s.

    Before joining the Memory Clinic in 1992, Babins did his undergraduate studies at Concordia University and added a master’s degree and doctorate in neuropsychology at McGill. His PhD thesis focused on facial expressions among children, which raises the question of why he’s devoting his career to impairment that strikes the elderly.

    “I like to hear stories,” Babins says, by way of explanation. “I like to hear people talk about their experiences.

    “In this practice, everyone’s story is different. It never gets boring.”

    But it is reasonable to surmise the Memory Clinic is diagnosing and treating people who are beginning to forget their stories.

    “Not really,” Babins says. “They’re still able to give a good account of their lives. A lot of that is well maintained in the beginning.”

    Patients are referred to the clinic by family doctors. Their memory functions are assessed, as are psychiatric problems which would render treatment at the clinic “inappropriate,” Babins said.

    Neurological assessment of patients focuses on memory, language and non-verbal skills. The degree of cognitive impairment is measured and a course of treatment determined.

    Research, Babins said, focuses on why some cases of mild cognitive impairment become dementia and some don’t. The clinic also studies the rates at which impairment increases.

    Kelner, who has been at the Memory Clinic almost 20 years, is of Argentinian extraction and arrived at McGill, where she did her doctorate, by way of Israel. A soccer fan who is still lamenting Argentina’s flame-out at the World Cup, Kelner serves as a cheerleader for the clinic’s softball team.

    She was attracted to neuropsychology, Kelner says, by the opportunity to work with families and “help them clarify where they stand.”

    “It’s interesting to do evaluations,” said Kelner, who is president of the Alzheimer Society of Montreal, “and understand better what a patient is going through.

    “Symptoms are identified earlier,” Kelner said when I asked what had changed during her 20 years at the Memory Clinic. It’s important, she added, to set up a medication regimen that will stabilize symptoms and slow down the onset of illness.

    “Baby boomers have seen their parents go through the process,” Babins said. “So they’re more sensitive to the signs and symptoms in themselves.”

    The movie title I couldn’t remember? The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.

  • h. peskin

    Another s story told to me by the inimitable, Willie Richter, who some say has become the unofficial Montreal Baseball historian. Around 1946, the Montreal Royals acquired Kermit Kitman, their very first Jewish player. Almost overnight Jews who had no interest in baseball became rabid fans.At his very first time at bat Kitman hit a massive homerun, a feat he would not repeat until mid October. Unfortunately in the later innings he got doubled off second. Game over Kitman arrived at his barber shop, Struzer’s, on Villeneuve and Esplanade, Willie was seated in a chair receiving his cut and shave- next to him sat a chap who noticed Kitman. “aren’t you Kermit Kitman?” he asked.

    “Yeah, he responded, thinking of his homer”.

    ” You son of a bitch, you got doubled off second, it cost me six hundred bucks.”

  • h. peskin

    This sad tail was told to me by Ben Vogel, a Montreal cabbie who was active in the local amateur sports scene in the late 50′s and early 60′s. He played some sandlot baseball but really excelled in basketball at the old Baron byng high school and the YMHA. In later years he was active as a basketball referee. Some ten years ago Ben picked up a fare in downtown Montreal, who just happened to be Tommy Lasorda. After a short drive, Lasorda payed the fare but failed to include a tip. For cabbies this is a major offence. If you take into consideration that Lasorda was making millions as manager of the L.A. Dodgers and earning big bucks from his Sherman Oaks real estate holdings, could he have not spared a loonie (Canadian buck)?

    If by chance you are in Montreal one day, and just by chance hailed Ben Vogel’s cab, as compensation, could you be as generous as you can with your tip.

    • L Cohen

      Ben Vogel is also a pretty good judge of horses. One of the better handicappers around Montreal.

    • Andy Ellenbogen

      Ben Vogel, the sports expert- Basketball maven, Wager on horses, casino and card shark par excellance and one of Montreal’s oldest cabbie told me the following story. A man walked out to the street and caught a taxi just going by. He got into the taxi, and the cabbie said, “Perfect timing. You’re just like “Brian! Passenger: “Who?” Cabbie: “Brian Sullivan. He’s a guy who did everything right all the time. Like my coming along when you needed a cab, things happen like that to Brian Sullivan, every single time.” Passenger: “There are always a few clouds over e… verybody.” Cabbie: “Not Brian Sullivan. He was a terrific athlete. He could have won the Grand Slam at tennis. He could golf with the pros. He sang like an opera baritone and danced like a Broadway star and you should have heard him play the piano. He was an amazing guy.” Passenger: “Sounds like he was something really special.” Cabbie: “There’s more. He had a memory like a computer. He remembered everybody’s birthday. He knew all about wine, which foods to order and which fork to eat them with. He could fix anything. Not like me. I change a fuse, and the whole street blacks out. But Brian Sullivan, he could do everything right.” Passenger: “Wow. Some guy then.” Cabbie: “He always knew the quickest way to go in traffic and avoid traffic jams. Not like me, I always seem to get stuck in them. But Brian, he never made a mistake, and he really knew how to treat a woman and make her feel good. He would never answer her back even if she was in the wrong; and his clothing was always immaculate, shoes highly polished too. He was the perfect man! He never made a mistake. No one could ever measure up to Brian Sullivan.” Passenger: “An amazing fellow. How did you meet him?” Cabbie: “Well, I never actually met Brian. He died. I’m married to his f****ing widow

  • H Peskin

    A very powerful force promoting baseball in the Jewish community of Montreal was the immense popularity of Jackie Robinson. He played for the Montreal Royals only one year, but his stay here left very positive impression.Several of the Fletcher’s field players attended the Royals tryout camp where Robinson and other players, the coaching staff met the eager ball players. Unfortunately only a few managed to be placed in the Dodger system. None made it to the majors.

    ———————————————–

    MONTREAL — After a spring training in the segregated South, newlywed Rachel Robinson went to look at an apartment in a white neighborhood in Montreal. A French-Canadian woman who spoke English welcomed her to the home.

    “She received me so pleasantly,” Jackie Robinson’s widow recalled. “Then she poured tea for me and agreed to rent the apartment to me furnished and she insisted I use her things — like her linens and her china. It was an extraordinary welcome to Canada.”

    The quaint Montreal duplex that served as sanctuary to the Robinsons during the early part of his struggle to break baseball’s racial barrier is being recognized by the U.S. government. That chapter in American civil rights will be celebrated Monday when U.S. diplomats unveil a commemorative plaque at the apartment the couple called home in the summer of 1946.

    The event will be attended by the U.S. ambassador to Canada, Montreal’s mayor and Robinson’s daughter as part of Black History Month.

    Not too far from the house, Robinson made history at old Delorimier Stadium, thrilling fans of the minor league Montreal Royals for one season in his final stop before joining the majors the next year with the Brooklyn Dodgers.

    His wife remembers the home fondly and considers the residence on de Gaspe Avenue a critical part of their story.

    It was in that lower-level duplex apartment on a quiet street that their new marriage blossomed, and Robinson found refuge from the taunts he often endured during road trips.

    “You can’t make [enough] of the house because it’s where the experiment started and the experiment went on to be a national success, so it led to something,” Rachel Robinson told The Canadian Press. “What was nourished there in that house … had widespread influence in our society.”

    Robinson, now 88, recalls arriving in Montreal after having survived the Jim Crow South during spring training in Florida.

    There they were met with racism at every turn: on whites-only flights, in hotels and restaurants and ballparks. In some cities, they were chased out of town.

    The couple was twice bumped off airplanes while trying to get to Daytona. When they arrived, Jackie Robinson wasn’t allowed to stay with teammates at their hotel.

    The team didn’t have a spring training facility of its own and many opponents wouldn’t allow them into theirs. Robinson was forced to leave one town. In Jacksonville, the stadium was locked on game day.

    “To appreciate how special the experience was in Canada, you have to think about the experience we had in the South going to spring training,” Rachel Robinson said.

    The couple initially felt some trepidation heading north to postwar Montreal, with its housing shortages. It had never occurred to the Robinsons to look for a black neighborhood in Montreal. The Royals had provided a list of homes — all in predominantly white areas at a time when the black community made up about 2 percent of Montreal’s population.

    Robinson said they were more focused on the professional task than on neighborhood demographics.

    “We didn’t consider it or think about it — in an experimental situation like that, you have to stay focused on what’s before you,” Robinson told the CP. “We were not looking for black people. We had found an apartment, which was the most important thing, in a supportive, friendly neighborhood.”

    It was far different on road trips, where Jackie Robinson would be the target of slurs and attacks just about everywhere.

    “The home was critical,” she said. “Because we never knew what was going to happen outside our home.”

    De Gaspe Avenue was predominantly French, but language didn’t stop Rachel Robinson from making friends, especially when it became clear she was pregnant. The women would give her ration coupons and help sew maternity clothes.

    A couple with eight children lived above the Robinsons. While Rachel couldn’t speak to them, she’d leave them a bowl of fruit on the porch.

    “The children had to come down and pass my kitchen door to go to school, so I used to put fruit out just to attract them and they’d stop by on their way,” she said.

    The children would reciprocate, rushing down the street to help her with her grocery bags as she walked home.

    “Little things [like] that turn into big pieces of your experience,” Robinson said. “They were friendly, they were protective, they were supportive and it was not something that I’d have expected.”

    The Robinsons formed a strong and lasting friendship with famed Montreal sports writer Sam Maltin and his wife, Belle. They would invite them to their home and take them to concerts on Mount Royal.

    Rachel Robinson was a fixture at the Montreal stadium, never missing a home game. She also recalls roaming the narrow, European-style streets of the city’s old district, finding spots that suited her love of books and music, especially when Jackie was on the road.

    The city caught baseball fever that summer. With Robinson hitting .349 batting and stealing 40 bases, the Royals won the Little World Series, beating the Kentucky Colonels.

    Afterward, a jubilant crowd chased Robinson down the street. That’s when Maltin penned the famous phrase: “It was probably the only day in history that a black man ran from a white mob with love instead of lynching on its mind.”

    The couple soon left Montreal. A few months later, Jackie Robinson was a Dodger.

    The couple never had a proper honeymoon after marrying in February 1946.

    “It showed what we could do if we learned how to exercise tolerance and sharing and all those good things,” Rachel Robinson said. “So I would say that coming to Montreal at that time in our lives and the kind of reception we got — that was our honeymoon.”

  • Larry Lunch Pail

    Tues-June 20 ,2012
    Had a latte at one of Montreal’s fancy Starbucks. Present were Terry Smyth (ex junior football ace) and Dave Fine. The conversation drifted to sandlot baseball at Montreal’s Fletchers Field (late 50′s and early 60′s). with comparisons to major league ball of today. We discussed Alex Rodriguez eclipsing Gehrig’s grand slam homerun record.I reminisced about the time Willie Richter, YMHA Blues brilliant slugger,batted 2 grand slam homers in consecutive innings-as recorded in my diary-August 2, 1960. That is not too shabby at any time and at any level of ball. What I pointedly omitted was to state that the great Willie struck out at 4 more times at the bat. Incidently for statistics buffs the blues won that evening 10-0.

    Willie, we will never forget you. A ball player of your caliber comes up every hundred years .

    Larry Lunch-Pail

    • Lennie cohen

      I don’t think the great Willie ought to fret much. Sluggers tend to strike out a lot more frequently than average hitters. When you swing for the fences, you are going for broke and obviously some control is lost. What also ought to be mentioned is Willie Richter was a a very skilled fielder and speedy base runner.

      Lenny Cohen

      • hp

        Kim Irwin was a great baseball prospect playing for the YMHA Blues Juniors during the late 50′s and early 60′s. He was a very good (lefty) batter and a great fielder. I had the pleasure of seeing him execute a super triple play on two occasions, a rarity for junior ball. He was one of the few players from sandlot ball who caught the eye of a major league scout and was recruited to play for a Giant’s farm team. I believe it was for a Watertown NY, club.

        About this time he decided to change his name to Kim Irwin, a much sexier moniker. He played about three years. On one rather wet day he hit a triple, and on sliding into third base, his ankle snapped and presto his playing days were over.

        Kim was a natural entertainer, singer , comedian and even with a gimpy, ankle was a fair dancer. And so he began a show biz career, as a night club entertainer.Touring the borsht circuit of the Catskills doing weekly stints at the Jewish (kosher and otherwise) resorts.

        He returned to Montreal in the mid 60′s and hosted many shows at the popular Bellevue Casino. I had the pleasure of seeing him MC three shows there and what shows!!!. -starring Sammy Davis, Sinatra, and Dean Martin. However, Irwin did not last long in the world of entertainment- Too much booze, drugs and irregular hours took its toll. Around 1971 he was through.

        He emigrated to New York, worked as a Manhattan bus driver (a la Jackie Gleason’s Ralph Kramdan) and finally sold pharmaceuticals in New Jersey. A couple of years ago he developed lymphoma and died. He was 76.

        Baseball and entertainment is a rare combination. Kim Irwin was able to make the transition from one to the other, albeit in less than spectacular fashion.

        hp

    • h peskin

      This is about Steven Proshetsky, a very self effacing ,modest gentleman. Steven was very reticent about allowing me to use his real name as he normally guards his privacy, much like a young single female Mormon would guard her virginity. It was only after I explained that being featured on the World Wide Web might provide him with juicy publicity in such exotic places as Tajikistan, he finally and with some trepidation consented. Well fame is the spur.

      Steven a well built, athletic fellow around 48, has two very powerful passions-BASEBALL AND CLASSIC OLD TIME MOVIES. These interests occupy his mind during his waking hours when he is not eating or working. Living in the Montreal, area, son of a Polish immigrant, Steven works as a reasonably successful salesman. With his retentive memory, he can rattle off baseball statistics on demand. Mention a player, and he automatically spews out, batting averages, hits, runs , runs batted in , errors, earned run averages, strikeouts, the possibilities are endless. His mind works like a human Google search engine, only much quicker.
      Steven gravitated to playing baseball early in life and continued playing until well into his adulthood. But somewhere along the line his interest switched to umpiring. Around 1990 he decided to attend the professional umpire school, run by major league ball, located in southern Florida. The selected graduates were hired to umpire in the majors, the very pinnacle of baseball officiating. His diligence and alertness were noted but the competition turned out to be much too steep. Proshetsky struck out. He came close but not close enough.
      He returned to Montreal, and today works as a part-time umpire in various senior community softball leagues. He is tough but fair and has been the center of some real good rhubarbs. Steven has ejected some prominent judges, doctors and even a couple of mafiosa kingpins. There have been a couple of occasions when Steven and his associate were escorted off the field by some of Montreal’s finest police constables. His love of baseball trumps his fear of being assaulted for an erroneous call. Proshetshy is one of a kind.

  • stanley morris

    How can I get more information on myer Anapolsky?

  • stuart

    Just a positive note. Sandlot baseball is making quite a revival in many suburban areas of the province of Quebec. Particularly among the older segments of the population. Why that should be is a bit of a mystery.

  • Allan Lund

    Steven Proshetsky. In the early 90’s I umpired little league in St. Paul/Minneapolis (a city so large it required two names). On numerous occasions , I experienced near riot situations, when close calls
    elicited major complaints from the darling kiddies, their friends, adult relatives’- of both sexes. I think back now and I wonder how I managed to survive with my bones intact.
    Now umpiring at any level requires a thorough knowledge of the rules. If you think the baseball rule book is simple, think again.

    The Official Baseball Rules, as they exist, are roughly equivalent to the U.S. federal tax code—so complex that only an expert could thoroughly understand them. Thrown into the mix—sort of like state and local taxes—are the rule differences to be found in the amateur ranks, from college on down. Many umpires have understandably asked, “How will I ever learn the rules of baseball?” Joe Brinkman, Major League Crew Chief, and probably the most widely respected educator of umpires alive today, said,
    “If you want to truly know the rules of baseball, you have to start with the professional rules. They are closest to the heart of baseball. After you understand the professional rules, learning and remembering the differences at the various levels is much easier.”

    Brinkman, Major League Umpire Jeff Nelson, and other respected educators of umpires often speak about how the professional rules, as practiced, remain closest to the roots of original and true baseball concepts. Thus, anyone who hopes to fully understand rules and interpretations must begin at the source. Of course, the problem is that the written source, the Official Baseball Rules, is a vague, inaccurate, and incomplete representation of how the game is actually officiated. The Rules of Professional Baseball originated as a remedy for this problem. It evolved into much more, and stands alone in the following aspects:

    • The only comprehensive treatise in existence that pares the rules of baseball down to their essentials.
    • The only baseball rules guide to organize the essentials into a logical presentation.
    • The only baseball rules aid in which every word has a specific and unequivocal meaning.
    • The only book to clearly define baseball concepts taken for granted since their inception.
    • The only complete and accurate portrayal of how professional baseball is currently officiated.
    • The only book to offer interpretations and/or penalization for official baseball rules that are incomplete or vague.
    • The only book to identify all interpretation differences between the Major and Minor Leagues.
    • The only book to offer full access to the rules as taught at professional umpire schools.
    • The only practical, usable, and concise guide to the differences between professional and amateur rules.
    • The world’s only baseball rules textbook.–
    Allan Lund