RARE VIDEO OF EXTENDED STEVE TRACHSEL INTERVIEW before Game 3 of the 2006 NLDS, against his and my own hometown childhood team, the late 70s and early 80s Los Angeles Dodgers, when he rooted against his manager Willie Randolph, who was then 2nd baseman for those foes the New York Yankees.
Trachsel Workout Day Interview If this doesn’t work, try the link below:
Trachsel Workout Day Interview Look under OCTOBER 6 and click.
He has not been to a postseason game at Dodger Stadium since he was 10 or 11, and now he’s working for a recent Yankee on a team that was built in 1962 to fill the hole left in the souls of Brooklyn Dodger Fans, New York Giants Fans too. The team of orange and blue. That’s Baseball. (I miss Mark Gremse. No question where he would stand on this match-up, though, even if I was his favorite LA Dodger fan. Oddly, there might be a healing circularity in pulling for Trachsel, who, as a Cub in 1998, knocked out his beloved Giants in that one-game playoff to get to the NLDS. Two stories go with that, and they are here and here.)
SHAWN ESTES: Career 99-89, 4.71 1-year contract with Padres
Most famous for the symbolic payback pitch he threw behind Roger Clemens in 2002 as retribution for the rockets shot at fellow Met Mike Piazza et al over 2 years, Estes is widely assumed to have missed his mark. Far from it. David Wells himself approved of Estes’ strategic cost-benefit analysis and execution and gave the story some space in his book Perfect I’m Not. He got everything the team wanted: Clemens had to bat at Shea knowing the world was watching his inevitable punishment. Both benches got warned, so Clemens had to stay over the plate and couldn’t hit anyone, even by mistake. Best yet, Estes knocked in one run and later hit a homer, both off Clemens! The Mets won 8-0. Anyone questioning whether Estes stood up for his new team should take note of the fine that Major League Baseball levied on him for his intention to hit. (The fine looked symbolic, too — $750!) That’s fine with me.
Lest Estes’ numbers look mediocre to you, consider this: Dusty Baker kept him on his Giants for 7 years, from 1995 to 2001. In Baker’s first year managing the Cubs in 2003, what uniform was Estes wearing before too long? Yep, the Cubs. More to come….
Pitchers and catchers report February 16!
First workout is Feb. 17.
Position players report Feb. 21.
First full workout is Feb. 22.
Other team’ reporting dates: http://springtrainingonline.com/features/reporting_dates.htm
I release a sigh of recognition. It’s almost that time, again. But this time, Mark Gremse isn’t here to celebrate with. Last year this time, he was hopeful that LaTroy Hawkins would be able to help out the Giants, where he’d landed after a rough time with the Cubs. I bit my lip, didn’t say a word, just smiled and nodded, with my almost invisible eyebrows sneaking into a mild grimace.
If you’d like to share a memory about MARK GREMSE, please leave a comment below. MLB.com will ask you to make a user ID (fast & easy), & will bring you right back to this page.
The windows of Sophie’s were covered with photographs. It was almost impossible to push open the door. One after another, friends of Mark Gremse stepped up onto the window seat and spoke their minds and hearts.
So many people from so many different parts of Mark’s life came — people who might have heard of each other, but just as likely had not. There were the people from Sophie’s, of course. And from the building on East 4th Street. Monie, who flew in from Germany. The East River Ratz. A huge bunch from the Law Office came — I’d like to dedicate a special thanks to them — you "guys" really came through, posting on this site, talking about him in person, wow, no wonder he made it to work. And so many others, who have their own unique connection to this Giant of a Man. And I’ll bet that for everyone who was able to make it, there were 10 more who would have come if they could. Let’s not leave out all those of you who have written your memories on this page, and those of you who are about to.
Freddy, you really pulled things together and made Mark’s memorial gathering possible. Thank you so much.
I wish I could be more eloquent. I just want to post this in time for some of you to see it and realize how grateful I am to all of you. Meeting you and reading your feelings for Mark made me feel deceptively warm — almost, almost, as if Mark were still here.
Please stay in touch. I am not too good with email, but I will respond. Keep posting here, too.
With love and appreciation,
Mark’s All-time Favorite Dodger Fan
The memorial gathering for Mark Gremse has been postponed to the AFTERNOON of Nov. 19, 3-5pm, so that travellers can attend. Sophie’s Bar, 507 E. 5th St., NYC, between Avenues A and B.
Check back for updates.
If you would like to share a memory about Mark on this page, please leave a comment below by clicking HERE, or just scroll down.
If you’d like to share a memory about MARK GREMSE, please leave a comment below.
MLB.com will ask you to make a user ID (fast & easy), & will bring you right back to this page.
Mark Gremse died this week.
He was someone you’d want at a memorial service — a service for someone that everyone knew, someone you happened to love. I keep thinking I should call him about Saturday.
Mark didn’t just speak. He inscribed. Sometimes he engraved, with flourishes. You could count on him for a eulogy that would make you understand why you were crying so hard. He’d put all the words together for you and breathe feeling into them. He’d conjure the grandeur and the meaning of the life that had passed, and then make you remember a private moment that only you could keep alive now. You might imagine what he might say about you at your own funeral, and suddenly see how you, too are a part of history, a part of him, and, yes, a part of baseball.
You would never imagine him dead, silent.
If God were a Giants fan, Cooperstown would be on East 4th Street on the Lower East Side, between Avenues A and B. Closer to B. You can tell He’s not, because Mark would be alive and curating. And the Giants would have won more than that pennant in the 50 years Mark shared with us.
You may have read the beginning of a story about him that I finally posted August 9. I hope he did. The rest has been coming out slowly, forever. But now, without Mark in that apartment, forever feels different. It’s not an ongoing thing anymore. It’s not like Pitchers and Catchers, or Next Year, which always rolls around if you wait long enough. It’s not even like a baseball game, pure in its unclocked timelessness. I counted on Mark to connect next season to last year’s, and all the seasons before that. To take me into history, with him. Is baseball really timeless, after all?
Credit for the title of this post belongs to Marc Marc. One late morning, Marc made me coffee and a proposition. "Let’s go to Gremse’s. For the game. We can make it." I thought he was talking about a bar, and went, willingly. But he took me to the apartment of one of his closest living friends, a friend who then grew deep into me, like that tree on 4th Street grew into to Gremse, the sapling he tried to save after it got hit by a car that was trying to squeeze into a parking spot. He used his belt to tie it together for the moment and convinced someone to watch over it while he ran to the hardware store, for wood glue. Can you imagine, being the passer-by whose aid he enlisted on behalf of that tree? I asked him about that tree a year or two ago. He looked away. "It died."
A memorial gathering for Mark Gremse is planned for Saturday AFTERNOON Nov. 19 (note change), 3-5pm, at Sophie’s Bar, 507 East 5th St., between Avenues A and B. Closer to A.
That’s what Mark Gremse says at the end of a great story. If you tell one yourself, he’ll append it to yours, too — if it’s about baseball, that is, or if it could be. That’s the kind of generous he is. Right now, the most important thing you need to know about Gremse is that he is a lifetime New York Giants fan. A Polo Grounds Giants fan. Here’s a little more about him…
I’m his all-time favorite Dodger fan.
If you don’t pick up any nuance there, you probably don’t know Gremse (He’s called by his first name, Mark, outside Sophie’s, where the chances someone’s name is Mark, Joe, or Dave run about 4 to 1). You’ve already figured out that he has no business having a favorite Dodger fan, especially one born in LA after 1958. Maybe you think you hear some sarcasm — favorite, yeah, sure, whatever.
But I knew what I was hearing the first time Mark called me that. It was Love, with Irony — those twin Furies who step-in for the Muses in matters of the art and history of baseball. Mark is a historian, and his memory is iconographic. It’s not that he worships idols, though visitors to his apartment on East 4th Street would be forgiven for thinking so. (Think Cooperstown as treehouse fort.) It’s that he operates on a level of orthodoxy that most of us will never achieve, with a superior spiritual understanding approaching a that of a Zen Master. He can see the higher truth in apparent contradiction. That’s why he was open to the possibility that something good can come out of an act that on the surface is so grotesquely wrong: the befriending a girl with eyes of Dodger Blue. Gremse can always see the spin on the ball as it leaves the pitcher’s hand. There’s a spin on this one — and a story goes with it….
…more to come