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Saturday, November 24, 2012

PART 2: THE VENDOR FROM THE HOUSE THAT RUTH BUILT

I like Dave Goode.  He’s a straight shooter, a huge Yankee fan and just a nice guy.  You don’t always get that combination.  You remember Dave right? We made Dave a star (I kid) with our piece titled THE VENDOR FROM THE HOUSE THAT RUTH BUILT, and he recently was featured in a piece by Jeana Bellezza tited HANGING OUT AT THE ARIZONA FALL LEAGUE.

This guys full of Yankee knowledge and I wanted to pick his brain even more… so I did.  Here’s part 2 of our Series titled THE VENDOR FROM THE HOUSE THAT RUTH BUILT.   

Enjoy this…I did.

BYB: Who was your favorite non-Yankee that you met at Yankee Stadium during your tenure and why was it so enjoyable?

Dave Goode: Gosh BYB… there were so many over the years. But one of the first people I met was Mrs. Babe Ruth.  What a pleasant person she was. I guess she was always asked for her autograph and she had these cards printed with her signature and name on it... I still have that card. 
There were others too. I once sat next to the comedian Robert Klein and we were high-fiving after Chris Chambliss hit the home run in 1976 to beat the Royals in the playoffs. That was a great moment. That’s when you knew that it didn’t matter if you were a celebrity or a guy on the street, you were all Yankee fans at that big moment.  I also met Woody Allen and a very funny man...Billy Dee Williams. 
(In Photo: Chuck Wepner)
He was a nice guy and so was Chuck Wepner (the boxer they called him the Hoboken Bleeder.)

BYB: There were many great and exciting moments. What was the saddest?

Dave Goode: The saddest day for me was when we were working at Shea Stadium and they announced that Thurman Munson had been killed in a plane crash. When the Yankees came home, they had a memorial for Munson. I still remember feeling terrible after we heard that news.  The one day I will never forget is that memorial service for Thurman. He was my favorite player and I have his picture on the wall in my office to this day. 

BYB: What was it like to meet Phil Rizzuto

Dave Goode: Many tell me that he was the nicest man they ever met. I was fortunate enough to meet the Scooter several times. The first time I met him was when I was about 10 years old…I was in Cub Scouts.  He and Gene Michael were signing autograph pictures at the local Coca-Cola plant. I met him numerous times during the time I worked there as well and I have to tell you, he was such a nice regular down to earth guy. He loved his wife and family and also his cannolis. In his last years broadcasting, I would see him leaving games early as he didn’t want to hit the traffic on the George Washington bridge as he wanted to get home to see his wife , kids and grand kids. Very, very fond memories of him.
BYB: Even though you were a vendor at the House that Ruth Built, did you ever get to wander around the belly of that stadium? If so, tell the BYB readers what it's like.
 
Dave Goode: Yes. The before the stadium was renovated (from 1974 to 1975), the vendors locker room was down in what I called the bowels of the stadium. In the old stadium, our locker room was very close to the Yankee clubhouse and dugout. There is
Yankee stadium security & and believe it or not, even the NYPD had a mini precinct down there with a holding cell for those idiots who ran onto the field.  Of course, the main commissaries where where much of the food was stored.  After the renovation, the walls were painted Yankee blue. Before the 1974-75 renovation, I don't recall the color. Once the stadium was renovated and reopened in 1976, I don’t recall any funky smell....but in that original ballpark 1923-1973, at times I remember an old musty type smell.   It’s funny, in the original stadium, I seem to remember the bowels being darker.  After the renovation it seemed brighter, but for me to have walked in the bowels where I knew the history of all the greats that once walked there Babe Ruth, Gehrig, DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle, Jerry Coleman, Frank Crosetti, etc,  walked underneath where I was at some point in time...WOW.  I have been in the room that Lou Gehrig sat in after he announced he has ALS.  
The rumor about Gehrig and that old storage room was supposedly he sat and thought to himself and wrote on the wall about what a good life he had. I have no idea if that is true or not, but that’s what I was told. I was very young in the early 70's and to have walked in the hallways & tunnels,  it was like winning the lottery for me. A truly awesome memory from those days.
BYB: You were at the 1977 All-Star Game at Yankee Stadium. Tell me about it and what is one moment you'll never forget from that special night?

Dave Goode: It was a hot July night in the Bronx. I was selling beer with another vendor in what was now called the Loge (prior to the renovation of the stadium it was bigger and called the Mezzanine.) We had a flat-bed truck loaded with about 60 cases of beer and we had to keep going back to the commissary for bags of ice so the beer would stay cold and boy that ice melted very quick that night. As far as the game went, our own Willie Randolph got a single off Tom Seaver for an RBI. Sadly the American league lost that game but the Yankees went on to win the World Series.

BYB: Yankee Stadium held other events. What else did you see?

Dave Goode: I worked the New York Cosmos games in the early 70's and got to see Pele play. So many events, there was Jazz Festivals,  many Morgan vs. Grambling football games and Jehovah witness conventions. I remember heavyweight boxing fights, Concerts with the Who and U2. The Pope.  I was at Yankee and also at Shea during the Yankee Stadium renovation ---Gosh, I wonder what I am forgetting .

BYB: Tell me the truth, did you ever snag a momento from the old Yankee Stadium? If so, what did you take and do you still have it today?

Dave Goode: Which “old stadium” are you refer to...before 1976 or 2008?  Yes, I have several balls from both parks. During the last New York Giants football game in 1973, I took a small sign from the upper deck that had a section number on it.  I also took some grass from that game. Sadly, I have moved too many times I don’t have anything else at this point. By 2008, I was no longer living or working near there and don’t have anything from the old renovated post 1976 stadium.  One of my most cherished souvenirs is the record that was given out on Mickey Mantle Day in 1969 and I still have that record. It was that day that I had run into a friend.  He convinced me to apply and work at Yankee Stadium.




BYB: We remembered Cory Lidle a while back on the anniversary of his death, but you actually met Cory.  Tell me about that meeting.

Dave Goode: By 1997, I was living in Arizona and I went to the press conference when it was announced that the Diamondbacks would be the new expansion team in the National league in 1998. Since I had never been to or seen an expansion draft, I drove to downtown Phoenix in late fall of 1997 to watch the draft as it took place live right here in Arizona.  There were a lot of baseball fans like myself who watching this process as it happened. Since I am very friendly, I started talking with a few guys before the draft started. Once the draft started, we all got quiet and watched the happenings. I was talking to this guy for about an hour. He was telling me about his wife but never mentioned who he was. Well, they announced the next pick for the Diamondbacks, and it was Cory Lidle. The guy excused himself, got up and said a few words. The guy I was talking baseball with was Cory Lidle. Such a nice man. It was so tragic what happened to him.

Dave, thanks again for a real fun and interesting interview.  I hope all you guys enjoyed it.  Enjoy your Saturday this Holiday Weekend!

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1 comment:

  1. I've known David my whole life. He got me a job selling Sundew orange drink at the Stadium. He went on to become the beer king! Go David!

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