November 13, 2010

Comments about Mickey Rutner: dad, ballplayer and coach

Click on card to enlarge

Toby Rutner 1960: Thank you so much for the wonderful articles about my Dad.
I know that he would be so pleased to have made such a positive impression on
on so many people. He was a real character.

After he died and my Mom was preparing the funeral, she couldn't bring herself to put a suit on him, so we buried him in his golf clothes and put a golf club in there with him,
just in case he gets a chance to play.

The funeral escort was done Texas style. He got a motorcycle escort to the cemetary with lights flashing and sirens sounding. He went out, as he lived, in style.

Richard Rutner: Thank you for that wonderful homage to my dad. He was a great ballplayer, Toby and I were lucky enough to be on the road the first several years of our lives to live in the dugout and experience growing up with a professional baseball player.

Don Davidson 1960: The two years I played Pony League ball my father coached the team. He was an avid cigar smoker and decided that the best steal signs would be when he would take the damn thing out of his mouth.
Back then we played each team, if memory serves me correctly, twice during the regular season. The first time we played Mickey Rutner’s team we stole four bases. The second time we played his team the first three steal attempts were all pitchouts and each time the base runner was thrown out. l looked over at Mickey Rutner after the third one and he was laughing so hard I swear he had tears in his eyes. My father never changed the sign in two years and we never stole another base off that team.

Frank Barning 1960: One day while I was in the Levittown Pony League, Mickey Rutner came by to give us some coaching tips during a practice session. We worked on base running and how to take a proper lead off first base, even how to best take your first step toward second base.

With apologies to Mr. DiMaggio and Mr. Simes, I learned more from Mickey Rutner in his short visit than in two years of playing baseball in high school.

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