Episode 139 – Dixie Tourangeau: Play Ball! Calendar, The Arky Vaughan for The Hall Committee, & The Only Triple Play / Grand Slam Combo in History

Dixie Tourangeau was born and raised in Central Massachusetts. Despite living near the dividing line of the battleground between Red Sox and Yankees fans, Dixie’s allegiance lies in an unexpected direction.

We’ll chat about how Dixie first fell in love with baseball, the method behind his team loyalty, and his extensive involvement with SABR (Society for American Baseball Research). As the creative force behind the Play Ball! Calendar for nearly 25 years, Dixie has not only educated fans on baseball history but also even potentially influenced Veterans Committee elections into the Hall of Fame.

And, even though he’s witnessed three no-hitters live, Dixie recounts an even rarer event that he was present for. Something so unique it has only happened once in the history of the game.

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Read the full transcript

[00:00:46] Anna: What’s up bucketheads? Thanks for tuning in and welcome to episode number 139 of the Baseball Bucket List Podcast. I’m your host Anna DiTommaso, and each week on the show, I speak with a different baseball fan about their favorite memories, what’s left on their baseball bucket list and what the game of baseball means to them. 

[00:01:02] Anna: This week, I sat down with Dixie Tourangeau from Boston. Dixie was born and raised in central Massachusetts, which is effectively the dividing line between red Sox and Yankees fans. 

[00:01:12] Anna: And believe it or not, despite 30 years of season tickets at Fenway, Dixie primarily routes for. Well, Not the Red Sox or the Yankees. 

[00:01:22] Anna: We chat a bit about how he got started with the game, how he chooses teams to follow and about his long history with SABR the Society for American Baseball Research. Dixie was also the writer behind nearly all 25 years of the Play Ball Calendar, which highlighted baseball history over the course of each year. And may have been a little responsible for some veterans committee elections into the Hall of Fame. Despite scene three, no hitters in person, Dixie actually has a claim to fame for seeing something even more rare at the ballpark. In fact, he was there for the only time, something like this has happened in the history of baseball. 

[00:01:58] Anna: He was so much fun. We could have talked forever and I’m sure we’ll have to have Dixie join the show again to hear the rest of his amazing stories, but for now, let’s get straight to the interview.

[00:02:07] Anna: Now without further ado, sit back, relax and enjoy some baseball banter with Dixie Tourangeau. 

[00:02:14] Anna: Dixie, thank you so much for joining us today on the Baseball Bucket List. How are things up north there?

[00:02:20] Dixie: Uh, they’re fairly quiet. We’ve had a mild winter so far. We’ve had a couple of snow storms, but in Boston, the snow never gets here anymore. The ocean seems to be blocking it. Central Massachusetts keeps getting dumped on, but by the time it gets here, it hasn’t got much left. And so we have some one or two inches to sweep into the gutter and we’re done.

[00:02:44] Anna: That sounds like a Texas snowstorm then, one to two inches, but, uh, you know, that shuts the whole city down here. So

[00:02:51] Dixie: Well, we want to share all of our snow with the ski people up in the north. They can have all of it.

[00:02:58] Anna: that’s very

[00:02:58] Dixie: They rely on it for their well being, so fine with

[00:03:03] Anna: Yeah, yeah. Well, that sounds good. It’s awesome. I, uh, you know, I spent just a couple of days in Boston, a handful of different times, and my brother actually went to school up there for a short time, and I remember visiting him in November and being just absolutely baffled by the fact that it was getting dark at like three o’clock in the afternoon.

[00:03:25] Dixie: We do that here.

[00:03:26] Anna: Yeah. Yep. Well, but we’re here to talk baseball as always. And you know, the first question we always kind of kick things off with here is, how is it that you fell in love with the game?

[00:03:36] Dixie: Well, it must have been by osmosis. I mean, most People who eventually like something, find out about it early and they like it for some reason and then things happen. And they like it a little more for various reasons. And then, then they’re into it. They’re into it and that’s it. They’re hooked for good.

[00:03:58] Dixie: And, you know, I’m, I’m, there are millions of people out there like me. They didn’t wind up like I did, but they all probably started off that way. 

[00:04:08] Anna: It’s funny you, you put it like that because, a lot of people have a defining moment that kind of got them interested in the game and it sounds to me like, you, it was, it was more of like a slow burn to kind of get you to be a major fan of the game because, you know, we’ve, we’ve talked a little bit in email leading up to this and I know we got a lot to cover, but, I’m sure folks at home are making a guesstimate here as to knowing that you’re sitting in Boston, as to who your favorite team is.

[00:04:41] Dixie: The Rockies. and the Astros, usually.

[00:04:45] Anna: Yeah, it’s so interesting, right?

[00:04:47] Dixie: Thing is that I grew up in central Massachusetts. It’s sort of the, the cutting line between Yankee fans. and Red Sox fans. And I listened to both of those groups for years. And so after a while, I got tired of both of them and went my own way. But I, I heard everything. I was brought up in the fifties. I’m probably older than most of the people you’ve had on, including your father, probably.

[00:05:18] Dixie: But I was, I was aware of baseball since the mid fifties. And my cousin, Bob, who’s unfortunately deceased, but he was four years older than I was. He was a big Yankee fan. So I was sort of tutored. By him in that respect for better or worse, um, but it was a slow process. I mean, I just watched everything and listened to everything.

[00:05:46] Dixie: And then what about my own way?

[00:05:48] Anna: Yeah, well, we’ll come back to that. But you’re talking about the 1950s Yankees and, you know, We had a family friend, his name was Bobby Brown, and he was the third baseman for the Yankees right in smack dab in the middle of the 1950s. And, uh, of course his, roommate when they would travel was Yogi Berra, and he had some stories about that man, but Those are the years where I I have fond memories of the the Yankees obviously from a historical perspective Not a real life perspective, but I think that was a great time to grow up learning to love baseball

[00:06:24] Dixie: Oh, it was when we had all the best players. They were most of them were were young, just coming up. Bobby Brown later became president of the American League. So I, the thing that I remember, the farthest back official baseball was the game seven of the 1955 World Series when the Dodgers finally won.

[00:06:50] Dixie: That’s as far back as I can remember, an event that I knew was coming that I actually watched on tv.

[00:06:57] Anna: that’s awesome, man. Okay, so I want to talk a little bit more about the Rockies and the Astros here So, I mean you grew up right there on the dividing line between Yankees, Red Sox, that huge rivalry What is it about both of those teams, the Rockies and the Astros, that kind of won you over here a little more recently?

[00:07:20] Dixie: I, the Rockies were just because it was Colorado and they, and, you know, they didn’t appear on the map until the 90s. But they had guys on their team that I liked for one reason or another. And so I just kind of attached myself to them. As for the Astros, I really didn’t attach myself to, I knew guys on the team.

[00:07:44] Dixie: I liked several guys on the team before the 90s. But in the 90s period and then into the 2000s when Jose Altuve was there, and, you know, this little guy, the team stunk, and suddenly they were looking to be good.

[00:08:04] Anna: Mm hmm

[00:08:04] Dixie: And the, the Society for American Baseball Research Convention was in Houston in 2013, I believe.

[00:08:14] Dixie: That was the famous Sports Illustrated cover of They Will Win the World Series in 2017 or something, Anyway, it was a ridiculous prediction that came true, but I had the magazine when they first gave the prediction and we were at their ballpark for the convention and Jose Altuve, I think he went six for 12.

[00:08:41] Dixie: And five of his six outs were warning track fly balls. So I said, this is fun. This guy’s a fun guy to watch. So I just kind of adopted them along with everybody else on the team at that time, and have been following them ever since. Now, of course, they plan their own demise later on, but yeah, okay, that’s it.

[00:09:01] Dixie: So I’ve, I’ve rooted just about for everybody over the course of my life, which is pretty long now. , and I even rooted for the Red Sox for a short time, but everything passes.

[00:09:14] Anna: Well, I think that just goes to show that you’re much more a fan of the game than of any team in particular, or perhaps a fan of specific players, which, you know, I, I find myself, I have a soft spot for specific guys and that kind of influences who I’m cheering for on any given day.

[00:09:30] Dixie: Well, when often my friends say, well, aren’t you a Red Sox fan? I say, no, I’m a baseball fan. There’s a difference.

[00:09:38] Anna: I really don’t know where to start here. You, there’s such a rich history, so many cool things to discuss, but you know, the thing that I was immediately jealous of is Right there at the top of my baseball bucket list, and I’ve been close once now, is to see a no hitter. And every time I talk with somebody who’s had the opportunity to do that, I get a little bit of jealousy, but more, more so excitement vicariously through them.

[00:10:07] Anna: And, uh, you haven’t seen one. You haven’t seen two. You’ve seen three. 

[00:10:12] Dixie: I’ve seen three. 

[00:10:14] Anna: what’s the secret? How do you you know, how do you pick the games?

[00:10:17] Dixie: certainly being in the right place at the right time and being extremely lucky since I’ve seen them in Boston, Phoenix, and Miami. You can’t get farther apart than that, I don’t think, to see three no hitters. And I was, I was, I was just there for, I, the one in Phoenix was a Society for American Baseball Research convention again in Phoenix.

[00:10:44] Dixie: And it was, it was Randy Johnson who was beaten one to nothing by Jose Eminez. It was, and if you could have bet 100 on that game for that to happen, you would have made millions because that’s implausible. And then I saw one here, John Lester’s for the Red Sox. It was just a game that I picked to go to out of the 30 years of season tickets that I had.

[00:11:10] Dixie: So it was just luck. the third no hitter was 2013, the final game of the season in Miami. And I really went down there because I wanted to see, uh, Cabrera, maybe women, a second triple crown because the tigers were playing them to end the season. Because the season is so screwed up Now, schedule-wise. So the lady of the house and I went down because a friend of mine lives there and she offered us her house to, to stay in, uh, her car to drive around. So, I mean, what can you do got to go. So we went down to see, uh, several games. Uh, ’cause I had, I had, I’d been, I had been to Miami before to see. a couple games, but certainly not in a new stadium, certainly not that team.

[00:12:02] Dixie: And we, we had tickets for, I think the final six games of the season and they were great. It was fun. There weren’t very many people there, but it was fun. So the last game comes, it’s all over that day and they’re playing the Tigers and the game’s going along and Suddenly, everyone starts to realize that Alvarez has a no hitter.

[00:12:30] Dixie: Unfortunately, Miami has no runs. So what’s going to happen? So we go to the bottom of the ninth inning. It’s nothing, nothing. People are saying, well, he’s, how long can he pitch? I mean, it’s, this is gonna end now. And, and Carlos Stanton was up. Giancarlo Stanton was up first. And you could see In his mannerism that he was determined to end that game didn’t end it with a home run though I think he got a base hit or walked and managed to get around to third base and A relief pitcher came in for the tigers Basis loaded one out and threw a wild pitch and he scored and I think I sent you the picture of him tagging home plate with his foot.

[00:13:21] Dixie: Best picture I ever took at a ball game, but that was the end of the season and the no hitter was good.

[00:13:28] Anna: Ugh. What a wild story. I mean, I’ve, I’ve been to a game that ended on a wild pitch, which was just, you know, it’s super fun and exciting in and of itself. But to, to realize as Stanton is kind of sprinting towards home, what it will mean if he actually gets there, to preserve a, a no hitter, 

[00:13:48] Dixie: Everybody knew that it was now or never for that whole, that whole scenario that day, the back, the other part of that story is that my friend who lives in Miami, who offered us her apartment and her car so that we had a great time, no matter what we’re doing. Of course, after it was all over and we were back home, I was wondering, well, how, how can I repay this?

[00:14:17] Dixie: This is a free week in Miami. Well, the Red Sox went to the World Series, and then I did. So, as it was evident that they were going to be in the World Series and when the game was going to be, I called her on the phone and I said, If you can get here, you’re going to the World Series. And she got here, and she did. For free.

[00:14:40] Anna: yeah, that sounds like a pretty good trade off to me. I mean, you know, World Series games at Fenway, I imagine, are a sight to behold. I think it’s interesting to me that you, you know, you say, I even rooted for the Red Sox and then casually slip in that you had season tickets for 30 years.

[00:15:00] Dixie: Well, I’m a baseball fan. I live here. So if I wanted some baseball, I have to go see them.

[00:15:06] Anna: Well, not a bad place to be Fenway, you know, it’s a, a beautiful park and obviously full of, of a ton of history, and I know you’re a big history buff. the history of the game and the story of the game means an awful lot to you, it sounds like.

[00:15:20] Dixie: It does. Um, I’ve been writing about, and reading about, and studying the game since, for forty something years now. So, I’m, I’m into it. I’m hooked. 

[00:15:34] Anna: writing about it. I know one of the projects that you you were involved with is something called the play ball calendar and For for listeners who haven’t heard about this. Can you kind of explain what it is? So you’re holding it up right now. You got play ball 2005 it looks like it’s the 25th anniversary edition 

[00:15:54] Dixie: It was the last one.

[00:15:56] Anna: The last one,

[00:15:57] Dixie: it for 25 years, and then I was tired of doing it because it was, it was getting in the way of me doing other things, but it was great fun for 25 years, no question about that, and that was that, that got me in the turning point of my baseball life, as from a street urchin fan. To a baseball fan a nut came in 1980. I can’t give you the date, but I can tell you it was 1980 because three things happened. first of all, a friend of mine who I went to college with was a little bit younger than me, but went to college. Uh, he was in the insurance business and he hated it. He couldn’t stand it. He wanted to be a publisher. So he started to publish, he decided on publishing calendars for a business. I don’t know how many people tried to stop him, but he said, no, no, I’m going to do this. So he started doing calendars and he did, I think, three calendars for 1981. So all the calendars had to be done in 1980.

[00:17:07] Anna: hmm.

[00:17:09] Dixie: And when, when the baseball calendar was written by a sports writer in Hartford, because that’s where he is in Hartford, Connecticut. And he said, would you mind looking this over so that I know that it’s, it’s, it’s decent. I said, okay, fine. So I looked it over. It wasn’t decent. It was terrible.

[00:17:31] Anna: Oh no.

[00:17:32] Dixie: There were lots of mistakes. The writing was okay, but the thing was full of mistakes.

[00:17:37] Anna: Mm.

[00:17:38] Dixie: Fixed as many as I could and the thing went out. And the following year, things happened, and I said, Scott, let me do the calendar.

[00:17:49] Dixie: Just give it to me, I will do it. And he did. And then I did it for 24 years.

[00:17:55] Anna: Wow. 

[00:17:56] Dixie: was I met a person by the name of Morgan White Jr. He advertised in a newspaper in Boston for people to come and play. For his softball team, and I just sort of answered the ad and Morgan White Jr.

[00:18:14] Dixie: is a radio person who was just getting into the business at that time, and he did trivia shows in the middle of the night. And I would call in and we would have fun on the phone together. his radio personality and everything later meant that I got on the radio with not only him, but other people. So that was another thing. The third thing was my entrance into the Society for American Baseball Research. That was a real important thing. Same time, 1980. Uh, the side story is that in 1978. I decided it would be really a cool thing for a bunch of us who went to school at Northeastern University in Boston to get together for a rendezvous in Cooperstown just to go play softball, go to the Hall of Fame, have a weekend there camping out because none of us had any money. we did. In 1978 we did that and it was such a good time that we did it again in 1979 and it was such a good time we did it again in 1980. We’ve done it for 46 years.

[00:19:26] Anna: gonna say I’ve heard of this. I’ve heard of this exact thing.

[00:19:30] Dixie: So we are still doing it. Uh, it, it, we did it with a lot of people. We’ve done that with a very few people. Anyway, in 1980, as part of that weekend, I was in the Hall of Fame looking at the stuff. And back then it wasn’t fixed up the way it is now, certainly old hat. And I was looking at the little cases full of this stuff and just having a great time.

[00:19:56] Dixie: And suddenly a very small, slight gentleman. in his 60s at least, tapped me on the shoulder. And he said, excuse me, but if we put all of this stuff down in a cave with a 25 watt bulb, would you come and look at it? And I said, sure. He said, I’ve got a group for you. And that’s when he introduced me to SABR – Society for American Baseball Research.

[00:20:25] Dixie: His name was Cliff Cackline. He was the the head librarian at the Baseball Hall of Fame Library, and also one of the 16 original founders of SABR. So I was recruited off the street by that person.

[00:20:42] Anna: Wow.

[00:20:43] Dixie: then since then, I’ve just met hundreds of unbelievable people. I mean, I know John Thorne as a friend who’s the official baseball historian, just like he’s like a buddy down the street.

[00:20:56] Dixie: That’s incredible. Yes.

[00:20:57] Anna: And that’s how we connected too, was, was through SABR and, um, I’m a newer member and I’ve been blown away by the, , relationships. I mean, I knew baseball was a phenomenal game. I knew that baseball fans were, generally speaking, good people, but there’s another level of fandom when you, uh, dig in as much as SABR kind of allows you to.

[00:21:20] Dixie: Oh, yes, there are several levels. I mean, my immediate friends think that I know 10 times more than they do about baseball. What they don’t realize is that I know people in SABR who know 10 times more than I do. So I’m never, I’m never worried about what they think I know. I know it’s that much.

[00:21:44] Anna: yeah. Find your crazy. It’s a, it’s a term I’m hearing more and more these days and I, I couldn’t really agree more with it. So, um, I want to back up to the calendar because, you know, a lot of people, when, when we think about calendars, we don’t necessarily think of. Having to do research or writing for them, but can you kind of explain to listeners?

[00:22:08] Anna: How much effort really went into that? Oh my goodness. Alright, so you’re holding up a page now.

[00:22:15] Dixie: can show you the calendar at the very beginning was very simple in design. whoever was the lead character for that month, you picked one person and did a bio for that player. And the boxes for the dates had their, had birthdays. So it was pretty simple. Now when it first started out that first year, the boxes, some of the boxes were empty.

[00:22:43] Dixie: That really didn’t go over too big with me, because I knew there were people who needed to get in there. So it went from maybe a 500 word biography, In the first couple of years to over 1000 words later on and having the boxes having one or two or three names in and went to seven or eight names in them.

[00:23:06] Dixie: So that’s there was no room to write anything in those boxes, which the publisher said. Can’t you give me a little room? And I said, that’s not the purpose of this calendar. You need all the names just to show you whose birthday it is. So that’s that’s the way we went. And I got away with it because the off the publisher was a friend.

[00:23:26] Anna: Yeah, that’s awesome. I mean you you just held that up I’m hoping what that we can get some form of a photograph of it so I can kind of share it with listeners, along with the, uh, Giancarlo Stanton crossing home plate photo you’ve already shared with me. But, I can understand now after having seen that, just how much effort it would have taken to, to produce that calendar.

[00:23:49] Anna: And, I also understand why when we booked this interview you said we were celebrating, Nolan Ryan’s birthday, I believe, is today, and then,

[00:23:59] Dixie: Bernie Banks, Jackie Robinson, and Nolan Ryan are today.

[00:24:03] Anna: my goodness. What a great day. What a great 

[00:24:06] Dixie: And within within the next couple of days, we’re going to have Henry Aaron on the fifth and Babe Ruth on the sixth.

[00:24:12] Anna: Wow. So are you just like a walking encyclopedia right now? Could you, could you, if I just threw a name out there, could you tell me a birthday, do you think?

[00:24:22] Dixie: No. the middle of doing the calendars, maybe, but not, not anymore. Some, some I do know, but most of them, there are, there are much, many too

[00:24:33] Anna: yeah, I can imagine seven or eight or nine a day would be, would be pretty difficult to, to keep up with, but that’s, that’s really neat What a, what a fun project. I can understand why it was basically a full time job.

[00:24:46] Anna: There’s some really cool stories, kind of associated with the play ball calendar too. And the veterans committee for the hall of fame. Can we get into that a little bit? 

[00:24:56] Dixie: My, I live in a triple decker. I am the landlord. Downstairs tenant is another college friend of mine. And as I started doing the calendar back in the early 80s, he was standing there with the Baseball encyclopedia in his hand one day, and he said, who’s this guy Vaughn? He looks pretty good.

[00:25:14] Dixie: I said, yeah, he was pretty good play for the Pirates in the 30s He said well, he looks very good. How come he’s not in the Hall of Fame? I said I don’t know. And that’s, that’s what started it. And then I tried to find out why he wasn’t in the Hall of Fame, or how could we get him in the Hall of Fame? And before it was all over, I knew his three brothers who were alive then, and I befriended his daughter, who was alive then.

[00:25:42] Dixie: And after he was in the calendar, in 1983 or four, a whole year passed, and then he was elected. In 19, and so the, the induction ceremony in 1985, I was invited to sit with the family at the Hall of Fame induction ceremonies, because they think that I got him in. Now that may be 1 percent true, but that, not more than that, but I, they think that I was 99 percent responsible for him getting to the Hall of Fame, because I got a telegram from his, one of his brothers from all of them.

[00:26:19] Dixie: Um, That day that he got elected, the Veterans Committee elected him and said, Thank you, thank you, thank you. That’s what the telegram said.

[00:26:28] Anna: Oh, man. I kind of feel like it’s too coincidental that that worked out that way. I mean, I think maybe you had a little more to do with it than, than you might be giving yourself credit for.

[00:26:38] Dixie: Well, I’m actually, our little group, which I call the Arky Vaughan for the Hall Committee, which was like three people, actually was mentioned in a couple of books about the Hall of Fame and how some people went out and tried to get people elected through various, uh, shenanigans that they pulled. I thought mine was very tasteful, very tastefully done, and it actually seemed to have worked.

[00:27:06] Dixie: The strange thing is that it worked two more times. I wrote about a guy in the calendar, a year went by, and then that guy was elected by the Veterans Committee. That happened two more times.

[00:27:18] Anna: What are their 

[00:27:19] Anna: names? 

[00:27:19] Dixie: Mick Willis and Bid McPhee

[00:27:22] Anna: That’s awesome.

[00:27:23] Dixie: were my favorite guys, and that’s just the way it happened. I thought I should put them in the calendar.

[00:27:28] Dixie: I did. Year goes by, Veterans Committee votes, they’re in. Thank you very much.

[00:27:34] Anna: I love that. That’s awesome. That’s so neat.

[00:27:39] Dixie: By the way, I was, I had this idea. Is your birthday celebrated during the baseball season?

[00:27:47] Anna: It is not and that is one of the things I hate about it.

[00:27:51] Dixie: Okay. Just wanted to know, about four years ago, I decided to write a story for SABR, for one of their publications, about, about Cy Young, and who he pitched against the most times. I was just curious. And as soon as I started to do the research on it, it took me about 10 minutes to figure out, I was going to have to look at every single game Cy Young pitched for 22 years. And I said, okay, if that’s the way it’s going to be, then I will, I will do that and I will use this. I’ll gather up everything I can and I did and I have a list of every single day he pitched. So I know if he pitched on August something that he won three games and lost four in the 22 years that he pitched.

[00:28:41] Anna: I, 

[00:28:42] Dixie: I have that information right here.

[00:28:44] Anna: Nice. Well, I could give you my dad’s birthday. He’s um, he’s September 9th, which would be in season.

[00:28:50] Dixie: Well, September 9th is a good day because that is one of the first days that I realized when doing the calendar, there were already three Hall of Famers on that day, 9 And let’s see here, Cy Young on September 9th, he was one win, three losses, and

[00:29:12] Anna: Not a great day for, for old Cy Young there then.

[00:29:16] Dixie: let me see who the three Hall of Famers are. So I know this is the first time I saw it. Yes, Frank Chance. Uh, Wade Hoyt from the Yankees and Frankie Frisch, 

[00:29:30] Anna: That’s 

[00:29:30] Dixie: hitting card. 

[00:29:31] Anna: Yeah, 

[00:29:32] Dixie: those three are on September 9th.

[00:29:34] Anna: that’s cool. How fun and I think that’s like one of the things I love so much about about baseball is you know Of course when we’re watching these broadcasts, we get these random statistics thrown out there about how you know it’s the first time that this guy has you know hit a home run on a 3 1 count on a Tuesday with his shirt untucked or something like that, but

[00:29:56] Dixie: and 

[00:29:57] Anna: We eat it up 

[00:29:58] Dixie: come on. It’s like telling me launch angles. I don’t care about launch angles. One of the, having season tickets for 30 years, I of course saw Many, many unbelievable games, many, many dead games, but many great games. And the one I can remember in, in terms of something happening that was amazing.

[00:30:24] Dixie: Uh, we were sitting in a game one summer day and vases were loaded for the Red Sox and Scott Hattaberg came up and Scott Hattaberg lined it to somebody and hit into a triple play. Oh, well, okay. Couple innings later, the bases are loaded again, and Scott Hattaberg is coming to the plate. And I announced to everyone within earshot of me, at my wonderful seats, if he hits it out, it’s going to be the first time in baseball history.

[00:30:57] Dixie: And two pitches later, he hit it out. And slam home run, triple play, same game, nobody else has done that.

[00:31:07] Anna: Wow

[00:31:08] Dixie: And I was there to see it.

[00:31:09] Anna: That’s incredible. Never again. Like, that was not only the first, but the only.

[00:31:13] Dixie: was 20 something years ago.

[00:31:18] Anna: That’s incredible. I mean, you think about how rare it is for that to happen. One, a triple play in any game is, you know, we get a handful of those a year. I have seen one with my own eyes, finally. That was one of the things that I got to check off of the baseball bucket list.

[00:31:34] Anna: Uh, grand slams we see. You know, for, for both of those things to happen in the same game is really unheard of, but then for the same guy to commit one of each.

[00:31:47] Dixie: almost impossible.

[00:31:48] Anna: Yeah. That’s wild. That’s 

[00:31:51] Dixie: It’s almost like seeing a, a no hitter on the last day of the season.

[00:31:55] Anna: Almost. Yeah.

[00:31:56] Dixie: What?

[00:31:58] Anna: What’s your favorite baseball memory? I mean, you’ve got a lot to choose from it sounds like, but is there one that kind of tops 

[00:32:06] Dixie: Uh, that’s, that’s tough. I’ve just seen so many things. I mean, I’ve been to seven world series games. I went to the 1999 all star game at Fenway. So I saw Ted Williams in the middle of the field with everybody around him, saw that. , and, and other games that I’ve gone to that had unbelievable stuff happen in them, plus the three no hitters.

[00:32:32] Dixie: So that would be a difficult thing. I’ll tell you kind of a humorous story and, and you can see why it would be a favorite. I come from central Massachusetts and my season tickets, I had four tickets. So I had to find people to go. I can’t sit in four seats

[00:32:49] Anna: Heh heh

[00:32:50] Dixie: Or even two so I would I invited all friends from where I work that I knew off the street and that I knew Years ago everybody I said if you want tickets, I have great seats.

[00:33:05] Dixie: Come on. Just tell me so uh people that I went to high school with a couple that got married after high school to each other And I’m still married to each other and have a great two sons, uh, they would come to a couple of games a year, but they would take their sons, or they would come with friends and on occasion, we would get to go with them. Well, I invited them to the 2004 first game against the Yankees in the playoffs,

[00:33:33] Anna: Mm.

[00:33:34] Dixie: figuring they, they had come to so many games. They deserve to see a playoff game against the Yankees. Great. if you remember that game, the Yankees won 19 to eight.

[00:33:47] Anna: Yeah

[00:33:48] Dixie: They were so disappointed. They were so angry at me for inviting them to this game. 2013. Nine years later, they had been coming to games again. Their children were grown up now and away, and they would come to different games and every once in a while we would go again. So I invited them to come again to a playoff game. Because going to a regular season game is okay, but you deserve to go to a playoff game every now and then, at least I think that my people did. So I invited them to come see the Tigers. 2013 A, the American League playoff game. In the first game, the Tigers threw a one hitter at the Red Sox and won one to nothing. So things are already bad. Second game, where they come in. they’re saying to me, we hope this is better than the last time. Well, in the bottom of the eighth inning, the score is Detroit 5 and the Red Sox 1.

[00:34:54] Dixie: Here we go again. More disappointing. Bottom of the eighth inning, this guy walks, this guy gets a hit, this guy walks. Bases loaded. Out of the bullpen comes Joaquin Benoit. The guy who saved the game the day before and allowed the only hit. Because they wound up with a one hitter. And as soon as that gate opened up in the bullpen and he came out, I tapped my friend on the shoulder and I said, You’re back in it. The first ball went out. Ortiz did a grand slam home run to tie the score. And then the Red Sox won in the ninth inning. So, it was payback,

[00:35:36] Dixie: finally. 

[00:35:37] Anna: That’s awesome. What a good story. I think it’s so interesting to to see kind of the juxtaposition of two opposite ends of the the spectrum for emotions One when your team just gets absolutely destroyed uh, but then Man, a comeback is, there’s nothing like it.

[00:35:59] Dixie: Well, we were, we We mailed in applications for tickets for the 1975 World Series. And, you know, the odds of getting any tickets were astronomical. But we got two, two sets. One to Game 2 and one to Game 7. So when Carlton Fisk hits that home run in Game 6, we’re going to the World Series Game 7 the next, um, I guess two days later because of the rain. The seats that we had were the last two seats at Fenway. There were no more seats behind us dead center field. That’s as far as you can go. And so we celebrated the first couple innings when the Sox went ahead and then we saw the slow demise and The home run by Tony Perez off the gopher ball and we saw it had an excellent view of the water the arc His bat over the green monster to put them ahead So we did, we did see that, but there were, there were two emotions there.

[00:37:04] Dixie: I mean, the first inning, they were at three to nothing. They couldn’t get any more runs. So we would have seen the curse broken. We were there for it and nope, not this time.

[00:37:14] Anna: No. man, I mean, okay, so you’ve seen seven World Series games, right? Three no hitters. You saw the only triple play Grand Slam combo in history. Is there still something? At the top of the baseball bucket list? I mean, you gotta be pretty content with your lot and your cards

[00:37:36] Dixie: Oh, I am. I understand how lucky I am and there is, I don’t think there’s anything that could happen. I haven’t seen a four home run game yet, but those are really ridiculous trying and find. Yeah. Uh, really the only thing I have for a bucket list is very simple. the only place I haven’t been yet is the new Texas ballpark. I’ve been to all the other ones. And when they built that one and it came into play, that put me behind the board. By one, by one state. I was even with the board in the 90s, and I was even with the board in 2019 when I went to a SABR convention in San Diego and went to Petco. That was the last one I needed.

[00:38:20] Dixie: And then, then they built, then they finished building the other one. So I’m, I’m behind one ballpark. To get there would be fine with me, and that, I can’t think of anything else. I’ve been too lucky, so.

[00:38:35] Anna: I feel like that one’s good. I mean, that one’s inside it, you know, that’s within your control. So, um, it’s definitely doable. That reminds me of one other thing I wanted to touch on with you. And that is, speaking of Texas ballparks, I got to go to the final game at Globe Life Park, which was always known to me as the ballpark in Arlington, uh, where the Rangers used to play across the street from what is now Globe Life Field.

[00:39:04] Anna: And, there was a parade afterwards. You know, they had all of the Ranger greats out on the field before and after the game. So much fanfare. And of course, Aaron Judge was the last guy to ever hit a home run in that ballpark, which is just, you know, sounds about right. But, uh, you’ve had the opportunity to go to a couple of last games at various parks, and I mean, you can tell us what they are, but from what it sounds like, they’re all gone, meaning they’re, they’re no longer in existence.

[00:39:39] Anna: They got torn down. Whereas, you know, right now the ballpark in Arlington still exists in not its natural form, but it’s still there. I’m grateful to have gotten to go to that last game, but boy, do I really regret missing the opportunities to see some of these older parks before they got torn down.

[00:40:00] Dixie: I’m always chagrined that I never got the Forbes

[00:40:03] Anna: Mm hmm.

[00:40:04] Dixie: All the ones that I might have been able to get to back when I was just graduating from school and out in the world. Forbes field was the one I really wanted to see and never got to see it standing up. You can see a bit of a wall now.

[00:40:18] Dixie: I’ve been here a couple times. I even hit a home run in Bill Mazerowski Field in a softball game. We had the SABR members way back maybe 15 years ago. But, uh, as for the park, no. The three parks I did see the last game is Memorial Stadium in Baltimore, Comiskey Park in Chicago, and I thought they were trying to kill us the night before, because for some reason they lit the entire roof up with fireworks.

[00:40:46] Dixie: It looked like it was a bonfire and we were all in the ballpark. I couldn’t understand why no one was killed that day. But, and then the best one was Tiger Stadium in Detroit. I was determined that I was going there. And the last game, I think we paid 125 for a 7 seat in centerfield. Uh, but that was the going price that day.

[00:41:14] Dixie: And the greatest thing was that as in the others, uh, the teams brought out everybody, everybody they could find it was alive. They brought him out. But before the game actually ended at Tiger Stadium, the Tigers loaded the bases in the eighth inning and Robert thick. You know, Grand Slam home run. That was the final hit at Tiger Stadium, and that was worth all the money I could have paid.

[00:41:42] Anna: Yeah. What a fitting finale there, you know? It’s, uh That’s one that I I regret not getting to and I blame my father for this because I was just a dumb kid at the time But you know, he he grew up in Detroit he has so many fond memories in old Tiger Stadium the way he talks about it and We saw Comerica and it’s first year and I just think why not go one year before you know

[00:42:11] Dixie: Yes, you always think of it later on. 

[00:42:13] Dixie: Uh, 

[00:42:14] Anna: Dixie, I’ve so enjoyed this. This has just been an absolute blast. I know we probably could have talked for about six hours with the, you know, all the topics that we had to cover, but I’ve just tremendously enjoyed it and can’t thank you enough for, for making time. 

[00:42:30] Dixie: The pleasure has been all mine. 

[00:42:32] Anna: And that will wrap up this episode of the baseball bucket list podcast, special thanks to Dixie Tourangeau for joining us. today and sharing those stories and memories. If this sounds like something you’d like to do, if you think you might like to be a guest on the show, head to baseballbucketlist.com/podcast and fill out an application I’d absolutely love to hear from you. While you’re there to make sure to spend some time on the site, build your own baseball bucket list and check off your. If you enjoy the show each week, please take a moment to rate, review it in the podcast app of your choice. You have no idea how much that does to move the needle, to introduce the show to new fans. And I would really appreciate it. That’s all for this week. Thanks so much for listening. We’ll see you next episode.

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