No mustache and no glasses: Valentine’s Day in the fall of 2021 at the Empire State Building in New York.Image: image
June 9, 1999: If anyone knows Major League Baseball, it’s Bobby Valentine. His problem: If everyone knows you, it’s hard to sneak into the bank after getting kicked.
06.09.2022, 00:016/8/2022, at 10:46
He played for the Los Angeles Dodgers, California Angels, San Diego Padres, New York Mets and Seattle Mariners for a decade. Then for a long time as a manager in the Texas Rangers, New York Mets, Boston Red Sox, a few years in between in Japan, later a TV expert. Baseball is Bobby Valentine’s life.
In the summer of 1999, Valentine coached the New York Mets when they faced the Toronto Blue Jays at home. The match is tight, the situation is 3:3 in overtime, in the 12th inning, when the head coach receives the referees. They decided against the Mets, which Valentine doesn’t approve of.
“I’ve read the rules all my life, but I’d never heard of the referee. So I went out and talked to him,” Valentine recalled years later on ESPN. “I asked him if he could kick me out for what I was thinking, and he said no. Then I said what I thought – and he kicked me out.”
“No one will recognize you from this”
Valentine goes into the locker room where two of his players, Orel Hershiser and Robin Ventura, are. They ask him what he does in the dressing room, he is needed in the dugout (bench). “I can’t go there anymore,” Valentine tells them.
Then two players have an idea. “Robin threw me a hat, Orel handed me sunglasses and said, ‘Put these things on and take off your jacket and no one will recognize you.'” The coach points out that sunglasses stand out in a night game, but the players tell their boss to do it.
“Then I saw these stickers that you put under your eyes for the game. I took two and glued them to my upper lip as a muzzle. When I looked at my two players, they said nobody would ever notice anything.” And so Bobby Valentine goes to the bank, presumably incognito.
Carnival at the Baseball Stadium: Robert “Bobby V” Valentine.Photo: esp
Cap pulled down over his forehead, Valentine crouches in the dugout, protected by Orel Hershiser. But the farce is exposed, the television cameras capture it, and the commentators spot him. The game is over shortly after the New York Mets win it 4-3. Bobby Valentine rushes onto the field with five players.
“I probably won’t be asked anything more often”
“The judges laughed when they saw me like that,” says Valentine. The league thinks it’s less fun. He received a $5,000 fine and two suspensions. At least the forests don’t lose their value. “I really didn’t think there would be any consequences. It was made quite a big deal and I was soon fired.”
Not always agreeing with the umpires: Valentine 2012 as manager of the Boston Red Sox.Image: image
Bobby Valentine continues as Mets manager until 2002. In 2005, he became the Japanese champion with the Chiba Lotte Marines – but what he remembers most is masking up on a summer evening in New York in 1999. ?”
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