Yesterday I noted the passing of two figures from the Yanks' past, one of which was Arthur Richman. Most of you may not have any knowledge about Richman and his role within the Yanks organization for decades. Thankfully, we have Jack Curry to put Richman's stature and impact within its proper perspective:
The reason I know Harlond Clift was an All-Star is because Richman mentioned how he hung out with Clift while traveling with the St. Louis Browns as a child. The only time I met Stan Musial was when I was having dinner with Richman and he stopped at our table and hugged Richman. I secured a home phone number for Willie Mays because Richman gave it to me. The only president I met was George H.W. Bush. I saw Bush and a Secret Service agent walking through a hotel in PalmIt was noted yesterday that it was Richman who pushed hard for Torre as manager way back in 1996. Richman was also Joe DiMaggio's public handler, making sure that Joe's image, during and after his life, was well-taken care of.
Springs, Calif. When I mentioned that I knew Arthur, the 41st president stopped and talked for 10 minutes.
Richman, who was Jewish, was so well connected that he secured Jim Thome a papal blessing from Pope John Paul II as a wedding gift. As a Catholic, I told Richman how impressed I was with what he had done for Thome. So he asked me if I wanted a papal blessing, too.
Wallace Matthews has a nice tribute as well, discussing how incredible a relationship builder Richman was:
A typical exchange in his office would go something like this: "Arthur, it's George Bush on the phone."He's another one of those guys who I never met but it sure would have been great to know. At least we can learn a little bit about him with some of these tributes.
Of course, he knew them both.
And Don Larsen, who took his advice to stop drinking at midnight the night before he was to pitch Game 5 of the 1956 World Series. Larsen threw a perfect game the next day, and a year later he asked Arthur to be his best man.
And Joe DiMaggio, who trusted him enough to take him along to Westwood Memorial Cemetery for one of his late-night visits to Marilyn Monroe's grave.
The wall of his office at Yankee Stadium was covered in pictures. Arthur with the Pope, with Ty Cobb, and with a kid who sold hot dogs.
"He was an incredible character, one of those people who if you made him up, nobody would believe such a person could exist," former Yankees PR man Rick Cerrone said. "He literally knew everybody, and everybody knew him."