Thursday, March 26, 2009
Remembering Brothers Richman, Arthur & Milt
Back in the day in the late fifties when I was a journalism major at New York University I worked the five P.M. to past midnight shift at United Press International then located in the New York Daily News Building not far from the United Nations.
It was there that I met Milton Richman, the outgoing and at the same time introspective top gun in the sports department. I was a lowly sports assistant but he mentored me, cared about me and truly kick-started my career in sports journalism. Lessons learned from him are still part of my craft.
The typing back then was on old IBM clunky typewriters and yellow paper. I would do a story and there was Milt standing behind me telling to write "faster, faster," to leave stuff out, to reverse sentence structure, to get a more exciting lead. Truly, it was like a post graduate course in the intricacies and nuances of how to be a fast and efficient writer of all things sports.
We would go out for dinner very late and sometimes Milt's younger brother Arthur would come along. He was then a sports writer for the New York Daily Mirror, of not such blessed memory. It was in these Richmanesque supper times that I learned more about the brothers, how much affection they had for each other, what New York characters they were, how their knowledge and contacts in the world of sports reached Niagaraesque heights.
I also learned about their passion for the St. Louis Browns. As kids, the brothers Richman used to hang out by the visiting players' gate at Yankee Stadium and when the St. Louis Browns visited they adopted the brothers taking them on trains to Philadelphia and Boston.
Arthur Richman died in his sleep at age 83 in his Manhattan apartment on March 25th ending a life of 40 years in baseball where his greatest claim to fame was recommending Joe Torre as manager. He was laid to rest in his 1944 Browns' cap.
Milton Richman passed in 1986. He was inducted into the writers' wing of the Hall of Fame in 1981.
Now the brothers Richman belong to history; they will not be forgotten.
Harvey Frommer is his 33rd consecutive year of writing sports books. The author of 40 of them including the classics: "New York City Baseball,1947-1957" and "Shoeless Joe and Ragtime Baseball," his acclaimed REMEMBERING YANKEE STADIUM, an oral/narrative history (Abrams, Stewart, Tabori and Chang) was published in 2008 as well as a reprint version of his classic "Shoeless Joe and Ragtime Baseball." The prolific Frommer is at work on REMEMBERING FENWAY PARK (2010).
Frommer sports books are available direct from the author - discounted and autographed.
FROMMER SPORTSNET (syndicated) reaches a readership in the millions and is housed on Internet search engines for extended periods of time.