Talking Baseball and Celebrating a Milestone Birthday with an Old Friend

July 8, 2008

Baseball Sillhouette I recently visited Charlotte, North Carolina, to celebrate the 100th birthday of Bill Werber. Bill is the oldest living ex-Major League Baseball player and the last remaining ex-teammate of Babe Ruth.

Boy, what a guy he is. When I was 13 and 14 years old, he took me hunting here in Washington, D.C., around the Eastern Shore of Maryland and out in Virginia. We shot quail and we went duck hunting on the Chesapeake Bay. He was a real friend and mentor and a hero of mine for many, many years.

I enjoyed the celebration a great deal. We told stories and talked a lot about all the things he'd done in the past. He's still as quick and sharp as ever.

There was a great article about him in The Washington Post recently, which was written by Dave Sheinin, who's a staff writer for the sports section. One of Bill's best stories was told by Dave in this article. Let me quote from that story. It's a story I've never heard before and a story I think is very, very unique.

Bill was playing for the Boston Red Sox back in the 1930s and he turned a base on balls into a triple. How do you get a triple out of a base on balls?

"Schoolboy Rowe," he said, "was pitching for Detroit, and he was after his 16th consecutive win." Bill said, "I walked. And Ray Hayworth is catching, and Bill Rogell is playing shortstop and Charlie Gehringer is playing second. And I'm going to first base, and I look over and Rogell has his back to the infield, tapping clods of dirt with his spikes. And Gehringer is doing the same thing.

"So when I hit first base, I had a full head of steam, and when I started going for second, you could hear the roar of the crowd all the way at Back Bay Station. Gehringer turns around, startled. Rogell turns around. They see me. So Hayworth throws the ball, and I slide into second base, and the ball goes out to Jo-Jo White in center field. So I slide into third base -- a triple out of a base on balls."

If that isn't a great story about baseball, I don't know what is. What a hero he is, what a great American. It was a thrill to be at his 100th birthday party and celebrate with an old friend and a boyhood hero.

I'm Bill Marriott and thanks for helping me keep Marriott on the move.

Talking Baseball and Celebrating a Milestone Birthday

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I havejust had the opportunity to be a guest in the Residnce Inn in Pensacola,fl. I wanted to tell everyone what a great staff . I have been all over the world and neer been treated in just a prompt and caring way. You should be very proud of all the people that work ata this motel from the office staff to housekeeping. No one could be any more efficient and kind. I just wanted to let you know what great facility .

It's just great that old friends and heros can get together

I enjoyed the personal info on Mr. Werber, however I must correct Mr. Cronk (and Mr. Marriott). Billy Werber did not play for the Boston Braves he played for the Red Sox in the American League. That story about the BB turned into a triple was against Detriot of the AL. The Boston Braves were in the National League and played in Boston until 1952 and moved to Milwaukee in 1953. Mr. Wereber was a teamate of Babe Ruth in 1930 and 1933.

In response to the comment above I believe Mr. Cronk ment that the Boston Braves didn't become the [i]Milwaukee[/i] Braves until 1953. The Boston Red Sox have been around since 1908 and were the Boston Americans from 1901 through 1907.
As for this blog I look forward to reading it and I especially enjoy the personal stories that Mr. Marriott relates.

Great story and as a young man I heard a lot of stories about baseball. My uncle played about the same time Mr Werber did and with the Boston Braves. His name is Earl Webb and he still holds the record for the most doubles in a single season. He hit 67 at Boston in 1931. I wonder if he and Mr Werber knew each other?

Mr. Marriott,
You know what that story reminds me of. Every day in business we have to take a risk and put alot of ourselves out there and rattle folks and get their attention. That story is the perfect anaology of sheer determination and drive for sucess. Sometimes the unexpected pays off.

Mr.Marriott, I look forward to reading and listening to your blogs. I find them enjoyable and informative. I just finished reading your most recent blog about your 100 year old friend Bill Werber and enjoyed it immensely. With all due respect I have to make one correction to the blog. Mr. Werber did not play for the Boston Red Sox but rather the Boston Braves. The Boston Red Sox did not become the Red Sox until 1953. Keep on blogging because I trully look forward to them. Arthur