Saturday, May 2, 2015

Happy Baseball Birthday... Joe Falls

Today's  a very special  Happy Baseball Birthday!

Joseph Francis Falls  was an award winning sportswriter for over 50 years, and, in my opinion, the best baseball writer who ever covered my beloved Detroit Tigers.

Joe Falls was born in New York City, New York on May 2, 1928.

Joe first came to the Motor City working for the Associated Press, then started covering the Tigers in 1958, for the Detroit Times.

The Detroit Free Press acquired Joe's writing talent in 1960, and he would cover Detroit baseball for the Free Press until 1978.

From the Free Press Joe moved on to be a writer and sports columnist for the rival Detroit News.

The Sporting News also showcased Joe's baseball writing skills with a weekly colum in baseball's premire newspaper.

Getting a copy of The Sporting News during the baseball season was the greatest thing a young baseball fan could get in the 1960s and 1970s.

With today's computers, tablets, and smartphone
technology we can access any information we want on the Internet.

When we were growing up loving baseball as kids 45 + years ago, we had Ernie Harwell on the radio, George Kell on TV, and Joe Falls and sports sections of newspapers like the Free Press, News,  and Kalamazoo Gazette, along with The Sporting News to get all our baseball info.

Joe Falls covered baseball, as well as all other Detroit Sports.

In 1999 I had the honor of meeting Joe Falls.

It was at the next to last game ever at old Tiger Stadium in Detroit, a beautiful Sunday afternoon for baseball at The Corner.

The News and Free Press had a combined Sunday paper in 1999, and they conducted a reader poll for the greatest players in Tigers history.

The handed out posters of the All-Time Tigers team that Sunday at the ballpark.

As I was walking near my seat I ran into Joe Falls.

I was thrilled go have finally met the man who's awesome baseball writing I had read for so many years.

As we were talking about the All-Time team he wasn't reall happy becaus the fans votes, well... I told him, "... I know, no Harry Heilmann."

" got it," Joe said to me.

He didn't like the fans including Tigers World Series hero Kirk Gibson, a terrific player,  being voted in over a Hall of Fame 4 time batting champion.

I told him I agreed.

And with that, Joe Falls went about his business,  I watched the Tigers beat the Royals, and went back home to Florida.

Here's a terrific YouTube video I found honoring Joe Falls.

Joe published books about baseball, the Tigers and other sports, in Detroit, and around the sporting world, as well.

Joe Falls was elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2004 as the recipient of the J G Taylor Spink Award.

Joe Falls passed away on August 11, 2004, at the age of 76.

Happy Baseball Birthday! Joe Falls!


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