A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006. Now a Popeyes fast food restaurant on Google Maps.

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Entry from May 29, 2006
Staten Island Sinker (spitball)
A "Staten Island sinker" is the late George Bamberger's term for a "spitball" pitch in baseball. Bamberger was born on Staten Island and would briefly play for the New York Giants and coach the New York Mets.

Wednesday, August 18, 2004
Bamberger tutored multitude of 20-game winners
ESPN.com news services

NORTH REDINGTON BEACH, Fla. -- George Bamberger, a former major league pitcher who became a coach and managed Milwaukee's "Bambi's Bombers" teams in the late 1970s, died of cancer. He was 80.

Bamberger, who also managed the New York Mets, died Sunday night at home in North Redington Beach, according to Garden Sanctuary Funeral Home and Cemetery in Seminole.
Bamberger first came to the major leagues in 1951, briefly, as a member of the Bobby Thomson-led New York Giants, pitching in two games. He pitched in five games for the Giants in 1952, three games for the Orioles in 1959, all without winning or losing game, and spent most of his pitching career in the Pacific Coast League.

There he had more success, reputedly because of his reliance on his "Staten Island sinker" (he was born on Staten Island in New York City), a euphemism for a spitball.

Thursday, June 16, 2005
Scioscia's Nat Bite
Does Scioscia really think pine tar in the pitcher's glove is no-big-rip common enough practise? Some observers and a lot of Angel fans have mused who cares?—after all, hitters gunk up their bats with the goo and nobody cracks on them for it. Theoretically, it seems, enough gunk on the bat will drag on its movement through the hitting zone. Theoretically, one thumbprint worth of gunk on the meat of a ball's hide will turn an ordinary pitch into what George Bamberger called a Staten Island sinker.

22 April 1979, Washington Post, pg. P7:
That is Bamberger's delightful influence. For 18 years he was one of the last of a now-extinct breed -- the minor league pitching great. From Vancouver to Ottawa to Oakland, Bamberger took his spitter -- "my Staten Island sinker" -- and carried on his love affair with the traditions and rituals of the game.

25 June 1979, New York Times, "The Spitball and Other Stuff" by Murray Chass, pg. C4:
"Bamberger is a master at teaching wet ones. I'm mighty suspicious of Caldwell and his Staten Island sinker."
(Spoken by Earl Weaver, a Baltimore manager -- ed.)
Posted by Barry Popik
Sports/Games • (0) Comments • Monday, May 29, 2006 • Permalink