A Shea Stadium Usher’s 15 Minutes of Fame

Good morning, and happy February! Greetings from Uni Watch HQ, where all three inhabitants continue to be safe and healthy (and, in one inhabitant’s case, insufferably cute). Hope things are good at your home as well.

Last Friday I published an interview with Elaine Goldsmith, the 95-year-old woman who designed the uniforms for Shea Stadium’s ushers, ticket takers, and other staff when the ballpark opened in 1964. Lots of you told me that this was one of your all-time favorite Uni Watch entries (thank you!), so I think you’re really going to enjoy the follow-up that I have for you today.

Here’s the deal: One of the photos I included in Friday’s post was of an usher named Sidney Anne Zatzkin (shown at right; click to enlarge). The photo was taken on April 17, 1964 — the date of Shea’s first game — and then appeared as part of an article that ran in The New York Times the following day — April 18.

When reader David Landesberg saw that photo in Friday’s post, he did what I should have done: He googled Sidney’s name to learn more about her. The first thing he discovered — which he shared in Friday’s comments section — was that Sidney had appeared on What’s My Line?, the old TV game show in which celebrities tried to guess a person’s vocation. The episode aired on April 19, the day after her photo had appeared in the Times, so the show’s producers must have seen the photo and immediately invited her to be on the show.

One of the celebrities — publishing magnate/humorist Bennett Cerf — correctly guessed Sidney’s job after just a few questions, so her segment lasted only three minutes. You can see it here:

Sydneyann (which is how she signed her name on the show, rather than the “Sidney Anne” that the Times used) said during her appearance that she was a freshman at Hofstra. That meant she’d now be about 75 years old. Was she still alive? Landesberg wanted to find out. Women can be difficult to track, because most of them get married and change their surnames. But after some diligent research, Landesberg was reasonably certain he’d located her in South Carolina, where she now goes by Sydney Bozeman. Landesberg even came up with her phone number.

After doing all this legwork, Landesberg generously passed the info along to me. We didn’t have an email address for Sydney, so I figured I’d have to cold-call her — a potentially awkward endeavor (“Hi, you don’t know me, but if you are who I think you are, then I’m interested in talking about something you did in 1964…”), but I’ve done it enough times over the years. In this case, it turned out to be easy, because my call went to her voicemail, so I was able to take my time and explain the full situation.

A few hours after I left that voicemail, Sydney called me back (she had been out getting her Covid vaccination — good for her!) and confirmed that she is indeed the former Sydneyann Zatzkin. I sent her the link for Friday’s post, so she could see my interview with Elaine, and then asked if I could interview her for a follow-up post. She agreed, so we chatted via Zoom yesterday afternoon. Here’s a screen shot of her from that chat, followed by a transcript of our conversation (edited for clarity and length):

Uni Watch: How did you come to be working for the Mets?

Sydney Bozeman: At the time, the World’s Fair was going up. So I saw a job listing, probably at my school, to be either a Tahitian on the Bounty — I had long, dark hair — or the Mets. They selected me for both, but I chose the Mets because it was a better fit with my class schedule.

And you know, we weren’t really ushers…

UW: No?

SB: They didn’t want us in the stands with rowdy fans. So my assignment, as you saw in the New York Times photo, was to be sitting at the edge of the escalator, basically telling people where to go.

UW: More like customer assistance, customer service.

SB: I don’t know what they called us, but we were not supposed to be in the stands. And we weren’t taking tickets or anything like that.

UW: Were you already a Mets fan at the time, or a baseball fan?

SB: I’d been to a Dodgers game some years prior, but I was not a particularly big baseball fan, no.

UW: How much training or preparation was there for the job?

SB: I think they handed you a jacket and a hat. “Stand by the escalator.”

UW: Did they give you a tour of the stadium, so you knew where everything was?

SB: Yes, sure, we did that.

UW: What did you think of the uniforms that were issued to you?

SB: I wasn’t particularly thrilled with them. They told me that I looked wholesome, and I wanted to look sexy. So they were really not to my liking at all.

UW: When I interviewed Elaine, I was surprised to learn that the jackets were made of wool, which I imagine would be very warm during the summer.

SB: I don’t really recall that. The stadium was dusty, very dusty, maybe because it was new. But I wasn’t uncomfortable in the outfit or anything. I don’t think it was too warm.

UW: Would you take the uniform home with you, or did you have a changing room? A locker room, something like that?

SB: I really don’t recall. Sorry, it’s been a while!

UW: The Mets were such a notoriously bad team in those days. Was there any shame or embarrassment for working for them? Did your friends make fun of you or anything like that?

SB: No, they probably could care less.

UW: Do you recall how long you kept the job at Shea Stadium?

SB: I really don’t recall, but probably just the one season. We were only there for seven innings. Then we were released, unless there was a second game.

UW: Did you interact with any of the players at any point?

SB: Yeah. And that was interesting, too. They would be in the bullpen and here you have a bunch of young girls or women standing around and annoying them, and they were annoying us. So we were told by management, both us and the players, to leave each other alone.

UW: Shea Stadium opened for that first day, on April 17th, and then I believe it was on April 18th that your photo was in The New York Times. Were you excited to see that?

SB: Yes — and very surprised!

UW: So you didn’t know that it was coming?

SB: No.

UW: And then it was the very next day after that — the day after the photo ran — that you appeared on What’s My Line? So I assume that a producer from the show saw your photo and contacted you?

SB: Yes — either that or they got in touch with management. I don’t remember the details.

UW: When you signed in on the blackboard on the show, you wrote your first name as “Sydneyann,” but the Times had it as “Sidney Anne.” Did the Times get it wrong?

SB: Yes, but it wasn’t really that important. But here’s the funny thing about that: My name was very long, and they didn’t allow us to practice on the board in advance. So I’m writing and writing, “Sydneyann Zatzkin” and I started to drift off the end, and I thought to myself, “Dammit, plan ahead!”

UW: You were on the show for only about three minutes, because they guessed your job so quickly. Was that disappointing?

SB: I was so angry! I was supposed to have dinner with my parents and my then-boyfriend [after the show]. And instead I said, “No, I want to go home.” But I’ll never forget Buddy Hackett.

UW: I was actually I was going to ask you about that. Because when you arrived on the show — when you were introduced — there was a lot of whistling. And then, as you left and shook hands with the four panelists, Buddy Hackett sort of leered at you. What did you think of all that?

SB: He made some sort of comment, and I laughed. And it was — it was just fine. I guess I had a lot of presence at 18.

UW: So in the course of two days, you had your photo in the paper and you were on television. What did your friends and family think of all that? And what about your fellow staffers at Shea Stadium — were they jealous that you were getting all this attention?

SB: About the other workers, I don’t recall. You know, we didn’t have much interaction. But I had an interesting experience with one of my friends. She was a sorority sister who was a budding actress. And when she found out that I was going to be on What’s My Line, which happened to have been in the newspaper, she called the young woman who was the associate producer and said I was very ill and wouldn’t be able to appear that evening.

UW: Wow — so she was trying to sabotage your appearance?

SB: And she almost did, because the associate producer called and said “I’m so sorry you’re ill” and I said, “I’m just fine.” A little drama there.

UW: Did this whole experience — the job and the TV appearance — make you a Mets fan for life?

SB: No, but when anybody talks about baseball, I always bring up my 15 minutes of fame. It was exciting when I found the What’s My Line? video, probably just about a year ago.

UW: How long had it been since you’d seen yourself in that episode?

SB: Not since it happened. There was no way to get it. I knew which episode I was on, because over the years I’ve looked it up, but I’d never seen the video of it until about a year ago. Now I keep it on my cell phone.

UW: What about the New York Times photo — did you or your family have that framed on the wall or something like that?

SB: It’s never been framed, but I’ve kept it. It’s in a file in my office. All part of my 15 minutes of fame.

———

What a great story! Big thanks to Sydney for sharing her recollections with us.

Three quick follow-ups:

• A follow up article that appeared in the Times on April 21 mentioned Sydney’s TV appearance — and this time they spelled her name correctly.

• In 1966, two years after Sydney’s appearance, another Shea usher, named Gunnell Bertson, appeared on What’s My Line? You can see her segment here. This time the panelists were unable to guess her job (even though Bennett Cerf was still on the panel, oddly), so her segment lasted about eight minutes — Sydney must have been super-envious! (Or she would have been had she seen the segment. She told me she hadn’t been aware of it until recently and did not know Gunnell Bertson.)

• Here’s a great 1964 shot of Shea staffers, fully decked out in their Elaine Goldsmith-designed finery, posing with Mets skipper Casey Stengel. Sydney isn’t in this photo, but it’s still a nice way to wrap up our coverage of these Shea Stadium uniforms (click to enlarge):

(Special thanks to David Landesberg, without whom today’s entry would not have been possible.)

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Click to enlarge

ITEM! February Pin Club launch: With the Super Bowl coming up this Sunday, designer Todd Radom and I decided to take a Supe-centric approach to this month’s pin, with the year 2021 rendered in Roman numerals. Doesn’t that look cool? It’s available here.

This is a numbered edition of 200. And because of its horizontal orientation, it has two clasps on the back:

Again, the pin is available here. And because Teespring’s latest site-wide sale is still in effect today, you can save 10% by using the checkout code BYEBLUES. This discount will no longer be available tomorrow, so move fast.

While we’re at it, that discount also applies to everything in the Uni Watch, Naming Wrongs, and Uni Rock shops. You know what to do.

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Eye candy: The Wild wore their ЯR alternates for the first time last night, and holy shit did they look awesome. Lots of game photos here, and here’s a highlight video so you can see these magnificent unis in motion:

If you look back over the past two decades, this team has had very few aesthetic missteps. A model franchise, at least from a visual standpoint.

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Uni Watch — bringing people together: Two of Uni Watch’s most enthusiastic supporters over the years — both of whom have been profiled on the site — are Broncos superfan Tom Jacobsen and Dolphins superfan Bill Hetrick. When Tom recently moved from his longtime home in Denver to Mississippi, where Bill lives, I knew the two of them needed to get acquainted, so I put them in touch with each other.

After a few months’ worth of emails and texts, Bill and Tom finally had their first face-to-face meeting on Friday. I love how they repped their respective favorite teams on their masks — looking good, guys!

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Hurry hard liquor: Received a surprise package over the weekend from longtime reader David Sonny. Inside was something very special: a curling-themed novelty decanter of bourbon, bottled in 1976 and never opened. Still has the unbroken tax stamp!

This will come in very handy for Pandemic Porch Cocktails™ — possibly as soon as this evening, because we’re currently in the midst of a major snowstorm that rolled in overnight and is expect to last until tomorrow morning, so tonight’s porch session will be a doozy. Some curling-themed bourbon might be just what we need!

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The Ticker
By Jamie Rathjen

Baseball News: Suspended Mets 2B Robinson Canó is playing for the Dominican Republic’s Águilas Cibaeñas in the Caribbean Series and was wearing pants with the MLB logo yesterday, though it’s unclear if anyone else also was (from Martin Rivas). … Reader Brad Davis likes to travel around to minor league stadiums and has a collection of caps from each stop. … The Tokyo Yakult Swallows have captaincy patches (from Jeremy Brahm). … The St. Cloud Rox of the Northwoods League have a new 10th-“anniversary” logo, although based on the years it’s actually a 10th-season mark (from Kurt Crowley).

Football News: In 1966, Steelers C Ray Mansfield was apparently missing his helmet decal (from Tom Bierbaum). … The Lions once wore names on one of their blue helmet stripes (from Kurt Rozek). … The Packers team historian attempted to narrow down when the team started wearing facemasks (from Kary Klismet).

Hockey News: The Penguins finally released their uniform schedule — including for the games that have already been played (from multiple readers). … The Kings have been practicing in most of their non-jersey ЯR equipment, but also have matching practice jerseys, and G Jonathan Quick has a matching mask (from Jakob Fox). … The AHL’s Providence Bruins might be getting new jerseys (from Jake Martin). … In this circa-1979 picture, Canadiens C Doug Risebrough is wearing a blue and white helmet with a cage mask. “Best guess is that the modified helmet could be used with both the white unis with white helmets and the reds with blue helmets,” says Jean Lefebvre. … After Flyers LW Joel Farabee scored a hat trick last night, team mascot Gritty saluted him by tossing his giant ballcap onto the ice, whereupon LW Michael Raffl donned the hefty headwear (from Michael Hochman).

Basketball News: Color-vs.-color college games from yesterday included North Carolina and Virginia Tech’s women’s teams (from Chris Newbury). … The next two items are from Kary Klismet: The NCAA picked nine of the “most interesting” court designs. … A New York high school has a new arena.

Soccer News: Arsenal wore Chinese New Year-themed warm-up shirts on Saturday, but as the holiday is two weeks away it doesn’t look like any of the other usual suspects have done anything yet (from Storm Desk). … Mexico’s UANL Tigres have to wear modified versions of their shirts for the rescheduled 2020 Club World Cup, because the competition only allows one shirt ad (from Trevor Williams). … However, the Club World Cup sleeve patch actually has an ad on it — which makes the previous item sort of weird. … Among many ways German clubs adopted a rainbow theme for this year’s Holocaust Remembrance Day was that Bayern Munich put a large banner behind one goal with the hashtag “Nie wieder” (never again). … The USMNT wore shirts saying “Be the Change” and “Black Lives Still Matter” before yesterday’s friendly against Trinidad and Tobago. As far as I can tell, T&T’s black-and-white hooped shirts were also new. … An Austrian team is selling shirts plastered with advertisers’ logos, but they’re charging extra for that (from Trevor Williams).

Grab Bag: Virginia’s men’s lacrosse team has new helmets, and here is one of the women’s team’s new uniforms. … Some AFL Women’s teams are wearing new Indigenous designs for all away games this season, including Adelaide and Greater Western Sydney. The league is holding its first Indigenous round this season. … Greater Western Sydney hung a No. 34 guernsey on its bench and put a No. 34 decal above players’ numbers in memory of the previous player to wear that number, Jacinda Barclay, who passed away in the offseason. … A Japan men’s V.League match between Toray Arrows and FC Tokyo was postponed after a player’s Covid test was positive, then negative, which eventually led to the teams playing once instead of twice and all wearing masks (from Jeremy Brahm). … Also from Jeremy: Here are the gold medals for the ongoing men’s handball world championships. … Saturday Night Live’s Pete Davidson appeared on Saturday wearing a vintage Syracuse sweater (from Michael Hochman and Max Weintraub). … The next three are from Kary Klismet: An Australian rugby league blog picked the best National Rugby League shirts for next season. … A North Carolina high school has to lose its “Rebels” name, and a new Texas middle school has a “Cavaliers” name. … A new Wheaties box honors 1968 Olympian Tommie Smith and his famous Black Power salute (from Jimmy Lonetti).

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60 comments to A Shea Stadium Usher’s 15 Minutes of Fame

  • Vs | February 1, 2021 at 8:18 am |

    Great interview, PL!

    Too not two in the interview with SydneyAnn.

    “ I don’t think it was two warm.“

    • Paul Lukas | February 1, 2021 at 8:28 am |

      Thanks — fixed!

    • CW | February 1, 2021 at 8:50 am |

      One more…

      “And when she found out that I was going to be on What’s My Line, which happened to have been in the newspaper, she called ME young woman…”

      • Paul Lukas | February 1, 2021 at 9:01 am |

        Fixed.

  • Josh Bradford | February 1, 2021 at 8:24 am |

    Bravo Paul! Uni-watch gets better and better as the days go on! What a great story Friday and follow up today! Thank you!

  • Random reader | February 1, 2021 at 8:30 am |

    Manchester United also has a collection of warm-up jackets and shirts that are commemorating the upcoming Lunar New Year, it might just be an Adidas-only promotion

  • RS Rogers | February 1, 2021 at 8:41 am |

    I think there’s a word missing in the penultimate sentence of the Wild feature: “ this team has had very aesthetic missteps.”

    And good gosh, what a great pair of interviews and insights both into the history and the personalities involved Friday and today. Thanks for these! Now please stop trying to make me like the Mets!

    • Paul Lukas | February 1, 2021 at 9:01 am |

      Fixed.

  • Josh | February 1, 2021 at 8:50 am |

    What a wonderful follow up to last week’s article. If it hasn’t been done already, an article about early sport ushers would be very interesting.

    • Jim Vilk | February 1, 2021 at 11:16 am |

      If you ever want to interview an old stadium vendor, my brother would be a great subject.

      I had the same line of work, but he talks more and has more and better stories.

  • Tony C | February 1, 2021 at 8:50 am |

    https://youtu.be/tvWnByPQwgA?t=2343

    interview of Browns Equipment Manager, Brad Melland showing how they prepped for the playoff game vs the Chiefs

  • Block "O Canada" | February 1, 2021 at 8:56 am |

    In 1966, Steelers C Ray Mansfield was apparently missing his helemt decal
    – helmet

    • Paul Lukas | February 1, 2021 at 9:01 am |

      Fixed.

  • RICKAZ | February 1, 2021 at 9:13 am |

    Correction…The Wheaties box honors Tommie Smith, not John Carlos.

    • Paul Lukas | February 1, 2021 at 9:27 am |

      Right you are, Rick. Fixed.

      • RICKAZ | February 1, 2021 at 6:22 pm |

        I was 10 and as a white kid growing up in Southern Cal I thought what they did was great. I actually went out and bought black leather gloves. I was also a big UCLA basketball fan and was in favor of what Kareem Abdul Jabbar (then Lew Alcindor) did by boycotting the Olympics. Sadly I thought my generation would get this right, but now I’m hopeful for my kids generation.

  • Dumb Guy | February 1, 2021 at 9:24 am |

    Love the MMXXI pin! I can hardly wait until next year to see a virtually identical MMXII pin!! I’m assuming you’ll be taking the NFL SB logo tack, right? ;^)

    Also: Tremendous “What’s My Line” follow-up!

  • Mike Williams | February 1, 2021 at 9:28 am |

    Somebody needs to colorize that group photo with Casey Stengal. Certainly it would be “Amazin'”!

  • Basti Scherer | February 1, 2021 at 10:04 am |

    These Minnesota Wild RR Uniforms might be my favorite Uniform in the entire League.
    And I’m a Flames Fan.

  • NEPA Rob | February 1, 2021 at 10:07 am |

    Two great interviews, Paul.

    Not directly related, but seeing Dorothy Kilgallen on the panel reminded me of the book I read a couple of years ago: “The Reporter Who Knew Too Much: The Mysterious Death of What’s My Line TV Star and Media Icon Dorothy Kilgallen”.

    Even after reading it I came away still very uncertain about whether her death was linked in any way to the Jack Ruby investigation, but it’s a fascinating book and certainly worth reading.

  • RS Rogers | February 1, 2021 at 10:15 am |

    That Clem Harvey bourbon decanter is a treasure! And worth noting the Wisconsin state tax stamp – I’ve seen a few of these decanters come up in auctions or private sales among whisky groups, but never with the Wisconsin stamp (and rarely with the bourbon still inside). Thanks for sharing the photos and enjoy!

  • Darren R | February 1, 2021 at 10:25 am |

    Completely way off tangent, but holy smokes, I’d love to hear that sorority sister try and explain/defend what she did; that’s some seriously underhanded stuff.

  • JohnK | February 1, 2021 at 10:27 am |

    When I first saw the Wild photo I thought it was the home whites for the University of Alaska-Anchorage Seawolves. Very similar (and really nice) look. https://www.google.com/search?q=seawolves+hockey&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwi8q6Gq_sjuAhW2JTQIHdiKA-YQ_AUoAnoECAIQBA&biw=998&bih=432#imgrc=kCQLNcJ1cQYpYM

  • Jason T. | February 1, 2021 at 10:42 am |

    I agree, Friday’s interview and today’s follow-up were great!

  • Jim Vilk | February 1, 2021 at 11:13 am |

    An Austrian team is selling shirts plastered with advertisers’ logos, but they’re charging extra for that

    I would not wear that.

    Absolutely ridiculous. Shirts with ads on them should be free, just like the old stadium giveaways. Better yet, if you want me to advertise your company, *you* should pay *me* to wear an ad-plastered jersey.

    • Jim Vilk | February 1, 2021 at 11:20 am |

      Wow… I just read the article…FIFTY-FIVE EUROS EXTRA??? Who knew that my saying “absolutely ridiculous ” would turn out to be a massive understatement…

  • Pavel | February 1, 2021 at 11:17 am |

    As a follow-up to Bayern’s “Nie Wieder” campaign, their BBL basketball league team had a rainbow memorial band on their jersey’s yesterday in their game against Crailsheim. Here is a good photo: https://twitter.com/FCBBTogether/status/1355962121616576522/photo/1

  • Dan Pfeifer | February 1, 2021 at 11:43 am |

    Wow, is there another Dan Pfeifer who’s a longtime reader? Hate to say this, but this particular one did not send you the curling decanter. I did send you an E-mail over the weekend, though (and you responded — thanks!).

    • Paul Lukas | February 1, 2021 at 11:46 am |

      Argh! No. It was David Sonny who sent the bourbon, not you. (I was emailing with you when I wrote that section, hence the error.) Fixed!

      • Dan Pfeifer | February 1, 2021 at 3:41 pm |

        No worries. Just wanted to make sure the right decanter sender got the credit.

  • ER | February 1, 2021 at 12:04 pm |

    As a Minnesotan, seeing those Wild Unis last night just felt so right. I’ve kind of felt that they’ve been a team without an identity for their entire existence and living in the North Stars’ shadow. They could keep the name, but going back to the green and gold color scheme would I think make them more of a continuation of the North Stars rather than a brand new team, which is what they’ve felt like for their existence and not in a good way.

    • RS Rogers | February 1, 2021 at 12:26 pm |

      I dunno, the North Stars burned so much goodwill in their last few seasons that the fact that the Wild felt like an entirely new team was a virtue for me in their first years. Now, I kind of like having two distinct teams with distinct eras. That said, I’ve mostly preferred the Wild when they’ve emphasized the green. Even if it’s a darker shade, I’ve like the sense of visual continuity that the more-green Wild have created, as opposed to the visual novelty of more-red Wild uniforms.

      • ER | February 1, 2021 at 12:39 pm |

        I agree that they should keep the Wild name, but looking at their uniforms last night made me realize how much that color scheme and really color schemes in general play into a team’s identity. The Wild have done a far better job of representing the state and what hockey means in the state, but the North Stars and their green and yellow will always represent pro hockey in the state as much as maroon and gold represent college hockey.

    • Shaftman | February 1, 2021 at 12:31 pm |

      I’ve never had to deal with a team leaving, thank goodness, but I tend to abhor when relocated or new franchise teams take on the identity of a previously vacated team. Browns, Winnipeg Jets, Charlotte Bobcats, etc.

      However, I absolutely agree that keeping the colors with the Wild’s name just feels right. Less a continuation of the franchise and more a healthy respect of the location and fanbase.

      Sooooo…..I guess I’m saying that we completely agree, but for different reasons?

      • ER | February 1, 2021 at 12:44 pm |

        That’s probably more what I mean. It’s not that they necessarily should be the continuation of the North Stars, but that the green and yellow represent pro hockey in Minnesota more than forest green and red ever will while also looking absolutely fantastic. Also, the Wild logo is fantastic and should never be touched.

      • John H. | February 1, 2021 at 4:57 pm |

        It would have been a PR disaster here in Winnipeg if the 2.0 team had called itself the Polar Bears, as rumoured, or anything other than the Jets.

  • Nate | February 1, 2021 at 12:37 pm |

    The two-part series on the Mets’ usher’s uniforms is a perfect example of why this website has been my lunchtime entertainment routine for the past 15 years.

    I have absolutely no interest in what the stadium staff for the Mets was wearing 20 years before I was born. Or should I say… I THOUGHT that I had no interest in what the stadium staff for the Mets was wearing 20 years before I was born. And yet here I am, totally enthralled.

    Thanks, Paul.

  • Judy A | February 1, 2021 at 12:51 pm |

    I love that curling-themed bourbon bottle, but it would present me with a terrible dilemma: on the one hand, I’d want to preserve it as a collectible. On the other hand, bourbon on a snowy night sounds pretty perfect.

    • Jim Vilk | February 1, 2021 at 1:13 pm |

      I’d drink that.

  • Joe P | February 1, 2021 at 12:53 pm |

    Uhhh… was it normal practice for people to blatantly cat-call a young woman on this show or just in general in 1964? I realize that social standards can change quite a bit over 55 years, but damn that is disgusting.

    • Tim | February 1, 2021 at 1:00 pm |

      They used to have comedies in the 1960s that made fun of the CIA (Get Smart), the Germans in WWII (Hogan’s Heroes) and pure political humor (Laugh-In) that actually took shots at BOTH sides.

      • Jim Vilk | February 1, 2021 at 1:19 pm |

        Hogan’s Heroes is still my all-time favorite show…even over the 1978 Battlestar Galactica. That’s saying something. If that makes me insensitive, I’ll take that.

        • walter | February 1, 2021 at 5:59 pm |

          I love Gilbert Gottfried’s bit on the writer pitching the idea of “Hogan’s Heroes” to a potential producer: “HERE’S MY IDEA!! IT TAKES PLACE IN A CONCENTRATION CAMP!! IT’S ABOUT A BUNCH OF PRISONERS OF WAR!! IF THEY TRY TO ESCAPE, THEY GET KILLED!! IT’S A *COMEDY!!*” “I *LOVE* IT!!!”

        • Jim Vilk | February 1, 2021 at 8:36 pm |

          He never watched it then, because it was a prisoner of war camp…not a concentration camp. BIG difference.

      • Joe P | February 1, 2021 at 2:19 pm |

        I’m not sure how political humor of this era relates to sexual harassment and definitely can’t see why anyone would feel the need to present that as an example that “both sides” were victims. Glad this point made you think of Hogan’s Heroes though?

  • Brian | February 1, 2021 at 1:19 pm |

    So, is Paul or the Tugboat captain “insufferably cute”?

  • Dennis C Abrams | February 1, 2021 at 1:32 pm |

    In case you missed it from my very late comment last night – Jeff Frye confirmed that the “3” on Mo Vaughn’s hat was in his honor.

    https://twitter.com/O3jfrye/status/1356114385341702144

  • BvK | February 1, 2021 at 1:32 pm |

    Great interview today, Paul! What a fun follow-up to last Friday’s feature about Elaine Goldsmith, and what an interesting glimpse into a past that’s not all that long ago in the grand scheme of things but feels like a completely different world in many respects.

    One thing that struck me as interesting about the What’s My Line segment was the prevalence of the Mid-Atlantic accent among all the speakers on the show. I’m curious, Paul, did Sydney still speak with that accent when you interviewed her?

    I’ve heard before that it’s largely a cultivated manner of speaking that hit its peak as the accent of choice in the media and entertainment industries in the middle of the 20th Century. It was apparently taught (or at least its use was encouraged) in private schools on the East Coast, but that it’s a matter of debate as to how many people grew up speaking it at home.

    Some clearly did, or at least the accent seemed to have stuck as they grew accustomed to speaking that way (William F. Buckley comes to mind). But it seems like others might have used it professionally but it wasn’t necessarily their manner of speaking in their everyday lives. Is that a fair characterization?

    • Paul Lukas | February 1, 2021 at 1:41 pm |

      It’s funny — when she called me back, I knew immediately that I had the right person, because her voice matched the voice of the game show contestant!

      • BvK | February 1, 2021 at 2:09 pm |

        Huh! Interesting! So apparently fits into more of the “William F. Buckley” category, at least in terms of the Mid-Atlantic accent being a manner of speaking that she was raised with or that stuck with her once she learned it. I’m curious to know how widespread the accent is in the generations that followed Sydney. I don’t seem to hear it much anymore.

    • BvK | February 1, 2021 at 2:01 pm |

      Another aspect of this story that struck me was the latent – and often blatant – objectification and misogyny that permeated the era. It’s evident not only in the catcalls that Sydney is subjected to when she walks onstage at the What’s My Line set and in Buddy Ebsen’s creepy leering, but in more subtle ways, like the references to her and her fellow ushers’ physical appearances or host John Charles Daly’s patronizing commendation of her as a “good girl.” You can also see it in the way that the Times describes the sexual harassment that the Shea Stadium ushers had to endure merely as “half-hearted pursuit and sweet rejection.”

      I don’t see myself as particularly “woke” on a number of gender equity issues (and I mean that as a critique of myself rather than commentary of any kind on those issues), but I couldn’t hep but cringe at every one of these painful and awkward interactions – things that today we might refer to as microaggressions. I don’t have a good sense of when these things started to become disfavored in society. But I do know that from the time in my teenage years in the ’80s that I would have been old enough to be aware of my mom or my sister or my female friends and relatives disrespected in such ways, I wasn’t okay with it, and I’m still not okay with it now.

      • Nestor Chylak | February 1, 2021 at 2:52 pm |

        Buddy Hackett.

        Jed Clampett was always a gentleman.

        • BvK | February 1, 2021 at 3:11 pm |

          Thank you, Nestor. I meant “Hackett,” but typed “Ebsen.” Fully agreed that Ebsen would not have leered like that.

  • Alan Tompas | February 1, 2021 at 2:19 pm |

    I can only hope I look half as good as Sydney at 75. Spectacular stuff here. Much needed fun on a snowy day.

  • mark | February 1, 2021 at 2:59 pm |

    great articles on the Met’s stadium staff togs.

    also, the steelers/eagles video was interesting for, not only the center’s logoless helmet,
    (maybe it had something to do with his position? – to make him a focal point),….

    but check out the eagles shoulder and sleeve stripes – I remember they had a lot of stripes in the late 70’s/early 80’s – but those ’66 pipings look like the classic Sears “All American” collegeuni kits (red white and blue) I recall from my childhood, before they hooked up with the NFL and and made every boy my age GO NUTS to try and get their parents to pony up the cash for the Holy Grail of of our Christmas lists. They were about $20 back then – which was pretty hefty for a toy.

    I didn’t get one, but still used to love to go to the stores and just look at them.

    That was about 69/70 -maybe a year or two later – and it was the first time you could actually get helmets, etc. that looked like the real thing.

    Still makes me laugh.

  • Tenz | February 1, 2021 at 3:04 pm |

    Good grief, those green-and-yellow Wild uniforms are beautiful and pop in a way the team’s muted regular colors just do not, at least to my eye. A really good example of how I think design trends of past decades used vibrant colors to great effect, something you only rarely see these days.

    And I always appreciate when a new team strengthens its ties to its predecessor in the market. I have little attachment myself to the Wild and a fair number of fond memories of the North Stars.

  • J | February 1, 2021 at 4:46 pm |

    I’m shocked, shocked! that Paul likes a green and yellow jersey.

  • John H. | February 1, 2021 at 5:03 pm |

    Am I the only one who thinks that green numerals with gold trim would make the Wild sweaters even better?

    • walter | February 2, 2021 at 11:11 am |

      Yeah, but then they wouldn’t be Reverse Retro.

  • Alec | February 1, 2021 at 10:39 pm |

    The Caribbean Series has an odd wrinkle this year: the season in Panama was canceled, so the squad is an all star roster playing under the name Federales.

    Really sharp in green & red, but no merch for sale.