For many years New Britain native Tom Lepito has been trying to find the origin of a poem/quote he heard many years ago.
The poem was built around the booing of players and finished with a line similar to “And don’t forget Ted (Williams), Joe (DiMaggio) and Eddie (Arcaro) they never boo a bum.”
A few weeks ago in a story in the New Britain City Journal concerning the booing of Robinson Cano, Lepito once again was reminded of the poem he has been eagerly searching for and has not found.
“The point is fans never boo a bum. They only boo players who are good,” said Lepito. “I’ve sent letters to sportswriters and more asking about this poem and nobody knows.”
One of the letters he sent was to Bob Costas in 1997.
Costas replied, “Sorry to fail you. I’m not familiar with the poem you asked about. There are many anthologies of BB literature. Maybe one of them will help.”
Lepito has tried the New York Times, Keith Olberman at ESPN, Mike and the Mad Dog and the Baseball Hall of Fame. No one seems to remember the poem or story.
“My kids have even tried on the Internet and nothing,” said Lepito. “I heard it in the late 30’s or 40’s and have been searching for it now for well over 25 years for it.”
Lepito, who is 92 years old, said the poem, which may have been part of a quote, has been haunting him. He has no idea who the author may be either, but believes it was a sports writer or commentator.
Lepito said he remembers the poem, which he says does not rhyme, because he says he believes fans have the right to boo players.
“They pay their money and they are entitled to boo,” he said. “Everyone deserves to boo someone who isn’t playing well. If he is a bum there is no use wasting your breath.”
Lepito has found a number of other baseball sayings about booing.
“Phillies would boo a funeral” – Bo Belinsky
“I never heard my last name here. Every time the announcer would say ‘Juan…’ the fans would boo so loud I couldn’t hear anything.” – Juan Agosto on White Sox fans
“Some of these people would boo the crack in the Liberty Bell.” – Pete Rose on the Phillies fans.
“Eighty-five percent of the people in the country work, and the other 15 percent come out here and boo my players. It’s a playground for them. Those fans are losers.” – Lee Elia, on Cubs fans.
The New Britain City Journal even found a few more.
“I’ve never heard a crowd boo a homer, but I’ve heard plenty of boos after a strikeout.” – Babe Ruth.
“Fans don’t boo nobodies.” – Reggie Jackson
“I understand people who boo us. It’s like going to a Broadway show. You pay for your tickets and expect to be entertained. When you’re not, you have a right to complain.” – Sparky Anderson.
But, none matched what Lepito is seeking.
“I’d like to find the author so I can sleep at night,” he said.
If you have any information on the quote, send it to the email@example.com or call us at 860-505-7612.